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Olde Ale | AleSmith Brewing Company

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Olde AleOlde Ale
BA SCORE
4.02/5
Exceptional
205 Ratings
Olde AleOlde Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States
alesmith.com

Style: English Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
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!

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#8,291
Reviews:
51
Ratings:
205
pDev:
9.2%
 
 
Wants:
14
Gots:
20
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 205 |  Reviews: 51
Reviews by Fremont897:
Photo of Fremont897
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

More User Reviews:
Photo of mhaugo
4.66/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

25.4oz bottle decanted into a snifter. 11% ABV. “Bottled On” date 07/02/13. Served at 55F and allowed to elevate to room temperature.

Appearance: Dark mahogany with thin streams of fine bubbles rising to the surface to create a faint, beige cap (4.5/5).

Aroma: I can smell this damn thing from two feet away. It’s a mixture of incredibly rich, dried, dark fruits, molasses, and toasted bread. It also smells very boozy. I’m surprised that the bottle doesn’t say anything about bourbon barrel aging, because it smells like it’s seen a barrel. All-in-all it is an incredibly inviting aroma (4.75/5).

Taste: Malt. Super-malt. Malt all over the place. Bready and intense. I also get roasted marshmallows, fresh tobacco, figs, dates, and raisins, pumpernickel, brown sugar, and that tobacco flavor that comes with many beers in this style (4.5/5).

Mouthfeel: Beautiful warmth from my tongue all the way down to my belly. Full body and light carbonation. I love it (5/5).

Overall: I think this may be my best Old Ale yet. The only thing it’s missing is that interesting brett character that comes with either wood aging or inoculation. Otherwise it is nearly perfect. It’s roasty, malty, sweet, and warm. Well done, AleSmith (4.75/5).

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Photo of jeff1973
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of tdm168
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of kojevergas
3.33/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

"Old Ale." "2013 British-Style Ale." 11% ABV confirmed. 1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass bottle with cool printed-on label art and foiled-over standard unbranded pry-off cap acquired at a nearby bottle shop and served into a Mitchells of Lancaster flared stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the brewery. Bottled 07/02/13, so she's pretty young.

Served cold, straight from the fridge, and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a two finger wide head of shiny vibrant khaki colour. Very lively and healthy. Good creaminess - especially for the style, and great thickness. Retention is excellent for the high ABV - about 4-5+ minutes I'd say. Supple even lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head slowly recedes. Average frothiness for the style.

Body colour is a dark glowing ruby red. Quasi-translucent. Nontransparent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Low vibrance, but I wouldn't call it dull.

Overall, it's pretty standard fare for the style, save for the attractive head. Looking forward to trying it.

Sm: Plum, fig, dates, unrefined sugars, caramalt, biscuit malt, toffee, brown sugar, light maple, and refined raisin. Light toasty character. The dark fruit blossoms as it warms; the fig in particular really opens up. Yeast comes off English in character. Light hints of molasses. Low attenuation is evident; there's plenty of residual sugars left and I suspect it'd age nicely. Some notes of port as well. Not getting a definite hop profile or any booziness. A pleasant inviting aroma of average to mild strength. Excited to try this one.

T: Raisin is my first impression. Definitely has low attenuation; there are plenty of residual sugars filling out the body of this one. Biscuit malt, caramalt, toffee. English yeast with a little biscuity character. The dark fruits are much more timid in the flavour than they were in the aroma, but I do find dry fig, light plum, and dates when I search for them. Alcohol is noticeable but it's certainly not a boozy or hot beer. No hop character really comes through; this is to style. By all means on the sweeter side, but it's not cloying. The dried fruit character helps tame the sweetness, shriveling the sugars (if you'll forgive the stupidity inherent in that phrasing). All in all, it's certainly complex, but it lacks the cohesion and artful balance you'd find in the best beers in the style. I don't doubt that it'd develop and refine with age. It is a bit ripe. Some subtlety. I like it overall, and it has serious potential.

Raisin is dominant.

No off-flavours are obvious.

*As it warms, I do notice some bitterness on the climax, which tames the sweetness somewhat. Maybe there's a hop presence here after all, but just not in terms of flavour. The bitterness seems to mesh favorably with the molasses, which is strange indeed.

