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AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

5,154 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,154
Reviews: 1,429
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 787
Gots: 1,431 | FT: 140
Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Jet Black, with an off-white head. Starts with a strong coffee and dark chocolate sensation, then fades to a multitude of toasty, roasty and caramel malt flavors. Clean and crisp, full- bodied. Warmth from the high alcohol content lightens up the feel. You won't fool your taste buds - this beer is HUGE!

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-09-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,154 | Reviews: 1,429 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by DaBears1985:
Photo of DaBears1985
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

dark black licorice in color. pours with little brown head. seems to leave little to none lacing residue, good taste, hint of coffee at end, good damn beer if you're into stouts..not as tangy as i would like with a stout, however i prefer more of a tang in the mid-taste range myself. overall smooth drinking stout with lots of flavor. a little pricey at $12 a pint, however you're getting what u pay for

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to orfeu I finally get a chance to have this brew,poured into an imperial pint glass a jet black with a very tight formed 1 1/2 finger mocha colored head that leaves globs of lace as it ever so slowly settled.Aromas of bitter chocolate,dark roast coffee a very definitive fruit essence,even a hint of tree bark.Starts out quite dry with big French Roast coffee flavors with notes of earth and wood after awhite a sweeter rummy like flavor comes thru that lingers after the finish.The alcohol creeps but never really rears its head just a nice little burn,wow this is a masterpiece stout its huge and packed with intense flavor,a gem no doubt and probably my new favorite stout of any kind.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.88/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a thin dark foamy head. Aroma of roasted malt with some coffee notes though not as dominating as I was expecting from reading all those ratings. Taste is dominated by roasted malt, caramel and coffee with a real creamy texture that I enjoyed. Bitter ending but not as hops explosive as I was expecting from other reviews. Overall, this is a good imperial stout but to me it doesn’t match Bells Expedition or even Storm King; but then again, I’m not the most avid stout drinker out there.

Photo of metter98
4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a quarter finger-high beige head that quickly died down, leaving a thick ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass and wispy patches of bubbles covering the surface. The wispy bubbles eventually faded away, but a thick ring of bubbles consistently remained around the edge of the glass.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of chocolate in the nose.
T: The taste has strong flavors of bittersweet chocolate and coffee beans along with notes of dark roasted malts. A light amount of bitterness is present.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and quite smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a stout that is packed with an intense amount of flavors and hides its alcohol relatively well.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to azbucfan for this one.

A: Near black with a smallish tan head and decent lacing.

S: Lots of espresso mixed with very dark malt and some hints of dark chocolate.

T: Lots, and I mean lots, of roasted espresso flavors, creating a sensation of dark, tart cherries. This is paired with some mild dark chocolate as well as pale malt sweetness and a hint of bittering hops.

M: Very smooth with a medium-full body and a good amount of carbonation.

D: This is definitely a sipper, but a good one at that. Like my morning espresso, only with a lot more complexity and definitive hints of alcohol. Very delicious.

Photo of womencantsail
4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The pour is viscous and black with a thin layer of mocha colored foam.

S: The nose is full of rich dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, and alcohol.

T: While the nose wasn't quite as good as I remember it being, the flavor is still top notch. Great coffee and roasted malt flavor with bitter dark chocolate on the finish.

M: The body is incredibly full with low carbonation which leads to a nice creamy feel on the tongue.

D: Even with the boozy nose, this is still one of my absolutely favorite stouts. Great fresh or with age, and this bottle was no exception.

Photo of brentk56
4.7/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a rich blackstrap molasses color with a modest head that drops to a ringlet and archipelago but leaves splotches of lace around the chalice

Smell: Coffee, molasses, bittersweet chocolate and a touch of citrus hops

Taste: Starts out with a mouthful or rich, sweetened espresso that builds in molasses and chocolate flavors by mid-palate; after the swallow, the hoppy bitterness kicks in and is accompanied by some fruity character

