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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
98
world-class

303 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 303
Hads: 1,686
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 3.6%
Wants: 1,974
Gots: 493 | FT: 61
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 303 | Hads: 1,686
Photo of BMMillsy
4.77/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2012 bottle from Adam in trade. Poured Dec 7, 2013. Big time thanks for this one. Pours pitch black along with what looked like some coffee grinds, and a one finger mocha head. Aroma is bourbon, coffee, vanilla, roast, some chocolate, oak, light anise. Flavor is bourbon up front, light roast, vanilla, anise, chocolate, sweetness, more vanilla. Comes in waves, with that bourbon first then the layers of roast and sweetness. Much sweeter than the regular version, and I like it. Silky smooth, relatively thick mouthfeel, low+ carbonation. Sweet bourbon coats the palate and warms the throat. (592 characters)

Photo of jaasen64
4.06/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into HF fest glass, thanks Brian (Auror) for bringing this to our tasting. March '13 bottling.

A- Pours a pitch black with a slight milky mocha head that leaves some spotty lacing.

S- Dark chocolate, espresso, integrated bourbon, vanilla, some booze, decent aroma strength.

T- Creamy chocolate, espresso, vanilla extract, slight rubbing alcohol, finishes with more bourbon and espresso. Not nearly as good as I remember the '09 tasting, booze could have been integrated a little bit more and I get a hint of rubbing alcohol that is slightly off putting. Overall pretty good but was expecting slightly better.

M- Medium bodied for a barrel-aged stout, low carbonation but fitting for abv, slight alcohol burn.

O- Barrel-aged Speedway is easily a world class beer however there were some very slight off-putting alcohol flavors that I didn't remember it having when I tasted the '09 at a bottle share. This leads me to believe that this beer improves with a few years on it, developing more of a smoothness. (1,030 characters)

Photo of Axnjxn
4.56/5  rDev +2.7%
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. (333 characters)

Photo of Rollzroyce21
4.64/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

- Bottled March 2013
- 750mL bottle poured into stemless wine glass on 13-Oct-13

Huge bourbon notes, followed by sweet chocolate cake with a bit of coffee roast notes and hints of dark fruit, raw oak, vanilla, a touch of roasted malt. This is decadent, complex, and luscious. The most prominent aromas as bourbon and rich chocolate, and they intermingle perfectly. It's got a perfect level of carbo that decreases to a nice smooth, silky satin as the beer warms.

Really, the only thing that might improve the beer is a bolder coffee presence, but that's about it. (567 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.81/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served in a tumbler.

How many huge beers can we try in a night? This one pours a very deep and very dark black-brown topped by a nice finger of sandstone foam. The nose comprises cheaper whiskey, roasted malts, mild coffee, and a light dusting of cocoa powder. The taste brings in more of the same, with the whiskey still riding tall in the saddle, but not quite as roughshod over the roast and coffee as before. Moreover, a stronger undercurrent of oak worms its way underneath the proceedings. The body is a hefty medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, a solid barrel-aged stout, though not quite as good as the base would indicate. If anything, I'd take the normal, everyday Speedway over this most days of the week. That said, it's still pretty good, just not nearly as good as its current reputation would suggest. (850 characters)

Photo of dbc5
4.77/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

750 ml bottle poured into Delirium Tremens tulip.

A: Great looking pour! For a beer of this size that spent awhile in barrels, I can't believe the head retention on the beer. Pour is pitch black with the nice, lasting, mocha colored head. Exactly how a stout should look.

S: Huge aroma. Espresso beans, vanilla, coconut, brown sugar, bourbon, and dark chocolate. A very appetizing and complex aroma. There are some aromatic qualities that remind me of a big English Barleywine.

T: Taste hits dark chocolate upfront and is quickly followed by vanilla and coconut. You then pick up on the clear bourbon presence, but this is smoothed out by roasted coffee beans on the finish.

M: Velvety smooth. One of my favorite aspects of the non barrel aged Speedway is the mouthfeel, and this one is only enhanced by the barrel treatment.

O: Great beer. I'm incredibly grateful that I got to try this one. One of the better examples of a barrel aged stout you will find. KBS is one of my favorite beers and this gives it a huge run for its money. (1,040 characters)

Photo of jeff1973
4.6/5  rDev +3.6%
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! (750 characters)

Photo of PlinyBeMiney
4.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Right out of the fridge this beer tastes a tad too hot. Described as "premium bourbon barrels," I assume the heat to be more linked to the type of bourbon versus the actual heat from the alcohol. As it warms the nuances begin to attract versus detract. Sadly, I can barely taste the coffee. This being a strong point in the base beer makes this the most disappointing part of this beer. I can't complain too much because the rest of the beer is great. Mouthfeel and smell are close to being spot on. I'm just wishing there was a bit more coffee. (545 characters)

Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.36/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to alexgrahamlv for this trade a couple years ago, opened for my recent 30th (ugh) birthday.

