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Olde Ale | AleSmith Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
89
very good
44 Reviews
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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
Reviews:
44
Ratings:
188
Avg:
4.04
pDev:
19.06%
 
 
Wants:
10
Gots:
24
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
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Reviews: 44 | Ratings: 188
Photo of jzeilinger
4.36/5  rDev +7.9%
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).

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Photo of REDAMI
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.7/5  rDev +16.3%
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.

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Photo of moundbz
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
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 ChrisMon02
3.99/5  rDev -1.2%
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 clayrock81
4/5  rDev -1%
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 hman43
4.65/5  rDev +15.1%
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 Mitzvahman72
4.85/5  rDev +20%
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 champ103
3.79/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I do not see a bottled on date, but I bought this in July 2015.

A: Pours a dark brown, with ruby red around the edges. At first a dense, light tan head forms with good retention, that eventually recedes to a ring that sticks throughout. Plenty of lace is left behind as well.
S: Toasted and caramel malts. Raisins, brown sugar. Some booze, which is appropriate for the style.
T: Big malty sweetness, brown sugar, raisins. Caramel malts, fusel alcohol. Maybe a bit to much sweetness along with a slightly rough alcohol character. Obviously to style, but a little unrefined at the moment.
M/O: A full and sticky body. Moderate carbonation and resiny. Big, thick and heavy. While a good sipper, the heavy handedness of the sweet malts, alcohol, and big body takes its toll.

One of my favorite styles, and AleSmith always does big English styles right. Even so, I think this is a little rough around the edges. I very much enjoy this, but I think more time to mellow out would do wonders. I will be sure to get more bottles to put away for a year or so.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.34/5  rDev +7.4%
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 bluejacket74
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
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 stortore
4.21/5  rDev +4.2%
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 richj1970
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
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 biegaman
3.74/5  rDev -7.4%
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 BucannonXC5
4.26/5  rDev +5.4%
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 hardy008
4.08/5  rDev +1%
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 Franziskaner
4.16/5  rDev +3%
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 SportsandJorts
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled 2-26-14. Drank March 2015

Appearance: pours a deep earthy orange, hinging on a leathery brown. a finger or two of tan head with good retention. leaves behind a solid and streaky lacing. dark and opaque. some extremely fine sediment.

Smell: strong caramel malt sweetness. toffee, dark fruits and rum booziness.

Taste: opens up with some caramel sweetness and dark fruits. dark fruits come in as dried plums, prunes and rum soaked raisins. some toffee sweetness comes through. more booze comes through near the end with more rum

Mouthfeel: thick and viscous. slightly syrupy. slightly creamy. slight boozy warmth.

Overall: a solid old ale. at about a year old, this one still has quite a bit of booziness. slowing the slightest signs of age but only in a good way. it will be interested to see where this one goes in the future.

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Photo of Radome
4.39/5  rDev +8.7%
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 beergoot
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
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 pat61
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

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 LiquidAmber
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%

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 StonedTrippin
4.04/5  rDev 0%
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 Jwale73
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
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 laituegonflable
3.51/5  rDev -13.1%
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.

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Olde Ale from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.04 out of 5 based on 188 ratings.
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