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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

303 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 303
Hads: 1,686
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 3.6%
Wants: 1,974
Gots: 493 | FT: 61
Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: beerguy101 on 01-01-2004

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 303 | Hads: 1,686
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.12/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Tieman for sharing this one at his tasting.

2009 vintage.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, bourbon, and wood. Taste is much the same with a slight tartness. There is an alcohol kick and a mild roasty bitterness with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a great smell but the taste doesn't quite match up for me. (565 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 Vintage. Bottle 358/447. Shared with bmanning, Amyliz4, and heatherh at a recent tasting. Big thanks to nflmvp for this one!

A: Pours a very dark brown with a powerful mocha head. Very nice lacing as it makes its way down. Great appearance on such a strong brew.

S: Massive bourbon nose in the initial whiff, followed by sweetened dark fruits, roasted malt, and a hint of wood.

T: Big bourbon again. A bit of roasted malt, and a beautiful yet quaint dark, tart cherry flavor. A bit of sweetened dark fruits. Hints of oak and a very nice espresso bitterness. Very complex all around. I love regular Speedway, and this one blows it away.

M: Nice and creamy with an alcohol bite that is wonderfully in proportion to the rest of the flavors in the beer.

D: Supreme. One of the best stouts I've had in a long, long time. Again, big thanks to Steve for sending this one out my way. (885 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
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. (1,208 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
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 (965 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a medium size foamy head with minimal retention. Aroma of dry whisky with notes of dry roasted malt is interesting. Taste is a nice mix between some dry roasted malt notes with some coffee though not as much as in the original version with some dry whisky notes. Body is about average with medium carbonation and alcohol is not too apparent. A bit too dry and astringent for my taste thought still very much enjoyable. (464 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4.78/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

'03 vintage received from seaoflament. Thank you, Carlos!

Appearance: From a 750ml bottle into a wine glass, the only suitable thing I had on hand at the place I drank this. The pour is dark chocolate brown, nearly black, with no head whatsoever. It sits in the glass viscous and opaque.

Smell: Chocolate and molasses. Moderate oxidation, but the good variety - there are no off aromas here. Rather, it's got a quality almost like vintage port or sherry. Wonderfully rich, sweet and dessert like.

Taste & mouthfeel: The first thing noticed is that there's no carbonation. The second thing noticed is that carbonation is completely unnecessary. The lack of bubbles only enhances the chocolatey richness and silky smooth mouthfeel. As the nose suggests, molasses is up front in the taste, with a strong undercurrent of chocolate and dark fruit. Coffee still comes through with surprising strength, especially in the finish, which dries the palate only slightly. Compared to fresh Speedway, all the rough edges have been smoothed; there's no trace of alcohol, low bitterness, no astringency; this is remarkably smooth beer. If not for the rarity (and strength), this would be downright quaffable.

Notes: This is the sort of beer that, before you try it, you have to wonder if it's all hype or if it actually merits all the praise. The answer is yes, it's worth every word of praise. Incredible stuff. (1,401 characters)

Photo of emerge077
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%
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. (675 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.92/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2006 Vintage bottle 62 of 233 . Consumed on 07/07/2008.

Had the pleasure of having this one last night. I had been waiting forever to get to try this and finally was bale to score. Immediately chilled this one and decided to break it out last night after having had the numbskull the night before. I had really enjoyed both of the other two BA Alesmith releases so far, and was hoping this would be the icing on the cake so to speak, and I have to admit I was anything but disappointed. Served at fifty degrees and decanted into a Snifter over the course of the evening.

Appearance - The pour on this one was just about as I would have expected, and just spot on. A rich, deep, dark as night colored liquid came gurgling out of the bottle immediately. Rich and thick in appearance it left no light inside of it whatsoever. Very nice one finger thick layer of chocolate colored foam, which had a nice tendency to stick around for a good long while. Really nice side glass lace thoroughly coated the inside of the glass throughout.

Smell - The aroma was perfect. Huge smell of coffee coming off of this one from the moment on opened the bottle, but I have to admit, it was more then that. It was enormously rich, with touches of oak and vanilla, hints of sweet milk chocolate and a touch of alcohol. This was definitely a big beer and actually very sweet. I was loving every minute of this one so far.

