AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged - AleSmith Brewing Company
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Ratings: 1,234 | Reviews: 268 | Display Reviews Only:
4.5/5 rDev -0.4%
Thanks to womencantsail for the growler. Shared with some of the Chicago crew at a Pre-DLD tasting the night before. Poured into tasting glass (several times).
A - Pours black, mocha/tan head, slim cap on top, and good lacing along the sides of the glass. This one was pretty sticky.
S - Chocolate, slight bourbon, oak, dark fruits, slight coffee, burnt sugars, dark malts. Lots going on here all very-well balanced.
T - Lots of chocolate (both milk and dark), slight coffee, slight bourbon. I was expecting a little more bourbon and coffee notes on this one, but I ended up enjoying how it was balanced in between the chocolate/coffee/bourbon.
M - Medium to full, rich, smooth, light carbonation.
D - I had 4 or 5 tasting glasses worth, and I would have had more if it wasn't for everyone else breaking out more awesome beers. I really enjoyed this one. I'd def get another growler but obviously, you'll need several people to split this one with.
04-26-2010 13:53:55 | More by Sean9689
4.53/5 rDev +0.2%
Thanks to Doodler for the hookup on this one! Poured from an 8oz. hand-bottled swingtop growler into a Bruery tulip.
A: AleSmith only uses Mobil 1 in this baby. Some carbonation sticks around from the straightdown pour. Has a nice mocha color to balance the black beer. With a few swirls of the glass I notice it sticks to the side - sign of a good beer to me.
S: The best feature of this beer. A deep breath yields toffee, butter pecan, and rich chocolate notes. As it warms up I also get some fresh baked brownies and maple syrup aroma.
T: Sweet malts lead to a creamy caramel flavor. Chocolate, rum esters, and bitterness from the hops weave their way into the brew. This beer is well-layered and definitely improves as it warms up.
M: If you're a carb freak you might be disappointed. However, I think this beer does just fine without it because of it's "chewy" aspect.
D: Pretty solid for 12%. I don't get the squinty eyes from other BA beers that bring the motherload of booze. Also, as much as it smells syrupy, it's not.
Overall, a rare treat to get to try. Thanks Scott!
04-22-2010 01:26:37 | More by hoppymcgee
4.85/5 rDev +7.3%
Special thanks to my buddy Mike for making this one possible. Poured from a 64oz growler, consumed over 3 days. Awsomely awsome!
A- Black as night. 1-2 fingers of light chocolatey colored head. Leaves a nice light lacing as you progress through the glass.
S- Smells mostly of bourbon, with somelight coffee and chocolate notes. Also a distinct taste of dark malts and molasses.
T- Despite it's strong bourbon smell, it is actually quite subdued. Has a nice balance of Bourbon/Coffee/Chocolate, with a strong malty aftertaste. Almost reminds me of a KBS that isn't as soft/smooth, and has a little more backbone. It is very complex, and transitions through several flavors over a few seconds.
D- Alchohol is barely noticible for a BA Stout. I easily plowed through 2 glasses, and was looking for more.
M- Perfect balance of body and flavor. Not too light and not too thick. The carbonation and everything is just spot on
As a lover of BA Stouts, this is one of my favorites. I wish I had a keg of this stuff, as I looked forward to coming home to it the last couple nights. Awsome awsome beer, hopefully I'll get to have it again sometime
04-21-2010 23:47:12 | More by Gfunk720
4.2/5 rDev -7.1%
Doodler hooks me up again! Served from a flip top bottle filled from a tap - I'm callin' this one a growler.
A: Pours pitch black with virtually no head to speak of - just a very fine ring of tannish bubbles around the perimeter of the glass. I think this one has lost a good amount of carbonation since the bottle was filled.
S: So sweet and luscious! Definitive aromas of milk chocolate and molasses, mixed with a large dose of sweet vanilla extract and bourbon. Smells a little "hot" too, if that's at all possible.
