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AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged - AleSmith Brewing Company

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

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308 Reviews
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(Send Samples)
Reviews: 308
Hads: 1,716
Avg: 4.47
pDev: 19.24%
Wants: 1,978
Gots: 517 | FT: 68
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: 308 | Hads: 1,716
Photo of tpd975
4.05/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to jdubfl for cracking open his bottle, lets me save mine for a later date.

2007 Vintage

A: Pours a deep dark black hue with a small tan head. No retention or lace.

S: aromas of bold dark fruit, mild notes of chocolate with a touch of oak.

T: Raisin, Raisin, and more raisin. This one is dripping with dark fruit flavors. It is supported by a bit of chocolate and coffee as well. The barrel is very very mild. Very light oak, no vanilla or booze to speak of.

M: On the fuller side of medium, nicely carbonated.

D: Good, wish it had a bit more roast and a bit more barrel though to be honest.

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Photo of bret27
4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Unsure of vintage.

S: Roasty and coffee predominantly. Also chocolate. A little booze and toffee malty sweetness around as well.

A: Jet black w/brn thick head.

T: Vanilla and wood dominate this one. Coffee along w/the delcious maltiness and roastiness. Vanilla and wood dominate this one., chocolate, toffee notes. A little boozy presence but the etoh is well hidden for sure.

M/D: Thick and velvety sublime mouthfeel. Drinkability is definitely impressive for ABV.

Overall: Bal-aging thins the body just a bit, and really balances out the coffee roast of regular speedway. I have to say that side by side I like this a bit better.

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Photo of stricklandia
4.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this as part of the Linkery's "Wood week," their fifth anniversary (wood) celebration. Tonight, they had a barrel-aged beer night, which included eight different barrel-aged beers. This one was by far our favorite of the five that we tried (with Firestone 12th Anniversary Ale a close second). To me, this came across as the best a stout can offer: full-bodied with all the flavors you would expect, but not too sweet or too strong or too heavy on the chocolate or coffee notes. A perfect balance, just right!

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Photo of mdfb79
4.67/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 2/6/10 notes, this was from a 2006 750ML bottle that nimbleprop shared at SC Day. We sampled an 08 Speedway followed by this.

a - Pours a dark black with about a finger of brownish head. Poured a darker color than the 08 Speedway.

s - I thought it smelled similiar to the 08 Speedway, which was mostly coffee and bourbon. Also smelled a little chocolate and some roasted malts.

t - Tastes like coffe and was a lot sweeter than I was expecting. Also has a vanilla bourbon taste to it. Very smooth.

m - Full bodied, this was very smooth and easy to drink.

d - Overall I really liked this stout. I liked the 08 Speedway, but thought this was a lot better. Very smooth for 12% ABV and I'd love to try this again sometime.

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

On tap @ Hamilton's. Deep dark black ale with a creamy two inch tan head that slowly recedes to lacing. Good looking stout. Smells of toasty malty bourbon with hints of coffee. Taste is sweeter than expected, malty, chocolate, coffee and bourbon. Smooth and rich with some alcohol burn in the finish, especially as it warms up. Delicious, complex, well rounded beer. Easy to drink with a nice full bodied mouthfeel. I only wish this one was more readily available.

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Photo of Lunch
4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 750ml bottle generously shared another BA at the Sexual Chocolate release in North Carolina (Thanks man!) into my Great Divide snifter (02/06/10).

A: Pours an extremely dark and mildly thick motor oil black with a lighter than expected two-finger head with nice retention leaving some sticky lace.

S: Has all the elements of the regular Speedway; coffee and roasted malt with just a faint hint of dark, bitter chocolate, but this clearly enhanced with a wonderful wave of vanilla bourbon.

T: Like the original, coffee is certainly the dominating force with this Imperial Stout and it does so in a very effective way. Seems quite fresh with some espresso-like qualities with a great degree of roasted malt and some hints of chocolate in a dark and bitter form. The barrel aging adds a whole new dimension to this beer with some nice sticky bourbon and layers of vanilla.

M: I found this to be slightly thinner than expected, but had some nice creaminess and moderate carbonation

D: Quite easy to drink especially for a 12% BA Imperial Stout.

In my oppinion this was a nice, but subtle improvement over the its non-BA brother, adding some nice dimension and character to an already stellar brew. Thanks again Mac!

