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AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged - AleSmith Brewing Company

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

979 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 979
Reviews: 257
rAvg: 4.51
pDev: 8.65%


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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: scottoale on 07-03-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 979 | Reviews: 257 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of tiong
tiong

Finland

4.15/5  rDev -8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle from a trade, thanks stawn! Originally rated on 25.8.2012

2009 vintage - Pours pitch black with a nice brown sticky and foamy head. Aroma of roasted malts, licorice, vanilla, oak, bourbon, hints of coffee and chocolate. Taste is slightly sweeter than the original Speedway Stout. Has a lot of roastiness, notes of vanilla, wood, oak, coffee and sweet molasses. Sweetish and smooth finish with nice bourbon vanilla notes and roastiness. Alcohol comes through slightly in the end. Overall a quite massive beer. Perhaps just a tad too sweet for my taste, though, and not as perfectly balanced as the original one. Still extremely tasty.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2012 15:58:09 | More by tiong
Photo of PatronWizard
PatronWizard

California

4.18/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Decided to crack this bottle while barbequing some chicken one fine day. Why? Because I can. Just like the dog. Pulling this out of my cellar brought back fond memories of the release day: scoring 6 bottles, cracking a piss warm westy12 with friends, sluggin Pliny and Blind Pig out the bottle, mowing grub at Stone... good times!!!

Now some people feel that they can sufficiently review a beer after a 2oz taster. Not Daddy. That's why 750ml of BA Speedway and I are about to have a serious discussion on the nature of the multiverse. While barbequing chicken.

Agressive pour creates a monstrous Del Taco chihuahua fur colored head. That settles at a moderately quick pace to a thin film on top of an open tar pit.

BIG whoof of the barrel. Alcohol, dark fruits and... maybe some bitter chocolate or cocoa. Nutty even. And some more whiskey like aromas.

I was afraid there would be too much booze in the taste (possible?), but it's mostly in the nose. Taste is a big bite of dry cocoa. Then maybe some chocolate and coffee. And some booze. Then some prunes. Ahh, prunes.

So very smooth through the mouth. I catch a bubble or two of carbonation in the back of the throat, but the alcohol bitch slaps it around and calls it Susan. Everybody ends up fat, dumb, and happy. Not quite as thick as expected. Not that it's thin by any means, but it's not 30wt. Goes down like melted butter. Big ass beer here - no joke.

The missus takes her customary 4oz taster (still breastfeeding) then dumps over half back into my glass (too strong!). YES!!! Where does that leave Daddy? Well, shitfaced to be candid. If this is my last review, it's because this big ass beer kicked my ass and I died. Smart money is on me though!

Smooth! Two-thirds of a bottle down and I'm losing motor skills. Rolling the chicken instead of flipping. Hope I can read these notes when I go to type the review. Same 12% as the regular Speedway, but the bourbon flavor makes it seem like more. Like 12.2% maybe. Good thing I've spent the last 15 years in high alcohol altitude training.

Above from notes. The outcome: I'm still here, she's all gone. Good times.

Overall: It's a knock-you-on-your-assterpiece.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2008 07:11:02 | More by PatronWizard
Photo of SPLITGRIN
SPLITGRIN

Kentucky

4.18/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 vintage.

Thanks to Carlos for this one.

I poured this beer with some heavy vigor but still only achieved one finger of carmel colored head that fades in minutes leaving a quarter inch of solid lace. Body is used motor oil blackness and just as thick. Nose has a black charred bourbon character and some carmel, coffee, smoke with a bit of an alcohol sting. Enters the mouth with a slight twang that has a bit of a dark fruit sour feel, but only slight. Then a nice bitter richness becomes evident with distinct bourbon laced all throughout. Bold bitter thickness really hangs on to the back of the tongue. This same thickness makes up the mouthfeel with some bitter dry twang. I have mentioned sour a few times but this is only a subtle sour. And I am not sure that is what is intended. This one really needs to be drank at room temperature. Drinkability is excellent as a all night sipper.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2009 22:02:01 | More by SPLITGRIN
Photo of alcstradamus
alcstradamus

Washington

4.18/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Decided to crack this one as a Thanksgiving day treat. 2006 vintage, served at the recommended temperature of 50-60 degrees.

