I was pretty excited to get this beer in the mail. I love pretty much all things Speedway — OG, Kopi & BA Kopi, BA Speedway, and now this. BA and BA Kopi might be in my top 10 all time beers, right up there with Final Push and BA Hunahpu. Only one problem…
Not sure if it was Fedex being their usual careful selves or if it was the sad little plastic caps that Alesmith bafflingly uses on their crappy growlers, but this thing arrived looking a bit like Eartha Kitt’s busted-ass titty. Luckily it still had a little carbonation left, so it wasn’t a total loss. The beer smelled fantastic, like I’d expect a high-end coffee blend in Speedway to smell. It tasted unexpectedly like an alcoholic dark chocolate bar, which was a huge (and pleasant) surprise. But I can’t help but wonder if it could’ve been better with some carbonation.
I’m at a loss to explain why a brewery like Alesmith, who has some stunning-looking silkscreened bottles, cheaps out and uses these Big Lots growlers with Playskool caps. I see lots of breweries using big-boy growlers, from the 500ml and 32oz flip-tops used by CCB to the fat-belly 64oz flip-tops that Stone, Russian River, Hill Farmstead, and others are using. I definitely wouldn’t have someone else ship me anything in one of those again. Luckily I won’t have to; it looks like they’re going to do real bottles of this stuff soon.
Lucky enough to snag an early taste last night since I can’t make it to the restaurant today. This stuff is fantastic. Big nutty aroma and flavor, a touch of bourbon, and a short, although somewhat bitter, finish. I could drink it all day. Truly wish I was heading up there right now for the formal tapping, but sadly I’ll be out of town doing family stuff. *sniff*
No sign of infection on this guy, just smooth coffee stout-y goodness. I had a couple bottles from last year that were pretty tart, so I was sitting on two more 4-packs that I had gotten in trades. Turned out I had nothing to worry about — after opening several bottles from them all have been fine. Maybe I just got one bad pack. Lots of people complaining about this year’s batch too, but I guess I’ve been lucky.
(edit: I just opened a 2012 and got bit by the infection issue. Maybe I’m not so lucky after all…)
I’ve had this a couple other times, when people were down here for the Hunahpu Day weekend, but this one seemed off. Thin and watery, not a lot of coffee, and just bland overall. Either that or I’m just comparing this too much to the BCBCS I had recently. Maybe I need to chase down another bottle to find out.