Dismiss Notice
Get FREE shipping on all US orders of $25 or more from the BeerAdvocate Store.

No promo code required. Offer valid through 4/30.

Ready to gear up? Start shopping →

AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged | AleSmith Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
99
world-class
328 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
BEER STATS
Reviews:
328
Ratings:
1,923
Avg:
4.47
pDev:
8.05%
 
 
Wants:
2,025
Gots:
603
For Trade:
88
AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel AgedAleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by beerguy101 on 01-01-2004

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 328 | Ratings: 1,923
Photo of mcallister
4.88/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Finally cracking a bottle of this. 2006 batch bottle 13 of 235.

Pours a dark viscous black with a unstable mocha head that leaves large sticky bubbles on the edges of my dogfish snifter.

Lovely smelling beer with coffee still at the forefront followed up quickly by a oaky bourbon accent with toasted vanilla, black cherry, chocolate, roasted malts, and some other black fruits and licorice.

Damn this is a beauty. Still plenty of cellar life left as well 5 years or more. Thick coffee and roasted malts, reminds me of a dark chocolate covered coffee bean that may have been soaked in bourbon. Tons of oak tannins on the finish and a nice vanilla middle from the oak as well. Very soft and creamy on the palate. Slight anise, black currant, black cherry and red currant flavors. Some tobacco and mollasses as well. Hints of residual sugars on the finish just an amazing beer.

 878 characters

Photo of winningwes91
4.88/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Finally getting around to trying this. Pours out much like it's non-ba counterpart. Completely black and motor-oilish. Smells of charred oak, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, and some dark fruits. The taste follows suit, but everything is in your face. Wow. This one met my expectations and more. And I love that thick, chewy mouthfeel. Amazing stuff.

 346 characters

Photo of cpetrone84
4.88/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-pours an opaque black liquid that is thick and viscous. The head is tight and creamy with some bubbles on top. It has good retention and leaves a nice thick lace

S-the nose is amazing, it isn't huge but it is strong. Oak and vanilla set in right up front with a touch of bourbon sitting behind. Dark chocolate, chocolate brownies, toffee and a touch off caramel in the back

T-the taste is awesome. The oak and vanilla great the taste buds with the bourbon quietly coming in right after. Molasses comes in next and fades into dark chocolate, some bitter cocoa, and hints of coffee. Sweetness comes in at the back, toffee and a touch of caramel with some notes of dark fruits

M-huge mouthfeel, completely full bodied and thick, almost chewy. It is soft, smooth and creamy on the palate. So great!

D-this is a delicious imperial stout. The flavors are spot on, nothing dominates but the barrel aging works perfectly and smoothes out the feel so well. Awesome beer!

 967 characters

Photo of francisweizen
4.88/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle courtesy of mbrasi. Cheers mate!

P: 4.5 - 2006 edition. Now standard 750ml silk-screened brown glass bottle with gold foil and a notation in silver marker pen that says 2006 barrell aged 189/233.

A: This beer is a turbid dark black, with crimson edges, and an espresso whip foam head that lasts and has decent legs, lacing, and retention.

S: Big booze, bourbon, and wood. Dark malt, chocolate, and coffee are there but a bit subdued by the massive oak and bourbon character.

T: Big bourbon and oak again. Malts are big and provide bread, chocolate, and coffee notes. Coffee beans do their work in the mid palate, herbal green hops and hersheys chocolate syrup fight for dominance in the back palate. The booze, oak, and bourbon come back to meld everything together in the slightly warming finish.

M: Smooth and thick. Not over the top nor too chewy. A good mouthfeel for a beer this big. Just about right, if you ask me...

D: Exceptional. I love bourbon, vanilla, oak, chocolate, coffee, etc...and this one delivers big time with those flavors. I actually had a sample of the 2003 a while ago and the oak and bourbon just wasn't as fresh and this 2006 batch is just killer. Probably the best oak aged speedway batch that I have tasted thus far (I have not had the 2007 yet)

O: Super solid. 4.9 material here. Definitely a nice way to showcase the big, bolshy, oaky bourbon and booze flavors that one can achieve when barrell aging a beer. Is it a bit over the top and one dimensional....? YES! But to heathens like me, this is the perfect mid evening sipper before catching a My Bloody Valentine concert...

