Decadence 2016 Anniversary Ale by Alesmith

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Rating: 5/5

Decadence 2016 Anniversary Ale by Alesmith is a 9.5% ABV Imperial California Common Ale.

Label:
AleSmith Decadence Anniversary Ale was originally brewed in 2005 to celebrate our first decade in business. Eleven years into this series, we proudly present our latest anniversary ale, an imperial California Common inspired by the historic “steam beers” originating from the northern-coastal expanses of our home state. This high-gravity take on a Golden State classic is fermented using lager yeast kept at temperatures typically utilized in ale-brewing, resulting in a crisp yet substantial ale-lager hybrid packed with wood-like accents reminiscent of NorCal pine trees thanks to the addition of Northern Brewer hops. Savor it now or age and enjoy later, on its own or along with other vintages of Decadence Anniversary Ale.

==Introduction==
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Another year for Alesmith has come. Since the beginning, starting with the Horny Devil Belgian Pale Ale, I have loved their many releases. Even until the day I finally got a chance to visit the brewery itself, I have been a major fan. Alesmith seems to take common beers and take them to another level of delicious. Some being full flavored and high ABV while other brews even more complex. I have yet to have a bad Alesmith brew and now that they have reached their 21st year in business, I hope they keep going and make more great beers. Let’s take a look at this one, cheers!

Aromas:
Dark fruit raisins, blueberry hints, cherries, vanilla, oak, toffee, dulce de leche caramel, banana hints, clove spice sweetened condensed milk, stone fruit peach, mild apricot, pears, toasted barley, rye bread, citrus, old mango, dragon fruit, hazelnut, peanut brittle, brown sugar, fruit cake, waffle cone, Danish cream, toasted bread with blueberry preserves, orange preserves, butterscotch and tangerine notes.

Flavors:
Super rich toffee, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, oak, English figgy pudding, dark fruit raisins, blueberry hints, cherries, trail mix, honey, Danish cream, toasted bread with blueberry preserves, orange preserves, butterscotch, tangerine notes, Stone fruit peach, mild apricot, pears, toasted barley, rye bread, citrus, old mango, dragon fruit, hazelnut, peanut brittle, brown sugar, fruit cake, waffle cone, macadamia nuts, flan notes, pecan pie, banana hints, clove spice sweetened condensed milk and grape notes.

Aftertaste:
Finishes with flavors of caramel, dark fruit, port wine hint, earthy notes, waffle cone, honey, vanilla and fig pudding. No alcohol in the taste, copper and crimson light body, creamy, smooth, crisp and refreshing mouth feel with a moderate to sipping drinkability.

Overall:
A perfect California Common and one that I think is the best. This brew definitely borderlines a barleywine as the richness and alcohol content give it the similar flavors with the difference being this is brewed with a lager yeast. I have not had an imperial California Common but just like the other beers in the Decadence series, each one is unique and very delicious in its own way. If you love barleywines and California commons, I would highly recommend this one.
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Anime Corner:
Inoue Orihime from Bleach was used in this pairing to go with the amber color of the California Common but also the West Coast. This is represented by her being in a bikini in the different pictures and in the water on the beach. The different aspects of what people think when it comes to California.

Sources:
https://anime-pictures.net/pictures/get_image/189471-2800×2006-bleach-studio+pierrot-inoue+orihime-persona92+%28orichie%29-single-highres.jpg
http://www.deviantart.com/art/Inoue-s-day-135597383
http://orichie.deviantart.com/art/Orihime-470623586?q=gallery%3Aorichie%2F50441087&qo=2

Vernal Equinox by Avila Ales

13411836_10103320757492330_6612727150635739859_oRating: 4.25/5

Vernal Equinox by Avila Ales is a 5.51% ABV California Common.

==Introduction==
Originally brewed at the Avila Household, my friend Richard Avila wanted to create 2 beers for his son’s birthday. This one and a Pilsner. After talking it over, we took both of our brewing supplies and double brewed both the recipes that day at his parent’s place where he used to live. I figured, the more equipment, the faster we can get the brew day finished rather than doing one brew at a time. Thanks to my friend Richard, he has given me these homebrews for review.

I bring forth the California Common, a light ale made famous by Anchor Steam. It is not often brewed style but it is definitely a staple in the craft beer world. So let’s take a look at this refreshing beauty and see how it turns out. Cheers!

Aromas:
Honey, rye bread, caramel, toasted bread, mild orange preserve hints, pilsner grains, toasted cereal and cane sugar.

Flavors:
Biscuit bread, rye bread, citrus, piney hop notes, caramel, toffee hints, light cherry notes, brown sugar hints, cane sugar, toasted bread, mild orange preserve hints, butterscotch hints, vanilla hints, pilsner grains, toasted cereal and mild dark fruit hints.

Aftertaste:
Finishes dry with notes or citrusy, piney hop notes and rye bread. No alcohol in the taste, copper colored light body, crisp, clean, refreshing and smooth mouthfeel and easy to drink.

Overall:
A very delicious California Common and reminiscent of the Anchor Steam one, if not better. This one was brewed and fermented very well. There was no homebrew taste and as difficult as these beers are to make due to less complex flavors, my friend Richard made a fantastic brew. Delicious amounts of nice caramel essence that still remains loyal to the non-craft drinker and would appease anyone at a party. I hope my friend makes this recipe again. Awesome beer!

Anime Corner:
Fuu from Samurai Champloo was used in this pairing as I wanted to show some aspects of the Vernal Equinox which is at the point where the longest day of the year is the last time the sun stays up late into the nightly hours. The picture she is in represents a lot of those aspects. As the long days say goodnight.

Sources:
https://i.ytimg.com/vi/PltaZ59OY0U/maxresdefault.jpg