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.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

1,614 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,614
Reviews: 297
rAvg: 4.52
pDev: 8.19%
Wants: 1,936
Gots: 444 | FT: 54
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: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,614 | Reviews: 297
Photo of s1ckboy
4.35/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 bottle

A - Black body, dark brown 3 finger head with tight bubbles.

S - Bourbon, oak, maybe some vanilla.

T - Bourbon, still a lot of coffee, brown sugar, molasses, big chocolate finish.

M - Full. Dry finish. Good amount of carbonation.

Great beer. Not quite as full bodied as the non BA version. Reminded me a lot of BA sexual chocolate but bigger.

Photo of vacax
4.36/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.36/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to alexgrahamlv for this trade a couple years ago, opened for my recent 30th (ugh) birthday.

2009 Vintage

Pours a dark dark brown almost black color with no light penetration, small light brown head, fades at a decent rate, not much lacing on the glass though.

Smell has a nice boozy aroma, roasted malt mixed with a woody bourbon aspect, vanilla is strong but not overwhelming to the nose, lightest touch of dark fruit.

Taste starts out with a slight alcohol bourbon burn but quickly subsides when the roasted malt, vanilla and dark fruit come into play, subtle hints of chocolate help sweeten the deal, the burn does return in the throat though, even four years of age and this is a strong beer, carbonation is perfect, medium high viscosity so there's nice coverage on the tongue without being too "chewy".

Photo of pixel
4.36/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle number 13/235
2006 Vintage
Thanks to BA member McAllister for sharing this bad boy

Pours a deep rich black with a very thin bubbly tan head. Slight lacing on the glass.
Smells of a stellar blend of bourbon, chocolate, and roasted coffee. Tastes of oak bourbon and very rich coffee. Somewhat of a sour tannic taste on the tongue like that you would get from eating the skins of fresh cherries. Very thick mouthful that coats the tongue. Surprisingly drinkable to me on this cold winter day, but definitely a beer meant to savor slowly.

Photo of Mora2000
4.37/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this gem.

2007 vintage. Bottle number 205 of 447. This was sampled side-by-side with a regular Speedway Stout. The beer pours dark brown to black with a brown head. The aroma is bourbon, oak, vanilla, roasted malt, chocolate and alcohol. The flavor is awesome. I get bourbon, oak, semi-sweet chocolate, brown sugar and vanilla. The oak and tannic notes are very tart or bitter, giving the beer an almost sour quality. The coffee has completely faded. Medium-thick mouthfeel and low-medium carbonation. Not sure which I liked the best out of this and the non barrel-aged version because they are both awesome. Very happy I got to try this.

Photo of Lazerlobe
4.37/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2006 bottle 44/233. Thanks to Ross for grabbing this rarity.

A: Dark semi-translucent brown pour with a light beige head. Fairly typical barreled high gravity appearance.

S: Bourbon soaked cherries, old musty oak barrels, dark dessert chocolates.

T: Oak, lightly roasted coffee beans, harsh bittering chocolates. The bourbon in subdued but powerful oak dominates. The beer bears some oxidative notes however minute. Dry oaky finish. The coffee has faded a good bit when compared to fresh Speedway.

M: A little chewy, low carbonation and parchingly dry oak finish.

O: Solid balanced beer, tasty oak and a good integration of fading coffee. Not an overly remarkable beer but matured with age, allowing the bourbon nuances to show.

Photo of Sideswipe
4.37/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

09 Edition
On tap at the brewery.

The beer is a dark reddish brown color with a light beige head. The foam recedes quickly leaving a thin ring around the glass. The nose is chocolate, bourbon and dark fruit. Taste is of leather, chocolate, caramel, and oak. There is a sweet quality to it, as well. Bourbon is integrated so well that there is almost no alcohol heat to speak of. Finish is sweet with lingering chocolate and bourbon. Feel is somewhat thinner than I'd expect from a big BA stout and carbonation is on the low side, as it should be. Overall this is another very nice barrel aged offering from AleSmith.