Thanks again mbrasi.

 1,643 characters

Photo of nickd717
4.87/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Review #500 on BA (well, not really, but I first entered this as BA Speedway and that review was actually #500, then someone told me it was "The Vine" version, then it was merged back with BA Speedway since it was essentially the same beer - oh well). Had this from a growler, huge thanks to Smokepot23. Been looking forward to this for a long, long time. Speedway Stout is so awesome on its own that I couldn't even imagine what would happen when they aged it in the -bals. The answer is that it became a ridiculously good beer, even among ridiculously good beers.

A - Pours a clear light golden color...no, scratch that, actually it's pitch black. This is where photons go to die. Not much in the way of head, but then again it did come out of a growler. This is the beer's only minor flaw, if it even is one.

S - Absolutely heavenly. High-quality chocolate and coffee (I'm talking weasel crap quality), roastiness, oak, and just a touch of bourbon.

T - Amazingly balanced, yet very intense awesomeness liquified. Lots of chocolate and vanilla, a little bourbon, sweet caramel malt, roasted malt, and oak. Coffee is definitely less dominant than in regular Speedway, as I hear aging will do to coffee flavor. This is a good thing, even though I like a strong coffee presence in a stout. When I drank this, I think a light might have shone down from the heavens and angels might have sang, but I'm not 100% sure.

M - Incredibly smooth, full, and creamy on the palate. Very soft carbonation.

D - I know this is a barrel aged imperial stout, but I could drink it ALL NIGHT LONG! I couldn't imagine this beer really being any better unless they put weasel sh*t in it.

 1,670 characters

Photo of Viggo
4.87/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml capped bottle, 2006 vintage, bottle # 107/233. Day 2 of epic DrJay visit tasting, huge thanks to DrJay for bringing this one!

Pours a deep opaque black, some very dark brown in the far edges in the light, huge and thick brown head forms, drops some lace spots and settles down to a very thick ring, looks great. Smell is amazing, lots of bourbon, oak, vanilla, chocolate, coffee and roast, light woody sourness, toffee, toast, oats, very very rich, its hard to describe how good this smells. Perfect mix of bourbon barrel with the stout. Taste is just as amazing, buttery toffee, chocolate and bourbon, oak, vanilla, roast, figs, toast, very intense flavour, light wood astringency in the finish, perfect. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, buttery smooth. Drinks like 5%. Wow, this is an insanely good beer. Proof of perfect barrel aging, one of the best beers I've ever had. Thanks a ton Jay!

 916 characters

Photo of pdeepak
4.87/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Cracked in honor of Irene last night. Poured into a large tripel karmeliet tulip.

This beer is regular speedway on crack. The tan/mocha head dissipates quickly but does come back on with light agitation. The color is inviting and begs to be savored slowly.

I could get lost in the smell of this beer but eventually had to drink it and was lost in the roasty coffee notes with hints of vanilla surrounded by the barrel treatment of this beer. The mouthfeel is the only part of this experience that let me down as it was a little too thin for my liking.

want more!

 565 characters

Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Trey for bringing this gem to our tasting. Bottle 60/196 from 2003, this was a highlight of the tasting. Number 12 on day 2 and number 21 overall. Poured into a snifter.

Pours pitch black and extremely viscous. There is no head at all, nor is there any hint of carbonation. I guess that years in bourbon barrels will do that to ya. Upon swirling, nice legs form on the sides of my glass. This is one classy-looking beer.

The nose is phenomenal, as AleSmith shows of their ability to do barrel aging better than, in my estimation, any brewery out there. Coffee, chocolate, caramel, toffee, vanilla, and bourbon all come through in the nose, completely masking any alcohol aroma that may be present. Additionally, the bourbon and oakey vanilla are more highlighting factors than they are focal points. This is how I like my barrel-aged beers to smell.

