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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

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by beerguy101 on 01-01-2004

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Reviews: 343 | Ratings: 2,020
Photo of Phelps
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Holy shnikeys. Bottle into a snifter. Enjoyed about a month after I picked up the 2012 edition bottles from the brewery.

Holy shnikeys. Smells like a liquid almond joy. Vanilla, toasted coconut, almond, maple syrup, dark chocolate. Very sweet.

Holy shnikeys. Tastes like a liquid Heath bar. More chocolate here. Toffee, coffee beans, dark chocolate, toasted oak, vanilla bean. Sweet, delectable. Coffee is subtler than expected, but leave nice acidity on the tongue between sips. Hot damn.

Viscous medium full body. Thick. Some peppery alcohol on the tongue. Mild, tingly carbonation.

Deeelicious. Not much coffee left here, but I don't care. The barrels are perfect, the sweetness is perfect. I don't much care for regular Speedway, but this is among the best BA stouts I've ever tasted.

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Photo of Duff27
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Low mid mocha head. Alcohol legs leaves little bubbles on the side of the glass. Good head retention for an impy stout.

Smooth cocoa notes, overpowers the coffee beans a bit.

The coffee and chocolate play well with the (relatively) tame barrel characters. Just a hint of vanilla. Extremely well hidden booze.

Smooth mouthfeel, carbonation kicks up on the tongue at the end of each sip.

Decadent in its chocolate tones, a real treat. I put this right up there with BCBS Coffee. Thanks for the share 4DAloveofSTOUT!

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

thanks to drlovemd87 for sharing another treasure from his cellar. this one is special, and is perhaps the most well integrated use of barrel out there right now. the bourbon doesn't overpower the grain or the coffee, and all the elements are there together, its lovely. just a little froth on top of a jet black viscous base, intimidating in the glass. the nose is heavy vanilla, fresh coffee grounds, and warming alcohol. dried fruit, raisin maybe, and oak are there too, as is a rather dry earthen roasty character. the flavor isn't dry at all though, its sweet all the way through with a toffee and honey quality, and again with the vanilla. the bitterness of the dark barley and the coffee are tempered and counteracted by the barrel, which makes good sense. the coffee isn't quite as robust as it is in the regular speedway, but its role seems more important here. it remains the focus of the beer I think, as much as the barrel character creeps into view. layers of flavor and one of the longest finishes in the business. I love the way it feels, with all this body and slickness, despite being a palate coater. great great beer overall, I would love to try some of the other variants they do with it.

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

2006. Pours black with a good sized dark tan, light brown head that very slowly recedes. Aroma is sweet vanilla and caramel, dark fruits, charred woodiness, and some leather as well. Taste is a great mixture of chocolate and vanilla, and plenty of liquid caramel. Nice bourbony and wood notes in the tangy finish, along with a small nibbly bite and warmth from the alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy, carbonation is fairly light, decent peppery tingle on the tongue and warmth in the throat towards the finish. Excellent beer, vanilla and caramel notes come thru very well. Many thanks to Carlos for sharing and for this opportunity.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.44/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I shared my last bottle of this with a friend. 2006 Vintage.

Pours a solid black with a stingy tan head that dissipates quickly to a cap on top. Smells of coffee, vanilla, chocolate, dark fruits and prunes, with and oaky alcohol edge. The taste is filled with rich coffee and chocolates sprinkled with and oaky plum sweetness and a touch of alcohol. Hints of coconut and vanilla show up to the party but hide in the kitchen. Fairly thick body with a full creamy almost acridic mouthfeel and light carbonation. I am sad to say that I have enjoyed my last bottle of this fine brew. Intensely complex and damn tasty, I wish this was more available.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.44/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was the '03 vintage, courtesty of TurdFurgison. Didn't bother to copy down the bottle number. Served in a Chouffe tulip.

A - Pours with minimal foam that quickly settles to a thin ring of bubbles, leaving behind no lace but some sticky legs instead. Body is black, with maybe a faint brownish glint at the upper edge.

S - Vanilla, bourbon, chocolate cake, plenty of oak and barrel, some light soy and dark fruit oxidation notes, and perhaps still a hint of solvent alcohol in there. Minimal coffee, but that wasn't unexpected.

T - The taste is more mellow, with some light oxidation notes, and big prune and dark fruit notes. Not as much chocolate, but more earth and charred wood instead.

M - No heat, extremely low carbonation. Full-bodied, quite chewy and sticky. Surprisingly little tannic character - seems to have faded in the intervening years.

