AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged | AleSmith Brewing Company

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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
alesmith.com

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:
345
Ratings:
2,092
Avg:
4.47
pDev:
7.83%
 
 
Wants:
2,024
Gots:
647
For Trade:
87
User Reviews
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Reviews: 345 | Ratings: 2,092
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.

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Photo of dbc5
4.77/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

750 ml bottle poured into Delirium Tremens tulip.

A: Great looking pour! For a beer of this size that spent awhile in barrels, I can't believe the head retention on the beer. Pour is pitch black with the nice, lasting, mocha colored head. Exactly how a stout should look.

S: Huge aroma. Espresso beans, vanilla, coconut, brown sugar, bourbon, and dark chocolate. A very appetizing and complex aroma. There are some aromatic qualities that remind me of a big English Barleywine.

T: Taste hits dark chocolate upfront and is quickly followed by vanilla and coconut. You then pick up on the clear bourbon presence, but this is smoothed out by roasted coffee beans on the finish.

M: Velvety smooth. One of my favorite aspects of the non barrel aged Speedway is the mouthfeel, and this one is only enhanced by the barrel treatment.

O: Great beer. I'm incredibly grateful that I got to try this one. One of the better examples of a barrel aged stout you will find. KBS is one of my favorite beers and this gives it a huge run for its money.

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Photo of patm1986
3.78/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a-black as night, prune colored, thin, airy head (khaki colored).
s-molasses, licorice, pecans, vanilla, port, sherry, burnt plastic, rasins, rum, chocolate covered espresso beans.
t-acetone, vanilla, astringency, char, rasin, cherry, phenolic.
m-thin, bubly, dry, light
o-disappointed some with this one. i thought the barrel treatment would mellow and enrich the body of the base beer, but it wasn't as viscous as i'd have liked it to be. i think with the bourbon and with all the coffee, there was just too much acidity; ba speedway was just a bit too astringent for my liking.

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Photo of alcstradamus
4.2/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Decided to crack this one as a Thanksgiving day treat. 2006 vintage, served at the recommended temperature of 50-60 degrees.

Pours pitch black with a very foamy finger of tan head that leaves bits and pieces of lacing behind.

Smell is very smooth bourbon on top of a coffee and earthy hop base. Deep notes of oak sting the senses, alcohol burn isn't huge but is definitely noticeable. Smells fairly sweet also. Pretty damn nice.

Taste is MUCH more coffee forward than I would have imagined. Now, I realize that the base beer is a coffee infused stout, but I thought the barrel complexities would overpower the coffee a bit more. Well, they definitely didn't which makes for a beer that is surprisingly deep, complex, and subtle without being too brash and in-your-face with booze. Don't get me wrong, there is a lot of heat still there but compared to the only other BA Alesmith I have tried (07 Decadence) this is relatively tame. Background notes of oak, marshmallow, milk chocolate, a bourbon merely complement the huge roasted coffee grounds.

Mouthfeel is nearly full bodied with good carbonation levels, but I find this one to be a bit too dry. The bitter coffee beans just linger on the palate, which makes for an aftertaste that isn't as pleasant as the beer itself. Luckily the body helps make up for it.

I almost regret cracking this 750 because there is no way I am going to be able to finish it myself. Overall I thought the beer was very impressive but I wouldn't call it one of my favorites. Honestly, the dryness is the only thing really holding it back for me but unfortunately that has an impact on the taste, mouthfeel, and drinkability which is a large chunk of the score. Glad I got the chance to try it though. Back when I was in my coffee stout faze a while ago I would have probably given this a 4.8 or higher, but after having so many amazing beers over the last year it takes something really special for me to rate that highly nowadays. And I don't find this to have that specialness.

Nonetheless...still a fine, fine beer

EDIT: OK, here I am 4 hours later and it turns out I did finish the 750 all by myself. I originally rated the drinkability a 3.5, but boosted it up to a 4.5 because it is very rare for me to drink so much of this high of an ABV beer in one sitting. Perhaps I was forcing myself to drink every last drop because of the high cost. Or maybe it really is as good as they say. I think I'll take the middle ground.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
4.2/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Barrel aged 2007, 750mL bottle with gold foil, double waxed seal, standard silk skreen label, bottle number 321 of 447. Thanks to HopHead84 for this one, big time.

Into a chalice, pours a thick, syrupy thickness of pitch black, some nice fizzy, then eventually smooth, tan head that lasted for several minutes. Not much lacing, eventually the head evaporates and you have yourself a light trap, total darkness.