On the palate, the complexity begins to grow and expand. Added to the nice balance of chocolate, vanilla, toffee, and bourbon are dark fruity flavors of dates and prunes. There is also a nice nutty syrup twinge that comes through towards the finish. The finish is full of well-balanced mellow bourbon and vanilla. Dark chocolate lingers on the palate afterwards.

Smooth and almost creamy, this beer is a case study is how a barrel aged beer should be created. The fact that there is no carbonation works extremely well, and the consistency is not syrupy either. The body is great, and the drinking experience phenomenal.

 1,484 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Brad for sharing this at his tasting on Saturday!

2007 vintage. Bottle 212/447

This beer pours a rich, deep black with a dark tan head. Plenty of carbonation left in this gem. This aroma is not subtle. Bourbon and rich roasted malt, with a slight alcohol note emit huge scents I can detect from a few feet away. The beer is absolutely fabulous. Although it is very strong and forward, it drinks very smoothly. It definitely has some heat to it, but it only serves to add a little warmth in the finish. Alesmith Speedway Stout is a terrific beer, so it makes sense that barrel aging such a tasty stout would result in this masterpiece. What a treat.

 660 characters

Photo of pmarlowe
4.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

'09 vintage. On tap at the 2011 BA Speedway and Decadence release. From three 3oz pours in taster cups.

Pours black with a thin film of sand colored foam, which persists in ring form for quite a while. Not much lacing to speak of. Smell is mostly bourbon and oak, a little vanilla; a nicely restrained aroma, though, and not at all overpowering. Not a lot of coffee or malt here, and definitely more mellow than regular Speedway. Taste is more balanced than the smell, with more of a coffee and chocolate presence along with the bourbon and oak, as well as some maltiness and sweetness. Finishes with a very slight coffee bitterness. Wow, super tasty and smooth stuff. Medium-full body and medium carbonation work great with the beer here; not much heat to speak of. Overall, this is a world class bourbon barrel age coffee stout, exceedingly drinkable, and which shows admirable restraint with the barrel treatment.

 917 characters

Photo of tjthresh
4.84/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

 450 characters

Photo of steadydose
4.84/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Shared the 2007 vintage with some friends at a new years party.

Wow, this beer is delicious. The bourbon was present in the smell and taste. As good as regular Speedway Stout is, the addition of the barrel aging makes this a real treat. Not as sweet as the regular version. I enjoyed the fact that it wasn't too heavy. Overall it tasted wonderful, and is great paired with leche flan, a creme brulee type desert. Outstanding!!!

*Update 4/10/10

I was able to grab a growler and drank over the course of two nights, and wow, I would leave all my original scores the same, but I would actually bump up the mouthfeel score to 4.5

There was loads of chocolate in the nose on the growler version. It also had a fuller and thicker body with a slightly sweeter taste. I really liked how the barrel aging aspect was not overwhelming and would actually play the background on some sips. Just a world class brew, and I can't wait till they do growlers of this one again.

 964 characters

Photo of Gfunk720
4.83/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Special thanks to my buddy Mike for making this one possible. Poured from a 64oz growler, consumed over 3 days. Awsomely awsome!

A- Black as night. 1-2 fingers of light chocolatey colored head. Leaves a nice light lacing as you progress through the glass.

S- Smells mostly of bourbon, with somelight coffee and chocolate notes. Also a distinct taste of dark malts and molasses.

T- Despite it's strong bourbon smell, it is actually quite subdued. Has a nice balance of Bourbon/Coffee/Chocolate, with a strong malty aftertaste. Almost reminds me of a KBS that isn't as soft/smooth, and has a little more backbone. It is very complex, and transitions through several flavors over a few seconds.

D- Alchohol is barely noticible for a BA Stout. I easily plowed through 2 glasses, and was looking for more.

