Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged - AleSmith Brewing Company

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

317 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 317
Hads: 1,770
Avg: 4.47
pDev: 19.02%
Wants: 1,988
Gots: 553 | FT: 81
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 317 | Hads: 1,770
Photo of andrewinski1
4.57/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

 843 characters

Photo of drowland
4.58/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

 395 characters

Photo of notchucknorris
4.58/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

 625 characters

Photo of phisigben
4.58/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

 812 characters

Photo of glid02
4.59/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

 1,322 characters

Photo of mistakebythelake
4.59/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

 645 characters

Photo of 0110x011
4.59/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

 780 characters

Photo of Furlinator
4.59/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

 529 characters

Photo of jeonseh
4.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2009 Bottle poured into a GI tulip. Part of the NWI tasting group New Year's Day

A - Dark chocolate brown. Almost black in color. Has a small milk chocolate head with a medium body

S - Bourbon, dark chocolate, light coffee, oak and slight sweet cream.

T - This is one amazing beer. It has upfront sweet bourbon, caramel, light burnt toffee, vanilla, and light coffee with sweet cream. There is a light coffee bitterness in the finish with a slight boozy kick. Really a great beer with a powerful and complex flavors

MF - Such a creamy beer that makes this a joy to drink. Light carbonation to prevent it from being too thick.

O - Really a great beer with a ton of flavor. There is a great bourbon presence, sweet vanilla, oak, chocolate and coffee. The one downside is that the nose isn't that strong on this one. If it was, it'd be a damn near perfect beer.

 865 characters

Photo of MrVonzipper
4.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Black, oily and viscous with a short khaki bubbly head and spotty lacing.

Big bold nose full of boozy bourbon, chocolate, molasses and coffee.

Huge rich flavor as well. A bit on the hot and boozy side which I like but this is a touch much. Big bourbon, a touch of vanilla, dark chocolate and rich coffee make up the bold flavor.

Mouth is viscous and silky with low carbonation and that alcohol heat.

Overall this is going to be an amazing beer in about 2 years I think. It's pretty great now. But as the alcohol mellows out and all the notes relax and settle, it's going to be phenomenal.

 596 characters

Photo of jeff1973
4.6/5  rDev +2.9%
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 juhl31
4.6/5  rDev +2.9%
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

 516 characters

Photo of rhinos00
4.61/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Ryan for bringing this beer to our tasting. 2003 vintage poured into a Darkness snifter. Bottle #100/196.

A- Pours a dark, chocolate brownie color. Practically zero head developed as the beer was poured. Not the sexiest looking beer.

S- Wonderful mixture of mellow bourbon aromas and candied chocolates. Some molasses and chocolate brownies in there as well with a hint of vanilla. Super complex.

T- Mellowed bourbon upfront. Following is a mixture of chocolate malts, brownies, and bitter caramel. Blends together very well. As stated, this beer was very mellow, yet complex. Great malt profile.

M- Viscous and velvety smooth. Just the way I like it.

D- One of the easiest drinking stouts I have ever had. The mellowed out attributes really helped here.

Overall, very excited to finally try this beer, especially one as old as this one. An excellent beer and a good example of how aging can completely change a beer. Recommended.

 947 characters

Photo of miketd
4.62/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Found myself talking a lot about this beer lately so might as well enter the rating. I've have 03, 04 and 06 vintage. This is for the 06. Pour is pitch black and still...hardly any head. Aroma is oak, chocolate, coffee, vanilla and a touch of bourbon. Velvety smooth taste, creamy. Sweet, but has nice malt balance and some bitterness. Very full body. Very nicely uses bourbon aging without being overpowering.

 410 characters

Photo of gford217
4.62/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

No better way to celebrate review #500 than to break out the barrel-aged version of one of my favorite beers ever. Huge thanks to hoppymeal for the opportunity! 2007 bottle #316 of 447.

Pours black but not completely opaque as hints of mahogany show through the edges. The head is one-finger tall, very bubbly and remains a swirl of small bubbles and a ring for the duration, leaving traces of lacing.

The aroma is exceptional. The bourbon is present up front but is supported by dark roasted malts, bakers chocolate and a whiff of coffee (not nearly as dominant as in the regular version). The barrel presence is evident with a bit of vanilla. All of these things seem to come together into one cohesive aroma.

The taste has the sweetness of the chocolate and some dark fruits up front before the dark malts and roasted coffee step up in the middle. The finish is big on vanilla and bourbon and leaves an alcohol warming as it goes down.

The mouthfeel is very smooth and medium bodied for the style with less carbonation than I remember in the regular version.

This is a fantastic beer though I can't decide if it quite measures up to the regular version to me. Either way, it's not to be missed. Thanks again to Derek for his (continued) generosity!

 1,256 characters

Photo of SShelly
4.62/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bottle from 2007.

Pours a dark black with a little bit of offwhite head.

Aroma is booze and coffe, really deep and dark with strong bourbon, damn this smells good.

Flavor is lots of bourbon with coffe and dark roast malt around the edges.

very full in the mouth, carb isnt overwhelming but enough.

By far my favorite -Bal beer, the bourbon really complements the base.

 373 characters

Photo of Rollzroyce21
4.64/5  rDev +3.8%
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 YodersBeerEmporium
4.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to the Mornin Delight after share group at the Courtyard in Decorah!!! This bottle was one of my contributions to the cause! Amazing coffee and barrel notes! Killer offering! Now I need to find BVASS!!

