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AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel AgedAleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

1,564 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,564
Reviews: 292
rAvg: 4.52
pDev: 8.19%
Wants: 1,886
Gots: 445 | FT: 59
Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: beerguy101 on 01-01-2004

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,564 | Reviews: 292
Photo of rab53
4.18/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Lots of bourbon. Thin head with minimal carbonation. Weak on coffee. Thinner body than expected. Biggest detractor is the price tag ($36).

Photo of Davepoolesque
4.27/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 bottle. Huge bourbon smell. Lots of bourbon up front, milk chocolate and vanilla . Medium mouthfeel. Not getting much or any coffee. I like it a lot but expected more I guess.

Photo of guityler83
5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottled 10/30/13

A: Mocha tan head formed and quickly receded into the beer, leaving behind a ring of dense head on the edge and a dusting on top. The beer is nearly opaque black but on further examination there is some brownish hues that shine through with good clarity. longer sustaining legs kick up when swirled.

S: Big, distinct aroma leaps out of the glass at serving temperature. Sweet caramel, maple syrup, bourbon, tobacco, vanilla and raisins that have been burnt to the bottom of the pan. Vanilla oak aroma comes through very natural with more forward sweet bourbon. Cold coffee is restrained, but a sweet milk chocolate and mild roast character come through.

T: Very natural assimilation of beer and barrel - The (not overly) sweet caramel, toffee flavor in the beginning blends seemlessly to a vanilla and coconut oaky flavor that seems so part of the beer I can’t imagine it with out it. The dark chocolate and cocoa flavors that come next provide a mild roasty-ness giving the impression of bitterness (along with the barrel tannins) that - again go very natural with the overall flavor of the beer. The beer finishes out with a tobacco and bourbon sweetness that rests on your tongue minutes after your last sip - making you remember how good the previous one was. The balance is perfectly between the barrel and the dark and caramel malts. The beer is on the sweeter side but in a very pleasant way.

M: Moderate alcohol warming in the chest with a numbing sensation in the cheeks from the bourbon. A full body with medium-low carbonation and a slight creaminess. A sticky sensation rests on the tongue like after having a mouth full of maple syrup.

O: One of those beers you’ll remember long after the bottle is empty. I’m glad to have been lucky enough to have tried this amazing beer. This is a great example of a beer that was designed from the beginning to with the end product in mind. I’ve had many BA stouts where the brewery just through it in a barrel and it just didn’t blend well with the ingredients - this is not that beer. Get this beer if you can. Cheers!

Photo of Damian
4.28/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Drank from a 1pt. 9.4 fl. oz. bottle acquired in a trade with Cynic-ale
Barrel-aged reserve 2014
Served in a snifter

Review #1000

Dark brown/black appearance. Oily and slick but thinner than anticipated. The liquid was topped by a creamy, frothy, one-finger tall, mocha colored head that faded to a thick, bubbly ring. Blocks of drippy lacing trickled down the glass.

Boozy, bourbon-y notes came through strong in the aroma. Pure bourbon. Loads of vanilla and tannins. Oaky and dry but also slightly sweet. Touch of maple. The nose seemed a bit muted initially and contained no coffee whatsoever, but it improved greatly as the beer warmed. Sweet, brown sugar notes came forth, along with more maple, vanilla and oak. Touch of bakers chocolate and dark roast coffee. The vanilla continued to become more intense with time.

Bourbon notes dominated in the flavor profile as well. Vanilla and coconut came through super strong. Dark malts were noticeable. Slightly roasty. There was a subtle brown sugar and maple syrup-like sweetness. Good dose of caramel and toffee. Bakers chocolate was apparent. Perhaps some chocolate brownies as well. Bourbon flavors came through strong again in the dry, oaky and tannic finish. Surprisingly, the alcohol heat was actually quite restrained. Moderately roasty. Like in the nose, the coffee presence was undetectable.

The mouthfeel was lighter bodied for the style. A bit too frothy and bubbly. The carbonation settled down with time, but the body still seemed rather thin.

