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.

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Reviews: 139 | Ratings: 208
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour at the bottle share hosted by Adam Fine Wine & Liquor held at Sophie’s Place in Redondo Beach, CA.

Pours a clear dark amber with a foamy khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, and some very nice fruity aromas. Taste is much the same with a citrus zest flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a very nice aroma and tasty flavor.

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Photo of emerge077
3.71/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown, copious foam with lasting coverage. Opaque and impenetrable.

Smells like old shit. Bread dough and toffee with a side of oxidation. Sweet pastry.

Tastes like heavy oxidized nutty malt, creamy and smooth, slightly creamy lactic toffee and mild bitterness. Its alright, other Alesmith beers are much better.

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Photo of BMoney575
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on 5-24-12

Appearance: a deep red/brown color with thick tan heads that sticks around forever. Slightly hazy, and heavy duty.

Smell: all caramel and burnt sugar, with the absolute perfect amount of age. Deep and complex, with and unexpected fruity character. Very good.

Taste: nothing as good as the smell would indicate. The flavors are muted, and all that shows through are the aged hops. The finish is very flat and borderline metallic, with a dead finish. The abv is well handled, though.

Mouthfeel: surprisingly good, very thick and creamy with great carbonation. Makes the best of the disappointing flavors.

Overall: I've not had a fresh one, so it's hard to tell if the age is problem or not, but I was hoping for more.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.67/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle poured into a tulip. Got this awhile ago in a trade but cannot remember from whom.

(A)- Pours a pretty dark burnt sienna color. Some tan froth and bubbles.

(S)- A nice richness. Caramel, leather, and a musty toffee/honey malt profile.

(T)- Similar to the smell. A warmth of caramel, leather, toffee, honey, and a subtle raisin.

(M)- A very subtle carbonation level. A good balance of rich and sweet malts without being too sweet or cloying.

(D)- Overall, an easier drinking old ale with a well hidden ABV and balanced sweetness.

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Photo of Jwale73
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle served at 52 degrees in my KTG snifter. Pours a semi-hazy mahogany hue with a loose, 1/8th inch cream-colored head that dissipates into a cluster of bubbles around the shoulders and forms an oily slick across the surface. No lacing on this beer. Nose expresses plums, figs, caramel and hazelnuts - definitely smells like an Old Ale. Taste follows nose - backbone is pleasant and malty with just a trace of oxidation to keep it from being overly cloying. I also get some grape juice as it warms as well as a sugary character and some earthy hops bittering at the finish. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with a carbonation that falls somewhere between still and mild. There's also a trace of acidity, but surprisingly little heat despite the abv. All and all, I think this beer might continue to improve with a year or two more on it, but it's drinking pretty well right now. That said, I wouldn't recommend this one for long-term cellaring. Overall, a decent example of the style, but not worth seeking out considering the quality and accessibility of Fuller's Vintage Ale.

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Photo of Sammy
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A knock-you-on-the-rear big beer. Big mouth feel,great fruitiness, surprisingly hoppy.A real American take on this style, more of an American strong ale. I would like to drink more as so tasty but booze bill took its toll on us. Share with friends!
Gotten in trade.

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4.14/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750mL to snifter. Sampled 3/20/12. I think I paid $25 for this at an extremely expensive bottleshop shortly after this beer was released.

A: Pours with a light brown foamy/sudsy head that falls quickly after a short, 1 finger rise. A small film lasts for quite some time, as does the bubbly collar. Random dots and thin slings of lace cover the after each tilt, but they slide back down before the next. The body is a really dark auburn chestnut color - nearly opaque. You can't see through the glass, but there is decent amount of transparency when looking at an angle.

S: Macerated prunes soaked in alcohol laden molasses. Leather and an earthy air in a deeper layer. Deeper still are sweet notes of caramel and buttered raisin toast. Alcohol remains present throughout, but it is well integrated. Trace scents of vanilla, brown sugar and toffee.

T: Starts out fairly sweet with just the right amount of bitterness and dryness on the mid palate to bring the flavor back into balance. Complex dark fruit flavors stretch across the tongue while caramel sweetness lingers on the finish. Welcomed warming from alcohol. Not unlike a port or Madeira.

M: Decadent as the name suggests. The body leans towards full - soft and velvety - and rolls over the tongue. The effervescence is very fine, providing a very light tingle all the way through. Finishes with a grape skin-like astringency. (Hmmmm, maybe not...)

O: I was happy with this beer personally. Alesmith nailed the style and at 18 months in, Decadence 2010 is a fine beer. At cellar temp: a good beer; at room temp: a bit better.

