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

294 Reviews
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Reviews: 294
Hads: 1,645
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 8.56%
Wants: 1,948
Gots: 464 | FT: 57
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: 294 | Hads: 1,645
Photo of tjthresh
4.84/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black with not too much head. A good swirl got nothing. The aroma is full of coffe, vanilla, oak, dark fruit, and so much more I just couldn't wrap my head around. Same with the flavor. Everything mentioned in the nose was present in the flavor. All very well blended. There was some concern at the table that the coffee would not make its way through. It was there and stood tall. The palate was a touch on the thin side, yet very fullfilling. (450 characters)

Photo of Xul
4.57/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours an inky, opaque black topped by the slimmest of mocha colored heads. A ring remains along with some scant lacing on top, but that's it.

S: Oaky up front, along with some distinct hints of bourbon. Some coffee remains, although it's definitely faded compared to normal Speedway. Dark fruits lurk in the background, some figs and black cherries. A bit of burnt sugar and caramel, but very, very light.

T: Oak more subtle than on the nose with a bit more vanilla and bourbon. Dark fruits come in at the middle w/ chocolate and burnt coffee. Finishes with semi-sweet chocolate, vanilla, and hints of coffee.

M: Moderate to slightly above moderate bodied...velvety, creamy, and smooth all come to mind. Carbonation is low but enough to support a beer of this weight.

D: Flavors are well integrated and the barrel aging wasn't overdone...obviously it's not exactly quaffable, but I'm having no trouble working my way through a growler with a friend. (956 characters)

Photo of ptykozoon
4.09/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with brown highlights in the light, no head/lacing.

Smells decadent and strong. Fudge, coffee, raisin, cinammon.

Taste is dark fudge with hints of chocolate and oak.

Mouthfeel is superb, ABV controlled - almost negligible.

A dessert beer with decent complexity. (278 characters)

Photo of PlinyBeMiney
4.4/5  rDev -0.9%
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. (545 characters)

Photo of juhl31
4.6/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

thanks to city beer's alesmith tasting.

-black, small brown head that sticks around for a good enough time

-chocolate and coffee with a subtle hint of the bourbon

-very good, much better than the regular out of the bottle. the coffee taste comes through a lot more and the bourbon is perfect in quantity. glad i got back for a 2nd pour as well

-nice and thick and sits well on the tongue

-very good, both the barrel and regular were much better on tap as opposed to the bottle. much more balanced, not as sweet (516 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 timc100
4.77/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Little revisiting in Feb 2015. Damn this is good - much richer than the first time, not sure of thats age or just a better day for the palate.

Great depth of RIS dark fruits, rich coffee in the back ground with the fruits, huge barrel sweetness, vanilla cream, oak and whiskey-caramel. Drinks incredibly smooth, full, and soft.

Outstanding beer, one of the best.


Fresh 2014

Pours as dark as the base - incredibly creamy mocha head for a BA beer. Oak barrel dominates - vanilla, some graham cracker. Dark roasted coffee, roasted malts, some dark fruits from the coffee, bakers cocoa. Flavor is full and finish is long, dry and roasty with a booze kick. Pronounced oaky vanilla in the taste. Do not get much bourbon, just oak barrel and it works very well. As it warms up more sweet barrel nuances come out.

Great stuff. This has been a personal whale for a while (873 characters)

Photo of egajdzis
4.95/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured pitch black with a nice tan head and beautiful lacing. Aroma of chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, tobacco, bourbon and oak. Chocolate and coffee taste followed by a warming bourbon flavor and a full mouthfeel. My all time favorite stout!

Wake up at 7:30 am, on the grounds of the beautiful Ommegang brewery. As the rain begins to fall, I see some good friends, looking like they need a good beer. So I open up my 2004 bottle # 14. The rain begins to come down harder, so I put the bottle under the shade of my open trunk. Our glasses our filled with care, and we enjoy, as the rain droplets fell into the open glassware, and onto our heads. The right beer at the right time, I love this shit! (699 characters)

Photo of Mauerhan
4.82/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Headed down to Alesmith first thing I could to grab a growler of this beast.

