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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 rhinos00
4.61/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Ryan for bringing this beer to our tasting. 2003 vintage poured into a Darkness snifter. Bottle #100/196.

A- Pours a dark, chocolate brownie color. Practically zero head developed as the beer was poured. Not the sexiest looking beer.

S- Wonderful mixture of mellow bourbon aromas and candied chocolates. Some molasses and chocolate brownies in there as well with a hint of vanilla. Super complex.

T- Mellowed bourbon upfront. Following is a mixture of chocolate malts, brownies, and bitter caramel. Blends together very well. As stated, this beer was very mellow, yet complex. Great malt profile.

M- Viscous and velvety smooth. Just the way I like it.

D- One of the easiest drinking stouts I have ever had. The mellowed out attributes really helped here.

Overall, very excited to finally try this beer, especially one as old as this one. An excellent beer and a good example of how aging can completely change a beer. Recommended.

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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 Beersnake1
4.91/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from fridge temp to Alesmith snifter. Look is incredible. Good carbonation with about 1cm of tan head. Smell is out of this world. Lots of bourbon, coffee, chocolate, licorice, and vanilla. Taste follows the nose nicely. The coffee is incredible. The licorice seems strong, which is fantastic. Marshmallow, chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, and blackberries. The feel is very creamy - not thin at all. This is absolutely amazing. Overall, one of the best BA stouts I have tried.

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

2009 750ml served in a snifter, so excited to finally try this one.

Pours like motoroil, ink black with a one finger mocha head that dissipates into a ring around the edges. Big legs, no lacing.

Almost smells like dark chocolate frosting with a twist of bourbon. A touch of tannin and vanilla, the coffee has unfortunately faded out of this.

Big dark chocolate up front with a rounded out sweetness similar to malt balls. Bourbon notes throughout with highlights of vanilla and oak. Surprisingly not hot at all.

Heavy on the palate and sticky. Extremely low carbonation.

A solid barrel aged stout but doesn't do too much different than any other highly rated stout. Wish I had popped this sooner because I feel that it would have had more to offer earlier in it's life but still, a great beer.

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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 Luk13
4.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle thanks to boutip, 2009 vintage. Appearance is a nice full black with decent brown mocha head. Aroma is quite straightforward with bourbon, vanilla, the usual Alesmith divine caramel and molasses. You can definitly feel the high alcohol content which brings the ripe fruits upfront along with bourbon and caramel notes. Flavors are hard to describe as they aren't amazingly complex but so well integrated and intense. Bourbon and age seem to have completly taken over coffee from the regular version. As much as I like the regular version, BA speedway lifts this one to a new level without being over the top. Exactly what I expect from a bourbon barrel version.

Side-by-side with Black Note with BA speedway being a close winner. Although I prefered Black Note's palate and aroma, BA speedway's flavors were out of this world. One of the best stout I've had.

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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 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 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 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 BeerAndBourbon
4.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 vintage. Shared at the 'nati tasting.

A. Pours black with amber edges with a tan creamy head.

S. Dark fruit, some anise, vanilla, some bourbon sweetness, coffee, and a bit of oak.

T. Chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, and coffee. Becomes even sweeter as it warms.

M. Rich, smooth texture, and creamy.

D. Great beer. A complex beer that I really appreciate being able to try.

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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 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.

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

Decided to crack this bottle while barbequing some chicken one fine day. Why? Because I can. Just like the dog. Pulling this out of my cellar brought back fond memories of the release day: scoring 6 bottles, cracking a piss warm westy12 with friends, sluggin Pliny and Blind Pig out the bottle, mowing grub at Stone... good times!!!

Now some people feel that they can sufficiently review a beer after a 2oz taster. Not Daddy. That's why 750ml of BA Speedway and I are about to have a serious discussion on the nature of the multiverse. While barbequing chicken.

Agressive pour creates a monstrous Del Taco chihuahua fur colored head. That settles at a moderately quick pace to a thin film on top of an open tar pit.

BIG whoof of the barrel. Alcohol, dark fruits and... maybe some bitter chocolate or cocoa. Nutty even. And some more whiskey like aromas.

I was afraid there would be too much booze in the taste (possible?), but it's mostly in the nose. Taste is a big bite of dry cocoa. Then maybe some chocolate and coffee. And some booze. Then some prunes. Ahh, prunes.