M- Perfect balance of body and flavor. Not too light and not too thick. The carbonation and everything is just spot on

As a lover of BA Stouts, this is one of my favorites. I wish I had a keg of this stuff, as I looked forward to coming home to it the last couple nights. Awsome awsome beer, hopefully I'll get to have it again sometime

 1,144 characters

Photo of Mauerhan
4.82/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Headed down to Alesmith first thing I could to grab a growler of this beast.

Pours thick and a black that looks like you took used motor oil and tossed in some extra black. Not a ton of head but what does show up is thick and creamy. A chocolate brown hue, some lacing.

Smell is pretty intense. I instantly get a whiff of the barrel on there but with further investigation I get more of the roasted malt and chocolate profile perking up. Roasted sweetness. Smells great.

Taste follows directly behind smell but it is kicked up a notch. It is so surprising to me how well balanced this is. The majority of barrel aged stouts that I have had in my experience have been hot messes at the start but the growler of speedway is near perfection. Vanilla notes play well with others of cocoa and a big malt backbone.

12 percent is nearly impossible to pinpoint. Creamy mouth feel that just keeps dancing around my taste buds screaming for me to have more.

Overall this is an incredibly well made beer and one that truly lends itself to the barrel aging process. My only qualm is that it is not readily available.

 1,113 characters

Photo of BarrytheBear
4.82/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

growler split three ways with friends

sweet bourbon and deep rich malt on the sniffer

bourbon and coffee meld wonderfully...coffee up front and bourbon in the rear...so many avenues to explore here, but I'll let it go. Wave after wave of dark chocolate as this beer warms. Wood from the barrel is increasingly evident. Just thoroughly enjoyable.

Body is slightly oily, lightly carbonated, and a bit thin for the heft of this beauty.

Alcohol content is well hidden in this incredibly crafted, highly enjoyable stout. A real treat.

 534 characters

Photo of HopHead84
4.82/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

7/17/2010

2003 vintage - Bottle 169/196 aged at 55 degrees since the release a few years ago - thanks me.

The beer is black with a diminutive light brown head that quickly fades. The aroma is of chocolate sugar cookies and a graceful oxidation character with light soy sauce and vanilla notes. Bourbon is well integrated. Brown sugar is evident. Decadence itself. The flavor is chocolate desserts of all sorts: truffles, cake, brown sugar cookies...you name it! The beer has aged gracefully, evincing light soy sauce notes that compliment the smooth bourbon flavor. Oak is detectable, in addition to subtle dark fruits (prunes?). Coffee is nonexistent. Carbonation is low, and it works well with the rich flavors. An outstanding beer, and one that I probably won't see again.

 778 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
4.82/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Barrel aged Speedway Stout. With Speedway Stout as awesome as it stands, I just hope this doesn't become like putting spinning rims on a Bentley. On-tap at 38 Degrees, on to the beer:

Black as ink in a glass with no head on the pour. Ok, next aspect. Whew! That is a beauty to smell! The liquor makes its mark first, and not far behind are generous doses of molasses, pleasant booze, coffee, and maple.

The journey continues, and somehow it manages to be better than an already aromatic orgasm. Not only is Barrel Aged Sppedway complex, but flavorful and incredibly smooth at the highest level, aspects which are very difficult to pull off in a single beer. There's a mood elevating licorice and maple towards the start. A little roast breaks into the mold. Warm booze pleasanty compliments the journey while much of it is disguised. It all works together. Adding to the moment is a full bodied figure where the carbonation is not too weak or strong and overall very smooth.

How did AleSmith do it?! Taking an already outstanding beer and making it more succulent and smooth is a difficult feat, but it has been pulled off. Well worth the praise it has earned over the years.

 1,179 characters

Photo of Urbancaver
4.82/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 vintage. Thanks brad for bringing this to the epic BA stout tasting.

Pours a dark thick brown. Very nice reddish orange tint on the edges. Almost no head. So so thick. Smells super buttery and bourbon heavy. Tastes very bourbon heavy and lots of smooth butteriness. A touch of coffee but it's fairly subtle comes out much stronger on the back of the tongue. As it warms up the coffee comes out much more.

