AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged - AleSmith Brewing Company

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AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel AgedAleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

1,614 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,614
Reviews: 297
rAvg: 4.52
pDev: 8.19%
Wants: 1,936
Gots: 443 | FT: 55
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: 1,614 | Reviews: 297
Photo of jeff1973
4.6/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Piggly Wiggly tulip. 2013 vintage.

A - Pitch black (as it should be). Light mocha head leaves nice lacing.

S - Big coconut and vanilla, dark dried cherry, chocolate. A little booze

T - Follows nose. Big coconut and vanilla, but the dried cherry and blueberry comes thru nicely. As well as a dark chocolate note, especially on the finish. Not overly sweet, actually finishes pretty dry. Booze definitely present, but not overwhelming. Don't get really any coffee.

M - Big and chewy. Low carbonation, which fits this style. Really nice.

O - Big fan. My favorite of the Speedway variations that I have had so far. Had this on cask at Churchill's before, and the bottled version is everything I remember. Fantastic!

Photo of juhl31
4.6/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

thanks to city beer's alesmith tasting.

-black, small brown head that sticks around for a good enough time

-chocolate and coffee with a subtle hint of the bourbon

-very good, much better than the regular out of the bottle. the coffee taste comes through a lot more and the bourbon is perfect in quantity. glad i got back for a 2nd pour as well

-nice and thick and sits well on the tongue

-very good, both the barrel and regular were much better on tap as opposed to the bottle. much more balanced, not as sweet

Photo of glid02
4.59/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler shared by Grant - thanks!

Pours black with a half-finger brown head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of robust roasted malts with large amounts of dark chocolate and vanilla. Also present are solid amounts of butterscotch (it seems to be a trend with AleSmith BA beers) and hints of molasses. Finally, coffee aromas linger in the background.

Tastes very good. Roasted malt flavors kick things off and are joined by mildly sweet molasses and butterscotch shortly thereafter. Dark chocolate flavors work their way into things midway through the sip. Near the end of the sip mild amounts of vanilla flavors make an appearance before fading into a mildly bitter ending. There's also a bit of alcohol burn that lingers but is nowhere near overpowering.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a very smooth thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is also very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I thought this was a phenomenal beer however I'm not sure if I don't prefer the normal Speedway. I think the type of barrel AleSmith uses is more geared toward a stout that's not quite as big as Speedway, maybe one with bourbon that was on the boozier side would work better. Anyways, I'm grasping at straws here, give this one a shot.

Photo of mistakebythelake
4.59/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared by Brad at the Fookin barrel aged stout tasting. 2006 bottle into a snifter.

Pour revealed a fudge like dark brown color. No head whatsoever with some bubbles on one half of the glass. The best part of this beer I felt was the nose. I enjoy coffee stouts and coffee in general, so naturally I picked up a lot of coffee flavors off the bat. Followed by some vanilla, oak and slight bourbon characteristics. I got vanilla and a slight tart coffee and bourbon taste that was blended well. Also tasted some chocolate in there. A very creamy stout that was very easy to drink sip after sip. Enjoyed this one and was a standout at the tasting.

Photo of 0110x011
4.59/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2007 Vintage, Bottle 300/447. Poured into a New Belgium snifter.

Pours blacker than the soul of Dick Cheney, with a thin wisp of a head that disappears as fast as it arrives. Huge coffee & bourbon on the nose, followed by oak, vanilla, and dark fruits. Coffee is the overwhelming flavor on the palate, followed closely by bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, oak, dark fruit, leather, and smoke. Full bodied for sure, but not as huge and viscous as other Imperial Stouts of this magnitude. Saying it's thin is a bit of a stretch, but it's not as coating as you'd expect. Definite alcohol bite combined with the thickness dampens drinkability. It took four people to polish the bottle off.

A fantastic beer, no doubt. Whether it's worth the time & money to acquire, the jury's still out.

Photo of Furlinator
4.59/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

700th Beer Advocate review.

Bottled on 10/30/13.

Pours opaque black with a 1/4 inch brown head that quickly disappears completely, leaving almost no lace.

