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AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged | AleSmith Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
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335 Reviews
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AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel AgedAleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
335
Ratings:
1,983
Avg:
4.47
pDev:
19.24%
 
 
Wants:
2,031
Gots:
620
For Trade:
89
User Reviews
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Reviews: 335 | Ratings: 1,983
Photo of emerge077
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 bottle, thanks Jay for sharing!

Wispy tan skim on a glassy obsidian surface. Ever present ring at the edge.
Dark and formidable body, the surface skim has the look of a planet's atmosphere.

As it warms there's distinct vanilla, coconut, and chocolate notes.

Flavor is rich, mildly oxidized, reminding me of Thomas Hardys. The alcohol has a mild sting but it doesn't affect the taste. Mellow roast and fudgy chocolate flavors, bitter coffee, an almost wine-like grape note surfaces too. Some soft bourbon traces, mostly vanilla and booze. Mellow carbonation, strong enough to keep it a sipper. Three years might be slighty too long to age, but it's still holding on.

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Photo of Douglas88
4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A 750 ml bottle, 2004 edition bottle number 98/228. A huge thanks go out to Eric for this, it was the gem of his awesome party. It was a festivus for the rest of us. Pours a dark brown color with a very thick light beige colored head. A awesome aroma of sweet fruits, chocolates, some coffee and just loads of milky sweet chocolate and mocha. The taste was excellent, sweet and milky chocolate and coffee, dark fruits, maybe some fudge. So very, very smooth and almost silky. Not aggressive, but excellent. The aging has done wonders to this, no alcohol noticed at all really. What a rarity and a wonder. One of my favorite beers ever. Re-rate: Eric shared a 2010 growler of this. It was hot, nasty and super aggressive. Pure goodness. Not the complex beer it was with four years on it, but still super good. A great brew

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Photo of garbercury
4.92/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Reed415 for the generous sharing of this tasty beverage. Poured into snifter...06' Vintage.

A--Opaque, good lacing.

S--Bourbon, vanilla, complex, nice.

T--Wow, seriously? This beer completely kicks ass taste wise. Vanilla, and hints of coffee and plenty of bourbon in the finish.

M--Smooth, silky, great mouthfeel.

D--Well, lets face it, impossible beer to get, so enjoy it when you get it. This beer is AWESOME. My god, more please.

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Photo of RustyDiamond
3.65/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2007 release #315 of 447. Gray waxed cap under gold foil. I used a Brooklyn snifter for this one. Jet black pour with 1/2" of espresso colored head. The head slowly dissipates before the 1st sip. Hot fudge, molasses, french roast ground coffee aroma.
Touch of bourbon sour at first. As it warmed, the sour bourbon released a little. Coffee and bourbon and bourbon. Drinking like a raspberry framboise with a tad of coffee. Quite sour...drink now.

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Photo of funkyaudio
4.97/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours an oily black with no apparent carbonation. Fully opaque. A little swirling the snifter kicks up a few bubbles, then goes back to still blackness. Aroma is sweet, and quite fruity; Dark fruits, that is. Just a little coffee on the nose, with cherry and plum/prune. Just a little wood and bourbon aroma. The flavor is pretty huge on this one, way bigger and more complex than the regular Speedway. Very tarry, lots of cigar smoke, leather, booze is alive and present. Huge espresso is present, with dark chocolate. Sweet, but not an all-out sugar assault. Again, there is dark, smoky tar throughout. Extremely chewy. Only faintly bitter. If you swish it around in your mouth, you get some more carbonation, as you can almost feel the cavities developing in your teeth. I'm glad I got to try this. Definitely not a session beer (Of course if you're reading this, you likely already knew that. I mean, like anybody other than the CEO of Alesmith would have the means to session this anyway.), but very soulful for just a glass now and then. Overall, excellent

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Photo of BMan1113VR
4.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Have had this three times now, all different vintages. These notes are from the first time: Huge thanks to fordest for this one. 2006 Silk Screen bottle #187/233. Pours with a huge, dark brown head over a very black body with some lace. Aroma of nutty fudge, bourbon, oak, vanilla, light coffee, liquid amazingness, florals and soil. I literally smelled this beer for 15 minutes without tasting a single sip. Taste is chocolate, coffee, oaky, brandy, bourbon and a bit nutty. Very smooth and silky mouthfeel.