Moutheel: Medium to full body with relatively low carbonation

Drinkability: One of the most wonderful tastes in beerdom

Photo of Knapp85
4.03/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The mighty Speedway Stout, managed to finally get a bottle from my local shop in Bethlehem. I knew that it's said to be better with age but I was very excited to try it and didn't bother waiting more than a week or two to open it up. The pour was pitch black and gave off a nice brown colored head on it. The smell was deeply roasted and had elements of coffee and chocolate. The flavor of the beer seemed to me like it was lacking something. The flavors were pretty good but not something that I was expecting. I guess I was missing the WOW factor of it all. The flavors were the same as what was picked up on the nose with a subtle hoppiness to it. The mouthfeel was pretty good, not overly thick but still had enough body to keep it intact with the style. Overall I wasn't extremely impressed with this, I've picked up another bottle since and I plan on aging it for a while. I plan on revising this review when that time comes.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Obsidian. Other than a mere sliver of pecan shell brown along the bottom edge of the glass, this beer is a complete black hole. The coffee-with-cream colored head looks nearly as thick and as meaty as the liquid on which it sits. Its moonscape surface contains multiple bubbles of various sizes that create pits and craters as they burst. Lace is in relatively short supply, but then I wasn't expecting much given the ABV.

The aroma was amazing as I poured and is no less amazing now that I'm concentrating on it for real. The three major components are ridicously roasted black malt, bittersweet chocolate and espresso. I can pick up the slightest hint of alcohol, though it's more than welcome in a beer as big as this one is.

AleSmith Speedway Stout is better than expected... and I expected no less than greatness. This is one of the hugest, most full-flavored, most mouthfilling ales of any style that I've ever had the pleasure to drink. Words fail me when attempting to describe the sheer massiveness of the malt backbone. Each sip explodes with the force of a daisy cutter, sending great gouts of melted, coffee bean-flecked chocolate fudge up, down and sideways until my mouth seems unable to contain it all.

SS tastes blacker, meaner, more menacing than most other American double stouts that I've run across. It's more along the lines of an RIS in that regard. It's as sweet and as chocolatey as any other ADS, but it's also impressively bitter and has a huge blackstrap molasses vibe goin' on. In fact, the flavor profile contains the entire gamut of stout flavors and still manages to combine them into a beautiful, seamless whole.

I don't like coffee and I'm not usually a fan of coffee-dominant beer. I had a few qualms about this one when I read the back label and found out that 'pounds and pounds of coffee beans' were added during the brewing. Surprisingly, the flavor isn't overwhelmingly java-like. The finish is freakishly long and leaves the mouth and tongue coated with a 'bitter hop cones (mixed with fire-roasted black malt)' layer of scum that one doesn't usually find outside the biggest IPAs/DIPAs.

That brings us to mouthfeel. Simply put, this beer has one of the three biggest mouthfeels in all of beerdom. It's easily the equal of Dark Lord (I'm leaving the third spot open because nothing else comes readily to mind). If you've ever drunk eggnog or heavy cream, you'll have some idea of what it feels like. It's velvety smooth and impossibly creamy. In other words, it's mouth candy for those of us whose attach more importance to mouthfeel than to anything other than flavor.

I've just realized that I haven't even commented on the ABV or the noticeable alchohol yet. That's because this is one of the most well-masked high alcohol beers in existence. Whether that has more to do with its age (an estimated 1 year) or to its brewer's skill, I couldn't say. As noted in the nose, the alcohol is an integral part of the whole and is a more than welcome contributor. Completely burying the beast just wouldn't be right; a little controlled snarl is just what this beer needs.

AleSmith Speedway Stout deserves every accolade ever thrown its way. I'd love to scratch off the 2nd place ribbon shown on the rear label since this behemoth takes a back seat to no stout. No how, no way. This is a truly special beer brewed by a truly special brewery and is not to be missed.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, near black body with, well, no real head to speak of. Rather Kahlua-like in appearance.

Smell: Heavily roasted dark malts with notes of espresso, dark chocolate, molasses, and chocolate cake (topped with a cherry). Keyword: Lovely.

Taste: Dark, roasty maltiness with full flavors of dark chocolate, birthday cake coated in blackstrap molasses, and (even moreso) robust coffee. Slightly obscured fruitiness. Roasty, earthy bitterness. A flickering of sweet dark caramel in amongst the heavier flavors. A distinct, warming touch of alcohol heat. Long, lingering coffee finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. Relatively creamy mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A very rich, complex stout, and yet another fantastic release from AleSmith.

Photo of don1481
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Bottle poured into glass.

