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AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel AgedAleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged

Educational use only; do not reuse.

313 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 313
Hads: 1,764
Avg: 4.47
pDev: 19.24%
Wants: 1,990
Gots: 551 | FT: 81
Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: beerguy101 on 01-01-2004

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 313 | Hads: 1,764
Photo of Lemke10
4.77/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This pours a pitch black color with a medium brown head. The aroma is ever so boozy mixed with roasted hints of bourbon and vanilla. The texture is thick, smooth, and delicious. This seems to be a lighter, less robust version of the normal Speedway Stout but the flavor are much deeper and more complex. Well worth the extra money if you ever get the chance to buy it.

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

Review #400!! HUGE thanks to Kramer for busting out one of my all time wants for us to try. 2004 Bottle, number 120 / 228.

A - Pours black as night with a nice one finger tall mocha colored head leaving light lace down the glass. Not the prettiest beer but it is stil plenty serviceable.

S - Smells of rich coffee, milk chocolate, vanilla, oak, and warm bourbon. For being seven, going on eight years in the bottle this one has held up beautifully, still plenty of coffee to go around.

T - Starts off with a big dose of fresh brewed coffee slowly giving way to a mix of chocolatey sweetness, vanilla, oak, tobacco, and warm bourbon. Even with all those flavors going on it remains balanced, smooth and easy drinking. Finish has lots of dark roast, lingering on the pallet for some time. A touch of oxidation creeps in as it warms up but it doesn't really affect the taste at all. There is no alcohol to speak of here.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Full, smooth, feel with plenty of dark roast, lingering on the pallet for quite awhile after consumption.

O - Damn, this is easily one of the best Barrel Aged stouts I have ever had. The balance of dark flavors from the base beer blend flawlessly with the barrel aging to form one amazing beer. I can not thank you enough Kramer for the chance to try this one.

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

Thanks to kbutler1 for sharing this bottle.

2009 vintage.

Pours a half finger of tan head. Color is black.

Aroma: Very fresh coffee. It is spot on goodness. Warming bourbon with nice oak and vanilla. Rich, creamy chocolate. Very little roast. Amazing.

Taste: Warming bourbon, just perfect. Oak and vanilla. Chocolate and cocoa. The coffee is perfect and it doesn't bring a lot of roast to the beer. This is spot on. A bit of dark fruits in the background.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, and warming. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. A little thinner than I expected. Ends with just a touch of roast.

Overall, this was an amazing beer. Much better than the 08 growler I had, which lacked the huge coffee flavors. This beer was a real treat.

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

Jwolfie70 and I opened up a bottle of BA Speedway, Darkness, Cable Car, Toranado 20, Levud Barrel Aged, over the last 24 hours. Very nice. Thanks to the traders who made this possible.

Pours blackish, with dark brown edgings. Small dark tan head. The smell is huge bourbon, with a bunch of roastiness. In a blind taste test, I'd never guess this was based on Speedway. Large ashy, vanilla-y, bourbony roasted dark chocolate, fruits, with some burnt coffee.

Not nearly as coffee laden as the "normal" version. Absolutely stunning smoothness, and very drinkable. Aftertaste of vanilla.

Frankly, a better beer than the normal, and that isn't the case with the BA Numbskull and Wee Heavy, neither of which benefited from barrel aging.

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

2012 bottle from Adam in trade. Poured Dec 7, 2013. Big time thanks for this one. Pours pitch black along with what looked like some coffee grinds, and a one finger mocha head. Aroma is bourbon, coffee, vanilla, roast, some chocolate, oak, light anise. Flavor is bourbon up front, light roast, vanilla, anise, chocolate, sweetness, more vanilla. Comes in waves, with that bourbon first then the layers of roast and sweetness. Much sweeter than the regular version, and I like it. Silky smooth, relatively thick mouthfeel, low+ carbonation. Sweet bourbon coats the palate and warms the throat.

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

Bottle share at Courtyard & Cellar for Toppling Goliath Mornin' Delight release!!!

22oz Bottle.

A good buddy sent this to me from San Diego. Jet black in color. Nose is boozy chocolate. Taste is sweet malt, the barrel and chocolate. Medium attenuation. Very very nice beer.


