AleSmith Decadence 2010 English Style Old Ale | AleSmith Brewing Company

very good
208 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 208 |  Reviews: 139
Photo of bamadog
3.92/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Split a bottle of this the other night with my buddies Ross and Jeff. Review is from notes taken on 8/2/2010 and poured from the bottle to a snifter.

Appearance: Pour is a deep burnt toffee color; starts with a 1/4 finger of creamy light tan head that fades immediately to a thin wisp and creamy ring; body is murky and nearly opaque, but still shows some light carbonation near the sides of the surface; light spots and a couple washes of light tan lacing are left behind.

Smell: Nice and sweet caramel/toffee malts; nice near spiciness, reminds me of nutmeg and cinammon and some dark chewy fruit like figs or raisins; definite presence of alcohol and an oaky/vanilla sweetness.

Taste: Nice roast caramel malts with a hint of peaty/earthy mulchiness; very faint grassy hop presence lies beneath the aforementioned flavors; definite oaky/vanilla mix with the big alcohol gives it an almost bourbon-like quality.

Mouthfeel: Body is of medium to medium-heavy weight with soft and smooth carbonation; a semi-moist and very sticky coating hangs around and becomes very dry after a couple of moments; gums are left a little tingly and the belly is left warm from the 11% ABV.

Drinkability: Really an excellent beer with great flavors and scents and a wonderfully chewy and sticky mouthfeel, but it could definitely use some time for the alcohol to mellow as it's just too warm to enjoy too much of in one sitting, but then again, this style of beer never really holds too well in this category due to weight and warmth.

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Photo of jampics2
3.78/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml bottle purchased at an Ohio store. We finally got Decadence in Ohio after being skipped on the previous releases. This was a pleasant surprise to find. The beer was a bit green (young) but good nonetheless.

Looks nice in my snifter. A dark liquid with hints of mahogany and rose splashed up against the black backdrop. A beautiful head quickly recedes and leaves just a ring, but it comes right back when agitated. Really nice looking beer.

Smells of raisin, fig, port, and a little booze.

Taste is great but hot. Interested to see where this goes. For now, it's a chocolate, fig, raisin, brown sugar bomb that's just a bit too obvious in it's 11%. Some oxidation could help here, and a bit more mellowing on the bitterness could make this fantastic in a few years.

Syrupy and thick, it also leaves a sticky feeling on my lips. If it wasn't so damn boozy, this would be a better score. I'll revisit with a bottle I have in the cellar and see how it comes along.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle, 11% abv. Pours a darker chestnut, off white frothy head. Pretty decent head retention for a big beer. A few nice patches of lace.

Faint fruity notes, of the darker variety. Some alcohol, and a hint of vanilla. Figs, and raisins.

A bit of sweetness up front, followed by a blast of alcohol. Not much fruit going on. Good blast of bitterness follows. A little more fig, and some caramel notes as it warms. Finishes dry.

Medium, to an almost full body. Creamy feel. This is still pretty hot. Age would help meld all of this together. Still pretty good.

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Photo of mcallister
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Qute the fine looking beer here. Deep mahagony with a larger than expected 2 finger head of yellowish tan.

Dried fruit aromas fig, prune and raisin predominately. An odd fruit ester that of maybe of ripened red currants? I've smelled in beers before I'm not crazy about. Brown sugar aromas as well.

Big on date and caramel flavors with that odd red currant thing taking a backseat yet still there. Very alcoholy in the finish with many bittering hops a bit earthy as well. Mouth is rounded and creamy. Definitely seems a little tight now. Looking forward to seeing how this one ages. A little oxidation could work wonders.

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Photo of Arbitrator
2.72/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. I let it warm up as I was drinking so I could savor the entire flavor evolution.

A: Pours a very dark, but clear, maroon body. The head rises to a half finger in height, light tan in color. Retention isn't great, but it leaves a large-bubbled collar and no lace.

S: Nuts, dark fruits (plums, mostly, with some dates), and a booze presence. Somehow it smells woody, even though it's not barrel-aged.