T: A good amount of chocolate, molasses, and oak up front. Not as much vanilla and bourbon in the flavor as in the nose, but both still definitely come through towards the finish. A little hop bitterness is also evident in the finish, which provides some nice balance. I think a little oxidation has sneaked its way into this bottle too, but it doesn't really detract from the overall experience. New layers of chocolate and buttery vanilla flavor come out as the quaff warms. The alcohol also becomes a little more apparent.
M: Thick and full bodied. The lack of carbonation detracts form things very little. In fact, a decently strong bite of alcohol in the finish mostly compensates for the lack of bubbly stimulation.
D: Admittedly, I probably did not review this beer under the best circumstances and I may have given it better marks fresh from the tap. That being said, however, as is it's a wonderful beer with many layers of complexity. I'll definitely seek this out fresh in the future, but I already really like it.
04-20-2010 03:38:23 | More by MrDanno96
3.93/5 rDev -13.1%
Pours black with a brown head. Aroma is strong coffee and oak. Flavor again is more strong coffee, oak, bourbon, cream, toffee, booze, and just a hint of paper. Silky smooth mouthfeel. Some hint of the abv. I really liked this one, but after everything was said and done I almost prefer the non BA speedway. I did here from a few folks I shared this with it wasn't up to par with other bottles tasted. Still though, I'm so glad I finally got to try this.
04-19-2010 22:16:17 | More by pepsican
4.7/5 rDev +4%
Glass(es) poured from a growler
A - Black as oil. No head and no lacing, but this may be due to the fact that the growler was opened two days prior to my tasting.
S - Oak and bourbon are apparent from the get-go. Alcohol is easily detected, as are hints of roasted coffee and malted milk.
T - Wow - this beer fires on all cylinders in the taste department. The taste of bourbon is strong from start to finish, as are the dark chocolate and espresso notes. Despite tasting toffee and caramelized sugars, the hops and barley are blended to perfection and keep this from being too sweet. This finishes with suggestions of dried fruits and more bourbon. The taste of this beer is seriously outstanding, and as you'd expect, it grows by leaps and bounds as it warms.
M - Satin-smooth, this has a great level of viscosity for an imperial stout. The fact that it was slightly less carbonated than I'd prefer is no doubt due to the growler having previously been opened.
D - Excellent drinkability for a beer of this magnitude; this is extremely complex and rich in flavor, and I'm upset that I don't have at least a few more ounces to enjoy.
What a beer - I can't wait to have this again sometime down the road! At least one of the people who I shared my growler with exclaimed that this is the best beer that they've ever had. It's easily among my tops as well.
04-18-2010 04:04:21 | More by klikger
5/5 rDev +10.6%
2008 version poured at the April Portland BA Tasting at BeerMongers thanks to Luke.
Seriously, this was the best imperial stout I've ever had. The mouthfeel was the real high point, and I wish there was a way to rate it a 6. This beer is milk smooth. Unbelievable. The bourbon was present but not overwhelming, the coffee was still available if you really taste closely, and the vanilla flavors from the barrel were perfect. A one shot that won't be found again. Epic.
04-17-2010 04:48:29 | More by squaremile
4.55/5 rDev +0.7%
There's nothing quite like waking up to a phone call where the person goes "Hey, I was just at Alesmith and they had growlers of BA Speedway and I figured you'd want one". Thank you, Shane. I split this with a few friends on Sunday, but given that the past couple of days have cemented that I will actually be graduating this summer, I feel like I've earned a healthy 16oz pour as a nightcap.
