AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged - AleSmith Brewing Company
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Ratings: 1,138 | Reviews: 265 | Display Reviews Only:
4.29/5 rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
2012 gold labeled bottle, bottle dated 3/26/2013. Poured into a brandy snifter today, 3/14/2014. so almost a year on this bottle. Thanks Peter!
App- pitch black body, one finger large bubbly mocha head with great retention. Thin splotches of lacing all over. Looks fantastic.
Smell- Oak, sweet bourbon dominate. As it warms, more of the base coffee stout that I know and love come out. Roast, coffee, milk chocolate. Remains a strong and bourbon barrel-forward nose.
Flavour- Barrel-forward. Much more so than I would have imagined. Oak, sweet bourbon, sweet charcoal smoke, vanilla. Really good stuff. Warming up brings out more of the coffee but it's nowhere near as coffee forward as BCBCS fresh. More milk chocolate sweetness, some roast malts. No oxidation.
Mouthfeel- Slick, thick bodied and super creamy. Good carbonation for the style. A nice sweet bourbon mixed in with a bit of bitter coffee makes the finish a delicious one. No heat at all. Just a lot of bourbon flavour but without the ABV.
Overall- A very nice drinking barrel forward beer with a year on it. Highly recommend, though I prefer the Vietnamese version to this one as there is a lot less coffee in the barrel-aged version. Looking forward to trying a fresher version sometime soon, which apparently has more coffee to balance out the bourbon barrel contribution.
Serving type: bottle
03-15-2014 03:45:33 | More by Stevedore
4.19/5 rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Thanks so much to the regular folks at Provisions for pouring this at the Cantillon tasting during SF Beer Week! Poured out of a 750ml bottle into a 6oz tulip glass. 3oz pour, too - about the right size needed for a basic evaluation.
Holy crap, that's a sludgy looking beer. Very, very viscous, with a blackened appearance with a mahogany tinted head that rises above in a creamy, decadent manner about a finger's worth, only to die down and fizzle into a modest ring with some superb bubbles laying at the top for quite some time. Looks a lot like other bourbon barrel aged imperial stouts that I've seen in the past, but it's definitely far more on the syrupy, fortified wine looking variety rather than the standard appearance that others (somehow) retain. A memorable first encounter, that's for sure!
Smells pretty good - almost in the same vein (if not *exactly* in the same vein) as Dark Horse's BBPT5. Big dark fruit notes, ranging from raisins to prunes to blackcurrant (with a little bit of dark cherry pits, maybe kirsch) thrown in, sprawled underneath huge notes of bourbon, imparting burnt toffee, butterscotch, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Peppery at the finish, with some roasted chocolate and coffee notes, but surprisingly subdued - perhaps the most subdued Speedway is at compared to the regular release and all of its coffee specific variants. Contains a brief port-like sweetness, but otherwise quite restrained and bountiful when it comes to the plethora of fruit, bourbon sugary notes, and roasted, bitter nuances at the back. Awesome stuff!
This is where beer makes its mark, and while it's quite solid and memorable for what it strives to do, especially in delivering the dark fruits and sugary bourbon goodness to the mix. Big notes of dark cherries, raisins, prunes (port comes to mind, once again), with a red wine grape sweetness that surprisingly comes through - perhaps the oak tannins are fooling my taste buds? Still, the fruits are awash with big bourbon flavors, ranging from vanilla to brown sugar, from burnt toffee to caramel. Molasses are huge at the middle, and the end continues some strong leathery and tobacco notes from the oak. Sweet, but finishes far more on the roasted side, imparting the ground espresso and chocolate that regular Speedway usually puts me head over heels. Syrupy, though, and could use more carbonation, as well as more balanced from the roasted conditions of the base beer. The bourbon isn't particularly overpowering, however, and it tastes a little duller as this warms up. Definitely complex, but loses a lot of gas, somehow. Definitely delicious in many respects.
For how difficult this is to obtain, however, it's definitely not the most recommended priority to chase after in the category of bourbon barrel aged imperial stouts. Parabola and KBS are far easier to find, and impart a lot more of the roasted notes that I prefer in these types of beers as they help cut down the bourbon sweetness substantially well. Somehow, this is lacking here, and I really did expect a lot more given the phenomenal base beer that Speedway is. Worth trying, but don't necessarily break your back trying to get one.
Serving type: bottle
03-13-2014 06:22:52 | More by magictacosinus
AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 1,138 ratings.