Pours pitch black with a very foamy finger of tan head that leaves bits and pieces of lacing behind.

Smell is very smooth bourbon on top of a coffee and earthy hop base. Deep notes of oak sting the senses, alcohol burn isn't huge but is definitely noticeable. Smells fairly sweet also. Pretty damn nice.

Taste is MUCH more coffee forward than I would have imagined. Now, I realize that the base beer is a coffee infused stout, but I thought the barrel complexities would overpower the coffee a bit more. Well, they definitely didn't which makes for a beer that is surprisingly deep, complex, and subtle without being too brash and in-your-face with booze. Don't get me wrong, there is a lot of heat still there but compared to the only other BA Alesmith I have tried (07 Decadence) this is relatively tame. Background notes of oak, marshmallow, milk chocolate, a bourbon merely complement the huge roasted coffee grounds.

Mouthfeel is nearly full bodied with good carbonation levels, but I find this one to be a bit too dry. The bitter coffee beans just linger on the palate, which makes for an aftertaste that isn't as pleasant as the beer itself. Luckily the body helps make up for it.

I almost regret cracking this 750 because there is no way I am going to be able to finish it myself. Overall I thought the beer was very impressive but I wouldn't call it one of my favorites. Honestly, the dryness is the only thing really holding it back for me but unfortunately that has an impact on the taste, mouthfeel, and drinkability which is a large chunk of the score. Glad I got the chance to try it though. Back when I was in my coffee stout faze a while ago I would have probably given this a 4.8 or higher, but after having so many amazing beers over the last year it takes something really special for me to rate that highly nowadays. And I don't find this to have that specialness.

Nonetheless...still a fine, fine beer

EDIT: OK, here I am 4 hours later and it turns out I did finish the 750 all by myself. I originally rated the drinkability a 3.5, but boosted it up to a 4.5 because it is very rare for me to drink so much of this high of an ABV beer in one sitting. Perhaps I was forcing myself to drink every last drop because of the high cost. Or maybe it really is as good as they say. I think I'll take the middle ground.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2009 02:27:39 | More by alcstradamus
Photo of oline73
oline73

Maryland

4.18/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

We opened this up at our epic tasting this past weekend. 2009 bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance: This one pours almost black with a layer of cocoa colored head. Good retention on this beer.

Smell: Sweet and roasty. Picking up some bourbon with vanilla and maple from the barrel.

Taste: Really smooth bourbon up front with some of the vanilla and maple notes from the smell. I'm picking up the roast and sweetness from the malt. There is a warmth in the finish from the alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly carbonation. This one is really smooth with a dry finish.

Overall: This bottle was a bit hot, but I'm sure that will smooth out even more with more time. This is a really great BA stout.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2011 03:32:27 | More by oline73
Photo of rudzud
rudzud

Massachusetts

4.18/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2013 21:21:25 | More by rudzud
Photo of magictacosinus
magictacosinus

California

4.19/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks so much to the regular folks at Provisions for pouring this at the Cantillon tasting during SF Beer Week! Poured out of a 750ml bottle into a 6oz tulip glass. 3oz pour, too - about the right size needed for a basic evaluation.

Holy crap, that's a sludgy looking beer. Very, very viscous, with a blackened appearance with a mahogany tinted head that rises above in a creamy, decadent manner about a finger's worth, only to die down and fizzle into a modest ring with some superb bubbles laying at the top for quite some time. Looks a lot like other bourbon barrel aged imperial stouts that I've seen in the past, but it's definitely far more on the syrupy, fortified wine looking variety rather than the standard appearance that others (somehow) retain. A memorable first encounter, that's for sure!