Taste - The flavor was just as heavenly as the aroma. Rich coffee notes just rolling out across the tongue, immediately coating everything that they touch. Sweet coffee flavor, with nice touches of oak riddle throughout. The barrel aging here took on more of a highlighting effect then n overpowering note. Subtle touches of light chocolate coming through towards the end as well. Wonderfully complex and rich, this was simply heavenly. Long lasting flavor of coffee, with oaky highlights, playfully dancing hints of vanilla just lingering for what seemed to be forever. I was really impressed here.

Mouthfeel - This was not as huge and thick and creamy as some of the other stouts, however it was masterfully done. Definitely full bodied, every sip of this was like a little slice of dessert. Really great bit of beer here, with a thick coating feel to it and a really nice carbonation profile.

Drinkability - I could have sipped on this one for days. There was no hint really of the alcohol to the extent you would have expected given the strength. A very solid sipper that I had a wonderful time with and would gladly throw down another any day of the week.

Overall would have to say this one was beyond excellent. A truly wonderful beer that I really could not get enough of. I would love to have this any day of the week, and I really think that hype to the level things get is not always deserved. But I have to admit, this was really damn good! (2,858 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
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. (721 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.42/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007 Vintage, Bottle #295. Good call on this one, UncleJedi. You have chosen... wisely.

Appearance: Pours a turbid, dark brown, near black body with a thin, short-lived, tan head.

Smell: A very full, all-encompassing bourbon barrel presence on the nose -- large notes of oak wood and full-on bourbon with lighter notes of vanilla and coconut shavings. Pair this up with a malt aroma replete with plenty of chocolate and roast and you have something worth smelling.

Taste: Cup of Sumatra Dark Roast 'Black Satin' Coffee stirred up with aged oak and light touches of vanilla and coconut and garnished with a few chocolate-covered coffee beans. Fleeting plum fruitiness. Some fire-roasted marshmallows. A pinch of Black Cavendish Tobacco. Medium roast bitterness. Plenty of alcohol to be found, but, thankfully, it's not glaring. Warming, roasty finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Yes! This is going to be a pleasure to finish off, I can tell. It's so darned yummy, I just had to tell the world! (1,033 characters)

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

Served in a tumbler.

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

Photo of oline73
4.2/5  rDev -5.4%
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. (712 characters)

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

750 ml foil topped bottle into a couple of snifters. 2009 Edition. Many, many thanks go to Stakem for sharing this huge want of mine with me.

Pours black, topped with a solid finger of thick mocha froth. The retention here is fantastic, with a rich ½ finger that just slathers the sides of the glass with gooey brown oils and spotty lacing. The aroma smells of bourbon barrel right off the bat, with notes of charred oak, vanilla, and coconut that segue into those already delicious flavors of coffee, chocolate, and then toffee along the back. Just a little bit of alcohol warmth sits along the back of the nose as well.

The base sits at the forefront of the taste, with chocolate and toffee sweetness, and I’m happy to find that the coffee still has a lot of life left to it as well. Bourbon moves in along the back, with notes of vanilla, coconut, and then dry burnt wood across the back. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with some light crispness to the carbonation but the tannic slickness here from the wood makes this extremely creamy and easy feeling. For 12% ABV, the alcohol here is just magnificently hid. Just wonderful.

There isn’t quite a total melding of barrel and base Stout here but the beautiful transition from the Speedway to the barrel in the back really makes this beer work. I’m a huge fan of the regular Speedway Stout and this just really took things to a new delicious level for me. Thanks again for the share Adam. I enjoyed every drop of this fantastic beer. (1,497 characters)

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

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

Photo of kojevergas
4.13/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750ml brown glass bottle with papered over pressure cap served into an EKU 28 stem-snifter in me gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are through the roof.

Served a bit warmer than refrigerator cold. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a beautiful rich tan colour head of one finger, great thickness, impeccable cream, and amazing retention for the high ABV. Fantastic lacing. Body colour is a solid jet black. Gorgeous.