Pours thick and a black that looks like you took used motor oil and tossed in some extra black. Not a ton of head but what does show up is thick and creamy. A chocolate brown hue, some lacing.

Smell is pretty intense. I instantly get a whiff of the barrel on there but with further investigation I get more of the roasted malt and chocolate profile perking up. Roasted sweetness. Smells great.

Taste follows directly behind smell but it is kicked up a notch. It is so surprising to me how well balanced this is. The majority of barrel aged stouts that I have had in my experience have been hot messes at the start but the growler of speedway is near perfection. Vanilla notes play well with others of cocoa and a big malt backbone.

12 percent is nearly impossible to pinpoint. Creamy mouth feel that just keeps dancing around my taste buds screaming for me to have more.

Overall this is an incredibly well made beer and one that truly lends itself to the barrel aging process. My only qualm is that it is not readily available. (1,113 characters)

Photo of SubpoenaDeuces
4.03/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Alesmith, Speedway Stout 100% Barrel Aged, 2009, 12% abv

A: This has a slick BP disaster look to it, without all the deceased marine life. It isn’t pitch black but imparts some nice deep mahogany notes to the edges, like a hardened cop with a heart of gold you somehow impart a sense of trust in this stout that despite his over character flaw evidenced 14 minutes in, he will make it all right after 90 minutes in your life. Also, nice lacing, tiny bubbles, coffee stickiness, and other things people don’t read.

S: This is coffee acidity, to a huge degree. Also entering the fray is a serious boozy profile that apparently hasn’t had the shithead weathered out of it after 2 years in an oak barrel. It isn’t as recalcitrant as the new Dark Lords, but it still is rambunctious enough to be bothersome. However, some nice bourbon and oak notes finalize the experience and you give it an approving nod into your club, aka YOUR MOUTH, where all the action takes place infra.

T: Fast forward 3 seconds from the smell to the tasting, first one to show up to your sick rager is coffee, oh wait but he brought, acidity, and then, his other boy coffee, and then toffee. You don’t judge but things seem a little unbalanced in here, oh wait then his crazy friend chocolate shows up doing magic tricks and making observational comedy references. Everyone is put at east with a nice coffee walnut finish: your BA speedway house party is officially underway.

M: This coasts like a bucket of Sherwin Williams. I don’t mean in the way when you hire day laborers either. It coats like if people who cared painted your mouth with coffee and bourbon. We all know how much that costs IN REAL LIFE so this is a welcome reprieve.

D: As much as I want to hometown and keep the drive strong for this amazing beer, this is certainly its weakest point. I can’t in good faith say that I would crack 2009 BA stouts all day while at Havasu doing sick broesque things. Then again, is that the target market? Notwithstanding, this tires a bit after a solid 12oz just due to the complexity and rampaging coffee and toffee double team on your bitter and sweet zones. Enough is enough the tongue declares insouciantly.

Narrative: Kicked out of the racing academy. Well, at least that is what he told his parents that his tuition checks were going to. The truth is that Chase Worthington was never attending a racing school in Temecula. He accepted “tuition” checks from his parents every 5 months and even in the summer session for modding his sick 2001 Mercury Cougar for drag racing or “Straight up Dragging it” as he abrasively referred to it, much to the chagrin of his friends, when present. His friends told him that running the mean streets of San Diego was not to be trifled with, that is, unless one were content to life his life “a quarter mile at a time.” This seemed to be a deafeningly infinitesimal stretch for a racer like himself. Cold air intake, cat back exhaust, chipped, sick body kit; all of the accoutrements were present however he forgot a single thing: his car had only 189 horse power and people grew tired of its inky discharge, regardless of the speeds that it allegedly traveled. This speedway pun was a speedway pun for the racing pun speedway pun, and in the end, they all learned speedway pun, racing. (3,334 characters)

Photo of docoman
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

During my San Diego trip mid November this year (craft beer week in SD was incredible) sampled at the Stone Beer Garden liberty station on draft. Great BA stout, pretty much like most BA stouts, but this one didn't disappoint. Would recommend trying if you are fan of BA stouts like myself. (292 characters)

Photo of MiguelMandingo
4.12/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this in a trade with miketd. Thanks Mike!

