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

296 Reviews
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Reviews: 296
Hads: 1,646
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 8.56%
Wants: 1,953
Gots: 468 | FT: 58
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: 296 | Hads: 1,646
Photo of woosterbill
4.68/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2006, bottle 86/233, into a Weyerbacher tulip. Enormous gratitude is due to the ever-generous Knifestyles for sharing this elusive gem. Thanks a million, Chris!

A: Black body with bright orange-brown highlights. No head to speak of. Not that great, really, but I won't say it's below average for a 5 year old BA stout.

S: Big, smooth, round aroma of coffee, bourbon, vanilla, oak, chocolate, and just pure stour awesomeness. Lovely.

T: Opens with chocolate + vanilla malt sweetness, followed by some coffee, bourbon, and an oaky, slightly boozy finish. Sublime, but the slight harshness on the tail end keeps it from being perfect. Damn close, though...

M: Full, rich, velvety body. Light, but present carbonation. Just lovely.

D: Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

Notes: What a beer. Perfect balance of the roasty base beer and the richness of bourbon barrels; huge drinkability for a 12% monster; power, delicacy, and complexity all together. In a word, incredible. This is the second time I've been fortunate enough to taste this beer, and I so hope it won't be the last.

Cheers! (1,088 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 klikger
4.67/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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. (1,361 characters)

Photo of bobjonesSD
4.67/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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. (518 characters)

Photo of John_M
4.67/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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!

Thanks Dyan! (1,253 characters)

Photo of callmemickey
4.67/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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! (766 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 jrallen34
4.67/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got lucky enough to have this 2004 bottle at dld. The beer is black with a tan head, nothing remarkable here. The aroma is pretty nice, notes of oak, bourbon, and vanilla. The taste is what places this beer apart. Not sure if its because of the againg(2004), but there is beer simply taste phenominal. It was really sweet in a good way with tons of vanilla and chocolate and super smooth oak and bourbon. A two ounch pour does not do this beer justice, I've got to get my hands on more. (488 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 Kaiser81
4.65/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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. (914 characters)

Photo of Luk13
4.65/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle thanks to boutip, 2009 vintage. Appearance is a nice full black with decent brown mocha head. Aroma is quite straightforward with bourbon, vanilla, the usual Alesmith divine caramel and molasses. You can definitly feel the high alcohol content which brings the ripe fruits upfront along with bourbon and caramel notes. Flavors are hard to describe as they aren't amazingly complex but so well integrated and intense. Bourbon and age seem to have completly taken over coffee from the regular version. As much as I like the regular version, BA speedway lifts this one to a new level without being over the top. Exactly what I expect from a bourbon barrel version.

Side-by-side with Black Note with BA speedway being a close winner. Although I prefered Black Note's palate and aroma, BA speedway's flavors were out of this world. One of the best stout I've had. (866 characters)

Photo of draheim
4.65/5  rDev +4.7%
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. (687 characters)

Photo of Bendurgin
4.65/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Andy for opening this mamoth. Bottle from the most recent release. Pours black with about two inches of light tan head. Nice retention and soapy lace.

Bourbon is pretty much kicking me in the face. It's awesome. Rich bourbon really comes through right and above all else in the beer. Mollasses and roasted coffee makes up the rest of the aroma. This one is hugely roasty wtih a sweet undertone. This is pretty much what I want a barrel aged stout to taste like. Lot's of rich bourbon with a bit of mollasses on the flavor. Hints of oak, vanilla and a bit of a fruity character.

The feel is good. Nice full and robust but a little sticky. Overall this one is insane. Very complex and surprisingly drinkable. A little hot but it doesn't even matter. This one is great. (784 characters)

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.65/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A friend brought this over to our place as part of an epic tasting on Saturday. Thanks Jason! Following review based on notes taken at that time.

4oz. sample poured into a snifter.

Appearance: An impressive head quickly recedes to a thin, brown halo. A pitch black body shows off a crimson-brown horizon when held to light. Thick walls of lace trail the beer as it descends the glass.

Smell: Coconut, powdered chocolate, and light booze come through from the start. With time, earth and oak emerge, followed by espresso. Intriguing.

