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: 207
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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Photo of farrago
3.76/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aggressive pour into the center of the glass yields maybe half a finger of deep brown head, large amount of bigger bubbles, vacates the premises like the cops are banging on the front door, wispy lacing at best with average staying power. Super-cloudy, muddy looking liquid, dark mahogany with more of a redwood look at the glass bottom, fully opaque. Ultra-sweet and heavy nose of coconut custard, butterscotch, maple syrup, cola, nutmeg and cinnamon, needs to warm some before you get banana, plum, fruitcake, poached apricot scents, presents an orange reduction too, submerged but discernible are some herbaceous, grassy notes, clings to your nostrils like a barnacle. Full-bodied, very expansive, covers the palate cheek to cheek, on the heavy side, might benefit from more spring to its step. The custard, coconut, caramel, bittersweet chocolate, butterscotch, whipped cream flavors pair up with more banana, cherry, apricot, peach, pineapple, date fruit flavors to ratchet up the sweetness factor, luckily it avoids becoming cloying. The orange to lemon citrus forges a credible presence and helps provide spine. Which is needed since the carbonation is close to non-existent. The grassy, earthy notes hold off until the very end but are there if you are willing to wait. Ponderous beer, even for the general category.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a slightly cloudy amber color ale with a large frothy head with good retention and excellent lacing. Aroma of caramelized malt with residual sugar notes and lightly dry fruits notes. Taste is a great balanced mix between some dry fruits and caramel malt with light residual sugar. This one almost taste like an English barleywine and hops do not play a dominant roles. Body is about average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very well brewed and more balanced then most other beers form this brewer.

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Photo of mothman
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into NB Globe Glass

Pours 1 finger of creamy khaki head. Fades to a thin layer. Leaves some lace. Color is a hazed caramel brown with a slight ruby hue to it.

Aroma: Rich and malty. A strong amount of toffee and caramel mixed with some warming alcohol. A lot of dark fruits show. Shows a slight grassy hop profile. It is pretty much all malts and fruits. Some raisins show.

Taste: More booze shows here. Fairly boozy. Lots of toffee with caramel. Raisins, dried fruits, and candii syrup. A bit hoopy, but mainly malty.

Mouthfeel: Warming and creamy. Medium to full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends hot and sticky.

Overall, a fairly big old ale. Pretty malty, but still pretty good. A little bit slower drinking, but I expected that for the high abv. Decent English old ale. I would have this again.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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