Speedway Stout - Vietnamese Coffee - Bourbon-Barrel Aged
AleSmith Brewing Company

Speedway Stout - Vietnamese Coffee - Bourbon-Barrel AgedSpeedway Stout - Vietnamese Coffee - Bourbon-Barrel Aged
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Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #13
Ranked #32
4.67 | pDev: 5.57%
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States
Speedway Stout - Vietnamese Coffee - Bourbon-Barrel AgedSpeedway Stout - Vietnamese Coffee - Bourbon-Barrel Aged
Notes: We traditionally brew Vietnamese coffee, known as cà phê sữa đá, with a phin-style filter that gently percolates water through ground coffee. The result is a chocolaty and bold tasting coffee that perfectly complements the notes of oak, vanilla, and bourbon in this massive barrel-aged stout.
Reviews: 113 | Ratings: 982 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Kevinpitts:
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Kevinpitts from Illinois

4.35/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2016 version. Drank fresh from bottle. Loads of vanilla in this version. Has some similarities to non-barrel aged version, but barrel really dominates here.

Nov 30, 2016
More User Reviews:
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mig100 from Texas

4.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Rating #550. 750ml, bottled 2014.

L: Almost entirely pitch black with a dark red hue when held to the light. A slightly aggressive pour yields about a 2mm mocha head that stays, with some light carbonation, but just enough to stir up that beautiful bourbon barrel aged imperial stout swirl. Impressive for a 13-month barrel aged beer.

S: Ridiculous aroma on this beer. Huge oak... I have never smelled more oak character in any other barrel aged beer before including BCBS, Parabola, etc... chocolate, toasted coconut, vanilla and butterscotch also come through, all with their own separate and unique character. One of the best smelling beers I've had the pleasure of experiencing. Right up there with BCBS and BVDL.

T: Massive oak, milk chocolate, almonds, toasted coconut, subtle coffee and vanilla flavor that becomes much more prominent as the beer warms. Very cohesive, impressive and just insanely enjoyable.

F: Smooth and just slightly sticky. A little bit harsh of a finish when refrigerator-cold, but when warmed to around 50-55 degrees, it's almost pristine. Hard to believe it's 12%. It coats the mouth nicely and the oak, toasted coconut and vanilla flavors really linger, lining you up for the next sip.

O: One of the best bourbon barrel aged beers... period. It would be hard to get any better than this really. The coffee is almost non-existent, but I feel like it could subtly be what's keeping it all from ending up too sweet. Now I just need more...

Mar 28, 2015
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steveheady from South Carolina

5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This one outshined VR, DB cake, BT and a few other whales in a bottle share. Wasn't really close either. Whomever handles the coffee production at Alesmith should be given a medal and a boat load of cash. Perfectly balanced the coffee, barrel and base stout. Slightly sweet but in a good way. Notes of vanilla helps the balance. Chewy mouthfeel. This beer is under hyped. It should be held in higher regard.

Sep 12, 2015
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troupos40 from New Jersey

4.77/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Mini whale share, bottle from 2014 shared. Had this after BCBS Rare, and most beers would pale in comparison. Not this one. Pours nice with a brown head, lots of coffee on the nose, mouthfeel is nice, but not quite to the level of rare, after a few sips this one really shines, lots of coffee and superb blend of base stout, coffee and barrel. Overall this one really held its own after rare, drinks great and is on a similar level to rare, would seek out again.

Mar 09, 2016
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.73/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

for me, this is it. this is, in my opinion, one of, if not the single best beer i have ever had. its in the best handful of coffee beers ever, and in the top handful of barrel aged beers too. i dont think it has any equal, and if it does, bring it to me! a heartfelt thank you to my dear drlovemd87 for unearthing this one from his impressive cellar. it will never be forgotten. people often over hype beer, make it more than the liquid, exalt it to status and even godliness. well, im not sure i can elevate this one adequately with words. the coffee is so well integrated into this lush polytextured dark chocolate colored brew that it produces this insane aroma where the notes of everything from blueberry to those chocolate covered pomegranates you buy at the airport from brookstone, to cocoa nibs in raw form, to hershey syrup, to the best whiskey ive ever tasted all sing loudly together. i have no idea what barrels this sits in, but whatever it is, the synergy just makes it. its not like a journey where one flavor comes after the next, like, taking turns entertaining my palate or whatever, it goes on and on but its all at once. the whiskey doesnt overtake either the coffee or the base beer, which i think is super hard to do, and very very uncommon. its thick but it isnt sticky, it coats the palate like latex paint, but rather than asphyxiating me, it somehow liberates my senses and capacities, like a performance enhancing drug of a beer. i almost never give a 5 of 5 overall. if ever there was a nectar of the gods, this is surely it.