Mf: Thick, smooth, and lightly dry. A bit vinous. Unrefreshing. Pretty good body. Nice presence on the palate, but ideally it'd be fuller, richer, and more refined. Suits the flavour profile generally well, but doesn't come off custom-tailored to it. Above average execution to be sure, but it's far from ideal. Hints of a syrupy viscous feel; they'll fade with time. Sticky.

Dr: Drinkable? Above average for the style, below average perhaps for the ABV. I'm enjoying it and it hides its ABV okay, but it screams out a need to be aged. This is definitely one to cellar, but by no means is it a bad brew fresh. It's about as good as I expected. I'd try it again aged, but I doubt I'd buy it again fresh. A nice little Old Ale from Alesmith, but it doesn't play with the big dogs. Worth trying once for the fair price point.

B-

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Photo of vrbulldog22
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jmccraney
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Dope
3.91/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle dated 02/27/14.

A: Pours a deep, dark brown with reddish highlights around the edges. Tall, slightly fizzy but still quite dense light brown head. Head fades out slowly leaving minimal thin streaks of lacing. Quite decent retention at least.

S: Nice smooth and sweet maltiness. Raisins, toffee and caramel. Toasted sugar. Heavy grainy bread. Light cocoa and spices. Big and sweet and tasty aroma.

T: Big malts right out of the gate. Sticky sweet caramel with heavy liquid bread. Dark fruits, primarily raisin and perhaps fig. Some herbal hops up front adding a bit of spice to it all. Herbal through to the finish really, lightly floating around everywhere. Aftertaste has some toffee, grainy bread and some earthy herbal notes.

M: Heavy, sweet and syrupy.

O: Pretty typical old ale. Huge, heavy malts. Sticky, viscous body. Lots of sweet and bready flavors. Fairly plain for such a big beer if I'm honest but still tasty.

 936 characters

Photo of shoegueuze
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of beergoot
3.73/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle info: Bottled on 02/27/14

Hazy, hazelnut colored body with a lasting, one-finger thick, cream colored head. Nutty, malty, boozy aroma; fig and date dark fruit tones. Maple syrup flavors; dates and raisins; anise and licorice; fair hop bitterness and a stinging alcohol burn; slight phenolic edge. Heavy bodied; soft and somewhat fizzy mouthfeel.

Smooth and very easy drinking for a powerhouse brew. Everything seems well-tempered and balanced while still delivering a multitude of flavor characteristics. A nice example of a classic styled heavy-duty ale.

 564 characters

Photo of BigPlay1824
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of ste5venla
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of vfgccp
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of mikeg67
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle. Pours dark amber with tall, long-lasting, foamy off-white head. Aroma is bready malt, dark fruit, brown sugar and some coffee. Body is full and smooth. Bready, caramel malt, brown sugar, dark fruit, herbal hops and alcohol fill the mouth. Finish is long and dry. Great ale to sip.

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Photo of pmarlowe
4.26/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage. Tulip glass.

A: Pours a deep amber/copper color. Murky, with thin, tannish, fine head. Pretty good retention and minimal lacing.

S: Nice English yeast character, with dried fruit (cherry, currant), which blends very nicely with the toasty malt.

T: Similar, with rich maillard tones coming through. Almost like drinking jam and toast, in a good way. Finishes on the sweeter end with a long finish, where a little alcohol is evident.

M: Medium-full body and medium-light carbonation. Excellent.

O: An excellently crafted English Old Ale. Classic flavors.

 571 characters

Photo of TXhomebrewer
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of rawfish
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of CelticAleMan
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Bouquet: faint sherry, cola, fruit – plum, spice.
Pours a hazy tea tinted amber under a rapidly dissipating 2” finely bubbled light tan tinted foam cap – lacy. Some legs.
Palate: big malt – caramel, molasses, plum, grape, raisin, fruit cake, cola, sherry, but with balancing hop bitterness on the finish. Hints of prune, fig and date.
Malt forward but well balanced by alcohol and hops.
Big very creamy chewy body, medium to medium low carbonation – very soft and finely bubbled.
Warming but no hot alcohol.

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Photo of WoodBrew
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.

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Photo of brotherloco
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of funkel81
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of imbuckeye
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of gshak
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

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Olde Ale from AleSmith Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.02 out of 5 with 205 ratings