Sm: Heavy bourbon and wood, caramel, dark malts, cream, oak, and chocolate. A subtle understated delightful moderate strength aroma.

T: Chocolate, dark malts, caramel, bourbon, oak, and a bit of faded coffee. Beautifully balanced and built. Not as complex as it could be, but it's fucking tasty. Lacks the coffee flavour of the regular Speedway Stout.

Mf: Divine. Incredibly smooth and creamy, with perfect wetness. Complements the flavour profile masterfully. Silky. Perfect carbonation. Wonderfully soft.

Dr: Obscenely drinkable for 12%. I could down this all night. An incredible offering, but it could use more complexity in the flavour. Hides its ABV absurdly well.

A- (1,191 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.44/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was the '03 vintage, courtesty of TurdFurgison. Didn't bother to copy down the bottle number. Served in a Chouffe tulip.

A - Pours with minimal foam that quickly settles to a thin ring of bubbles, leaving behind no lace but some sticky legs instead. Body is black, with maybe a faint brownish glint at the upper edge.

S - Vanilla, bourbon, chocolate cake, plenty of oak and barrel, some light soy and dark fruit oxidation notes, and perhaps still a hint of solvent alcohol in there. Minimal coffee, but that wasn't unexpected.

T - The taste is more mellow, with some light oxidation notes, and big prune and dark fruit notes. Not as much chocolate, but more earth and charred wood instead.

M - No heat, extremely low carbonation. Full-bodied, quite chewy and sticky. Surprisingly little tannic character - seems to have faded in the intervening years.

D - I found this quite easy to drink, and went back for a few more ounces after my initial pour. I liked this more than the 2008 growler, but I'm not sure it's the mind-blowing experience others have described. (1,072 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.67/5  rDev +5.2%
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. (727 characters)

Photo of orangesol
4.77/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Review #400!! HUGE thanks to Kramer for busting out one of my all time wants for us to try. 2004 Bottle, number 120 / 228.

A - Pours black as night with a nice one finger tall mocha colored head leaving light lace down the glass. Not the prettiest beer but it is stil plenty serviceable.

S - Smells of rich coffee, milk chocolate, vanilla, oak, and warm bourbon. For being seven, going on eight years in the bottle this one has held up beautifully, still plenty of coffee to go around.

T - Starts off with a big dose of fresh brewed coffee slowly giving way to a mix of chocolatey sweetness, vanilla, oak, tobacco, and warm bourbon. Even with all those flavors going on it remains balanced, smooth and easy drinking. Finish has lots of dark roast, lingering on the pallet for some time. A touch of oxidation creeps in as it warms up but it doesn't really affect the taste at all. There is no alcohol to speak of here.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Full, smooth, feel with plenty of dark roast, lingering on the pallet for quite awhile after consumption.

O - Damn, this is easily one of the best Barrel Aged stouts I have ever had. The balance of dark flavors from the base beer blend flawlessly with the barrel aging to form one amazing beer. I can not thank you enough Kramer for the chance to try this one. (1,336 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%
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. (919 characters)

Photo of mothman
4.77/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to kbutler1 for sharing this bottle.

2009 vintage.

Pours a half finger of tan head. Color is black.

Aroma: Very fresh coffee. It is spot on goodness. Warming bourbon with nice oak and vanilla. Rich, creamy chocolate. Very little roast. Amazing.

Taste: Warming bourbon, just perfect. Oak and vanilla. Chocolate and cocoa. The coffee is perfect and it doesn't bring a lot of roast to the beer. This is spot on. A bit of dark fruits in the background.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, and warming. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. A little thinner than I expected. Ends with just a touch of roast.

Overall, this was an amazing beer. Much better than the 08 growler I had, which lacked the huge coffee flavors. This beer was a real treat. (759 characters)

Photo of stakem
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%
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. (1,408 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4.37/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this gem.

