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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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308 Reviews
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(Send Samples)
Reviews: 308
Hads: 1,717
Avg: 4.47
pDev: 8.05%
Wants: 1,980
Gots: 519 | FT: 69
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
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Reviews: 308 | Hads: 1,717
Photo of thagr81us
4.41/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

REVIEW # 600!!!

Huge thanks to evilc for sending this bottle my way in a trade! Your awesome chris!

vintage 2012 poured into a snifter glass.

reviewed from notes taken 01/03/13.

Appearance: Black bodied beer with thin, frothy light to medium brown head. Drops down to a ring.

Smell: Big chocolate and bourbon notes. Not much coffee in the nose. Well balanced aroma from this barrel aged stout.

Taste: Just as the nose suggests a lot of chocolates infact is like a dense fudge cake. You get a splash of bourbon, oak, and some vanilla sweetness. Maybe a hint of coffee too. This beer has great balance in reguards to the flavor profile.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with low end of moderate carbonation. Silky smooth mouthfeel. The carbonation levels are perfect in this beer. Rediculously well hidden ABV. Not boozey or harsh at all, just an easy drinking well balanced barrel aged beer.

Overall: BA Speedway Stout is fantastic! I really loved this beer. Its a tried and true BA Stout that Alesmith really nailed it. My only minor complaint is that I did not get much of the Ryans brothers coffee from this beer. I still give BCBS Coffee the nod when it comes to barrel aged imperial stouts brewed with coffee, but BA SS is not too far behind it.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.48/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Very black, tan head, good retention with a bit of lacing. Looks like a good stout should.

S - Very sweet smelling, lots of vanilla, chocolate, and a nice sweet bourbon smell that doesn't seem like it is going to be too hot. Seems to be one of the sweeter big stouts I've smelled, but not sugary sweet, more of a very rich, deep sweetness.

T - I've had most of the top imperial stouts, and this one holds it's own with the best in the taste department. Lot of chocolate with vanilla notes, very sweet and smooth. It's definately boozy, but not sharply so. You feel the heat on this one, but it's a decent compliment to the sweetness. I thought the regular version of Speedway stout was solid, but not as good as it seems to rate, but the barrel-aged version is just ridiculously good tasting.

M - Thick, with a bit of stick to it, decent amount of carbonation, a bit low, although this was a 2004 bottle.

D - Runs a tad hot, but still definately above average all things considered in the drinkability department.

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Photo of maximum12
4.22/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Happy birthday to me! I can't express enough gratitude to fiver29 for sending me this, a brew I truly thought I might not ever get to sample, especially an older one. 2003 vintage, bottle 79 of 196 split with my wife.

I will admit it; this is possibly the only bottle of beer I've ever held that I had second thoughts about opening. It wasn't easy. The cap pops with scarely a whimper, carbonation is close to absolute zero. Pours jet black with a double handful of tiny bubbles clinging together in the middle of the snifter. A quick swirl dissipates them completely. I can almost read the reflection of the computer screen in the darkness. The nose projects a good ways from the glass, warm, subtle bourbon & a hard shoulder of malts. Only a bare hint of coffee or roast.

This bottle of Barrel Aged Speedway is like an aging ballet dancer, the tastes are muted, graceful, & gentle, not at all like the hot bourbon bombs so common in my cellar. Despite that, the barrel retains the upper hand here, but it's a slow, thorough burn, like a high-end bourbon (not the Jim Beam I used to quaff). It's distilled out into a prominent vanilla tailing too, & the oak is strong both in the taste & the spit-drying ending. Roast malts do a nice job rounding the taste out, along with light touches of ash, coffee, & the faintest peels of dark fruit.

Smooth & silky beyond belief, this is the ideal for mouthfeel. The beer just slips into your drinking orifice, smiles slyly, & vanishes down the gullet, leaving only a lingering bit of Victoria's Secret lace on the throat. Wowza. Perhaps it's only the knowledge that I'll never get to sample this again (at least the '03), but I'd happily sit around all night sipping this with my pinky in the air.

Overall an excellent beer. I can only imagine getting to try it at various cycles of its life, & sure as hell hope I get to in the future. One more salute to fiver29, thank you so much, sir.

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Photo of dar482
4.81/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The beer pours out in a dark brown color, black in the glass with a reasonable head.

The aroma is big of chunky chocolate, umami, heavy roast, slight bourbon sweetness.

The flavor follows with sweet chocolate up front, some umami, and bitterness throughout. Coffee lingers on the palate. The bourbon is quite slight, but offers lots of vanilla. Great carbonation with a creamy flavor and mouthfeel.