T: It's nutty, with a tangy plum presence and a touch of raisins. Brown sugar. This has that very light tartness that I've come to regard as an AleSmith signature: the same light cherry presence that I detected in Decadence 08, Grand Cru, BA Speedway, and regular Speedway (though that was infected, I'm sure of it). It doesn't really work. In fact, it comes across as a less satisfying version of Decadence 08. The one nice thing is that, as I'm eating some almonds with the beer, I detect a very light character of leather in the exhalation. I wish it were stronger. Otherwise, it comes off as a fairly uninspired old ale: not much cohesion, not much "oldness," not much presence.

M: Medium bodied. It lacks the richness and complexity that I'd expect from an old ale. Low carbonation, which would bring out the flavor more, but it's not really there. There's also some booziness that's out of place in a beer that is not rich enough to justify it.

D: I'm really not enthused about this one. It's a pretty middle of the road example of an old ale; I'd spend the extra money and go with a Cherry Adam or Matt, or even two Adams for the same cost. Skip it.

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Photo of Gobzilla
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: poured a maple syrup brown with maroon highlights that had a thin head and almost no lacing left on the glass.

S: right away I got a pretty big boozy aroma with some nuttiness and dark fruits popping through as well. After a couple whiff I also got molasses slight caramel malts, and faint coffee notes.

T: I detected toffee, brown sugar, molasses, and dark fruits on the first sip which also had quite a bit of booze character like the nose but had some underlying hop notes.

M: full body with a low amount of carbonation that had a slight sweet sticky but boozy finish.

D: it drank pretty good considering the boozy punch but was really tasty. I'm not a big fan of the old ale style but this brew does have a nice kick.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- This packaging looks very nice even though it never changes year to year. Shiny gold foil with metallic gold silkscreening on the bottle with simple white lettering.

Now that I let my graphic designer side have its time, down to the beer. Pour as rough as you like, this beer doesnt have much of a head. It will only get to about one finger high. Its soapy and dirty off white in color. Lots of large bubbles hang out around the edge and occasionally stick to the glass. Lots of "smoke on the water" looking wisps float on top. The liquid is a dirty dark brown. Light can get through this one but only just.

S- Dark fruits like raisins, figs, dates, and plums sweeten up the smell a lot. Actually there is a lot of plums and apples here. Its quite nice. The moderate hopping is very grassy and spicy. Alcohol is noted.

T- Not a big or in your face taste. Its very mellow. Chocolatey malts, sweet plums and over ripe red apples and a vinous character that's like currants, raisins and other berries.

M- Very very low carbonation. Its very soft, smooth and full bodied. This is a very unique mouthfeel. Its very very close to cask ale, which works wonderfully with this beer and its style. It finishes clean except for some alcohol and hops in the back of the throat.

D- A nice, mellow easy sipping old ale. Its very close to feeling like it came from a cask. I wonder what it would be like if it were actually served in a cask.

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Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got a bottle while out to dinner and drinks at Issac Newtons in Newtown, PA. Poured from a 750ml bottle with a gold foil wrap top. Pours a creamy brown and orange'ish color with a very small tan to off-white colored head with low retention, but decent lacing.

Aroma is good, but a little light. Sweet fruits and caramel...toasted malts, and a bit of toffee.

Flavor is sharp...and could use some age, but from a fresh standpoint...still VERY good! Hops are strong still with this one and add a great characteristic to this old ale. With that said, the overall sweetness takes the primary flavor, and is delicious! Sweet over-ripe fruits, toasted malts, caramel, toffee...and decent booze kick. Mouthfeel is a medium body, with a semi-smooth creamy texture. Delicious!

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.91/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle, picked up at BevMo Long Beach,

A: Pours a super dark brown with a creamy off-white head, sticking around for a while, cool lacing.

S: Interesting malt nose (smells a bit aged already, there's a hint of oxidation). Soy sauce, BBQ sauce, prunes.

T: Complex malt flavour - some chocolate, vinous character/black currants, dark bread. Surprisingly hoppy (for the style, in San Diego you won't bat an eye), bringing some pine needles and white grapefruit. An intriguing character, but I was taken aback when the American style hop notes showed up on a self-proclaimed English Style Old Ale. Tastes good for sure.

M: Medium/full-bodied, with a hint of acidity. Carbonation is mild, but bites on occasion. EtOH is there, so close to taking over the beer at points, making it hot, but it never does which I was happy with.