The aroma started off a tad odd, some cardboard to it, but as it warmed the vanillas and oaks, that classic bourbon feeling came one strong. The stock coffee and roasted malts form the base beer are still there, just massively overwhelmed by the bourbon. In my opinion, this detracts slightly from the exceptional base impy stout, but hey, that's just me. Taste is similarly dominated by the bourbon, oaks and vanilla, but some of the coffee remains, some roasted malt, some figs and fruits and stuff, its there, just pummeled by the boubon.

Mouth is smooth, warm and thick, initially nicely carbonate, but a bit flat as it warms. From the reviews I just read, it seems the earlier BB versions fared better, wish I couldn't have them, but as for this version, too much bourbon for me... and I like my bourbon in my big stouts! But it has just been too much and too overpowering for what I know to be a superior base impy stout, that I just can't forgive the crushing of favorite parts. That said, delicious beer, wish I had another dozen sitting in my cellar.

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Photo of yamar68
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Big old thanks to bstyle for hooking me up with this one - 2009 vintage shared with mnphish:

Dark coffee brown with an edge of ruby clarity... a thin pale khaki head shows minimal retention, leaving behind more legging than lacing.

Understated coffee presence, mushy dark fruits, a touch of sweet oxidation.

Bitter coffee is still prominent on the palate. Charred oak, vanilla and molasses, licorice and macchiato... espresso, oily coffee bean and alcohol exist in harmony. The flavors are a little muddy but the end result is something delicious.

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

The 2004 Barrel-Aged of an already awesome favorite...couldn't wait any longer, someone had to open one! Bottle # 68 of 228.

From the new labeled, 750ml. green champagne bottle pours a pitch black (almost brown) that let's no light through my tulip glass. A 1/2 inch of cocoa-brown cap sits on top. Mild carbonation and a little sticky lace as you go...nice. Although it's been classified as an American Double Stout previously, it is very Imperial Stout like as well, thus the RIS listing here.

The smell is of dark black roast coffee, chocolate, black licorice and alcohol, and it smells even better as it warms. This stuff smells tantilizing, correct me if I'm wrong.

Amazing flavor, after I have a sip, my tastebuds start to water, I'm not kidding! The entry is sweet (not too mention alcoholic) and strong with coffee, black licorice, bitter-sweet chocolate and liquer. Full of intense flavor that intertwine beautifully into a toxic, elixor of bliss. It is a definitely a notch + above the Speedway as I Know it...it's f-in tasty!

The mouthfeel is smooth and alcoholicly warm, the body is only medium-heavy, not as thick and chewy as I was thinking, the flavor is truly exceptional...absolutely exceptional too me.

Great to drink right now...can't wait to see how this one matures.
Awesome stuff, Cheers to the fortunate few (and everone else of coarse) !!!

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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 Lochnessmonster
4.79/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The overwhelming winner of our latest bottle share, this dark and complex beer deserves every drop of hype it receives. Boozy on the nose, but way too easy to drink for the alleged 12% abv. AleSmith blew me away the first time I had the base Speedway, and this took it to the next level.

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Photo of kirok1999
4.52/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

More thanks to Mcallister for sharing the bottle.
A dense black in the snifter with wisps of dark lacing around the glass.
Smells sweet and creamy. Lots of dark fruit, raisins, cherries, caramel and oaky bourbon. One of the best smells I've ever had the pleasure to sniff.
Taste is not nearly as sweet as the smell. Lots of coffee pops up that just isn't in the smell. Tons of oak tannins, bourbon, prunes, cherries and dark caramel with chocolate.
Feels dense and lush, very heavy and creamy. A definite sipper; took me quite a long time to finish, maybe because I wanted to savor it. I can understand why this is so sought after.

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Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
4.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to the Mornin Delight after share group at the Courtyard in Decorah!!! This bottle was one of my contributions to the cause! Amazing coffee and barrel notes! Killer offering! Now I need to find BVASS!!

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Photo of OStrungT
4.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours like black tar. It looks very thick. It has a thin brown head. The head fades slowly, leaving many very thick laces.

This beer smells of Bourbon. But only subtly, not overwhelmingly. This beer also has a pretty strong coffee aroma. Some chocolate mixes in also. It has a slight oak aroma also.

Wow. This beer tastes great. It tastes on Bourbon, but not overly. It is subtle. It also has the characteristics of the regular Speedway Stout. Coffee and chocolate upfront.

This beer is incredably smooth. It leaves a slight Bourbon aftertaste. It also warms slightly as it goes down. This beer is very low in carbonation, due to being aged for a few years.

I doubt this would make a good session beer due to the alcohol content. However, other than that, it is very easy to drink. Surprisingly so.