Poured part of a 750ml into a snifter.

Vintage 2007 - 254/447

Appearance - Pours an opaque black and produced a 1 finger head that quickly dissipated to a swirly/spotty crown on the surface of the brew. The crown is rocky textured around the perimeter of the glass.

Smell - The scent is pretty awesome. I get notes of vanilla, bourbon, oak, hints of chocolate and barely any coffee. The bourbon dominates here, but that is hardly a problem for me. Very boozy.

Taste - I think this is a little too young to have opened now, I should have sat on this for a while. The bourbon character is huge, to the point where the original taste of the Speedway is hardly discernible. Vanilla, woody oakiness, and hints of chocolate. There is only a hint of coffee. In fact, the BA version seems to have replaced the coffee in favor of bourbon. I would have favored a little more balance.

Mouthfeel - This feels a little thin, but good nice as it rolls over the tongue. The carbonation level is pretty good for a BA beer. It feels lively. Medium bodied.

Drinkability - The drinkability is pretty good if you enjoy bourbon, and I love bourbon. This is definitely a sipper, I am feeling pretty warm as I type this. I will have to trade for another bottle and sit on it for a while, because at this point, I think I would rather have the original version over the BA version. I would love to see how this tastes with a little age on it. (1,473 characters)

Photo of Gfunk720
4.83/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Special thanks to my buddy Mike for making this one possible. Poured from a 64oz growler, consumed over 3 days. Awsomely awsome!

A- Black as night. 1-2 fingers of light chocolatey colored head. Leaves a nice light lacing as you progress through the glass.

S- Smells mostly of bourbon, with somelight coffee and chocolate notes. Also a distinct taste of dark malts and molasses.

T- Despite it's strong bourbon smell, it is actually quite subdued. Has a nice balance of Bourbon/Coffee/Chocolate, with a strong malty aftertaste. Almost reminds me of a KBS that isn't as soft/smooth, and has a little more backbone. It is very complex, and transitions through several flavors over a few seconds.

D- Alchohol is barely noticible for a BA Stout. I easily plowed through 2 glasses, and was looking for more.

M- Perfect balance of body and flavor. Not too light and not too thick. The carbonation and everything is just spot on

As a lover of BA Stouts, this is one of my favorites. I wish I had a keg of this stuff, as I looked forward to coming home to it the last couple nights. Awsome awsome beer, hopefully I'll get to have it again sometime (1,144 characters)

Photo of bret27
4.72/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Unsure of vintage.

S: Roasty and coffee predominantly. Also chocolate. A little booze and toffee malty sweetness around as well.

A: Jet black w/brn thick head.

T: Vanilla and wood dominate this one. Coffee along w/the delcious maltiness and roastiness. Vanilla and wood dominate this one., chocolate, toffee notes. A little boozy presence but the etoh is well hidden for sure.

M/D: Thick and velvety sublime mouthfeel. Drinkability is definitely impressive for ABV.

Overall: Bal-aging thins the body just a bit, and really balances out the coffee roast of regular speedway. I have to say that side by side I like this a bit better. (638 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 garbercury
4.92/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Reed415 for the generous sharing of this tasty beverage. Poured into snifter...06' Vintage.

A--Opaque, good lacing.

S--Bourbon, vanilla, complex, nice.

T--Wow, seriously? This beer completely kicks ass taste wise. Vanilla, and hints of coffee and plenty of bourbon in the finish.