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Photo of thedindaniel
4.55/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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Photo of punkrkr27
3.76/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2006 bottle shared by northernbrews at the Sept. 09 Metro Detroit tasting. Jet black pour with no head. The aroma was chocolate and roast with heavy oxidation and hints of oak, vanilla and bourbon. The flavor is more of the same with a distinct soy sauce like quality. Oily, full body. Sadly this seems to not have aged quite so well.

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Photo of kirok1999
4.52/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

More thanks to Mcallister for sharing the bottle.
A dense black in the snifter with wisps of dark lacing around the glass.
Smells sweet and creamy. Lots of dark fruit, raisins, cherries, caramel and oaky bourbon. One of the best smells I've ever had the pleasure to sniff.
Taste is not nearly as sweet as the smell. Lots of coffee pops up that just isn't in the smell. Tons of oak tannins, bourbon, prunes, cherries and dark caramel with chocolate.
Feels dense and lush, very heavy and creamy. A definite sipper; took me quite a long time to finish, maybe because I wanted to savor it. I can understand why this is so sought after.

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Photo of pixel
4.36/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle number 13/235
2006 Vintage
Thanks to BA member McAllister for sharing this bad boy

Pours a deep rich black with a very thin bubbly tan head. Slight lacing on the glass.
Smells of a stellar blend of bourbon, chocolate, and roasted coffee. Tastes of oak bourbon and very rich coffee. Somewhat of a sour tannic taste on the tongue like that you would get from eating the skins of fresh cherries. Very thick mouthful that coats the tongue. Surprisingly drinkable to me on this cold winter day, but definitely a beer meant to savor slowly.

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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.

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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

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Photo of weeare138
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Much thanks to hopdog for busting open this 2004 version. Bottle 134/228...
Appears a hazy dark brown, nearing black with a small, tan cap. Spotty bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of vanilla, oak, cocoa, caramel, toffee, espresso, and brown sugar.
Taste is of the addictive aromas with a sweet apple and cherry flavor pulling through in the flavors.
Mouthfeel is chewy, with oak tannins sticking to the pallet, with black cherry and coffee resounding in the finish.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The pour is thick and black with a thin tan colored foam on top.

S: Such a lovely nose on this one. Milk chocolate dominates the nose with lots of roasted malt, vanilla, coffee and a slight bit of bourbon.

T: Much like the nose, the chocolate and vanilla are really the stars of the show. The coffee flavor is not as noticeable as in the regular Speedway, but I don't necessarily think the beer is hurt by this. A nice touch of bourbon and roasted malt as well.

M: The beer is full bodied, creamy, and very smooth with light carbonation.

D: A dangerously drinkable beer. This is easily one of the best barrel aged beers I've tried. Very smooth and not too heavy on the barrel character, but not "too light" either.

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Photo of JoeySchlitz
3.52/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Have been waiting to try this for quite some time now and thanks to the generosity of waltonc, I was finally able to partake in this rarity. Bottle #67/235 of the 2006 batch.

Pours midnight black with some wispy lacing and bubbles around the edges. Very little carbonation if any at all. The aroma is enticing, with dark chocolate coffee cake with a lactic sour barrel funkiness. Unfortunately the smell was much better than taste and mouthfeel.

I have to say it was not bad but pretty underwhelming and actually seemed a lesser beer than a regular speedway stout. A bit stronger coffee taste with bitter bakers chocolate with a ripe sour cherry finish. Not much barrel (makes me wonder what type of barrel they use in the aging) with moderate heat. It is not nearly as viscous as I would have liked and for this beer, it is borderline watery. Any carbonation would have helped this out significantly. Fairly easy to drink but again without carbonation and the sour funkiness to it, made it a bit difficult to finish my glass.

Overall it was an ok beer but was a pretty big letdown. I look forward to trying another BA Speedway to compare this with, but not sure I'll go out of my way for one.

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Photo of waltonc
2.16/5  rDev -51.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Had a 2006 bottle of this with JoeySchlitz last night. I was really looking forward to this and saved it for the holidays. Unfortunately, it may have been spoiled. The smell and taste had a sour spoiled milk quality to them that overrode everything else for me. I ended up having to pour this down the drain. It poured black with no head at all. Body was on the lighter side for a big barrel aged stout (but still fairly thick on an absolute scale). This was a disappointing and surprising brew, as I really enjoyed the barrel aged Numbskull and barrel aged 07 Decadence, so figured the BA Speedway would follow in the same vein.