AleSmith's Speedway Stout was the first beer I reviewed on Beeradvocate, so it was only fitting that review number 1000 would be the bourbon barrel-aged version. Although I was a bit letdown by both offerings, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to enjoy so many great beers with friends and family over the years.

Photo of dar482
4.81/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The beer pours out in a dark brown color, black in the glass with a reasonable head.

The aroma is big of chunky chocolate, umami, heavy roast, slight bourbon sweetness.

The flavor follows with sweet chocolate up front, some umami, and bitterness throughout. Coffee lingers on the palate. The bourbon is quite slight, but offers lots of vanilla. Great carbonation with a creamy flavor and mouthfeel.

An extremely balanced barrel aged brew, but could use a touch more barrel character. Still one of the best BA stouts around.

Photo of Beersnake1
4.91/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from fridge temp to Alesmith snifter. Look is incredible. Good carbonation with about 1cm of tan head. Smell is out of this world. Lots of bourbon, coffee, chocolate, licorice, and vanilla. Taste follows the nose nicely. The coffee is incredible. The licorice seems strong, which is fantastic. Marshmallow, chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, and blackberries. The feel is very creamy - not thin at all. This is absolutely amazing. Overall, one of the best BA stouts I have tried.

Photo of cbutova
4.67/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Thanks Adam. March 2013 bottle. Tampa review dump, full notes to IPad during consumption.

A- Pitch black pour to a snifter with a small brown head. Frothy cap has decent retention but eventually dies completely. Sticky legs but rare lace.

S- Barrels rather prominent atop the big warm base stout. Bourbon whiskey smoothed out with caramel and peppery notes. Coffee muted a bit from that with cocoa in there as well.

T- Lots of Bourbon but it has a very high quality whiskey feel. Pepper, vanilla, semi fresh woody oak, dark figs and charred wood. Coffee and cocoa are big and support the barrel with the dark stuff.

MF- Thick body but a tiny bit thinned from the extra bourbon. Carbonation just below medium with a heat on the back end. A little bit creamy but could be more for the flavors.

Very nice Bourbon barrel meets the classic coffee imperial stout. Amazing flavor from the oak and whiskey. Decadent cocoa, coffee and vanilla oak. Probably the best beer of an insane weekend of tasting.

Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottling

Appearance: A semi-hard pour whips up a frothy mocha head that leaves a nice webby pattern of lace; the remaining liquid is black with just a hint of chocolate brown at the edge

Smell: Chocolate cake and caramel, with subtle hints of Bourbon, vanilla and coffee

Taste: Rich chocolate cake flavor, up front, with caramel and Bourbon tones developing; coffee and vanilla arrive to add complexity to the finish

Mouthfeel: Thick mouthfeel, with low carbonation; some warmth from the ABV

Overall: As I tasted this beer I was thinking it must have a few years on it, as I didn't notice, at first, the year emblazoned on the image of the barrel; I generally like my BA beers to have a year or two of age on them to settle down their aggressive elements and to add complexity; the problem, here, however, is that you surrender the coffee influence when you age the beer; still, a very nice beer but I think I prefer the non-BA coffee variants better

Photo of JGam115
4.69/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Oily syrup in the glass, no foam. Lite maple, heavy vanilla, cassis. Wow. I need pancakes. Fucking fantastic

Photo of kkleu357
4.53/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Dark thick black body. Smells like chocolate fudge. Very thick mouthfeel. Probably the thickest beer I've ever had. Super sweet. Lots of whiskey taste. If you try to find coffee, you can find it over the chocolate and whisky. Really yummy.

