Speedway Stout - Velvet
AleSmith Brewing Company

Speedway Stout - VelvetSpeedway Stout - Velvet
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American Imperial Stout
Ranked #144
Ranked #726
4.44 | pDev: 9.68%
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States
Speedway Stout - VelvetSpeedway Stout - Velvet
Notes: Aged in 60-year old Spanish Sherry barrels, 24-year old Central American Rum barrels, and 23-year old Evan Williams Bourbon Barrels, then infused with Madagascar Vanilla beans and locally roasted Jamaica Blue Mountain and Kopi Luwak Cold Brew from Mostra Coffee.
Reviews: 31 | Ratings: 120 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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mothman from Minnesota

2/5  rDev -55%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

2017 vintage on tap.

Tan head. Dark brown black color.

Lots of rum, char, and burnt rubber. Covers up most of the coffee. Vanilla isn’t even present. Chocolate and cocoa.

Not even thick. What a joke of a beer. Not sure how this gets 4.44

Feb 29, 2020
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patre_tim from Thailand

4.33/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown with a little hint of transparency, and a small beige foam.

Chocolatey and fruity, like raspberries. I smell the sherry, umami, bourbon oak and meaty a quality.

It goes in a different direction than the double barrel. Light and perfume like and elegant. Somewhat like a sweet red wine. Also a bit like salt water taffy.

Medium light and smooth body, with little carbonation.

Drinking this at AleSmith bar in San Diego, June 1st, 2019.

Jun 02, 2019
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BeanBump from California

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This sucker lives up to its name; its rich, warm and insanely smooth. The various barrel agings mix well and make this one of smoothest stouts Ive ever had the pleasure of imbibing. Toss in a little vanilla and some kopi luwak and Bam! Youve got yourself a winner. Not the easiest Speedway variant to find but Alesmith will have it on tap a few times per year. If you can get your grubby little mitts on it - do it.

Aug 13, 2018
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Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

4.6/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared at Matthew's beautiful home with great company.

Dark brown body with a bubbly, oily beige collar. The aroma leads with dark roast coffee beans followed by scents of oak, bourbon. Vanilla character emerges mid to late palate. Coffee is the star of this show and the most prominent flavor component. The finish offers a gentle alcoholic warmth with charred coffee grounds and a mild sweetness imparted from the barrel. Delicious.

Dec 30, 2016
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Alieniloquium from Florida

4.02/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle. Black body. Inky and rich looking. Bourbon. Coffee. Molasses and oak. The vanilla comes through in the taste. Huge vanilla. Bourbon. Coffee. Rich and sweet. Delicious. Heavy. A little boozy. Not sure why I'm not digging the smell, because it tastes incredible.

Dec 22, 2015
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ArkyVaughan from New Jersey

4.71/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On draft at Urge Gastropub as part of Alesmith 20th anniversary event. This is incredible. The three dominant flavors - bourbon barrel, coffee, and vanilla beans are perfectly balanced. This is perfect.

Dec 05, 2015
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calitrie1486 from New York

4.49/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at our speedway tasting on 11/28. This was the clear winner for me. Lots of vanilla and coffee on the nose and on the palate. Sweet up front and definitely can use a bit more time in the bottle to mellow out the sweetness but as is was the best variant to date in my opinion!

Dec 04, 2015
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dar482 from New York

4.39/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer smacks of barrel character of vanilla, coconut, but also the vanilla addition. Wrapped with sweet chocolate, bourbon, sticky, burnt caramel, oak. The bitterness of the coffee comes through.

Dec 04, 2015
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mdfb79 from New York

4.76/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From 11/28/15 notes. Had this at our Mega-Speedway tasting...this may have been my favorite of the night.

Like the others, a dark black with two inches of dark tan head and moderate to low carbonation evident. This one has TONS of vanilla in both the smell and taste. Lots of sweet delicious bourbon, sweet milk chocolate, roasted malts, toffee, caramel, cream. Thick body and low carbonation, no heat.

Overall I loved this one; it might have been my favorite. I would put it neck in neck with the This
BA Vietnamese Coffee, and a little above the normal BA Speedway. IMO their BA Speedways dwarf the "normal" coffee Speedways.

Dec 03, 2015
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SDRedDevil from California

4.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at the HSS release. Overall a good beer a lot of barrel present, just not as much vanilla as I was hoping for. Definitely a step down from Vanilla Rye.

