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
THE BROS
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Reviews: 296
Hads: 1,646
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 8.56%
Wants: 1,953
Gots: 467 | 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

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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 296 | Hads: 1,646
Photo of waltonc
2.16/5  rDev -51.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Had a 2006 bottle of this with JoeySchlitz last night. I was really looking forward to this and saved it for the holidays. Unfortunately, it may have been spoiled. The smell and taste had a sour spoiled milk quality to them that overrode everything else for me. I ended up having to pour this down the drain. It poured black with no head at all. Body was on the lighter side for a big barrel aged stout (but still fairly thick on an absolute scale). This was a disappointing and surprising brew, as I really enjoyed the barrel aged Numbskull and barrel aged 07 Decadence, so figured the BA Speedway would follow in the same vein. (629 characters)

Photo of ChadQuest
2.21/5  rDev -50.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

At a recent tasting i had the 2007 bottle, i didn't get to try any other vintages that were also cracked due to the shear number of glasses present and i wanted to let other BAs go first, but i got alot of the 2007 since it was not in high demand, but if i ever do i may update this, as the 2007 is not a sight/taste to behold.
Color is very dark in all regards, head fades into the black body.
The aroma gives the impression that this is super sweet and going to be sticky, it really smells under attenuated and sugary but with a bit of roast and chocolate inside aswell.
The flavors take a nose dive into dry territory that tastes like it was meant to be tart, or aged with dark fruits or something along those lines, i really kept thinking this was like a bad stout version of Boulavard BBQ with dark cherries as it had those same characterisitcs, though not desirable and tasty like you would expect, maybe i needed more to grow on me. There was considerable oxidation which only made things worse. Dry and over fermented, if you have a bottle, i'd save it for 2025, just because it's barely worth drinking now, i think most of our bottle was left over on the table. Maybe in 2025 it will be a novelty. (1,206 characters)

Photo of psiweaver
2.61/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This was nicely shared at the HOTD Matt Release a few months ago. It was a 2007 Bottle. I think that it was either infected or had gone bad.

Pours a rich black with a brown very thin small head.

Has a lot of coffee smell to it with a nice roasty richness, this bottle had almost a sour off smell to it though.

The initial taste was great and full of rich malty and coffee flavor but then it faded into an almost soured oxidized flavored and not in a good way. I don't think it was infected but it was certainly a bad bottle Carbonation was still good though which was odd.

thick mouth feel which is what I want in a big stout.

overall really disappointed i'm hoping that I get to try a bottle thats not been compromised. (727 characters)

Photo of unitmonster
3.21/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at release party(?) and from a bottle at Bruery Clusterfork #6

A - Dark, but not completely black like a Parabola or other heavy stout. Decent legs, very little to no head.

S - Bitter coffee, some notes of chocolate. Honestly, nothing really too special in the smell.

T - More of that bitter coffee flavor and some sub-grade cocoa/chocolate. I'm really not impressed with this beer at all.

M - Light carbonation, and not viscous. This is pretty my favorite attribute of the beer.

O - Decent, but not great. I don't understand the hype behind this beer. (568 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.5/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Vintage 2006, bottle 70/235; Sampled June 2008
A fairly vigorous pour produces a one-finger thick, darkly browned, tan colored head in my 25cl tulip glass. The beer is simply black as it sits in my glass and no amount of putting up to the light makes it anything but opaque. The aroma has a tartness to it that is strongly influenced by Bourbon-like notes and likely coffee. Roast coffee notes actually play a big role and mix with some fruity, burnt prune notes and lots of deeply toasted malt notes. There is also a nice aroma of richly toasted coconut that still has a touch of sweetness of coconut meat. It also seems to get just a touch musty at times, which mixes in with a lightly spicy oak character and a touch of estery alcohol aromas.

Thick and rich feeling as it firsts hits my tongue, creamy dark malt notes hint at lots of residual sugars, but don't really contribute much sweetness to this beer. A very light carbonation also contributes to the creamy feeling of this brew. Towards the finish the beer thins out considerably while picking up acrid roast notes and sharp, burnt acid quality and a huge bitterness that seems just as much from burnt malt and roast coffee influenced as from the hops. The dual roast influences of coffee and malt actually contribute a tartness that is noticeable throughout the flavor profile, not just the finish, but it is tempered a bit up front by the unctuous body.