So very smooth through the mouth. I catch a bubble or two of carbonation in the back of the throat, but the alcohol bitch slaps it around and calls it Susan. Everybody ends up fat, dumb, and happy. Not quite as thick as expected. Not that it's thin by any means, but it's not 30wt. Goes down like melted butter. Big ass beer here - no joke.

The missus takes her customary 4oz taster (still breastfeeding) then dumps over half back into my glass (too strong!). YES!!! Where does that leave Daddy? Well, shitfaced to be candid. If this is my last review, it's because this big ass beer kicked my ass and I died. Smart money is on me though!

Smooth! Two-thirds of a bottle down and I'm losing motor skills. Rolling the chicken instead of flipping. Hope I can read these notes when I go to type the review. Same 12% as the regular Speedway, but the bourbon flavor makes it seem like more. Like 12.2% maybe. Good thing I've spent the last 15 years in high alcohol altitude training.

Above from notes. The outcome: I'm still here, she's all gone. Good times.

Overall: It's a knock-you-on-your-assterpiece.

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Photo of BearsOnAcid
3.57/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

'09 release

Black pour, small khaki-light brown head.

Dark rich chocolate and bourbon on the nose. Nutty caramel.

Big bourbon soaked chocolate flavor. More caramel and toasted oak. Soft carbonation. All the coffee is gone which is a thing I love most about this beer. The mouthfeel has thinned out a little.

I've had the '06 and the one that was growler only before. I'd say this is the weakest of the three. This one isn't the A+ decadent showstopper that those were.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of 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 fiver29
4.68/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted at Cleveland tasting on 8-23-08. Thanks!! We had a verical of 03, 04, and 06.

03: Pours pitch black with no head or carbonation. Has a nice aroma of vanilla, roasted chocolate malt, and coffee. Has a medium mouthfeel. Taste is bourbon, malt, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and it all melds together in a nice smooth chocolate bourbon finish. Overall a world class brew.

04: Everything above, but with carbonation and a thin tan head. This made my experience a little better with this brew.

06: Everything above and has more alcohol aroma and flavor to it.

Overall, all three beers taste exactly the same. The only difference in my mind is that the 03 had no carbonation, the 04 was carbonated, and the 06 had more alcohol in the aroma and taste with even more carbonation. The lesson here is don't let these go too long or you won't be drinking a carbonated world class brew versus a flat one.

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Photo of guityler83
5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottled 10/30/13

A: Mocha tan head formed and quickly receded into the beer, leaving behind a ring of dense head on the edge and a dusting on top. The beer is nearly opaque black but on further examination there is some brownish hues that shine through with good clarity. longer sustaining legs kick up when swirled.

S: Big, distinct aroma leaps out of the glass at serving temperature. Sweet caramel, maple syrup, bourbon, tobacco, vanilla and raisins that have been burnt to the bottom of the pan. Vanilla oak aroma comes through very natural with more forward sweet bourbon. Cold coffee is restrained, but a sweet milk chocolate and mild roast character come through.

T: Very natural assimilation of beer and barrel - The (not overly) sweet caramel, toffee flavor in the beginning blends seemlessly to a vanilla and coconut oaky flavor that seems so part of the beer I can’t imagine it with out it. The dark chocolate and cocoa flavors that come next provide a mild roasty-ness giving the impression of bitterness (along with the barrel tannins) that - again go very natural with the overall flavor of the beer. The beer finishes out with a tobacco and bourbon sweetness that rests on your tongue minutes after your last sip - making you remember how good the previous one was. The balance is perfectly between the barrel and the dark and caramel malts. The beer is on the sweeter side but in a very pleasant way.

M: Moderate alcohol warming in the chest with a numbing sensation in the cheeks from the bourbon. A full body with medium-low carbonation and a slight creaminess. A sticky sensation rests on the tongue like after having a mouth full of maple syrup.

O: One of those beers you’ll remember long after the bottle is empty. I’m glad to have been lucky enough to have tried this amazing beer. This is a great example of a beer that was designed from the beginning to with the end product in mind. I’ve had many BA stouts where the brewery just through it in a barrel and it just didn’t blend well with the ingredients - this is not that beer. Get this beer if you can. Cheers!

