AleSmith Decadence 2005 - Barrel Aged

 
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RATINGS: 231   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.05/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 330   ABV: 11%
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lucklys' rating

4.4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
lucklys (62) - Chandler, Arizona, USA - APR 4, 2011
Major thanks to Dak, he’s still officially (and probably will be forever) my favorite beer person. In the world. (111/124) * * * I have to be frank here and say that my review is going to be sub-par for multiple reasons, specifically that I was really more interested in basking in the moment as well as the fact that I was at least 10 tastes in at this point, so please, forgive me for my terrible notes. * * * Poured into my designated tasting glass from Cigar City Brewing, it appeared a rich dark chestnut brown with ruby/copper highlights and was very murky and speckled with sediment. I can’t say much about the head, as I didn’t pour it myself, and it was probably a good 2 or 3 minutes before I was able to really delve into it and take pictures, so judging solely from the photographs and what I’ve read about most extensively aged (as well as barrel aged) beers, I’m willing to deduce that what I saw when I was snapping shots is pretty much all there was. A few large bubbles submerged under smaller bubbles in a medium pearly, wheat-colored ring of foam hugged the glass while floating heavily on top of the liquid. As I drank the beer, there was no lacing left behind and no visible carbonation throughout. * * * Now that we’re done with the easy visual part, I can’t guarantee my opinions and findings with this beer, but I will try my damnedest to decipher my scribbled notes. As I stuck my nose in the glass, I initially came out with lots of vanilla, milk chocolate, and caramel, which made it seem very sweet. As I returned to the brew, thick oaky notes and pieces of syrupy brown sugar toffee floating in bourbon presented themselves alongside some deep, rich malts and slightly fainter dark fruits, namely raisins and figs, which I actually didn’t find until after I had started tasting. Despite all of the very sweet components, the larger presence of the bourbon and oak really smoothed everything out without making it too mild or too heavy. * * * How am I doing so far? Not too shabby for a beer I had 3 days ago in the middle of a busy and delicious tasting, if I do say so myself. Now for the flavors. From what I remember without looking at my notes, and while reading through what I found in the nose, I think that the taste and the aroma were pretty similar and complimented each other in their similarities. According to my notes, the whole drink was ridiculously smooth and dominated by the bourbon and oak flavors. I found some faint dark fruit molasses (raisin and fig again, maybe some dates), quite a bit of vanilla and caramel, sweet dark malts, chocolate, toffee, and a very light doughy yeast that seemed a little out of place. I may have imagined the yeast altogether, but with all of the "specialty yeast strains" they used in this brew, I guess it shouldn’t surprise me that some of it may have survived. Regardless, it wasn’t a feature that would ever characterize this beer for me, so I’ll just focus on the sweet, sweet dark and malty and bourbony love that poured from this bottle. I did enjoy that there wasn’t a sweet aftertaste and that the mouthfeel was creamy without being thick or syrupy. The carbonation was lightly spicy, due in large part to the alcohol (11%) I’m sure, but over the course of my tasting, it actually felt rather soft, though far from flat. Overall, trying to tell that this Decadence was 11% alcohol was impossible. It was just too smooth in execution and too velvety in flavor, which made for one hell of an experience. I only wish that words could do it justice. This was definitely one of my favorite beers from the tasting and I am counting myself extremely lucky to have had this opportunity.


4
koleminer20 (3591) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - JAN 20, 2017
From notes. Enjoyed at a bottle share at Sean’s on December 29. 750 mL bottle. 2010 vintage. The pour is a nice dark copper color with a light caramel tan colored head that falls down quickly without any lace. The aroma is definitely oxidized up front, but it’s great once you get behind it. There is a gorgeous dark fruit and caramel malt complexity. Light barrel, a hint of vanilla, and a sweet breadiness from the malt. This is past its prime, but damn. The flavor is much of the same. The dark fruits and caramel malts balance excellently. The breadiness and the barrel really add in a nice vanilla and a depth that I like. The mouth feel is a touch light with a lower level of carbonation than it needs. The aftertaste is lingeringly sweet and malty with a light bourbon and fruitiness. It’s a damn good beer still.

3.8
kermis (13210) - The Hague / Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS - SEP 27, 2016
Bottle shared at A Day To Sink All Sea Shepards tasting. Hazy brown with a ring tan head. Aroma of malt, butterscotch, booze, oak barrel, toffee, caramel and light overripe dark fruit. Flavour is above moderate sweet and light moderate bitter. Light full bodied with soft carbonation. [17-09-2016]

3.4
rouhlas (3613) - GREECE - SEP 24, 2016
750 ml bottle shared at the original Chez Moeder Lambic’s cellar. Thanks Alex! Light hazy brown color with off white head. Malty aroma, caramel, bread, dark dried fruits, raisins, plums, light wood, vinous. Moderate to heavy sweet and light bitter taste like aroma. Medium oily body with soft carbonation

3.8
kraddel (8074) - Antwerp, BELGIUM - SEP 17, 2016
@ A day to sink all seasheppards. Thnx for sharing, everyone !! Pours clear amber, no real head. Smell is very oxidized. Taste is full, sweet, bit oxidized. Very mild oak. Some bourbon. Old, but still OK

3.9
Huhzubendah (3705) - Washington DC, USA - JAN 16, 2016
Brad, you totally rock. Bottle 41 / 124. Dark copper body with a thin tan collar. Sweet, fruity malts, oak, bread, light spice. Sweet and vinous. Caramel candies with some sugary breads. A touch of cinnamon. Low carbonation and smooth on the palate. This has held up surprisingly well, considering this bottle is over a decade old. Fun!

4.2
Dr_Fellini (1020) - Norfolk, Virginia, USA - AUG 11, 2015
2010 version. Bottle to glass. Pours a murky nut brown character with a very thin tan head. Has a huge nutty, malty, vanilla character. Absolutely wonderful!

4.1
Sarlacc83 (2287) - Portland, Oregon, USA - MAY 23, 2015
Bottle from trade long ago. Thanks! A: Mahogany bordering on black with a cappuccino head. Lacing. N: Bourbon, vanilla, caramel, coconut, toffee, prune, raisin, brown sugar, oak, touch of marshmallow, fig, black licorice. Lots of whiskey and dark fruit. T: Quite sweet, not bitter but not cloying. M: Heavy slick body, alcohol is dangerously well hidden, foamy carbonation. O: An intense, and intensely good BBA Old Ale.

3.9
CanIHave4Beers (4184) - Pouring Bus, Iowa, USA - MAR 28, 2015
This one was the 2010 release at the RBSG 2014 grand tasting and I’ll just assume that Brokensail brought it, ffs
Pours a dark red with a very small head.

The aroma is pleasantly sweet with some brandy, some vanilla, some coconut and loads of rich crystal malt goodness.

The flavor is boozy and rich with lots of caramel and sweetness. The beer has a nice bit of vanilla and a fairly well defined but not overwhelming bourbon character. Flavors of toffee, cherry, and mild roast work very nicely here as does the warming alcohol presence.

4.3
oRos (1675) - sacramento, California, USA - MAR 3, 2015
2010 eddition bottle. pours bron/black with not much head. taste is roasted malts with a nice raisin carmelised taste. aged nicly

4.4
marcus (10221) - Sacramento, California, USA - MAR 1, 2015
2010 bottle. Pours dark brown with a reddish tinge. There is a thin beige head and a massive treacle and bourbon aroma. The flavor is dark molasses sweetened further with bourbon. Aging has softened the edges making the mouthfeel very mellow.


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