Nov 15, 2015
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GatorLCA from Florida

3.33/5  rDev -25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I don't understand Alesmith and their barrel aged offerings. They need to change their cooperage and /or aging process cause if these really were Evan Williams 23 barrels, no one would even know. Every single BA Speedway bottle has tasted like isopropyl alcohol from fresh to aged. No pleasant nuances of a typical bourbon barrel. It was very hard to get past the harshness of the barrel to even pick up the other flavored of the base beer. There is coffee and slight vanilla and it's pretty thin. I'm just glad I didn't play into the hype when this was first released. You're better off drinking BCBS

Sep 27, 2015
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Sarge3130 from Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge coffee and mocha aroma. Surprising 2 finger head.
Taste is straight bourbon with a good balance between bitterness and sweetness. I had really high hopes for this but the booze is just so overwhelming. If you have a bottle I suggest sitting on it.

Sep 10, 2015
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Fatalsin from California

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

A haters gonna hate and I'm refuting my hate…Ive been sitting batch watching the hype monster build on this whale in complete disbelief.

After just sharing on a bottle I cant believe how top tier barrel aged vanilla coffee flavors are going on here.

Other guys who drank on the bottle seemed to all be completely impressed with bottle vs there tap experience.

Epic beer!

Sep 03, 2015
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notchucknorris from California

4.43/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Missed out on the Viet speedway bottles today, but the fact that I got to try this made me feel a whole lot better. A whole lot going on in this. Toffee, vanilla and hazelnut stood out the most to me. The bourbon is nicely restrained and the coffee takes a backseat to the toffee and hazelnut notes. I don't think I'd pay what I'm seeing it go for to try this, but it was really delicious. Seriously hoping they make more and do a slightly bigger batch.

Aug 21, 2015
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worldsworstextra from California

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at the Alesmith viet speedway release. you will be disappointed with this beer if you are expecting it to be a barrel bomb. No one flavor dominates the other as this is very well balanced and subtle. Pretty nice mouth feel with slight toffee and chocolate up front along with some roasted nut characteristics. The vanilla was mainly detectable in the nose and after taste. Again, if you are expecting a bourbon bomb you should definitely pass on this one. I definitely enjoyed this variant more so than the viet and barrel aged versions, which I thought were a little one dimensional and overpowering.

Aug 21, 2015
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sittinggc from California

4.46/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Got a taste of this at Stone's 19th Anniversary Festival:

Poured into a 3oz taster. Poured dark black. Smelled of bourbon, coffee and vanilla sweetness. Taste is very similar to smell...booziness was pretty well masked. This beer is tasty. Have only had regular Speedway before, so I cant say if its better than regular BASS. However, is really awesome. Wish I had more, but I am not about to trade my soul away for one bottle.

Aug 18, 2015
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Preismj from Illinois

3.21/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Been a long time since I've written a review here, but after the noise around this one, I felt I had to.

I'll keep it simple. Velvet speedway is one of the more disappointing bottles I've opened in a long time. I truly believe this is the epitome of a beer that has been turned into "must have" status before enough quality reviews come out, making the world panic to get it.

While a nice stout, the barrel is barely present. For anyone that feels they got tons, or even a little bit, of vanilla...I either don't believe you actually tried this, or there is massive bottle variation here. For those interested, Alesmith chose to up the ante here and use bottle wax with a very nice aroma of vanilla. I've never been so excited to try a beer and the thought of even a hint of what the wax indicated made me pretty excited at our tasting. The lack of these flavors that were what made Velvet Speedway jump to the top of the trade forums was truly an upsetting experience and I immediately regretted what I traded for this beer.

I don't want to pretend this is a bad beer. It isn't...regular speedway isn't a bad beer at all, it is quite good. A great representation of what a coffee stout should be. I would say that Velvet had a slightly chewier mouthfeel, less coffee (and a bit more astringent) and little barrel to it compared to other BA varieties. I'll take regular Speedway over this any day, and save my trade bait for Barrel aged regular Speedway as well. Happy I got to try it, pissed at what I traded for it...not even close to what the label would promise you in terms of flavor. Solid beer, massive miss to expectations though.

Aug 10, 2015
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Blackboardbrewing from Minnesota

3.95/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle consumed in San Diego this past weekend.

A: Pours out a thin, yet almost opaque black with quickly dissipating mocha khaki head.

S: I can smell the vanilla almost immediately, however, there is a strong tannic fusel alcohol note I can't get past.Big oak barrel presence, minimal coffee, touch of chocolate and typical Speedway roasty notes.

