Silphium (3224) - Traverse City, Michigan, USA - FEB 2, 2004
Bottle #67/115. John (hopsrus) was generous enough to share this beauty with Jeff (TAR) and myself. Perfect appearance, opaque and dark with a creamy light tan head. Wood and bourbon are strong in the aroma along with alcohol and underlying roasted dry chocolate. Flavor is also heavily influenced by the barrel aging, with bourbon and wood character finishing with a creamy, buttery coffee and roasted chocolate malt medley. Smooth and velvety palate; this is not a sticky Imperial, but it is smooth as silk. I can understand why this is currently the top-rated beer on the site, though I would be interested to taste this (2002) batch without the effect of barrel aging and the bourbon flavors aging imparts. Probiere (992) - Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 8, 2004
Very dark chocolate, vanilla esters, caramel, and almond. Big, oily mouthfeel with dark-roasted malts and caramel. Too much alcohol in the finish and aftertaste. Still very tasty, though. I'm glad I didn't have to finish a bomber of this....it would eff me up but good! Many thanks to Eric for sharing his bottle! Had at RB Philly gathering February 2004. Volgon (2761) - Manchester, New Hampshire, USA - JUN 30, 2004
Brewtopia 2004, bottle #19, thanks to Eyedrinkale: Black with little head, huge nose that is filled with bourbon, wood, and sweet chocolate. Full bodied, huge fight between sweet and bitter in this one. I hope to try this again someday. One sample was not enough. Rastacouere (6177) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JUL 30, 2004
Black body wears a thin off-white head. I can’t wait for the old numbskull version. Obvious bourbon barrel aroma. It comes out minty (after eight chocolate) and candyish with all the usual stoutish aspects. Big whiskey and roasty suggestions. Large hop presence although the barrel aging really seems to mellow them out for the best. Bitter bourbon finish. Mild acidity doesn’t alterate the pleasure. Fruity and almost anise reminiscent. Great balance for such a monster. Thick body with smooth low carbonation. Good going Alesmith. I didn’t notice any coffee. To me, this is far more pleasant than the regular speedway. Thanks again hopsrus. madsberg (11799) - Søborg, DENMARK - AUG 1, 2004
Bottled: Pitch black coloured. Huge chocolate brown head. The looks dosn’t get any better. Smoke, alcahol, chocolate, roastyness and fruit in the aroma. Alcahol is dominant but not in a unpleasant way. Coffee, cocoa, roast, loads of alcahol (more smoot than the aroma), malt, spices, you name it the beers got it. The alcahol almost totally burns you lips in the end before a delightful bitterness lightens up everything. Not as complex as I would expect from a top 5 beer, but still a damned good beer.
lilannie (384) - Adamstown, Maryland, USA - JAN 15, 2005
Aroma: brown sugar, cream, red wine tannins, alcohol, coco, vanilla
Enniskillen (2061) - Bakersfield, California, USA - AUG 28, 2006
Appearance: dark brown-->black, tan head, lacing
Flavor: brown sugar, coco, alcohol, espresso beans, red grapes, smoke, moss/earthiness, bitter hops
Palate: some burning, espresso beans aftertaste, smooth--fills mouth, hop aftertaste
54/228 Tons of chocolate, but lactic, some oak, and vanilla bean. Opaque with no head. taste is heavy coffee and vanilla, a bit of ok, semisweet chocolate. Body is a bit thin. Juancho (239) - Georgia, USA - JAN 20, 2007
Black as midnight, sweet as honey, wicked like the devil. Perfect. Complexity that unfolds in layers, first the aroma of chocolate, coffee, bourbon (?), great palate feel, thick and substantial. Delicious. Now i have to find the regular speedway. hellomynameis (877) - Mayer, Minnesota, USA - APR 29, 2007
Dark dark brown, not quite black coloured beer with a surprisingly decent well retained tan head. Aroma has lots of malts in it, a bit of coffee, and wisps of whiskey. The flavour had a lot of alcohol in it but it’s controlled by the tons of other flavours; fruity, coffee, oaky, some roasted malts in there as well. Somewhat of a drying finish, but it’s still luxurious and full of flavour. drewbeerme (3921) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - APR 30, 2007
UPDATED: NOV 14, 2009 sample at DLD, ’04 vintage. huge thanks to leopoldstoch for sharing. i had this sandwiched inbetween Stille Nacht Reserva 00 and Oak Aged DL! I guess that could only mean at DLD. poured beautiful black with tan head. nose had loads of wonderful cocunut, dark fruits, toffee, caramel, charred wood, and bourbon. an amazing nose. flavor notes of raisins, plums, chocolate, coffee, caramel, and bourbon. alcohol was warming but hidden well. too bad the nose was just better than the flavor. it all didn’t seem to come together that well and the Oak Aged DL i followed this with was more impressive. thanks again for sharing! 4.3.
2/1/08. ’04 vintage. sampled at "An evening with Pantanap #3". Big thanks to alafito for this amazing bottle. pours dark brown with thin beige head. nose is tight with coffee, roast, chocolate, slight bourbon, and aged malts. flavor is coffee, chocolate, roast, nuts, nutmeg, bourbon, oaky charness. body is silky smooth and full. low carbonation. alcohol warmth but well hidden. this is extremely good and easily the best AleSmith BA beer and worthy of a 4 in appearance. 8/4/9/5/17=4.3.
11/3/09, ’03 vintage. pours black with no head. nose of licorice, ashy. flavor is ashy, chocolate, licorice. wow this is not what BA speedway is supposed to taste like, this barrel has dried this out and it is so ashy. 3.1.