Appearance: Pours a jet black with an off whitr, slightly tan head that slowly dissipates.

Smell: a swirl of vanilla, coffee, and chocolate deliciousness hits the nose. This smells amazing.

Taste: starts off with coffee bitterness, but then a bit of cacao comes charging through. Boozy notes simmer underneath.

Mouthfeel: bitter aftertaste.

Overall: yum. Very yum. Totally going to get more of this.

Photo of RoyalT
4.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This thick, dark liquid was basic black with a modest head on a lame pour that showed great persistence. The ale itself though it so dark and formidable-looking.

Smell – The big black coffee takes charge of the nose. The dark fruits are here but very light. There’s a rough, boozy character that I remember from the bottled version that smells maybe like wood or barrel-aging, although this is not the barrel-aged sample.

Taste – The roasty malts come out more at the taste. The coffee is now more in the background of the flavor profile. Everything else from the nose makes its way to the tongue with a little added chocolate to boot.

Mouthfeel – This is nearly full-bodied with some roasty bitterness throughout.

Drinkability – I’ll have to say, two nights of solid IPA drinking at O’Brien’s and this was one of the highlights for me. It’s not a rare beer in SoCal by any means, but boy is this tasty on-tap.

Photo of cam477
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.95/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

There’s a running theme with Speedway Stout and my attempts to review it. I open a bottle with the full intent on writing a review. Half way through that bottle, I am overcome by the amazing wonderment that is Speedway. Soon after a desperate craving to drink more and more Speedway develops and doesn’t subside until I have filled my gullet with every stout and coffee beer in my house. By the time I recover, I have usually forgotten half of what I had intended to write about the beer. Still, all themes change and alas, it is time for me to finally review Speedway Stout.

This particular bottle was a touch over 3 years old, well cellared, and was given to me in San Francisco some time ago. Compared to younger vintages, I found that the aging mellowed the body, dramatically reduced the coffee flavor, and brought out more dark fruit character.

Appearance: Jet black with a thick head the color of antique, old growth Douglas Fir. Head retreats rapidly to a skim. Ample carbonation.

Aroma: Espresso beans, 85% cocoa chocolate bars, fermented cherries, blackberry, date, and plum and molasses.

Taste: Cocoa and dark roasted coffee beans. Lots of dark fruit alcohol. Toast and a touch of molasses.

Mouthfeel: Thick, chewy, full bodied. Alcohol does not overwhelm lending only a pleasing warmth throughout. Balanced coffee acidity, chocolate bitterness, and fruity/alcohol sweetness.

Drinkability: Flawless. As I said, Speedway turns me into a fiend for more every time I let it touch my lips.

I love this. Again, the big difference I see with aging is that the coffee aroma and flavor are really reduced. The beer as a whole seems better balanced, more mellow, and drinkable.

Photo of DanGeo
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of tectactoe
4.71/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Opened at a tasting alongside the BA and Kopi versions. Pours a deep, dark black color; very dark brown tints the edges when held close to a light. The cap forms - creamy, small, fine, and a shade just lighter than tan. Initially, Speedway doesn't look quite as oily thick as I was expecting it to be, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

The aroma is very smooth on the nostrils, flowing with a river of roasted coffee beans - more on the sweet, creamy, and milky side of things, with a nice roasted quality acting as the strong backbone. Chocolates bounce in and out, never really pushing the coffee aromas to the side, rather blending with them softly in a "mocha java" kind of way. For one of the first times ever, I'm picking up a big marshmallow flavor - creamy, and toasty, a slight touch of char even, but I'm definitely getting marshmallow, and it's absolutely wonderful.

Just from the aroma, my palate is already expecting a big-time roasted coffee flavor, and that's exactly what Speedway delivers. Coffee beans attack the palate, slightly oily and definitely roasted - almost to the point of being charred or burnt. What I love about this is that the coffee flavor in Speedway is so unique - so definitively roasted, bitter, and sweet all at the same time, with an incredibly distinct pungency to it - it's amazing.

There is a good amount of cocoa in the taste, much more than on the nose, and it introduces a deep fudge flavor that plays with the fine line between bitter and sweet so well. And hot damn - that fuckin' marshmallow - I can actually taste it. Now, I don't know what exactly would produce that marshmallow taste/aroma, but it's definitely there. 100%. I thought maybe my nose was tricking me, but my mouth is saying the same thing. Lightly creamy on the finish with some bittersweet fudge and fading coffee. Heavy, oily body, silky and smooth with pretty moderate carbonation.