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Photo of Phelps
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a shaker pint at 1702 in Tucson. They’ve apparently been aging this bottle for more than a year, and yet I still got it for $9. CRAZY prices!

Deep maroon, mostly clear. One inch of dense, creamy mocha foam sits on the top.

The nose is jam-packed, literally. I get tons of sugary raisins, cinnamon, honey, brandy and figs, along with a bit of toast. It’s kind of sweet.

The same heavy sweetness is found in the flavor, except now it’s mixed with booze. Brandy or dessert wine, old grapes, honey, maybe a bit of oak or vanilla — this would lend itself well to barrel aging. Caramel, big ethanol and some earthy hop bitterness roll in at the finish.

Light, massaging carbonation in a creamy medium body. A little tongue-numbing alcohol.

I don’t know why I didn’t expect Decadence 2010 to be so…decadent, but it is. The ABV is big and the flavor is so sweet that drinking an entire bottle becomes a bit of a task. Still, the BA version will likely be delectable.

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Photo of Pahn
3.67/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle into Duvel tulip. Obviously a couple years old.

Appearance: Free pour yields a half inch tan froth that dissipates quickly and lacelessly. Pours a semi-translucent dark maroon and leaves spotty lacing within big legs.

Smell: Chocolate, slight oxidation, dark malts. With time, the balance and complexity grow, with bold, perfume-y alcohol and pastry highlights.

Taste: Vanilla and molasses up front, brown sugar and cookie finish. Hot aftertaste.

After a few sips, the flavor evens out to smoky, cola-like dark malt flavors and a little chocolate. Hearty and warming, but not as boozy as the 11% ABV suggests.

Good, but not up to the standards demanded by the style, name (decadence? not quite), pedigree (Alesmith has wayyyy more talent than this), nor occasion (this is an anniversary beer that impresses less than regular release old ales like Great Divide's Hibernation).

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Silky. Low carbonation. Mildly sticky finish.

Overall: A good beer that should be great. I'm enjoying this bottle, but I wouldn't buy it again (especially not at a premium price!), nor would I let it take up space in the beer cellar.

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Photo of projectflam86
4.01/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle aged since summer of 2010.

A- Pours a murky reddish brown color with a thin white foam head that doesn't leave much lace.

S- Reminds me alot of an aged English Barleywine in the nose. Tons of burnt caramelized brown sugar, dark fruits, earthy spice, toffee, and port. Very nice.

T- Similar to the nose but backing off just a touch. Dark fruit and caramel toffee flavors coming through with a gentle touch of alcohol in the finish. The alcohol is nowhere near as noticeable as I would have guessed before sipping so the 18+ months in the cellar must have worked pretty well.

M- A touch thin for such a big beer. Medium bodied with low carbonation.

O- A very solid beer and one that I'm glad I've held onto for this long before trying.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into a sampler.

Pours a nice amber brown with a small brown head. Nose is a bit sweet and malty. Very small light brown head.

Taste is sweet, rich and quite tasty. Decent Mouthfeel but a bit light.Its very tasty and quite drinkable. Overall its quite good.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.36/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark red edged hues, light brown, beer looked like a mild stout was part of its blend. Aroma was strongly of alcohol, after that there was a heady breadyness to it, followed by raisin and alcohol soaked prunes.

Taste, again, very strong, very hot, and then layer upon layer of flavor, good roasted malt flavor, earthy bitterness, lots of raisin and toffee flavor, dark sugar type of sweetness. Very much what complex old ales are about, distinguished from their barleywine by the complexity and lack of hops. I think I like the barleywine better, it has many of the old ale characteristics without the heat, dark fruit, but has some hopping.

I might be a bigger fan of this with more age on it, thanks to whomever at Sourfest that was pouring this.

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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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Photo of claspada
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 edition.

Pours a hazy dark brown with amber hues and a frothy khaki inch or so of beige head that leaves a nice dose of lacing as the foam quickly recedes.

Aromas begin with a great deal of dark caramelized malts. Then your get a little toffee and light baker's cocoa. There's a little mustiness/earthiness, presumably from the hops, as well as some notes of fruitiness, maybe apple and/or grapes, presumably from the age or the yeast strain. Some hint of vanilla emerge as it continues to warm. It's hard to get past that musty/woodiness however; it's a smell I can't say I have gotten in any beers I have had of late or ever for that matter. Thankfully the unpleasantness subsides once the beer opens up, so note to all: ALLOW THIS TO BREATHE FOR AT LEAST 5-10 MINUTES!