May 20, 2015
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Jlabs from New York

5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

More often than not the Speedway stouts are well done, but they may have reached the absolute peak with the BA Vietnamese Speedway (2014 edition)..the smell alone on this is devine..a beautiful blend of bourbon, coffee, vanilla, caramel and roastiness..that alone would put it into the upper echelon of beers that I've been lucky enough to consume, but the taste on this exceeds what it smells like..more vanilla than I expected but I'm more than happy with the surprise....this is definitely one of the best beers I've had..all of the flavors are perfectly blended here and none of them is dominant to the others. .a rare feat..alcohol burn is at a minimum and I'm glad I gave this some age before I tried it, but I'd love to try one fresh to get a different perspective. .absolutely fantastic barrel aged beer..best birthday gift I've given to myself in years!!

Mar 14, 2017
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GreesyFizeek from New York

5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Alesmith Anvil and Stave in San Diego, CA.

This one pours a nice dark black, with a light brown head that lingers, and a little bit of lacing.

I am in awe at the aroma- creamy, rich, fruity and chocolatey coffee, brownie batter, hazelnut syrup, cookie dough, oak, and silky sweet bourbon. Can I live in this nose?

The taste is similarly awesome. To sum it up- this tastes like a ball of dark chocolate drizzled cookie dough and brownie batter. The coffee flavor is so well integrated- the creamy and milky vanilla flavor seamlessly fades into the vanillin and oaky flavors from the barrels. There's a light dark fruit component too. The bourbon is folded perfectly into everything else. This beer unfolds in so many different layers. It's so decadent and surprisingly easy to drink for the ABV. There is a slight bitterness from the malt that balances things out nicely as well.

There is no alcohol present to this on draft- it's insane. It's wonderfully creamy, with a long sweet and creamy finish. It definitely feels lactose influenced.

This is the best beer I've ever had. It is absolutely a perfect beer- I'm not sure I could think of a way to improve it. It's so flavorful and bold, but without being overbearing or too sweet. Alesmith make the best dark beers in the country. I must be dead- because there's no way one beer tastes this good.

Jan 23, 2017
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Beer_Line from California

5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

With all the stouts out their being touted as world class. This beer really is as good as it gets. The base beer, the barrel treatment, and the coffee treatment. This is as good as it gets

Nov 23, 2016
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clay23 from New York

5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look- super dark with a light brown foamy head that laced around
Smell- oak, vanilla and coffee
Taste- amazing combo of creamy coffee and bourbon with chocolate overtones, all the tastes are present throughout
Feel- this is exactly what you want a barrel aged stout to feel like- full but not chewy
Overall- excellent for the style and absolutely worth seeking out. You would be hard pressed to find a better beer in the world. Excellent

Jan 12, 2015
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Hesscabob from Illinois

4.98/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A - Opaque black with a fairly quickly dissipating tannish head.

S - aggressive coffee nose pops right off the bat. Faint vanilla from the barrel in the background. Hint of cacao nibs but mainly that amazing coffee

T - cold brew coffee with a background of toffee, cacao, caramel malts. Freaking delicious, the best parts of the base Vietnamese with added vanilla/bourbon/oak presence.

M - silky and smooth, perfect stout coating

O - very impressed, worth trading for and very close to being a top 5 for me.

Sep 07, 2015
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Hopsiam14 from Minnesota

4.82/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I truly remarkable beer. I was fortunate enough to have this at a tasting last weekend courtesy of @Beer4B from Lakeland, cheers buddy! The nose was the only thing about this beer that didn't wow me. Otherwise the experience of this one is truly remarkable. The coffee and barrel pair perfectly and the flavors make this one to truly savor. I'm already wishing I had another bottle!

Aug 31, 2015
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pmarlowe from Virginia

4.85/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2014 vintage. Tulip glass. Thanks to nanobrew for picking this up.

A: Pours black with a thin film of dark brown head. Somewhat largish bubbles. Recedes fairly quickly to a very persistent collar. Minimal lacing.

S: Dark coffee, cream, vanilla bean, light oak, a bit of roast, a touch of cocoa powder.

