Kasteelfreak (341) - Fallbrook, California, USA - DEC 30, 2003
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
UPDATED: DEC 31, 2003 Bottle 37/115: In short, this is like the regular Speedway with added complexity. Aroma is pretty similar to the regular. It's heavy on the molasses. Appearance is awesome. Very black with just a hint of brown on the edges. Remaining lace and head is tan-brown.I can hold this up to a 1000W high pressure sodium light and not see any light through it. Taste is incredible. The taste hits you on two levels. Up front, you get the molasses with a little chocolate, coffee, and licorice. Then it comes back and hits you with more of the same. My wife says it reminds her of bourbon. I agree to a certain extent. I feel like I'm eating a dark chocolate with bourbon a vanilla flavoring inside. With every sip I have to shout out in delight. I never want it to end. This is the greatest beer I've ever had! Sorry Kasteel.
scraff (2121) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - DEC 28, 2003
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Co-Rated with Hopscotch. #40 of 115. Black hole black, tan creamy head. So much going on in this baby. Bourbon, toasted nuts, coffee, chocolate, dark fruits, oak and alcohol. Aroma and flavor is the about the same. Huge full bodied brew which in my book is an instant classic. Just freakin amazing...
hopscotch (8460) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - DEC 28, 2003
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JAN 3, 2008 Re-rate... The second batch (originally brewed in 2003, bottle #11 of 125, I think) as of July, 2005, rocked even harder than the first. Smells like a S’more... coconut, chocolate and a campfire roasted marshmallow. My only complaint is that the coffee nuances are almost entirely sucked out of the beer and into the barrel. Who cares? Incredible brew!....Original rating.... First batch... bottle... Co-rated with Scraff... #40 of 115 bottles. This beer rocks!
Pours midnight black with no color... even when held up to very bright light. Light brown, creamy head.
The aroma is of vanilla, roasted hazelnuts, bourbon, dark chocolate, burned cherries, American white oak and alcohol.
The flavor mirrors the aroma with bourbon, espresso, bitter-sweet chocolate and plenty of warm alcohol. Ridiculously full-bodied with an alcoholic mouthfeel and mild carbonation. Lengthy, bitter and burnt-as-hell, alcoholic finish.
This is world class beer! Too bad they didn’t make more of it!
Vac (2445) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 27, 2003
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
UPDATED: JUL 3, 2006 Original Sample from Bottle 102 out of 115 (2002): This stout pours with a black as night body topped by a thin to medium thick brown head witha good amount of lacing. Wow, what a different aroma. The aroma is slightly sweet yet bitter and full of alcohol. A slightly smokey, woody character shows throuhg reminding me of a nice bourbon. The flavor is equally unique. It starts out slightly sweet and malty with a slight alcohol note and turns woody, smokey and roasty with a more prevelent alcohol note. After drinking half the bottle, the vanilla and licorice notes start showing through. This is a great beer. It’s full bodied, slightly tingly and warming. Definately a great beer to celebrate Christmas with.
I have had this brew several times since this initial sampling and it keeps getting better and better with age. I’ve also had the pleasure of trying some of the upcoming releases of it and was again blown away.
Sickboy282 (1115) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 15, 2003
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: DEC 22, 2004 rerate---Aged an extra year after release, this beer is amazing.... The alcohol dissapated and its like coffe and whiskey..Bottle 75 out of 115: I had this expecting so much more than the original, but I was a little dissapointed. In the dark I could see that it pours a dark brown, not black as the original, and the flavor profile, which had a great smokey, oaky finish to it, was a little stronger in taste alcohol wise. And again, it poured with almost no head at all.
beerguy101 (5250) - Newark, California, USA - DEC 10, 2003
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: DEC 8, 2005 Cask at O’Breins. Dark black color. Small head Aroma is chocolate, coffee. Wood. Bourbon and sweet. Full bodied Imperial Stout. Malts are coffee and chocolate, vanilla, dark fruit. Lots of bourbon and coffee flavors. This beer is everything the bottle version is and smoother if it is possible. Lots of coffee, vanilla and bourbon flavors. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter. -------- brown color. Medium head. Aroma is malts, dark sugar and fruits. Full bodied Imperial Stout. Malts are roasty, chocolate and coffee, with touches of vanilla and dark fruit. The brandy/bourbon flavor is evident. Nice blend of chocolate, wood and smoke. Very smooth. Bourbon and chocolate flavors blend well together. Touch of alcohol bite. Nice beer. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.
papajohn (1248) - San Diego (Mira Mesa), California, USA - DEC 9, 2003
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: DEC 10, 2003 2002 Vintage-bottle #68 of 115: Color is pitch black with burgandy highlights. Head is thin and dark tan. Nose is chocolate fudge with a hint of brandy (or bourbon). Flavor starts chocolate followed by a light coffee bitterness, some vanilla notes and a hint of licorice. Rich sweet finish with a light alcohol burn. Barleywine like mouth feel is smooth, creamy and mellow. Another AWESOME brew from the magic of AleSmith!
Blake (396) - Orange, California, USA - DEC 8, 2003
4.5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
12/06/02: Had on tap at Pizza Port Strong Ale Festival
Wow. Wow! WOW! Another amazing Alesmith production. This beautifully dark black stout amazes from start to finish. Aged in a whiskey barrel cask, the taste of whiskey and chocolate blend together perfectly. The appearance is a dark black color with a dark tan head. As you take a sip, all the flavors hit you at once - a great beer. Kudos to the Alesmith brewers.
DaSilky1 (2606) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 3, 2003
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
str8 outta the barrel in Dec 02: this was probably the best sample as it had whispers of vanilla and oak to add to the complexities../ 2002 Bottle/ sampled 03: darker than tupac on a dark alaskan night...tan swirling galactic lather designs gathering thicker at the edges...coffee aromas with subtle hints of vanilla and chocolate bars...rich and thick but a tad bitter at the back of the tongue..extremely heating..smooth..vanilla & chocolate covered fruit flavors..im not getting as much bourbon flavor as others..and i dont get enough bourbon chewiness to it..
herbjones (742) - Orange, California, USA - DEC 3, 2003
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
A thin head the color of cocoa powder sits on top of the thickest darkest black imaginable. The aroma is enticing but the flavors are the payoff. Coffee and chocolate with vanilla hinting in the background. All rolling across the tongue like liquid velvet.The barrel aging produced remarkable results. Speedway is one of my all time favorites and I didnt think it could improve so much!