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AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged - AleSmith Brewing Company

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

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BA SCORE
98
world-class

303 Reviews
THE BROS
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(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 YodersBeerEmporium
4.65/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to the Mornin Delight after share group at the Courtyard in Decorah!!! This bottle was one of my contributions to the cause! Amazing coffee and barrel notes! Killer offering! Now I need to find BVASS!! (212 characters)

Photo of durlta
4.7/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

2013 bottle. Had this for the first time last night in a sours and stouts tasting, and I was not disappointed (I didn't have to pay for it). Completely opaque, delightfully thick, and absolutely delicious. Naturally dark, nice barrel notes with a hint of coffee and vanilla. Feel was a bit thin and the carbonation was more prominent relative to other ba stouts. The tasting also featured Peche Mortel, Vanilla Shake, KBS, and gold wax Assassin. This was my third favorite stout after SR-71 and Assassin. It just nudged out the KBS, which is a very similar beer. (562 characters)

Photo of Tele
4.54/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type: Bottle (2015 vintage)
Consumed: 8.21.15

A: 4.75 Pours pitch black, looking very thick out the bottle. The dark tan head is dense, has good retention (about two minutes), and leaves little lace.

S: 4.5 The coffee in this beer, like most speedway stouts, isn’t as in-your-face as other coffee stouts. Instead, it plays more of a supporting role to aromas that are largely dominated by bourbon and vanilla. Char, molasses, and roasted malt also come through early, with dark coffee lingering on the finish.

T: 4.5 Taste is similar to the nose, but a bit harsher until the beer warms to 55 or 60 degrees. Flavors start sweet with lots of chocolate, vanilla, maple syrup, caramel, and dark cherries. The bourbon mixes in throughout the experience until moving on to mild coffee, roasted malt, and more vanilla on the slightly bitter finish.

M: 4.75 The body is rich, creamy, and very satisfying and the carbonation is also near perfect. The only minor flaw is that the finish is slightly too dry.

O: 4.5 Another excellent variation on one of the best coffee stouts out there. This beer is not as coffee forward as BCBCS, but still special in that it lets the barrel shine a bit more. I was hoping this would be indistinguishable from BAVSS, but, while still excellent, it does lack something that puts it just a notch below in my book. (1,351 characters)

Photo of newbeeraday
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Rich and chocolate taste. Finishes clean and quickly. Smell is boozy almost like vodka with chocolate notes. This good, and so drinkable. The color is very dark. (161 characters)

Photo of Seamus
4.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter out of a 750 bottles. One of the better looking beers I have ever had. Smell of coffee and bourbon. Tastes of chocolate and roasted male. Very good BA stout. (177 characters)

Photo of danh53
4.49/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 bottle. The coffee has definitely faded. I don't get much on the aroma or the taste, but that's about the only negative thing I can say about this beer. I've been drinking a lot of boozy barrel aged stouts recently and I'm getting a little fed up with the style, but this was an awesome beer and my recent experiences should substantiate this review. The aroma is rich bourbon with vanilla, caramel, oak, and chocolate. The flavor is thick and rich dark chocolate and toffee. It's sweet, but not cloying. The dry oak really helps to add balance, and the base stout is not without roast and some smokiness. If I work at it, I can get some dark fruit, maybe prunes or raisins candied with brown sugar. There is some molasses as well, but the highlight is the rich dark chocolate, bourbon soaked brownie. The mouth feel is medium to full. It leaves nice lacing on the glass and some coating in the mouth. Overall it reminds me of Cycle Wednesday which is one of my highest rated beers. I think it would be a different beer fresh, but fresh is not always best. (1,061 characters)

Photo of Kodama78
4.52/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's Alesmith and it's speedway, so you know it's going to be good. Very heavy on the bourbon barrel imo. Still extremely drinkable and goes down smooth. Love the original, and this is just a BA enhanced version. What's not to love? (232 characters)

Photo of leroybrown10
4.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours black. Looks oily and thick. 1 finger khaki colored head which sticks around for a while. Moderate amount of sticky lacing left behind.

Heavy bourbon on the nose. Some coffee and chocolate. Wish the bourbon was 1 order of magnitude less as it drowns out everything else.

Taste is bourbon and chocolate. Coffee, vanilla, and cream. Oak around the edges. Sweet, brown sugar and dark molasses.

