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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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309 Reviews
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(Send Samples)
Reviews: 309
Hads: 1,720
Avg: 4.47
pDev: 8.05%
Wants: 1,980
Gots: 518 | FT: 69
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: 309 | Hads: 1,720
Photo of dar482
4.81/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The beer pours out in a dark brown color, black in the glass with a reasonable head.

The aroma is big of chunky chocolate, umami, heavy roast, slight bourbon sweetness.

The flavor follows with sweet chocolate up front, some umami, and bitterness throughout. Coffee lingers on the palate. The bourbon is quite slight, but offers lots of vanilla. Great carbonation with a creamy flavor and mouthfeel.

An extremely balanced barrel aged brew, but could use a touch more barrel character. Still one of the best BA stouts around.

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Photo of Beersnake1
4.91/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from fridge temp to Alesmith snifter. Look is incredible. Good carbonation with about 1cm of tan head. Smell is out of this world. Lots of bourbon, coffee, chocolate, licorice, and vanilla. Taste follows the nose nicely. The coffee is incredible. The licorice seems strong, which is fantastic. Marshmallow, chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, and blackberries. The feel is very creamy - not thin at all. This is absolutely amazing. Overall, one of the best BA stouts I have tried.

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Photo of cbutova
4.67/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Thanks Adam. March 2013 bottle. Tampa review dump, full notes to IPad during consumption.

A- Pitch black pour to a snifter with a small brown head. Frothy cap has decent retention but eventually dies completely. Sticky legs but rare lace.

S- Barrels rather prominent atop the big warm base stout. Bourbon whiskey smoothed out with caramel and peppery notes. Coffee muted a bit from that with cocoa in there as well.

T- Lots of Bourbon but it has a very high quality whiskey feel. Pepper, vanilla, semi fresh woody oak, dark figs and charred wood. Coffee and cocoa are big and support the barrel with the dark stuff.

MF- Thick body but a tiny bit thinned from the extra bourbon. Carbonation just below medium with a heat on the back end. A little bit creamy but could be more for the flavors.

Very nice Bourbon barrel meets the classic coffee imperial stout. Amazing flavor from the oak and whiskey. Decadent cocoa, coffee and vanilla oak. Probably the best beer of an insane weekend of tasting.

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Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottling

Appearance: A semi-hard pour whips up a frothy mocha head that leaves a nice webby pattern of lace; the remaining liquid is black with just a hint of chocolate brown at the edge

Smell: Chocolate cake and caramel, with subtle hints of Bourbon, vanilla and coffee

Taste: Rich chocolate cake flavor, up front, with caramel and Bourbon tones developing; coffee and vanilla arrive to add complexity to the finish

Mouthfeel: Thick mouthfeel, with low carbonation; some warmth from the ABV

Overall: As I tasted this beer I was thinking it must have a few years on it, as I didn't notice, at first, the year emblazoned on the image of the barrel; I generally like my BA beers to have a year or two of age on them to settle down their aggressive elements and to add complexity; the problem, here, however, is that you surrender the coffee influence when you age the beer; still, a very nice beer but I think I prefer the non-BA coffee variants better

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Photo of kkleu357
4.53/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Dark thick black body. Smells like chocolate fudge. Very thick mouthfeel. Probably the thickest beer I've ever had. Super sweet. Lots of whiskey taste. If you try to find coffee, you can find it over the chocolate and whisky. Really yummy.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

thanks to drlovemd87 for sharing another treasure from his cellar. this one is special, and is perhaps the most well integrated use of barrel out there right now. the bourbon doesn't overpower the grain or the coffee, and all the elements are there together, its lovely. just a little froth on top of a jet black viscous base, intimidating in the glass. the nose is heavy vanilla, fresh coffee grounds, and warming alcohol. dried fruit, raisin maybe, and oak are there too, as is a rather dry earthen roasty character. the flavor isn't dry at all though, its sweet all the way through with a toffee and honey quality, and again with the vanilla. the bitterness of the dark barley and the coffee are tempered and counteracted by the barrel, which makes good sense. the coffee isn't quite as robust as it is in the regular speedway, but its role seems more important here. it remains the focus of the beer I think, as much as the barrel character creeps into view. layers of flavor and one of the longest finishes in the business. I love the way it feels, with all this body and slickness, despite being a palate coater. great great beer overall, I would love to try some of the other variants they do with it.

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Photo of docoman
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

During my San Diego trip mid November this year (craft beer week in SD was incredible) sampled at the Stone Beer Garden liberty station on draft. Great BA stout, pretty much like most BA stouts, but this one didn't disappoint. Would recommend trying if you are fan of BA stouts like myself.

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Photo of roger617
4.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into snifter.

A: Pours pure black with 1 finger of khaki head that reduces slows and leaves a thin collar throughout the glass. Viscosity seems to be thick, but a little shy of what I was expecting for the ABV.
S: I mainly get coffee, bourbon, and chocolate. Aroma is very pleasant, much improved over the regular Speedway, which was extremely dominant in coffee.
T: As a bourbon fan, this flavor speaks to me quite nicely. The barrel aging has done this beer wonders, as the bourbon flavor is very present and adds a much needed compliment to the strong coffee presence. I also get chocolate and roasted malt.
M: Feel is thick and smooth, carbed well, leaving a slightly dry aftertaste which I attribute to the coffee. Lingering feel is dry with the compliments of coffee and bourbon.
O: This beer is a great barrel aged stout that gets lost in a very popular category. I love how strong the bourbon and chocolate come forward to bring a needed balance to the coffee.

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Photo of LisaBarker
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Wow, this beer is so thick it could paint walls a nice toasty brown color. It is very complex with many flavors going on. I especially like the dark roast coffee flavors I get with the smooth yet potent bourbon flavor that warms you right up. I couldn't drink more than one in one sitting, it is definitely a sipping beer but quite enjoyable.

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Photo of LambicPentameter
4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opened this bottle as part of a small tasting with friends because there's something about a $40+ bottle of beer that makes it seem anticlimactic to open by yourself. I don't remember seeing if there was a bottling date, but this particular bottle is of the 2014 vintage. Poured into a Belgian-style tulip glass.

Appearance (4.5) - Poured with some vigor, since I know barrel-aged beers have a tendency to lose their ability to generate much head, and I'm rewarded with a finger and a half of dark cocoa colored foam. Several of the smaller bubbles immediately start to expand, giving it a spongy appearance until it dissipates to a film of intermittent foam and ringlet. Some sticky, thin swaths of lace adorn the sides of the glass.

Smell (4.5) - A wonderful collection of aromas, with the roasted malt and bourbon taking the lead, but in a well-blended way that makes them seem like a single aromatic note. I'm a little dismayed at the lack of coffee presence--it's there, but muscled out of the picture by the much more prevalent notes of vanilla, caramel, bourbon and oak. It's honestly hard to distinguish the more bitter roasted malt notes from the coffee notes. That said, I cannot dock it too much, as the smell is still wonderful. Maybe my favorite element of this beer.

Taste (4.25) - As with the smell, the coffee takes a back seat to the barrel characteristics, with sweet booze and really nice notes of caramel and toffee blending with the grain to produce the sensation of kind of a granola bar dipped in bittersweet chocolate and drizzled with a ribbon of caramel. The only negative--and it's hardly one at all--I can say is that I wish it were a bit more overt. It's impressive that AleSmith could make such a big, bold style, with lots of flavors going on, and blend it into a nice, smooth-drinking beer, but I like my BA stouts to be a little more aggressive.

Feel (4.5) - There is a nice full-bodied nature to this, in spite of being (I believe) 100% barrel-aged. The carbonation is moderate to low--just enough to prevent the sweet viscosity of the body from becoming cloying or smothering.

Overall (4.5) - A wonderful beer that I'm glad to have tried, and one that I would recommend to anyone who hasn't had it, price tag be damned. That said, the price is prohibitive for repeat purchases, because if I'm paying that kind of price for a bottle, it needs to be one of the best beers I've ever tasted to warrant a return purchase. And it's a well enough made beer that for some, it could very well be just that. But not for me. As such, I will just tip my cap to AleSmith and say "stout well done".

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

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into an Alesmith sample glass. Not sure of the vintage, as the bottled on date is smudged, but I think it's a 2010. Thank you Kevin for this one!

Pours a thick, inkjet, oily body with a 3 finger milk chocolate colored head that reduces fairly quickly to leave a ring of retention.

Smell is inviting and potent - vanilla bean, heavy dark fruit, bourbon, some mustyness (I'm assuming from the age), milk chocolate, some booze in the background.

First thing to hit the tongue is sweet butterscotch, vanilla, sugar cookie, followed by milk chocolate, bitter roasted coffee, with a super charred, roasty malt aftertaste that sticks around for a while. Thick, rich, heavy body with low carbonation.

Very nice, super tasty, rich, complex, and balanced while hitting all the good flavor points of a barrel aged stout. Highly recommendable!

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

A - Pours pitch black with a minimal head and leaves a thick, coffee colored lacing ring around
the top of the beer.

A - Bourbon, vanilla, dark toffee roast, oak, and caramel.

T - Perfectly balanced layer upon layer of toffee, caramel roast, vanilla, oak, bourbon, and not
overly boozy or over powering. Light smoky char.

M - Full medium body, silky smooth, lip smacking sticky.

O - An amazingly well balanced barrel aged beer.

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Photo of JonnyBeers
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

March 2013 bottle. Still pretty darn hot, and I generally don't mind the bourbon heat. The coffee is still super strong, and the best part of the beer for me. I prefer the base Speedway to be honest. This one doesn't stack up to a fresh Bourbon County, and it pails in comparison to a BC Coffee. Too hot, still. It's very good, but considering how easy it is to get the regular Speedway in my area, I doubt I'll make a huge effort to find this one again when the regular is $12 a 750ml.

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Photo of KYGunner
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

The nose held dark fruit, figs, chocolate, brownie batter, sweet malts and dark cherries. The flavor held true with a bit more brownie batter and strong prune, date and dark fruit. The barrel and bourbon are too subtle. This drinks velvety smooth and coats the mouth well. I'm impressed but found myself asking for more of the barrel.

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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.

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Photo of JohnG190
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

2012. Pours pitch black with a lasting mocha head. Lots of coffee, chocolate, and bourbon on the nose. Chocolate and coffee on the front of the tongue with hints of vanilla, bourbon, and oak. Full bodied. Lack of carbonation adds to the creamy mouthfeel. Overall, one of the best coffee stouts I've ever had.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.46/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a massive thick black with oily consistency and no head present. The nose starts with a smack of deep roasty coffee with heavy chocolate, coffee ground, vanilla, dark fruit, and charred oak. The taste is quite sweet up front with healthy doses of chocolate coffee and vanilla. The coffee has a nice earthy and distinct profile, the barrel smooths things out. Mouthfeel is super heavy with mild carbonation. Overall, delicious and big!

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Photo of ptykozoon
4.09/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with brown highlights in the light, no head/lacing.

Smells decadent and strong. Fudge, coffee, raisin, cinammon.

Taste is dark fudge with hints of chocolate and oak.

Mouthfeel is superb, ABV controlled - almost negligible.

A dessert beer with decent complexity.

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of mjpolzin
3.98/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Despite the hefty price tag, I was excited to obtain a bottle of this so I could try what is a very highly rated beer. When I initially tried regular Speedway Stout, I was somewhat underwhelmed when comparing to other coffee stouts. The same is true with the barrel aged version. It was a really good beer but not up to par with some of the better barrel aged coffee stouts out there. At $40 a bottle, this is one that I probably won't seek out again although I was happy to be able to try it.

The beer pours a thick, opaque black with little head. The smell is a sweet mix of bourbon and coffee. My issue with the taste (just as with regular Speedway) is that the coffee seems rather rash and isn't smoothly integrated into the rest of the beer. Maybe with some age this would mellow out. Otherwise, the bourbon taste is very enjoyable and overall the beer has a sweetness that is similar other big stouts.

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Photo of HalfFull
4.19/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2013 release poured into a snifter glass. Pours jet black with a deep mocha cap. Cap doesn't linger long but keeps a surface cap through the glass.

Aroma is barrel forward with bourbon and wood along with some cherry chocolate, vanilla and toffee. Richer chocolate through a fresh top off/cap of foam. Notes of ethanol are present yet more intriguing than insultive in a cognac sense and quite welcome.

Tastes of chocolate liqueur, Sabra in a sense, at least the way it used to be :) Rich yet not too rich and with light chocolate and just a hint of roast. Sweet yet not too sweet. Bready chocolate and spice on the moderately lingering finish. Overall very intriguing and I have a few more.

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Photo of timc100
4.77/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Little revisiting in Feb 2015. Damn this is good - much richer than the first time, not sure of thats age or just a better day for the palate.

Great depth of RIS dark fruits, rich coffee in the back ground with the fruits, huge barrel sweetness, vanilla cream, oak and whiskey-caramel. Drinks incredibly smooth, full, and soft.

Outstanding beer, one of the best.

Fresh 2014

Pours as dark as the base - incredibly creamy mocha head for a BA beer. Oak barrel dominates - vanilla, some graham cracker. Dark roasted coffee, roasted malts, some dark fruits from the coffee, bakers cocoa. Flavor is full and finish is long, dry and roasty with a booze kick. Pronounced oaky vanilla in the taste. Do not get much bourbon, just oak barrel and it works very well. As it warms up more sweet barrel nuances come out.

Great stuff. This has been a personal whale for a while

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Photo of Lemke10
4.77/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This pours a pitch black color with a medium brown head. The aroma is ever so boozy mixed with roasted hints of bourbon and vanilla. The texture is thick, smooth, and delicious. This seems to be a lighter, less robust version of the normal Speedway Stout but the flavor are much deeper and more complex. Well worth the extra money if you ever get the chance to buy it.

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Photo of aquazr1
4.48/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle served in a tulip. Pours jet black with little head. Nose is bourbon and coffee. Taste is bourbon, coffee and chocolate. A deep, rich stout that is a joy to drink.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

750 ml capped bottle poured into a snifter.
12% ABV, Bottled on 10/30/13

A - Pitch black through and through, Barrel-Aged Speedway Stout generates a mocha head worthy of praise and keeps it's loose form very nicely!

S - Charred bourbon oak stave swirls smoky nuances and alcohol heat into the thick, chocolaty aroma complimented by medium roast coffee notes and crumbled honey graham crackers.

T - Rich milk chocolate washes over the tongue with robust presence while toting cocoa and mocha dryness, faint coffee undertones, and a warming vanilla bourbon note that punctuates the finish with lightly charred, smoky oak!

M - Heavy and full-bodied, AleSmith's barrel-aged Speedway Stout pulls no punches in the mouthfeel department. This thick and rich beer delivered the exact body I was expecting; creamy, smooth, and moderately sweet with a finish of warm alcohol that dries the palate out for a sort of balance.

O - After my first three failed attempts at the newly released barrel variants (read: price > quality) of AleSmith here in Wisconsin, I was pretty weary of dropping nearly $40 on this bottle, but I've heard amazing things time and time again, for years no less. Of the four I've experienced, I'm happy to say, this bottle is the closest to being worthy of it's extraordinary dollar demand, though probably more than I'd pay for it again.

Barrel-Aged Speedway Stout is rich with chocolate intricacies but nearly devoid of coffee nuances; perhaps from it's age? It just became available here. Either way, it mimics the others regarding its apparent time in the barrels: short. Not boozy in the least, its robust, full body is demanding of attention but, it screams by like a race car; gone in a flash. Delicious as all hell, this lifts the beer that's aged in the bourbon barrel on a higher pedestal than the barrel its aged in while making both complimentary. Bravo, AleSmith!

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AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 309 ratings.