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

great brew the barrel aging really mellows this one out. Not much coffee coming through but really smooth,vanilla oak notes.Worth the effort and a great BDay treat. Chocolaty expresso greatness. Recommend if you're ever lucky enough to find one of these rare treats. Just enough coffee to accent the flavor just the way it should be..hided the alcohol content dangerously well..

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Photo of TexIndy
4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

600th review!
2007 Vintage #290/447. Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip. Got from ummagum who got it directly from Alesmith. It came in the standard Speedway Stout bottle with pen markings on the side to identify it as the BA and bottle number. Was pitch black even against a strong light. Good carb streams in center from the etching. It had about a finger of brown foam that quickly dissipated into a collar and some wisps in center. No lacing but at 12%ABV you don't expect any.

The aroma was mostly mellow bourbon with some oaky vanilla and then just a bit of the base coffee. It's a bourbon show but it has mellowed as it aged so not overpowering. The tastes closely follows the aroma. Again, it's bourbon show with some oak and weak coffee highlights. The bourbon has mellowed so not overpowering. Has a slightly sweet finish. BA's are not my favorite style but this shows what a great BA can be. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy with good carb tingle.

Overall, an excellent BA stout that highlights what good barrel aging can do. Dangerous drinkable at 12%. Most highly recommend if you want to try a top tier BA beer. I was at the brewery in October and they said it would probably be another 12-18 months before this comes out again so get to trading if you want one. Rotation - not avail in TX - got from a friend. Wouldn't mind trying this again with another 1 or 2 on it to see what happens...but since so rare this probably will be my only shot.

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Photo of alcstradamus
4.2/5  rDev -6%
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.

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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!

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

Had this out of a bottle with three 2oz pours. Wish I could say I had more, but with a limited amount for everyone at the South Bay tasting, you have to pick your battles and I'm very, very thankful to have had the chance at this. Who knows if I'll have it again?

2007 bottle.

Appearance: Dark black, much like normal Speedway, really, with decent carbonation and clinging lace. Really not too much here to differentiate between the original and the BA.

Smell: Solid bourbon barrel character comes through with the coffee acting more as a backbone than a full-frontal character. Oaky vanilla, slight chocolate, and mild sweetness. Very solid barrel-aged stout, and simply smells like a bourbon Speedway, but it works as a companion, not a separate entity.

Taste: Bourbon is certainly present, but not overwhelming. Much less than BCS, Angel's Share, and such, but still upfront and present. Coffee, chocolate, sweet maltiness, vanilla, and oak finish it out. Very solid, but it lacks just that little extra "wow" for me that 5s bring. Still, excellent, through and through.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, carbonated just right, and finishes--much like its non-barrel counterpart--with little alcoholic evidence. Smooth and delicious.

Drinkability: Tastes a bit more of the part of a 12% thanks to the bourbon, but just a great mixture of two styles. It feels like a baby Black Tuesday though is what kept running through my head, and it kept nagging me every sip I had that, while I really liked this beer, Black Tuesday does everything it did and just a hint more. Still, a very worthy member of the all-world stouts, and makes a great base beer a great barrel-aged beer. Highly recommended.

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

2006 Vintage 750ml gold foil / standard label (so its from the second release of the 2006 vintage) poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Inky black goodness with a tiny brown cream head that shows little retention but leaves some swirls of lace behind.

Smell: Loads of beautiful bourbon sweetness meets oak, vanilla and roast malt. Smells more sweet than boozy. Pungent but well refined. I'm not getting as much coffee as other reviewers have mentioned.

Taste: My first sip provides an initial wave of sweet oak that opens up into dark roasted malt, a touch of dark fruits...plum and prune mainly and finishes with a refined bourbon twang.

Mouthfeel: Fairly creamy and on the thick side of medium bodied. Not too much carbonation but this brew doesn't need it.

Drinkability: For a 12% abv brew I'm finding little heat, little booze, a good mouthfeel, and a good flavor profile.

Sweet Brew!

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Photo of pwoods
3.83/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to RoyMunson for sharing this bottle. 750ml brown bottle poured into a snifter. Notes. '06 bottle.

A: Pitch black, medium viscosity. Some head and a bit of lacing.

S: Some barrel and old coffee. Roasted malts.

T/M: More of the barrel and some bourbon, some vanilla. Roasty, stale coffee. Things don't really meld too great. Body is medium full with mellow carbonation. Somewhat dry.

D: Solid but not earhty shattering. I prefer the other 2 BA'ed brews.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 308 ratings.