AleSmith Decadence 2010 English Style Old Ale | AleSmith Brewing Company

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AleSmith Decadence 2010 English Style Old AleAleSmith Decadence 2010 English Style Old Ale

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Same recipe as Decadence 2005.

Added by jerz on 06-14-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 139 | Ratings: 208
Photo of HimerMan
4.92/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 bottle; served in a Delirium Tremens glass split with Gaskill on 5/19/06.

Open/Pour – Aroma of chocolate and candied fruits, raisins and faint alcohol. Unbelievable pour, wonderful off-white head with a ruby brown hazy color. Absolutely one of the nicest colors to look at in this style of beer. Retention fairly strong, and light oil on the top.

Taste – incredibly smooth and refreshing, alcohol not present in taste - though the warming feeling exists. Nice malt flavor that is rich with sweet sugar water and very true to both English Old Ales and Belgian flavors; figs, raisins, light chocolate/toffee mixed with cream and sweetness.

Overall – perhaps I enjoy this style more than I would have ever thought. Stouts are still my overall favorite style – but this one seems to have peeked through an opened my eyes to new flavors.

Drinkability - You can age this for years, so keep it or drink it - it will be outstanding. Top-notch.

Truly an unbelievable beer. After being aged until 5/19/06 – it was amazing, and I have several more to age through the next couple years. If you have the ability to get this beer – you must.

Incredible beer from an incredible brewery.


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Photo of ZX6Chris
4.76/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Did a '05,'10 side-by-side with Pastradul, Mikedashg and Otakuale.

A-A murky cola color with very little white head.

S-Wow! A nice robust aroma full of ripe fruits, caramel and toffee.

T-Blows the '10 away! The ripe fruits explode in your mouth! Tons of malts, caramel, toffee. I wish I could be more descriptive but I'm just blown away at how delicious this beer is.

M-Less carbonation then the '10 and that is a good thing. Smooth and creamy with just enough bubbles to carry the flavors across your tongue but not distract from the beautiful flavor.

D-Simply amazing. This isn't one of those,"For 5 years old it's doing pretty good." This beer is delicious and probably will stay that way for a good while. I'm going out to stock up on the 10's while they're available.

After some poor reviews I had to drink one and see how it was doing. And man I'm glad I did!

FYI: This bottle has spent it's whole life in a dark SoCal closet.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.7/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours with a one finger cream head that fades quickly to a ring leaving traces of lace. Cloudy amber color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Raisiny nose. Starts sweet, raisiny, smooth high ABV stays hidden until finish. However my drinking partner thinks it is more like a liquor drink than a beer. Pricey at $9.99 for a 750ml bottle from Hi-Time Cellars Costa Mesa, Ca.

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Photo of BeerManDan
4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a pleasant surprise, from beginning to end. Popped the lid and poured this thick dark amber brown ale into my clear glass. There was no foam, which is pretty standard for this style ale. The smell of malts, fruit and hops filled my nose with a pleasant balanced aroma. The taste was really malty and fruity with a nice hoppy flavor, not over powering. Nice balance of fruitiness, with the malts mixed with sweetness, tartness and a touch of sourness. This is what I would call a barleywine type ale and I love it! Also, for the amount of alcohol, it is so smoooth with out the alcohol taste.

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Photo of Beertracker
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

AleSmith's Decadence Anniversary Ale is best served at cellar temperatures (50-55F) in a "commemorative" logo glass or a large brandy snifter. This potent elixir pours up smart & simple with just the perfect amount of carbonation. The gorgeously, inviting chestnut-ruby brown body is capped nicely with a small, persistent, cream colored head. This beauty even shows a bit of leg. The big, sweet caramel (e.g. caramel apple, toffee bits/molasses chips, muscovado sugar) aroma is wonderfully complex with hints of Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla, Frangelico & Madeira. The flavor starts off luciously rich & somewhat chewy with lots of burnt caramel, toasted nuttiness and dried fruit. The bitterness never quite seems to catch-up to the huge maltiness, but the warming alcohol plays nicely into the finish. This chewy, full-bodied old ale carries plenty of character & warmth to bring color to any occasion. Enjoy this special vintage now or cellar for a special occasion. Here's to a "Decade of Decadence!"

CHEERS! Beertracker

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Photo of Dukeofearl
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Purchased in late 2005, tasted in January 2007. Purchase price and location info not recorded.

This is one big beer. One big full rich powerful beer. Very alcoholic, very strong, very wow. And I think it's great.

Pours a clear brown with lots and lots of gorgeous ruby highlights in my Trappistes Rocheforte goblet. Not much of a head, but a very nice looking thin tan cover.

Aroma is molassas, brown sugar, some dark fruits, and bit of whiskey. Flavor builds upon this, with dates, chocolate-covered cherries, figs, wood, and some spices thrown in for fun. Very complex.

The mouth is thick and chewy, big and full. A lot of alcohol, but not too much (and usually it is for me).

I really like this beer, and know it's the last time I'll likely have it. It is a huge beer, and best for special occasions, but I will miss it fondly.

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Photo of brentk56
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a burnt caramel color with an impressive, rocky head that leaves copious lacing behind

Smell: Dark fruit (dates and figs), licorice, caramel and wood

Taste: Opens with a nice blend of dark fruit, caramel and licorice that adds a hint of hops, scorched wood and molasses by mid-palate; after the swallow, the caramel flavors soften out the profile and blend beautifully with the dark fruit in the finish though there is a subtle hint of pithy hops that lingers in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: To me, this is a really fine example of the English Old Ale style

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Photo of Bighuge
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Proud looking scarlet red appearance. This beer has got a glow to it. Head is beige and thin, but the residual collar leaves quite a good amount of spotty lace. Really thick aroma. Gooey caramel and sweet toffeeish malts lead the pack. Rummy alcohol and fig like tones as well. A little resiny hop character too. Great aroma. The first thing that I notice when tasting is the rich, luxurious malt tones. Clean and sweet. Caramel and toffee. Beautiful. Melons and figs and alcohol all mingle in as well. But really, for an 11% brew, the alcohol is intergrated nicely. I was hoping it wasn't going to be one of those spiked fruit punch like old ales and it isn't. This is very good. And, yes, decadent is the perfect word to describe it.

Thanks to the LongBeachBum for this Alesmith treat. Much appreciated man.

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark brown to almost black with generous light tan head.

Nose is "whoppers" candy sweet - nougat milk chocolatey with a suggestion of yeasty esters.

Palate is roasty and malty sweet with caramel thickness, brown sugar, fruit candies, and cocoa powder on the finish. The body is very creamy and thick, viscous, whatever. It's nice.

Finish reveals the alcohol warmth with chocolate notes and some tartness.

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Photo of magictrokini
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear brown, with a slight cream head. Aroma is heavy with chocolate malts, alcohol, and candied fruits. Figs and cherries are faint and boozy. Taste is thick with sweet malts. Chocolate and toffee blend with the fruit, to form a slightly chocolate-covered-cherry candy taste up front. The cherries and caramel linger. Finishes with a slow and sticky alcohol burn, cognac flavor, without the dried fruit. Viscous mouthfeel. Easily drinkable, while maintaining complexity.

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Photo of SheepNutz
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A big shout out to Chris for bringing this one! 750mL bottle poured into a snifter. It pours a deep brown-red color with one finger of head. There's minimal lacing on the glass. The smell is intoxicating. A huge nose, with lots of dark fruit. There's a good bit of cherry and raisin, and a hint of alcohol as well. The taste is sweet and mellow. A great dark fruit flavor. A lot less alcohol than the aroma would have you to believe. Very flavorful! The mouthfeel is very thick and strong. The drinkability is great for an 11% brew. A really nice beer.

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Photo of maximum12
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to hoppymcgee & errantknight for spontaneously sending me bottles of this untested Alesmith brew. The first bottle went to a tasting & I fondly remember the ounce or two, & it rec'd good reviews. Now for a sober go at it.