2009 Vintage

Pours a dark dark brown almost black color with no light penetration, small light brown head, fades at a decent rate, not much lacing on the glass though.

Smell has a nice boozy aroma, roasted malt mixed with a woody bourbon aspect, vanilla is strong but not overwhelming to the nose, lightest touch of dark fruit.

Taste starts out with a slight alcohol bourbon burn but quickly subsides when the roasted malt, vanilla and dark fruit come into play, subtle hints of chocolate help sweeten the deal, the burn does return in the throat though, even four years of age and this is a strong beer, carbonation is perfect, medium high viscosity so there's nice coverage on the tongue without being too "chewy". (820 characters)

Photo of Phelps
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Holy shnikeys. Bottle into a snifter. Enjoyed about a month after I picked up the 2012 edition bottles from the brewery.

Holy shnikeys. Smells like a liquid almond joy. Vanilla, toasted coconut, almond, maple syrup, dark chocolate. Very sweet.

Holy shnikeys. Tastes like a liquid Heath bar. More chocolate here. Toffee, coffee beans, dark chocolate, toasted oak, vanilla bean. Sweet, delectable. Coffee is subtler than expected, but leave nice acidity on the tongue between sips. Hot damn.

Viscous medium full body. Thick. Some peppery alcohol on the tongue. Mild, tingly carbonation.

Deeelicious. Not much coffee left here, but I don't care. The barrels are perfect, the sweetness is perfect. I don't much care for regular Speedway, but this is among the best BA stouts I've ever tasted. (796 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.54/5  rDev +2.3%
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. (1,152 characters)

Photo of Ahappyhiker2
4.46/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage, very excited to finally try a fresh bottle of this.

A- Black, nice light-colored head.

S- Bourbon. Honestly the aroma is pretty much all bourbon, but there is a hint of coffee in there and vanilla from the barrel notes.

T- Amazing. So smooth, everything is incredibly balanced. Main flavors are vanilla, chocolate, and bourbon. I also tasted coffee and dark chocolate in the aftertaste. I love how much the barrel-aging process has changed the base beer.

M- Very smooth, could be a little bit thicker but it drinks extremely well.

O- Just an unbelievable beer. Barrel-aged stouts are my favorite style and I can't honestly say I've had any that are better than this. It doesn't exhibit any new flavors than others that I've had, but it's so well balanced. This definitely lives up to the hype. Awesome stuff. (827 characters)

Photo of yamar68
4.33/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Big old thanks to bstyle for hooking me up with this one - 2009 vintage shared with mnphish:

Dark coffee brown with an edge of ruby clarity... a thin pale khaki head shows minimal retention, leaving behind more legging than lacing.

Understated coffee presence, mushy dark fruits, a touch of sweet oxidation.

Bitter coffee is still prominent on the palate. Charred oak, vanilla and molasses, licorice and macchiato... espresso, oily coffee bean and alcohol exist in harmony. The flavors are a little muddy but the end result is something delicious. (552 characters)

Photo of Brabander
4.46/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this beer at the Zeebra Extreme Beerfestival in Holland on may 4th 2013. Zeebra was held for the first time with lots of very very very great beers like this one. As a matter of fact the normal version of this beer was also there....

This one was poured in a Zeebra glass, a small tasting glass. I did not really know what to expect from this beer but the expectation were higher than the taste i got.

No head and no carbonation. Just a normal Imperial stout where i made the remark that this is good one for the beginners in this BA style. Not bad but i have had way better ones.... (591 characters)

Photo of inlimbo77
4.7/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

750ml, 2012 Vintage
5oz mini snifter

A: Pours our a really deep dark black. Basically no light getting through, but being outside and holding up to the light I do see some reddish hues. Thin layer of tan head. Sticky lacing is starting to left on the glass.

S: Woah, this nose is unreal. Mocha. Chocolate fudge. Vanilla. Oak. Roast coffee. Just epic stuff here.

T: Big Coffee up front. Then a beautiful blend of vanilla and barrel. Chocolate fudge goodness. The bourbon booze is blended in so nicely. Really no harsh notes, just some warming in the back of the throat. Even the coffee is blended superbly. Long finish with flavors dancing on the tongue.

M: Full bodied.

This is right up there for me with some of the best I have had. (738 characters)

Photo of rudzud
4.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared at the JLindros Birthday Whale Tasting. Reviewed from notes. I think Bill brought this. 2007 vintage.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a dark oily hue with a thin, thin off mocha halo. Pretty solid appearance.

S - Aroma is full of nice bourbon, smooth caramel, light chocolate along with sweet malts.

T - Taste is solid with nice bourbon and chocolate notes. Still, it is a bit on the sweet/syrupy side for my liking. Very faint chocolate here as well.

M - Mouthfeel is pretty good, creamy, but semi syrupy.

