AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

5,629 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,629
Reviews: 1,512
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.66%
Wants: 830
Gots: 1,659 | FT: 153
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-09-2002

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,629 | Reviews: 1,512
Photo of ffejherb
4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into goblet on 3/8/09. Thanks to sholland119 for sharing.

A - Poured pitch black with sparse carbonation and a creamy, burnt mocha head that settled to about a quarter inch of retention and left thick lacing around the glass.

S - Complex and inviting aroma featuring roasted malt, toasted oats, hints of chocolate and coffee, mixed nuts, cocoa, milky notes and a hint of alcohol heat.

T - Roasted coffee and nuts with some sweet milky and bitter chocolate notes. Very roasty flavor overall with a bit of an astringent character. Finish is quite bitter with an abundant earthy hop presence.

M - Medium to full bodied with a rich, creamy texture that was almost chewy. Warm mouthfeel overall. Finish is quite earthy and bitter on the palate.

D - Very good imperial stout that was heavy on the roast but not so much the chocolate or oatmeal as the aroma suggested. It was a bit astringent, but still extremely drinkable for a 12% brew.

Photo of BuccoFan
4.14/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Lacing is tremendous. Body is medium but solid. Coffee is prominent on both ends, with a bitter finish. Sweetness is a little more detectable than roast is. It's a very good coffee stout.

Photo of micromaniac129
4.14/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very thick and velvetty. Jet black in color. There is no foamy head though and looks flat.
Smells of rich and roasted malts with coffe and vanilla some chocolate.
Taste is rich and complex with lots of roasted malts and black coffee. Hints of bittersweet chocolate works in perfect harmony.
Thick and heavy on the palette with a velvetty smooth flow.
Quite decadent and rich. A sipper.
At 12% ABV its almost an after thought. You won't notice it until well into the aftertaste.

Photo of Jonada
4.14/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle poured into a snifter

Appearance: Pours a black viscous liquid, with no head except for a dark tan, almost brown colar. Completely opaque in the glass.

Smell: Dark roasted coffee, roasted malt, dark chocolate, black licorice, earth. There was a slight metallic aroma when first poured, but this faded as the beer warmed.

Taste: Bittersweet dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, slight burnt toast flavor. Sweetness at the front of the tongue yields to a coffee bitterness in the finish. Booze is noticeable in the flavor.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with high carbonation. Goes down pretty easy for 12% though.

Overall: Really good imperial coffee stout, but I don't think it quite lives up to its lofty ratings. It's worth picking up if you can find it, but I wouldn't recommend going to any great lengths to obtain.

Photo of standardcherry
4.13/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bought the bottle almost a year ago but god knows when it was bottled.

A: Pitch black with a huge mocha-colored head. Beautiful looking stout. Thick and great head retention.
S: Eww licorice? I hate licorice. Some roasted coffee, roasted malt and dark chocolate. Not the best smelling beer out there.
T: Dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malts. Thank god there's no licorice in here. A little chocolate bitterness in the aftertaste. Hint of alcohol at the end.
M: Full bodied, medium carbonation. A bit sticky.
O: This is a great coffee stout. Even though I'm not a huge fan of coffee I enjoyed this quite a lot.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.13/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Its been over a year and a half... figured I should finally review my namesake beer. 2010 vintage only because I remember when I bought it. Poured from a foiled and capped 750ml. bottle into a Southampton oversize snifter.

A: Standard pour yields a 1 finger frothy mocha colored head with good retention. Beer is an opaque black though it looks a bit on the thin side. Lacing is stringy and layered with very good cling. Nice legs too. A pretty beer overall though it lacks a certain viscosity.

S: Nose is a sharp espresso bean first and foremost. Chocolate, liquorice, and roasted malt plays around in the background hidden by the coffee and slight booziness. Aromatic and pungent overall but I've smelt better. A bit one-dimensional.

T: Opens milk and dark chocolate sweetness which is quickly complemented by coffee bean bitterness along with a smoothing roasted malt character. Very robust throughout. Coffee tingles in the background towards the middle while a hint of liquorice appears. Coffee powers forward towards the finish, ending with a nice crescendo of spiciness, slight coffee bean tartness, and a touch of dark fruit. Cocoa powder and coffee beans in the finish. Like the aroma, a bit one sided, but that side is done very very well.

M: Medium bodied with low carbonation. This one drinks much better than it looks. Silky and smooth in the mouth with a touch of spiciness going down. Sticky and viscous throughout. Finish is messy with a lingering aftertaste.

D: I've had this beer fresh before and I can say that with a year on it, there's no comparison. The aged version is far better. More balanced and not so intensely coffee forward. I'm not a huge fan of imperial stouts with a heavy coffee persuasion, but this is a very solid offering from alesmith. Definitely worth a try.

Photo of dannydetox
4.13/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Speedway stout is a massive beer from AleSmith. 12% abv and you can feel it after a 750 of this beast. Pours a viscous black with a brownish head. Loads of coffee and roasted malts - more coffee than I like, but that is just my personal taste aversion I developed after downing some 60 oz of Denny's coffee in an hour when I was a younger lad...