As the beer warms up a bit it begins to lose a touch of the acrid character, but seems to pick up a bit more alcoholic heat. This last seems to accent a note reminiscent of burnt prunes. While rich and malty this is surprisingly dry tasting; the thick residual sugars seems to be so well balanced by the roast and barrel flavors that they are not really noticeable. At most there is a noticeable chocolate / cocoa note here, but even this is pretty devoid of sweetness. There is also a touch of almost salty, sort of peat like smokiness that is likely a combination of roast malt and barrel influences. By my second pour the salty, peat-smoke like qualities of this brew are accented even a bit more. This last, in combination with the rich, dark malt flavors really save this beer for me; though it still has an overwhelming bitter and acrid finish at times.

I do like that the barrel influence does not absolutely overwhelm this beer. I am not sure if this is still too young or what, but the roasted grain notes really get overly acrid and bitter in the finish. The barrel influence also contributes to an overall impression of this being unbalanced. This is not nearly as unbalanced or undrinkable as the BA Old Numbskull though, and is even enjoyable in its own right. I think that the complexity of the aged, base beer and the lightish influence of the barrel make this at the very least worth procuring for me. (2,836 characters)

Photo of Jeffo
3.51/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

One of the beers I've always wanted to try. Happy they re-released this one in 2011, and was thrilled to come into a couple bottles. A big thanks to johndoe8 for the trade, and a mamoth thanks to Irishgurl4 for including this bottle in my box. Cheers kids!

From a 750ml into a snifter
Vintage: 2009
Note: Drunk after a 2 year old bottle of the base beer. Comparisons drawn.

APPEARANCE: Pours out thick black and produces a three finger, thick mocha colored head with great retention. Head cascades up from the netherworld. Jet black body with no carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a good film and clings to the sides of the glass. A swirling wisp and a ring remain until the end leaving lots some dots of lacing down the glass. A beauty of a stout and much like the base beer, though the lacing is not quite as perfect.

SMELL: Nice, balanced nose. Roasted malts, molasses, with both dark and milk chocolate there. Touches of coffee as well, though quite muted now, and even more so than the aged base beer. Barrel is there, with some bourbon, oak and vanilla, but it is quite restrained. Very balanced, but somewhat mute for the style.

TASTE: A little underwhelming up front, with some roasted malts and touches of coffee still. Sweet molasses through the middle with some milk chocolate as well, moving into a bourbon barrel finish. Bourbon, oak and vanilla for sure come out nicely after the swallow, with a touch of booze as well. Bigger and lingering aftertaste of barrel, sweet molasses and some bitter chocolate. Well balanced again, but a little muted up front and much of the coffee flavor of the base beer has disappeared. Even less coffee notes than in the aged base beer. The barrel helps after the swallow, however.

PALATE: Medium body and higher levels of carbonation for the style. Light on the palate, unfortunately, though still creamy and oily, goes down fine and finishes rather mouth-coating. Some heat lingers. The barrel has thinned and lightened up the feel somewhat.

OVERALL: This is a good beer, but nothing more than that. Unfortunately the barrel aging has muted the coffee flavors and lightened up the feel, making this more of generic barrel aged stout as opposed to a BA Speedway. Furthermore, the barrel flavors aren’t even that impressive in themselves, so it’s not even an exciting generic barrel aged stout. The regular Speedway is a fantastic brew, but the time in the barrel has muted all that made it special. A shame really. If you love Speedway, just stick to the base beer, but if you love bourbon barrel stouts, pick something that showcases the barrel flavors better. Anyways, while this was a bit of a letdown, I was thrilled with the chance to try it out. Thanks again for the trades johbdoe8 and Irishgurl4. (2,773 characters)

Photo of JoeySchlitz
3.52/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Have been waiting to try this for quite some time now and thanks to the generosity of waltonc, I was finally able to partake in this rarity. Bottle #67/235 of the 2006 batch.

Pours midnight black with some wispy lacing and bubbles around the edges. Very little carbonation if any at all. The aroma is enticing, with dark chocolate coffee cake with a lactic sour barrel funkiness. Unfortunately the smell was much better than taste and mouthfeel.