Photo of stricklandia
4.38/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this as part of the Linkery's "Wood week," their fifth anniversary (wood) celebration. Tonight, they had a barrel-aged beer night, which included eight different barrel-aged beers. This one was by far our favorite of the five that we tried (with Firestone 12th Anniversary Ale a close second). To me, this came across as the best a stout can offer: full-bodied with all the flavors you would expect, but not too sweet or too strong or too heavy on the chocolate or coffee notes. A perfect balance, just right!

Photo of Auracom
4.38/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review #200. 2009 bottle split two ways between Dan and myself. Poured into a CBS snifter straight from cellar temp.

A - More Cigar City-like appearance than I expected. Opal coloring with deep brown hues at the edge. Deep khaki head with quick dissipation that reminds me of Marshal Zhukov's. Good lacing. Slight alcohol legs. Leaves a lot of residual brown coating.

S - Lots of bourbon and oak barrel, as i would hope. Dark chocolate, baker's chocolate, touch of winter fruit, and molasses. Nothing out of the ordinary here, but it has some promise.

T - Relaxed espresso. You can tell the base beer has aged and faded off the dominate character. However, in place of that are good, if not great, barrel elements. Plentiful toasted oak, roasted nuts and malts, hint of coconut, and a robust bourbon whiskey character throughout. Tannic backend that showcases the darker fruit element.

M - Very smooth, nearly Parabola-level. Moderate body, appropriate carbonation, dry barrel finish.

D - Better than expected. The barrel is really well executed, almost like something Hair of the Dog would do if they had a stout. Absolutely not a sweet stout, so don't expect that coming in. Worth trying at least once but not quite worth the trade bait.

Photo of Beerbeer101
4.38/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown color. Medium head. Aroma is malts, dark sugar and fruits. Full bodied Imperial Stout. Malts are roasty, chocolate and coffee, with touches of vanilla and dark fruit. The brandy/bourbon flavor is evident. Nice blend of chocolate, wood and smoke. Very smooth. Bourbon and chocolate flavors blend well together. Touch of alcohol bite. Nice beer. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

Photo of julian
4.38/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a thick pitch black with a rocky nut brown head and sticky lacing all around. Beautiful. 4.5

S: Very nice! Minimal bourbon notes, but definitely noticeable, in fact the other aromas seem to be muted perhaps due to age, or simply due to being overwhelmed by the barrel aging. There is some wooded essence to it as well now that I mention barrels. 3.5

T&M: This is amazing. Combination of bourbon, barrel/wood, coffee, chocolate, alcohol. Smooth, great creamy mouthfeel. Carbonation is perfect. Finish is nice and clean. 4.5 / 4.5

O: This is fantastic! Great mouthfeel, taste. Was hoping for more in the aroma but this is a world class BA RIS. 4.5

Photo of Azurescens
4.38/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle 2009 batch (2011 release) poured into snifter, reviewed on 8/27/11.

A: Pours black with a thin brown head that leaves a bit of lacing around glass.

S: Roasted malt and chocoate with a mellowed bourbon barrel character from the 2 years this spent in barrels, alcohol, bourbon and oak.

T: Super smooth with oak notes from the bourbon barrel, chocolate, some faint coffee notes and a mellow bourbon flavor as well.

M: Really smooth and creamy full body with low-moderate carbonation and sweet finish.

O: Great example of a barrel aged imperial stout, extremely smooth and full of flavor. Quite drinkable for a beer of this size.

Photo of TexIndy
4.4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

600th review!
2007 Vintage #290/447. Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip. Got from ummagum who got it directly from Alesmith. It came in the standard Speedway Stout bottle with pen markings on the side to identify it as the BA and bottle number. Was pitch black even against a strong light. Good carb streams in center from the etching. It had about a finger of brown foam that quickly dissipated into a collar and some wisps in center. No lacing but at 12%ABV you don't expect any.

