Hedonism Ale | Legacy Brewing Co.

very good
150 Reviews
Hedonism AleHedonism Ale

Brewed by:
Legacy Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Northern California Inspired Red Ale

Added by cracker on 03-13-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 150 | Ratings: 159
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue VII:

A Northern California-inspired Red Ale? Sounds like something big and hoppy. We're ready.

Pours a hazy red with a tawny center. Nice head. Foamy, rocky, pure white with stick and a good half-inch of stay. Malty nose with a hint of caramel, fruity esters and grain. Smooth and full-bodied, going coarse with a tight and prickly carbonation that creates a creamy palate. Malty in the taste too, with a bit of candy, fruity esters, overripe pineapple, toffee, brown bread nuttiness, and roastiness. Hops aggressively pull through with some astringency, coarse lemony bitterness and leafy edges. Peppery spice too. More sweetness opens up your mouth as the beer warms with some sugar and a quick dollop of caramel. The beer dries up and lingers for ages with hop tannins and burnt resins that have embedded themselves into your palate while you weren't paying attention.

The name is fitting. Chaos in a bottle, but oh so good--this is not for the timid. One needs to open their mind and palate to fully appreciate the offering before them. Let go, enjoy.

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Photo of spartanfan
3.18/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. twist off with an indecipherable code of some kind but no bottled on or freshness date;

A: Pours a slightly hazy ruby red color with a loose off white head that leaves some lacing behind as it fades into a nice layer of suds.

S: Aromas are of hops and an almost candy like sweetness. Also a hint of alcohol and a nutty smell.

T: Taste is of sweet and toasty malts. Hops take a backseat to the malts in this one. Not a whole lot going on and not really my bag.

M: The level of carbonation is about average and the alcohol is not apparent.

D: This beer is pretty easy to drink, but it doesn't really leave me wanting more.

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Photo of gfreed
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Based on the name as well as the bloviation on the label and the Web site ("...an orgy of hop aroma and flavor..."), I expected something excessively, perhaps offensively, sharp. What a pleasant surprise, then, when I was greeted with an aroma of thick malt and apricots, a loose head and a very smooth taste that had only a mild sting at the end. This is much maltier than hoppy, with a reasonably thin body and low fizz. As ambers go, it's milder than favorites like Otter Creek and Troegs, but is nonetheless quite enjoyable. Buy it and ignore the label.

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Photo of WesWes
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a beautiful red color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a sweet and creamy crystal malt scent along with some excellent yeast esters. It has a light fruitiness as well as a mild hop character. The taste is good also. It's damn quaffable for a 7% abv beer. There is a limited amount of complexity, but it's well balanced and very tasty. The crystal malts provide a mild sweetness that works well with the yeast fruitiness. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a fine amber ale. Like I said, It's not overly complex, but it's easily quaffable.

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Photo of raverjames
1.91/5  rDev -49.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

A: Amber with a 1 finger head. Not much haze here.
S: Hoppy yet very malty. Some citrus and caramel.
T: Chemical off flavors that are heavy with butterscotch. The hops don't cover up all the bad stuff going on here. Whoa diacetyl!
M: There is a chemical like bitterness that really hits you after every sip. I can't even drink a pint. I dumped most of it down the drain.
D: See mouthfeel. This beer was a drainpour. It is very unexpected from a brewery that usually makes great beer.

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Photo of alpinebryant
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a twist off into a mini beer glass that required three pours at Smiths restaurant/bar in NYC near Broadway. Appeared a bright red / amber with minimal head in the tiny glass.

Smelled of a amber beer with good malt presence and a relatively present amount of hops that were mixed floral / citrus.

Tasted very malty and caramel with some hop presence. Balanced well for a red ale, perhaps not as hoppy as I would have thought for something named hedonism.

Good mouthfeel and drinkability. The 7 percent abv is hidden well

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Photo of Soonami
3.79/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No way this is 110IBU as listed on this page...

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- The beer was a beautiful claret red with a wisp of tan foam that though not substantial clung pretty well

S- Not much in the nose, just a little yeasty bread and floral hops

T- Very caramelly and sweet with juicy herbal hops

M- Full and smooth

D- Flavorful and deceptive 7% abv. complex but not overwhelming

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Photo of GilGarp
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to brentk56 for the extras, this being one of them.

Bottled in May. 110 IBUs in a 7% beer?! I'm guessing it won't be a very balanced.

Served cold in a pint glass. It has a very hazy redish amber color with thin white head atop. A little lacing is left behind as it settles.

Aroma is very hoppy but not in a fresh hop way... more like a barley wine style where the hops have clearly mellowed out with age.

Flavor is exactly what aroma predicted: basically a barley wine light, if you will. Big on hops and caramel malts, some fruit and nut. Not super strong and the alcohol seems very mild considering the flavor. In fact, it's easily hidden behind all that bitterness.

Mouthfeel is unusually thin but then again my nose and tongue say big barley wine but then it comes across much lighter in body. Smooth but very bitter with nice mild carbonation.