The tastes begin with light caramel maltiness coupled with sweet bready malts and a lot of lesser toffee and darker caramelized malts. The earthiness is present in the background/finish and is not as obtrusive as it was in the aroma. Various fruits also join the party; red grapes, cider apples, plum, cherries, maybe some raisins. I definitely enjoy the taste a lot more than the aroma which continues to baffle me.

The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with medium, border-lining low carbonation. The finish is full and slick with plenty of malt sweetness. Some alcohol in the finish, but nothing major and does not affect the overall flavor profile.

Overall, this beer really confused me and put my taste buds and nostrils to the test for sure. I really enjoyed the flavors but the aromas never quite matched up. It definitely improved as the beer was exposed to the air, so maybe it just needed some time to open up; hey, it works with a good aged wine so why not a good aged beer. This is a quality beer for sure from a highly skilled brewing company. Not my favorite of their offerings and definitely also not my favorite Old Ale (thanks Kuhnhenn for ruining any other Old ale I ever sample again), but still a really quality beer.

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Photo of biegaman
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Decadence 2010 has an almost walnut brown colour that is murky and leopard-like given how many little flakes of sediment made it into glass. Despite the skim, off-white topping, it is, by most standards, a beer for radio. That said, I, personally, find some charm in the unrefined appearance; old ales aren't beauty queens, they're wise old salts.

Some beers are meant for convivial socializing and some are not - the aroma on this one indicates that it was intended for slow, solitary appreciation. It is candy-sweet but rich as a king with toffee and treacle sweetness, dried fruit esters, and a Madeira-like complexity. Earthy, spruce-like notes might be remnants of hops, but by and large this is a malt monster.

One sip and my lips were smackin' and my feet were tappin'. This is one succulent, fruit-a-reffic old ale with more malt depth than most drinkers would know what to do with. I do, however: keep taking sips and try to solve the mystery as to how grain can become such an intricate, multidimensional food once malted and boiled. They've only used barley, but you could imagine many more ingredients given just how complex and layered this flavour is.

The beer has a very nutty, chewy body with a complex blend of dried-fruit, vinous and caramelly malt flavours. There is some (though hardly any) alcohol present as well as oxidative notes akin to those found in Sherry or Port (lowish carbonation and attenuation compound that similarity). The finish is dry and leathery, but somewhat chocolatey. There's also enough spice that the English might think it's Christmas pudding.

Decadence is exactly how it sounds. It confirms that Alesmith is as talented as it is cruel, robbing those of us outside of California of their wonderful masterpieces. This, alongside Kunhenn's Fourth Dementia as the only other American example to come to mind, is at the top of American old ales. If you can find it, buying it should be a no brainer.

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Photo of ThatWineGuy
4.24/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This English Style Old Ale poured a murky, cloudy brown; almost a prune-puree appearance. Flimsy tan head made a brief appearance and reduced leaving a wisp or two in centre glass and a thin ring. There is a rich, figgy-pudding aroma with layers of caramel and toffee. sweet but not cloying. Both taste and smell are as pleasant as a Christmas morning, mouthfeel is smooth as silk and alcohol superbly handled. The taste of pitted fruit predominates with prune, fig and date impressions and a nice acidity that cleanses yet does not disturb the overall balance of the offering. Very well done ... thank goodness for beer buddies that go to San Francisco every once and while and bring home treats like this to share!

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Photo of ChadQuest
3.67/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Color is a warm deep ruby copper color, inviting and leads you to jump into it to stay warm, to be immersed into it's warmth of richness, and behold all it's glory, for hours, as if it was a strange reconnaissance photographic journey of a wild james cameron three dimensional motion picture, vivid and stunning in awe, that none but echo the dolphin could match in splendor.
The aroma is mute and stale directly from the fridge, but once warmed, it opens up like the wings of an eagle, soaring over the majesty that is your nasal passages, with whims and notes of hot alcohol that persuade me to desire this in a generous quantity, some fruits that whilst more present when cold let more complex aromas appear upon the heat transcendence transition, simply stunning.
The flavors are that of a gentle construction worker who writes poetry on his lunch breaks, sore from the hours but capable of deep thought into realms only imagined by his desk job brethren, soft with flavors of cherry,dark currants, and rye like subtle spices, yet hard with noticeable instances of harsh alcohol whisky, like a thinking man would enjoy.
The mouthfeel creams up upon the heat penetrating it, whilst cold it was but a metallic and cold feeling object in your mouth, but after the warmth it is but a sight to behold, with your mouth.
A tremendous old ale that i would drink any live long day, drink, eat, and be merry, especially on the eve of your quarter century of birth.