Photo of stogirelli
4.47/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2014 version. Didn't get a lot if the bourbon barrel out of this.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.45/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

thanks to drlovemd87 for sharing another treasure from his cellar. this one is special, and is perhaps the most well integrated use of barrel out there right now. the bourbon doesn't overpower the grain or the coffee, and all the elements are there together, its lovely. just a little froth on top of a jet black viscous base, intimidating in the glass. the nose is heavy vanilla, fresh coffee grounds, and warming alcohol. dried fruit, raisin maybe, and oak are there too, as is a rather dry earthen roasty character. the flavor isn't dry at all though, its sweet all the way through with a toffee and honey quality, and again with the vanilla. the bitterness of the dark barley and the coffee are tempered and counteracted by the barrel, which makes good sense. the coffee isn't quite as robust as it is in the regular speedway, but its role seems more important here. it remains the focus of the beer I think, as much as the barrel character creeps into view. layers of flavor and one of the longest finishes in the business. I love the way it feels, with all this body and slickness, despite being a palate coater. great great beer overall, I would love to try some of the other variants they do with it.

Photo of docoman
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

During my San Diego trip mid November this year (craft beer week in SD was incredible) sampled at the Stone Beer Garden liberty station on draft. Great BA stout, pretty much like most BA stouts, but this one didn't disappoint. Would recommend trying if you are fan of BA stouts like myself.

Photo of roger617
4.3/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into snifter.

A: Pours pure black with 1 finger of khaki head that reduces slows and leaves a thin collar throughout the glass. Viscosity seems to be thick, but a little shy of what I was expecting for the ABV.
S: I mainly get coffee, bourbon, and chocolate. Aroma is very pleasant, much improved over the regular Speedway, which was extremely dominant in coffee.
T: As a bourbon fan, this flavor speaks to me quite nicely. The barrel aging has done this beer wonders, as the bourbon flavor is very present and adds a much needed compliment to the strong coffee presence. I also get chocolate and roasted malt.
M: Feel is thick and smooth, carbed well, leaving a slightly dry aftertaste which I attribute to the coffee. Lingering feel is dry with the compliments of coffee and bourbon.
O: This beer is a great barrel aged stout that gets lost in a very popular category. I love how strong the bourbon and chocolate come forward to bring a needed balance to the coffee.

Photo of LisaBarker
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

Wow, this beer is so thick it could paint walls a nice toasty brown color. It is very complex with many flavors going on. I especially like the dark roast coffee flavors I get with the smooth yet potent bourbon flavor that warms you right up. I couldn't drink more than one in one sitting, it is definitely a sipping beer but quite enjoyable.

Photo of LambicPentameter
4.4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opened this bottle as part of a small tasting with friends because there's something about a $40+ bottle of beer that makes it seem anticlimactic to open by yourself. I don't remember seeing if there was a bottling date, but this particular bottle is of the 2014 vintage. Poured into a Belgian-style tulip glass.

Appearance (4.5) - Poured with some vigor, since I know barrel-aged beers have a tendency to lose their ability to generate much head, and I'm rewarded with a finger and a half of dark cocoa colored foam. Several of the smaller bubbles immediately start to expand, giving it a spongy appearance until it dissipates to a film of intermittent foam and ringlet. Some sticky, thin swaths of lace adorn the sides of the glass.

Smell (4.5) - A wonderful collection of aromas, with the roasted malt and bourbon taking the lead, but in a well-blended way that makes them seem like a single aromatic note. I'm a little dismayed at the lack of coffee presence--it's there, but muscled out of the picture by the much more prevalent notes of vanilla, caramel, bourbon and oak. It's honestly hard to distinguish the more bitter roasted malt notes from the coffee notes. That said, I cannot dock it too much, as the smell is still wonderful. Maybe my favorite element of this beer.

Taste (4.25) - As with the smell, the coffee takes a back seat to the barrel characteristics, with sweet booze and really nice notes of caramel and toffee blending with the grain to produce the sensation of kind of a granola bar dipped in bittersweet chocolate and drizzled with a ribbon of caramel. The only negative--and it's hardly one at all--I can say is that I wish it were a bit more overt. It's impressive that AleSmith could make such a big, bold style, with lots of flavors going on, and blend it into a nice, smooth-drinking beer, but I like my BA stouts to be a little more aggressive.

Feel (4.5) - There is a nice full-bodied nature to this, in spite of being (I believe) 100% barrel-aged. The carbonation is moderate to low--just enough to prevent the sweet viscosity of the body from becoming cloying or smothering.