I have to say it was not bad but pretty underwhelming and actually seemed a lesser beer than a regular speedway stout. A bit stronger coffee taste with bitter bakers chocolate with a ripe sour cherry finish. Not much barrel (makes me wonder what type of barrel they use in the aging) with moderate heat. It is not nearly as viscous as I would have liked and for this beer, it is borderline watery. Any carbonation would have helped this out significantly. Fairly easy to drink but again without carbonation and the sour funkiness to it, made it a bit difficult to finish my glass.

Overall it was an ok beer but was a pretty big letdown. I look forward to trying another BA Speedway to compare this with, but not sure I'll go out of my way for one. (1,198 characters)

Photo of baconsausage
3.53/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Koopa for sharing this vintage gem! 2006. Bottle

Pours an almost black with some tan head floating around the edges. Muted cold coffe in the nose, a tad vinous, more bourbon as it warms. Taste folllows nose, with some tartness, bitterness from the coffee, and some roast. Bourbon peaks out for a second behind the oak and vino character. Good beer, more like an english old ale at this point than a stout. (420 characters)

Photo of BearsOnAcid
3.57/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

'09 release

Black pour, small khaki-light brown head.

Dark rich chocolate and bourbon on the nose. Nutty caramel.

Big bourbon soaked chocolate flavor. More caramel and toasted oak. Soft carbonation. All the coffee is gone which is a thing I love most about this beer. The mouthfeel has thinned out a little.

I've had the '06 and the one that was growler only before. I'd say this is the weakest of the three. This one isn't the A+ decadent showstopper that those were. (472 characters)

Photo of RustyDiamond
3.65/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2007 release #315 of 447. Gray waxed cap under gold foil. I used a Brooklyn snifter for this one. Jet black pour with 1/2" of espresso colored head. The head slowly dissipates before the 1st sip. Hot fudge, molasses, french roast ground coffee aroma.
Touch of bourbon sour at first. As it warmed, the sour bourbon released a little. Coffee and bourbon and bourbon. Drinking like a raspberry framboise with a tad of coffee. Quite sour...drink now. (446 characters)

Photo of Arbitrator
3.75/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Chilled bottle into a glass. 2007 vintage. Received in a trade from Jw347. Thanks John!

A: Pours a nearly pitch black body with a billowy dark mocha head; it retains well and leaves a substantial collar on the brew. Quite nice for a beer of this style and gravity.

S: Great aroma. Lots of chocolate, toasted marshmallow, vanilla, bourbon, caramel. I pick up hints of sherry-like oxidation, coffee, oak, and earth.

T: I let it warm to have the full flavor come out. It's incredibly complex, but the oxidation dominates this beer, too much for my tastes. It introduces a light tartness, sherry / wine, and salty soy. Those aren't deal-breakers in barrel-aged beers anymore, but they have an optimal concentration, and this beer exceeds that. Still, the rest of the flavor isn't irredeemable: it's chocolatey, coffee-driven, and earthy. It has a nice caramelly bourbon to it, and I pick up toasted oak in the finish.

M: Full in flavor, medium in viscosity. Good carbonation. No heat.

D: It comes together a lot better as it warms, but I am never in love with it. I'm glad I had it, as I was very curious about this one, but I'm not breaking the cellar for it in the future. The fresher one out of a growler was more to my liking. (1,236 characters)

Photo of punkrkr27
3.76/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2006 bottle shared by northernbrews at the Sept. 09 Metro Detroit tasting. Jet black pour with no head. The aroma was chocolate and roast with heavy oxidation and hints of oak, vanilla and bourbon. The flavor is more of the same with a distinct soy sauce like quality. Oily, full body. Sadly this seems to not have aged quite so well. (334 characters)

Photo of patm1986
3.78/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a-black as night, prune colored, thin, airy head (khaki colored).
s-molasses, licorice, pecans, vanilla, port, sherry, burnt plastic, rasins, rum, chocolate covered espresso beans.
t-acetone, vanilla, astringency, char, rasin, cherry, phenolic.
m-thin, bubly, dry, light
o-disappointed some with this one. i thought the barrel treatment would mellow and enrich the body of the base beer, but it wasn't as viscous as i'd have liked it to be. i think with the bourbon and with all the coffee, there was just too much acidity; ba speedway was just a bit too astringent for my liking. (581 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.81/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served in a tumbler.