Jet black with a dense dark brown head with great retention and lacing, this beer looks great. The nose is intense. I get a big chocolate character with licorice, a surprising amount of coffee and of course, the big barrel character with bourbon, vanilla and some coconut. The second pour a couple of days later has picked up some great oxidation as well, lending a light fruitiness to the beer. The palate opens with a big, wet barrel character with a big hit of bourbon and vanilla, warming and quite intense coupled with some oak. Chocolate, chocolate wafer, a delicate creaminess, and some licorice are all noticeable. Like the BA Decadence (Imperial Porter), this does exhibit a character that Alesmith has found to coax out of their barrel aged beers, a decadent chocolate milk character. The balance of flavors is exquisite. Full in body, this beer is particularly smooth with a soft, lush carbonation and a ridiculous finish with a blend of dark chocolate, bourbon, vanilla and a slight oak tannin character, as well as a little bitterness. Quite an exceptional beer.
Letting the beer sit in the growler for a few days brings out more fruity oxidation in this beer, really reminding me in some ways of the 03 BA Speedway, but it doesn't match up in the richness or breathtaking beauty that that beer is. All told, though, this is an exceptional beer, one that I feel lucky to have had a chance to try.
04-16-2010 03:27:36 | More by DefenCorps
4.65/5 rDev +2.9%
Had a sampler while I filled a growler in Alesmith's tasting room. I believe this is the '08 version
A - Pours a vicious and viscous pitch black with a finger width of mocha head...it dissipates fairly quickly and leaves a decent amount of lacing on the glass for a BA stout.
S - lots of bourbon up front. It's also maybe just a tad bit briney. There are chocolate notes that come through, though they are faint. The coffee is faint.
T - Speedway on crack, in an awesome way! I get lots of toffee and roast mixed in with some bourbon and coffee. The bourbon lingers perfectly.
M - Heavy body with mild carbonation. Really can't get much better. There's a slight coffee aftertaste.
D - Too good. I could drink way too much of it.
I'm so lucky to have had this 2 miles from my house. Cost me a lot to help out a couple of friends, but it was well worth it as a it's a special treat to be able to try this beer.
04-16-2010 02:33:26 | More by Kaiser81
4.85/5 rDev +7.3%
Headed down to Alesmith first thing I could to grab a growler of this beast.
Pours thick and a black that looks like you took used motor oil and tossed in some extra black. Not a ton of head but what does show up is thick and creamy. A chocolate brown hue, some lacing.
Smell is pretty intense. I instantly get a whiff of the barrel on there but with further investigation I get more of the roasted malt and chocolate profile perking up. Roasted sweetness. Smells great.
Taste follows directly behind smell but it is kicked up a notch. It is so surprising to me how well balanced this is. The majority of barrel aged stouts that I have had in my experience have been hot messes at the start but the growler of speedway is near perfection. Vanilla notes play well with others of cocoa and a big malt backbone.
12 percent is nearly impossible to pinpoint. Creamy mouth feel that just keeps dancing around my taste buds screaming for me to have more.
Overall this is an incredibly well made beer and one that truly lends itself to the barrel aging process. My only qualm is that it is not readily available.
04-13-2010 04:44:34 | More by Mauerhan
4.65/5 rDev +2.9%
Poured from a growler into wine glasses - split four ways over the course of the evening. The aroma was terrific - lightly bourbon-y with some coffee and toasted chocolate as well - very different from regular speedway. Taste is great as well - not overdone on the barrel-aging as some recent stouts have seemd to me. Love the mouthfeel - very thick and oily. Nice and easy to drink as well.
Went nicely with the brownie cakes made from the leftover regular speedway growler and drizzled with speedway caramel sauce.
04-12-2010 20:09:12 | More by bobjonesSD
4.65/5 rDev +2.9%
Generously shared by Dyan yesterday.
BA Speedway pours an impressive blackish brown color with great head retention and plenty of sticky lacing. The beer looks impressive, but then I took the first sniff. Mama mia!!! The nose on this bad boy is just stunning, with coffee, malt balls, chocolate milkshake and vanilla. This beer smells wonderful and imparts one of the most impressive aroma profiles I've ever come across. The flavor profile generally replicates the nose, but is not quite as intense and complex. The chocolate milkshake and coffee take center stage on the palate, and the stout is pretty sweet. Yet that sweetness never seems over the top or cloying. Mouthfeel is outrageous in this one; this beer is so soft, plush, creamy and smooth. The finish seems to last forever. Alcohol is noticeable, but it in no way detracts from the drinkability in this fine beer.