This is definately an unusual beer and one that I wouldn't have expected to exist. It's not great but it's certainly interesting.

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Photo of brentk56
3.62/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a frothy head that disembarks rather quickly without leaving much of a trace

Smell: Resinous pine is the first element that appears but there is plenty of caramel malt in there, too; after several sniffs, I would have to say that the sweeter elements dominate

Taste: The brown sugar malts lay down the gauntlet, but by the time mid-palate rolls around, the resinous hops have become overwhelming; after the swallow, the palate dries out, leaving a bitter finish with just a hint of residual sweetness on the tongue

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body, slightly syrupy, with low to moderate carbonation

Drinkability: I can't say that I am in love with this beer; too sweet, too bitter, just too much of everything for my palate; woth a try, though, just for the experience

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Photo of oldpinecone
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

Pours a nice deep copper color with a one finger head that leaves within several minutes. Lots of bubbles running up the glass.

Smell is sweet with mild biquits. A tiny bit earthy.

Taste is also sweet at first and then the hops really come through. Maybe an undertone of pine but thats about it. Rreally nice flavor.

Feels a little light and over carbonated but nothing bad. Pretty average. Crisp.

A nice beer to drink socially.

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Photo of TheMistler
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle does not indicate a brewed on or best by date, which might be of import given a note below. Pours fairly - surprisingly - syrupy, which I'm not a huge fan of for a beer that isn't cracking the 7% abv barrier. A pleasantly caramel brown brew. Some very lightly-ruby hues. Off-white, lightly tan head. Some spotty lacing. Not much retention or lacing.

Definite hops. The hops probably contribute to the roasted quality - I get a whiff I think best described as burnt nougat. Loads of caramel. Another comparison - a caramel coffee concoction. Given that the hop presence, though noticeable, does not seem to match the noted IBU, and that fact that there is a slight "off" character, I can't be sure that this beer isn't past its prime.

Somewhat sticky hops up front. Dark bread. Seemingly expansive, doughy, almost indicating some yeast. French Vanilla! That is the sweetness that accompanies the Finishes very dry, caramel layered on top of lightly-grassy hops.

Brief burst of initial CO2 crispness is replaced with creamy, doughy feel. Medium to heavy - leaning more towards heavy - bodied, again somewhat surprisingly (to me) given the ABV.

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Photo of jhammel01
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this last night on tap @ the Fire in philly seeing my friends band Action Park....

Pours a nice amber color, Clear with plenty of carbonation. Nice thick foamy head that retains all the way to the end with plenty of lacing.

Smells strong of hops and some bready undertones.

Tastes alot like Arrogant Bastard. Awesome! Its a pretty complex beer with Strong hops up front that finishes smooth and pretty bready.

I enjoyed this one quite a bit! Hope to find more from these guys

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the River Street Alehouse at happy hour - $2 for a shaker glass. Appears a hazed deep crimson color with barely a finger of creamy light amber head. A thin, lace is left on my glass with each sip. There is no doubt that this is a red ale. Nose and flavor are of sweet caramel, medium toasted grains, citrus along the lines of white grapefruit juice and pith, and a bit of piney hops. This red is just about medium bodied and amply carbonated for it's style. Very easy to drink and the 7%ABV is well masked.

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Photo of Jayli
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a slightly hazy coppery red with a short foamy cream colored head. The foam subsided a bit and left behind some streaky lacing. Nose is of pine and grapefruit hops, along with sweet, toasty malts and mild floral hops. There is quite a bit of strong bitterness with ample malt for balance. Earthy, spicy hops compliment the grapefruit flavor. Mouth has a lingering bitterness. Medium body with medium carbonation that's on the creamy side. Some dryness in the finish as well. Definitely enjoyable. The hops are definitely in the forefront and quite strong for what I think of as a red ale, but it didn't become aggressive or harsh on the palate

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Photo of bobsy
3.56/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've had this on a couple occasions now, and I must say, I'm not that impressed. Its a decent beer, but a little over-sweet, and not as bitter as I was led to believe. The appearance, however, has nailed it. Red ale indeed, and with a creamy white head and fine lacing. Grapefruit and caramel aroma with some floral notes. Tastes of sweet grapefruit juice, with a dose of caramel and some floral notes. Straightforward, but decent. The body and carbonation are a bot too light for my liking... the beer seems to lack some heft.

Usually I'd put it down to an older beer - there's no bottling date - but perhaps the flavours have faded with time. This is the second bite of the cherry though. Perhaps hedonism isn't for me.

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Photo of Dulliwhig
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - deep red red with a slight haze, thick light tan/orangeish yellow head, beautiful lacing

S - cherries and figs, strawberries and a hint of brown sugar

T - sweet bready maltiness with a citrus hop finish, slightly drying the hops win the battle

M - medium bodied and well carbonated

D - not bad, but a bit much for more than a few

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Photo of drtth
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chilled and then poured into a Duvel glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: Copper red in color with a 1" light tan head that persists and produces nice lacing and lacy collar around the edge of the beer.