Smells pretty good - almost in the same vein (if not *exactly* in the same vein) as Dark Horse's BBPT5. Big dark fruit notes, ranging from raisins to prunes to blackcurrant (with a little bit of dark cherry pits, maybe kirsch) thrown in, sprawled underneath huge notes of bourbon, imparting burnt toffee, butterscotch, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Peppery at the finish, with some roasted chocolate and coffee notes, but surprisingly subdued - perhaps the most subdued Speedway is at compared to the regular release and all of its coffee specific variants. Contains a brief port-like sweetness, but otherwise quite restrained and bountiful when it comes to the plethora of fruit, bourbon sugary notes, and roasted, bitter nuances at the back. Awesome stuff!

This is where beer makes its mark, and while it's quite solid and memorable for what it strives to do, especially in delivering the dark fruits and sugary bourbon goodness to the mix. Big notes of dark cherries, raisins, prunes (port comes to mind, once again), with a red wine grape sweetness that surprisingly comes through - perhaps the oak tannins are fooling my taste buds? Still, the fruits are awash with big bourbon flavors, ranging from vanilla to brown sugar, from burnt toffee to caramel. Molasses are huge at the middle, and the end continues some strong leathery and tobacco notes from the oak. Sweet, but finishes far more on the roasted side, imparting the ground espresso and chocolate that regular Speedway usually puts me head over heels. Syrupy, though, and could use more carbonation, as well as more balanced from the roasted conditions of the base beer. The bourbon isn't particularly overpowering, however, and it tastes a little duller as this warms up. Definitely complex, but loses a lot of gas, somehow. Definitely delicious in many respects.

For how difficult this is to obtain, however, it's definitely not the most recommended priority to chase after in the category of bourbon barrel aged imperial stouts. Parabola and KBS are far easier to find, and impart a lot more of the roasted notes that I prefer in these types of beers as they help cut down the bourbon sweetness substantially well. Somehow, this is lacking here, and I really did expect a lot more given the phenomenal base beer that Speedway is. Worth trying, but don't necessarily break your back trying to get one.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2014 06:22:52 | More by magictacosinus
Photo of MrDanno96
MrDanno96

Ohio

4.2/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Doodler hooks me up again! Served from a flip top bottle filled from a tap - I'm callin' this one a growler.

A: Pours pitch black with virtually no head to speak of - just a very fine ring of tannish bubbles around the perimeter of the glass. I think this one has lost a good amount of carbonation since the bottle was filled.

S: So sweet and luscious! Definitive aromas of milk chocolate and molasses, mixed with a large dose of sweet vanilla extract and bourbon. Smells a little "hot" too, if that's at all possible.

T: A good amount of chocolate, molasses, and oak up front. Not as much vanilla and bourbon in the flavor as in the nose, but both still definitely come through towards the finish. A little hop bitterness is also evident in the finish, which provides some nice balance. I think a little oxidation has sneaked its way into this bottle too, but it doesn't really detract from the overall experience. New layers of chocolate and buttery vanilla flavor come out as the quaff warms. The alcohol also becomes a little more apparent.

M: Thick and full bodied. The lack of carbonation detracts form things very little. In fact, a decently strong bite of alcohol in the finish mostly compensates for the lack of bubbly stimulation.

D: Admittedly, I probably did not review this beer under the best circumstances and I may have given it better marks fresh from the tap. That being said, however, as is it's a wonderful beer with many layers of complexity. I'll definitely seek this out fresh in the future, but I already really like it.

Serving type: growler

04-20-2010 03:38:23 | More by MrDanno96
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

4.2/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Happy birthday to me! I can't express enough gratitude to fiver29 for sending me this, a brew I truly thought I might not ever get to sample, especially an older one. 2003 vintage, bottle 79 of 196 split with my wife.

I will admit it; this is possibly the only bottle of beer I've ever held that I had second thoughts about opening. It wasn't easy. The cap pops with scarely a whimper, carbonation is close to absolute zero. Pours jet black with a double handful of tiny bubbles clinging together in the middle of the snifter. A quick swirl dissipates them completely. I can almost read the reflection of the computer screen in the darkness. The nose projects a good ways from the glass, warm, subtle bourbon & a hard shoulder of malts. Only a bare hint of coffee or roast.

