Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged | AleSmith Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
343 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 343 | Ratings: 2,022
Photo of roger617
4.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into snifter.

A: Pours pure black with 1 finger of khaki head that reduces slows and leaves a thin collar throughout the glass. Viscosity seems to be thick, but a little shy of what I was expecting for the ABV.
S: I mainly get coffee, bourbon, and chocolate. Aroma is very pleasant, much improved over the regular Speedway, which was extremely dominant in coffee.
T: As a bourbon fan, this flavor speaks to me quite nicely. The barrel aging has done this beer wonders, as the bourbon flavor is very present and adds a much needed compliment to the strong coffee presence. I also get chocolate and roasted malt.
M: Feel is thick and smooth, carbed well, leaving a slightly dry aftertaste which I attribute to the coffee. Lingering feel is dry with the compliments of coffee and bourbon.
O: This beer is a great barrel aged stout that gets lost in a very popular category. I love how strong the bourbon and chocolate come forward to bring a needed balance to the coffee.

 988 characters

Photo of Stevedore
4.29/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2012 gold labeled bottle, bottle dated 3/26/2013. Poured into a brandy snifter today, 3/14/2014. so almost a year on this bottle. Thanks Peter!

App- pitch black body, one finger large bubbly mocha head with great retention. Thin splotches of lacing all over. Looks fantastic.

Smell- Oak, sweet bourbon dominate. As it warms, more of the base coffee stout that I know and love come out. Roast, coffee, milk chocolate. Remains a strong and bourbon barrel-forward nose.

Flavour- Barrel-forward. Much more so than I would have imagined. Oak, sweet bourbon, sweet charcoal smoke, vanilla. Really good stuff. Warming up brings out more of the coffee but it's nowhere near as coffee forward as BCBCS fresh. More milk chocolate sweetness, some roast malts. No oxidation.

Mouthfeel- Slick, thick bodied and super creamy. Good carbonation for the style. A nice sweet bourbon mixed in with a bit of bitter coffee makes the finish a delicious one. No heat at all. Just a lot of bourbon flavour but without the ABV.

Overall- A very nice drinking barrel forward beer with a year on it. Highly recommend, though I prefer the Vietnamese version to this one as there is a lot less coffee in the barrel-aged version. Looking forward to trying a fresher version sometime soon, which apparently has more coffee to balance out the bourbon barrel contribution.

 1,345 characters

Photo of rand
4.28/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Cirro's in Pacific Beach, poured into tulip

A: Jet-black, small coffee-tan head that dissipates quickly. Looks heavy and viscous, no lacing.

S: The nose is rich boozy bourbon and dark roasted coffee. Plenty if semi-sweet chocolate aligned with the deep malt-backbone keeps things in balance. There's a bit of a rum-raisin note in between the booze and residual sugars. Did I say boozy?

T: Way more balanced than the nose lead. A balanced mixe of sweet bourbon and chocolate bounce off of roasted coffee, paprika and nutmeg. There actually a dose of hop oil in there, drying things out a bit. Long, bitter-sweet finish.

M: Rich and chewy. Enough carbonation to keep the palate clean, but not so mich as to offset the velvety mouthfeel.

Delicious barrel-aged brew, but grading on a curve, this isn't that big a step up from Speedway. Which isn't a bad thing, just didnt exceed my expectations.

 909 characters

Photo of Damian
4.28/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Drank from a 1pt. 9.4 fl. oz. bottle acquired in a trade with Cynic-ale
Barrel-aged reserve 2014
Served in a snifter

Review #1000

Dark brown/black appearance. Oily and slick but thinner than anticipated. The liquid was topped by a creamy, frothy, one-finger tall, mocha colored head that faded to a thick, bubbly ring. Blocks of drippy lacing trickled down the glass.

Boozy, bourbon-y notes came through strong in the aroma. Pure bourbon. Loads of vanilla and tannins. Oaky and dry but also slightly sweet. Touch of maple. The nose seemed a bit muted initially and contained no coffee whatsoever, but it improved greatly as the beer warmed. Sweet, brown sugar notes came forth, along with more maple, vanilla and oak. Touch of bakers chocolate and dark roast coffee. The vanilla continued to become more intense with time.

Bourbon notes dominated in the flavor profile as well. Vanilla and coconut came through super strong. Dark malts were noticeable. Slightly roasty. There was a subtle brown sugar and maple syrup-like sweetness. Good dose of caramel and toffee. Bakers chocolate was apparent. Perhaps some chocolate brownies as well. Bourbon flavors came through strong again in the dry, oaky and tannic finish. Surprisingly, the alcohol heat was actually quite restrained. Moderately roasty. Like in the nose, the coffee presence was undetectable.

