Olde Ale
AleSmith Brewing Company

Olde AleOlde Ale
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AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States
Old Ale
Ranked #27
Ranked #10,224
4.02 | pDev: 9.2%
May 22, 2023
Jul 14, 2013
Olde AleOlde Ale
Notes: Originally brewed in 2005 as the first in our annual Decadence series, AleSmith Olde Ale follows the tradition of classic British-style Old Ales. This rich, malt-forward ale showcases soft notes of currants and dried fruit along with complex dark sugars, all of which are balanced by a subtle bitterness derived from the addition of traditional English hops. AleSmith Olde Ale is ready to be enjoyed now or it can be aged upwards of twenty years to further enhance its amazing depth of flavor. A hearty ale designed to please Bacchus himself!
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Photo of snaotheus
Reviewed by snaotheus from Washington

4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
4oz pour at the brewery, entering review from notes.

Pours ruby-brown in color, clear, about a centimeter of dense, light tan head. Smell is woody, toffee, bit of old hops.

Taste is rich, nutty, toffee, oaky, light booziness.

Mouthfeel is creamy, smooth, dry finish. Quite nice.
May 22, 2023
Rated: 4.16 by minterro from California

Mar 11, 2023
Rated: 3.65 by TMoney2591 from Illinois

Feb 08, 2022
Photo of jlindros
Reviewed by jlindros from Massachusetts

4.49/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
2014 vintage I believe, lists mmxiv
Pours a tan bubbly slight foamy 1/2 finger head with med to lower retention, a bit of lacing, light legs, dark mahogany brown hazy color

Nose starts with oxidation but in a good way, waxy port like with a little paper, some dark fruits little dig date and plum, aged sweet malt, caramel toffee biscuity, brown sugar molasses dates, hint of butterscotch

Taste aged sweet malts, pretty sweet in general with big caramel, toffee, lots of molasses and brown sugar, but more waxy port like oxidation and no paper or cardboard, but of butterscotch, plenty more fruit as well fig date, medjoul dates, candied dates, little plum and black cherry, smooth potpourri alcohol, fair bite of spicy hop bitterness mostly late, drier finish, fig port wine

Mouth is fuller bod but soft, very smooth light warming alcohol, lower carb but OK for style and age

Overall this is a great beer and aged very well, I think I have more decadence in the cellar so that could be fun in a few more years
Dec 18, 2021
Rated: 4.02 by imnodoctorbut from Texas

Jul 31, 2020
Photo of arzt
Rated by arzt from Germany

5/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Poured from MMXV 750ml bottle into oversized wine glass.
Just awesome. May be the best English Old Ale
Jan 30, 2020
Rated: 4.07 by taospowder from New Mexico

Feb 11, 2019
Rated: 3.78 by vidisad from California

Sep 10, 2018
Photo of Zorro
Reviewed by Zorro from California

4.14/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Chill hazed brown ale with a medium sized tan colored head. Impressed it formed one at this alcohol level.

Smells sweet and strongly of dates. Lesser scents of brown sugar and berries. Distinct molasses note. Picking up on the scent of figs and cake batter.

Starts out sweet and savory with a strong taste of figs. Warms the chest as expected but there is no taste of alcohol. Taste of brown sugar and soy sauce. Tastes a bit salty with a medium level of bitterness. Smooths out after a while with a distinct taste of vanilla cake batter. Fortunately the taste of soy sauce is transient and goes away after it warms a bit. Tastes of leather and tobacco leaf as it warms. Alcohol buzz sneaks up on you very quickly.

Mouthfeel is thick.

Overall tasty and strong. You will not be chugging this one very fast at all.
Sep 02, 2018
Photo of garymuchow
Reviewed by garymuchow from Minnesota

3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
2013 version I bought in CA a few years ago. Finally getting around to trying it out.
Subtle aroma with bits of dark fruit, figs. Soft dark malt, neutral.
Still a nice dense tan head over a dark body of brown.
Flavor is pretty good. Fruit without being sweet. Some richness. Soft dryness on the finish that lingers with a fading hop bitterness. Still rich fruit, but not over the top. Fig again is forward.
Good but not great.
Aug 27, 2018
Photo of GarrettB
Reviewed by GarrettB from Colorado

3.84/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
May 15th, 2015 - Alesmith's Olde Ale is an odd child in San Diego's beer scene, dark and strong. With a malty nose and notes of chocolate, and a little bit of "fresh pool" and concrete it smells a little like a nice summer day. Throw in some spiciness and it begins to grow some tequila notes. The flavor is smooth and soft at first, then spiked and spicy. More licorice appears here, and then in the aftertaste, sweet black sesame paste. Good stuff, transformative, but definitely something to save for last.
Jun 04, 2018
Photo of kevanb
Reviewed by kevanb from Illinois

3.56/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
750ml bottle, 2013 vintage stamped on the front of the bottle, poured into an AleSmith barrel aged reserve snifter glass.

