AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged - AleSmith Brewing Company
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Ratings: 1,254 | Reviews: 270 | Display Reviews Only:
4.58/5 rDev +1.3%
On Tap at the Release
A: Black as motor oil with a reddish mocha colored head that stays at about one finger. Good retention.
S: Pretty big aromas of freshly ground coffee, dark chocolate, raisin and bourbon.
T: Dark chocolate, cocoa powder, coffee, fudge, hints of dark fruit (plum and black currant) with a slightly acidic finish. Lush and velvety mouthfeel with a pleasant warming sensation on the finish and a little bit of a peat flavor and dryness from the bourbon. The bourbon was surprisingly restrained, which surprised me. The balance was really well done. I definitely feel lucky to have gotten to try this one.
06-17-2011 12:59:57 | More by notchucknorris
5/5 rDev +10.6%
Vintage '03. Thanks Nick!
Pours an oily black with a thick espresso head. Excellent lace and retention.
Nose has freah roated coffee, bourbon, oak, vanilla, dark pitted fruits, chocolate, dark candies, big malts and molasses.
Beautiful blend of espresso, wood, whiskey, vanilla, plums, figs, dates, roasty malts, cocoa, caramel and toffee.
Thick, creamy body is perfectly carbonated. Perhaps a bit past age, but still a lovely beer. Peaks closer to 5 years.
05-31-2010 22:09:18 | More by rye726
4.53/5 rDev +0.2%
Thanks to Doodler for the hookup on this one! Poured from an 8oz. hand-bottled swingtop growler into a Bruery tulip.
A: AleSmith only uses Mobil 1 in this baby. Some carbonation sticks around from the straightdown pour. Has a nice mocha color to balance the black beer. With a few swirls of the glass I notice it sticks to the side - sign of a good beer to me.
S: The best feature of this beer. A deep breath yields toffee, butter pecan, and rich chocolate notes. As it warms up I also get some fresh baked brownies and maple syrup aroma.
T: Sweet malts lead to a creamy caramel flavor. Chocolate, rum esters, and bitterness from the hops weave their way into the brew. This beer is well-layered and definitely improves as it warms up.
M: If you're a carb freak you might be disappointed. However, I think this beer does just fine without it because of it's "chewy" aspect.
D: Pretty solid for 12%. I don't get the squinty eyes from other BA beers that bring the motherload of booze. Also, as much as it smells syrupy, it's not.
Overall, a rare treat to get to try. Thanks Scott!
04-22-2010 01:26:37 | More by hoppymcgee
4/5 rDev -11.5%
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.
07-01-2008 18:41:47 | More by JDV
4.6/5 rDev +1.8%
On tap at Neighborhood, 11/9/11.
A-Pours a dark, opaque brown with a very sparse brown head.
S-Mocha, marshmallow, roast, some booziness.
T-Great complexity. Chocolate, bourbon, marshmallow, raisins, sweet malt, even a hint of honey. Heat nicely subdued.
M-Medium to heavy bodied, booze is well hidden.
O-Delicious. A highlight of SDBW for sure.
12-22-2011 21:15:17 | More by sholland119
4.08/5 rDev -9.7%
750 mL bottle courtesy of a great Cali trader. Obtained a little while ago in a trade and cracked tonight on the night of my 1200th review. This 2007 vintage, bottle #318/447, was poured in to a 22 oz. snifter.
Appearance: Pours a oily, thinned out body, quickly out of the neck of the gold foiled, double waxed silk screened bottle. The body is pitch, glassy, obsidian, opaque except for the faintest twinge around the edges suggesting light. A vigorous pour - made more vigorous once I realized that there wasn't a good head forming - yielded pretty much nothing in terms of head, and that's not entirely unforgivable: this one has both coffee additions and barrel thinning. There's no hint of surface lacing (after about 30 seconds) nor any hint of a collar or side lacing, so there's not too much more to say - it would have been nice to have more, but I understand why it's not here.
Aroma: This beer's best attribute. A gentle, rolling nose with a lot of character. Toasted coconut is huge, mingling brilliantly with fudgy brownies and full roast coffee, but also a ton of stone fruits and dark fruits, courtesy of both the maltiness of this beer as well as barrel sugars and a pleasant amount of oxidation. Cherries are strong, both black and sour, mingling with raisins and figs, and everything here is wrapped up and beautifully macerated in bourbon. It's not hot at all - only faintly warming and ethereally spicy, the whole thing is mellow but complex, subtle yet strong. Very enjoyable.
