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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.

313 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 313
Hads: 1,764
Avg: 4.47
pDev: 19.24%
Wants: 1,990
Gots: 551 | FT: 81
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 313 | Hads: 1,764
Photo of SSS
4.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A-As black as it gets with a moka brown head that dissipates quite quickly
S- Lots of burbon aroma, quite a bit of alcohol odor
M-Surprisingly light mouthfeel and carbonation was more than I had anticipated
T-Like drinking a tall glass of the good stuff, but in a beer vessel.
O-This is an outstanding beer, so clean and smooth, drinking is the only way

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Photo of jethrodium
4.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle. Courtesy of dmsohyea. Thanks. 2009 vintage. Pours a pitch black with a small light tan chocolate head that has decent retention and leaves a good amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma is big coffee, dark chocolate, a bit of bourbon, vanilla, and some oak. The taste has a bit of sweetness with lots of coffee, vanilla, a bit of bourbon, some oak, and hint of cherry. The finish has slight hint of alcohol, a bit of cherry, and a bit of bitterness. It has the full, creamy mouthfeel that regular speedway has with low carbonation. Amazing beer. This was quite similar to regular speedway (which I love) with some added flavors and complexities from the barrel. The only thing that could improve it would just a tad less sweetness, but other than that I have no complaints.

750 ml bottle generously shared by colonelforbin. Thanks Mike. 2007 vintage. Pours black as night with close to no head and no lacing on the glass. The aroma is tons of dark chocolate, a decent amount of alcohol, some cherry, plum, and a hint of coffee. The taste has a light sweetness, with some coffee, cherry, plum, The finish has some alcohol and a bit of bitterness on the finish. Full bodied, but not quite as creamy as regular speedway. Low carbonation. A great beer, but quite a different beast than the 2009 BA Speedway (drank side-by-side). The coffee was faded in this one (unsurprisingly) and it had quite a bit more alcohol present (somewhat surprising). The cherry and fruit came through a bit more in this vintage. Not quite as good as the 2009 vintage.

On tap at the Toronado Stout Festival. 2008 vintage, I believe. Pours a dark black with a little bit of light coming through at the edges. A small chocolaty tan head leaves a decent amount of lacing on the glass, much like the regular Speedway Stout. This beer was served relatively cold and at first seemed like another pretty good imperial stout. The aroma was vanilla, a little dark chocolate, and some bourbon with the taste very similar to the aroma. Once the beer warmed up some it turned into easily one of the best beers I’ve ever had. The aroma is dark chocolate, vanilla, cherry, plum and dark fruits, dark roasted coffee, bourbon, and a little alcohol. The initial taste is sweet with vanilla and cherry and then going into light coffee and dark chocolate. The finish is a bit of bourbon with vanilla and light alcohol and a very light bitterness. Not hot at all. Very smooth beer. Full bodied with a creamy mouthfeel. Light carbonation. If this beer has on flaw, it is that the initial taste is the tiniest bit too sweet. Very different from the base beer. Coffee is a background flavor instead of being front and and center. Tons of different flavors that are all well integrated. A little less bitterness on the finish than the regular Speedway Stout. Both are amazing beers. I would probably give the barrel aged version the slight edge based on its depth and complexity.

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Photo of durlta
4.7/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

750ml, 2012 Vintage
5oz mini snifter

A: Pours our a really deep dark black. Basically no light getting through, but being outside and holding up to the light I do see some reddish hues. Thin layer of tan head. Sticky lacing is starting to left on the glass.

S: Woah, this nose is unreal. Mocha. Chocolate fudge. Vanilla. Oak. Roast coffee. Just epic stuff here.

T: Big Coffee up front. Then a beautiful blend of vanilla and barrel. Chocolate fudge goodness. The bourbon booze is blended in so nicely. Really no harsh notes, just some warming in the back of the throat. Even the coffee is blended superbly. Long finish with flavors dancing on the tongue.

M: Full bodied.

This is right up there for me with some of the best I have had.

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Photo of tprokop7
4.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to some great traders, I got to try the 2003 and 2006 side by side with BA's rbuckstar and tomfpeng.

2006 -

Smells dark, with hints of molasses and bourbon and a little fruityness. Pours dark black with just a little head into a DFH snifter. Wonderfully smooth and complex at the same time, with a little licorice and molassas, coffee, chocolate. Just a little carbonated, with a slight syrupy feel on the tongue.

2003 -
No carbonation, no head. It's slightly smoother than the 06, but I think I prefer the 06 overall. Not as sweet as 06, which is nice.

I am lucky to have had the chance to try these next to each other. Not something I will soon forget.

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Photo of fiver29
4.68/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted at Cleveland tasting on 8-23-08. Thanks!! We had a verical of 03, 04, and 06.

03: Pours pitch black with no head or carbonation. Has a nice aroma of vanilla, roasted chocolate malt, and coffee. Has a medium mouthfeel. Taste is bourbon, malt, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and it all melds together in a nice smooth chocolate bourbon finish. Overall a world class brew.

04: Everything above, but with carbonation and a thin tan head. This made my experience a little better with this brew.

06: Everything above and has more alcohol aroma and flavor to it.

Overall, all three beers taste exactly the same. The only difference in my mind is that the 03 had no carbonation, the 04 was carbonated, and the 06 had more alcohol in the aroma and taste with even more carbonation. The lesson here is don't let these go too long or you won't be drinking a carbonated world class brew versus a flat one.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.68/5  rDev +4.7%
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.


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Photo of cbutova
4.67/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

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Photo of klikger
4.67/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

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Photo of bobjonesSD
4.67/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

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Photo of John_M
4.67/5  rDev +4.5%
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!

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Photo of callmemickey
4.67/5  rDev +4.5%
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!

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Photo of mdfb79
4.67/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.67/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

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Photo of macher0
4.66/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

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Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
4.65/5  rDev +4%
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!!

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Photo of Kaiser81
4.65/5  rDev +4%
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.

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Photo of Luk13
4.65/5  rDev +4%
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.

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Photo of draheim
4.65/5  rDev +4%
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.

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Photo of Bendurgin
4.65/5  rDev +4%
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.

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.65/5  rDev +4%
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.

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Photo of BMan1113VR
4.65/5  rDev +4%
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.

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

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


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.

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Photo of hrking
4.65/5  rDev +4%
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..

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Photo of Rollzroyce21
4.64/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 313 ratings.