This bottle of Barrel Aged Speedway is like an aging ballet dancer, the tastes are muted, graceful, & gentle, not at all like the hot bourbon bombs so common in my cellar. Despite that, the barrel retains the upper hand here, but it's a slow, thorough burn, like a high-end bourbon (not the Jim Beam I used to quaff). It's distilled out into a prominent vanilla tailing too, & the oak is strong both in the taste & the spit-drying ending. Roast malts do a nice job rounding the taste out, along with light touches of ash, coffee, & the faintest peels of dark fruit.

Smooth & silky beyond belief, this is the ideal for mouthfeel. The beer just slips into your drinking orifice, smiles slyly, & vanishes down the gullet, leaving only a lingering bit of Victoria's Secret lace on the throat. Wowza. Perhaps it's only the knowledge that I'll never get to sample this again (at least the '03), but I'd happily sit around all night sipping this with my pinky in the air.

Overall an excellent beer. I can only imagine getting to try it at various cycles of its life, & sure as hell hope I get to in the future. One more salute to fiver29, thank you so much, sir.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2011 03:34:05 | More by maximum12
Photo of SpeedwayJim
SpeedwayJim

New York

4.2/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 vintage. 3oz. Pour from a 750ml foiled and capped bottle into a TJs snifter. Thanks to capra12 for this one. Had at a tasting 9/4/11.

Pours a thin light mocha head with poor retention. Beer is an opaque black. Lacing is spotty and sparse with poor stick. Great legs though.

Nose is chocolate, vanilla, espresso beans, and a light overtone of booziness. Some molasses also. Great complexity and very aromatic.

Opens chocolate and sweet molasses. Brownie and cocoa in the middle with a touch of booziness towards the middle, end. End is more molasses and big vanilla sweetness. Finish is sweet booze and aftertaste is chocolate and sweet espresso. Very appropriate for the style with exceptionally robust flavors and surprisingly drinkable.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and oily in the mouth with some heat going down. Finish is hot with a lingering aftertaste. Pretty standard for a bear with big barrel characteristics except for the lighter body that really aids the integration of flavors.

I’m a big fan of Speedway stout but I’m surprised at what barrel aging has done for this beer. A completely different flavor profile very different from the coffee-dominant base beer emerges here. Silky smooth, complex, and just very good overall. Definitely worth seeking out.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2011 22:45:49 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of objectivemonkey
objectivemonkey

Minnesota

4.22/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Barrel aged 2007, 750mL bottle with gold foil, double waxed seal, standard silk skreen label, bottle number 321 of 447. Thanks to HopHead84 for this one, big time.

Into a chalice, pours a thick, syrupy thickness of pitch black, some nice fizzy, then eventually smooth, tan head that lasted for several minutes. Not much lacing, eventually the head evaporates and you have yourself a light trap, total darkness.

The aroma started off a tad odd, some cardboard to it, but as it warmed the vanillas and oaks, that classic bourbon feeling came one strong. The stock coffee and roasted malts form the base beer are still there, just massively overwhelmed by the bourbon. In my opinion, this detracts slightly from the exceptional base impy stout, but hey, that's just me. Taste is similarly dominated by the bourbon, oaks and vanilla, but some of the coffee remains, some roasted malt, some figs and fruits and stuff, its there, just pummeled by the boubon.