The aroma was mostly mellow bourbon with some oaky vanilla and then just a bit of the base coffee. It's a bourbon show but it has mellowed as it aged so not overpowering. The tastes closely follows the aroma. Again, it's bourbon show with some oak and weak coffee highlights. The bourbon has mellowed so not overpowering. Has a slightly sweet finish. BA's are not my favorite style but this shows what a great BA can be. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy with good carb tingle.

Overall, an excellent BA stout that highlights what good barrel aging can do. Dangerous drinkable at 12%. Most highly recommend if you want to try a top tier BA beer. I was at the brewery in October and they said it would probably be another 12-18 months before this comes out again so get to trading if you want one. Rotation - not avail in TX - got from a friend. Wouldn't mind trying this again with another 1 or 2 on it to see what happens...but since so rare this probably will be my only shot.

Photo of Rastacouere
4.4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

bottle 66: Black body wears a thin off-white head. I can’t wait for the old numbskull version. Obvious bourbon barrel aroma. It comes out minty (after eight chocolate) and candyish with all the usual stoutish aspects. Big whiskey and roasty suggestions. Large hop presence although the barrel aging really seems to mellow them out for the best. Bitter bourbon finish. Mild acidity doesn’t alterate the pleasure. Fruity and almost anise reminiscent. Great balance for such a monster. Thick body with smooth low carbonation. Good going Alesmith. I didn’t notice any coffee. To me, this is far more pleasant than the regular speedway. Thanks again hopsrus.

Photo of LambicPentameter
4.4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opened this bottle as part of a small tasting with friends because there's something about a $40+ bottle of beer that makes it seem anticlimactic to open by yourself. I don't remember seeing if there was a bottling date, but this particular bottle is of the 2014 vintage. Poured into a Belgian-style tulip glass.

Appearance (4.5) - Poured with some vigor, since I know barrel-aged beers have a tendency to lose their ability to generate much head, and I'm rewarded with a finger and a half of dark cocoa colored foam. Several of the smaller bubbles immediately start to expand, giving it a spongy appearance until it dissipates to a film of intermittent foam and ringlet. Some sticky, thin swaths of lace adorn the sides of the glass.

Smell (4.5) - A wonderful collection of aromas, with the roasted malt and bourbon taking the lead, but in a well-blended way that makes them seem like a single aromatic note. I'm a little dismayed at the lack of coffee presence--it's there, but muscled out of the picture by the much more prevalent notes of vanilla, caramel, bourbon and oak. It's honestly hard to distinguish the more bitter roasted malt notes from the coffee notes. That said, I cannot dock it too much, as the smell is still wonderful. Maybe my favorite element of this beer.

Taste (4.25) - As with the smell, the coffee takes a back seat to the barrel characteristics, with sweet booze and really nice notes of caramel and toffee blending with the grain to produce the sensation of kind of a granola bar dipped in bittersweet chocolate and drizzled with a ribbon of caramel. The only negative--and it's hardly one at all--I can say is that I wish it were a bit more overt. It's impressive that AleSmith could make such a big, bold style, with lots of flavors going on, and blend it into a nice, smooth-drinking beer, but I like my BA stouts to be a little more aggressive.

Feel (4.5) - There is a nice full-bodied nature to this, in spite of being (I believe) 100% barrel-aged. The carbonation is moderate to low--just enough to prevent the sweet viscosity of the body from becoming cloying or smothering.

Overall (4.5) - A wonderful beer that I'm glad to have tried, and one that I would recommend to anyone who hasn't had it, price tag be damned. That said, the price is prohibitive for repeat purchases, because if I'm paying that kind of price for a bottle, it needs to be one of the best beers I've ever tasted to warrant a return purchase. And it's a well enough made beer that for some, it could very well be just that. But not for me. As such, I will just tip my cap to AleSmith and say "stout well done".

Photo of PlinyBeMiney
4.4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Right out of the fridge this beer tastes a tad too hot. Described as "premium bourbon barrels," I assume the heat to be more linked to the type of bourbon versus the actual heat from the alcohol. As it warms the nuances begin to attract versus detract. Sadly, I can barely taste the coffee. This being a strong point in the base beer makes this the most disappointing part of this beer. I can't complain too much because the rest of the beer is great. Mouthfeel and smell are close to being spot on. I'm just wishing there was a bit more coffee.

