Olde Ale | AleSmith Brewing Company

Olde AleOlde Ale
BA SCORE
88.5%
Liked This Beer
4.02 w/ 200 ratings
Olde AleOlde Ale
BEER INFO

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

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
Ranking:
#4,187
Reviews:
48
Ratings:
200
Liked:
177
Avg:
4.02/5
pDev:
9.2%
Alströms:
0
 
 
Wants:
13
Gots:
23
Trade:
3
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 200 |  Reviews: 48
Photo of timmy2b
1.75/5  rDev -56.5%

Photo of Beaver13
2.32/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Alesmith Olde Ale British-Style Ale MMXIV 750 ml bottle, bottled on 2/26/14. Pours dark ruby amber with a medium creamy off-white head that goes to a thin film and leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is caramel malts, molasses, dark fruits and some spicy alcohol and a little cardboard.

The flavor is lots of hot alcohol with some sweet sugary dark fruits and molasses and a touch of green apple. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, sweet sugary fruits and tons of alcohol doesn't do it for me.

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Photo of jooler
3.11/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Too strong of an alcohol taste for percentage

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Photo of BarrytheBear
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%

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 mactrail
3.48/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Lovely color, a dark coppery amber-brown in the flared nonic. Modest head, but giving the glass a jiggle swirls up some nice lacing and bubbles. Aromas of malt and leather.

Dates and dried figs seem to dominate the flavor. This is really rich and syrupy with a lot of dark caramel. Burnt sugar like a flan, even a touch of vanilla. I'd have to say it's a little cloying with the spicy bitterness adding to the murky melange. Tangy and a little sharp underneath, with the hoppy bite becoming more pronounced. Some burnt butter and cedar for the finish.

From the 750 ml bottle bought at Bottleworks. This is just a crazy complexity of flavors, but it adds up to wanting something to clear the palate. I'm all for variety, but I'd have to take a Barley Wine over this amped-up Old Ale.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of rowbow
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of PatB1987
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of jwswigs
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of ChrisISO_SJ
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of brpendergast85
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of lsummers
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of dwagner003
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of 2beerdogs
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of laituegonflable
3.51/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear red colour, nice yellow-beige head, lovely density, could retain better. Lacing is pretty nice. Looks good.

Smells sweet, sultana-esque. Notes of port, brandy, even rum. Yes, grape notes as well, but all booze. Orange peel maybe, and a touch of fennel. Pretty tasty, but a bit overly sweet as well.

Taste is a bit lacking, possibly a bit old? Feels almost like it's hiding in the shadows, with notes of brown sugar, molasses and definite rum character. Taste finishes dry with sultana notes and feels a bit like hangover. Could use more hopping, or just something to take the edge off that boozey sweetness.

Bit of an edge, slightly warm, but yeah, like a big, heavy, sweet beer.

Heavy, very sweet. Have had more impressive beers, although there is plenty to keep you interested here.

 802 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.52/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at AleSmith Brewing Company in San Diego, CA.

Pours a hazy brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, dark fruit, toffee, and caramel aromas. Taste is much the same with malt and caramel flavors on the finish. There is an alcohol burn in the back of the throat after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is quite boozy at the moment.

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Photo of kevanb
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.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle served in my Duck Rabbit snifter. Pours a dark brown with a half inch, cream-colored head embedded with tiny pinpricks. Nose reveals dark fruits (some grape) and a suggestion of caramel or toffee. Taste follows nose - more dark fruit and less caramel/toffee; however, there's also a slightly metallic quality. Mouthfeel is medium-light in body with a carbonation that falls just short of lively - perhaps a little too assertive at this point. Overall, a decent old ale but not worth the price point. Based on the metallic quality in the flavor profile, I don't anticipate this will age well.

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Photo of brewcrew76
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 6/27/13

A - Murky chestnut brown with mahogany highlights and a thin khaki head.

S - Very light aroma, toffee, fruit cake, pineapple, light molasses. As it warms I feel like it becomes pure fruit cake.

T - Caramel, toffee, biscuits, fruit cake, plenty of sweetness which emphasizes the fruit cake aspect, molasses, sweet and slightly boozy, cola, raisin.

M - Thick and a touch sticky.

D - I kept letting this one warm waiting for it to get complex but it never seemed to happen. Could never really find the dark fruits I was hoping for. More fruit cake than I wanted.

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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 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.

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Photo of biegaman
3.74/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Alesmith Old Ale is the kind of beer that gets murkier and murkier the more you pour. Don't get me wrong, this date coloured offering looks pretty swampy right off the bat but it at least offered some highlights... highlights that are gradually extinguished by the sediment in the bottle. Rather impressive, however, especially for its strength, this suits a tight-fitted collar.

When smelling an Old Ale one is offered plenty to contemplate. Aromas are conspicuous yet complex - the nutty confections drizzled in dark honey and treacle are apparent but the oxidized (and lightly boozy) dried fruit notes reminiscent of Sherry or Port provide enough subtleties to occupy one for hours.

This 2014 vintage is just a hair over one year old. The brewery thinks it will improve for another two decades. I'd say that's a bit optimistic but from what I'm tasting tonight it's true that it has yet come into its own. Though obviously amply malted, the dark sugar and dried fruits flavours aren't quite 'ripe'. It's drinking a little hollow right now...

And it's also strutting its alcohol content (11%) unabashedly. The heat is highly noticeable even though there's no shortage of walnut, currant, raisin, and molasses notes to distract from it. Time in the cellar will likely subdue the booze but know that a good deal of the earthy, resinous hoppiness and strong black tea-like bitterness will fade too.

I like Alesmith, but I do think some of their offerings are a little overrated. Old Ale is one of them - at least in its infancy. Unlike their Wee Heavy, Anvil ESB, or hoppy offerings such as X and IPA, this one isn't at its best picked directly off the shelf. Treat Old Ale as you would Old Numbskull or Speedway - a special occasions beer worth stashing in the cellar.

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Photo of terpinsd
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of Beerbuddy21
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

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Olde Ale from AleSmith Brewing Company
Beer rating: 88.5% out of 100 with 200 ratings
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