Mouth is smooth, warm and thick, initially nicely carbonate, but a bit flat as it warms. From the reviews I just read, it seems the earlier BB versions fared better, wish I couldn't have them, but as for this version, too much bourbon for me... and I like my bourbon in my big stouts! But it has just been too much and too overpowering for what I know to be a superior base impy stout, that I just can't forgive the crushing of favorite parts. That said, delicious beer, wish I had another dozen sitting in my cellar.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2009 02:38:54 | More by objectivemonkey
Photo of femALEist
femALEist

California

4.22/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the City Beer Store Alesmith event during SF Beer week.
The Bourbon Barrel Aged Speedway Stout is 12.5%, just a .5% more than their regular Speedway Stout. It poured an eclipse black with some light cream. It smelled like bourbon, malt, espresso, but not too overwhelmingly bourbon. It tasted like toasted malts, bourbon, but no burn. It was incredibly smooth for 12.5% and seemed more like it was created using Irish whiskey barrels perhaps? You don't get much vanilla or coconut flavors out of it- just a hint. Seems reminiscent of the Deschuttes XXI. Overall, pretty tasty.

Serving type: on-tap

03-25-2010 19:45:17 | More by femALEist
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.22/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks again Brad, long time want.

2007 vintage bottle #212. Poured into a tulip. Beer is black with a thin brown head that breaks and clings to the glass. Some (very little) lacing left on the glass and the carbonation is apparently low.

There is a woody / liquor sweet aroma to this beer. Smells great. Not a lot of alcohol but some sweetness and a hint of roasted malt.

Beer is really really smooth. Medium to full bodied, sweetness up front with an ever so slight amount of heat behind it. Oddly there is almost a late tartness to this beer. Its not lactic or acetic, the beer isn't going bad but there is a strong almost tannic character to the whole beer. I suppose this the result of the wood aging process. It is unexpected but does not interrupt the flow of the flavors in the mouth. Bitterness at the back is low but good. Overall a really good beer. I'd still like to do the side-by-side with the regular.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2010 18:43:33 | More by drabmuh
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

4.23/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Big thanks are owed to BdubleEdubleRUN for trading this brew to me last year. 2009 vintage shared with friends. The brew pours black in color with a tan creamy head. Spotty to webby patterns of lace stick to the glass. A swirl revives a finger of rich brown froth back to the surface.

The aroma displays a bold presence of barrel aging. Caramel and toasty with hints of mellow vanilla sweetness. There are some citrus coffee components still present mixing with the roast of the dark kilned grains. A mild alcohol inclusion is noted and as it warms up, there becomes a scent of coconut included.

The taste is toasty with plenty of barrel characteristics imparted. A bit tannic with a feel of raw wood blended into a smoother flavor of caramel and mild oxidative properties. Some citrus coffee bean element is present along with bitter roast and chocolate. Some solvent alcohol is noted across the back with a spirit accented aspect.

This is a medium bodied brew with a smooth feel and modest amount of carbonation. It is boozy at times and demands to be a sipper. I enjoyed the big alcohol inclusion and the bold array of barrel character that was imparted. I am very glad I had the chance to try this but not being the craziest fan of speedway, I could take it or leave it in the future. Overall though, I can see why fans of speedway would go apeshit over this brew each time this treatment is released.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2012 18:37:00 | More by stakem
Photo of gueuzedreg
gueuzedreg

Colorado

4.24/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2006 750ml #77/235. Another one bites the dust.

A- Jet black. No carbonation. The bottle cap wanted to come right off. No lacing.

S- Burnt wood, burnt toffee, dark chocolate; bourbon is muted melded in the back.

T- It tastes oxidized a bit. The bourbon is so mellowed out, and I think the lack of carbonation may have been from a slight air pathway in the bottle cap.

M- Very smooth, but no carbonation hurts this. Probably tastes like a new bottle where the lid has been off for a year in the fridge.