Easily one of the best stouts I've ever encountered. It doesn't have the complexity of the Abyss, but scores very high in the decadence category. So rich and fine.... this is delicious stuff.
Dyan opened a bottle of the regular Speedway to compare the two.... while regular speedway is delicious, the BA version is just in a completely different league. Wow!
04-12-2010 15:04:22 | More by John_M
4.13/5 rDev -8.6%
Poured from a 64oz growler into some red wine glasses. Growler supplied and generously shared by Masterski with me, Joe1510, and three of Masterskis' friends. Thanks Alex!
A: Pours coal black with a thin and creamy dark khaki colored head. Retention was fleeting but when this was swirled, it showed off some pretty legs.
S: I was surprised by how restrained the bourbon aroma was. It, by all means, is there but slightly in the background. Heavily roasted malt, espresso, and dark fruit.
T: See above. Barrel flavor comes on strong during the late middle and on through the finish. Bourbon was more pronounced here than in the aroma. Again, loads of coffee, blackened malt, and raisins.
M: I found this to be a little on the thin side for such a big stout. Don't gete me wrong, it's still huge, but a little less full and coating than I expected. Maybe that helped the drinkability score? Finishes tannic, dry, and ashy.
D: Pretty excellent. I felt that this is more drinkable than regular Speedway which I find to be pretty hot and bitter, as of late. Actually this drank like a 6-7% stout. How do they hide that?
04-12-2010 01:12:10 | More by GbVDave
4.55/5 rDev +0.7%
Thanks Grant for providing this at a tasting last year, and thanks Thorpe429 for this 2007 bottle we sampled at a tasting recently.
A: Pitch black with quickly receding tan head that provides good lacing.
S: Heavy on the bourbon and oak with dark chocolate, vanilla, cherry cola, and strong espresso. Very decadent and can't wait to dig in.
T: Surprisingly, the dark fruit is the most dominant flavor, with lots of cherry and plum. The coffee is still present, and bourbon, vanilla, oak, and chocolate is there in full force too. The coffee has provided a nice bitterness that balances out the sweet caramel and toffee flavors.
M: Definitely on the thin side for a barrel aged stout, with very little carbonation and an oaky dry finish.
D: Although definitely a sipping beer, it is so decadent and complex and goes down so smooth.
Overall this is a fantastic bourbon barrel stout and the coffee, chocolate, and cherry flavors make it one of the best.
04-11-2010 21:19:38 | More by bmanning
4.93/5 rDev +9.1%
I was fortunate enough to take a half-day on Thursday and get down to Alesmith to try and purchase a growler of this wonderful stuff. Can life get better? I submit that it cannot.
A: Poured motor-oil thick and black into my Bruery tulip glass. What was disappointing was the lack of head and lacing, but I can contribute some of that to the growler. A few quick swirls develop a head, but the retention was mild at best.
S: Sweet bourbon and caramel off the bat with hints of sticky molasses, vanilla, cocoa and coffee towards the backend. The barrel is strong, but enhances all the other smells instead of overpowering them.
T: The first sip (impression) is a combination of complex flavors that almost makes my palate quiver. Coffee, vanilla, wood, and caramel seem to be the first wave of flavors I pick up. Tons of molasses, bitter-burnt chocolate, and residual sugar are next in line and make up most of the middle. The coffee, which seems subdued for most of the sip, seems to really come through towards the finish.
M: Creamy, full-bodied, and quite sticky at times. The finish is slightly dry, which may be due to the high attenuation this beer experienced and/or coffee.
D: Extremely drinkable; no alcohol bite at all and flavor profile is among the best I've ever tried.
