AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged - AleSmith Brewing Company
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Ratings: 1,245 | Reviews: 270 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Jeffo:
3.5/5 rDev -22.6%
One of the beers I've always wanted to try. Happy they re-released this one in 2011, and was thrilled to come into a couple bottles. A big thanks to johndoe8 for the trade, and a mamoth thanks to Irishgurl4 for including this bottle in my box. Cheers kids!
From a 750ml into a snifter
Note: Drunk after a 2 year old bottle of the base beer. Comparisons drawn.
APPEARANCE: Pours out thick black and produces a three finger, thick mocha colored head with great retention. Head cascades up from the netherworld. Jet black body with no carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a good film and clings to the sides of the glass. A swirling wisp and a ring remain until the end leaving lots some dots of lacing down the glass. A beauty of a stout and much like the base beer, though the lacing is not quite as perfect.
SMELL: Nice, balanced nose. Roasted malts, molasses, with both dark and milk chocolate there. Touches of coffee as well, though quite muted now, and even more so than the aged base beer. Barrel is there, with some bourbon, oak and vanilla, but it is quite restrained. Very balanced, but somewhat mute for the style.
TASTE: A little underwhelming up front, with some roasted malts and touches of coffee still. Sweet molasses through the middle with some milk chocolate as well, moving into a bourbon barrel finish. Bourbon, oak and vanilla for sure come out nicely after the swallow, with a touch of booze as well. Bigger and lingering aftertaste of barrel, sweet molasses and some bitter chocolate. Well balanced again, but a little muted up front and much of the coffee flavor of the base beer has disappeared. Even less coffee notes than in the aged base beer. The barrel helps after the swallow, however.
PALATE: Medium body and higher levels of carbonation for the style. Light on the palate, unfortunately, though still creamy and oily, goes down fine and finishes rather mouth-coating. Some heat lingers. The barrel has thinned and lightened up the feel somewhat.
OVERALL: This is a good beer, but nothing more than that. Unfortunately the barrel aging has muted the coffee flavors and lightened up the feel, making this more of generic barrel aged stout as opposed to a BA Speedway. Furthermore, the barrel flavors aren’t even that impressive in themselves, so it’s not even an exciting generic barrel aged stout. The regular Speedway is a fantastic brew, but the time in the barrel has muted all that made it special. A shame really. If you love Speedway, just stick to the base beer, but if you love bourbon barrel stouts, pick something that showcases the barrel flavors better. Anyways, while this was a bit of a letdown, I was thrilled with the chance to try it out. Thanks again for the trades johbdoe8 and Irishgurl4.
10-12-2011 12:23:04 | More by Jeffo
More User Reviews:
4.33/5 rDev -4.2%
Enjoyed at a tasting, alongside the regular Speedway and the Kopi Luwak variant. This one pours with a similar body to the regular Speedway - silky, black, and only showing some dark brown highlights at its very extremities. The tan head on this one was a bit darker than that of the original Speedway, but it dissipates much quicker also, leaving basically no lacing along the glass as it sinks down.
The aroma is as powerful as they come; it hits quickly with huge barrel qualities - soft oak and vanilla melding with a bourbon character that is slightly grainy and raw, but not quite enough to be abrasive. Some nice dark fudge rounds out the rough edges, alongside just a hint of coffee. Despite the unique coffee aroma being so strong and "out front" in the original Speedway, it's actually one of the most tame aromas in the barrel-aged version. Weird. Just from the nose, you can tell this one is gonna be a doozy. Robust bourbon, oak, and fudge stings and warms my nostrils one last time before I dive in and take my first sip...
The first thing I notice is that the body on this one is much creamier than the original Speedway - chalk that up to the barrel aging, of course. A nice mixture of bourbon and vanilla are the first things to attack the palate, with a slight bias in the bourbon direction. Again, the bourbon characteristic is more grainy and "pure" than in many other BA beers - very powerful. A strong oak presence backs the beer from nearly start to finish, with some light coconut flavors coming in at the tail end.
