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AleSmith Decadence 2008

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RATINGS: 212   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.6/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 330   ABV: 11%
Alesmith’s Decadence Anniversary Ale was originally brewed in 2005 to celebrate our first decade in business. The brewers at Alesmith had such a great time concocting Decadence that they decided to make it an annual event. Alesmith 2008 is a traditional English-style Barleywine. Only the finest floor-malted barley and English hops were selected, in addition to a true top-cropping English yeast. Intensely malty and overflowing with flavors of caramel and toffee. Decadence 2008 showcases the very best of this classic English style.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
SudsMcDuff (8084) - .....Manchester United.........., Texas, USA - JAN 23, 2012
750ml bottle .. . Pours a deep molasses brown .. light foam, light lacing .. . light chocolate, toffee, burnt caramel and plums .. . slick .. . pretty good stuff, would have liked to have tried this fresh just to see where it came from .. . .

Oh. Then you must think I’m a monster

Yes, indeed I do think that.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
robinvboyer (4141) - Sturgeon Falls, Ontario, CANADA - JAN 1, 2012
Hazy cloudy brown, small tan head. Aroma is evident of the infected batch. Big, tart sour cherries. The hops are all but gone. As it warms the buttery, rum, bready malts come through a bit, and the the finish punches you in the face with sourness! This really has turned into a a flemish brown wrapped in toffee, and yeasty malts. Too bad. Its not 100% awful, but i dont see finishing the bottle.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
rmussman (1701) - California, USA - DEC 31, 2011
I guess I got lucky and got one of the good ones. Aged for more than two or three years. Really great brew. None of this sourness I had been reading about. The malts were really quality and drank with a big pep to it. The hops were mild but the malts were really spectacular. A great bottle for sharing.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
cakanator (452) - South Hadley, Massachusetts, USA - NOV 23, 2011
25oz bottle. I love the english style, but when I tried this fresh, it needed alot more time. Looks great, a lush dark amber/copper hue, brilliant white head. Aromas are caramel, but alot of hops in the nose, its ripping fresh. Palate is just that, bitter pine up front, turns cloying, then turns way too sweet in the finish. This needs so much more, and with a bottle left I believe a re-review will be needed soon.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 6/20
Glouglouburp (6103) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - NOV 22, 2011
In short: A thick barley wine with undesirable sourness. Infected bottle. A known problem with Decadence 2008
How: Bottle 750ml. Consumed when two years of age (Decadence 2008 was bottled july 2009). Bottle sent to me by… someone.
The look: Cloudy brown body topped by a medium beige head with good retention.
In long: I’ve been sitting on this bottle for a while. I traded for it and then reports started to pop-up about a good part of the bottles being undesirably sour/infected. Finally tonight I decided to see if I got lucky with a good bottle and bad lucky with a fucked up bottle. Unsurprisingly I’m part of the unlucky ones. Rotting sour cherries wrapped in toffee, digestive rum cookies, mint, other stuff, honey combs, strange astringency. The sourness built up sip after sip and became unbearable. Bad bad beer. I used to think that AlesSmith could do no wrong. Oh well…. some days you’re the rockstar, and other days you’re the clerk with a nametag and three pens in your front shirt pocket

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Thorpe429 (5016) - , Illinois, USA - SEP 1, 2011
Freddie at Beverages 4 Less was generous enough to share a bottle of this with my wife and I while we shopped--and believe me, it was the best shopping experience that I had ever had! Consumed in August 2009. A: Pours a reddish copper with nice crimson highlights. A nice puffy head sits atop this one with some nice lacing. S: Lots of malty sweetness with some cherries, dark fruits, toffee, and some brown sugar. T: Plenty of sweet caramel malt, fruits, and lots of malt complexity. This is a great example of an English Barleywine, and I’d love to see how this one ages. M: Medium bodied and an excellent sipper--it’s hard to swallow as each mouth full introduces greater complexities. D: Quite drinkable, but definitely a sipper.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
jethrodium (366) - Berkeley, California, USA - JUL 30, 2011
750 ml bottle shared by colonelforbin. Thanks Mike. Pours a clear, dark amber with a small light tan head that sticks around for a while and leaves a small amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma is quite fruity with plum and some raisin. There is also brown sugar, caramel, and a little bit of cherry. A bit of alcohol as well. The taste is quite sweet with brown sugar and caramel. The raisin is there as well as a bit of cherry. The finish has a slight tartness to it. Low carbonation. Medium to heavy bodied. A little bit syrupy. I found it to be a little too sweet overall.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
pastradul (43) - California, USA - JUL 10, 2011
Thankfully I waited to actually put pen to pad and tick this puppy. I had it three times within the first year of release and just didn’t feel like taking notes each time. This time around the elixir proves to those sharing in its goodness that there’s no infection here. The cap popped off with the bottle at only cellar temperature of about 55F, with a mild puff and the liquid then ran into each glass with only a modest head. Yep, no big volcano at opening, no big foamer into each glass and no sharp acidic aromatics associated with a problem. All is well. The aroma is smooth sweet molasses rolling quickly into caramel covered apricot, prunes and slivers of grapefruit and spicy almost oak like notes. The taste is smooth and near slick with prune infused molasses, caramel covered red apples and then mild tart grapefruit. It finishes fairly dry with muted spicy yeast and muted spicy hops taking this to closure. Wow!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
arminjewell (9260) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - JUN 4, 2011
Pours hazy reddish brown with thin off white head, opened 6/4/11 bottle thanks to baker! Rated this knowing it was supposedly infected, otherwise it would be a really low rating. Aroma has some notes of grape skin and red vinegar, caramel, oxidized papery notes, caramel, some dark fruit, sherry, and some slight earthy notes. Taste is some acetic vinegar, dark fruit, figs, with some sherry notes, touch of oxidized paper notes, and a very dry and fairly bitter finish. The sourness actually works fairly well with the beer, and the alcohol is hidden completely. Tasty brew!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
GT (9982) - Oceanside, California, USA - MAY 31, 2011
750mL. Consumed about two years after bottling. The pour is a hazy black raspberry color with a small tan head rising after much encouragement. Baby lace. Nose is sugar raspberry compote and raspberry preserves. Taste is tart, lots of raspberry and bitter chocolate. Comes across as a grown up version of New Glarus Raspberry Tart. Very interesting. Alesmith thinks the BA Decadence 08 picked up sourness in the barrel. I think it was already an entire soured batch that is now showing that sourness now that it has aged. I would agree with them that this sourness is quite nice and there is no reason to consider this a flopped batch. Very good stuff.

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