Overall: Vastly different/better than the bottled version I tried a few years back. The complexities that the barrel imparted on this year's Speedway were amazing, to say the least. I can't think of another beer that used the barrel aging process as well as this. I must try. Cheers!
04-10-2010 17:03:59 | More by OlieIPA
4.5/5 rDev -0.4%
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.
04-10-2010 12:16:50 | More by Thorpe429
4.9/5 rDev +8.4%
My most anticipated beer of the 2009 PSU Graduation Celebration. Big thanks to Dyan for a chance at this one. Without question one of my most wanted beers.
2007 Vintage bottle 412 of 447.
A-Deep black/brown with a never reducing thin tan head that left a surprising amount of streaky lace.
S-Musty oak and bourbon notes reside underneath decadent dark chocolate, rich, fresh tilled earth and espresso bitterness. Extremely rich and complex.
T-Rich, dark chocolate with lighter accenting bourbon notes in support. Dark, sour cherries, espresso and oak reside in the drying finish. Immensely complex and Oh! so tasty!
M-Medium bodied, amazingly smooth with long lingering flavours and a bitter kick accompanying the oak dryness.
D-Really--is this a question? I love regular Speedway and this is that taken to another level--BIG TIME! Simply an outstanding barrel aged brew. I wish it wasn't so damn rare and limited. I would be happy to drink this anytime.
04-05-2010 12:13:07 | More by Deuane
4.35/5 rDev -3.8%
The growler pours gosh danged dark with around a finger of dark mocha head. Not much retention or lacing, goes down to zero bubbles pretty quickly. Slight coating effect from the alcohol, but no legs or church windows. The aroma is plums, bourbon, brown sugar, black treacle, coconut, coffee, and oak. The barrel presence is quite real and stronger than the bottles I have tasted from time to time, as this growler would be fresher out of the oak. The flavor has cocoa, oak, bourbon, raisin, and even some olive and spiciness to it. Roasted coffee and cookielike malts on the finish. The body is medium to full with some nice oily thickness to it, but still a bit thinner I would expect. Quite a nice beer, somewhat boozy, though I like some nice bourbon flavors. I will have a couple glasses.
04-05-2010 02:40:42 | More by vacax
4.83/5 rDev +6.9%
growler split three ways with friends
sweet bourbon and deep rich malt on the sniffer
bourbon and coffee meld wonderfully...coffee up front and bourbon in the rear...so many avenues to explore here, but I'll let it go. Wave after wave of dark chocolate as this beer warms. Wood from the barrel is increasingly evident. Just thoroughly enjoyable.
Body is slightly oily, lightly carbonated, and a bit thin for the heft of this beauty.
Alcohol content is well hidden in this incredibly crafted, highly enjoyable stout. A real treat.
04-05-2010 01:57:24 | More by BarrytheBear
4.88/5 rDev +8%
Thanks to Trey for bringing this gem to our tasting. Bottle 60/196 from 2003, this was a highlight of the tasting. Number 12 on day 2 and number 21 overall. Poured into a snifter.
Pours pitch black and extremely viscous. There is no head at all, nor is there any hint of carbonation. I guess that years in bourbon barrels will do that to ya. Upon swirling, nice legs form on the sides of my glass. This is one classy-looking beer.
The nose is phenomenal, as AleSmith shows of their ability to do barrel aging better than, in my estimation, any brewery out there. Coffee, chocolate, caramel, toffee, vanilla, and bourbon all come through in the nose, completely masking any alcohol aroma that may be present. Additionally, the bourbon and oakey vanilla are more highlighting factors than they are focal points. This is how I like my barrel-aged beers to smell.
On the palate, the complexity begins to grow and expand. Added to the nice balance of chocolate, vanilla, toffee, and bourbon are dark fruity flavors of dates and prunes. There is also a nice nutty syrup twinge that comes through towards the finish. The finish is full of well-balanced mellow bourbon and vanilla. Dark chocolate lingers on the palate afterwards.