An extremely balanced barrel aged brew, but could use a touch more barrel character. Still one of the best BA stouts around.

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Photo of ArrogantB
4.02/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2006 Bottle (04/01/08 release) #142/235 provided by my cousin, I finally got a chance to share this with some beer loving friends. This looks identical to the regular speedway so I'll spare the details. The smell was dope, like regular speedway but better, my friend siad it was like candy. The flavors were also very close to the regular speedway, dark coffee bitterness. There was a little bit of a booze but it was quite subtle. This was a very solid stout but honestly I can't say it is an improvement over the regular speedway.Damn you Alesmith! The four people who drank this agreed that it was not something you would want a whole bottle of. My verdict is that this is good but don't trade your cellar away for one.

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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 cosmicevan
4.74/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

enjoyed this at a barrel aged tasting on 2011-08-06. had side by side with a regular speedway.

2007 bottle (released in 2009) #411 / 447

Black hole dark. Bourbon all day on the nose. Smells really nicely balanced. Yum...one of the better BA Stouts. Really on the money for my taste buds. Bourbon with chocolately roasted malts. Mouth is really good as well, not as smooth as others I've had, and this is very heavy, but overall very good on the mouth. Overall, this is a REALLY solid BA stout...one of the best...just plain delicious.

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Photo of gford217
4.62/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

No better way to celebrate review #500 than to break out the barrel-aged version of one of my favorite beers ever. Huge thanks to hoppymeal for the opportunity! 2007 bottle #316 of 447.

Pours black but not completely opaque as hints of mahogany show through the edges. The head is one-finger tall, very bubbly and remains a swirl of small bubbles and a ring for the duration, leaving traces of lacing.

The aroma is exceptional. The bourbon is present up front but is supported by dark roasted malts, bakers chocolate and a whiff of coffee (not nearly as dominant as in the regular version). The barrel presence is evident with a bit of vanilla. All of these things seem to come together into one cohesive aroma.

The taste has the sweetness of the chocolate and some dark fruits up front before the dark malts and roasted coffee step up in the middle. The finish is big on vanilla and bourbon and leaves an alcohol warming as it goes down.

The mouthfeel is very smooth and medium bodied for the style with less carbonation than I remember in the regular version.

This is a fantastic beer though I can't decide if it quite measures up to the regular version to me. Either way, it's not to be missed. Thanks again to Derek for his (continued) generosity!

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Photo of illidurit
4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Vac (I think) for busting this out at the RBSG 08 Grand Tasting. '04 vintage. Pours pitch black with a modest cocoa head. Bourbon aromas enhance the chocolate-roast dynamic. Also some red fruitiness in the nose. Boozy chocolate flavor with a coffee roast finish. Nice warming bourbon with the swallow. Same impeccable balance I'm used to out of AleSmith.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.88/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle courtesy of mbrasi. Cheers mate!

P: 4.5 - 2006 edition. Now standard 750ml silk-screened brown glass bottle with gold foil and a notation in silver marker pen that says 2006 barrell aged 189/233.

A: This beer is a turbid dark black, with crimson edges, and an espresso whip foam head that lasts and has decent legs, lacing, and retention.

S: Big booze, bourbon, and wood. Dark malt, chocolate, and coffee are there but a bit subdued by the massive oak and bourbon character.

T: Big bourbon and oak again. Malts are big and provide bread, chocolate, and coffee notes. Coffee beans do their work in the mid palate, herbal green hops and hersheys chocolate syrup fight for dominance in the back palate. The booze, oak, and bourbon come back to meld everything together in the slightly warming finish.

M: Smooth and thick. Not over the top nor too chewy. A good mouthfeel for a beer this big. Just about right, if you ask me...

D: Exceptional. I love bourbon, vanilla, oak, chocolate, coffee, etc...and this one delivers big time with those flavors. I actually had a sample of the 2003 a while ago and the oak and bourbon just wasn't as fresh and this 2006 batch is just killer. Probably the best oak aged speedway batch that I have tasted thus far (I have not had the 2007 yet)

O: Super solid. 4.9 material here. Definitely a nice way to showcase the big, bolshy, oaky bourbon and booze flavors that one can achieve when barrell aging a beer. Is it a bit over the top and one dimensional....? YES! But to heathens like me, this is the perfect mid evening sipper before catching a My Bloody Valentine concert...

Thanks again mbrasi.

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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 scottfrie
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2006 bottle into Jackie O’s snifter. Thanks Jeff!