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Photo of Anthony1
4.12/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black with a dark brown head with good retention. Plenty of visible carbonation The barrel character is most prominent with bourbon, charred wood, vanilla, oak and tannins being most prominent. Behind it lies a more mellow Speedway - chocolate and mellow coffee but all told, this is a big bourbon trip. Medium body with plenty of bourbon up front with oak and vanilla. Moderately oaky and tannic in a way that works well with the dark sweetness of the chocolate and medium-roasted coffee. Tannic and oaky on the finish with a good bit of vanilla. Medium body, soft carbonation, excellent finish

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Photo of kbutler1
4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler provided by mothman to try out prior to Dark Lord Day. Pours a deep, dark black with a slight tan head. Smells roasty, toasy, and coffee with a subtle sweetness in the nose, along with the barrel. Sweet up front with an aggressive bitterness in the back end just like the regular version. For some reason this is just not as good as I expected or wanted it to be.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.82/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

7/17/2010

2003 vintage - Bottle 169/196 aged at 55 degrees since the release a few years ago - thanks me.

The beer is black with a diminutive light brown head that quickly fades. The aroma is of chocolate sugar cookies and a graceful oxidation character with light soy sauce and vanilla notes. Bourbon is well integrated. Brown sugar is evident. Decadence itself. The flavor is chocolate desserts of all sorts: truffles, cake, brown sugar cookies...you name it! The beer has aged gracefully, evincing light soy sauce notes that compliment the smooth bourbon flavor. Oak is detectable, in addition to subtle dark fruits (prunes?). Coffee is nonexistent. Carbonation is low, and it works well with the rich flavors. An outstanding beer, and one that I probably won't see again.

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Photo of rye726
5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Vintage '03. Thanks Nick!

Pours an oily black with a thick espresso head. Excellent lace and retention.

Nose has freah roated coffee, bourbon, oak, vanilla, dark pitted fruits, chocolate, dark candies, big malts and molasses.

Beautiful blend of espresso, wood, whiskey, vanilla, plums, figs, dates, roasty malts, cocoa, caramel and toffee.

Thick, creamy body is perfectly carbonated. Perhaps a bit past age, but still a lovely beer. Peaks closer to 5 years.

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

Review number 500! What better beer to have than this. 2007 vintage.

A- Poured a black color in the glass. One finger mocha colored head has good retention. Light soapy lacing left on the sides of the glass.

S- Nice roasted malts in the front of this. Hints of vanilla, bourbon, and oak linger throughout the aroma overall. Light oxidation which I expected a little bit toward the middle. The chocolate malts this comeout toward the end with a semi-sweet kick in the nose.

T- I pick up a nice roasted malt upfront with a light chocolate coffee undertone throughout the entire beer. The coffee flavor isn't as strong as I thought it would be but...there could be a lot worse than that. Vanilla and bourbon make this beer have a light warming sensation. Oaky notes come through toward the middle to end. Light oxidation with this that stays from start to finish. I could do without that but once again it almost goes with the beer by the end.

M- Heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation was good for the style and age on it. Roasted malts with light oxidation left on the palate with some bourbon like notes in the aftertaste again with the oxidation. Flavors were bold for the age and I enjoyed it for that. Oxidation was bigger than I would have liked.

D- This beer was great...period. The oxidation was not a deal breaker with the beer. I had no problem drinking the bottle over a hour and a half period. I am glad I saved this bottle but it should be drank sometime here soon before the oxidation takes over the entire beer. The ABV makes this a one and done but also one bottle is good enough.

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Photo of glid02
4.59/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler shared by Grant - thanks!

Pours black with a half-finger brown head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of robust roasted malts with large amounts of dark chocolate and vanilla. Also present are solid amounts of butterscotch (it seems to be a trend with AleSmith BA beers) and hints of molasses. Finally, coffee aromas linger in the background.