There is a reasonable heat to this one, feels maybe even a bit hotter than 12% ABV, not too sure how I feel about that yet. The fudge flavors are a bit more suppressed than I anticipated, but they come out much more during the latter half of the beer, along with some very light dark fruity and anise-like sweetness, helping to cut through the bourbon heat and the bitterness from the roasted malts. The strongest flavor in the finish is the grainy bourbon and a mild fudge sweetness. Low carbonation, smooth, chewy, creamy body.
Overall, the coffee was very unnoticeable on the palate, something that I loved so much about the original Speedway. The bourbon barrel flavors were huge, but perhaps a little "too huge" for my liking, as they seemed to overshadow some of Speedways excellent qualities. Still a very delicious beer, but I'd have to take the original over this one, without question.
02-25-2013 13:19:19 | More by tectactoe
4.5/5 rDev -0.4%
A - Pours black with a thin brown head that leaves a bit of lacing around glass.
S - Very fresh coffee. It is spot on goodness. Warming bourbon with nice oak and vanilla. Rich, creamy chocolate. Very little roast. Amazing.
T - Very nice balanced stout. There was chocolate, bourbon, coffee, sugar, vanilla, and caramel. But none of the flavors were overpowered they were very nicely balanced between each other.
M - Full bodied with a thick, heavy mouthfeel and low carbonation.
O - Very good beer that I am glad I had the opportunity to try considering how rare it is now. The regular speedway is one of my favorite beers and this took it up a notch. Hope to have it again someday.
05-22-2012 21:03:52 | More by SkiBum22
4.85/5 rDev +7.3%
Pitch black with not too much head. A good swirl got nothing. The aroma is full of coffe, vanilla, oak, dark fruit, and so much more I just couldn't wrap my head around. Same with the flavor. Everything mentioned in the nose was present in the flavor. All very well blended. There was some concern at the table that the coffee would not make its way through. It was there and stood tall. The palate was a touch on the thin side, yet very fullfilling.
01-11-2009 18:10:49 | More by tjthresh
4.78/5 rDev +5.8%
Pours a dark black color with a mocha colored head. Head diminishes to only a ring around the glass. Smell of coffee and soft bourbon, maybe some hints of chocolate and oak. The bourbon is nicely balanced in there, it's not overpowering as so many other barrel aged stouts have been. Taste is simply exceptional. Roastiness adds a nice touch to the dark chocolate and bourbon. Hints of vanilla and oak, but I am once again impressed on how well the bourbon is integrated. It's like a soft, smooth, high quality bourbon barrel was used; it's not harsh at all. A little less than full bodied, with a soft amount of carbonation. A pure joy to drink, I am forever greatful for being given the opportunity to try this.
05-03-2007 04:19:10 | More by badbeer
4.38/5 rDev -3.1%
Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this gem.
2007 vintage. Bottle number 205 of 447. This was sampled side-by-side with a regular Speedway Stout. The beer pours dark brown to black with a brown head. The aroma is bourbon, oak, vanilla, roasted malt, chocolate and alcohol. The flavor is awesome. I get bourbon, oak, semi-sweet chocolate, brown sugar and vanilla. The oak and tannic notes are very tart or bitter, giving the beer an almost sour quality. The coffee has completely faded. Medium-thick mouthfeel and low-medium carbonation. Not sure which I liked the best out of this and the non barrel-aged version because they are both awesome. Very happy I got to try this.
05-19-2010 02:10:23 | More by Mora2000
4.74/5 rDev +4.9%
2009 bottle served in my trusty Lawson's snifter.
A: Pours thick and completely black with a very nice big tan head.
S: Smells like chocolate and bourbon.
T: Again, tastes like chocolate and bourbon. Can also taste some of the barrel characteristics (oak). Coffee seems to have faded because it's barely there.
M: Nice carbonation. Thick and velvety smooth.
O: This is up there with Parabola as one of my favorite stouts, great job Alesmith! Definitely try this if you get the chance.
12-01-2012 03:29:19 | More by standardcherry
AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 1,245 ratings.