Split up into a pair of DFH glasses, right up to the fish's mouth in each. Runs like the Mississippi in spring, muddy, with almost imaginary red highlights. Smell is a fruit tree toppled into a deep pool of malts. Rich, dark cherrywood, close to crossing into rum territory.

Decadence Old Ale is like a liquified fruit cup; this would make a great kid's drink. Bombastic cherry mixes with figs, brown sugar syrup, plums. Underneath this assault is a layer of malt sweetness that tightopes along the Grand Canyon of too sweet, but never takes the plunge. The rum character in the nose morphs into an almost rum/port mix; lovely. Flecks of toffee, caramel list about drunkenly.

Just like me if I drank a whole bomber of this. The alcohol remains hearty, not so much in the taste, as in the warm glow in my midsection. Rich, sweet, full, I find the glass slipping quickly away as I plumb its delightful depths for just one more subtle clue.

Excellent beer, & the best I've had from Alesmith to date. Great depth, amazingly drinkable, & just plain delicious.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.41/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: into a snifter, dark brown ale with a slim cap of tan bubbly head. Some lace motes trail down the sides of the glass.

S: dark wet fruits and dark booze; sugars like toffee and treacle, suggestions of floral and herbal autumnal spice

T: warmed in the glass to reveal a dark malty fruity base, full of dark sugars and orchard fruits; tastes like date, plum, raisin, and fig - fruits sift among a spiced character, reminiscent of warm winter holiday treats

M: creamy smooth, soft and slightly fuzzy; slightly sticky and with a flash of drying chalkiness on the close

O: nothing wrong with having an old ale with 3 years on it. Grand drinking experience.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.4/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Chestnut-hued, under tight, tan top.

Earthy, nutty aroma, caramel flavor, mixed with spice and fruit esters. A heady, burgundy-esque blend. Noice.

Delectable and deep at once, a bold entry on the palate, hanging full with weighty flavors. Sticks long on the tastebuds, rolls around with imperious aplomb, a brilliant mix of delicious malt, and just enough hops. Lip-smacking delight.

11%? I can feel it coming on...this is a fine, fine barleywine that will put an excellent close to the day. Half the bottle left...means I'm gonna feel twice as good when it's time to hit the hay.

much thanks to beerhandy and BiF33 for the bottle.

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Photo of Phocion
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Very dark brownish-amber with a modest head that quickly sinks into a light lace.

Nose is very sweet. Molasses, brown sugar, caramel, and toffee. Definite alcohol presence as well.

Sweet malts and alcohol. Not much for hops presence, but the same characteristics from the aroma are present in the taste, with more alcohol as well as somewhat fruity; figs in specific.

Very creamy and warm on the palate. Though this is definitely not a beer to slam, I see the bottle going quickly. This frightens me with the 11% ABV that this thing boasts. If you can still find a bottle, pick one up. It'll be worth it.

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Photo of genog
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

pours a reddish brown type color. Sparkling body creating a somewhat glow. Light thin layer of white bubbly head sits on top

Aroma is very nice, but subtle. Caramel malty with some sugary sweetness. Pinch of hops pokes through.

Taste is roasty with sweet fruits and candy type sweetness. Raisins coat the backbone brining to mind a great mellowed out barleywine.

Mouthfeeling is very thick and coats the tongue. Makes this a nice sipper.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the glass crystal clear amber with a tan and low head which formed slowly but lasted well to lace the glass.

The aroma was malty with a strong caramel malt presence coupled with a nice fruity character. The fruit was dark cherries and raisins coupled with a nice nuttiness. No hop aroma, but a nice slight spicy phenol was present from alcohol.

The flavor was nicely accomplished with a nutty, caramel and toffee malt flavor which contained a sizeable bittering component. The beer was biscuity, but not overly so with a toasty character and a dark caramel thrown in for good measure. The bittering was at the first of the flavor and was resinous and piney.

The finish was not quite dry with a sizeable resinous and piney bittering lasting long into the aftertaste and taking some nuttiness and malt flavor along for the ride. The body was full, but not viscous. The carbonation was low and correct for the style. The alcohol was really only a factor in the aroma and the warming after consumption. A very nice old ale, should age out very well and I am glad I elected to pick up a bottle when I had the chance.