A: Pours black with low carbonation and a thin dark brown head.
S: Sweet smelling with rich notes of coffee, vanilla, chocolate and a good dose of solventy alcohol.
T: Warming bourbon, touch of coffee, caramel, toffee. This tastes pretty much like the standard version with a good amount of well integrated bourbon.
M: Full bodied with a thick, heavy mouthfeel and low carbonation.
O: I loved the regular version so it was no surprise that this was just as good. Worth seeking out.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.77/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2012 bottle from Adam in trade. Poured Dec 7, 2013. Big time thanks for this one. Pours pitch black along with what looked like some coffee grinds, and a one finger mocha head. Aroma is bourbon, coffee, vanilla, roast, some chocolate, oak, light anise. Flavor is bourbon up front, light roast, vanilla, anise, chocolate, sweetness, more vanilla. Comes in waves, with that bourbon first then the layers of roast and sweetness. Much sweeter than the regular version, and I like it. Silky smooth, relatively thick mouthfeel, low+ carbonation. Sweet bourbon coats the palate and warms the throat.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.29/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2012 gold labeled bottle, bottle dated 3/26/2013. Poured into a brandy snifter today, 3/14/2014. so almost a year on this bottle. Thanks Peter!

App- pitch black body, one finger large bubbly mocha head with great retention. Thin splotches of lacing all over. Looks fantastic.

Smell- Oak, sweet bourbon dominate. As it warms, more of the base coffee stout that I know and love come out. Roast, coffee, milk chocolate. Remains a strong and bourbon barrel-forward nose.

Flavour- Barrel-forward. Much more so than I would have imagined. Oak, sweet bourbon, sweet charcoal smoke, vanilla. Really good stuff. Warming up brings out more of the coffee but it's nowhere near as coffee forward as BCBCS fresh. More milk chocolate sweetness, some roast malts. No oxidation.

Mouthfeel- Slick, thick bodied and super creamy. Good carbonation for the style. A nice sweet bourbon mixed in with a bit of bitter coffee makes the finish a delicious one. No heat at all. Just a lot of bourbon flavour but without the ABV.

Overall- A very nice drinking barrel forward beer with a year on it. Highly recommend, though I prefer the Vietnamese version to this one as there is a lot less coffee in the barrel-aged version. Looking forward to trying a fresher version sometime soon, which apparently has more coffee to balance out the bourbon barrel contribution.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.17/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1059th Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter
750 Ml


Thanks to Jim for sharing
Shared at MrHirschybars tasting

App- Appeared just like the base version. An excellent coloring of dark browns and blacks. Very smooth and rich in the glass with a small head about ½”. A couple lines of cling.

Smell- This was much more layered than the base version. More chocolate vs coffee and of course the bourbon brings in a couple different layers of some oak, vanilla and marshmallow fluff.

Taste- I would like to say this is very good but I just don’t think it does justice to the complexity of the original base beer. This seems to ignore the coffee notes and become a bit one sided with more of that bourbon and molasses notes. I think the middle of the beer it does trail off a little with a semi-drop in balance and is strictly a bourbon stout..

Mouth- A good bit of a medium body behind this one with a medium carbonation. Left behind a good amount bourbon, wood, vanilla and sweet.

Drink- Jim. Thanks for breaking this one out. A very good beer but just not up to par with what I think is one of the best stouts out there for the money. I like this I really did. Not bashing at all and rating just below the original in terms of taste and appearance.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. 2009 vintage, which was released in 2011.

4.5 A: Black color. Two fingers of creamy light brown head. Retention is very good for a brew this big and a sizeable ring of lacing is left.

4.5 S: As expected, there isn't a whole hell of a lot of coffee left in this. There is some coffee, but it might just be coming from the base stout. Lots of chocolate and molasses. Caramel and a touch of smoke to follow. The bourbon is a bit softer than I was expecting, but I'm not disappointed since the base beer is more than solid. Leathery with melon and apple fruitiness. Light oak and enough vanilla to please.

4.0 T: The taste is very good, but it seems like the bourbon is now carrying the beer instead of the opposite found in the nose. Leather, vanilla, melon, smoke, light spiciness, oak, and bourbony booze predominate. Chocolate, molasses, caramel, and coffee from the stout. Don't get me wrong, this is borderline 4.5.

4.5 M: Medium, borderline heavy body. Good moderate carbonation. Nice creaminess. No qualms here.

4.5 D: Very tasty beer, but I wish it was easier to get. It takes a lot to pull this in a trade, so in the future I'll resign myself to obtaining BCSs, CBS, and BA Boris. That said, I'm happy I traded for this because it is a great beer and something everyone should try.