The smell is of dark chocolate, pipe tobacco, black cherry, vanilla, prunes and a hint of sweet bourbon.

The taste is of dark chocolate, various dark fruits, oak and subtle sweet bourbon on the finish.

The texture is heavy bodied, thick and viscous with low carbonation.

They took a world-class imperial stout and aged it in bourbon barrels with impressive results.

Photo of drowland
4.58/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sample straight from a growler courtesy Dakine at RBWG 2010... wow, thanks!!!! Wow. Really good stuff, amazing balance. They’re not bowling you over with barrel aging, but it’s there and it’s perfect. This is really good. Black pour with a very small khaki head. Aroma and taste show pleasant BA characteristics - vanilla, coconut, as well as the deliciousness that is Speedway underneath.

Photo of notchucknorris
4.58/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap at the Release

A: Black as motor oil with a reddish mocha colored head that stays at about one finger. Good retention.

S: Pretty big aromas of freshly ground coffee, dark chocolate, raisin and bourbon.

T: Dark chocolate, cocoa powder, coffee, fudge, hints of dark fruit (plum and black currant) with a slightly acidic finish. Lush and velvety mouthfeel with a pleasant warming sensation on the finish and a little bit of a peat flavor and dryness from the bourbon. The bourbon was surprisingly restrained, which surprised me. The balance was really well done. I definitely feel lucky to have gotten to try this one.

Photo of phisigben
4.58/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this at the Indiana Microbrewers festival, a huge thanks to Sprinkle and the Crown Liquor guys

Appearance - Pure black with a half inch dark mocha head.

Smell - A nice chocolate smell, then some bourbon and vanilla. All of these were very muted compared to other barrel aged stouts the smell was a let down compared to the hype.

Taste - The taste really picked uped compared to smell. It was a very 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.

Mouthfeel - The mouth-feel was nice, but a little thin. The carbonation was medium, and just a little alcohol heat.

Overall - I would love to try this again but not for what it has been trading for in the ISO/FT forum.

Photo of nataku00
4.57/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On tap (2009 release) poured into a small snifter. Pitch black beer that looked viscous when poured. A finger of chocolate colored creamy head stuck around for a bit, leaving just a trace of lacing but a lot of alcohol feet.

Nose is a nice mix of dark chocolate, rich roasted coffee, wood, caramelized sugar, and roasted malt.

Coffee, dark chocolate dominate the tongue initially, then as it warms, the booze and the wood shows up mid tongue. Nice lingering roasted coffee, malt and wood aftertaste.

Full bodied and creamy in the mouth, combined with the alcohol warmth made my taste buds really happy. Some light carbonation still remain after all the barrel aging, helps to move the flavor along as you take a sip.

Very big beer demands small slow sips. A very enjoyable stout to sit down with for an evening.

Photo of Xul
4.57/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours an inky, opaque black topped by the slimmest of mocha colored heads. A ring remains along with some scant lacing on top, but that's it.

S: Oaky up front, along with some distinct hints of bourbon. Some coffee remains, although it's definitely faded compared to normal Speedway. Dark fruits lurk in the background, some figs and black cherries. A bit of burnt sugar and caramel, but very, very light.

T: Oak more subtle than on the nose with a bit more vanilla and bourbon. Dark fruits come in at the middle w/ chocolate and burnt coffee. Finishes with semi-sweet chocolate, vanilla, and hints of coffee.

M: Moderate to slightly above moderate bodied...velvety, creamy, and smooth all come to mind. Carbonation is low but enough to support a beer of this weight.

D: Flavors are well integrated and the barrel aging wasn't overdone...obviously it's not exactly quaffable, but I'm having no trouble working my way through a growler with a friend.

Photo of bmanning
4.57/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Grant for providing this at a tasting last year, and thanks Thorpe429 for this 2007 bottle we sampled at a tasting recently.
A: Pitch black with quickly receding tan head that provides good lacing.

S: Heavy on the bourbon and oak with dark chocolate, vanilla, cherry cola, and strong espresso. Very decadent and can't wait to dig in.