How many huge beers can we try in a night? This one pours a very deep and very dark black-brown topped by a nice finger of sandstone foam. The nose comprises cheaper whiskey, roasted malts, mild coffee, and a light dusting of cocoa powder. The taste brings in more of the same, with the whiskey still riding tall in the saddle, but not quite as roughshod over the roast and coffee as before. Moreover, a stronger undercurrent of oak worms its way underneath the proceedings. The body is a hefty medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, a solid barrel-aged stout, though not quite as good as the base would indicate. If anything, I'd take the normal, everyday Speedway over this most days of the week. That said, it's still pretty good, just not nearly as good as its current reputation would suggest. (850 characters)

Photo of pwoods
3.83/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to RoyMunson for sharing this bottle. 750ml brown bottle poured into a snifter. Notes. '06 bottle.

A: Pitch black, medium viscosity. Some head and a bit of lacing.

S: Some barrel and old coffee. Roasted malts.

T/M: More of the barrel and some bourbon, some vanilla. Roasty, stale coffee. Things don't really meld too great. Body is medium full with mellow carbonation. Somewhat dry.

D: Solid but not earhty shattering. I prefer the other 2 BA'ed brews. (463 characters)

Photo of sonicdescent
3.9/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I consider this to be my cellar's crown jewel, and I want to thank Nobama, who, in spite of questionable politics, gave me the biggest trade I have ever done on here, including this 2006 vintage BA Speedway. This is one of a few remaining beers that I have to try from the top 100. Speedway Stout is easily in the top five I have ever had. Barrel Aging, with the exception of Blackout Stout (IMO) has never done anything but make a great beer incredible. Let's see how we do here.

Look, off the bat, is quite a tough one. Judged against imperial stouts, this would score a bit lower, but considering the aging and barrel life, this one gets a tiny curve. Think layer of mocha head that is hanging around quite a bit. Liquid is black with some highlights when held up to light. Lacing is minimal.

Nose is actually relatively light on the barrel as I pick up more dark fruit scent. Unfortunately that is about all I can pick up. It's a good, if slightly oddly unrefined. Chocolate is way in the background. The barrel actually seems to upset what was a perfect balance.

Mouth is going to be tough..this is where Speedway excelled and, really, was probably the best imperial stout I had ever had. So far, the barrel has actually caused some issues with that formula, but traditionally, this is where the bourbon comes in best. The good news is that this isn't too hot and there is certainly some Speedway in there. The coffee has left the building, but the dark fruit and chocolate are hanging around. Truth be told, while this is great, I still prefer the regular Speedway stout.

Mouth is the high point of this brew, it is a relatively thick beast with relatively low carbonation.

Overall, I wouldn't go too far out of your way to get this one. There are better BA beers on the market, and it's little brother, IMO, is a better all around beer. (1,851 characters)

Photo of doopiedoopiedoo
3.92/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jeffo strikes again with a killer theme for Tuesdaynight beers at my crib. Had this thing on my wants ever since I tried the regular Speedway Stout which became an instant favorite. I can hardly contain myself.

A hord pour into my snifter revealed a thick black beer with a fluffy three finger head that leaves some nice lacing.

On the nose this is a winner. A nice balance between the regular Speedway Stout and the barrel. Everything is there but nothing is dominating. Hints of soy, sweetness and some vanilla of the bourbon. Very nice.

Flavors a solid but a bit of a let down after the nose. Where the nose promised a perfect balance between base beer and the barrel the bourbon barrel takes over quite a bit. It's quite good but not as special as you'd think of such a hyped up beer. There is a clash between the sweetnes and the bitterness I don't care for.

It has a light creamy, silky mouthfeel. Not as thick as I expected after the pour. A decent amount of carbonation.

Drinking this beer was great experience. I was really excited to try this and now I know. I don't think I'd go through a lot of trouble to aquire this but won't say no when offered. It's almost a love/ hate between me and this beer. Jeffo nailed it again for beer theme night and now I have to see how I can out do him for the next Tuesday... (1,326 characters)

Photo of BgThang
3.93/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jonathanL for breaking this out tonight. I feel really privileage since I was wanting to try this for a very long time and I know the effort that went in to securing this bottle.
Its a 2006 BA speedway.