Tastes very good. Roasted malt flavors kick things off and are joined by mildly sweet molasses and butterscotch shortly thereafter. Dark chocolate flavors work their way into things midway through the sip. Near the end of the sip mild amounts of vanilla flavors make an appearance before fading into a mildly bitter ending. There's also a bit of alcohol burn that lingers but is nowhere near overpowering.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a very smooth thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is also very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I thought this was a phenomenal beer however I'm not sure if I don't prefer the normal Speedway. I think the type of barrel AleSmith uses is more geared toward a stout that's not quite as big as Speedway, maybe one with bourbon that was on the boozier side would work better. Anyways, I'm grasping at straws here, give this one a shot.

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Photo of Xul
4.57/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours an inky, opaque black topped by the slimmest of mocha colored heads. A ring remains along with some scant lacing on top, but that's it.

S: Oaky up front, along with some distinct hints of bourbon. Some coffee remains, although it's definitely faded compared to normal Speedway. Dark fruits lurk in the background, some figs and black cherries. A bit of burnt sugar and caramel, but very, very light.

T: Oak more subtle than on the nose with a bit more vanilla and bourbon. Dark fruits come in at the middle w/ chocolate and burnt coffee. Finishes with semi-sweet chocolate, vanilla, and hints of coffee.

M: Moderate to slightly above moderate bodied...velvety, creamy, and smooth all come to mind. Carbonation is low but enough to support a beer of this weight.

D: Flavors are well integrated and the barrel aging wasn't overdone...obviously it's not exactly quaffable, but I'm having no trouble working my way through a growler with a friend.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.37/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this gem.

2007 vintage. Bottle number 205 of 447. This was sampled side-by-side with a regular Speedway Stout. The beer pours dark brown to black with a brown head. The aroma is bourbon, oak, vanilla, roasted malt, chocolate and alcohol. The flavor is awesome. I get bourbon, oak, semi-sweet chocolate, brown sugar and vanilla. The oak and tannic notes are very tart or bitter, giving the beer an almost sour quality. The coffee has completely faded. Medium-thick mouthfeel and low-medium carbonation. Not sure which I liked the best out of this and the non barrel-aged version because they are both awesome. Very happy I got to try this.

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

Thanks again Brad, long time want.

2007 vintage bottle #212. Poured into a tulip. Beer is black with a thin brown head that breaks and clings to the glass. Some (very little) lacing left on the glass and the carbonation is apparently low.

There is a woody / liquor sweet aroma to this beer. Smells great. Not a lot of alcohol but some sweetness and a hint of roasted malt.

Beer is really really smooth. Medium to full bodied, sweetness up front with an ever so slight amount of heat behind it. Oddly there is almost a late tartness to this beer. Its not lactic or acetic, the beer isn't going bad but there is a strong almost tannic character to the whole beer. I suppose this the result of the wood aging process. It is unexpected but does not interrupt the flow of the flavors in the mouth. Bitterness at the back is low but good. Overall a really good beer. I'd still like to do the side-by-side with the regular.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Brad for sharing this at his tasting on Saturday!

2007 vintage. Bottle 212/447

This beer pours a rich, deep black with a dark tan head. Plenty of carbonation left in this gem. This aroma is not subtle. Bourbon and rich roasted malt, with a slight alcohol note emit huge scents I can detect from a few feet away. The beer is absolutely fabulous. Although it is very strong and forward, it drinks very smoothly. It definitely has some heat to it, but it only serves to add a little warmth in the finish. Alesmith Speedway Stout is a terrific beer, so it makes sense that barrel aging such a tasty stout would result in this masterpiece. What a treat.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.75/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Chilled bottle into a glass. 2007 vintage. Received in a trade from Jw347. Thanks John!

A: Pours a nearly pitch black body with a billowy dark mocha head; it retains well and leaves a substantial collar on the brew. Quite nice for a beer of this style and gravity.

