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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: 207
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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Photo of HalfFull
3.66/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a medium brown into a wine glass, sporting half an inch of creamy tan foam. Clear and crimson in the light, the pour offers good retention and soapy lacing.

Bit of cherry and fig on the nose along with some light hops. Offers a lot of moderately complex barleywine characteristics to the malt profile along with some alcohol notes, particularly after fresh agitation; yet nothing really grabs you either.

Flavor offers a viscous sweetness with lots of caramel and toffee notes. Body thins a bit on the swallow, yielding light fruit notes noted on the aroma, and finishes with a flash of brown sugar and spice which lingers moderately.

Overall a bit too uniform in nature to be highly memorable, not overly complex. And yet without any drawbacks

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Photo of steve8robin
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this from a friend in CA. Glad to finally try. 750ml bottle...

A: A murky dark DARK brown with a small 1 inch tan head that fades at a decent pace to a bubbly lace. Very good.

S: Smells of some caramel and apple upfront. Some hints of creamy bourbon and raisin in the middle. Some sweet sugary malts on the backend. Good.

T: A nice sweet malty sugary brew upfront with a nice caramel and toffee in the middle. Some nice creamy notes on the backend. Good.

M: Full bodied with a great carbonation. A creamy finish on the backend. Very good.

D: Goes down good.

All in all, this is a good brew. Very tasty and great to try if you like the style. If you do not like high ABV brews, then avoid.

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

A-Pours dark raisiny brown with 1/4 inch of silky khaki colored head. Leaves sticky rings of lace.

S-Flan, bread pudding, mince pie, sweet buttery pastry, brandied raisins.

T/M-Candied dark fruit, caramel, toffee. Really nice, typical English style old ale. Silky and full bodied with a slightly hot, boozy finish. Dries out towards the end and never gets cloying.

D-Really good. Wish I had another one to cellar, as this will certainly improve with another year or so.

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

The 2010 Decadence release is a very dark copper or amber color. It's clear, and backlighting shows really nice scarlet highlights throughout. A vanilla colored head tops it. It rises to about a finger in depth before falling to a surface covering quickly. It held there for a bit, and left a relatively light, sticky web of lace trailing down the glass.

The nose is good. It kicks off with a wealth of caramel malt. It definitely smells a little sweet. There's a little cocoa-esque chocolate malt in the mix as well. It has a strong fruit presence that consists of light cherry, raisin, and fig. Yeast is a little noticeable. Alcohol is there, but doesn't smell too strong. Not 11% strong anyway. It's not exactly complicated, but it smells good.

The flavor is not quite as good, but it's a close call. It has a nice base of caramel and chocolate malts. The caramel variety is the stronger of the two. The cocoa flavor is subtle, but very nice. Fruit flavors of raisin, cherry, fig, plum, and apple are all present in some degree. They add nice depth. There's an acidic quality to it that's very light and subtle. It has a nice effect, and I like it. Alcohol is definitely noticeable in flavor. Definitely more noticeable than it should be. Perhaps I should've let this one age a little longer. Finishes fruit and boozy.

This one has medium body that leans toward full with a little warming. Carbonation is light and it feels smooth. Not quite creamy, but smooth. Drinkability is above average. The flavor's pretty good, but it is big and boozy. A 750 is a bit much.

I'm a big Alesmith fan. Always have been. The 2010 Decadence release is pretty good, but doesn't quite live up to Alesmith's usual prestige. The biggest problem is that it's way too boozy. It's far more distracting than it should be. Maybe it just needed a little more age. Who knows? It's definitely worth a try, but it isn't Alesmith's best.

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Photo of rye726
3.76/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Up for review is a 750ml bottle of 2010 Decadence from Alesmith brewing company. Poured into a pint a cellar temp. Nice mahogany color with a silky tan head. Sweet malts, booze, hops and an interesting tart cherry presence. Medium body, a bit hot. Nothing too spectacular, may age well.

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Photo of GregSVT
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a murky brownish red color with a smal khaki head that fades to a ring and leaves no lacing.

S: The nose is dark fruits, grapefruit hops, and a touch of caramel. The amount of hops in the nose is surprising given this is supposed to be an Old Ale. Almost smells like a barleywine.

T: The taste confirms the smells with lots of grapefruit hops, dark fruits, and more hops. I'm not getting the big malty flavors everyone is describing...this tastes like an american barleywine more than an Old Ale.

M: The feel is full bodied and creamy.

D: While interesting I wouldn't call this an old ale...more like a barleywine. All the old ales I've had were big malty concoctions.

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Photo of pigdog
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a- deep brown, tan finger of head, little to no retention or lacing

s-alcohol is very present, dark fruitiness, figs, cherries, malty, caramel, toffee

t-roasted maltiness with a nice coffee note, nicely balanced and smooth, not what i was expecting after the aroma which had a lingering booziness

m-nice carbonation, medium body, sticky, abv comes through at the end, but overall very smooth and balanced

d-easy to drink despite the abv and aroma which gave it away. That being said it was very well hidden in the taste, quite possibly one of the most tasty and drinkable 11% beers out there, I really screwed up not getting more than one bottle.

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Photo of armock
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the brewery

A - Poured a dark brown color with a tan head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of dark fruit and sugary sweet malt

T - Follows the nose with dark fruits very sweet malt and a touch of alcohol in the finish

M - This beer has a full body with medium carbonation to it

D - This is not my favorite at all but I really enjoyed this beer it has a very good taste thats pretty easy to drink its worth picking up a bottle if you still see it around

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Photo of itsfreeasinbeer
3.45/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: brown with no head, just a bit of lacing.

S: maple syrup and raisins

T: caramel, toffee, and alcohol. This has a very intense alcohol characteristic that is overpowering.

M: Heavy

D: This beer is true to its name, decadence. This is a once in a while type of drink when you're looking for something that smells like maple syrup but has the potency and aftertaste of whisky.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.61/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to overlord for the bottle. Served in a snifter.

Pours a very dark brown color with a fairly large head for the style. Bubbly tan head with a good cap and collar throughout. The nose has a subtle sweetness with a bit of fruit and some caramel plus brown sugar. Slight amount of booze there as well. The taste is a bit more plain and quite mellow. Booze comes back again. There is a slight brown-sugar sweetness there and mild fruits throughout. This is good, but not the caliber I expect from AleSmith. The feel consists of a medium body with light carbonation. This is pretty drinkable for now, but it seems like it needs more time to mellow out a bit.

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AleSmith Decadence 2010 English Style Old Ale from AleSmith Brewing Company
3.98 out of 5 based on 207 ratings.
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