Overall: Bottle 93 of 228. Good job AleSmith. This beer is awesome. I was out of town when this beer was released. Thank you very much abizzles for so generously hooking me up. I owe you dude.

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Photo of Jredner
4.15/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

157/228 2004 courtesy of kmcnair. The aroma is muted chocolate, light oak and roasted malt and while it smells good it doesn’t really wow you either. The body is deep black with a fading, but initially quite thick and creamy, mocha head. The curious thing about this head is that unlike many BA beers you can always tease this one right back up to impressive stature.

The fore is hot with spicy oak notes, black chocolate, burnt malt, espresso, some light bourbon and oddly some fairly nutty notes. The coffee seems much less concentrated than in the regular version. The mouthfeel actually has held up quite well and this is a world class beer, but sadly it isn’t quite the wonder beer I have dreamed for over two years. Perhaps that is my fault, but while it’s great it’s not the beer I hyped it up to be in my mind. Which still leaves a wonderful brew.

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Photo of mulder1010
4.03/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 vintage poured into a tulip
Thanks to Nicks6217 for the bottle
No homeless people needed for this :)

A-- Poured straight black. Nothing more, nothing else. Nice looking light brown two finger head that left a good collar of head once settled. Good spotty lacking left on the sides of the glass while drinking.

S-- Coffee, chocolate, roast, oak, ABV and subtle bourbon. Coffee has held up well in the nose I thought. far better quality coffee than other BA stouts have used.

T-- Bourbon, vanilla, Carmel, coffee, and chocolate. far bigger bourbon taste than the smell. Same with carmel. Far bigger and bolder taste than the nose.

M-- Rich and luscious. Medium bodied and medium carbonation. Dangerously drinkable for the ABV, even with the alcohol being pretty obvious in this. My biggest want of all time and it did deliver on many levels. Yet not nearly as good as other BA beers. Still would trade for it again in a heartbeat or get homeless people to sit in line for it

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Photo of billshmeinke
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge impenetrable blackness. Looks great.

Buttery bourbon, some coffee, a bit of oxidation.

Chocolate, toffee fudge, brownies, coffee, slight bitterness.

Mouthfeel is huge, rich, velvety, and super smooth.

So great. Big thanks to Allen for popping that.

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Photo of kkleu357
4.53/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Dark thick black body. Smells like chocolate fudge. Very thick mouthfeel. Probably the thickest beer I've ever had. Super sweet. Lots of whiskey taste. If you try to find coffee, you can find it over the chocolate and whisky. Really yummy.

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Photo of brew3crew
4.77/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2006 vintage

A-nice black body with no tan head
S-mellow bourbon. Nice malty body and sweet chocolate
T-awesome. Mellow burbon with a little vanilla. Great tasting.
M-medium body and oh so smooth. Crazy drinkable and dry
O-great beer. Wow. This is incredible

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Originally reviewed on February 18, 2005. 2004 Un-numbered bottle. Pours a dark black with no head and almost no carbonation. This doesn’t bother me, since my favorite in this style was even more still. Ruddy orange fringe. Holy shit. Aroma is a building steam train of gentle coffees and tahitian vanilla beans steeped in fresh whipping cream and brown sugar. Moves into a supple and not harsh bourbon poured into gingerbread and spice cake. A hint of brandy vapor. Some savory herbal notes, with oregano and tarragon. Sweet candied limes dipped in rum sugars, with a finish of black currant and pears. Flavor is priceless and indescribable. Fuckin’ liquid heaven. Really hard to describe because the flavor is so similiar to the flavor, almost to a tee. Palate is a dense, absolutely syrupy sugar elixir that holds, disperses, and perform the flavors with total elegance. Finish and smack carry the very gentle and floral glowing qualities of an exquisite 21-year old single malt. A lot of the rich condensed malt and oaky finish characters ring through. More vinous then beery, with copious rich berry notes and continuing brandy and cognac vapors in the finish. Totally rounded and mellowed by the beers, with NO harsh edges. And the flavors are original each time they touch the palate, without fatigue. Finally, it’s a touch thin, to me, as it could be even denser, but it still has that ubiquitous cold cream texture that stays with the beer and maintains astounding density and quality as the beer continues. All around beer heaven.

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Photo of MrVonzipper
4.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Black, oily and viscous with a short khaki bubbly head and spotty lacing.

Big bold nose full of boozy bourbon, chocolate, molasses and coffee.

Huge rich flavor as well. A bit on the hot and boozy side which I like but this is a touch much. Big bourbon, a touch of vanilla, dark chocolate and rich coffee make up the bold flavor.