Taste: Tremendously smooth. Vanilla-chocolate swirl, coffee, molasses, and coconut all meld beautifully! The bourbon also adds a light boozy kick to the conclusion of each sip. Creamy and harmonious - damn near a 5.0.

Mouthfeel: Gently carbonated, viscous, and semi-dry with just a touch of heat. Full-bodied, thick, and creamy. I couldn't ask for anything more.

Overall: Fantastically smooth, complex, and flavorful. The bourbon barrel accents the already exceptional base beer, rather than covering it up. One of the three or four best imperial stouts I've ever had, hands down. (1,119 characters)

Photo of BMan1113VR
4.65/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Have had this three times now, all different vintages. These notes are from the first time: Huge thanks to fordest for this one. 2006 Silk Screen bottle #187/233. Pours with a huge, dark brown head over a very black body with some lace. Aroma of nutty fudge, bourbon, oak, vanilla, light coffee, liquid amazingness, florals and soil. I literally smelled this beer for 15 minutes without tasting a single sip. Taste is chocolate, coffee, oaky, brandy, bourbon and a bit nutty. Very smooth and silky mouthfeel. (508 characters)

Photo of SaucyA
4.65/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review #200.
2 Year Anniversary of my first review.

2006.
#122/233.

A - Pours into the snifter with a beautiful, tight little brown head. The body, a menacing black, beckons. Great lacing, legs.

S - Nice bourbon characteristics up front. A slight hint of wood, big notes of underlying coffee and vanilla. A molasses sweetness is present on the backend. Booze. Bigness.

T - Lots of coffee throughout, which surprises me due to the age. Big, bitter, dry finish. Bourbon and coconut notes on the back. Some heat, but nothing very much noted in the taste itself. Vanilla. It's a great representation of a barrel-aged beer. Complex, huge, ever-changing. Nice dark chocolate and fig/raisin notes as it warms.

M - I'm slightly bummed because it doesn't seem as thick as I remember Speedway being, but it's still got quite a big body and a nice, steady carbonation.

D - For everything involved, and the bigness of the flavors and ABV, this is absolutely killer... the over-attenuation seems to help with ease of quaffing.

Notes: Mad thanks to Carlos for this. It's a great, and I mean GREAT, brew to have for my 200th review. Totally worth seeking out. (1,153 characters)

Photo of hrking
4.65/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

great brew the barrel aging really mellows this one out. Not much coffee coming through but really smooth,vanilla oak notes.Worth the effort and a great BDay treat. Chocolaty expresso greatness. Recommend if you're ever lucky enough to find one of these rare treats. Just enough coffee to accent the flavor just the way it should be..hided the alcohol content dangerously well.. (378 characters)

Photo of Rollzroyce21
4.64/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

- Bottled March 2013
- 750mL bottle poured into stemless wine glass on 13-Oct-13

Huge bourbon notes, followed by sweet chocolate cake with a bit of coffee roast notes and hints of dark fruit, raw oak, vanilla, a touch of roasted malt. This is decadent, complex, and luscious. The most prominent aromas as bourbon and rich chocolate, and they intermingle perfectly. It's got a perfect level of carbo that decreases to a nice smooth, silky satin as the beer warms.

Really, the only thing that might improve the beer is a bolder coffee presence, but that's about it. (567 characters)

Photo of miketd
4.62/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Found myself talking a lot about this beer lately so might as well enter the rating. I've have 03, 04 and 06 vintage. This is for the 06. Pour is pitch black and still...hardly any head. Aroma is oak, chocolate, coffee, vanilla and a touch of bourbon. Velvety smooth taste, creamy. Sweet, but has nice malt balance and some bitterness. Very full body. Very nicely uses bourbon aging without being overpowering. (410 characters)

Photo of gford217
4.62/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

No better way to celebrate review #500 than to break out the barrel-aged version of one of my favorite beers ever. Huge thanks to hoppymeal for the opportunity! 2007 bottle #316 of 447.

Pours black but not completely opaque as hints of mahogany show through the edges. The head is one-finger tall, very bubbly and remains a swirl of small bubbles and a ring for the duration, leaving traces of lacing.

