AleSmith Decadence 2010 English Style Old Ale | AleSmith Brewing Company

AleSmith Decadence 2010 English Style Old AleAleSmith Decadence 2010 English Style Old Ale
209 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 209 |  Reviews: 139
Photo of cheers2beers
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served into a large wiesen glass.

Appearance: Pours a delightful shade of bronze mahogany. Wonderful fluffy 2-3 finger head rises up and leaves some nice lacing. Sedemsnt is noted.

Smell: Soft and sweet. I smell some nice nutty qualities, especially hazel nut. Thick and complex malt bill. No hops to speak of but thats not suprsing considering that this is so malty.

Taste: There are notably more hops in the flavor. I can detect some subtle citrus up front. Caramel and more nutty goodness can be noted as well. Very malty and lucious. Nice bitter alcohol tinged finish and delicious all around.

Mouthfeel: On the fatter side of medium. The potentcy of this ale tends to make it seem thinner than it is. Not bad by any means.

Drinkability: This is quite an easy drinking old ale, too bad it was only brewed once. I will try and get this again because it is complex and delicious.


 912 characters

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.


 1,210 characters

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

A - Pours a very clear ruby red, not much carbonation, tiny head, some island lacing.

S - Scents of plums, sweet malts, raisins, caramel, and slight alcohol.

T - The taste is kinda sweet/tangy, slight caramel, nice warm feeling in the throat, due to the alcohol I'm sure, finishes dry.

M - Medium body, Well rounded brew.

D - Drinkable. I let this one sit for quite a few months (8-9 months). Very tasty, watch out for the 11% ABV. AleSmith is one of my favorite brewers.

 483 characters

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

Opened this ale before the right amount of aging, but just couldn't wait to try it anymore. Not exactly my favorite Alesmith product though.

Classic old ale style. at 11% the beer warms the throat and goes down smooth with hints of caramel, chocolate and dark fruits. The smell is outrageous and full on this one, but just doesn't seem to match fully with the taste.

Mouthfeel is nice. Light carbonation and chewy texture give this beer some depth in the mouth. A full selection and not lacking in substance.

Not what I was hoping for with the beer, but it is drinkable. I would have rather had this beer when it was aged a bit more, but c'est la was still good.

 681 characters

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

Poured medium dark amber from 750ml bottle, not much head, murky brown color. Smells like figs, malt, alcohol some mustiness. Flavors are slightly figgy, sweet, malty, nutty and some spice. the ABV is noticeable especially as it warms. Very good overall.

 254 characters

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.

 644 characters

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

Now here is a beer that is going to mature very well... I can't wait to try this again in a few years. It was fantastic fresh and on cask, here's a bottle at 7 months.

Pours a caramelized amber hue and makes a tan crown of tightly packed bubbles that slowly fades to a shallow halo of suds.

Aroma is loaded up with dark dried fruits, namely black raisins, cherries and some roasted yet almost smoky malts and brandy.

Intense complex flavors that are all over the spectrum - roasted caramel malt, chocolate, vanilla bean, cherries, black currant, raisins and other dried dark fruits, alcohol is rather hot and very noticable (which is the only thing keeping me from putting a 5 for taste).

Thick, sticky, chewy and oily mouthfeel, full bodied and finishes with a sharp dry alcoholic bite.

Highly drinkable and will just sneak up on you... this is only going to get better with age. Find a bottle now before it is too late.

 936 characters

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.

 596 characters

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.

 398 characters

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

 1,025 characters

Photo of CRJMellor
4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep ark amber, red, mahogany and brown concoction with a fairly large ecru head. Nice amount of lace forms and stays throughout the drink.
Aroma of heavy caramel, some chocolate, figs and does of grain alcohol.
Flavor is fairly intensely sweet to start with a hint of roasted bitterness in the middle before finishing with a restrained but powerful alcoholic punhc.
Mouthfeel is big with just a wee bit too much "hot" alcohol pop. I think this will settle down with some aging.
Drinkability was solid. Some serious aging will make this Old Ale worth re-visiting in about '08 or '09.