T: It’s got that rich, creamy Vietnamese coffee up front, supported by the perfectly integrated, slightly sweet bourbon, along with notes of cola, char, oak, roast, and vanilla bean. Just a touch of sweetness which really works well. Dark sweet chocolate as it hits room temp.

M: Full bodied, creamy, with medium, slightly sharp carbonation.

O: Absolutely delicious, maintaining the rich, creamy character of the Vietnamese Speedway, but adding notes of the bourbon and oak which really elevates this to another level.

This is my favorite BA version of Speedway, and tied with the Vanilla/Coconut and Nutella among all Speedway variants.

Feb 16, 2015
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Kurmaraja from California

4.65/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Simply one of the best stouts I've ever had. Intensely fudgey with a bit of sweetness (from the Bourbon barrels or the coffee?) that isn't present in regular BA speedway.

Jan 23, 2015
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putonyourwalkingshoes from California

4.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Review of batch 2.. This one was not the same as the 2014. A lot more over roasted qualities. The 2014 was damn near perfection. I had 2 bottles and they were both solid. The later batch didn't have the same magic. I'd rate the 2014 closer to 4.78 and the later batch closer to 4.2

Had side by side with BA speedway. Wow incredible beer start to finish. Huge improvement over regular BA speedway. The mouthfeel is bigger and the way the Vietnamese coffee comes through, solid throughout. A complex BA stout that doesn't have an overly strong coffee presence. One of the very best BA stouts I've ever had.

Nov 13, 2016
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rabbott2 from Illinois

4.81/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2016 batch bottled 11/19/16 drank on 12/2/16 in a snifter. Added notes from 2014 (batch 1) drank on 2/4/17

Look - black body with tan head...decent lacing

Smell - bourbon, oak, vanilla, coffee is mellow but nice and fresh too, not super roasty and the milk chocolate comes through nicely

Taste - follows the nose, subtle but brilliant flavors molded together, great presence from the barrel
-2014 has marshmallow open up once warmed up. Really great flavors from the barrel here. Coffee is extremely subtle but provides a nice roastiness

Feel - thick, oily, creamy, not boozy at all

Overall - amazing beer. they've perfected barrel aging IMO and I will continue to chase these.

Dec 05, 2016
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John_M from France

4.51/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Probably my favorite of the Speedway coffee variants.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with pretty good head retention and lacing. The beer looks rich and viscous, which ain't no bad thing. On the nose, there is considerable coffee and vanilla, along with underlying dark chocolate and perhaps a hint of cinnamon. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely, and while this stout is pretty sweet, the coffee flavor seems to balance and counter that sweetness somewhat. There's a mocha quality on the palate of this beer that I just love. Mouthfeel is full, soft and fairly creamy, with a very long finish. Alcohol is incredibly well integrated into the flavor profile, and so drinkability is terrific (almost too terrific, as it's hard to show restraint where this beer is concerned).

Just outstanding, and a beer I would order and even make a special trip to obtain, whenever I see it on tap around Portland (which is pretty infrequent unfortunately).

Dec 09, 2017
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jamesar from California

4.85/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hold on to yerr pants, cause this one is a doozy!

Look: Dark and viscous with no light able to permeate my glass. Poured rather aggressively, this beer yields a dark mocha, finger sized, head. Beautiful!

Smell: Looking for a little more coffee here personally, as the nose is dominated by bourbon, vanilla, and chocolate notes, with very faint coffee.

Taste: Luckily the coffee shines through here. The vietnamese coffee makes this beer creamy and rich. After the coffee comes beautiful layers of bourbon, chocolate, and vanilla. Slight roasty bitterness with more coffee on the finish. Not overly sweet. Very drinkable and leaves me wanting more every time.

Feel: Thick, creamy, and viscous. Perfect.

Overall: Given all the hype around it, this beer continued to exceed my expectations. One of the best barrel aged coffee stouts I've had, if not the best. I think there is a certain temperature that this beer drinks really well at. If it's too cold, you lose most of the bourbon. While as it approaches room temperature, all the coffee flavors give way to the bourbon. So it's probably best to not let it get too warm.

Jan 02, 2015
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fireazzi from Massachusetts

4.88/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This was awesome. Very lucky to try this in a share. Had a very nice size pour. Got to really get a good smell of coffee from it still after all this time. Bourbon and chocolate really come through on this. not to thick but has a creamy feel in the mouth. the best BA from Alesmith for sure.