S: Great aroma. Lots of chocolate, toasted marshmallow, vanilla, bourbon, caramel. I pick up hints of sherry-like oxidation, coffee, oak, and earth.

T: I let it warm to have the full flavor come out. It's incredibly complex, but the oxidation dominates this beer, too much for my tastes. It introduces a light tartness, sherry / wine, and salty soy. Those aren't deal-breakers in barrel-aged beers anymore, but they have an optimal concentration, and this beer exceeds that. Still, the rest of the flavor isn't irredeemable: it's chocolatey, coffee-driven, and earthy. It has a nice caramelly bourbon to it, and I pick up toasted oak in the finish.

M: Full in flavor, medium in viscosity. Good carbonation. No heat.

D: It comes together a lot better as it warms, but I am never in love with it. I'm glad I had it, as I was very curious about this one, but I'm not breaking the cellar for it in the future. The fresher one out of a growler was more to my liking.

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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 younger35
4.03/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to 0110x011 many moons ago when he sent this tasty treat. I've been sitting on it for quite some time but what better time to break it out than for losing a bet with Scoobydank. Drank from a specialty Sam Adams glasses.

2006 version bottle #68 of 233

Appearance- Pours a pitch ass black with a big beautiful one finger dark tan head. A decent cap and collar is maintained the entire beer along with a fair amount of spotty lacing.
Smell- Sweet and caramelly with a big bourbon boozy thing erupting out of my glass. A bit of chocolate and coffee but nothing with the potency of the original. The bourbon and wood are very overpowering and totally take over the base beer that is Speedway Stout. Plenty of vanilla makes its way through along with a bit of light caramel.
Taste- Wow, the taste is so much more soft and balanced than the nose. A bracing bit of fruitiness from a big hoppy bite right from the get go. The original Speedway isn't really present in this beer (meaning the huge coffee and chocolate) but there is a bit of an acrid roastiness present. Plenty of wood and vanilla though as the barrel is crazy intense - bourbon galore. A fair amount of caramel though as there is a lightly bitter finish from the malt roast.
Mouthfeel- Big and rich and heavy with a very light bit of carbonation that lends itself to a nice creamy feel.
Drinkability- Not bad but honestly I'd much rather have the original. The barrel just covers all the great aspects of Speedway and doesn't help to make it better. Yes, it's still very good but for how limited it is but there are other barrel aged brews out there that are slightly better. One of the few beers that I prefer the regular to the barrel aged. Thanks Matt!

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Photo of hayesez
4.49/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Unexpectedly received this in a package from Kaiser81 - wow! Invited over a few friends that evening and busted this one open. What a great beer! Poured into my Portsmouth snifter (more than once, of course!) and savored the flavor.

Extremely dark and thick pour. The head billowed up a dark, dark brown and then subtly changed to a dark tan. Fairly quickly, the head diminished to just a thin layer but left behind some thick blotchy lace around the sides.

Wow, what a sweet smelling beer. My first thought was this smells like s'mores. Seriously - very sweet, marshmallow / vanilla nose that was very intriguing. Some sweet chocolate in there as well. I spent quite some time smelling this thing before I ever considered taking a drink. In fact, I was over at Wine Wednesday at the time with about 20 other people (non BAs), and I had a lot of them smell it because I thought it was so "different"...in a good way. There is definitely a whiskey component at the finish that reminds you how this sucker was created. Goodness.

The first thing that struck me upon my initial drink was how much thicker this was than I had would have guessed. Thick and sticky (which I love). The taste starts off with dark and sweet notes. Vanilla coffee is present, but quickly turns to a slight whiskey burn. It is a fairly alcoholic tasting beer. Throughout the session I get several varying tastes but nothing detracts; they all work very well together. There are some dark chocolate undertones that peek out every now and then as well. A very, very nice flavor...would be perfect if that alcohol was just a bit more subtle.

This was definitely an unexpected treat; thanks again, Ryan, for such generosity. We all very much enjoyed this beer. I had three glasses of it and would have gone back for more if I hadn't invited this many friends. It is a tad bit hot, but apparently not enough to really slow us down. Will definitely look to try this one again down the road.