D: A sipper, but easy to drink. After having the '08 Barleywine recently and seeing how well that did after 2 years of aging I would love to see where this goes in 2-3 years. Not the same type of beer, but pretty much sister styles. I love the malt flavours so I'd love to see what happens when the hops drop out. This beer is hinting at greatness in its future, only time will tell.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The pour is a dark chestnut color with a finger's worth of khaki colored head.

S: Sweet and toasty malts with a hint of roast and coffee. A bit of alcohol and dark fruit underneath the toffee, caramel, and maple notes.

T: Not nearly as sweet as I expect from most old ales. A slight bitterness to it, but not in the usual hop sense. Toasted and burnt malts/sugars to this one, with some toffee and molasses. A definite fruit character to it as well, mostly plums and cherries.

M: Medium to full bodied, smooth and subtly carbonated. Not exactly thick and syrupy, but not very light, either.

D: This alcohol makes its presence known here, and this one hits quite hard. The beer is good, but not great and I would be interested to see how this ages.

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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 Overlord
3.08/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hmmm....I love Alesmith to death. I really do. Peter was really nice to me on the few occasions I've made it down, and I've been a pretty loyal purchaser over the years, and will remain so.

But I've not been blown away by the last two or three Decadence beers.

Pours a slightly ruddy light brown. A few bubbles, but no real head.

Smells faintly of malt, more strongly of kind of ... I don't know .... cherry? Some sort of strange fruit undercurrent. TAste is surprisingly nutty, malty, brown sugary and ... tangy? What is that? This tastes nothing like the 2005 Decadence. At least, what I remember of it. Too much fruit, too much alcohol bite, and that weird spicy/tangy aftertaste.


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Photo of jjayjaye
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark mahogany hued maple syrup with a HUGE stiff light tan foamy head with a decent amount of hang time and Belgian lacing. The aggressive smell is the most dominant characteristic of this beverage; the malty, brown sugar, caramel, molasses, peat and tobacco nose REALLY compliments the flavors nicely. Adequately carbonated, the gentle tingle of the mouth adds just the right touch to the moderately heavy feel. Not quite creamy, but smooth...very nice. The malty caramel and peat character is mirrored nicely from the nose. The 11% ABV is integrated well and will get you there. I'm pretty impressed. Thanks to Geoi for the opportunity to consider this one.

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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 vacax
3.51/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This Decadence is a dark mysterious brown with a few fingers of light chestnut head that is finely composed, with high retention and great lacing. I worked on this glass slowly, and quite a long while later there is still sticky lace on the side of my glass and swirls of bubbles on top the beer. The aroma is heaped with dark brown sugar, hazelnuts, maple syrup, alcohol, and some bubble gum esters.

The flavor is malty up front with caramel but the malt complexities are largely drowned out by lots of banana-like esters and alcohol. Thick cookie/caramel finish, doughy and a bit grassy. I can definitely see this improving with a few months on it, the alcohol dying down, the esters clearing up a bit, and the malts coming together, but right out of the gate this one is a bit rough. Medium body, not as substantial as expected, and moderate carbonation to suit it. Decent old ale, may be good with some age.

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

FtownThrowDown cracked this bad boy.

A: Murky, dirty brown. Not much head left but some decent lacing.

S: great mellowed alcohol and deep, rich malts.

T/M: Great rich and deeply but pleasantly sweet malts. A bitnjuttu and buttery. Deep and mellowed alcohol adds great depth. Maybe a touch oxidized but still enjoyable. Body is nearly full and nice and smooth.

D: 11% is pretty suprising but still drinks nice and easy.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Been holding on to this bottle for awhile. Read a few reports that this has peaked and is now declining.
Pours a murky burgundy in color. No head on the pour, just a hint of froth around the edges.
Smell is toffee and caramel. After my first sip, I do have to admit that I may have missed the peak on this beer by at least six months to a year. If you have one, I would drink it now. Still a good amount of alcohol after all these years. Decent beer.

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Photo of tpd975
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to ibrew2or3 for holding back this bad boy for all these years.

A: Pours a nice vibrant amber hue with a thin off white head. No real retention or lace noted.

S: Wonderful Old Ale notes. Rich over ripe dark fruits melded with toffee, caramel, and molasses.

T: Age has done wonderful things to this one. Gooey sun ripened dark fruit. Chocolate soaked cherries, and dark dark molasses. Very subtle boozy notes in the finish.