2007 vintage. Bottle number 205 of 447. This was sampled side-by-side with a regular Speedway Stout. The beer pours dark brown to black with a brown head. The aroma is bourbon, oak, vanilla, roasted malt, chocolate and alcohol. The flavor is awesome. I get bourbon, oak, semi-sweet chocolate, brown sugar and vanilla. The oak and tannic notes are very tart or bitter, giving the beer an almost sour quality. The coffee has completely faded. Medium-thick mouthfeel and low-medium carbonation. Not sure which I liked the best out of this and the non barrel-aged version because they are both awesome. Very happy I got to try this. (673 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.85/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Brad for sharing this at his tasting on Saturday!

2007 vintage. Bottle 212/447

This beer pours a rich, deep black with a dark tan head. Plenty of carbonation left in this gem. This aroma is not subtle. Bourbon and rich roasted malt, with a slight alcohol note emit huge scents I can detect from a few feet away. The beer is absolutely fabulous. Although it is very strong and forward, it drinks very smoothly. It definitely has some heat to it, but it only serves to add a little warmth in the finish. Alesmith Speedway Stout is a terrific beer, so it makes sense that barrel aging such a tasty stout would result in this masterpiece. What a treat. (660 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.5/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Vintage 2006, bottle 70/235; Sampled June 2008
A fairly vigorous pour produces a one-finger thick, darkly browned, tan colored head in my 25cl tulip glass. The beer is simply black as it sits in my glass and no amount of putting up to the light makes it anything but opaque. The aroma has a tartness to it that is strongly influenced by Bourbon-like notes and likely coffee. Roast coffee notes actually play a big role and mix with some fruity, burnt prune notes and lots of deeply toasted malt notes. There is also a nice aroma of richly toasted coconut that still has a touch of sweetness of coconut meat. It also seems to get just a touch musty at times, which mixes in with a lightly spicy oak character and a touch of estery alcohol aromas.

Thick and rich feeling as it firsts hits my tongue, creamy dark malt notes hint at lots of residual sugars, but don't really contribute much sweetness to this beer. A very light carbonation also contributes to the creamy feeling of this brew. Towards the finish the beer thins out considerably while picking up acrid roast notes and sharp, burnt acid quality and a huge bitterness that seems just as much from burnt malt and roast coffee influenced as from the hops. The dual roast influences of coffee and malt actually contribute a tartness that is noticeable throughout the flavor profile, not just the finish, but it is tempered a bit up front by the unctuous body.

As the beer warms up a bit it begins to lose a touch of the acrid character, but seems to pick up a bit more alcoholic heat. This last seems to accent a note reminiscent of burnt prunes. While rich and malty this is surprisingly dry tasting; the thick residual sugars seems to be so well balanced by the roast and barrel flavors that they are not really noticeable. At most there is a noticeable chocolate / cocoa note here, but even this is pretty devoid of sweetness. There is also a touch of almost salty, sort of peat like smokiness that is likely a combination of roast malt and barrel influences. By my second pour the salty, peat-smoke like qualities of this brew are accented even a bit more. This last, in combination with the rich, dark malt flavors really save this beer for me; though it still has an overwhelming bitter and acrid finish at times.

I do like that the barrel influence does not absolutely overwhelm this beer. I am not sure if this is still too young or what, but the roasted grain notes really get overly acrid and bitter in the finish. The barrel influence also contributes to an overall impression of this being unbalanced. This is not nearly as unbalanced or undrinkable as the BA Old Numbskull though, and is even enjoyable in its own right. I think that the complexity of the aged, base beer and the lightish influence of the barrel make this at the very least worth procuring for me. (2,836 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
4.56/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

25.4 oz. bottle, 2006 Vintage, #108/235,

A: Pours black with a very minimal head, some lacing.

S: Great smell, full of roasted coffee, baker's chocolate, and bourbon/vanilla.

T: Sweet coffee comes out first, mocha, then a burnt of bitter dark chocolate comes out. The aging certainly smooth things out, some of the harshness that the original can have at times was non-existent. Light vanilla comes out as well, with some light acidity to end the beer.

M: Very smooth, very light carbonation, oily, medium-bodied.

D: An interesting beer to compare to the original, both are tasty as hell and very enjoyable. All and all, the BA Speedway that I had was very interesting, but definitely a different animal than the original. If you get a chance to pick this beer up, it's worth it. (784 characters)

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