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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 badbeer
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark black color with a mocha colored head. Head diminishes to only a ring around the glass. Smell of coffee and soft bourbon, maybe some hints of chocolate and oak. The bourbon is nicely balanced in there, it's not overpowering as so many other barrel aged stouts have been. Taste is simply exceptional. Roastiness adds a nice touch to the dark chocolate and bourbon. Hints of vanilla and oak, but I am once again impressed on how well the bourbon is integrated. It's like a soft, smooth, high quality bourbon barrel was used; it's not harsh at all. A little less than full bodied, with a soft amount of carbonation. A pure joy to drink, I am forever greatful for being given the opportunity to try this.

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Photo of larryarms847
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottled 10/30/13, just under two years.

Pours a rich a lusciously smooth dark brown/black with a thin layer of light brown foam.

Deeply roasted malt, coffee has faded slightly but still detectable, sweet vanilla, and subtle bourbon heat.

Subtle coffee notes, roasty, oak, vanilla, and gentle warming bourbon.

Heavy-bodied, low carbonation, chewy, silky smooth, and roasty.

Overall, age definitely lessened the coffee aroma and flavor, but two years turned this into a creamy smooth sipper, and a damn tasty one at that.

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Photo of portia99
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle (2012 release) poured into a Brooklyn snifter. This long time want is courtesy of grandmeaulnes. Big thanks Alex!

A - Pours pitch black in color with 2 fingers of chocolate milkshake colored and textured head with good retention. Head slowly falls to the surface leaving behind tons of webby lacing on the glass. Amazing head for a high alcohol barrel aged beer...hard to get much better than this.

S - Lots of bourbon up front, maybe with a hint of brandy aroma as well (from somewhere). Bourbon fades into rich milk chocolate, some astringency, tons of black coffee, some rich buttery toffee, hints of molasses. Creamy vanilla, oak, some sweet caramel...a bit of a boozy candy bar in a glass. This really smells great.

T - Very smooth beer. Sweet caramel and toffee up front that moves into sweet bourbon and milk chocolate and firmly passing into black coffee. On the finish this transitions yet again - this time to a firm black licorice and espresso. Some sweetness, some difficult to identify blend of fruits that contains some cherries, maybe some raspberry..but definitely something else too (blackberries?). Very mild booziness/heat. Well done barrel aging.

M - Full bodied. Carbonation is on the lowish/medium side. Has a bit of a foamy/frothy feel in the mouth with the carbonation "exploding" a bit in the mouth as it hits the tongue. Only a minor warmth from the bourbon barrel aging. Lots of complexity with the chocolate, coffee, berries, wood and bourbon. A fruity coffee/bitter chocolate flavor is left behind after the swallow for contemplation. The fruitiness is baffling me a bit...trying to identify it exactly but I just can't quite come up with it.

O - Well, after a long, long wait to try this one - it certainly doesn't disappoint. This truly is a great barrel aged imperial stout. The barrel integration is seemless, giving some additional complexity to an already outstanding beer. The semi-sweet candy bar aspect of this beer is pretty amazing...I'm thinking of a Dark Milky Way...bitter chocolate, coffee, caramel and nouget...so good. Very glad to finally land this one - a couple years of trying finally paid off. Thanks again Alex...really an awesome barrel aged stout.

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Photo of antilogic
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black like the night. Totally opaque. Head is tan, well carbonated, not overly so.

The aroma screams bourbon. It overpowers the coffee, chocolate and vanilla. The taste is very heavy bourbon, surprising, and amazing how much flavor the beer draws from its barrels. Definitly some coffee, and some hints of chocolate and vanilla. More aftertaste of coffee and initial hit of bourbon and warming alchohol.

All in all, fantastic. Like no beer I've ever had. The bourbon character really sticks out, to the point where every sip continues to surprise me. I split the bottle with a few friends who proclaimed it the best beer they ever had.

Highly recommended if you can get it. 2007 vintage.