750 capped and foil sealed bottle. Purchased at Papago in Phoenix.

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Photo of Zorro
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Retired? This is a vintage ale it will never technically be retired.

After a strong pour I am rewarded with a red brown ale without a lot of head formation.

Smell is quite spicy and sweet to the nose. Lots of fig, prune and cinnamon in the scent. Fair amount of brown sugar and nut aromas here, this much more like a Belgian Strong Brown Ale to me scent wise. Toffee and chocolate aromas are also in this.

Taste is sweet and spicy with a strong hop bitterness at the start. Lots of sweet brown sugar and cinnamon flavor fights it out with the more than ample hop level for the attention of your taste buds. There is a fairly strong nut flavor here a lot like sherry. Lots of hop flavor here mostly strong citrus flavors with some cinnamon and ginger to it too.

Mouthfeel is extremely thick.

Strong ale here that does lack a bit in drinkability. This is a big strong hoppy beer that you will not be drinking as a lawnmower beer.

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Photo of ArrogantB
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this in a trade with a Cali BA, either oodeftone or Metallitone1, can't remember. Either way, thanks! I went into this already having tasted the barrel-aged version first and not havign had this fresh. It was a dark ruby-orange, decent head at first, looks similar to the barrel-aged but less murky. Nice smells of candy, grapes, cognac and barleywine. The flavor was toffee, caramel, really nice. I will say this is better barrel-aged because it adds a boozy, bourbon-vanilla but still the regular version is an excellent barleywine/old ale and the 11% ABV is completely hidden. I'm glad I still have one bottle of the BA version, mmmm.

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Photo of CrellMoset
4.29/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL gold foil and capped bottle courtesy of Gueuzedude - many thanks to a great trader for a longtime want! Poured in to a 26 oz. customized and laser-engraved brandy snifter (thanks bro, and keep drinkin' the good stuff!).

Appearance: Pours a turgid, still looking, dirty cherrywood, slightly transparent around the edges but devoid of light microns under the surface. It really struggles out of the mouth of the bottle, looking fairly devoid of carbonation - what does one expect five years later? - but a somewhat vigorous pour does eventually coax it out of the bottle, as well as coax a half finger of light, tawny, sudsy head out of the depths. The retention is understandably poor, but I continue to remain surprised it popped up at all, even after its faded to a thin semi-crescent on the far side of the snifter. No surface lacing or side lacing rounds out the appearance on this understandably handicapped brew - need I mention the level of carbonation visible here?

Aroma: Milk chocolate and caramel dominates the nose, an interesting medley amidst a bunch of other much lighter and more ethereal notes. Faint, sherry-like oxidation mingles with brown sugar-drenched cherries, sugary peaches, faint maple syrup, a few berry notes ... the whole thing is very estery, light, sweet on the back end. This may be this beer's best aspect - complex and very nuanced.

Taste: Fruity doesn't begin to describe this one. Like Dr. Pepper, almost, with the amount of fruit and cola overtones here. I'll do my best to break it down. Here goes: Vanilla, cherries, peaches, chocolate, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, raisins, figs, wet cardboard, molasses, nectarines, dates, sherry, mandarin oranges, pears.

More a regurgitation than a review, I suppose. But this one's really quite the sensory overload. The malt base is sweet, strong, ranging from lightly roasted (caramel) all the way to dark (cocoa, toast). The fruit notes in this one are running crazy, though, absolutely roughshod over the tongue. From very light (peaches) to very dark (raisins) and with everything in between, this one is incredibly intense. Faint spiciness also contributes to the complexity here, as does a mature, woody, oxidized. I'm going back and forth on whether to give this a 4.0 or a 4.5, and I think I'll err on the side of being generous.

Mouthfeel: Meticulously carbonated, or perhaps not nearly as well carbonated as it was or should be, though enough that it actually works fairly well, with a nice, densely creamy mouth.