Smooth and almost creamy, this beer is a case study is how a barrel aged beer should be created. The fact that there is no carbonation works extremely well, and the consistency is not syrupy either. The body is great, and the drinking experience phenomenal.
04-04-2010 13:52:40 | More by NittanyBeerFan
4.7/5 rDev +4%
2006 Vintage (Bottle #85/233)
A: Dark brown-black body with a slight khaki head. Settled to a spotty skim quickly. Not much in the way of lace.
S: Lovely... Bourbon, oak, vanilla, espresso, caramel, general roasty goodness.
T: The bourbon here is sublime... all the flavor without much of the burn. Earthy oak and vanilla are present along with profound coffee and espresso flavors. Nice caramel underbelly with perhaps a little brown sugar.
M: Moderate-heavy bodied. Oily, smooth and lightly carbonated. Nice finish that lingers for a few seconds without any burning sensation from the bourbon.
D: Truly top notch. I think this vintage is just about at its peak. It was sublimely delicate and complex. Would easily seek out another bottle if anyone is trading!
03-29-2010 22:20:33 | More by callmemickey
4.55/5 rDev +0.7%
2006 vintage 750mL bottle thanks to callmemickey at Rosso e Marrone release.
Pours very dark brown with slightest hints of ruby in the light, little tan head that faded instantly. Aroma was slight bourbon with some coffee still poking its way through. Tasted almost like a mocha with a few shots of bourbon in it. This was incredible oak/rye/molasses flavor in a beer WITHOUT the kick in the back of the throat. This is insanely drinkable for 12% and age has been nice to this beer and it was a fantastic chance to try one. Thanks, Ryan.
03-29-2010 01:25:21 | More by ChrisPro
4.22/5 rDev -6.6%
Had this on tap at the City Beer Store Alesmith event during SF Beer week.
The Bourbon Barrel Aged Speedway Stout is 12.5%, just a .5% more than their regular Speedway Stout. It poured an eclipse black with some light cream. It smelled like bourbon, malt, espresso, but not too overwhelmingly bourbon. It tasted like toasted malts, bourbon, but no burn. It was incredibly smooth for 12.5% and seemed more like it was created using Irish whiskey barrels perhaps? You don't get much vanilla or coconut flavors out of it- just a hint. Seems reminiscent of the Deschuttes XXI. Overall, pretty tasty.
03-25-2010 19:45:17 | More by femALEist
4.97/5 rDev +10%
2007 edition, bottle #280 of 447. Shared by Grant with some of the usual suspects- thanks very much for the opportunity, Grant! This is an exquisite beer. The barrel aging rounds out the flavors, adds a touch of creaminess, and some nice counterbalancing flavors as well as some nice drying notes from the wood. Pours a very dark brown with a relatively thin swirly head. Amazing nose, with wonderful Bourbon notes that complement the stout rather than overwhelming it. Sweet and creamy with deep notes of roastiness and nicely merged coffee and bourbon. The taste showcases a perfect marriage of drying woody notes, a touch of coconut, sweet rich bourbon finish, and nice creamy roastiness. Super creamy in the mouth and just ridiculously easy to suck down, especially given the very high abv. A very nice example of where barrel aging enhances rather than overwhelms a beer. Superb.
03-11-2010 17:11:44 | More by Georgiabeer
4.8/5 rDev +6.2%
On tap at Churchill's Renaissance.
Appearance is jet black. Thin head dissapated fast. Left a ring. No lacing.
Aroma is tons of dark fruits, caramel, toasted sugars. Very complex. Some bourbon in the nose.
Tastes exactly as it smells with a good bourbon flavor that doesn't take over and let's the other flavors play as well.
Mouthfeel is heavy with nice carb.
Overall a damn fine beer that I am glad shows up every once in a while.
03-06-2010 19:44:04 | More by PeprSprYoFace
AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 1,234 ratings.