This is a fantastic stout. Despite being comprised of the tastes found in many stouts - chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, etc. - the raw flavors are unique and definitely set Speedway apart from the rest. Not to mention that incredible toasted marshmallow flavor I was picking up. Are you serious?! Call me crazy, but between this beer, the barrel-aged version, and the Kopi coffee variant, this one was tops for me. Hey - if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Photo of ricke
4.33/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to brewdan for this one.

A: Pitch black, decent viscosity and a medium sized pale brown head that settles rather slowly actually and leaves espresso-like lacings.

S: The smell is amazing. Rich, powerful and very balanced. Big coffee notes of espresso and freshly ground hard roasted coffee beans. Hints of soy sauce, salt licorice and dark fruits. Delightful notes of dark chocolate. Just a hint of tannins and slightly acidic roasty aromas. This is really impressive.

T: The taste is dominated through and trough by rich coffee flavors. Freshly ground coffee beans and espresso blend with wonderful flavors of dark chocolate and some nutty aromas. Notes of dark fruits. The sweetness is restrained in favor of bitter roasted flavors. The malty backbone is present, but hard to detect beneath all the coffee flavors. In the middle, the roasted character is accentuated further towards a taste of almost burnt coffee and malts. At this point, the beer actually gets a little too much and doesn't manage to keep everything together. But this is just a minor slip, and hardly of importance for the overall impression. Further, i notice a nice hop flavor that works really well with the coffee character. Notes of wood and fresh earth. The finish has a real coffee- and hop bitterness to it with notes of soy sauce, salt licorice and vanilla. Long lasting coffee notes lingers in the mouth. The alcohol is almost completely absent except for a pleasant warming sensation. This is just oh so tasty.

M: Very smooth but it still manages to leave a nice sticky sensation in the mouth. The body is not as big as I had expected, but I think this suits the beer well.

D: This is just a fantastic beer. Great flavors, big complexity and very balanced. It's really nice to come by a beer that manages to hold such bold and rich flavors together as this one does. And as this wasn't enough, it's really really easy to drink, I went through a bottle way to quickly.

Photo of t2grogan
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of TCHopCraver
4.55/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes made on 12-11-10. Thanks to zoso1967 for bringing the bottle from PA, cheers to TCGoalie for his marriage, and salut to BuckyFresh for his excellent company.

Speedway Stout appears very black and opaque with just a hint of a dark brown tint around its edges. This 750 mL bottle was split five ways, so the head was not huge, but it was attractive with its medium to brown colored froth and it retained like a champion. Dainy, spotty, sticky, vertical lacing covered the glass after each sip.

The bouquet of this beer is magnificent. The coffee component is perfectly blended with smells of plum, dark cherry, brown sugar, molasses, and roasted malts. Of all the aromas, though, bitter, dark chocolate asserts itself with the most clarity. This smell is amazingly rich and full and I am blown away by how well all of the separate aromas come together.

At the outset of the drink, roasted malts leap onto my palate, which is somewhat surprising as they were but a well blended piece of the smell. After the roastiness tapers off, coffee, chocolate, and sex just melt in my mouth. The dark fruit aromas that were quite apparent in the smell are very subdued in the taste and take a backseat to other flavors. The sweet, rich middle of the taste finishes with great taste of bitter coffee.

The mouthfeel is good, but is the weak point of the beer in my mind. It has a medium body, is fairly creamy, and has perfect carbonation for the style. However, I find it to be just a little light, as I generally prefer a bigger, more coating feel from an Imperial Stout.

The drinkability is awesome. This is one of the top IS's that I have had, and I will feel priveleged to have it again when next our paths cross. I was shocked to see that the a.b.v. is 12% when I logged on to review. It's just so smooth and flavorful that I did not notice the alcohol when I tasted it.

Photo of OhioBobcat
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of CavemanRamblin
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of jono0101
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of abeerdude
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of Schlais
3.75/5  rDev -14.6%

Photo of Spaten454
4/5  rDev -8.9%

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 5,154 ratings.