The beer pours a dark burgundy color, deep browns with some garnet hues, a thin bone head, very firm with great retention and soapy lace. Brown sugar and caramel lead the way on the nose, rich deep grains, stone fruits, a hint of acidity, toffee, nougat, a bit of nuttiness and light piney bitterness. The flavors are nice, a bit soft and muted, pleasant rich grain, brown sugar, caramel, light alcohol, toffee and nougat with some piney bitterness and a hint of tart cherry acidity. The mouthfeel is good, hefty medium body, a bit of life, coating and smooth at the finish that is lightly warm.

Verdict: A nice Old Ale from AleSmith, fairly well balanced, rich and inviting. It's a bit subtle and lacks a nice pop, a bit tepid, but still a nice sipping beer.
Sep 13, 2017
Rated: 4.03 by MickeyHops from California

Jul 14, 2017
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Reviewed by ryan1788a5 from Massachusetts

4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Thick, rich body with a chewy feel. Warming. Great depth of malt flavor. Bread crust, toffee, puddings. Lots of currant, prune, etc. Very fruity. Mildly vinous too. Balancing earthy hop bitterness. A really great stab at the style. Kinda wish I saved it for the dead of winter. Perfect accompaniment to beef burgundy or a variety of hearty stews.
Jul 08, 2017
Photo of Wasatch
Reviewed by Wasatch from Colorado

4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Bought On-Line

Review #3500

Thanks to all the BAs I've traded with since 2005, Cheers!

Black Foil/Capped
Bottled On: 03/04/14

A Little Over 3 years on this bottle.

Poured into a goblet a pretty nice brownish color, pretty nice carbonation, with a pretty nice quick creamy one-finger off-white head, which leaves a very nice medium size island and some sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, some hops, with some nice dark fruits (cherries, figs, raisins, plums, grapes, dates), nice sweetness, oaky. The taste is really nice, malty, slight hop note, very nice dark fruits (cherries, figs, raisins, plums grapes, dates), really nice sweetness, oaky. Full Body, ABV hidden very well, a pretty nice complex brew, nice little bitter finish. Overall, a very tasty brew, true to style.
Jul 02, 2017
Rated: 4.71 by Foley67 from Scotland

Jul 01, 2017
Rated: 4.24 by ShawnL from Wisconsin

Jun 26, 2017
Rated: 4.25 by teamwiggum from Wisconsin

Jun 13, 2017
Photo of WoodBrew
Reviewed by WoodBrew from Ohio

3.7/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
I tried this at the Quarter Barrel in Oxford, OH . It poured a rich amber with white head that left a spotty lace. The scent had hints of caramel malt. The taste was boozy with nice malty base. The mouthfeel was fuller in body with good carbonation. Overall it's ok.
Apr 16, 2017
Rated: 4.12 by CoreyC from Wisconsin

Apr 01, 2017
Rated: 4.25 by vrbulldog22 from Ohio

Mar 21, 2017
Rated: 3.89 by Nunya from Ohio

Feb 17, 2017
Photo of fx20736
Rated by fx20736 from New York

4.76/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5
dark fruit galore-awesome
Jan 02, 2017
Photo of jzeilinger
Reviewed by jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

4.36/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
A - Dark mahogany burgundy color with a creamy white lacing ring that's thick and robust.

S - A little solvent-like in aroma, woody, oaky, bourbon, vanilla, and cherries.

T - Cherry, oak, vanilla, bourbon, and boozy with warming on the way down.

M - Big, full bodied, and velvety smooth.

O - A must try and underrated with a score of (89).
Nov 29, 2016
Rated: 4.5 by jjwisenheimer from Indiana

Nov 02, 2016
Photo of REDAMI
Reviewed by REDAMI from Ohio

4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Poured from 750ml bottle into Chimay goblet.

L-Cloudy brown pour, thin sandy head, lots of sediment.

S-Sweet brown bread, raisins, dates, dark brown sugar.

T-Dark malts, treacle, mild bitterness at the end.

F-Creamy, coating, alcohol heat towards the back. Not a lot of carbonation feeling.

Starts very similar to a quad, but the hops remind you it isn't one. Finishes with more of an ESB bitterness. Pleasant and balanced. Sip and enjoy.
Oct 15, 2016
Photo of Mitchster
Reviewed by Mitchster from Michigan

4.7/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
$10.99 for a 750ml bottle at Goodmans in Kenosha. No ingredients per the website, but the specs are:
11% ABV, OG=1.110, 25 IBU.