 212 characters

Photo of Kaiser81
4.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had a sampler while I filled a growler in Alesmith's tasting room. I believe this is the '08 version

A - Pours a vicious and viscous pitch black with a finger width of mocha head...it dissipates fairly quickly and leaves a decent amount of lacing on the glass for a BA stout.

S - lots of bourbon up front. It's also maybe just a tad bit briney. There are chocolate notes that come through, though they are faint. The coffee is faint.

T - Speedway on crack, in an awesome way! I get lots of toffee and roast mixed in with some bourbon and coffee. The bourbon lingers perfectly.

M - Heavy body with mild carbonation. Really can't get much better. There's a slight coffee aftertaste.

D - Too good. I could drink way too much of it.

I'm so lucky to have had this 2 miles from my house. Cost me a lot to help out a couple of friends, but it was well worth it as a it's a special treat to be able to try this beer.

 914 characters

Photo of Luk13
4.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle thanks to boutip, 2009 vintage. Appearance is a nice full black with decent brown mocha head. Aroma is quite straightforward with bourbon, vanilla, the usual Alesmith divine caramel and molasses. You can definitly feel the high alcohol content which brings the ripe fruits upfront along with bourbon and caramel notes. Flavors are hard to describe as they aren't amazingly complex but so well integrated and intense. Bourbon and age seem to have completly taken over coffee from the regular version. As much as I like the regular version, BA speedway lifts this one to a new level without being over the top. Exactly what I expect from a bourbon barrel version.

Side-by-side with Black Note with BA speedway being a close winner. Although I prefered Black Note's palate and aroma, BA speedway's flavors were out of this world. One of the best stout I've had.

 866 characters

Photo of draheim
4.65/5  rDev +4%
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.

 687 characters

Photo of Bendurgin
4.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Andy for opening this mamoth. Bottle from the most recent release. Pours black with about two inches of light tan head. Nice retention and soapy lace.

Bourbon is pretty much kicking me in the face. It's awesome. Rich bourbon really comes through right and above all else in the beer. Mollasses and roasted coffee makes up the rest of the aroma. This one is hugely roasty wtih a sweet undertone. This is pretty much what I want a barrel aged stout to taste like. Lot's of rich bourbon with a bit of mollasses on the flavor. Hints of oak, vanilla and a bit of a fruity character.

The feel is good. Nice full and robust but a little sticky. Overall this one is insane. Very complex and surprisingly drinkable. A little hot but it doesn't even matter. This one is great.

 784 characters

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A friend brought this over to our place as part of an epic tasting on Saturday. Thanks Jason! Following review based on notes taken at that time.

4oz. sample poured into a snifter.

Appearance: An impressive head quickly recedes to a thin, brown halo. A pitch black body shows off a crimson-brown horizon when held to light. Thick walls of lace trail the beer as it descends the glass.

Smell: Coconut, powdered chocolate, and light booze come through from the start. With time, earth and oak emerge, followed by espresso. Intriguing.

Taste: Tremendously smooth. Vanilla-chocolate swirl, coffee, molasses, and coconut all meld beautifully! The bourbon also adds a light boozy kick to the conclusion of each sip. Creamy and harmonious - damn near a 5.0.

Mouthfeel: Gently carbonated, viscous, and semi-dry with just a touch of heat. Full-bodied, thick, and creamy. I couldn't ask for anything more.

Overall: Fantastically smooth, complex, and flavorful. The bourbon barrel accents the already exceptional base beer, rather than covering it up. One of the three or four best imperial stouts I've ever had, hands down.

 1,119 characters

Photo of BMan1113VR
4.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Have had this three times now, all different vintages. These notes are from the first time: Huge thanks to fordest for this one. 2006 Silk Screen bottle #187/233. Pours with a huge, dark brown head over a very black body with some lace. Aroma of nutty fudge, bourbon, oak, vanilla, light coffee, liquid amazingness, florals and soil. I literally smelled this beer for 15 minutes without tasting a single sip. Taste is chocolate, coffee, oaky, brandy, bourbon and a bit nutty. Very smooth and silky mouthfeel.

 508 characters

Photo of SaucyA
4.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review #200.
2 Year Anniversary of my first review.


A - Pours into the snifter with a beautiful, tight little brown head. The body, a menacing black, beckons. Great lacing, legs.

S - Nice bourbon characteristics up front. A slight hint of wood, big notes of underlying coffee and vanilla. A molasses sweetness is present on the backend. Booze. Bigness.

T - Lots of coffee throughout, which surprises me due to the age. Big, bitter, dry finish. Bourbon and coconut notes on the back. Some heat, but nothing very much noted in the taste itself. Vanilla. It's a great representation of a barrel-aged beer. Complex, huge, ever-changing. Nice dark chocolate and fig/raisin notes as it warms.

M - I'm slightly bummed because it doesn't seem as thick as I remember Speedway being, but it's still got quite a big body and a nice, steady carbonation.

D - For everything involved, and the bigness of the flavors and ABV, this is absolutely killer... the over-attenuation seems to help with ease of quaffing.

Notes: Mad thanks to Carlos for this. It's a great, and I mean GREAT, brew to have for my 200th review. Totally worth seeking out.

 1,153 characters

AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 317 ratings.