T: Surprisingly, the dark fruit is the most dominant flavor, with lots of cherry and plum. The coffee is still present, and bourbon, vanilla, oak, and chocolate is there in full force too. The coffee has provided a nice bitterness that balances out the sweet caramel and toffee flavors.

M: Definitely on the thin side for a barrel aged stout, with very little carbonation and an oaky dry finish.

D: Although definitely a sipping beer, it is so decadent and complex and goes down so smooth.

Overall this is a fantastic bourbon barrel stout and the coffee, chocolate, and cherry flavors make it one of the best.

Photo of BeerTruth
4.57/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from Joey in a recent trade, thanks a bunch man!

750 ml gold foil topped bottle poured into a snifter. Bottle #175/235 - 2006.

Pours a complete midnight black with a quick half finger dark brown head that fades to just about nothing. Swirling the glass leaves a few specks of lacing on the sides of the glass. Smell is coffee, booze, molasses, rich caramel, dark chocolates, vanilla, and wet oak. Lots of dark fruits in the nose as well; dates, fig, raisins, plums, and prunes. Extremely complex aroma, but I pretty much expected that. Taste, heavenly...Rich coffee flavors up front with sweet caramel and bourbon. Toffee, vanilla, and brown sugars midway with a good amount of oak. Aftertaste is roasted malts with bitter chocolate and more bourbon. The mouthfeel was a bit harsh which surprised me. I was expecting this one to be silky smooth, but there was a distinct sting to it that took away from the overall experience. Medium to full body with a mild carbonation. Wonderful complex flavors with nothing over the top that just gets better with some warmth. Thanks again Joey for the opportunity to try a beer I probably won't be able to obtain again anytime soon.

Photo of andrewinski1
4.57/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Tro for making this happen! The bottle says 2009 on it (most recent release). Poured into a tulip. There is a large tan head atop an oily black body. There is a moderate amount of sticky lacing.

The aroma is very enjoyable. The coffee is well integrated to create a slightly sweet mocha aroma. The vanilla and bourbon flavors are heavy as well. This is pretty complex and really inviting.

The taste is mildly sweet, offset by the bitter malt and coffee followed by a slight warmth of alcohol. The coffee isn't as strong as it is in the nose. There is a nice chocolatey malt flavor to this. At any given sip I can hone in on an individual flavor and enjoy something different each time.

The mouthfeel is full and creamy. This is like liquid chocolate cake.

This met my expectations. I would happily have this as often as possible.

Photo of rlee1390
4.56/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A-Black, two finger brown head with some lacing.

S-Bourbon, chocolate, roasted malt, coffee and a tad vanilla.

T-Bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, roasted malt, coffee and ends with some bitterness. Great balance.

M-Think and creamy with some carbonation.

O-One of the best non BCBS stouts I've had. Would love to compare this with Parabola. Easily blows the regular Speedway out of the water.

Photo of Axnjxn
4.56/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

750ml bottle into a fw snifter. 3/26/2013 bottling date.

pours a dark opaque black with a good head. smell has coffee and. bourbon and coffee..but not huge. taste though is amazing... chocolate, coffee..slight bourbon..huge mouthfeel...thick and lovely but so smooth. just wow.

overall a real treat to drink. god Damn is this good.

Photo of Halcyondays
4.56/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

25.4 oz. bottle, 2006 Vintage, #108/235,

A: Pours black with a very minimal head, some lacing.

S: Great smell, full of roasted coffee, baker's chocolate, and bourbon/vanilla.

T: Sweet coffee comes out first, mocha, then a burnt of bitter dark chocolate comes out. The aging certainly smooth things out, some of the harshness that the original can have at times was non-existent. Light vanilla comes out as well, with some light acidity to end the beer.

M: Very smooth, very light carbonation, oily, medium-bodied.

D: An interesting beer to compare to the original, both are tasty as hell and very enjoyable. All and all, the BA Speedway that I had was very interesting, but definitely a different animal than the original. If you get a chance to pick this beer up, it's worth it.

Photo of WillCarrera
4.55/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

750ml bottle, 2012 vintage gold print with black foil, poured into a snifter.