 595 characters

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

Aroma was spicy with lots of fruit cake aroma and rich malts...and lots of alcohol. Pour was hazy reddish brown with a smallish fast fading head. Flavor was sweet and malty with lots of spiced rum/fruit cake flavors that mirroed the aroma. Not quite as deep and complex as other Alesmith beers, but still fantastic.

 315 characters

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.

 813 characters

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

750ml very classy, very slick silk screened bottle. An indulgence at O'Briens.

We used small curvaceous Unibroue glasses which were perfect for getting your nose right in there to inhale this ambrosia. A tawny brown with ruby highlights, low carbonation, little to no head. Again, a great glass allowed us to fully experience the gorgeous luxurious decadent pungent aroma of sweet caramel. Super intense, pretty much overpowering any hint of hops. No high octane alcohol smell, just a mild vinous aspect. Smooth down the tongue and throat, with low carbonation. Strong and intensely sweet caramel/toffee. A sipper because it is so sweet and huge. Alcohol noticeable but I would not have predicted 11%. Finishes, amazingly enough, on the dry side. No sickly syrupiness. Fairly neutral with just a hint of dark fruitiness.

Overall: wonderful smooth sipper. People say this one is still young; can't wait to see how this beer improve.

 939 characters

Photo of carln26
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured from the bottle a deep garnet color, mildly hazy, topped by a dense tan head that showed great retention. The nose has fresh bread a hint of sherry, a bit of dates on the finish. The taste has a bit of orange citrus, tawny port , a bit of toffee. The mouth feel is smooth and slightly rich. There is a bit of alcohol heat on the finish. . Good drinkability, although the heat is hurting that a touch.

 417 characters

Photo of clvand0
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was pretty pumped up to try this beer. Pours a dark amber color with a small head that falls fast and doesn't leave much lacing on the glass. The aroma let me know there was alcohol in it. Big notes of dark fruit, raisins. The flavor didn't stand up to the expectations I had. Flavors of caramel and the dark fruits, but it has a breadyness to it. Enjoyable, but not as much as I had hoped for. The body is on the thick end of moderate and the drinkability is good.

 467 characters

Photo of ppoitras
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle purchased from Julio's, Westboro, MA. Gold foiled cap, green bottle.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1/2" tan head above the amber red brew. Head fades, but not bad for the style, and lacing is nice and lasting. Aroma is vinous and relatively strong of alcohol. Taste is malt sweetness upfront, but the fruity alcohol eventually takes over, leaving definite warming throughout the mouth and throat. Mouthfeel is just a bit too hot for me, could be balanced by sweetness or something just a bit more, and drinkability feels the same heat, as it were. Certainly a memorable brew, as an anniversary brew should be.

 637 characters

Photo of connecticutpoet
3.6/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer was saved for a special occasion, and today being Thanksgiving, what better day o drink a brew called Decadence than the day when everyone shoves food into their faces until they want to sit on the couch and fall asleep?

This beer was a clear red offering, with a very thin layer of foam. Poured into wine glasses, as this was to be shared among several people.

Aroma was somewhat vinous, mainly rich malt with a slight mustiness (as expected of an old ale). Also slightly sweet and loaded with dark fruits.

Taste was of rich musty malt, very strong. There was some slight roasted character there as well, and a bit of sweetness. Very very strong... almost too much flavor. This one could have used more time to mellow.

Mouthfeel was full and rich, pretty good. Quite chewy and a bit oily. This one coated the mouth.

Drinkability... gonna have to take a little away on that one. The flavor was a bit too raw, too brash. I was glad that I had brought this to share. No way I could have done a whole bottle solo.

 1,035 characters

Photo of kmpitz2
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very deep amber color with a finger of head that falls to a light coat over top. Nose is rather complex. I get notes of raisin, fig, cocoa with light alcohol notes. I would guess this to be along the lines of old ale...checking style shows me this is right. Flavor is strong. Starts with a dark chocolate, moving to sweet caramel coated fig, finishing with a very light hop. Very nice balance. Feel is all about thickness. Very small carbonation, but its very smooth. The beer is really nice right now in its infancy, so I can only hope it gets better over some age. Drinkability is high on this as well. It is very smooth and well melded, only to become better with age. Nice brew.