A - Pours a nice deeply black with little light penetrating the thickness of it.

S- It has some bourbon on the front end with big dark fruit prunes especially.

T - Once the bourbon clears you get coffee then chocolate with a very smooth silky finish.

Drinkability is very easy on this. The other guys were saying they may still prefer the regular speedway over the BA version. I like both versions and would but this everyday if it were available to me. (672 characters)

Photo of airohead2001
3.94/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks, glazeman. I've been waiting for this for a long time. Probably currently my biggest want, and here it sits before me. 2009 vintage.

Appearance is very nice. Two finger head that fades to a quarter finger and hangs around. Cappuccino colored head that is darker at the junction of the foam and beer. Thick, nice legs. Can't see through this one, as it should be.

Smell is outstanding. Vanilla, coconut, booze, chocolate, and dark fruits. Up front nose reminds me of Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen.

Taste is good, but a little too bitter for me. I enjoy the vanilla/bourbon up front and chocolate in the middle, but the harsh, burnt, bitter, porter-like, coffee ground finish is quite offensive. Honestly, I was hoping for a little bit more of a BA Yeti, CBS, or Event Horizon-like picture, but the base beer here is just too harsh and roasty for me.

Overall this is a very good beer. I would love to try it again. But, since my expectations were SO high, I am a little bit disappointed. (993 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a medium size foamy head with minimal retention. Aroma of dry whisky with notes of dry roasted malt is interesting. Taste is a nice mix between some dry roasted malt notes with some coffee though not as much as in the original version with some dry whisky notes. Body is about average with medium carbonation and alcohol is not too apparent. A bit too dry and astringent for my taste thought still very much enjoyable. (464 characters)

Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.95/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

'06 Version.
Pours a very dark brown in color. There's a short lived frothy ring of head around the perimeter of the glass. Very subdued bourbon in the nose. Good to see that the bourbon is not dominating. Still some good roasty coffee notes coming through.
There's much more coffee coming through in the taste. So much in fact that it's dominating the bourbon barrel aging effects. I expected just the opposite. Also was a bit thinner in the mouthfeel than I was expecting. Ends up being a bit more balanced than I was expecting. Not earth moving, but then again, don't know if this had a chance to live up to the hype. (621 characters)

Photo of pepsican
3.95/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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. (454 characters)

Photo of mjpolzin
3.98/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Despite the hefty price tag, I was excited to obtain a bottle of this so I could try what is a very highly rated beer. When I initially tried regular Speedway Stout, I was somewhat underwhelmed when comparing to other coffee stouts. The same is true with the barrel aged version. It was a really good beer but not up to par with some of the better barrel aged coffee stouts out there. At $40 a bottle, this is one that I probably won't seek out again although I was happy to be able to try it.

The beer pours a thick, opaque black with little head. The smell is a sweet mix of bourbon and coffee. My issue with the taste (just as with regular Speedway) is that the coffee seems rather rash and isn't smoothly integrated into the rest of the beer. Maybe with some age this would mellow out. Otherwise, the bourbon taste is very enjoyable and overall the beer has a sweetness that is similar other big stouts. (908 characters)

Photo of AleWatcher
4/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 vintage

Pours dark and sexy. Near black. Almost white head of a finger turns into a small film.
Lace is small, but present. The legs are thick and nice.

Smells of oak, chocolate, coffee, some charred vanilla, and light hints of bourbon.

Taste is sweet, with all the notes from the nose. The oak really dries it out on the back end.

Body is thick and full with a nice creaminess.

This is good... But not as great as the growler that I've previously had. Still, it was fun to drink. (493 characters)

Photo of JDV
4/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared by miketd. Thanks dude!!
Pours black with a light tan head. Smell is roasty, chocolate and bourbon, but not too strong. Taste is almost milder than I remember the regular speedway stout being, at least in terms of alcohol, somehow. Still very mild coffee, and is hardly noticeable, with roasty chocolate and light bourbon. Good stuff. (341 characters)

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