Olde Ale | AleSmith Brewing Company

BA SCORE
89
very good
193 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
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
Ratings:
193
Reviews:
45
Avg:
4.03
pDev:
9.18%
 
 
Wants:
12
Gots:
23
For Trade:
2
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 193 |  Reviews: 45
Photo of JamFuel
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of champ103
3.79/5  rDev -6%
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.

 1,068 characters

Photo of brewduder
3.79/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of kbwalters
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of QuakeAttack
3.99/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Brutaltruth
4.34/5  rDev +7.7%
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!

 717 characters

Photo of dcmchew
4.29/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of parintele
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Ciocanelu
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Sosopogi
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of bluejacket74
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
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!

 630 characters

Photo of domdomdomdom
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jaymo18
4.14/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of HunterSBeerson
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of stortore
4.21/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

 508 characters

Photo of jooler
3.11/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Too strong of an alcohol taste for percentage

45 characters

Photo of cjgator3
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of richj1970
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

 490 characters

Photo of AdmiralOzone
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of vma
4.46/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of MustyDusty
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of biegaman
3.74/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

 1,778 characters

Photo of BucannonXC5
4.26/5  rDev +5.7%
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

 917 characters

Olde Ale from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.03 out of 5 based on 193 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe