Olde Ale | AleSmith Brewing Company

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89
very good
41 Reviews
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Olde AleOlde Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: 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!

Added by notchucknorris on 07-14-2013

BEER STATS
Reviews:
41
Ratings:
184
Avg:
4.01
pDev:
19.7%
 
 
Wants:
10
Gots:
24
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
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Reviews: 41 | Ratings: 184
Photo of Mitzvahman72
4.85/5  rDev +20.9%
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!

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Photo of mhaugo
4.66/5  rDev +16.2%
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 hman43
4.65/5  rDev +16%
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.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

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 Radome
4.39/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a snifter.

A - Color is medium brown or maybe a super dark copper. Head is thick and fluffy and persistent. It is a light tan color and finishes as a thin sheet and thick lacing on the glass. When the glass is swirled, the head springs back up again.

S - Aromas are of plums, prunes, raisins, molasses, sherry, old leather. There is a sharp whiff of alcohol in the finish. Upon first pour there was a strong cardboard note that made me worried of oxidation, but it quickly faded.

T - Flavors are all about the malt, as they should be. Lots of layers. Strong sherry, plums, prunes, raisins, wheat dinner rolls. Rum-like alcohol in the finish.

M - Thick body. Low but mouth-filling carbonation. Medium hops bitterness keep the sweetness from being overwhelming. Strong alcohol presence. Sweet, mouthcoating finish.

O - This is a big, sweet, chewy beer that is very filling, but the flavors are complex and pleasant. Not for every occasion, but for times when you want a reflective sipping beer, this is very nice.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a Reuben's Brew small snifter. Pours a medium to dark red-orange amber, with a thin, light tan head that leaves light lacing. Aroma of bready and dark caramel malt, dark dried fruit, molasses. Flavor is sweet, rich caramel malt, molasses, dark dried fruit, particularly figs and dates, boozy. Finishes thick and sweet with nice residual dried fruit flavors. Heavy bodied with a rich creaminess. Just what I'm looking for in an old ale, this borders on an English barleywine, but has even more maltiness. A bit hot, but plenty of rich flavor to support the alcohol. I remember enjoying this in the Decadence version, and am glad it's in regular rotation now. I'm going back for a few to cellar.

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Photo of richj1970
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 750 ml bottle dated 2/2014 into Old Guardian glass.

A: Pours a rich mahogany brown with two finger light tan head that lasted a minute or two and leaving plenty of sticky lacing.

S: Caramel, toffee, and stone fruits. Maybe a slight hop note.

T: Brown sugar, caramel, toffee, currants, and raisins. Alcohol is apparent but appropriate.

M: Full bodied but not thick. Finish is just a touch sweet.

O: An excellent beer. Everything I want in an Olde Ale. Nicely done.

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Photo of mikeg67
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
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 Brutaltruth
4.34/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed from the 750 ml bottle in a Delirium snifter. This FINE old ale pours a muddy brown with mahogany highlights, a moderate head of light tan foam that dissipates to a thin layer and a thick ring, and spotty lacing. Nose of toffee, walnuts, strong booze like rum notes, brown sugars, and dark plums. Flavors are a wow factor with brown sugar and some dark cherries fading into a toffee middle and nutty background. A mild hop note is on the back; lightly herbal, that blends with a strong rum flavor on the back with just the right hint of burn. Slick, full, and creamy mouth feel features moderately light carbonation.
Begs for a warm fire or an evening night cap.
A winner from a great brewery!

Cheers!

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Photo of moundbz
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.26/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Type: Draft
Glass: 8-oz. pint glass
From: AleSmith Brewing Company in San Diego, Calif.
Price: $3.70
Purchased: March 30, 2015
Consumed: March 30, 2015
Misc.: 2015 release; After I picked up my two Kona Speedway’s

Poured a dark brown, almost black color with 1-to-2 fingers of khaki tan, rocky head when I got it. Good amount of layered, spiderweb lacing on the sides. Average retention on the top. (Sight - 4.00)

Smelled toffee, caramel, smoky nuts, roasty dry malts, dark chocolate, dark cocoa, dark smoky spices and maple syrup. (Smell - 4.25)

Wow for the taste right off. Got maple syrup, brown sugar, toffee, sugary caramel, molasses, roasty nuts, bitter dark chocolate and dark cocoa. So smooth. (Taste - 4.25)

Medium body. Creamy texture. Average-to-lively carbonation. Long, smooth, warming finish. (Feel - 4.50)

Loved this beer. Would love to get my hands on some more. (Overall - 4.25)

4.26 | 95 | A

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Photo of pmarlowe
4.26/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle (labeled as "Olde Ale"), bottled on 02/26/14. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a murky reddish/brown color with about an inch beige head that stuck around a little while. There's a decent amount of lacing. Aroma is nice and malty, the brew smells like toffee, dark fruit (plums, raisins), caramel, brown sugar, and some nuts. The taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also the addition of rum-like booziness, red grapes and currants. Mouthfeel/body is full, it's creamy and coating with a moderate amount of carbonation. I thought this was pretty good, I think I'll have to pick up another bottle soon!

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a deep and murky brown color, almost black in the glass. A half finger, light brown and intensely creamy head forms on the pour and leaves thick lace down the glass.

S: A touch faint, but I get a lot of dark fruit out of this. Cola nut, fig, plum, raisin skin, brown sugar, toffee, a bit of banana bread and just a touch of booze.

