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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
97
world-class

4,800 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,800
Reviews: 1,400
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 754
Gots: 1,347 | FT: 129
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: 4,800 | Reviews: 1,400 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Stevedore:
Photo of Stevedore
4.33/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 shared amongst friends in CCB snifters yesterday 3/27/13. Also based on tasting notes from a similar occasion one month ago.

Aroma: Some brewed coffee along with a decent bit of chocolate, roast and a bit of dark fruits making me think of how figs taste. Rather thick, pungent nose which is very enjoyable- a very good nose without much heat. (4)

Colour: Pours jet black, illuminates dark cola brown. Pours with thick 2cm brown head that actually takes more than a minute to dissipate which is impressive to watch. Also, the lacing is quite good, reflective of how sticky the beer can be. (4)

Flavour: Very nice! Follows the nose- lots of coffee and roast, chocolate flavours with a small bit of heat. There is also some dark fruit flavours as it warms- especially raisins, figs, dates. There's another flavour in there that I can't describe confidently, maybe its umami. The best characteristic of the beer. (4.5)

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, full-bodied and thick. It feels thick and sticky in my mouth which I love. Aftertaste is nothing too special, really consists of dark fruit and a little umami, and doesn't stay around for long. Decently carbonated, more than enough to satisfy me. (4)

Overall: Very, very nice imperial coffee stout. I have to agree with its reputation. Very smooth, silky, and a pleasure to taste. The heat is somewhat well-disguised within all the flavours of the beer which tells me a lot. I'll keep my final bottle to age a year and see how things turn out. But for its style, imperial coffee stout, and its price point, I have got to say that it's the best non-BA imperial stout with coffee I've had so far. (4.5)

Stevedore, Mar 28, 2013
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.

oberon, Apr 03, 2007
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.

don1481, Sep 06, 2014
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.

RoyalT, Sep 24, 2006
Photo of cam477
5/5  rDev +13.9%

cam477, Dec 19, 2012
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.

DaPeculierDane, Jan 02, 2008
Photo of DanGeo
4/5  rDev -8.9%

DanGeo, May 25, 2013
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.

tectactoe, Feb 25, 2013
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.

ricke, Jul 22, 2009
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.

TCHopCraver, Dec 19, 2010
Photo of OhioBobcat
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

OhioBobcat, Aug 05, 2013
Photo of CavemanRamblin
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

CavemanRamblin, Jul 16, 2014
Photo of jono0101
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

jono0101, Nov 27, 2013
Photo of abeerdude
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

abeerdude, Aug 14, 2012
Photo of Schlais
3.75/5  rDev -14.6%

Schlais, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of Spaten454
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Spaten454, Jun 14, 2014
Photo of SanFranJake
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

SanFranJake, Jul 21, 2013
Photo of delaced21
4/5  rDev -8.9%

delaced21, Sep 08, 2014
Photo of stouts_mageezax
4.7/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

AleSmith needs to be told firmly about this beer. The first time I tried this beer it was divine. Super creamy mouth feel with milk chocolate and lightly roasted malt flavor with smooth coffee undertones. I was telling every one of my stout loving buddies about this beer after I tried it. However, when I took the foil off the top, I saw rust around the bottle cap. I had read the reviews about this beer where people have noticed an oxidized taste, so much so that people have given this beer a rating as low as a 2. But luckily when I tried it the first time I got the pleasure of all AleSmith has to offer with this beer.
The second time I had the speedway stout it was awful! I made the mistake of not sealing these when I got them. The second one I had 2 months after the first. It tasted foul with a strong acid flavor that completely ruined the beer. AleSmith needs to change the way they bottle this beer or whatever is causing this to happen. I have already left them messages with no response. This is an amazing beer that does not deserve to not be tried because of this. Anyone who lives close to aleSmith or someone who can talk with them needs to

My rating represents that of the first time I had speedway stout

stouts_mageezax, May 07, 2014
Photo of liquidkore
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased in a beautiful 750ml bottle from Malt n' Vine in Redmond, WA. Bottle quality is different and nice enough to make a great gift for one of your beer loving friends. Being a big fan of dog fish head products (see World Wide Stout), and the recently tasted and excellent valued Lagunitas Imperial Stout, I thought I would give this a try, here's what I thought....

A - Foil wrapped bottle cap comes off with the bottle opener, smell from the bottle is delicious and decidedly worth pouring into my Crate and Barrel Monika snifter. She pours an obsidian dark brown, used motor oil like opaqueness at 45-degrees, about 10-degrees under the recommended temperature as I know it will eventually warm itself up in the glass as I consume it, and this way I can judge its flavor profile as it moves through the temp ranges. Thin sandy head, quickly moves from center glass to edge exposing its carbonation in the form of medium sized bubble on the exterior and small dense bubbles in the center, like light brown algae growth on a dark glassy lake. As I swirl it around the snifter, it coats the glass with a great deal of residual malty sugars, enough to hold some of the carbonation bubbles, but not enough to generate much more head.

S - Big swirl and then sniff....wow its like a sweet frappuccino cappuccino vanilla licorice Russian bakery at 6am sensory overload. Can't wait to put this into my mouth where my tongue can get a run at it.

T - Sweet and malty up front on the lips, yum!, then rolls into a harsh double-shot espresso'y alcohol back tongue and upper throat sensation, is this going to keep me up all night?. If you are one of those people that doesn't like coffee at all, please don't ruin it for the rest of us, leave this one to the professionals. The alcohol definitely presents itself more when chilled. As it gets closer to 55-60F it is masked by the full bodied malt profile and thicker/fuller carbonation.

M - Thick velvety smoothness that leaves a sugary oily coffee tasting coating long after the last sip. Would be a very pleasant desert beer with a coffee flavored cheesecake or some kind of nutty tart.

O - Quite impressed overall. I would say its a very standard approach to the imperial stout genre (big malty/sweet forward, big coffee middle, and enough alcohol to back it all up), but the balance is spot on, resulting in a smooth and pleasantly mild-sour finish, and leaving you wanting "more where that came from".

"...is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."

-LiquidKore

liquidkore, Nov 12, 2012
Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours opaque deep black with a tiny khaki head, that receeds very quickly.

S - Fresh Coffee, roasted malt, vanilla, carmel and chocolate as it warms.

T - Roasted barley's and malt with a good dose of chocolate, sweet bitter coffee ,some slight char flavor, hints of anise as well, great tasting stout.

M - Medium carbonation with a dry finish

O - Great beer that I got lucky to get my hands on being in NYC. Another strong beer from AleSmith.

SkiBum22, Sep 26, 2011
Photo of joemetric
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

joemetric, Jul 13, 2014
Photo of RebeccaMB
3/5  rDev -31.7%

RebeccaMB, Apr 24, 2014
Photo of BubalooBrewMaster
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

BubalooBrewMaster, Mar 26, 2014
Photo of bdkucharski
3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

bdkucharski, May 02, 2012
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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 4,800 ratings.