Rich, creamy mouth feel. Medium carbonation. Oily. Flavors linger.

A really excellent barrel aged stout. Boozy and full of bourbon. Wouldn't mind seeing a boost in coffee flavor and aroma. (604 characters)

Photo of macher0
4.66/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at the Craft Conundrum in Charleston, SC. Much appreciated.

This poured black with a minimal head that retreated to a fine bubble rim. Once it warmed, the malts and bourbon barrel supplied a wonderfully balanced nose. Similar with the taste, everything came through in a balanced way. All the components - coffee, bourbon, dark roasted malts, a tad hop bite - were there but not singlely overpowering. No noticeable booze.oferate to high viscosity.

This was a very well crafted beer. Right up my alley. It is worth hassle, fo sho. (541 characters)

Photo of EyePeeAyBryan
4.56/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from cask at the taproom. To me, this is what a BBA RIS stout should be and a great example how how I think cask can really bring out the barrel flavors. (160 characters)

Photo of SoCalBeerIdiot
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had the 2014 vintage both on cask and regular draft at the Beer Geek Speedway release. Enjoyed the regular draft considerably more over the cask version. (153 characters)

Photo of Furlinator
4.59/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

700th Beer Advocate review.

Bottled on 10/30/13.

Pours opaque black with a 1/4 inch brown head that quickly disappears completely, leaving almost no lace.

The smell is of dark chocolate, pipe tobacco, black cherry, vanilla, prunes and a hint of sweet bourbon.

The taste is of dark chocolate, various dark fruits, oak and subtle sweet bourbon on the finish.

The texture is heavy bodied, thick and viscous with low carbonation.

They took a world-class imperial stout and aged it in bourbon barrels with impressive results. (529 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.19/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared by Curran last night. '13 vintage.

This one pours an inky black, with barely and head or lacing.

This one smells like creamy coffee, a bit of chocolate, bourbon, and the slightest amount of soy sauce.

This is quite sweet, definitely sweeter than regular Speedway, but it's not so much of a detriment. There is a very creamy coffee flavor, a bit of vanilla, some dark fruits, and a good amount of vanilla. No real roasty character, which would've been nice to balance out the barrel sweetness. Luckily the sweet flavors are tasty anyway so it's not too much of a knock.

This is medium bodied, could be slightly thicker, but still pretty full bodied anyway. There's a very low level of carbonation. Very drinkable.

This isn't quite an improvement on regular Speedway, at least the '13 vintage isn't at this age, but it's still a well crafted barrel aged stout from one of the masters of stouts. (911 characters)

Photo of winningwes91
4.88/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Finally getting around to trying this. Pours out much like it's non-ba counterpart. Completely black and motor-oilish. Smells of charred oak, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, and some dark fruits. The taste follows suit, but everything is in your face. Wow. This one met my expectations and more. And I love that thick, chewy mouthfeel. Amazing stuff. (346 characters)

Photo of aleigator
4.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Speedway BA '14 vintage, many thanks to Marcel.

Poura a completely black color, with nearly no head at all.

Has the most distinctive Bourbon barrel presence, I have yet experienced. Despite the Bourbon dominance, coffee cuts through easily among a huge amount of wood, as well as scorched, earthy malts. Hints of molasses remind me of this being a stout, setting the balance, but nothing more, this beer is focused on its warming coffee Bourbon blend.

Drinks throughout smooth, perfectly fitting for the full body of the beer to unfold.

Not only becomes the Bourbon recognizable on the palate very early, the oaky barrel quality seemingly stands out on itself, blending perfectly into earthy, pleasantly bitter coffee beans. As on the nose, there is a certain, almost sticky sweetness detectable in the beer, but only as a neccesary counterpart to the fiery Bourbon coffee melange, adding toffee, cocoa nibs and fudge to the blend. Liquor heat gets perfectly wrapped up by the coffee, with a sweeter, slick finish, turning into a chocolate direction at the very end, accompanied by vanilla, booze and earthy ground coffee - revealing throughout a fantastic flavour variety.