Photo of aleigator
4.4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Speedway BA '14 vintage, many thanks to Marcel.

Poura a completely black color, with nearly no head at all.

Has the most distinctive Bourbon barrel presence, I have yet experienced. Despite the Bourbon dominance, coffee cuts through easily among a huge amount of wood, as well as scorched, earthy malts. Hints of molasses remind me of this being a stout, setting the balance, but nothing more, this beer is focused on its warming coffee Bourbon blend.

Drinks throughout smooth, perfectly fitting for the full body of the beer to unfold.

Not only becomes the Bourbon recognizable on the palate very early, the oaky barrel quality seemingly stands out on itself, blending perfectly into earthy, pleasantly bitter coffee beans. As on the nose, there is a certain, almost sticky sweetness detectable in the beer, but only as a neccesary counterpart to the fiery Bourbon coffee melange, adding toffee, cocoa nibs and fudge to the blend. Liquor heat gets perfectly wrapped up by the coffee, with a sweeter, slick finish, turning into a chocolate direction at the very end, accompanied by vanilla, booze and earthy ground coffee - revealing throughout a fantastic flavour variety.

Impressive beer, huge, bold, focused, while leaving enough space on the palate to exhibit an intriguing depth. Pretty much focused on coffee and Bourbon, with a mousse au chocolate creamy nouthfeel to it, providing oak, heat, fudge and gourmet coffee.

Photo of thagr81us
4.41/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks goes out to funkydelic for sharing this one with me! 2011 Vintage! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller flute. Poured pitch black with a one finger tan head that subsided to half a finger slowly. Maintained good lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, coffee, caramel, and subtle sour acidity. The flavor was of sweet malt, wood, sweet alcohol, coffee, caramel, and subtle sour acidity. It had a heavy mouthfeel with medium carbonation. Overall this was a great brew. The barrel on this brew really developed it quite nicely. This one however had the same acidic flavor as the 2010 Speedway that was had side-by-side with this one, but this one came off a little more sour than the regular 2010 version. Not sure what to make of that, but it didn't hurt the brew at all. The sweet alcohol and wood notes on this one were quite well integrated and took the regular to a whole new level. Really glad I FINALLY got the opportunity to try this as it was quite good.

Photo of hooliganlife
4.42/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

big thanks to coryking for this, been wanting this for 3+ years

2009 vintage

pour was deep black with some light creamy and cocoa head. fairly thick looking body.

the bourbon barrel aging is very apparent on the nose. big vanilla and oak with some coffee and chocolate.

as with regular speedway, there was a nice chocolate backbone with a light roasted malt. the barrel aging really brought the life out of this. the vanilla was very smooth. added some richness.

a bit viscous and chewy. moderate carbonation. not much alcohol, fairly smooth.

this was delicious, a great example of a great -bal aged stout.

Photo of midaszero
4.42/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to MiguelMandingo for sharing this. Vintage 2007 bottle 254

A - Very dark brown with very little to no head and a little bit of lacing

S - Very intense bourbon with vanilla and toffee notes

T - Bourbon vanilla toffee. The bourbon was stronger than the nose suggested. Also some coffee notes come out as it warms up

M - Medium thick body with very little carbonation

D - This is an excellent beer. Could be easier to drink but for the strength it is pretty damn smooth and very enjoyable.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.42/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007 Vintage, Bottle #295. Good call on this one, UncleJedi. You have chosen... wisely.

Appearance: Pours a turbid, dark brown, near black body with a thin, short-lived, tan head.

Smell: A very full, all-encompassing bourbon barrel presence on the nose -- large notes of oak wood and full-on bourbon with lighter notes of vanilla and coconut shavings. Pair this up with a malt aroma replete with plenty of chocolate and roast and you have something worth smelling.