Drinkability: An intense beer that I think would have been a little nicer a year ago. Not terribly past its prime, but maybe just a little. At 11%, I was able to finish the bottle, but was certainly feeling the effects. In retrospect, I wish I'd been able to try this one side-by-side with its "recreation," the 2010 Decadence. Regardless, this is a beer I can tell was once great, world-class, even, and if not quite at that level is still pretty amazing. Drink 'em if you've got 'em, and relish what perhaps they once were.

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Photo of flannelman808
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown in color with a red tint. fairly opaque overall. Topped off with an off white colored head. Good head retention and nice lacing...frothy.

S: Malty chocolate and toffee come through on the nose. Some woody presence is there as well. There is a little bit of a steel like note coming through as well too.

T: Woody bitterness and chocolate jump out front. wow this stuff is fantastic. So much balance for a beer this rich. Very drinkable as well! wow! The hops are still very present as the bitterness is still very much a factor and is very nice. However I am sure it will age really well too. Toffee and pine and bitter and sweet.... kick ass

M: rich and prickly all at once!

D: very high for what this stuff is!

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Photo of Sephiroth
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to BeerBeing for the trade. Beautiful packaging, initial lacing and head, both are fading. Color is a nice, deep, cherrywood. Aroma is malty, roasty, and fruity.

Taste is huge. Malty fruits, dates, figs, raisins, with slight hops. Ever so slight roasted character. The mouthfeel is thick and chewy. Drinkability is good, but this is my only bottle. Thank god I'm getting more in a trade.

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Photo of meathookjones
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark cherry wood like color with a decent sized tan fluffy head. Some scattered lace clung to the glass as it was consumed. Deep rich sweet malts with some toffee and caramel and a big dose of ripe fruits. As it warms the alcohol starts to slowly creep out a bit. Taste begins with some sweet caramel and dark fruit flavors. Some smoky undertones and a bit of bittersweet chocolate. Toasty malts were there as was an alcohol component. A bit hot, maybe but I thought it didn’t hurt it much. Quite warming feel to it and its also pretty damn thick. Almost syrupy but not quite. Pretty good drinkability for a big beer like this as well. I would love to see what this does in time. Good stuff fresh though in my opinion.

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Photo of UnionMade
4.26/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beautifully printed 750ml bottle, courtesy of Mikeys01. Thanks, brother!
Deep caramel, pouring nice and clear until the end. Minimal head, not too much there. No lacing, either. Big, malty aroma, thick with caramel. Juicy and raisin-like, with minimal hop presence. A trace of smoke. No real alcohol presence until it warms to room temperature. Clean aromas. Huge, malty flavor. Rich and syrupy, with heaps of molasses, fig and raisin. Just awesome. A malt lover's dream. Reminds me very much of a doppelbock. Almost as clean, too. Gentle carbonation contributes a light sparkle. Juicy roastiness and smoky characteristics. Glides across the palate like silk, coating the palate with a lingering, sweet flavor. Some sweet, fruity booze is apparent in the end. Tastes like it's already aged, with the soft quality. Light on the sherry tones, not particularly complex for a beer of this strength. Still nice. Smooth sippin' is what this one's all about.

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Photo of Brenden
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A deep, dark brownish-red brew shines a fiery red in the light. A tan head is sturdy, remaining at nearly one finger in height for a while. Lacing is left in thin, leggy rings nearly to the bottom of the glass.
The aroma showcases a sweet malt backbone with some strength to it. I expect a bit of alcohol, which I get, and the mixture of sweetness includes dark fruits, toffee, caramel, and something like a blend of figs/brown sugar. I do get a bit of grains along with it all.
This is as sweet as I expect with a very well-masked heat that's more a boozy flavor that adds some complexity. What I don't expect and am pleasantly surprised to find is a hops bitterness that rolls off the sweetness. This is a tasty beer with more balance than many old ales can manage.
The body is medium with a very crisp feel that mingles with a smoothness without losing the gentle bite and flows very nicely.
I'm very glad I got a chance to try this one; a very tasty beer and a great example of the style.

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AleSmith Decadence 2010 English Style Old Ale from AleSmith Brewing Company
3.98 out of 5 based on 208 ratings.
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