The mouthfeel was lighter bodied for the style. A bit too frothy and bubbly. The carbonation settled down with time, but the body still seemed rather thin.

AleSmith's Speedway Stout was the first beer I reviewed on Beeradvocate, so it was only fitting that review number 1000 would be the bourbon barrel-aged version. Although I was a bit letdown by both offerings, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to enjoy so many great beers with friends and family over the years.

 1,835 characters

Photo of SykDoc
4.28/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared #96 of 233 with brdc and stoutsnipas, much thanks to brdc for sharing.

Poured from a bottle into a tulip, it pours an almost black with a deep tan head. Initial head was a 1/2-1 inch and quickly resides to a mild lacing.

The smell was reasonably good. It definitely had more of the oak and vannilla notes when compared to regular alesmith. The other dark chocolate and coffee notes are also present but not overwhelmingly high on coffee. Some bourbon notes are also present.

The taste was fairly good. It starts a bit heavy on the oak/vanilla combination and very mild bourbon. It them seems to hit more dark chocolate and coffee notes. There is a nice sourness that also aids in hiding the alcohol.

This is a full-bodied beer that sits on the palate fairly well without being overwhelming. It is quite smooth and not so creamy or sticky that it is hard to drink. Adequate carbonation.

This beer is a very good beer. It is interesting comparing with regular Alesmith, which I think is somewhat better. However, given the unique and limited number of this beer, it is certainly worth getting your hands on one, if you can. Very well hidden alcohol. Again, much thanks to brdc for sharing.

 1,199 characters

Photo of BucannonXC5
4.28/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Type: 12-oz. draft (was supposed to be eight ounces)
Glass: Clear snifter glass
From: Alpine Beer Company Pub in Alpine, Calif.
Price: $8.00
Purchased: Feb. 23, 2016
Consumed: Feb. 23, 2016
Misc.: AleSmith Tap Takeover night

First time reviewing this, but third time tasting it. Picked this over Vietnamese Coffee variant, assuming I would get to have that next (this did not happen). Loved it the last two times I tasted it and expecting at least a 4.50.

Poured a black color with one finger of khaki tan head when I got it. Minima lacing on the sides of the glass. Average retention. (Sight - 3.75)

Smelled toffee, smooth milk chocolate, buttery bourbon syrup, caramel, roasty malts and wet cocoa powder. (Smell - 4.50)

Tasted much boozier than the smell. Super hot from the get-go. Bourbon heavy, chocolate, toffee, caramel and smooth dark milk chocolate. Bourbon was just overwhelming. (Taste - 4.25)

Full body. Creamy texture. Average carbonation. Boozy, warming finish. (Feel - 4.25)

Not quite as good as the last few times I had this at AleSmith. Not sure what it was, but picked a bad time to review this. Will have it again for sure though. (Overall - 4.25)

4.28 | 95 | A

 1,187 characters

Photo of smanson56
4.27/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured a dark black into my glass. With a 1/2 inch tan head.
The nose is solid of the barrel aging. I don't get much else in the nose lots of good bourbon.
The alcohol was pretty sharp at first but as my glass has warmed it has become really smooth. Don't find any real adjunts jumping out here but a nice smooth BBA stout.
The mouth feel is smooth perhaps a tad thinner than I like but you get that with BBA beers.
A nice drinking stout with plenty of bourbon.

 465 characters

Photo of Davepoolesque
4.27/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 bottle. Huge bourbon smell. Lots of bourbon up front, milk chocolate and vanilla . Medium mouthfeel. Not getting much or any coffee. I like it a lot but expected more I guess.

 181 characters

Photo of JonnyBeers
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

March 2013 bottle. Still pretty darn hot, and I generally don't mind the bourbon heat. The coffee is still super strong, and the best part of the beer for me. I prefer the base Speedway to be honest. This one doesn't stack up to a fresh Bourbon County, and it pails in comparison to a BC Coffee. Too hot, still. It's very good, but considering how easy it is to get the regular Speedway in my area, I doubt I'll make a huge effort to find this one again when the regular is $12 a 750ml.

 486 characters

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

Had the 2014 vintage both on cask and regular draft at the Beer Geek Speedway release. Enjoyed the regular draft considerably more over the cask version.

 153 characters

Photo of KYGunner
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

The nose held dark fruit, figs, chocolate, brownie batter, sweet malts and dark cherries. The flavor held true with a bit more brownie batter and strong prune, date and dark fruit. The barrel and bourbon are too subtle. This drinks velvety smooth and coats the mouth well. I'm impressed but found myself asking for more of the barrel.