Consumed: 4/14/2010

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Photo of zdk9
4.03/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Not as beautiful compared to the normal version, the head just isn't quite there- still super black.

S- Buttery, creamy coffee (maybe cafe con leche). Milk chocolate. Getting more vanilla as it warms up.

T- Hot, there's almost a chile flavor to this. Coffee, but not overwhelming, more chocolate than the regular.

M- Thick, sticking, minerally, interesting.

D- This is different from the regular, but I'm not sure I'd say it's better- less coffee and slightly more complex. I wish there was more bourbon/wood/vanilla. I'm kinda suprised that this isn't smoother than it is. Regardless I'm glad I had it.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.67/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got lucky enough to have this 2004 bottle at dld. The beer is black with a tan head, nothing remarkable here. The aroma is pretty nice, notes of oak, bourbon, and vanilla. The taste is what places this beer apart. Not sure if its because of the againg(2004), but there is beer simply taste phenominal. It was really sweet in a good way with tons of vanilla and chocolate and super smooth oak and bourbon. A two ounch pour does not do this beer justice, I've got to get my hands on more.

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Photo of Proteus93
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a growler, courtesy of dkachur. Thanks, Dan!

A: Inky black, with a brown head giving testimony to the colour of the brew. Retention is quite nice and there's plenty left behind on the glass.

S + T: Vanilla, chocolate, mocha, caramel all make . A comment at the table was that it's like being in a candy store, and that's probably the perfect statement. As it warms, it all comes out a lot more - though nothing is really excessive. Just a nice balance of a lot of bigger flavours and aromas.

M + D: Creamy and full bodied with a little bit of crisp carbonation to keep everything in balance. With such a huge ABV, the alcohol is verging on deceiving in how well hidden it is. There's really no sign of any heat at all. Very nice, and something that comes across far nicer than what I remember from the original.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.97/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

HUGE thanks to Kevin for sharing this growler with us!

A-Body is big, thick and opaque black. Pours with a 1-2 finger creamy dark tan head. Head fades eventually to a thick collar but plenty of lacing sticks all the way down the glass.

S- Exceptional. A delicate balance between bourbon BA characteristics and IRS characteristics. Very complex and slightly sweet-of moderate strength. Vanilla, oak, a slight hint of bourbon sweetness, dark chocolate, anise, dark fruit. Just wonderful.

T-Flavor is just as good as the nose but adds a slight roasted malt component to it. Upfront is a lot of IRS characteristics-dark fruit, anise, licorice, dark chocolate-and offers a bit of vanilla and bourbon sweetness and the slightest hint of oak in the background. A hint of roasted malt comes through for the finish to create an equal balance to the slightly sweet initial flavor. Some remnants of the initial flavor linger as well as a slight roasted malt bitterness.

M- Low to medium carbonation and a body that is thick, viscous, and exceptionally smooth and creamy.

D- This is one of the best stouts I have ever had. The BA components compliment the stout characteristics very well and this is worlds better than regular speedway-seem like 2 completely different beers. The flavors are really big here but it is not nearly as aggressive as regular speedway. Great to try the 2 side by side!

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.88/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-pours an opaque black liquid that is thick and viscous. The head is tight and creamy with some bubbles on top. It has good retention and leaves a nice thick lace

S-the nose is amazing, it isn't huge but it is strong. Oak and vanilla set in right up front with a touch of bourbon sitting behind. Dark chocolate, chocolate brownies, toffee and a touch off caramel in the back

T-the taste is awesome. The oak and vanilla great the taste buds with the bourbon quietly coming in right after. Molasses comes in next and fades into dark chocolate, some bitter cocoa, and hints of coffee. Sweetness comes in at the back, toffee and a touch of caramel with some notes of dark fruits

M-huge mouthfeel, completely full bodied and thick, almost chewy. It is soft, smooth and creamy on the palate. So great!

D-this is a delicious imperial stout. The flavors are spot on, nothing dominates but the barrel aging works perfectly and smoothes out the feel so well. Awesome beer!

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AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 335 ratings.
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