T: Big ass barrel bomb. Oak, whiskey, tannins. Little no to coconut, vanilla, barrel notes. Muted vanilla and coffee notes carry through to the typical chocolate roasty finish of Speedway. Was looking for more.

M: Thin, fusel and hot. Definitely expected more mouth feel.

O: Hype and low bottle count bring this one to be very overrated in my opinion. Prefer almost every Speedway variant I've had to date to this. Maybe it just needs a few years. Glad to try this one, but will not try the farm for it, or seek out another bottle.

Aug 04, 2015
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lilreyreyatomic from California

3.83/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Tasted at a bottle share, with all the hype around this beer it really fell short of what people made it out to be, we all thought it was going to be the highlight but for many it just wasnt up there. The beer is solid though and im glad I got to sample it.

Aug 04, 2015
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ATeamMusic from California

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

WOW! This is fantastic!

Similar core and body to regular barrel aged speedway.. Add a boozier hotter taste of the Evan Williams 23 year, pair it with a ton of vanilla and fantastic underlying coffee!

Flavors of toffee, carmel, dark luxurious velvet dark bourbon undertones shine.

The coffee is not the main focus of the beer. The coffee is fantastic but is in harmony and balance with the potent vanilla bomb.

Ive tasted virtually every Speedway variant this for sure the #1 to sample and is a must taste!

Aug 02, 2015
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bjmartin14 from California

4.73/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Urge the other day. Dark as night appearance. Loads of Vanilla, coffee, caramel, toffee, oak, and bourbon on the nose. Taste is similar to the nose; muted coffee, strong vanilla, nice barrel presence, and subtle bourbon and chocolate. Flavors blend to create a very balanced and cohesive taste. Medium-plus mouthfeel (which was the only negative point of the beer). World Class nonetheless. I'd seek it out if you have the chance: it's a beast in its own category. (Totally different than VR and FO... But in a good way) unique, complex, and amazing!!

Jul 30, 2015
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lactobob from California

4.8/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at urge, typical ale smith body. Not overly fudgy but some nice chocolate up front that warms into bourbon. Didn't get too much vanilla, but I'm very excited to try this out of the bottle. BAVSS still remains supreme

Jul 27, 2015
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BreweryRun from California

4.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Urge. No head at all, but that is probably due to the fact that they're pouring tasters as fast as they possibly can. Color is obviously jet black.

Smell is dominated by vanilla with very subtle coffee, chocolate and roasted malts. Smells fantastic.

Taste is very nuanced for a barrel aged beer. Velvet is about right, its amazingly smooth for a big barrel aged beer. Hits you with chocolate and light coffee then your classic bourbon barrel flavors with a little heat before finishing with vanilla. All the flavors are pretty subtle which may turn some people off but I like it. I feel like too often if a beer isn't a coffee, barrel or vanilla bomb people discount it as not good but this is a great beer with a ton going on. The flavors work very well together. Feel is also super smooth.

In my opinion no beer is worth the hype this one is getting but it really is a great beer. That being said I hate to see the lengths people are going to in order to get it, it's just beer, don't sell your soul to get it, but if you can, enjoy it with some friends. Cheers!

Jul 26, 2015
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Raziel313 from California

4.41/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Urge.
Looks just like all the other speedway brews. Dark motor oil like with the dark brown outer rim color.
Smell is lots of Evan Williams barrel character with hints of vanilla.
Taste is of bourbon and booze and minimal vanilla
Mouth feel is medium feel.
Overall I really would like to try this out of the bottle. Tap didn't hold carbonation as much as I would like. It's a decent brew but would prefer to rate this out of the bottle

Jul 25, 2015
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JonathanC from California

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at a tasting last night.

Mouthfeel: Typical speedway stout. Silky and smooth. Leaves a bourbon coffee characteristic that is undeniably Speedway coffee variant.

Taste: Strong coffee presence. Vanilla on the nose, but the coffee flavor overpowers the vanilla. It has a burnt marshmallow flavor. Very strong coffee. I think it'll be wise to let this mellow a bit. I'd give it 6 months before cracking a bottle. Let the coffee mellow out and I believe the vanilla will come through more. As it warms up the speedway characteristics really come to their own

Carb & Look: Medium Carb. Pours black with a brown head

If you go after this beer thinking its a VR killer or a FO killer, you're drinking the wrong beer. Remember this is a primarily a Coffee Stout with Vanilla added. Overall its a solid beer that probably only get better with time

Jul 25, 2015
Speedway Stout - Velvet from AleSmith Brewing Company
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 120 ratings