D - I found this quite easy to drink, and went back for a few more ounces after my initial pour. I liked this more than the 2008 growler, but I'm not sure it's the mind-blowing experience others have described.

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Photo of Roguer
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Impressive looking brew: dark, nearly black, with a solid cream head with excellent retention, and leaving flat fields of lacing.

Aroma is equally impressive, layering bitter chocolate and coffee against a smooth bourbon undertone.

Flavor follows, with a hint of butterscotch (surely from the bourbon choice) both in the front third and on the back end. Bourbon is both a significant complement to the overall profile and perfectly restrained. Less coffee presence than in the base brew, but the massive, chocolatey, roasty malt shines through cleanly and strongly.

Incredibly smooth; absolutely unbelievable presence for 12% and BA. Thick, viscous, impressively mild on the palate.

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Photo of floridadrift
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 Vintage

L: Blackness
S: Sugary sweetness, slight bourbon odors
T: Just like SS, five years later with a nice bourbon layer to it. Sweet, slight raisins, chocolatey goodness
F: Like drinking cream
O: A great beer

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Photo of beerguy101
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown color. Medium head. Aroma is malts, dark sugar and fruits. Full bodied Imperial Stout. Malts are roasty, chocolate and coffee, with touches of vanilla and dark fruit. The brandy/bourbon flavor is evident. Nice blend of chocolate, wood and smoke. Very smooth. Bourbon and chocolate flavors blend well together. Touch of alcohol bite. Nice beer. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

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Photo of hooliganlife
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

big thanks to coryking for this, been wanting this for 3+ years

2009 vintage

pour was deep black with some light creamy and cocoa head. fairly thick looking body.

the bourbon barrel aging is very apparent on the nose. big vanilla and oak with some coffee and chocolate.

as with regular speedway, there was a nice chocolate backbone with a light roasted malt. the barrel aging really brought the life out of this. the vanilla was very smooth. added some richness.

a bit viscous and chewy. moderate carbonation. not much alcohol, fairly smooth.

this was delicious, a great example of a great -bal aged stout.

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Photo of Donco
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 10/30/13.
Finally decided to crack this bottle after holding on to it for a year. Regular Speedway is one of my favorites and readily available year-round in my area. So I was really looking forward to this variation.
Look: Jet black with barely any head after pouring.
Smell: Dominant Bourbon with some toasted coconut and coffee.
Taste: Again Bourbon dominates, especially after the coffee has receded, 2 years past bottling. But that's fine with me. I love the Bourbon barrel effect on big stouts, especially from breweries that know how to use the barrel properly...and AleSmith does!
Highly recommended if you can find a bottle.
Still holding onto a BA Speedway w/Vietnamese Coffee. Looking forward to comparing it to this one.

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Photo of midaszero
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to MiguelMandingo for sharing this. Vintage 2007 bottle 254

A - Very dark brown with very little to no head and a little bit of lacing

S - Very intense bourbon with vanilla and toffee notes

T - Bourbon vanilla toffee. The bourbon was stronger than the nose suggested. Also some coffee notes come out as it warms up

M - Medium thick body with very little carbonation

D - This is an excellent beer. Could be easier to drink but for the strength it is pretty damn smooth and very enjoyable.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007 Vintage, Bottle #295. Good call on this one, UncleJedi. You have chosen... wisely.

Appearance: Pours a turbid, dark brown, near black body with a thin, short-lived, tan head.

Smell: A very full, all-encompassing bourbon barrel presence on the nose -- large notes of oak wood and full-on bourbon with lighter notes of vanilla and coconut shavings. Pair this up with a malt aroma replete with plenty of chocolate and roast and you have something worth smelling.

Taste: Cup of Sumatra Dark Roast 'Black Satin' Coffee stirred up with aged oak and light touches of vanilla and coconut and garnished with a few chocolate-covered coffee beans. Fleeting plum fruitiness. Some fire-roasted marshmallows. A pinch of Black Cavendish Tobacco. Medium roast bitterness. Plenty of alcohol to be found, but, thankfully, it's not glaring. Warming, roasty finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Yes! This is going to be a pleasure to finish off, I can tell. It's so darned yummy, I just had to tell the world!

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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 von_kaiser
4.41/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The flavor killed this one for me. Good, yes. But waaaay too much alcohol burn imo. Everything about the base beer was present but the barrel character stood out overly so. Great beer, glad to have tried, would have again but would give it more time to mellow out.