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Photo of birchstick
4.12/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage - thanks to bsuedekum for another awesome share!

A - pours black with a nice cocoa, chocolate head on it

S - smells of sweet chocolate malts, really nice charred oak, spicy bourbon, and some vanilla

T - sweet chocolates open it up. These move on to a nice spicy bourbon flavor with some vanilla in the mix. Ends with more spicy bourbon...still pretty hot for being a couple of years old.

M - smooth and full bodied

D - this is a nice bourbon barrel aged stout. One of the more highly regarded ones out there and I can see why. However, I still found it a little hot and could use a little more time.

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Photo of tpd975
4.05/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to jdubfl for cracking open his bottle, lets me save mine for a later date.

2007 Vintage

A: Pours a deep dark black hue with a small tan head. No retention or lace.

S: aromas of bold dark fruit, mild notes of chocolate with a touch of oak.

T: Raisin, Raisin, and more raisin. This one is dripping with dark fruit flavors. It is supported by a bit of chocolate and coffee as well. The barrel is very very mild. Very light oak, no vanilla or booze to speak of.

M: On the fuller side of medium, nicely carbonated.

D: Good, wish it had a bit more roast and a bit more barrel though to be honest.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

A - Pours pitch black with a minimal head and leaves a thick, coffee colored lacing ring around
the top of the beer.

A - Bourbon, vanilla, dark toffee roast, oak, and caramel.

T - Perfectly balanced layer upon layer of toffee, caramel roast, vanilla, oak, bourbon, and not
overly boozy or over powering. Light smoky char.

M - Full medium body, silky smooth, lip smacking sticky.

O - An amazingly well balanced barrel aged beer.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.56/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A-Black, two finger brown head with some lacing.

S-Bourbon, chocolate, roasted malt, coffee and a tad vanilla.

T-Bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, roasted malt, coffee and ends with some bitterness. Great balance.

M-Think and creamy with some carbonation.

O-One of the best non BCBS stouts I've had. Would love to compare this with Parabola. Easily blows the regular Speedway out of the water.

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Photo of hopdog
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, what a treat to see this one at Rich's Yeha (huge thanks to EDA). '02 vintage, bottle #15/115.

Poured a dark black color with a small sized tan head. Aromas of coffee, roasted malts, wood, bourbon and some vanilla. Tastes of coffee, roasted malts, light vanilla and bourbon.

Notes above from 12/12/05

I'll have to spend more quality time with some of the newer vintags to see how they compare.

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.58/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of ffejherb
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml vintage 2006 bottle into goblet at the Bullfrog Liquid Sunshine Reserva release. Many thanks to Kramer17801 for breaking one of my most wanted beers out!

A - Poured an opaque pitch black body with one-finger tan head that receded to a patchy film and deposited some decent lacing around the glass. Virtually no carbonation is noticeable.

S - Apparent bourbon and vanilla notes up front with a candy bar-esque chocolate character and crispy malt. Some oaky notes also creep into the mix.

T - Mmmm... like a bourbon-infused chocolate candy bar with crispy, rice-like malt, caramel and toffee notes and just a touch of alcohol heat in the finish.

M - Medium body with an incredibly smooth mouthfeel with only a hint of carbonation. Mild astringency with moderate bitterness on the palate, as well as subtle alcohol warmth.

D - Wow! Amazing bourbon barrel aged stout that's - dare I say it? - even better than the original.

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Photo of Deuane
4.89/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My most anticipated beer of the 2009 PSU Graduation Celebration. Big thanks to Dyan for a chance at this one. Without question one of my most wanted beers.

2007 Vintage bottle 412 of 447.

A-Deep black/brown with a never reducing thin tan head that left a surprising amount of streaky lace.

S-Musty oak and bourbon notes reside underneath decadent dark chocolate, rich, fresh tilled earth and espresso bitterness. Extremely rich and complex.

T-Rich, dark chocolate with lighter accenting bourbon notes in support. Dark, sour cherries, espresso and oak reside in the drying finish. Immensely complex and Oh! so tasty!

M-Medium bodied, amazingly smooth with long lingering flavours and a bitter kick accompanying the oak dryness.

D-Really--is this a question? I love regular Speedway and this is that taken to another level--BIG TIME! Simply an outstanding barrel aged brew. I wish it wasn't so damn rare and limited. I would be happy to drink this anytime.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 308 ratings.