Taste: Cup of Sumatra Dark Roast 'Black Satin' Coffee stirred up with aged oak and light touches of vanilla and coconut and garnished with a few chocolate-covered coffee beans. Fleeting plum fruitiness. Some fire-roasted marshmallows. A pinch of Black Cavendish Tobacco. Medium roast bitterness. Plenty of alcohol to be found, but, thankfully, it's not glaring. Warming, roasty finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Yes! This is going to be a pleasure to finish off, I can tell. It's so darned yummy, I just had to tell the world!

Photo of beerguy101
4.43/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown color. Medium head. Aroma is malts, dark sugar and fruits. Full bodied Imperial Stout. Malts are roasty, chocolate and coffee, with touches of vanilla and dark fruit. The brandy/bourbon flavor is evident. Nice blend of chocolate, wood and smoke. Very smooth. Bourbon and chocolate flavors blend well together. Touch of alcohol bite. Nice beer. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

Photo of johnnnniee
4.44/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I shared my last bottle of this with a friend. 2006 Vintage.

Pours a solid black with a stingy tan head that dissipates quickly to a cap on top. Smells of coffee, vanilla, chocolate, dark fruits and prunes, with and oaky alcohol edge. The taste is filled with rich coffee and chocolates sprinkled with and oaky plum sweetness and a touch of alcohol. Hints of coconut and vanilla show up to the party but hide in the kitchen. Fairly thick body with a full creamy almost acridic mouthfeel and light carbonation. I am sad to say that I have enjoyed my last bottle of this fine brew. Intensely complex and damn tasty, I wish this was more available.

Photo of MasterSki
4.44/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was the '03 vintage, courtesty of TurdFurgison. Didn't bother to copy down the bottle number. Served in a Chouffe tulip.

A - Pours with minimal foam that quickly settles to a thin ring of bubbles, leaving behind no lace but some sticky legs instead. Body is black, with maybe a faint brownish glint at the upper edge.

S - Vanilla, bourbon, chocolate cake, plenty of oak and barrel, some light soy and dark fruit oxidation notes, and perhaps still a hint of solvent alcohol in there. Minimal coffee, but that wasn't unexpected.

T - The taste is more mellow, with some light oxidation notes, and big prune and dark fruit notes. Not as much chocolate, but more earth and charred wood instead.

M - No heat, extremely low carbonation. Full-bodied, quite chewy and sticky. Surprisingly little tannic character - seems to have faded in the intervening years.

D - I found this quite easy to drink, and went back for a few more ounces after my initial pour. I liked this more than the 2008 growler, but I'm not sure it's the mind-blowing experience others have described.

Photo of alleykatking
4.45/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review number 500! What better beer to have than this. 2007 vintage.

A- Poured a black color in the glass. One finger mocha colored head has good retention. Light soapy lacing left on the sides of the glass.

S- Nice roasted malts in the front of this. Hints of vanilla, bourbon, and oak linger throughout the aroma overall. Light oxidation which I expected a little bit toward the middle. The chocolate malts this comeout toward the end with a semi-sweet kick in the nose.

T- I pick up a nice roasted malt upfront with a light chocolate coffee undertone throughout the entire beer. The coffee flavor isn't as strong as I thought it would be but...there could be a lot worse than that. Vanilla and bourbon make this beer have a light warming sensation. Oaky notes come through toward the middle to end. Light oxidation with this that stays from start to finish. I could do without that but once again it almost goes with the beer by the end.

M- Heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation was good for the style and age on it. Roasted malts with light oxidation left on the palate with some bourbon like notes in the aftertaste again with the oxidation. Flavors were bold for the age and I enjoyed it for that. Oxidation was bigger than I would have liked.

D- This beer was great...period. The oxidation was not a deal breaker with the beer. I had no problem drinking the bottle over a hour and a half period. I am glad I saved this bottle but it should be drank sometime here soon before the oxidation takes over the entire beer. The ABV makes this a one and done but also one bottle is good enough.

AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 1,614 ratings.