O - Overall, a solid stout. Perhaps this was a bit too old as the sticky sweetness really took over for my taste buds. (646 characters)

Photo of rand
4.28/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Cirro's in Pacific Beach, poured into tulip

A: Jet-black, small coffee-tan head that dissipates quickly. Looks heavy and viscous, no lacing.

S: The nose is rich boozy bourbon and dark roasted coffee. Plenty if semi-sweet chocolate aligned with the deep malt-backbone keeps things in balance. There's a bit of a rum-raisin note in between the booze and residual sugars. Did I say boozy?

T: Way more balanced than the nose lead. A balanced mixe of sweet bourbon and chocolate bounce off of roasted coffee, paprika and nutmeg. There actually a dose of hop oil in there, drying things out a bit. Long, bitter-sweet finish.

M: Rich and chewy. Enough carbonation to keep the palate clean, but not so mich as to offset the velvety mouthfeel.

Delicious barrel-aged brew, but grading on a curve, this isn't that big a step up from Speedway. Which isn't a bad thing, just didnt exceed my expectations. (909 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown-black pour--let's call it black--with a small, dense cap of mocha head that retained well and streaked the glass. Nice hit of bourbon and caramel malts in the nose, dark chocolate and some dark dried fruits. Big taste, dark chocolate, roasted caramel maltiness, bourbon-soaked oak, notes of espresso and dark dried fruits; of course no hops detectable. The base beer is already great, and this just amps it up that much more. Smooth, rich mouthfeel, full body, appropriate alcohol warmth. Exemplary bourbon-aged stout. (529 characters)

Photo of WillCarrera
4.55/5  rDev +2.5%
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. (1,067 characters)

Photo of patm1986
3.78/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a-black as night, prune colored, thin, airy head (khaki colored).
s-molasses, licorice, pecans, vanilla, port, sherry, burnt plastic, rasins, rum, chocolate covered espresso beans.
t-acetone, vanilla, astringency, char, rasin, cherry, phenolic.
m-thin, bubly, dry, light
o-disappointed some with this one. i thought the barrel treatment would mellow and enrich the body of the base beer, but it wasn't as viscous as i'd have liked it to be. i think with the bourbon and with all the coffee, there was just too much acidity; ba speedway was just a bit too astringent for my liking. (581 characters)

Photo of tectactoe
4.34/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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. (2,440 characters)

Photo of Treebs
4.34/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Review #650. 750 ml bottle served in a CCB snifter. 2012 vintage

A: Pours a very dark black color with a tan head forming on the pour. It recedes quickly to thin ring that leave some minor sploches of lace behind.

S: Bourbon up fron couple with some figs and various dark fruit. Sweet barrel presence with some caraml and light vanilla. A little stone fruit sweetness with some roasted malts and chocolate.

T: The barrel is upfront with some oak and smooth bourbon. Bakers chocolate and some milk chocolate with heavy roast. I'm missing the coffee flavors from this guy, but it's still really good.

M: Silky smooth mouthfeel, medium to heavy bodied. Medium carbonation level.

O: This is definitely in the upper echelon of BA stouts. Having more coffee notes would have definitely set it apart. Still a very delicious brew that I'd love to have again. (855 characters)

Photo of rlee1390
4.56/5  rDev +2.7%
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. (392 characters)

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

REVIEW # 600!!!

Huge thanks to evilc for sending this bottle my way in a trade! Your awesome chris!

vintage 2012 poured into a snifter glass.

reviewed from notes taken 01/03/13.

Appearance: Black bodied beer with thin, frothy light to medium brown head. Drops down to a ring.

Smell: Big chocolate and bourbon notes. Not much coffee in the nose. Well balanced aroma from this barrel aged stout.

Taste: Just as the nose suggests a lot of chocolates infact is like a dense fudge cake. You get a splash of bourbon, oak, and some vanilla sweetness. Maybe a hint of coffee too. This beer has great balance in reguards to the flavor profile.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with low end of moderate carbonation. Silky smooth mouthfeel. The carbonation levels are perfect in this beer. Rediculously well hidden ABV. Not boozey or harsh at all, just an easy drinking well balanced barrel aged beer.

Overall: BA Speedway Stout is fantastic! I really loved this beer. Its a tried and true BA Stout that Alesmith really nailed it. My only minor complaint is that I did not get much of the Ryans brothers coffee from this beer. I still give BCBS Coffee the nod when it comes to barrel aged imperial stouts brewed with coffee, but BA SS is not too far behind it. (1,255 characters)

Photo of Duff27
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Low mid mocha head. Alcohol legs leaves little bubbles on the side of the glass. Good head retention for an impy stout.

Smooth cocoa notes, overpowers the coffee beans a bit.

The coffee and chocolate play well with the (relatively) tame barrel characters. Just a hint of vanilla. Extremely well hidden booze.

Smooth mouthfeel, carbonation kicks up on the tongue at the end of each sip.

Decadent in its chocolate tones, a real treat. I put this right up there with BCBS Coffee. Thanks for the share 4DAloveofSTOUT! (517 characters)

AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 303 ratings.