O- I was hoping for an epic experience with this rare bottle, instead I got a flat BA stout. I have had the '12, and I know how good this can be.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2014 01:18:29 | More by gueuzedreg
Photo of ncvbc
ncvbc

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep and dark, brown hues around the edges. Minimal tan head that fades quickly to a ring then to nothing. Rich and deep in the nose. Bourbon isn't showing up front but after it warms it shows more and more. Rich coffee, chocolate, and some dark fruits in the background. Bourbon...oak and vanilla show up. Taste is also pretty deep. The bourbon is more present but not dominant and imparts a nice vanilla flavor that comes in the finish. Coffee and chocolate. Some caramel and light butterscotch as well. Darker fruits still present. Mouthfeel is lacking in carbonation a bit and not as full as could be. Somewhat creamy but to silky to the point of almost being thin. Overall, it's a drinkable brew. Didn't quite live up to my expectations but it was enjoyable. I owe PHawk a huge thanks for helping me with a bottle of this. Not as good as the regular Speedway in my book but worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2008 05:30:09 | More by ncvbc
Photo of iadler
iadler

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle received in a trade from Hamilton23. Thanks man! Cracked open during our recent BA Dark Lord drinking extravaganza. From notes. 2009 bottle.

A- Pours pitch black with a one finger dark mocha head that leaves some lines of lacing.

S- Earthy bourbon, oak, light coffee, roasted malt, dark chocolate, dark fruit with notes of plumb, fig and black cherry and a hint of vanilla. A nice aroma, but a bit subdued.

T- Lots of dark chocolate followed by bourbon, oak, vanilla, coconut, coffee beans, roasted malt, dark fruits and caramel.

M- Light to medium carbonation with a full body that finishes a bit hot.

O- As a big fan of the regular Speedway Stout, I was very excited to try this. The bourbon barrels added some nice qualities to the base beer, but the aging also stripped away the big coffee characteristics that can be found in regular Speedway. Glad to try this and would happily have again, but wouldn't put the ammo it takes to land this.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2012 18:44:14 | More by iadler
Photo of Mistofminn
Mistofminn

Minnesota

4.28/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks goes out to Mothman for sharing this growler he got at our small pre-DLD tasting. Thanks to whoever sent this to Mothman!

Pours pitch black with about of half finger of tan head. Was expecting the head to be darker, but thats nitpicking. Surprised this is as carbonated as it is, good sign so far. Leaves some nice blotchy lacing.

The nose is lighter than I imagined it would be. I get virtually no coffee, and for the life of me can't decide what barrel's this was aged in. In the nose, bourbon seems out of the question, as it gives off a sweeter smell, like Whiskey or Rum. I get a light vanilla like character, but mostly chocolate and dark roasted malts.

The taste is smooth and creamy, with dark roasted malts, velvety chocolate with a soft woody character. Still having a hard time deciding on what barrel this is, but based on others reviews I guess it's bourbon? That wasn't my first guess.

Smooth and creamy, with a medium to heavy body. Lighter than I expected. Soft carbonation. Drinkability is surpringly good. I had no problem finishing my two generous pours.

Overall, I'm extremely grateful to try this once in a lifetime gem. It wasn't exactly what I hoped it would be, but a stellar beer none the less. Thanks a bunch, Ben!

Serving type: growler

04-27-2010 04:35:43 | More by Mistofminn
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

4.28/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 bottle, thanks Jay for sharing!

Wispy tan skim on a glassy obsidian surface. Ever present ring at the edge.
Dark and formidable body, the surface skim has the look of a planet's atmosphere.

As it warms there's distinct vanilla, coconut, and chocolate notes.

Flavor is rich, mildly oxidized, reminding me of Thomas Hardys. The alcohol has a mild sting but it doesn't affect the taste. Mellow roast and fudgy chocolate flavors, bitter coffee, an almost wine-like grape note surfaces too. Some soft bourbon traces, mostly vanilla and booze. Mellow carbonation, strong enough to keep it a sipper. Three years might be slighty too long to age, but it's still holding on.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2010 05:09:17 | More by emerge077
Photo of scottfrie
scottfrie

California

4.28/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2006 bottle into Jackie O’s snifter. Thanks Jeff!