Mouth is viscous and silky with low carbonation and that alcohol heat.

Overall this is going to be an amazing beer in about 2 years I think. It's pretty great now. But as the alcohol mellows out and all the notes relax and settle, it's going to be phenomenal.

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Photo of andrewinski1
4.57/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Tro for making this happen! The bottle says 2009 on it (most recent release). Poured into a tulip. There is a large tan head atop an oily black body. There is a moderate amount of sticky lacing.

The aroma is very enjoyable. The coffee is well integrated to create a slightly sweet mocha aroma. The vanilla and bourbon flavors are heavy as well. This is pretty complex and really inviting.

The taste is mildly sweet, offset by the bitter malt and coffee followed by a slight warmth of alcohol. The coffee isn't as strong as it is in the nose. There is a nice chocolatey malt flavor to this. At any given sip I can hone in on an individual flavor and enjoy something different each time.

The mouthfeel is full and creamy. This is like liquid chocolate cake.

This met my expectations. I would happily have this as often as possible.

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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.

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Photo of Lunch
4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 750ml bottle generously shared another BA at the Sexual Chocolate release in North Carolina (Thanks man!) into my Great Divide snifter (02/06/10).

A: Pours an extremely dark and mildly thick motor oil black with a lighter than expected two-finger head with nice retention leaving some sticky lace.

S: Has all the elements of the regular Speedway; coffee and roasted malt with just a faint hint of dark, bitter chocolate, but this clearly enhanced with a wonderful wave of vanilla bourbon.

T: Like the original, coffee is certainly the dominating force with this Imperial Stout and it does so in a very effective way. Seems quite fresh with some espresso-like qualities with a great degree of roasted malt and some hints of chocolate in a dark and bitter form. The barrel aging adds a whole new dimension to this beer with some nice sticky bourbon and layers of vanilla.

M: I found this to be slightly thinner than expected, but had some nice creaminess and moderate carbonation

D: Quite easy to drink especially for a 12% BA Imperial Stout.

In my oppinion this was a nice, but subtle improvement over the its non-BA brother, adding some nice dimension and character to an already stellar brew. Thanks again Mac!

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Photo of mjpolzin
3.98/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Despite the hefty price tag, I was excited to obtain a bottle of this so I could try what is a very highly rated beer. When I initially tried regular Speedway Stout, I was somewhat underwhelmed when comparing to other coffee stouts. The same is true with the barrel aged version. It was a really good beer but not up to par with some of the better barrel aged coffee stouts out there. At $40 a bottle, this is one that I probably won't seek out again although I was happy to be able to try it.

The beer pours a thick, opaque black with little head. The smell is a sweet mix of bourbon and coffee. My issue with the taste (just as with regular Speedway) is that the coffee seems rather rash and isn't smoothly integrated into the rest of the beer. Maybe with some age this would mellow out. Otherwise, the bourbon taste is very enjoyable and overall the beer has a sweetness that is similar other big stouts.

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Photo of mabermud
4.73/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2013 Bottle.

Look: Almost still, dark brown body. Super low carb kick-up during and after the pour. Thread thin halo around the glass. Oily and slick lacing and legs that completely melt from the sides of the glass.
Smell: Bourbon, sweet grains, bourbon, vanilla, caramel, sweet malts, bourbon, and molasses. Play dough.
Taste: See above. Nice drawn out finish that concludes with much caramel. Big sweets that do not overpower or take away from the rest of the gang.
Feel: Creamy and smooth in the box. Texturally superior to many top shelf imperial stouts and RISs.

Overall - Maybe not as thick as BCBS, but up there in terms of love and goodness. A top competitor. I am glad I have another bottle.

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Photo of jeonseh
4.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2009 Bottle poured into a GI tulip. Part of the NWI tasting group New Year's Day

A - Dark chocolate brown. Almost black in color. Has a small milk chocolate head with a medium body

S - Bourbon, dark chocolate, light coffee, oak and slight sweet cream.

T - This is one amazing beer. It has upfront sweet bourbon, caramel, light burnt toffee, vanilla, and light coffee with sweet cream. There is a light coffee bitterness in the finish with a slight boozy kick. Really a great beer with a powerful and complex flavors

MF - Such a creamy beer that makes this a joy to drink. Light carbonation to prevent it from being too thick.

O - Really a great beer with a ton of flavor. There is a great bourbon presence, sweet vanilla, oak, chocolate and coffee. The one downside is that the nose isn't that strong on this one. If it was, it'd be a damn near perfect beer.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.47 out of 5 based on 2,092 ratings.
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