Smell: Lots of citrus and floral hop aroma with some mixed fruits and caramel sweet malt mixed in.

Taste: Lots of bitter grapefruit and pine taste of hops with a balancing sweet malt backbone.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and creamy mouth feel. The finish is long, dry and bitter.

Drinkability: A very enjoyable beer but so intense that one a night is enough for me.

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Photo of selecter70
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A very nice surprise to find on tap. I'm not so sure about the whole 'hedonism' thing, and actually might have chosen something else, since such a name sounds gimmicky. Regardless, this was a fine red ale; I've actually had some of the best red ales this year...nice. A hearty, hoppy & healthy-tasting bold ale that balanced malts & hops nicely. A honey-amber pour with a light brown decent & creamy head with good lace. A bit flowery in the nose, but nice honey-malts & bitter hops blended in a way that suggested being well-fortified. A slight near cherry-Coke in there too, but not enough to make it too sweet or tacky. Very interesting...I'd have another!

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Photo of magine
3.44/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Just picked this up at a bottle shop/deli. Never had anything from Legacy before.

Poured the bottle into a pint glass. Great thick cream head sits a top of a dark copper/amber color. Excellent lacing and head retention.

Has an almost woods/earthy smell to it with the fruit smells apparent.

Tastes very sweet and and has the bitterness through. Nice silky, creamy mouthfeel. I can taste the hops in the after taste. Very well balanced. Has a nice dry after taste too.

Very drinkable beer - for a small session not a full night. Nice beer. Not sure if I can have to many of these, maybe not my favorite flavor to drink for a full night. I have never had Legacy beers before, will look for more from them in the future.

Good brew.

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Photo of SFLpunk
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown glass twist off. No freshness date.

Appearance: Poured into a .5L Harpoon glass. 2.5 fingers of cream-colored head. Amber reddish-brown and clear.

Nose: Sweet oxi, malt. Smells a little over the hill, to be honest. Has that "I used to have more floral hop qualities" smell to it. Sweet malt and spices.

Palate: Medium bodied and lively. Upfront is that sticky sweet malt character which rounds out into a smokey, toasty malt character that I hoped for. The finish battles it out with hop bitterness and sickly/lively malt notes back and forth.

Notes: Really wish this beer had a freshness date on it so I could judge whether the beer was over the hill or just not made to my liking. Inconclusive tasting to be revisited at a later date.

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Photo of thain709
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A nice amber body...big pillowy white head...laces with every sip

S - Floral hops and sweet malts

T - The floral hops are there but are knocked down in bitterness by a nice sweet caramel malt...also combined with some citrus flavors

M - Nice carbonation...medium body

D - I love hopped up amber/red ales...this was a great beer...I can't wait to try Hoptimus Prime

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Photo of gdfan47
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a nice dark amber with alot of white head and lacing
S- Hops, malt, citrus, faint cherry, more malt
T- The hops are def the main focus, the malt is a close second,faint bready and yeast tastes
M- good carbonation, was served pretty cold, worked very well
D- while its hard to taste the higher abv, its still there and im sure it would catch up with you pretty quickly, not a great session beer

overall very good, reminded me of "nugget nectar"

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Photo of trbergman
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a shaker pint.

A - Rich copper-tinged ruby with one finger of creamy off-white head. Fine bubbles float sluggishly to the surface. Attractive lacing.

S - Thick, viscous caramel and toffee malts, doughy, dried apricot, zesty citric hops; smells rich and dense.

T - I'm surprised by the label's claim that this beer has 110 IBU. Bitterness is there, but it's more than balanced by a huge malt bill. Sweet caramel and toffee, as well as pleasant breadiness. Notes of pineapple and dried mango. Resiny, citrusy hops appear in the middle and last into the long finish.

M - Full-bodied, viscous, and coating. A bit too heavy for the style, in my opinion.

D - Definitely one I'd have again, but not right now.

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Photo of TrevorGW
3.71/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a large wine glass. Muddy cranberry color with a significant chill haze. Decent off-white head that retains well.

Aroma is sweet with cherries and dates.

Taste is pretty well-balanced. The 110 IBUs (??) apparently help restrain the sweet malts. A wine-like quality is present here. Hints of fresh cherries and vanilla, with grassy hops before settling into a dry finish.

Carefully-crafted and highly drinkable.

An interesting beer to say the least.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle has freshness dating and a picture of a dude getting kisses from two ladies. I'm ready for sexy time!

Pours a beautiful, translucent, grapefruit amber color. Two finger tan head with great retention that leaves rings for most of the glass.

Smells like rainforest flowers and decadent sweet malt.

A beefed up, hearty red ale. Main flavor is sweet malt with some floral hop bitterness in back. Creamy mouthfeel but a bit thin considering the bold flavor. Very good flavor at first but it got old by the time I finished.

Still waiting for the sexy time...

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Hedonism Ale from Legacy Brewing Co.
3.8 out of 5 based on 159 ratings.
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