 334 characters

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.

 675 characters

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

Huge thanks to mulder1010 for sharing. Reviewed from notes.

Black with a persistent dark tan head.

Caramel fudge, chocolate, liquorice and dark fruits. Sharpness and pungency from the barrel aging, if not real discernible bourbon characteristics.

Moderate char and coffee roast gives way to plenty of rich, dark fruits, caramel, leather, cola, vanilla and hints of booze. Gets better with each sip.

Silky smooth with tingly carbonation. Some booze heat mars an otherwise flawless mouthfeel.

Didn't find the bourbon characteristics overbearing like some other reviewers - in fact found the opposite and that is my chief criticism of the beer. Technically very well done, but was expecting more complexity and barrel character.

 730 characters

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

2015 version, from a bottle a few months after the release day. I mean, maybe i just dont like speedway. I find this beer very thin, not a ton of bourbon charecter, and overall kind of boring. The speedway charecter lends an astringent flavor i do not appreciate, and again, the body is not what i expected from a beer of this "caliber"

 336 characters

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

2006 bottle into Jackie O’s snifter. Thanks Jeff!

A: Pours black with low carbonation and a thin dark brown head.
S: Sweet smelling with rich notes of coffee, vanilla, chocolate and a good dose of solventy alcohol.
T: Warming bourbon, touch of coffee, caramel, toffee. This tastes pretty much like the standard version with a good amount of well integrated bourbon.
M: Full bodied with a thick, heavy mouthfeel and low carbonation.
O: I loved the regular version so it was no surprise that this was just as good. Worth seeking out.

 537 characters

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

Big thanks are owed to BdubleEdubleRUN for trading this brew to me last year. 2009 vintage shared with friends. The brew pours black in color with a tan creamy head. Spotty to webby patterns of lace stick to the glass. A swirl revives a finger of rich brown froth back to the surface.

The aroma displays a bold presence of barrel aging. Caramel and toasty with hints of mellow vanilla sweetness. There are some citrus coffee components still present mixing with the roast of the dark kilned grains. A mild alcohol inclusion is noted and as it warms up, there becomes a scent of coconut included.

The taste is toasty with plenty of barrel characteristics imparted. A bit tannic with a feel of raw wood blended into a smoother flavor of caramel and mild oxidative properties. Some citrus coffee bean element is present along with bitter roast and chocolate. Some solvent alcohol is noted across the back with a spirit accented aspect.

This is a medium bodied brew with a smooth feel and modest amount of carbonation. It is boozy at times and demands to be a sipper. I enjoyed the big alcohol inclusion and the bold array of barrel character that was imparted. I am very glad I had the chance to try this but not being the craziest fan of speedway, I could take it or leave it in the future. Overall though, I can see why fans of speedway would go apeshit over this brew each time this treatment is released.

 1,408 characters

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

Rich and chocolate taste. Finishes clean and quickly. Smell is boozy almost like vodka with chocolate notes. This good, and so drinkable. The color is very dark.

 161 characters

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.

 919 characters

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

2015 version. Smells unreal, almost as if it will be too strong. Taste is super smooth though. Boozy barrel age taste not present. A bit of soy sauce flavor. Very good stout, but but would prefer more boozy BA character.

 220 characters

Photo of MrDanno96
4.24/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Doodler hooks me up again! Served from a flip top bottle filled from a tap - I'm callin' this one a growler.

A: Pours pitch black with virtually no head to speak of - just a very fine ring of tannish bubbles around the perimeter of the glass. I think this one has lost a good amount of carbonation since the bottle was filled.

S: So sweet and luscious! Definitive aromas of milk chocolate and molasses, mixed with a large dose of sweet vanilla extract and bourbon. Smells a little "hot" too, if that's at all possible.

T: A good amount of chocolate, molasses, and oak up front. Not as much vanilla and bourbon in the flavor as in the nose, but both still definitely come through towards the finish. A little hop bitterness is also evident in the finish, which provides some nice balance. I think a little oxidation has sneaked its way into this bottle too, but it doesn't really detract from the overall experience. New layers of chocolate and buttery vanilla flavor come out as the quaff warms. The alcohol also becomes a little more apparent.

M: Thick and full bodied. The lack of carbonation detracts form things very little. In fact, a decently strong bite of alcohol in the finish mostly compensates for the lack of bubbly stimulation.

D: Admittedly, I probably did not review this beer under the best circumstances and I may have given it better marks fresh from the tap. That being said, however, as is it's a wonderful beer with many layers of complexity. I'll definitely seek this out fresh in the future, but I already really like it.