Overall (4.5) - A wonderful beer that I'm glad to have tried, and one that I would recommend to anyone who hasn't had it, price tag be damned. That said, the price is prohibitive for repeat purchases, because if I'm paying that kind of price for a bottle, it needs to be one of the best beers I've ever tasted to warrant a return purchase. And it's a well enough made beer that for some, it could very well be just that. But not for me. As such, I will just tip my cap to AleSmith and say "stout well done".

Photo of gcamparone
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into an Alesmith sample glass. Not sure of the vintage, as the bottled on date is smudged, but I think it's a 2010. Thank you Kevin for this one!

Pours a thick, inkjet, oily body with a 3 finger milk chocolate colored head that reduces fairly quickly to leave a ring of retention.

Smell is inviting and potent - vanilla bean, heavy dark fruit, bourbon, some mustyness (I'm assuming from the age), milk chocolate, some booze in the background.

First thing to hit the tongue is sweet butterscotch, vanilla, sugar cookie, followed by milk chocolate, bitter roasted coffee, with a super charred, roasty malt aftertaste that sticks around for a while. Thick, rich, heavy body with low carbonation.

Very nice, super tasty, rich, complex, and balanced while hitting all the good flavor points of a barrel aged stout. Highly recommendable!

Photo of jzeilinger
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

A - Pours pitch black with a minimal head and leaves a thick, coffee colored lacing ring around
the top of the beer.

A - Bourbon, vanilla, dark toffee roast, oak, and caramel.

T - Perfectly balanced layer upon layer of toffee, caramel roast, vanilla, oak, bourbon, and not
overly boozy or over powering. Light smoky char.

M - Full medium body, silky smooth, lip smacking sticky.

O - An amazingly well balanced barrel aged beer.

Photo of JonnyBeers
4.25/5  rDev -6%

March 2013 bottle. Still pretty darn hot, and I generally don't mind the bourbon heat. The coffee is still super strong, and the best part of the beer for me. I prefer the base Speedway to be honest. This one doesn't stack up to a fresh Bourbon County, and it pails in comparison to a BC Coffee. Too hot, still. It's very good, but considering how easy it is to get the regular Speedway in my area, I doubt I'll make a huge effort to find this one again when the regular is $12 a 750ml.

Photo of hillvt4me
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

Good though for the effort and the money I'll stick with the original.

Photo of brotherloco
3.8/5  rDev -15.9%

Bottled 10/30/13

Photo of KYGunner
4.25/5  rDev -6%

The nose held dark fruit, figs, chocolate, brownie batter, sweet malts and dark cherries. The flavor held true with a bit more brownie batter and strong prune, date and dark fruit. The barrel and bourbon are too subtle. This drinks velvety smooth and coats the mouth well. I'm impressed but found myself asking for more of the barrel.

Photo of draheim
4.65/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL (2014) into a snifter. Pours a deep oily black w/ a 1-finger mocha head that settles to a thin film and collar.

Aroma is huge chocolate, smoky charred oak, coffee, roasted malt, bourbon, vanilla, caramel, and more bourbon.

Taste is likewise chock-full of bourbon, caramel, vanilla, coffee, chocolate, molasses, charred wood, and dark bitter roasted malt. Wowee zowee, this beer is full of flavor. Nice warming heat on the finish, like a good whisky.

Mouthfeel is slick and coating, lingering.

Overall an outstanding barrel-aged imperial stout. I wish I could try all my favorites side by side, but this one is blowing me away. Difficult to imagine how it could be much better.

Photo of bowzer4birdie
5/5  rDev +10.6%

This is a most heavenly heavy beer. Huge coffee and chocolate flavor, bourbon balances it out nicely. Perfection!

Photo of JohnG190
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

2012. Pours pitch black with a lasting mocha head. Lots of coffee, chocolate, and bourbon on the nose. Chocolate and coffee on the front of the tongue with hints of vanilla, bourbon, and oak. Full bodied. Lack of carbonation adds to the creamy mouthfeel. Overall, one of the best coffee stouts I've ever had.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 1,564 ratings.