A- Pours pitch black with a thin khaki head that recedes to a collar, leaves spotty lacing.

S- Lots of chocolate, vanilla, bourbon and oak. There's also some dark fruit, cherry and molasses.

T- Starts out pretty sweet with lots of bourbon, vanilla, dark fruit, cherry and molasses. There are also some nice big chocolate flavors and a lot of barrel character, with oak, sweet bourbon and vanilla. The finish is delicious and long, with lingering flavors of vanilla, bourbon, oak, chocolate and fruit. Less coffee than I was expecting but that's fine, the barrel character and chocolate flavors are more than tasty enough to make up for it.

M- Full-bodied, smooth, creamy, rich and slightly sticky feel.

O- A really, really delicious stout. It's incredibly rich, decadent and complex, I've been sipping at this for hours and keep finding new flavors. The regular Speedway is a delicious beer and one of the best 750ml stouts for its price, but the BA variant is definitely my favorite.

Photo of tarheels86
4.55/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750mL 2009 ed. Ink black pour with a wildly active reddish tan head. Big lace for a BA beer. Nose up front is salty, briny, green olive, sharp gherkins. Volatile notes move to wildly awesome toasted coconut, milk chocolate, toasted coconut. Incredible umami savoriness in the nose. Taste is ultra soft, muted chocolate, lactic fattiness, and zero acidic coffee and lemon character which I despise in the normal Speedway Stout. This right here is a masterpiece. Muted barrel character, no heat, no booze. Just imperial stout perfection right here. Perfect palate: melted chocolate, chocolate pound cake, fatty yogurt, mild bourbon spice, buttery ganache. Holy #@!!. An incredible experience. For one of the most stingy raters I can safely say this is totally worthy of its ranking and should be considered a god amongst men. Praise the lord for this beer.

Photo of DefenCorps
4.55/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

There's nothing quite like waking up to a phone call where the person goes "Hey, I was just at Alesmith and they had growlers of BA Speedway and I figured you'd want one". Thank you, Shane. I split this with a few friends on Sunday, but given that the past couple of days have cemented that I will actually be graduating this summer, I feel like I've earned a healthy 16oz pour as a nightcap.

Jet black with a dense dark brown head with great retention and lacing, this beer looks great. The nose is intense. I get a big chocolate character with licorice, a surprising amount of coffee and of course, the big barrel character with bourbon, vanilla and some coconut. The second pour a couple of days later has picked up some great oxidation as well, lending a light fruitiness to the beer. The palate opens with a big, wet barrel character with a big hit of bourbon and vanilla, warming and quite intense coupled with some oak. Chocolate, chocolate wafer, a delicate creaminess, and some licorice are all noticeable. Like the BA Decadence (Imperial Porter), this does exhibit a character that Alesmith has found to coax out of their barrel aged beers, a decadent chocolate milk character. The balance of flavors is exquisite. Full in body, this beer is particularly smooth with a soft, lush carbonation and a ridiculous finish with a blend of dark chocolate, bourbon, vanilla and a slight oak tannin character, as well as a little bitterness. Quite an exceptional beer.

Letting the beer sit in the growler for a few days brings out more fruity oxidation in this beer, really reminding me in some ways of the 03 BA Speedway, but it doesn't match up in the richness or breathtaking beauty that that beer is. All told, though, this is an exceptional beer, one that I feel lucky to have had a chance to try.

Photo of sholland119
4.55/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Neighborhood, 11/9/11.

A-Pours a dark, opaque brown with a very sparse brown head.

S-Mocha, marshmallow, roast, some booziness.

T-Great complexity. Chocolate, bourbon, marshmallow, raisins, sweet malt, even a hint of honey. Heat nicely subdued.

M-Medium to heavy bodied, booze is well hidden.

O-Delicious. A highlight of SDBW for sure.