Aug 03, 2016
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Stevedore from Oregon

4.61/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

750ml bottle, 2016 vintage. Served in a snifter glass. Pours a dark black body, slight brownish hue, one finger thick brown head, fantastic retention and bits of lacing. Smell is a rich velvety chocolate bourbon bomb; the bourbon is rich and contributes a nice vanilla to the fudgy milk chocolate aromas, which is accentuated even more by the sweeter coffee notes. It's not a roasted in your face type of coffee presence, but it all just seems to make the fudgy chocolate stand out even more. Flavour is similar; a rich chocolate bourbon presence, touch of dark fruit, milk chocolate, coffee, not as much roast, slight nuttiness, almonds, touch of vanilla and coconut, rich fudginess. Excellent. Mouthfeel is full bodied, smooth and creamy, good carbonation, with a nice fudge and oak finish. One of the best out there, fantastic stout that we could not leave unfinished.

Feb 12, 2017
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RAlmeida77 from Massachusetts

4.86/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - Black. Not pitch black but very dark. Tan/mocha head forms.
Smell - Bourbon, coffee, chocolate and vanilla. This smells amazing.
Taste - Absolutely decadent. Tons of barrel...oak and vanilla. Nice coffee and chocolate here. Absolutely delicious.
Feel - Full bodied. Thick, creamy, slick, oily and coating. One of the most perfect mouthfeels I've ever experienced.
Overall - Hands down the best BA Alesmith beer I've ever tasted. Easy to see why this one is rated so highly.

Glad I have more bottles!

Dec 05, 2016
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Amguerra305 from Florida

4.71/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Ours a touch thin with bits of light through the edges with a ring of light khaki foam that lingers around the edge and in an island in the middle of the glass. Smell is coffee forward with a strong creamy element to it. Barrel is present as well but somewhat subdued. You also get the standard vanilla notes with is a bit more pronounced than normal with a somewhat subdued yet present boozy note. Taste is super creamy. That comes on first with a strong coffee middle and pleasant barrel end that almost finishes brandi-like. This beer is a touch light for the style with a touch more carbonation than is normal. The main takeaway from this beer is creaminess. Overall it is an excellent beer with lots going on yet all aspects of it are balanced. Had it side by side with the regular BASS and this is noticeable better. Not much of a coffee bomb however.

Apr 04, 2017
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Tele from California

4.81/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Serving Type: Bottle
Consumed: 5.9.15

A: 4.75 Pours pitch black and looks very thick. The dense, tan head is about an inch and lasts for a couple minutes with good lacing.

S: 5 This is probably the best smelling beer I’ve encountered. Immediately, there is so much going on: hazelnuts, vanilla, chocolate, coconut, roasted malt, mild coffee, bourbon, molasses, and caramel.

T: 4.75 The flavor starts off a bit sweet the moves quickly to similar flavors from the nose mixing into the roasted malt background and more sweet coffee. The beer is a bit harsh when cold, but as it warms it mellows out dramatically. Like the nose, there’s a lot of vanilla, chocolate, and bourbon, but on the palate, cinnamon and some dark fruits show up too (similar to regular Vietnamese Speedway). Coffee lingers on the finish with a touch of bitterness leaving you wanting another sip.

M: 4.75 Super thick, almost chewy with perfect carbonation that keeps the beer feeling lively. The only flaw is that this beer is so rich and thick it hinders drinkability slightly.

O: 4.75 The whole speedway series is really exceptional and adding barrel presence takes this to the next level. There are so many terrific flavors and aromas while still being balanced. This is a nearly perfect beer.

May 10, 2015
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BeantownBrews from Massachusetts

4.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2014 vintage poured into a snifter

Beautiful pour, nice carb especially considering the age -pitch black with a light khaki head
Smells of vanilla, some roasted coffee, toffee, chocolate (almost like a java chip frappuccino)

Mmmm this is one of the finest BA coffee stouts I've ever tasted (5 easy)
It starts with vanilla, almost a hint of lactose, some roasted flavors -on the back is a lovely complex dark chocolate and a touch of whiskey heat

The mouthfeel is pure velvet deliciousness

I gotta say, this was a pain to track down but completely worth it. This exceeded every expectation and has potentially (permanently) spoiled my palate. If you like stouts, BA stouts, coffee (beer in general?) you must try this at least once.

Feb 11, 2017
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Auror from Massachusetts

4.23/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

May 27, 2015
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FrankHammer from Michigan

4.95/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Dec 18, 2014
Speedway Stout - Vietnamese Coffee - Bourbon-Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 982 ratings