 1,554 characters

Photo of SteveCarrozza
4.24/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled in 2013 and finally cracked it open. Lot of bourbon on the nose from the initial pour. Coffee flavor has definitely faded. Finish is somewhat sweet and not nearly as harsh as first thought it would be

 208 characters

Photo of ncvbc
4.24/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep and dark, brown hues around the edges. Minimal tan head that fades quickly to a ring then to nothing. Rich and deep in the nose. Bourbon isn't showing up front but after it warms it shows more and more. Rich coffee, chocolate, and some dark fruits in the background. Bourbon...oak and vanilla show up. Taste is also pretty deep. The bourbon is more present but not dominant and imparts a nice vanilla flavor that comes in the finish. Coffee and chocolate. Some caramel and light butterscotch as well. Darker fruits still present. Mouthfeel is lacking in carbonation a bit and not as full as could be. Somewhat creamy but to silky to the point of almost being thin. Overall, it's a drinkable brew. Didn't quite live up to my expectations but it was enjoyable. I owe PHawk a huge thanks for helping me with a bottle of this. Not as good as the regular Speedway in my book but worth a try.

 891 characters

Photo of gueuzedreg
4.24/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2006 750ml #77/235. Another one bites the dust.

A- Jet black. No carbonation. The bottle cap wanted to come right off. No lacing.

S- Burnt wood, burnt toffee, dark chocolate; bourbon is muted melded in the back.

T- It tastes oxidized a bit. The bourbon is so mellowed out, and I think the lack of carbonation may have been from a slight air pathway in the bottle cap.

M- Very smooth, but no carbonation hurts this. Probably tastes like a new bottle where the lid has been off for a year in the fridge.

O- I was hoping for an epic experience with this rare bottle, instead I got a flat BA stout. I have had the '12, and I know how good this can be.

 657 characters

Photo of iadler
4.23/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle received in a trade from Hamilton23. Thanks man! Cracked open during our recent BA Dark Lord drinking extravaganza. From notes. 2009 bottle.

A- Pours pitch black with a one finger dark mocha head that leaves some lines of lacing.

S- Earthy bourbon, oak, light coffee, roasted malt, dark chocolate, dark fruit with notes of plumb, fig and black cherry and a hint of vanilla. A nice aroma, but a bit subdued.

T- Lots of dark chocolate followed by bourbon, oak, vanilla, coconut, coffee beans, roasted malt, dark fruits and caramel.

M- Light to medium carbonation with a full body that finishes a bit hot.

O- As a big fan of the regular Speedway Stout, I was very excited to try this. The bourbon barrels added some nice qualities to the base beer, but the aging also stripped away the big coffee characteristics that can be found in regular Speedway. Glad to try this and would happily have again, but wouldn't put the ammo it takes to land this.

 959 characters

Photo of maximum12
4.22/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Happy birthday to me! I can't express enough gratitude to fiver29 for sending me this, a brew I truly thought I might not ever get to sample, especially an older one. 2003 vintage, bottle 79 of 196 split with my wife.

I will admit it; this is possibly the only bottle of beer I've ever held that I had second thoughts about opening. It wasn't easy. The cap pops with scarely a whimper, carbonation is close to absolute zero. Pours jet black with a double handful of tiny bubbles clinging together in the middle of the snifter. A quick swirl dissipates them completely. I can almost read the reflection of the computer screen in the darkness. The nose projects a good ways from the glass, warm, subtle bourbon & a hard shoulder of malts. Only a bare hint of coffee or roast.

This bottle of Barrel Aged Speedway is like an aging ballet dancer, the tastes are muted, graceful, & gentle, not at all like the hot bourbon bombs so common in my cellar. Despite that, the barrel retains the upper hand here, but it's a slow, thorough burn, like a high-end bourbon (not the Jim Beam I used to quaff). It's distilled out into a prominent vanilla tailing too, & the oak is strong both in the taste & the spit-drying ending. Roast malts do a nice job rounding the taste out, along with light touches of ash, coffee, & the faintest peels of dark fruit.

Smooth & silky beyond belief, this is the ideal for mouthfeel. The beer just slips into your drinking orifice, smiles slyly, & vanishes down the gullet, leaving only a lingering bit of Victoria's Secret lace on the throat. Wowza. Perhaps it's only the knowledge that I'll never get to sample this again (at least the '03), but I'd happily sit around all night sipping this with my pinky in the air.

Overall an excellent beer. I can only imagine getting to try it at various cycles of its life, & sure as hell hope I get to in the future. One more salute to fiver29, thank you so much, sir.

 1,937 characters

AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.47 out of 5 based on 2,022 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!