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Photo of JohnG190
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

2012. Pours pitch black with a lasting mocha head. Lots of coffee, chocolate, and bourbon on the nose. Chocolate and coffee on the front of the tongue with hints of vanilla, bourbon, and oak. Full bodied. Lack of carbonation adds to the creamy mouthfeel. Overall, one of the best coffee stouts I've ever had.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.74/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

enjoyed this at a barrel aged tasting on 2011-08-06. had side by side with a regular speedway.

2007 bottle (released in 2009) #411 / 447

Black hole dark. Bourbon all day on the nose. Smells really nicely balanced. Yum...one of the better BA Stouts. Really on the money for my taste buds. Bourbon with chocolately roasted malts. Mouth is really good as well, not as smooth as others I've had, and this is very heavy, but overall very good on the mouth. Overall, this is a REALLY solid BA stout...one of the best...just plain delicious.

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Photo of drgonzo3705
4.74/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Taken from notes, 2006 Vintage

A: Pours a nice coal black with a small tan head with some slight lacing left in the glass

S: Full of roasted and oak notes slight bourbon hiding in the back.

T: Nice rich flavors with some licorice and more oakiness and roasted flavors going on, very pleasing to the palate.

M: Nice rich and creamy. Lightly carbonated.

D: Very good despite the alcohol content. I hope to be able to acquire some of this in the future!

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Photo of srandycarter
4.74/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Pitch black with small nice mocha head. Lacing retentive but small bubbled and not webby.

S - Vanilla. Jack. Wood. Cream. Sweet malt.

T - One big friggin party. Somewhat upfront booziness, vanilla, sweet malt, just nice combination. Yes sir, may I have another?

M - Medium to heavy. SO creamy, coating, such perfect carb.

D - OK, so not so drinkable by the strictest definition. However, it is so good, I would be forced to drink it anyway. LOL.

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Photo of treyrab
4.74/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow what a fantastic beer brought out by Dyan at our Graduation tasting! Many, many thanks!

Vintage 2007.

A: Pours a nice dark black with noticeable brown hues. Yields a nice head, but the head was very light colored. The lightest colored head for an Imperial Stout I have seen, as it was a light tan/khaki color. That was the really only downfall in the appearance.

S: Wow. Incredible scents of sweet bourbon, dark roasted barley, dark chocolate, and a nice oak scent. If you love bourbon, this is the beer for you. The bourbon scent comes right to the forefront.

T: Again, the warming, sweet bourbon is fantastic. I like my barrel aged beers to blend the bourbon without it being too harsh, and this does just that. Great dark bitter roast and sweet caramel.

Overall, this is a great, great stout. One of the best in its class. Thanks Dyan!


2003 Vintage. One of the best beers I ever had. Top 3 beers for sure. So rich, creamy, and perfect sweet bourbon. It is mostly flat, but it actually complements the beer and coats the palate.

The 2003 is: 4.5/5/5/5/5

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

2009 bottle served in my trusty Lawson's snifter.

A: Pours thick and completely black with a very nice big tan head.
S: Smells like chocolate and bourbon.
T: Again, tastes like chocolate and bourbon. Can also taste some of the barrel characteristics (oak). Coffee seems to have faded because it's barely there.
M: Nice carbonation. Thick and velvety smooth.
O: This is up there with Parabola as one of my favorite stouts, great job Alesmith! Definitely try this if you get the chance.

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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 zac16125
4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750mL bottle into a snifter
2012 vintage

250th BA review, beer #90 out of my top 100 (which is significantly different than the current top 100, but one list at a time!)

A huge thanks goes out to harink for the awesome trade, including this, my top want.

A: Pours an opaque absolutely jet black with just under 1 fingers width of creamy looking chocolate ice cream colored head, which dissipates fairly quickly. Leaves only small patches of lacing, and a decent amount of alcohol legs.

S: Huge bourbon notes, followed by bold black coffee, sweet chocolate cake, hints of dark fruit, raw oak, vanilla, a touch of roasted malt. This is decadent, complex, and luscious. The most prominent aromas as bourbon and rich chocolate, and they intermingle perfectly. Amazing aroma.

T: Roasted malt initially more prominent than on the nose. Then the bourbon comes out and is quite strong. Rich milk chocolate, some dark fruits, oak, black coffee, hints of booze as it warms (but not in a bad way). Wonderful combination of sweetness, roast, bourbon and black coffee bitterness. The roasted component is a touch too prominent at times, so I cant give it a perfect 5, but it really is incredible.