A: Pours black with low carbonation and a thin dark brown head.
S: Sweet smelling with rich notes of coffee, vanilla, chocolate and a good dose of solventy alcohol.
T: Warming bourbon, touch of coffee, caramel, toffee. This tastes pretty much like the standard version with a good amount of well integrated bourbon.
M: Full bodied with a thick, heavy mouthfeel and low carbonation.
O: I loved the regular version so it was no surprise that this was just as good. Worth seeking out.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2011 23:38:38 | More by scottfrie
Photo of DavoleBomb
DavoleBomb

Ohio

4.28/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. 2009 vintage, which was released in 2011.

4.5 A: Black color. Two fingers of creamy light brown head. Retention is very good for a brew this big and a sizeable ring of lacing is left.

4.5 S: As expected, there isn't a whole hell of a lot of coffee left in this. There is some coffee, but it might just be coming from the base stout. Lots of chocolate and molasses. Caramel and a touch of smoke to follow. The bourbon is a bit softer than I was expecting, but I'm not disappointed since the base beer is more than solid. Leathery with melon and apple fruitiness. Light oak and enough vanilla to please.

4.0 T: The taste is very good, but it seems like the bourbon is now carrying the beer instead of the opposite found in the nose. Leather, vanilla, melon, smoke, light spiciness, oak, and bourbony booze predominate. Chocolate, molasses, caramel, and coffee from the stout. Don't get me wrong, this is borderline 4.5.

4.5 M: Medium, borderline heavy body. Good moderate carbonation. Nice creaminess. No qualms here.

4.5 D: Very tasty beer, but I wish it was easier to get. It takes a lot to pull this in a trade, so in the future I'll resign myself to obtaining BCSs, CBS, and BA Boris. That said, I'm happy I traded for this because it is a great beer and something everyone should try.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2012 22:16:48 | More by DavoleBomb
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spicelab

Australia

4.28/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to mulder1010 for sharing. Reviewed from notes.

Black with a persistent dark tan head.

Caramel fudge, chocolate, liquorice and dark fruits. Sharpness and pungency from the barrel aging, if not real discernible bourbon characteristics.

Moderate char and coffee roast gives way to plenty of rich, dark fruits, caramel, leather, cola, vanilla and hints of booze. Gets better with each sip.

Silky smooth with tingly carbonation. Some booze heat mars an otherwise flawless mouthfeel.

Didn't find the bourbon characteristics overbearing like some other reviewers - in fact found the opposite and that is my chief criticism of the beer. Technically very well done, but was expecting more complexity and barrel character.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2012 04:58:23 | More by spicelab
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SykDoc

Wisconsin

4.3/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared #96 of 233 with brdc and stoutsnipas, much thanks to brdc for sharing.

Poured from a bottle into a tulip, it pours an almost black with a deep tan head. Initial head was a 1/2-1 inch and quickly resides to a mild lacing.

The smell was reasonably good. It definitely had more of the oak and vannilla notes when compared to regular alesmith. The other dark chocolate and coffee notes are also present but not overwhelmingly high on coffee. Some bourbon notes are also present.

The taste was fairly good. It starts a bit heavy on the oak/vanilla combination and very mild bourbon. It them seems to hit more dark chocolate and coffee notes. There is a nice sourness that also aids in hiding the alcohol.

This is a full-bodied beer that sits on the palate fairly well without being overwhelming. It is quite smooth and not so creamy or sticky that it is hard to drink. Adequate carbonation.

This beer is a very good beer. It is interesting comparing with regular Alesmith, which I think is somewhat better. However, given the unique and limited number of this beer, it is certainly worth getting your hands on one, if you can. Very well hidden alcohol. Again, much thanks to brdc for sharing.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2009 23:43:37 | More by SykDoc
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billshmeinke

California

4.3/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge impenetrable blackness. Looks great.

Buttery bourbon, some coffee, a bit of oxidation.

Chocolate, toffee fudge, brownies, coffee, slight bitterness.

Mouthfeel is huge, rich, velvety, and super smooth.

So great. Big thanks to Allen for popping that.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2011 01:27:28 | More by billshmeinke
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rand

California

4.3/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-12-2013 03:38:24 | More by rand
AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 979 ratings.