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Photo of macher0
4.66/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at the Craft Conundrum in Charleston, SC. Much appreciated.

This poured black with a minimal head that retreated to a fine bubble rim. Once it warmed, the malts and bourbon barrel supplied a wonderfully balanced nose. Similar with the taste, everything came through in a balanced way. All the components - coffee, bourbon, dark roasted malts, a tad hop bite - were there but not singlely overpowering. No noticeable booze.oferate to high viscosity.

This was a very well crafted beer. Right up my alley. It is worth hassle, fo sho.

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Photo of dubinsky
4.12/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2006 bottle, opened at a bottle share event at Beer Revolution. Thanks to cpferris for sharing this (I think, lots of people there)

A – It was fairly dark in the bar, but what was in my small snifter tasting glass was very dark yet semi translucent. A nice looking beige head topped the beer. The head was very tight and creamy, but also very short, indicative of the high ABV and the barrel aging.

S – Huge bourbon and oak notes mixed with coffee and chocolate.

T - Not as boozy as I thought it would be. Some age clearly did some real wonders for this beer. Oak mixed with chocolate and coffee is the best way I can describe the flavor. The bourbon is definitely present, but mostly on the finish. Never had this fresh, but this seems rather mellow compared to what I was expecting. Maybe a good thing, maybe not, but I found it very tasty.

M – Low carbonation and not as heavy bodied as I come to expect from this style of beer. It was creamy though with a real buttery finish.

O – This is a great BA stout, and I enjoyed it greatly and am glad I got to tick it. I still prefer The Abyss, Parabola, and other variations in this style that would prevent me from trying to hunt it down again. Its a solid, balanced beer that is great if you can get it and no big deal if you cant.

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Photo of glazeman
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage. Split with airohead2001. This was a top want of the both of us for quite awhile.

A: The beer pours near black in color with a 1.5 finger medium brown head that has excellent retention and lacing.

S: Wonderful bourbon and chocolate notes up front, followed by raisins. Overall I was very impressed with the smell, although it’s not quite up to the top of the class level as it lacks some depth and intensity.

T: As with the nose, the taste is quite good and is very balanced, although the flavor profile isn’t quite as diverse or intense as the best ba stouts. The finish is of milk chocolate with a slight bitterness. I like that this one isn’t sweet but rather smooth. The bourbon is integrated well throughout.

M: This is more carbonated than the average ba stout, which makes it feel a bit on the thin side. Still, it has a good feel and aftertaste.

O: I’m really glad to have had this beer. It lived up to my expectations and is one that I would gladly have again, and will probably search out again in the future. Hides the ABV very well.

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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.

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Photo of sonicdescent
3.9/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I consider this to be my cellar's crown jewel, and I want to thank Nobama, who, in spite of questionable politics, gave me the biggest trade I have ever done on here, including this 2006 vintage BA Speedway. This is one of a few remaining beers that I have to try from the top 100. Speedway Stout is easily in the top five I have ever had. Barrel Aging, with the exception of Blackout Stout (IMO) has never done anything but make a great beer incredible. Let's see how we do here.

Look, off the bat, is quite a tough one. Judged against imperial stouts, this would score a bit lower, but considering the aging and barrel life, this one gets a tiny curve. Think layer of mocha head that is hanging around quite a bit. Liquid is black with some highlights when held up to light. Lacing is minimal.

Nose is actually relatively light on the barrel as I pick up more dark fruit scent. Unfortunately that is about all I can pick up. It's a good, if slightly oddly unrefined. Chocolate is way in the background. The barrel actually seems to upset what was a perfect balance.

Mouth is going to be tough..this is where Speedway excelled and, really, was probably the best imperial stout I had ever had. So far, the barrel has actually caused some issues with that formula, but traditionally, this is where the bourbon comes in best. The good news is that this isn't too hot and there is certainly some Speedway in there. The coffee has left the building, but the dark fruit and chocolate are hanging around. Truth be told, while this is great, I still prefer the regular Speedway stout.

Mouth is the high point of this brew, it is a relatively thick beast with relatively low carbonation.

Overall, I wouldn't go too far out of your way to get this one. There are better BA beers on the market, and it's little brother, IMO, is a better all around beer.

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