M/D: Very smooth, full bodied, carbonation is low which is appropriate, touch of booze in the taste but not at all hot, and drinkability is very good. Really nice mouthfeel here but could be a bit chewier.

O: Overall, this is a fantastic treat of a beer. One of the best aromas Ive ever experienced, backed up by an incredible palate profile. Big, complex, strong, and delicious. Has to be considered amongst the best imperial stouts Ive had. World class in my book.

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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 bret27
4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Unsure of vintage.

S: Roasty and coffee predominantly. Also chocolate. A little booze and toffee malty sweetness around as well.

A: Jet black w/brn thick head.

T: Vanilla and wood dominate this one. Coffee along w/the delcious maltiness and roastiness. Vanilla and wood dominate this one., chocolate, toffee notes. A little boozy presence but the etoh is well hidden for sure.

M/D: Thick and velvety sublime mouthfeel. Drinkability is definitely impressive for ABV.

Overall: Bal-aging thins the body just a bit, and really balances out the coffee roast of regular speedway. I have to say that side by side I like this a bit better.

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

Thanks to Vac (I think) for busting this out at the RBSG 08 Grand Tasting. '04 vintage. Pours pitch black with a modest cocoa head. Bourbon aromas enhance the chocolate-roast dynamic. Also some red fruitiness in the nose. Boozy chocolate flavor with a coffee roast finish. Nice warming bourbon with the swallow. Same impeccable balance I'm used to out of AleSmith.

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle sharred with many BA's at this years Darkness Eve Tasting.

2009 bottle.

A- Pours dark black color, really nice appearance, ½ fingers worth of brown head that dissipates to a nice ring around the glass.
S- The aroma is fantastic, really nice notes of roasted coffee, bourbon, vanilla, oak, I cannot wait to try this beer.
T- I was not let down, big coffee flavor, the perfect amount of bourbon comes out, vanilla beans, roasted coffee, chocolate and cocoa, really nice, well balanced brew.
M- Medium/Big mouth feel, well carbonated, creamy, silky smooth drinking, slight roasty aftertaste, alcohol is hidden.
O- I absolutely love this beer, the coffee, bourbon and vanilla are phenomenal in this beer, all the different flavors that come out are well balanced and make this beer an amazing experience.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

750 ml capped bottle poured into a snifter.
12% ABV, Bottled on 10/30/13

A - Pitch black through and through, Barrel-Aged Speedway Stout generates a mocha head worthy of praise and keeps it's loose form very nicely!

S - Charred bourbon oak stave swirls smoky nuances and alcohol heat into the thick, chocolaty aroma complimented by medium roast coffee notes and crumbled honey graham crackers.

T - Rich milk chocolate washes over the tongue with robust presence while toting cocoa and mocha dryness, faint coffee undertones, and a warming vanilla bourbon note that punctuates the finish with lightly charred, smoky oak!

M - Heavy and full-bodied, AleSmith's barrel-aged Speedway Stout pulls no punches in the mouthfeel department. This thick and rich beer delivered the exact body I was expecting; creamy, smooth, and moderately sweet with a finish of warm alcohol that dries the palate out for a sort of balance.

O - After my first three failed attempts at the newly released barrel variants (read: price > quality) of AleSmith here in Wisconsin, I was pretty weary of dropping nearly $40 on this bottle, but I've heard amazing things time and time again, for years no less. Of the four I've experienced, I'm happy to say, this bottle is the closest to being worthy of it's extraordinary dollar demand, though probably more than I'd pay for it again.

Barrel-Aged Speedway Stout is rich with chocolate intricacies but nearly devoid of coffee nuances; perhaps from it's age? It just became available here. Either way, it mimics the others regarding its apparent time in the barrels: short. Not boozy in the least, its robust, full body is demanding of attention but, it screams by like a race car; gone in a flash. Delicious as all hell, this lifts the beer that's aged in the bourbon barrel on a higher pedestal than the barrel its aged in while making both complimentary. Bravo, AleSmith!

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AleSmith Speedway Stout - Bourbon Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 313 ratings.