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Photo of swanfungus
4.41/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 bottle. Love the jet black pour with small tan/brown head that leaves a little lacing behind. Aroma is boozy and coffee. Happy to say that the coffee is still very much present here, and in fact I might even say it's still a little "hot" on the bourbon side. I loved it, but now that I've consumed it I'm wondering what another year or so would do to the taste.

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Photo of TexIndy
4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

600th review!
2007 Vintage #290/447. Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip. Got from ummagum who got it directly from Alesmith. It came in the standard Speedway Stout bottle with pen markings on the side to identify it as the BA and bottle number. Was pitch black even against a strong light. Good carb streams in center from the etching. It had about a finger of brown foam that quickly dissipated into a collar and some wisps in center. No lacing but at 12%ABV you don't expect any.

The aroma was mostly mellow bourbon with some oaky vanilla and then just a bit of the base coffee. It's a bourbon show but it has mellowed as it aged so not overpowering. The tastes closely follows the aroma. Again, it's bourbon show with some oak and weak coffee highlights. The bourbon has mellowed so not overpowering. Has a slightly sweet finish. BA's are not my favorite style but this shows what a great BA can be. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy with good carb tingle.

Overall, an excellent BA stout that highlights what good barrel aging can do. Dangerous drinkable at 12%. Most highly recommend if you want to try a top tier BA beer. I was at the brewery in October and they said it would probably be another 12-18 months before this comes out again so get to trading if you want one. Rotation - not avail in TX - got from a friend. Wouldn't mind trying this again with another 1 or 2 on it to see what happens...but since so rare this probably will be my only shot.

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Photo of Rastacouere
4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

bottle 66: Black body wears a thin off-white head. I can’t wait for the old numbskull version. Obvious bourbon barrel aroma. It comes out minty (after eight chocolate) and candyish with all the usual stoutish aspects. Big whiskey and roasty suggestions. Large hop presence although the barrel aging really seems to mellow them out for the best. Bitter bourbon finish. Mild acidity doesn’t alterate the pleasure. Fruity and almost anise reminiscent. Great balance for such a monster. Thick body with smooth low carbonation. Good going Alesmith. I didn’t notice any coffee. To me, this is far more pleasant than the regular speedway. Thanks again hopsrus.

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Photo of LambicPentameter
4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opened this bottle as part of a small tasting with friends because there's something about a $40+ bottle of beer that makes it seem anticlimactic to open by yourself. I don't remember seeing if there was a bottling date, but this particular bottle is of the 2014 vintage. Poured into a Belgian-style tulip glass.

Appearance (4.5) - Poured with some vigor, since I know barrel-aged beers have a tendency to lose their ability to generate much head, and I'm rewarded with a finger and a half of dark cocoa colored foam. Several of the smaller bubbles immediately start to expand, giving it a spongy appearance until it dissipates to a film of intermittent foam and ringlet. Some sticky, thin swaths of lace adorn the sides of the glass.

Smell (4.5) - A wonderful collection of aromas, with the roasted malt and bourbon taking the lead, but in a well-blended way that makes them seem like a single aromatic note. I'm a little dismayed at the lack of coffee presence--it's there, but muscled out of the picture by the much more prevalent notes of vanilla, caramel, bourbon and oak. It's honestly hard to distinguish the more bitter roasted malt notes from the coffee notes. That said, I cannot dock it too much, as the smell is still wonderful. Maybe my favorite element of this beer.

Taste (4.25) - As with the smell, the coffee takes a back seat to the barrel characteristics, with sweet booze and really nice notes of caramel and toffee blending with the grain to produce the sensation of kind of a granola bar dipped in bittersweet chocolate and drizzled with a ribbon of caramel. The only negative--and it's hardly one at all--I can say is that I wish it were a bit more overt. It's impressive that AleSmith could make such a big, bold style, with lots of flavors going on, and blend it into a nice, smooth-drinking beer, but I like my BA stouts to be a little more aggressive.

Feel (4.5) - There is a nice full-bodied nature to this, in spite of being (I believe) 100% barrel-aged. The carbonation is moderate to low--just enough to prevent the sweet viscosity of the body from becoming cloying or smothering.

Overall (4.5) - A wonderful beer that I'm glad to have tried, and one that I would recommend to anyone who hasn't had it, price tag be damned. That said, the price is prohibitive for repeat purchases, because if I'm paying that kind of price for a bottle, it needs to be one of the best beers I've ever tasted to warrant a return purchase. And it's a well enough made beer that for some, it could very well be just that. But not for me. As such, I will just tip my cap to AleSmith and say "stout well done".