Taste: A varied mouth, ranging from tart, oxidized, sherry-like notes to dark malts to barrel sweet spicy bourbon. First, a comment that this beer is probably a little past its peak - the malts (particularly the coffee addition) are beginning to fade, the oxidation is beginning to come through pretty heavily, and the whole package seems a little dull. That being said, there's still a lot of good stuff here (as evidenced by the nose). A thick, fat malt base contributes a lot of dark toastiness - toast, molasses, cola, bittersweet cocoa, and full roast coffee all mingle with a slew of fruits ranging from raisins to cherries. There're a few notes in between - definite figs, hints of things more sour and tart like kiwi, red grape, and the like - that sort of round of the flavor, but these fruity notes are pretty heavily countered by a lot of oxidation, sherry-like, a little papery, though not too distracting. The bourbon and barrel notes constitute about a third of the flavor components, strength-wise, in the mouth, growing in intensity as this one warms (unsurprisingly). Coconut and leather mingle with fat oak, slightly toasted, and caramelized barrel sugars, though the bourbon is decidedly mellow, a little fainter than I expected. It's definitely present in the finish, though, warming and spicy, though never intense.
Mouthfeel: A very interesting mouth on this one. Very soda-like, though not overly bubbly. I imagine the erratic, unevenness is likely due to the thinned out nature of the body, diluted and rarefied by a year spent in some bourbon barrels. The end result is good, but not great - a little oily, courtesy of the coffee addition, but also definitely a little erratic. Give it a little time to smooth out and it becomes really nice (though, yes, a little flat and thin, so either way it suffers slightly). If I had to pick one or the other ... let it sit for a while.
Drinkability: So this beer has a lot going on. And, as an initial matter, it's all going on in a 12% soup, which is problematic, because 12% is one hell of a soup. That being said, this 12% is not hot - there's no burn, and the bourbon itself doesn't even contribute anything close to a hot amount of bourbon, whether it be in the nose, mouth, or anywhere else.
That being said, I was mildly disappointed by this beer. It is nowhere near as good as fresh Speedway Stout. I'm can't state conclusively whether or not that is because this beer is past its prime - that is certainly a possibility, given: a) the oxidation; b) the knowledge that this beer is 5+ years old; and c) the fading of the coffee, etc. etc. etc. Not to mention that this isn't how I remember normal Speedway tasting. But while there's some evidence to suggest it may be, it's possible that this is just how -bal Speedway is supposed to taste, thinned, aged, diluted. If that's the case, then maybe this one isn't quite the candidate for barrel aging. I'm also ruling out infection or accelerated oxidation by virtue of the double waxing (who double waxes? Kudos to Alesmith!).
I'm glad this beer was #1200. I'm also glad I had the opportunity to try it. That being said, I wish I'd tried it sooner, and I wish I'd tried it alongside the non -bal version of Speedway, just so I could get the true side-by-side comparison in an attempt to identify how much of what I'm tasting is due to aging and how much isn't. Worth seeking out, but not at the expense some believe it's worth, methinks.
02-15-2011 04:19:48 | More by CrellMoset
4.7/5 rDev +4%
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.
04-22-2013 14:17:12 | More by inlimbo77
4.45/5 rDev -1.5%
Holy shnikeys. Bottle into a snifter. Enjoyed about a month after I picked up the 2012 edition bottles from the brewery.
Holy shnikeys. Smells like a liquid almond joy. Vanilla, toasted coconut, almond, maple syrup, dark chocolate. Very sweet.
Holy shnikeys. Tastes like a liquid Heath bar. More chocolate here. Toffee, coffee beans, dark chocolate, toasted oak, vanilla bean. Sweet, delectable. Coffee is subtler than expected, but leave nice acidity on the tongue between sips. Hot damn.
Viscous medium full body. Thick. Some peppery alcohol on the tongue. Mild, tingly carbonation.
Deeelicious. Not much coffee left here, but I don't care. The barrels are perfect, the sweetness is perfect. I don't much care for regular Speedway, but this is among the best BA stouts I've ever tasted.
07-11-2013 23:07:48 | More by Phelps
AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 1,254 ratings.