The aroma is exceptional. The bourbon is present up front but is supported by dark roasted malts, bakers chocolate and a whiff of coffee (not nearly as dominant as in the regular version). The barrel presence is evident with a bit of vanilla. All of these things seem to come together into one cohesive aroma.

The taste has the sweetness of the chocolate and some dark fruits up front before the dark malts and roasted coffee step up in the middle. The finish is big on vanilla and bourbon and leaves an alcohol warming as it goes down.

The mouthfeel is very smooth and medium bodied for the style with less carbonation than I remember in the regular version.

This is a fantastic beer though I can't decide if it quite measures up to the regular version to me. Either way, it's not to be missed. Thanks again to Derek for his (continued) generosity! (1,256 characters)

Photo of SShelly
4.62/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bottle from 2007.

Pours a dark black with a little bit of offwhite head.

Aroma is booze and coffe, really deep and dark with strong bourbon, damn this smells good.

Flavor is lots of bourbon with coffe and dark roast malt around the edges.

very full in the mouth, carb isnt overwhelming but enough.

By far my favorite -Bal beer, the bourbon really complements the base. (373 characters)

Photo of rhinos00
4.61/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Ryan for bringing this beer to our tasting. 2003 vintage poured into a Darkness snifter. Bottle #100/196.

A- Pours a dark, chocolate brownie color. Practically zero head developed as the beer was poured. Not the sexiest looking beer.

S- Wonderful mixture of mellow bourbon aromas and candied chocolates. Some molasses and chocolate brownies in there as well with a hint of vanilla. Super complex.

T- Mellowed bourbon upfront. Following is a mixture of chocolate malts, brownies, and bitter caramel. Blends together very well. As stated, this beer was very mellow, yet complex. Great malt profile.

M- Viscous and velvety smooth. Just the way I like it.

D- One of the easiest drinking stouts I have ever had. The mellowed out attributes really helped here.

Overall, very excited to finally try this beer, especially one as old as this one. An excellent beer and a good example of how aging can completely change a beer. Recommended. (947 characters)

Photo of jeonseh
4.6/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2009 Bottle poured into a GI tulip. Part of the NWI tasting group New Year's Day

A - Dark chocolate brown. Almost black in color. Has a small milk chocolate head with a medium body

S - Bourbon, dark chocolate, light coffee, oak and slight sweet cream.

T - This is one amazing beer. It has upfront sweet bourbon, caramel, light burnt toffee, vanilla, and light coffee with sweet cream. There is a light coffee bitterness in the finish with a slight boozy kick. Really a great beer with a powerful and complex flavors

MF - Such a creamy beer that makes this a joy to drink. Light carbonation to prevent it from being too thick.

O - Really a great beer with a ton of flavor. There is a great bourbon presence, sweet vanilla, oak, chocolate and coffee. The one downside is that the nose isn't that strong on this one. If it was, it'd be a damn near perfect beer. (865 characters)

Photo of MrVonzipper
4.6/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Black, oily and viscous with a short khaki bubbly head and spotty lacing.

Big bold nose full of boozy bourbon, chocolate, molasses and coffee.

Huge rich flavor as well. A bit on the hot and boozy side which I like but this is a touch much. Big bourbon, a touch of vanilla, dark chocolate and rich coffee make up the bold flavor.

Mouth is viscous and silky with low carbonation and that alcohol heat.

Overall this is going to be an amazing beer in about 2 years I think. It's pretty great now. But as the alcohol mellows out and all the notes relax and settle, it's going to be phenomenal. (596 characters)

Photo of jeff1973
4.6/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Piggly Wiggly tulip. 2013 vintage.

A - Pitch black (as it should be). Light mocha head leaves nice lacing.

S - Big coconut and vanilla, dark dried cherry, chocolate. A little booze

T - Follows nose. Big coconut and vanilla, but the dried cherry and blueberry comes thru nicely. As well as a dark chocolate note, especially on the finish. Not overly sweet, actually finishes pretty dry. Booze definitely present, but not overwhelming. Don't get really any coffee.

M - Big and chewy. Low carbonation, which fits this style. Really nice.

O - Big fan. My favorite of the Speedway variations that I have had so far. Had this on cask at Churchill's before, and the bottled version is everything I remember. Fantastic! (750 characters)

AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 296 ratings.