M: Full bodied, rich, bold, goood!

D: It's a sipper, but a damn fine one.

Thanks Dave!

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Photo of HopHead84
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to snojerk321 for cracking this.

Poured into a tulip. The beer is very dark copper with a one finger fizzy beige head. Retention is good and a little lacing is left on the glass.

The aroma is very rich, and of toffee and some sugary caramel. Other flavors are of sugar coated dark fruits and some alcohol. This smells like it peaked recently, but it's fantastic nonetheless. The oxidization is at a low level, imparting sherry notes.

The flavor is also very rich, and the oxidization is a bit more noticeable here, with some cardboard added to that sherry. Notes of plums, brown sugar, toffee, caramel, candied fruits, nuts, and alcohol are present.

The beer is full bodied with a low level of carbonation. I'm really glad I got to try this. Drink it now.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle at 52 degrees.

Pours clear dark mahogany with a ruby tinge. A quarter inch head of beige settled into a partial skim coat on the surface and revealed some minimal tacky lacework.

Aromatics lead off with chipped toffee, dried figs, and cocoa-dusted oak. Slightly roasty with an earthy booziness and rich caramel.

On the full side of medium bodied with a chewy, doughy mouthfeel. Carbonation is light which is good for the style.

Caramel-laced malt, oaky tannins, and roasty undertones start the palate. A whisky-like booziness quickly steps forward along with plenty of toffee, leather, and dried figs.

Finishes with lingering roasty malt, oaky earthiness, and boozy warmth.

Theres a surprising amount of oaky overtones for a non barrel aged beer here. Lacking the classic vineousity found in a great Old Ale though.
Certainly will serve me well while I settle in after another ten inch snowstorm.

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

bottle graciously provided by bockyhorsey...

pours hazy a rich chestnut-y auburn brown with a small tan head and a bunch of spotty lacing.

the aroma has distinct barrel aged qualities to it yet it has not seen wood... oak, vanilla, tons of cognac spiciness, brown sugar, orange and cocoa butter. there's a nice oxidized/aged smell in the background that i am really digging into.

the palate is sweet for sure but never reaches cloying. astringency and nearly bitter spiciness clean off any residue and alcohol lends a hand to clean off the tongue.... the flavor has some caramel, cocoa butter, coffee, clove, cinnamon and vanilla in addition to the aroma profile... so rich. decadent possibly?

medium bodied with a lux mouth feel and the perfect amount of carbonation. bitterness and spice make it really easy to keep drinking!

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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 hopdog
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared courtesy of egajdzis.

Poured a dark and cloudy amberish color with a small sized off white head. Aromas of alcohol, dark cherries, caramel, and some other dark fruits. Tastes of cherries, caramel, light chocolate and a little sugary. Decent amount of an alcohol burn. Smooth body. I'm glad I got through this one prior to Eric calling the aroma hair spray...

Notes from 9/30/05

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4.24/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am excited to see how this one has aged, although this is my first bottle and probably my only one I will have to try so I really have nothing to compare it with.

Carbonation crackles and creates an inch of rich tan head that fades in minutes leaving just a skim and short lace. Body is a full deep ruby brown like brown dark toned leather.

Nose is amazing and if I didnt know better I would have thought it was a barrel aged beer. Tones of oaky bourbon dark candied fruit, toffee sweet malts and buttered creamy rum.

Enters the mouth with shockingly hot alchol, its not horrible but not what I was expecting from a beer aged three years. Carmalized malts really strain to showcase through the dry alchol feel on the palate. Roasty nuts and dark toffee notes arrise as you continue to drink and the beer warms.

Mouthfeel is a mmix of sweet, dry, bitter and a noticeable thickness that hangs on the back of the taste buds. Solid drinkability, but alchol does hurt this a bit. I was really excited by the nose.

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Photo of Crosling
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gorgeous looking ruby color, with a small and quickly diminishing head. Apricot, cherry and plum aromas, with hints of caramel, but the main aroma is harsh alcohol. Flavor is malt accented, with hints of caramel and toffee, along with a variety of fruits. It is hot, possessing a lot of ethanol character in the flavor, and especially the aroma, but I still find it to be pretty tasty. I do have four more bottles to revisit for different ratings. Pretty brash and in your face.

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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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