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Photo of PlinyBeMiney
4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of aleigator
4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Speedway BA '14 vintage, many thanks to Marcel.

Poura a completely black color, with nearly no head at all.

Has the most distinctive Bourbon barrel presence, I have yet experienced. Despite the Bourbon dominance, coffee cuts through easily among a huge amount of wood, as well as scorched, earthy malts. Hints of molasses remind me of this being a stout, setting the balance, but nothing more, this beer is focused on its warming coffee Bourbon blend.

Drinks throughout smooth, perfectly fitting for the full body of the beer to unfold.

Not only becomes the Bourbon recognizable on the palate very early, the oaky barrel quality seemingly stands out on itself, blending perfectly into earthy, pleasantly bitter coffee beans. As on the nose, there is a certain, almost sticky sweetness detectable in the beer, but only as a neccesary counterpart to the fiery Bourbon coffee melange, adding toffee, cocoa nibs and fudge to the blend. Liquor heat gets perfectly wrapped up by the coffee, with a sweeter, slick finish, turning into a chocolate direction at the very end, accompanied by vanilla, booze and earthy ground coffee - revealing throughout a fantastic flavour variety.

Impressive beer, huge, bold, focused, while leaving enough space on the palate to exhibit an intriguing depth. Pretty much focused on coffee and Bourbon, with a mousse au chocolate creamy nouthfeel to it, providing oak, heat, fudge and gourmet coffee.

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Photo of stricklandia
4.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this as part of the Linkery's "Wood week," their fifth anniversary (wood) celebration. Tonight, they had a barrel-aged beer night, which included eight different barrel-aged beers. This one was by far our favorite of the five that we tried (with Firestone 12th Anniversary Ale a close second). To me, this came across as the best a stout can offer: full-bodied with all the flavors you would expect, but not too sweet or too strong or too heavy on the chocolate or coffee notes. A perfect balance, just right!

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Photo of Auracom
4.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review #200. 2009 bottle split two ways between Dan and myself. Poured into a CBS snifter straight from cellar temp.

A - More Cigar City-like appearance than I expected. Opal coloring with deep brown hues at the edge. Deep khaki head with quick dissipation that reminds me of Marshal Zhukov's. Good lacing. Slight alcohol legs. Leaves a lot of residual brown coating.

S - Lots of bourbon and oak barrel, as i would hope. Dark chocolate, baker's chocolate, touch of winter fruit, and molasses. Nothing out of the ordinary here, but it has some promise.

T - Relaxed espresso. You can tell the base beer has aged and faded off the dominate character. However, in place of that are good, if not great, barrel elements. Plentiful toasted oak, roasted nuts and malts, hint of coconut, and a robust bourbon whiskey character throughout. Tannic backend that showcases the darker fruit element.

M - Very smooth, nearly Parabola-level. Moderate body, appropriate carbonation, dry barrel finish.

D - Better than expected. The barrel is really well executed, almost like something Hair of the Dog would do if they had a stout. Absolutely not a sweet stout, so don't expect that coming in. Worth trying at least once but not quite worth the trade bait.

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Photo of Beerbeer101
4.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown color. Medium head. Aroma is malts, dark sugar and fruits. Full bodied Imperial Stout. Malts are roasty, chocolate and coffee, with touches of vanilla and dark fruit. The brandy/bourbon flavor is evident. Nice blend of chocolate, wood and smoke. Very smooth. Bourbon and chocolate flavors blend well together. Touch of alcohol bite. Nice beer. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

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Photo of julian
4.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a thick pitch black with a rocky nut brown head and sticky lacing all around. Beautiful. 4.5

S: Very nice! Minimal bourbon notes, but definitely noticeable, in fact the other aromas seem to be muted perhaps due to age, or simply due to being overwhelmed by the barrel aging. There is some wooded essence to it as well now that I mention barrels. 3.5

T&M: This is amazing. Combination of bourbon, barrel/wood, coffee, chocolate, alcohol. Smooth, great creamy mouthfeel. Carbonation is perfect. Finish is nice and clean. 4.5 / 4.5

O: This is fantastic! Great mouthfeel, taste. Was hoping for more in the aroma but this is a world class BA RIS. 4.5

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AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.47 out of 5 based on 2,020 ratings.
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