Pours out to a cloudy chestnut, forming a modest espresso crema, light tan/yellow head with amazing retention and solid lacing. Carbonation is moderate. This bottle has been sitting for over a month in a fridge, so I'm surprised it's so cloudy. The nose chock full of brown sugar, rum soaked raisins, booze, candy sugar and browned banananas. In other words, bananas foster. Mouthfeel is syrupy, extremely rich and dense and VERY silky smooth. Amazing mouthfeel. The taste is a recap of the nose. It's liquid bananas foster. A strong peppery flourish of boozy heat, but thankfully this is not harsh, oxidized or fusel which can be a huge problem in brews like this. They did an excellent job with the yeast care on this one, unlike a few others that I've had from Alesmith that were harsh and fusel. Despite being only 25 IBU, there is still a nice lingering bitterness to offset all the sugar in this brew, enough to make the aftertaste a bit dry and not so syrupy. Quite nice. No perceptable off flavors or aromas.

This is one of the best olde ale's I've had in a long time. It's an absolute treat and a real sipper. Gorgeous mouthfeel, well brewed, rich and decadent. I would definitely buy this again. HIGHLY recommended.
Oct 09, 2016
Rated: 3.78 by BrewNoob1 from Minnesota

Jul 09, 2016
Photo of moundbz
Reviewed by moundbz from North Dakota

4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Dark with some ruby color in there. Smells terrific, molasses and port wine. The taste is good but the alcohol is kinda strong in the aftertaste. Super smooth going down. Overall terrific beer.
Jun 26, 2016
Rated: 4 by shoegueuze from California

Jun 26, 2016
Photo of ChrisMon02
Reviewed by ChrisMon02 from Ohio

3.99/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Bomber poured into a snifter. Bottled on 2/26/2014.

Pours a dark brown color with a decent off white head that quickly dissapears to nothing.

Smells of toffee, butterscotch, booze soaked raisins, oak and dates.

Taste follows the nose. Quite sweet but somehow drinkable and fairly complex.

Light carbonation fits the style well. Goes down pretty easy.

I have waited for a long time to try this and glad I did. I couldn't imagine trying this one fresh. After 2 plus years it is drinking nicely. Very enjoyable and a great take of the style. Recommended.
Jun 13, 2016
Rated: 4.13 by Fremont897 from California

Jun 04, 2016
Photo of clayrock81
Reviewed by clayrock81 from Florida

4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Poured a dark copper body with one finger head and lace ring. Smell is dark fruits like figs/dates and raisins/plums with some booze, caramel/toffee and yeast. Fuller bodied beer that passes over tongue thick and smooth thanks to yeast, dark fruit tastes like raisins and figs with a sweetness on backend thanks to the aforementioned yeast and caramel/toffee notes. The booze hits you, a mild slap if you will, while you drink this beer and complements the sweet finish.
Apr 01, 2016
Rated: 3.91 by Birdlegs from Washington

Mar 16, 2016
Photo of hman43
Reviewed by hman43 from North Carolina

4.65/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
Look: It pours a reddish brown with a light brown head that has plenty of carbonation. As it settles, it is fairly clear.

Smell: It has sweet aromas highlight by fruit, caramel, molasses, nuts, and notes of sherry like qualities.

Taste: It has flavors of caramel, chocolate, nuts, molasses, there are some fruity esters that are like dark fruits (plum like), and hints of sherry like qualities. As it warms, the sherry like qualities are more vinous. The nutty and chocoalte flavors become more prominent.

Feel: It has a full body and is somewhat chewy with a quality alcohol warming.

Overall: This is a fine example of an old ale that changes in complexity as it warms with plenty of sweet malt flavor and an extremely pleasant level of alcohol warming, not overdone like many others are.
Jan 02, 2016
Rated: 3.94 by killcore from Russian Federation

Dec 19, 2015
Rated: 3.95 by tdm168 from Pennsylvania

Dec 13, 2015
Rated: 4 by rawfish from California

Nov 16, 2015
Photo of Mitzvahman72
Reviewed by Mitzvahman72 from California

4.85/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
With a nice mahogany color, it boasts a light, sweet brandy taste combined with a bready butterscotch aroma and dried fruits with a slightly dry aftertaste. Nice, rich mouthfeel. This is like Atwater Brewery’s Teufel Wiezen Doppelbock, but very less nutty and bready and more fruity and slightly bitter, with butterscotch and dried fruit in the taste.

UPDATE: I recently tried another bottle and it tastes slightly, yet plenty different than the previous one I tried. It has a deep, creamy mouthfeel with the apricot sorbet and deep caramel brandy flavors with just enough scotch booze. There is also an aroma packed with every high alcoholic spirits you can think of (e.g. whiskey, brandy, sake, etc.), and it meshes together in harmony! This is turning into another class by itself, even rivaling their own Barrel Aged Numbskull!
Oct 30, 2015
Rated: 4.25 by NickThePyro from Washington

Oct 06, 2015
Olde Ale from AleSmith Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 211 ratings