StewardofGondor (1934) - Washington Heights - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 14, 2006
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Opaque, deep and chocolatey black in color with grey dust in a swirl winding around at the surface to form a reserved head. Aroma imparts wafts of decadent chocolate truffles infused with a caramel bourbon tract, providing a baseline sweetening, but not over-the-top and independent - decadent, rather. Glazed caramel chews with hints of frangelico, sweetened with brown sugar and melting chocolate shells. Itís a thinker aroma, surrounded by a huge caramel avec bourbon compliment. Balance is the aromatic key here. Refined is another way to put it.
The notion of control is also well fed in the flavor. Delicate, boisterous chocolates melt like truffles over hot springs. The roasty espresso bean complexity is muted, capped and trapped under an engulfing dark chocolate coating. Warming vocal box voices joyous sentiments before the mind comprehends its speech patterns. Mocha grinds are pressed upon bakers chocolate bricks but the coffee elements are very subdued, hiding the boisterous elements of the regular Speedway with rounded corners, like melting milk chocolate Godiva squares infused with creme de cacao and smooth Magellan. Oily, full-fledged, big-bodied beer and an overall palate treat. Smooth, melting, delicatessen chocolate finish is free from bitter coffee arraignments, instead imparting mild tannic lingerings, and succumbing to the smooth chocolate force.
ENORMOUS THANKS to Blake (1FastSTi) for sharing Bottle No. 13!
BBB63 (5750) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - AUG 12, 2006
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Big Ups to Blake for opening bottle #13: Opaque with a a sticky oily film on my Ratebeer tulip. The aroma has notes of bourbon, vanilla, wood, plum, prune, smoke, coffee, and some mocha. The taste has a pop of coffee bitterness, burnt smoky malt and alcohol that attacks the palate before a richer and softer chocolate and vanilla character smooths you over. The back end is earthy and lingers some ripened fruit before the long espresso finish. The mouth feel is oily, sticky and lush. While this is very very good, some may be in shock but I would rather have a regular nicely-aged Speedway over this. The BA version seemed to be TOO BALANCED with the coffee too muted, I am not joking.
1FastSTi (3285) - Glendale, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 12, 2006
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
I acquired this bottle in San Diego via Peter BEFORE it was released. Bottle #13/240. We decided to compare this side-by-side with a regular Speedway that MAY be from the same batch of beer. I thought the aroma of the BA version was much bigger and better. Whiskey and coffee. A ton of coffee. A ton of chocolate. Whiskey. Perfect coffee and whiskey, dark chocolate, and other sub-components in the flavor. MUCH more balanced than the regular. Creamy and perfect mouthfeel. This is great. Iíd say that this, PP Le Woody, and artusoryís brett-pale were easily the best beers of the night.
Brigadier (2830) - Clevelandish, Ohio, USA - AUG 12, 2006
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pre-Great Taste sampling at 1FastStiís house
The capstone of the night, this was the whole reason we were doing a tasting.
Blakeís bottle was #13 of 240. Iíll have to open my bottle of regular
Speedway to compare, but this was definitely a well crafted well though out
beer that belongs in the Top 10. If you ever get the chance to try it savor
every last drop.
Aroma / Appearance - Oak, vanilla, coffee, black cherry, graham
crackers and toasted marshmellows dominate a complex and rich nose. With a
larger sample I might have picked up even more. The bourbon notes are evident
but they do not take over. The body remains midnight black; no light escapes
this black hole of a liquid.
Flavor / Palate - There is a creamy mouthfeel that permeates through
the entire beer. It starts off as a combination of bourbon, cherry, vanilla
and alcohol. Next it forms coffee, raisins, plums and blueberries. As if
that was not enough there is a textured velvet before it finally decides to
reveal the coffee flavors one last time. This is a very dense beer though
well balanced. Each of the tastes feels like it belongs; nothing here feels
out of place or strange. The finish has a lingering caramel and raspberry
texture. I had to sit for a few minutes when the glass was done admiring it
because it sticks around for a long time.
MIBRomeo (2494) - Wisconsin, USA - AUG 11, 2006
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JUL 20, 2007 Thanks to Blake for opening his today. 04Batch Bottle #13
Jet black pour, thin tan head w/ thick lacing. Big malt aroma lots of butter, light bourbon, very mellow well blended aroma. Palate is rich & creamy w/ a well coated feel & a warm swallow. Flavor is big malty lighly buttered extremly mellow bourbon and a very dry finish. This is an extremly balanced beer w/ no ove the top component.. itís delicious.
Sampled next to an 04 non BA speedway. The regular has much mnore coffee and a sharp hit w/ less butter and no bourbon. They are both different but I liked the BA a little better.
04batch bottle #11
black pour w/ a nice small tan head and a good lace. mmm.. w/ a nother year under the cap it actualy is more mellow the bourbon is quieter very well blended now. worth +1 on overall... num num
Bartzilla (530) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 5, 2006
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
I showed up 2 hours late at the AleSmith offering and still managed to get a bottle after much pity was laid upon my plight. See, I went to see the Dwarves play the night before and getting to AleSmith, much less out of bed by 1pm, wasnít going to happen, so I rolled the 10 sided dice and determined a Fuego Steak Melt at Liarís was the necessary nutrition I needed to make the drive to Mira Mesa and the rest is history. Thank you for still giving me a bottle, even though you were "sold out" and I was 2 hours late. This was the best single goddamned liquid thatís ever made itís way into my belly. I almost didnít want to pee because I felt I was wasting it. The oak is the hero here. It tames the speedway beast into this concoction that I can only describe as "steak". I wish I could marinate a steak in this. Youíll love it. Iíll be in line next year.
Naven (1000) - Poway, California, USA - AUG 5, 2006
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: AUG 7, 2006 Ok, itís official. This beer deserves all of the accolades it gets. Luckily, Bartzilla got the LAST one, and I, as neighbor, fellow beer geek and long time friend, get to share in the experience. And, it did not dissapoint. So rich, so complex, yet refined and drinkable. Just amazing velvety mouthfeel, and the oak is just present enough to mix with everything else thatís going on. I can actually taste the whiskey in here too. Amazing stuff. Sampled the Dark Lord afterwards and im sorry, it just doesnít compete with this heavyweight.
alafito (334) - tijuana, MEXICO - AUG 4, 2006
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Wow!! standing in line in the sun for an hour outside the brewery that day was definatly worth it!! I would recomend you try the original speedway first which is really good and then move on up to this one which is even better, smoother, more complex the way the oak and whiskey plays with vanilla and coffee you dont find this as elegantly mixed as in the original. It sure did age well and probably wouldve been even better if i waited another year. But how imposible is it to have this sitting at home and not drink it? I wish they sold this by the barrel!
Walt (2449) - Austin, Texas, USA - JUL 31, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pour is black with a thin tan head...smell is coffee and hints of smoke and vanilla...taste is like a muted version of the regular Speedway...the over the top flavors are merged together with a nice vanilla chewy smokey flavor...delicious...thanks egajdzis!!!
aracauna (2997) - Georgia, USA - JUL 17, 2006
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
One of the more balanced BA offerings. The vanilla melds into the coffee melds into the chocolate melds into the ash melds into the alcohol. Good stuff.