 690 characters

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.

 552 characters

Photo of DogFood11
3.67/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clean light copper appearance. A bit of lacing and marginal head. so so.

picked up some dark fruits that are light and mostly malted.

Hop presence is subdued. cinnamon and ginger come through. Is this the yulesmith toned down? regardless its a fine beer that I would seek out at a cheaper price. way to proud of this one.

 344 characters

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.

 1,211 characters

Photo of kmo1030
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

rich dark red hued brown with a brown head that hold up decently. looks real tasty in my snifter. the smell indicates tha this clearly has some alcohol in it. lots of vinous dark ripe fruit is in there too, plum, fig, and raisin. there is also caramel, toffee, and butterscotch with hints of chocolate covered cherry and brown sugar.
the taste starts in with very sweet butterscotch and moves to the dark fruits. there aren't any surprises here, it is very like the aroma as far as the fruitiness is concerned though some of the tangy aspects are missing. the is a significant amount of vanilla wood flavors that i didn't detect much in the aroma. as it warms there is a little bit of a maple flavor. i'm finding a bit of a walnut flavor that is adding some biterness. the alcohol has some bite here reasonably boozy at the back end with warming on the way down.
very full bodied with mild carbonation, suiting the beer quit well. drinkability suffers some as it's a little much to take at times and i'm kind of wishing i had someone else who was interested in sharing this with me. i should be able to make do though, this is a quality and pretty tasty beer; a sipper to be sure though. it does seem a little young though. if i see this again for a reaonable price i'm gonna pick one up to put away for at least a couple years.
(music: marilyn manson - portrait of an american family)(heh.)

 1,396 characters

Photo of Boilermaker88
3.92/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked up one of Alesmith's tenth anniversary limited edition brews at Hollingshead's Deli for $9.99. The gold foil wrapped 750ml bottle is actually a dark green and the lettering has an old colonial days look to it. I used a large snifter.
Decadence had a clear dark brown coloring and a thin light tan head. Minimal lace was present as the head shriveled down to a tiny ring.
Whew, talk about boozy! Very sweet with lots of dark fruit and alcohol notes enveloping an underlying woodiness. This applies to both the aroma and the taste. Dates, raisins, plums are the fruits noted and there's a subtle peat flavor that's a welcome addition. As Decadence warms, the port-like alcohol fumes really get ramped up and just come wafting out of the glass. In short order you can feel this one. Decadence really hits its stride at about 55-60°, reaching its greatest complexity before being overcome by its booziness. The feel is surprisingly full and rich, almost chunky; quite appealing.
I enjoyed Decadence quite a bit but found the high level of alcohol to be a serious limiting factor. The alcohol just stands out a little too much for me to handle very much. Nonetheless, it's still another quality offering from Alesmith.

 1,226 characters

Photo of RoyalT
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – This Old Ale poured a muddy brown in color with some light orangish highlights. The head on this 11% ABV anniversary ale was short and sweet.

Smell – Oh, this ale just reeks of alcohol and wood. There are some good malts in there I’m sure, and I can actually pick up some of the fruits like grapes and dates, but the wood and booze really do dominate. Cool.

Taste – Kapow! The anvil picture on the bottle says it all. The wood and alcohol remind me of Old Woody. They are big and heavy handed, trumping any sort of malt profile that may be in the ale. The “sherry or port-like” description from the BJCP really fits here. It’s more like a hearty sherry with hints of tawny port.

Mouthfeel – This is a bit fuller than medium-bodied with some stinging alcohol warmth that gets you buzzing after the first sip.

Drinkability – This is a hardcore version of the style well worthy of the 10th anniversary moniker.

 941 characters

AleSmith Decadence 2010 English Style Old Ale from AleSmith Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.98 out of 5 with 209 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.