M--Smooth, silky, great mouthfeel.

D--Well, lets face it, impossible beer to get, so enjoy it when you get it. This beer is AWESOME. My god, more please. (449 characters)

Photo of Douglas88
4.72/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A 750 ml bottle, 2004 edition bottle number 98/228. A huge thanks go out to Eric for this, it was the gem of his awesome party. It was a festivus for the rest of us. Pours a dark brown color with a very thick light beige colored head. A awesome aroma of sweet fruits, chocolates, some coffee and just loads of milky sweet chocolate and mocha. The taste was excellent, sweet and milky chocolate and coffee, dark fruits, maybe some fudge. So very, very smooth and almost silky. Not aggressive, but excellent. The aging has done wonders to this, no alcohol noticed at all really. What a rarity and a wonder. One of my favorite beers ever. Re-rate: Eric shared a 2010 growler of this. It was hot, nasty and super aggressive. Pure goodness. Not the complex beer it was with four years on it, but still super good. A great brew (821 characters)

Photo of squaremile
5/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2008 version poured at the April Portland BA Tasting at BeerMongers thanks to Luke.

Seriously, this was the best imperial stout I've ever had. The mouthfeel was the real high point, and I wish there was a way to rate it a 6. This beer is milk smooth. Unbelievable. The bourbon was present but not overwhelming, the coffee was still available if you really taste closely, and the vanilla flavors from the barrel were perfect. A one shot that won't be found again. Epic. (469 characters)

Photo of femALEist
4.2/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the City Beer Store Alesmith event during SF Beer week.
The Bourbon Barrel Aged Speedway Stout is 12.5%, just a .5% more than their regular Speedway Stout. It poured an eclipse black with some light cream. It smelled like bourbon, malt, espresso, but not too overwhelmingly bourbon. It tasted like toasted malts, bourbon, but no burn. It was incredibly smooth for 12.5% and seemed more like it was created using Irish whiskey barrels perhaps? You don't get much vanilla or coconut flavors out of it- just a hint. Seems reminiscent of the Deschuttes XXI. Overall, pretty tasty. (595 characters)

Photo of Azurescens
4.38/5  rDev -1.4%
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. (643 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 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 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 0110x011
4.59/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2007 Vintage, Bottle 300/447. Poured into a New Belgium snifter.

Pours blacker than the soul of Dick Cheney, with a thin wisp of a head that disappears as fast as it arrives. Huge coffee & bourbon on the nose, followed by oak, vanilla, and dark fruits. Coffee is the overwhelming flavor on the palate, followed closely by bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, oak, dark fruit, leather, and smoke. Full bodied for sure, but not as huge and viscous as other Imperial Stouts of this magnitude. Saying it's thin is a bit of a stretch, but it's not as coating as you'd expect. Definite alcohol bite combined with the thickness dampens drinkability. It took four people to polish the bottle off.

A fantastic beer, no doubt. Whether it's worth the time & money to acquire, the jury's still out. (780 characters)

Photo of tarheels86
4.55/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750mL 2009 ed. Ink black pour with a wildly active reddish tan head. Big lace for a BA beer. Nose up front is salty, briny, green olive, sharp gherkins. Volatile notes move to wildly awesome toasted coconut, milk chocolate, toasted coconut. Incredible umami savoriness in the nose. Taste is ultra soft, muted chocolate, lactic fattiness, and zero acidic coffee and lemon character which I despise in the normal Speedway Stout. This right here is a masterpiece. Muted barrel character, no heat, no booze. Just imperial stout perfection right here. Perfect palate: melted chocolate, chocolate pound cake, fatty yogurt, mild bourbon spice, buttery ganache. Holy #@!!. An incredible experience. For one of the most stingy raters I can safely say this is totally worthy of its ranking and should be considered a god amongst men. Praise the lord for this beer. (854 characters)

AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 294 ratings.