Speedway Stout - Velvet
AleSmith Brewing Company

Speedway Stout - VelvetSpeedway Stout - Velvet
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #148
ABV:
12%
Score:
97
Ranked #723
Avg:
4.44 | pDev: 9.68%
Reviews:
31
Ratings:
120
From:
AleSmith Brewing Company
 
California, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  117
Gots
  30
SCORE
97
World-Class
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
Reviews by exl_90:
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exl_90 from Texas

4.82/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Sep 12, 2015
More User Reviews:
Photo of SaltySizzle
SaltySizzle from California

4.9/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a taster glass.

Classic barrel-aged Speedway mouthfeel and look. Viscous, thick, and wisps take hold nicely. Aroma hits the nose with a very strong vanilla waft, oak, and hints of tobacco.

Taste: Vanilla isn't too sweet, present with every sip but not overpowering the Evan Williams bourbon. Vanilla tastes organic, not artificial like you get with some stouts. Notes of a vanilla toffee bar. Very well balanced and not too much heat or booziness. If you know bourbon, EW 23 year old is a bourbon whale, and very appreciative of how this beer respects that. Complex and contemplative. Others in my group feel that this is the best Speedway ever, and I agree.

Thank you, Mike and Grant for sharing, for a sneak peek! I feel like I can crush a 750ml by myself but with 12%, do I dare and share?

Jul 20, 2015
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Ctmuri from California

3.52/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 750ml bottle. Lots of bourbon and chocolate (boozy), minimal vanilla, thin to low medium mouthfeel at most. This was a definite disappointment given all the hype. The flavors didn't blend well together, very bitter finish. Other speedway variants are much better including BAVSS & KOPI BA.

Jul 24, 2015
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ryanlisk from California

4.75/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

What can I say- it's an amazing beer. Opened up nicely as it warmed. Strong bourbon notes from the EW23 barrels matched nicely with Monstra. Classic Speedway mouthfeel. Overall a fantastic BA stout-- would I give up what the hype requires? Not a chance! That being said-- hope you get a chance to try it! cheers.

Jul 24, 2015
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IggyWH from California

4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

4oz pour on tap at Urge on 7/24/2015

Doesn't quite live up to the hype, but what beer really does? The bourbon taste on it is phenomenal with front end sweetness and back end dark chocolatey goodness with the smoothness and mild heat expected from EW23. The problem for me is the coffee. It's way too young, bitter and harsh, and leaves a dry, acidic taste. This is one coffee beer you'll want to age as I'm sure that will mellow out with a little time. Kona Speedway was harsh like this early on, and so was Beer Geek to some extent, and both are drinking amazingly now. The vanilla starts coming through on the back end when it warms up, but it's not a vanilla bomb like VR or FO. I'm looking forward to opening a bottle as I hear it's a different beast, and I tend to enjoy BBA stouts more out of the bottle than on tap.

For now, BAVSS is still the King.

Jul 24, 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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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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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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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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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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Furlinator from California

4.02/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

If you're expecting a Vanilla Rye or Fundamental Observation killer, this ain't it. Minimal vanilla, minimal coffee, moderate barrel presence. A solid effort but, given the hype, I have to call this slightly disappointing.

Jul 25, 2015
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SimcoeKid from California

4.28/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Oct 09, 2016
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mgr78704 from Texas

4.23/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Sep 15, 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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Shawner from Minnesota

4.77/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Sep 04, 2015
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fthegiants from California

4.29/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Nov 15, 2015
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Getalegup from Texas

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

great vanilla smell , strong bourbon booziness, kinda thin

Mar 29, 2016
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atrocity from Virginia

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

Jan 20, 2016
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robgage from Pennsylvania

4.56/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sep 24, 2015
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Telly13 from California

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

Jul 27, 2015
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Jpohling from California

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

Nov 09, 2015
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DCLAguy11 from California

4.63/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Dec 09, 2015
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M_chav from New Mexico

4.25/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nov 15, 2015
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brians52 from Virginia

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

Jul 09, 2016
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rspauldi from Texas

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

Apr 16, 2018
Speedway Stout - Velvet from AleSmith Brewing Company
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 120 ratings