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Photo of pmarlowe
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tulip glass. Thanks to spry for opening this.

Pours a deep amber with a thin film of stone colored film, large bubbles, some lacing (surprisingly). Smell is fruit forward: sour cherry and strawberry, some cinnamon and pepper, hint of earthiness, with more caramel as it warms. The cherry is almost a medicinal flavor. Taste is similar, with cherry, pepper, slight alcohol, and some bitterness on the finish. Taste is fairly dry, actually, despite the fruitiness of the smell. Medium body and medium-light carbonation supports the beer well; a little sticky. Overall, this was a pretty good interpretation of the style, and easy enough to drink.

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Photo of Jazzcrop
4.11/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had tastes of fudge, plums, DME, English crystal, oak, toffee, pills, paper, grease, coffee beans and molasses. Really cool I got to this finally. I was hoping to get a younger version but this was just as good as anything that could be bought from the store, if better.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Poured a bronzish caramel color with good carbonation and a dirty white head

S: Caramel, toffee, brown sugar and English malts

T: Chocolate, some dark fruits, English malts, booze

M: Big body, I thought a tid bit overcarbonated

O: Good drink and another solid beer from AleSmith

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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 mikesgroove
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thrilled to finally be able to crack this one open, i wasted little time in decanting. i promised jess i would empty the fridge and that is exactly what i intend to do. served cold but brought up to room temp in a snifter.

Poured a deep hazy reddish amber, no real head or lace to speak of, just a syrupy looking liquid in the glass, no visible carbonation. Nice color but other then that pretty standard.

Strong alcohol notes were apparent immediatly, one I got past that there was some light sweetness coming up, mixed with a touch o toffee and vanilla. classic old ale. Very strong, almost overwhelming. Still alot of alcohol in this for sure. No real hoppiness to speak of, just some maltiness and a slight bit of a bourbon taste to it. definite vanilla notes and a long oak like flavor in the finish that as it hit room temperature started to morph on its own..still young the anb still showed a good bit, but as far as liquid feel, very smooth, not alot of life in it, but not too slick either. Had the constency of a cough syrup, a bit thick.

A bottle put in a snifter is an all night sipper. Really can't drink more then one of these, and a sip every 5 minutes is more then enough for me.

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Photo of alpinebryant
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an Olde Brune hued / brownish red with large white bubbles that left lacing.

Aroma of heavy sweet caramel, raisin, fig and pear. Light English hop presence

Taste of sweet candied sugar slowly caramelized on a brewpot. Different malts bringing a biscotti mixed with graham cracker flavors to my mouth. There are a four different yeasts in here indicated on the bottle. I can taste a definite dry old english ale yeast finish on the end and a slightly belgian taste midbody that catches wind with the hops and dark fruit / plum flavors, and a little bit of cherry. There is a medium to thicker body for an old ale and definitely plenty of booze taste. Light carbonation which is just about perfect for the style.

Overall a very well done Old Ale. I would age a second a bit longer but was curious to see how it was tasting now. I may have to pick up another bottle now. reccomended

Nice to have a big Old Ale again, I can see how people would think this is overly sweet but to me it isn't.

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Photo of cbutova
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Must be about 6 months old by now, reviewed from notes.

A- Dark red with a frothy tan head. Decent size and a nice pillow and ring stay behind. Good web of lace.

S- A lot of raisins, dark fruit and stale caramel malt. Dark brown sugar. Some nutty, toasty malt. A good yeast influence as well, English/Belgian hints.

T- Big sweet caramel malt and dark fruit/raisin notes pretty much dominate. Nutty toast malt, cherry, tons of brown sugar, slight alcohol and some yeast spice. Small cocoa/roast tiny hint.

MF- Syrup thick oily body with moderate carbonation. Somewhat bitter.

Nice to have a big Old Ale again, I can see how people would think this is overly sweet but to me it isn't.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml shared by cbutova, my first of this Decadence series, thanks Cam!

Pours murky dark red, bubbly beige head retains as a slight cap and leaves some lacing. Sediment settled at the bottom.

Super sweet smell of caramel covered cherries. Not much else to it, but a good smell nonetheless.

Taste is sweet dark fruits galore. Big dark cherries, raisins, brown sugar and caramel. Booze hidden alright at first but definitely gains some heat over time.

Tasty, but so rich and sweet, and not much else going on to back it up. I'd be good with this one after 5 oz or so.

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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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