Impressive beer, huge, bold, focused, while leaving enough space on the palate to exhibit an intriguing depth. Pretty much focused on coffee and Bourbon, with a mousse au chocolate creamy nouthfeel to it, providing oak, heat, fudge and gourmet coffee. (1,433 characters)

Photo of tjk135
4.96/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

One of my favorite coffee stouts plus barrel aging makes this a top notch brew. Nice potpourri of bourbon, oak, coffee, and a perfect chocolate sweetness. (156 characters)

Photo of Davepoolesque
4.27/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 bottle. Huge bourbon smell. Lots of bourbon up front, milk chocolate and vanilla . Medium mouthfeel. Not getting much or any coffee. I like it a lot but expected more I guess. (181 characters)

Photo of guityler83
5/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottled 10/30/13

A: Mocha tan head formed and quickly receded into the beer, leaving behind a ring of dense head on the edge and a dusting on top. The beer is nearly opaque black but on further examination there is some brownish hues that shine through with good clarity. longer sustaining legs kick up when swirled.

S: Big, distinct aroma leaps out of the glass at serving temperature. Sweet caramel, maple syrup, bourbon, tobacco, vanilla and raisins that have been burnt to the bottom of the pan. Vanilla oak aroma comes through very natural with more forward sweet bourbon. Cold coffee is restrained, but a sweet milk chocolate and mild roast character come through.

T: Very natural assimilation of beer and barrel - The (not overly) sweet caramel, toffee flavor in the beginning blends seemlessly to a vanilla and coconut oaky flavor that seems so part of the beer I can’t imagine it with out it. The dark chocolate and cocoa flavors that come next provide a mild roasty-ness giving the impression of bitterness (along with the barrel tannins) that - again go very natural with the overall flavor of the beer. The beer finishes out with a tobacco and bourbon sweetness that rests on your tongue minutes after your last sip - making you remember how good the previous one was. The balance is perfectly between the barrel and the dark and caramel malts. The beer is on the sweeter side but in a very pleasant way.

M: Moderate alcohol warming in the chest with a numbing sensation in the cheeks from the bourbon. A full body with medium-low carbonation and a slight creaminess. A sticky sensation rests on the tongue like after having a mouth full of maple syrup.

O: One of those beers you’ll remember long after the bottle is empty. I’m glad to have been lucky enough to have tried this amazing beer. This is a great example of a beer that was designed from the beginning to with the end product in mind. I’ve had many BA stouts where the brewery just through it in a barrel and it just didn’t blend well with the ingredients - this is not that beer. Get this beer if you can. Cheers! (2,102 characters)

Photo of Damian
4.28/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Drank from a 1pt. 9.4 fl. oz. bottle acquired in a trade with Cynic-ale
Barrel-aged reserve 2014
Served in a snifter

Review #1000

Dark brown/black appearance. Oily and slick but thinner than anticipated. The liquid was topped by a creamy, frothy, one-finger tall, mocha colored head that faded to a thick, bubbly ring. Blocks of drippy lacing trickled down the glass.

Boozy, bourbon-y notes came through strong in the aroma. Pure bourbon. Loads of vanilla and tannins. Oaky and dry but also slightly sweet. Touch of maple. The nose seemed a bit muted initially and contained no coffee whatsoever, but it improved greatly as the beer warmed. Sweet, brown sugar notes came forth, along with more maple, vanilla and oak. Touch of bakers chocolate and dark roast coffee. The vanilla continued to become more intense with time.

Bourbon notes dominated in the flavor profile as well. Vanilla and coconut came through super strong. Dark malts were noticeable. Slightly roasty. There was a subtle brown sugar and maple syrup-like sweetness. Good dose of caramel and toffee. Bakers chocolate was apparent. Perhaps some chocolate brownies as well. Bourbon flavors came through strong again in the dry, oaky and tannic finish. Surprisingly, the alcohol heat was actually quite restrained. Moderately roasty. Like in the nose, the coffee presence was undetectable.

The mouthfeel was lighter bodied for the style. A bit too frothy and bubbly. The carbonation settled down with time, but the body still seemed rather thin.

AleSmith's Speedway Stout was the first beer I reviewed on Beeradvocate, so it was only fitting that review number 1000 would be the bourbon barrel-aged version. Although I was a bit letdown by both offerings, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to enjoy so many great beers with friends and family over the years. (1,835 characters)

Photo of dar482
4.81/5  rDev +8.3%
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. (527 characters)

Photo of Beersnake1
4.91/5  rDev +10.6%
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. (492 characters)

Photo of cbutova
4.67/5  rDev +5.2%
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. (999 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 kkleu357
4.53/5  rDev +2%
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. (239 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)

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