HV

Photo of JAXSON
4.55/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle, thanks James. Pours a viscous black "nighter than night" with a mocha head. Nose is more coffee forward than I expected, still a very pleasant montage of fresh coffee beans, baker's chocolate, pleasantly sweet vanilla. Barrel is subdued but woven in nicely. Really good contrast between bitter elements (coffee beans, baker's chocolate), sweet elements (vanilla, coconut), and a pleasant complexity from the barrel. Luscious and thick in the mouth. Flavors open with very dark chocolate, vanilla, coffee beans parading high in the profile, segueing into that rich bourbon barrel, coconut, and a really nice creamy, hot finish. Mouthfeel is perfectly thick and creamy, foamed latte and crushed velvet. Beautiful beer!

Photo of seaoflament
4.55/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A friend opened up his 2006 BA Speedway with me tonight...good guy ;o) Unfortunately the number got scratched off but this was from the July 2008 release, silk screen label.

The beer poured an attractive somber hue with a good inch or so of foam that retained for a few moments and settled to a ring.

Aroma of dark fruits, chocolate, and coffee upfront, but not as strong a coffee aroma as the regular version. Black currants are there too with a little smoke and oak wood. Brown sugar and maple open up near the last few sips. A lot more vanilla and toast as it warms up. I would have given a lower score for the aroma but it really opens up as it warms to room temp, the last few drops in my glass are heavenly.

The coffee is actually more present in the taste than the aroma. The first few sips tasted of milk chocolate, vanilla, and oak. Some alcohol in the finish and the beer starts to develop more as it warms up. Wow this is like a chocolate milkshake! My friend thinks he smells some whiskey a lot of barrel. A bit of black cherries develops later on. Brown sugar and maple in the taste near the end as well.

Mouthfeel is as creamy and delicate as it gets.

I could have drank this whole 750ml bottle by myself, even if it knocked me on my ass, I would have enjoyed it and said "thank you, can I have another?"

I traded all by BA Speedways, I hope the beers I got are as good as this one was, and that will be hard to match.

**update 10/10**

Thanks to my friend Rene for popping his only bottle 03 BA Speedway tonight. #70/196

Pours jet black with the most minimal amount of bubbles, after a few seconds it looks pretty much flat. (3.5)

Not very intense on the nose but the most strong barrel presence in BA Speedway I have had so far...smell of wood, oak, vanilla, chocolate, nuts, and booze. Pretty close to a chocolate flavored liquor. The aroma does intensify as it gets to room temp with more chocolate, vanilla, and oak. (4)

The taste is a bit of a step up from the aroma, though very similar. Starts off with some roasted and chocolate malts, then a wave of vanilla, cookies, toast, brown sugar, molasses, and coffee in the finish. (4)

Very, very thin body with zero carbonation. (3.5)

I'm glad I had someone to share this one with because it would have taken me a long time to drink it myself. (3.5)

Photo of thedindaniel
4.55/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Hamilton's, served in a tulip.

Pours black, black, black. Nice light brown head that is about one finger thick.

Smells of bourbon and coffee. The taste starts bitter like a very dark chocolate and espresso beans. Leaves behind an aftertaste of vanilla and caramel. Mouthfeel is perfect for the style as it is thick without being syrupuy or sticky and it is generously carbonated. The beer is very easy to drink, especially for a 12%, not hot like some other RIS's out there.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.54/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the Firestone Walker Invitational '13. Probably in about the middle of the day, no line. Score.

Pours out a black, oily looking liquid. Seems thinner than the regular Speedway, less tan head frothing about this is a very thin head. Aroma was the heavy, heavy roast, bourbon and coffee. Good stuff.

Taste, takes on more of a creamy smoothness moreso than the pungent coffee and roast that the base version has going for it. The barrel seems to mellow this out with a dallop of bourbon along with it. Drinks pretty damn effortlessly. Barely there coconut and vanilla. Caramel and marshmellow sweetness. Warming alcohol is nicely displayed, far from harsh or distracting. A little bit of citrus here? Huh? Its very small. Chocolate is there, right in the middle. The coffee is nowhere near as huge as in the base version, the bourbon character kind of forces that to the side a little bit.

Carbonation is lower than regular Speedway. Toffee notes challenge caramel. Gets to be thicker and more chewy the longer you go with it. If you like coffee and bitterness, stick with the regular version, if you want some barrel, hit this up.

AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 1,614 ratings.