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AleSmith Decadence 2008 - Barrel Aged

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RATINGS: 72   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.73   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 330   ABV: 11%
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This has proved to be a very interesting edition of Barrel Aged Decadence. The 2008 batch, an English-style barleywine aged in bourbon barrels, took on a pleasant sourness. Such quirks of nature can provide intriguing drinking experiences, like the many excellent wild ales being produced today. We think youíll enjoy this delightfully unconventional offering.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
brokensail (11529) - Orange County, California, USA - JUL 1, 2011
A: The beer pours a dark amber/mahogany color with a finger or so of khaki head. S: Not surprisingly for an Alesmith barrel aged beer, the nose is full of bourbon. Lots of vanilla, oak, and maple syrup, too. Thereís a bit of leather and a nice tart cherry note. Plenty of sweet caramel and brown sugar as well. T: The flavor is much the same. Huge bourbon and vanilla flavors to this one with some oak and more bourbon. A touch of chocolate covered cherry and a subtle tartness on the finish. M: Medium in body with a medium carbonation. O: I had my doubts about this beer, but they were put to rest. Really a good beer.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
markwise (4543) - North of Tampa, Florida, USA - JUN 29, 2011
Big thanks to IBrew2or3 for the share. Pours hazy brown-orange with a slight off-white head. Nose is vanilla, caramel, toffee, slight tartness, some cherry, a hint of brandy, and depth. Flavor is similar- lots of malt, followed by cherries, some small tartness, some booze, vanilla, brandy, and just a great time. The tartness is still present in a small amount, but it is not intrusive- it is mildly amused, like a question in the back of your mind that you just canít answer, but it persists and continues to inquire. This is an enigma- one I would like to continue pondering. Very nice, very enjoyable, an almost philosophical beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
DaSilky1 (2606) - San Diego, California, USA - JUN 19, 2011
I was drinking this non-stop from the tap at the release...unfortunately the bottled version is not nearly as good as the tap. The bottled stuff is a hell of a lot more acidic, to the point of being a bit cloying...the bourbon flavors are nice but that tartness is a shit ton stronger in the bottle. Good loads of bourbon in the nose..flavors have tobacco and earthy bourbon, a fair amount of sticky sweetness, but that sharp sour edge that really didnít seem to distract me in the tap version is unfortunately quite distracting here.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
cbkschubert (2900) - BFE, Arizona, USA - JUN 18, 2011
On tap @ Alesmith - Figured Iíd rate the sample I had at the brewery and save the bottle for a tasting. I didnít have high hopes for this since I wasnít wild about the regular version. I was hoping the barrel aging would mask some of the tartness. Nope. Tastes and smells the same with the addition of some oak/bourbon. To be honest, this beer is all over the place. I hope my rating of this beer is a tenth or two higher than the regular version. Hell, the time in barrel is worth a couple tenths. I will have to do a proper rating when I drink the bottle.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Hophead22 (2879) - Redlands, by way of Wisconsin,, California, USA - JUN 18, 2011
Samples at the brewery. Rating #8. Dark muddy brown pour. Fantastic aroma, sweet toffee and rich dried fruits. Flavor wasnít to my liking, tart cherries and a mishmash of colliding flavor that didnít do it for me, still pretty interesting. (1765)

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
daknole (9437) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - JUN 17, 2011
Wow what a beer! The aroma is tart and funky, some stone fruit, vinegar and lactic sourness. The flavor has lots of fruity notes, sourness, caramel. Just delicious.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
nbutler11 (1267) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - JUN 17, 2011
Sampled twice at the AleSmith release beside Vanilla Coconut and Barrel Aged Speedway. The aroma of this blew the other two away. Dark amber pour with a beige head. Smells incredible--brimming with notes of bourbon, juicy red grapes, and caramel. The taste quickly sours, but in an interesting lactic way. Very vinous and slick, as has been mentioned in other reviews. One of the more distinct beers Iíve tried since Flossmoor did Ovation.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
JohnnyJ (4539) - San Diego, California, USA - JUN 17, 2011
Sample at BA Speedway release. Brown slightly reddish, with a thin head. Lots of bourbon barrel character up front - vanilla, dark fruits, oak, bourbon, caramel, and vinous. The barrel really smooths out the front of the beer, but the finish has a strange fruity sourness, slightly lactic, and some dirty sock. Overall quite enjoyable, but it is different.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
JoeTheYounger (1153) - Lake Arrowhead, California, USA - JUN 17, 2011
On draft at the BA Speedway release. At least I got to sample this since I wasnít able to get a bottle. Oh well $25 more in my pocket I guess. Beer was dark brown with woody and bourbon aromas. Taste was much different than the aroma. It had a interesting funk to it with some underlying caramel and brown sugar and cranberry notes. Nothing crazy IMO, however much better than the regular release of this Decadence.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
hamilton23 (612) - Alpine, California, USA - JUN 17, 2011
On tap at the release A: Dark brown with some red highlights around the edges. Creamy beige head with lots of retention. Slow to dissipate. S: Bourbon, slight tartness, vanilla. T: Vanilla, bourbon, a slight tartness...like a nice wine. M: Slick, well carbonated. O: I was convinced that I was not going to like this beer after Peter described the beer in the newsletter. WOW...he completely undersold this beer with that description. It is spectacular. I thought it was actually better than both the BA Speedway and the Coconut Vanilla Speedway that were on tap that day.

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