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AleSmith Decadence 2008 - Barrel Aged

Serve in Snifter


on tap


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RATINGS: 78   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.74/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 330   ABV: 11%
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 you’ll enjoy this delightfully unconventional offering.

   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 wasn’t to my liking, tart cherries and a mishmash of colliding flavor that didn’t do it for me, still pretty interesting. (1765)

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
daknole (10872) - 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) - Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, ENGLAND - 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 I’ve tried since Flossmoor did Ovation.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
JohnnyJ (5402) - 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 (1182) - Lake Arrowhead, California, USA - JUN 17, 2011
On draft at the BA Speedway release. At least I got to sample this since I wasn’t 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 (619) - 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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
BMan1113VR (7917) - Los Angeles, California, USA - JUN 16, 2011
On tap. Very mixed feelings from this one (and from what I have heard some of my friends loved it and some loathed it). Pours with a hazed brown body and a small tan head that doesn’t last for too long. Aroma is extremely barrel forward (which I really like); bourbon, oak, tart cherry, brown sugar, vanilla, caramel, lightly vinous and lactic. Feels layered, balance and complex with a strong bourbon/oak barrel character as the overarching presence. Flavors are strongly alcoholic/boozy (STRONG), with sour notes, vinegar, esters (dark fruit mostly), bourbon and wood. HARSH overall. Cherries, raisins and dark fruits. As one of my friends says it reminds him of rotten milk. The sourness clashes a bit, and feels very unintentional. And its boozy to boot. Acetic as well. Lively bubbles (tap sample). Medium bodied and harshly boozy and mildly acetic. Love the barrel, but it is confused. Going to re-rate this from bottle soon (with other Ratebeerians).

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Snojerk321 (2960) - San Diego, California, USA - JUN 16, 2011
Sample @ AleSmith during the release of BA Speedway and 2008 BA Decadence. Pours a mostly clear deep caramel brown with a faint reddish hue, small off white head. Brew takes on more characteristics of wine barrels than bourbon. Some oak tannins with faint bourbon notes and light caramel sweetness, also, a pleasant little tartness in both the nose and on the palate.

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