 411 characters

Photo of dar482
4.81/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

 527 characters

Photo of Wasatch
4.8/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2004 Vintage

Bottle #98

Pours a very nice dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy off-white head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some chocolate/coffee/toffee notes, licorice, vanilla. The taste is malty, with some nice dark stuff thrown in. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is a very nice brew, highly recommended.

 371 characters

Photo of paytoplay
4.8/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The Vine in Ocean Beach CA, 5th anniversary. 5 gallon keg, reg speedway blended with mostly 08 barrel aged speedway drawn from the barrel. draft so perfect carb. color is similar to reg speedway but how can it be not perfect? dark rich head, cold it had a great mouthfeel and nice finish. as it warmed the nose just expanded giving debth of chocolate, wood, vanilla, with muted coffee showing how it slightly fades in time in barrel but with a touch of freshness from the blend. finish was endless, boozieness but with almost no warming just perfect balance, wood, chocolate milky with silky cashmere texture that is unmatched. zero sweetness just balance. easy to consume several 6oz $3 pours. Love the vine and the price for this amazing 1 off beer. And congrats to 5 years!

 776 characters

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.79/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Churchill's Renaissance.

Appearance is jet black. Thin head dissapated fast. Left a ring. No lacing.

Aroma is tons of dark fruits, caramel, toasted sugars. Very complex. Some bourbon in the nose.

Tastes exactly as it smells with a good bourbon flavor that doesn't take over and let's the other flavors play as well.

Mouthfeel is heavy with nice carb.

Overall a damn fine beer that I am glad shows up every once in a while.

 437 characters

Photo of Lochnessmonster
4.79/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The overwhelming winner of our latest bottle share, this dark and complex beer deserves every drop of hype it receives. Boozy on the nose, but way too easy to drink for the alleged 12% abv. AleSmith blew me away the first time I had the base Speedway, and this took it to the next level.

 289 characters

Photo of largadeer
4.78/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

'03 vintage received from seaoflament. Thank you, Carlos!

Appearance: From a 750ml bottle into a wine glass, the only suitable thing I had on hand at the place I drank this. The pour is dark chocolate brown, nearly black, with no head whatsoever. It sits in the glass viscous and opaque.

Smell: Chocolate and molasses. Moderate oxidation, but the good variety - there are no off aromas here. Rather, it's got a quality almost like vintage port or sherry. Wonderfully rich, sweet and dessert like.

Taste & mouthfeel: The first thing noticed is that there's no carbonation. The second thing noticed is that carbonation is completely unnecessary. The lack of bubbles only enhances the chocolatey richness and silky smooth mouthfeel. As the nose suggests, molasses is up front in the taste, with a strong undercurrent of chocolate and dark fruit. Coffee still comes through with surprising strength, especially in the finish, which dries the palate only slightly. Compared to fresh Speedway, all the rough edges have been smoothed; there's no trace of alcohol, low bitterness, no astringency; this is remarkably smooth beer. If not for the rarity (and strength), this would be downright quaffable.

Notes: This is the sort of beer that, before you try it, you have to wonder if it's all hype or if it actually merits all the praise. The answer is yes, it's worth every word of praise. Incredible stuff.

 1,401 characters

Photo of nasty31
4.78/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2009 Bottle poured into snifter

S- Sweet chocolaty scent that is very pronounce. Bourbon and dark malts are also very present.

A- Very thick and oily with a 3 finger caramel redish fluffy head that has great retention and leaves spotty lacing around the glass.

T- Nice bourbon flavor but like the smell very chocolaty with a slight better flavor at the end.Then bourbon and chocolate in this blend probably the best out of any ba stout ive ever had.

M- great mouthfeel nice and creamy and thick.

O- One of the best if not the best ba stout ive had. I love kbs but this beer is slightly better then that one. i just truly love this beer.

 643 characters

AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 328 ratings.