T: Rich and malty with a nice touch of dark fruit. Some burnt raisin skins come through near the finish with some plum, brown sugar and leather. The flavor is a touch bland until the finish, and then there's just an absolute firecracker of dark fruit that goes off in your mouth. Finish is dry with a touch of burnt wood, tobacco and just a hint of booze. The bottle says you can age this for up to 20 years and I would love to see what at least a few years would do to this.

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Photo of stortore
4.21/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 ML bottle into a snifter. Bottled in March, 2014.

Pours a deep, hazy amber, with a medium head and not much lacing. Smell is of purple grapes, plums, malt, caramel, dates. Taste seems a little more malty than the nose. Still a good amount of grape, some plums, figs, raisins, caramel. Maybe a little molasses and toffee. Smooth for the ABV, almost creamy. Well carbonated.

Pretty classic Old Ale, right at the top tier for the style. Great flavor, very enjoyable. Definitely one to go back to.

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Photo of oberon
4.19/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 6/27/13.Pours into an impy nonic a deep amber hued chesnut brown with a billowing large light beige head that sticks to the glass like glue.Deeply fruity and cake-like in the nose,brown sugar and even a tinge of mineral comes into play as well.Sweet but not overly so on the palate,caramel toffee and dark fruit along with more brown sugar sweetness,just enough of a leafy English hop presence to dry it out enough in the finish.A fantastic "sipping" brew,it's malted to the hilt and sweet but not over the top.Great job here.

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Photo of Etan
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml into a tulip.

A: Pours black with a slight red tinge and a nice light tan head.

S: Smells of ginger, leather, cooked sugar, fig, caramel.

T: Taste brings sweet molasses, vinous, mild leafy hop bitterness, roasted grain husk, plummy.

M: Thick-bodied with light yet crisp carbonation.

O: A very nice old ale. I'll have to seek out the BA version.

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Photo of Franziskaner
4.16/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Deep brown in color with ruby highlights and some penetration to light. A fingernail of khaki head covers the rim and a third of the top of the glass. Light Brussels lacing. Wonderful aroma of dark malt, dates, hazelnut, and dark rum. The taste is a burst of dark malt, hazelnut, toffee, dates, and dark rum. The mouth is thick, chewy, and there's a warmth from the alcohol.

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Photo of emyers
4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle poured into a Founders snifter.

Appearance: Pours an amber-brown color with a 1 inch beige head. Excellent head retention given the abv.

Smell: Wood, earth, some caramel malt. Noticeable sour presence.

Taste: Rich caramel malt, wood, strong earthy notes. Still has a slight sourness to it, but not as strong as in the aroma. Slight alcohol heat on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, rich, smooth. Medium to low carbonation. Could probably use a bit less carbonation.

Overall: More or less highlights what an old ale should taste like.

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Photo of hardy008
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours mahogany with a one finger beige head. the aroma has toffee, dark fruit, and brown sugar.

Has a very sweet taste with toffee, brown sugar, dark fruit, and alcohol. Unfortunately, the alcohol is not hidden for this beer, and I let it sit for a long time before I opened it. Still tastes good, but I am disappointed that the alcohol is front and center in the taste.

Full bodied with light carbonation. Very chewy. A very good beer which would have been even better if the alcohol was hidden somewhat, and the beer wasn't so sweet.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2013 "Old Ale" big bottle from a trip to the brewery back in November (pouring on 4/11/14). Pours deep dark purplish reddish brownish amber color with a one finger khaki head. Aroma is dark fruits, plums, raisins, fig, sweet brown sugar. Big malts here as expected. Flavor is very sweet with hints of those same prune and fig notes found on the aroma, some nice caramel, and more brown sugar sweet to finish. Just a hint of subtle dry hop bitterness to finish and balance things out. I can see how this would age incredibly in a bourbon barrel. Big body, medium soft carbonation, and a sipper. Very nice in style. AleSmith just does everything well.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.04/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

love the old ale style, and how many different ways it gets brewed. this is one of the more classic english types, almost a barleywine, but with a lot more pronounced malt fruitiness and a more drinkable overall beer, but there are plenty of similarities. very english in nature, tons of yeast character here, bready and toffee-esque flavors, and plenty of chunky yeast floccy bits in the beer too. radiant burnt caramel color, with a lasting thick but mellow tan head, nice looking brew. the body i found to be just a touch thin, but the flavors are all rich enough it doesnt really need to be any more beefy. the toffee grain profile is big, the alcohol stands out just enough, and i find the whole thing quite decadent, despite having an earthy middle and self cleaning finish. not overly complex, but extremely sturdy at 11% abv. a beer to let warm up, drink slowly, and in good company. all of the big alesmith beers are so well done, this one should serve as an example to other american brewers looking to make old ale, its that good.

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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Photo of ChrisMon02
3.99/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of arizcards
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Picked up a 750ml bottle from the San Diego Whole Foods back at the end of July for $13.99.
Bottled on 6/27/13.

Beer poured a deep chestnut with a nice off white head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose has light notes of dark fruits and somewhat nutty. Good but nothing overly exciting.

Taste is raisin, leather, nutty with some sherry. It is slightly sweet but there is enough hopping not to make this cloying. Alcohol is warming but not overly noticeable.

Mouthfeel is full and rich, very satisfying.

Overall this fits the bill on a chilly 50 degree December day in the desert. It was nice to try, give it a shot if you have a decent amount of discretionary income.

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Olde Ale from AleSmith Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 41 ratings.
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