Ofortuna (322) - Grafton, Wisconsin, USA - MAY 10, 2008
From my backlog. Many thanks to Chuck for this rare treat. 2004 vintage #11 of 240. Poured a loose head with a decent amount of lacing. Right off the bat I get an upfront dose of sour in the aroma. Soon after a wave of bourbon and oak sweep through. I feel aweful before I even take the first sip. Soon after I imbibe, my fears are confirmed: this is far past its prime. There is still remnants of what used to be: wonderful richness of the base beer, beautiful example of barrel-aging, great complexity hidden underneath. Unfortunately, all of that is dominated by the degregation of time. A dominant sour character has taken over and thinned its body. It’s aggressive nature overshadows what a magnificient beer this must have once been. I can peer through this veil and sense glimmers of its once glorious past, but it’s now a shadow of its former self. The experience was poor for me and I felt aweful at the loss. jimbowood (1036) - Freeport, Georgia, USA - MAY 9, 2008
bottle from my bro naven. Overrated. I mean, its good, but its not awesome. I wanted a 5.0, and this is not that good. Expectations outweigh substance. Flavor is malty, a little cloying. Nice, I’d drink 4 more, but I wouldn’t go to the ends of the earth to get it like I wouldve yesterday. mjg74 (3182) - La Mesa, California, USA - APR 28, 2008
UPDATED: OCT 15, 2008 Bottle (2006, #165) from brewery. Slick black upon pouring. Low carbonation. Very oily appearance. Dark fruity aroma. Bourbon and vanilla, along with some oak. Big bourbon flavor up front. Somewhat boozy. Huge flavors. Some sweetness. Warming going down. Some bitterness in the finish. Seems like it could age a longer. Good impy with a lot of character. Nice coffee finish. stubby (334) - Santee, California, USA - APR 25, 2008
I must be one of the few beer geeks that is not terribly fond of this massive brew from local favorites, Alesmith. To thick for me, and I would like a bit of carbonation but every Speedway I’ve had, BA, aged, or fresh, was still. Surely my palate is not up to the task of this complex roast bomb, it’s me not you. hapjydeuce (1002) - Carlsbad, California, USA - APR 17, 2008
2006 vintage, from the brewery. Sampled along side a regular 2007 Speedway Stout. This made for an interesting tasting experience after trying it first with jarspag a few days earlier. It’s been a long time coming for this rarity. The pour is velvety black, and nearly still. Faint wisps of carbonation swirl on the surface, with some light reaching through the deep maroon edges. Awesome aroma of intense chocolate and bourbon oak, with a big molasses and licorice presence mixed in. The aroma is much more mature and mellowed compared to the regular Speedway (which is comprised more so of fresh coffee and oats), but I can’t say it’s that much better. The flavors here are less of the major coffee presence, and more of a cellared, charred wood tone from the bourbon barrel. While the barrel is not as prominent as BA Wee Heavy or Numbskull, it does add a unique and intriguing layer of complexity to that which is Speedway. Pretty outstanding mouth-feel, just a lot different than normal; oily and coating the palate, minus the carbonation. A tad of a sour, oxidized tang in the finish, but it didn’t downgrade the overall experience that much.
Overall, yes I think that fresh (and aged) original Speedway does dominate the Imperial Stout style; this blew me away, but not as much as Alesmith’s other barrel-aged beers. Hats off on this creation however, I enjoyed it thoroughly.
jarspag (601) - San Francisco, California, USA - APR 16, 2008
Two different 2006 vintages sampled on 4/12/08 & 4/15/08. Props to Justin to cracking this during 4/12 tasting. Sampled side by side normal Speedway. Been waiting a long, long time to try this.... doubleo (1432) - San Diego, California, USA - APR 11, 2008
Rich, robust and intriguing aromas of dark fruits, sweet sticky bourbon, dark chocolate, warmth, oak. Flavor becomes increasingly bourbon/caramel SWEET. I mean really sticky sweet...there is a big presence of dark fruits and licorice behind the sweet malts and dark chocolate. The roasty, long bitter coffee presense is completely consumed. In comparison to the full bodied, amazing palate on the normal Speed - this mouthfeel just doesn’t stand up. As much as I wanted to love this beer, I can’t help but give all the praise back to the original masterpiece. This didn’t seem to take on the same barrel presence as their other BA’s - it was missing that elegant, velvety, "WOW" characteristic in the palate that I found in a beers like BA numbskull/decadence. I’m afraid this might be a touch hyped. Hopefully some age will put the cloying characteristics in check. Don’t get me wrong, this is still an amazing beer - but for now, I like Speedway minus the barrel, who would have thought!!!
2006 Vintage, bottle #226 of 235. Pours black with just a few bubbles. No head, no lace, comewhat thick looking. Smells of vanilla, chocolate, coffee and wood. Tastes of roasty, dark malts up front and then the bourbon and coffee and wood kick in. I don’t taste the big coffee flavors like in un-BA Speedway but the barrel flavors are not overpowering. Thick body with a few fizzies but no real carbonation. WeeHeavySD (3387) - Portland, Oregon, USA - APR 5, 2008
4th Beer of the Beer Spot Tasting Sunday March 30th, 2008. Bottle provided by Westsidethreat, thanks Skye. 04 Vintage Bottle. #50/228. Pours black with a light brown ring. Nose is sick, bourbon, coffee, and chocolate with rich deep malts. Taste is sweet, bourbon with a big sweet chocolate feeling. Really nice and oh so awesome. This beer has been a long long long time coming for me and it was worth the wait. badlizard (5533) - Berkeley, California, USA - APR 4, 2008
UPDATED: AUG 3, 2008 2003 bottle from Alesmith release. Yummy. Black with no head. Potent alcohol (this has to be way above 12%), bourbon, vanilla, and oak aroma. Sweet thick chocolate, coffee, bourbon, and caramel taste with an amazing chocolate finish. Excellent. Overall: 5.0
2006 bottle from the BA (Bare Ass? No, Barrel Aged) release. Black with a brown creamy head. Cofffee roasty dark chocolate and vanilla aroma. Rich buttery palate. Bitter dark chocolate, coffee, bourbon and vanilla taste with some alcoholic warmth and an oaky finish. 4.9 total score ironchefscott (357) - portland, Oregon, USA - APR 4, 2008
06 bottle....thanks warren!
Well I might try my last bottle after 2 years and see if it is worth all the hype....
but smells kinda musty and it took barrel aged characteristics that I am really not too fond of......which sucks...cause I really must say I really really like the regular version much better at this time....hoping it will age into something much better