Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Alesmith Brewing Company - Alesmith Decadence 2011 Maple Smoked Barleywine

In my opinion, Alesmith is one of the best breweries out there. I've tried almost their entire lineup of beers and can say that they range from "well above average" (Anvil ESB, My Bloody Valentine) to "absolutely unforgettable" (Speedway Stout and most of its numerous variations, Alesmith IPA). So when I spotted their newest anniversary ale on the shelf at a local store, I had a feeling it was going to be fantastic. Add to my opinions of Alesmith the fact that Decadence 2011 is a Maple Smoked Barleywine and I was definitely all in.

Decadence 2011 pours a deep amber color with a big foamy cream-colored head. The aroma was way more faint than I was expecting, but I was able to coax out some notes of caramel malt and citrus hop resin. Not really what I was expecting out of a maple smoked barleywine. Hmmm...

Decadence 2011 claims to be a blend of a barleywine and a rauchbier (smoked beer), but doesn't really taste like either. I got a lot of malt right away and it never really faded. Somewhere beneath the malt, I was able to pick out some brown sugar, char, and a bit of red currant. While it wasn't a terrible beer, Decadence never really showed the elements that made me so excited about it in the first place. There's a chance that those elements might come out more as the beer ages, but I'm not really interested in paying $15 more to find out. You still have me, Alesmith, but this was undoubtedly not one of your better efforts.

Final Grade: B-

Top 100 Beers Tasted: 37

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