Let's get back to the beer. I love the full mouthfeel on the Speedway Stout. Viscosity again comes into play here. Plenty of toastiness and rich, rich malts throughout the finish. The booziness isn't super pronounced, but you get a bit of heat on this one. This is a good after dinner drink and pairs well with hazelnuts, gorgonzola dolce (or any other sweeter blue cheese), and Barely Buzzed from Beehive Cheese Co. in Utah.

Photo of Czarkazm
4.13/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle has been aged about 2 years. Pitch black in the glass with some ruddy brown highlights along the edges of the glass when held up to the light. Being an aged bottle, I'm getting more chocolate on the nose than coffee, more dark fruit than I remember a fresh bottle having, some burnt caramel, roasted malts. Taste follows the smell very well. Very roasty with bittersweet chocolate along with a fully rich, decadent mouthfeel. As good as this one still is, I wouldn't recommend aging it.

Photo of Bierguy5
4.13/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml green bottle. Pours a dark, deep black with absolutely no highlights. No light can get through. Thick tan creamy head, which stayed for a while, and turned into a thin wispy ring. Not much lace on the sides of the glass. Strong roast smell, combined with alcohol. The taste is a strong roast, almost burnt, combined with a rich coffee aftertaste. Some bitterness, mainly due to the strong roast flavors. Full body, with very low carbonation. The alcohol is noticable, as this beer warms you up quickly. Overall, a fantastic stout. I am not sure that it was worth the $13 we get charged currently here in Ohio, but certainly worth trying once.

Photo of JamnesCameron
4.13/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. Large tan billowy head on a black as night beer.

Aromas of roasted malt, cocoa, sweet malt, and alcohol.

tastes of espresso, dark cocoa, and roasted malt. Hints of licorise as well.

Mouthfeel is full, malty sweet, with cocoa and coffee. Not cloying, but sweet.

drinkability - will finish the bottle, but anot a session beer by any stretch. Begs for more, but it'll kick your ass if you have more than one.

Photo of jdflyer06
4.13/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a snifter

A: Rich and black. From an aggressive pour, a frothy head emerges with a solid base. The head dissipates quickly, leaving a few bubbles on the surface.

S: Light coffee, not so rich but still noticeable, dark fruit, chocolate and a hint of something else, almost like cinnamon. Not as complex as I'm used to for the style but I think I like that the coffee is less aggressive than I'm used to. Overall, the nose is very faint.

M: Light and frothy, finishing clean. The carbonation bubbles up quickly and then disappears but overall very pleasant. Smooth, very smooth. Just above Guinness like wateriness.

T: Bitter chocolate and light coffee flavors dominate. Nice roasted maltiness and some hop bitterness. The alcohol is well hidden and is very well done. Some dark fruit as it warms but not all the way there yet.

D: I could drink this all day. I was expecting this to be a bit more rich, but I don't think it takes away from the overall quality of this brew. Not very complex, but this is a young bottle and may take time to realize its potential.

Photo of hopsputin
4.13/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

a: super dark black. like the color of motor oil. real nice tan head thats pretty solid on top. it poured around 3 fingers, then settled at around 1/2 finger

s: richly roasted malts, dark chocolate, brown sugar, a hint of sweet vanilla, very very faint smoke. smells very rich. makes the mouth water

t: roasted malts, sweet caramel, alcohol, brown sugar all punch you in the face right away. as the mouth begins to adjust, you can start to pick up some of the coffee notes (roasted coffee beans, coffee bitterness). there is a sweet generic dark fruit flavor in here. i can't pick up a specific fruit, but it is lending a sweetness to this that i am detecting. finishes with big roasted malts and alcohol

m: super silky mouthfeel. its great. carbonation is a little beyond medium. very nice mouthfeel for a stout

o: the bottle i'm drinking from is a few weeks old. its got lots of alcohol in the taste, and i honestly wish the coffee would be featured a bit more in the flavor. with the exception of the alcohol heat, its a pretty nice beer. big, luxurious, and definitely a sipper. that being said, i don't think its quite worthy of all the hype it gets (especially given the price), and i believe there are better beers out there

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.13/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black with a tan head. In the aroma, small hops, roasty coffee, and hints of chocolate. In the taste, big coffee and chocolate maltiness and a nice small hoppy presence of hops. A smooth and medium mouthfeel, with a clean coffee and chocolate aftertaste. Body a bit lighter, but big flavor, quite nice and easy to drink.

Photo of hoegaardenhero
4.13/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a: deep thick oil lack with a little bit of brown on the edges

s: very mild coffee; sweet syrupy chocolate; raisins;

t: deep dark chocolate; light coffee; mild sweet cocoa powder; smooth and mild; almost menthol;

m: smooth and creamy; very mild carbonation

d: a good beer that is worth a try; flavorful yet smooth

Photo of Murrhey
4.13/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured in a 10oz glass at Neighborhood in San Diego, Calif. Reviewed from notes.

A- Finger and a half light brown-orange head. Several minute long retention. Black as night. No light breaks through. Lord have mercy.

S- Mocha, chocolate and heavy coffee scents. Scents and earthy smells.

T- Dark, heavy and sweet at first, but finishes bitter. Vinous taste as the alcohol pokes out. The mocha flavoring hides the 12 % quite well.

M- Vinous and wet, a product of the booze.

O- Wow. The hype wasn't far off. This is a powerful example of a delicious beer.

Photo of bmanning
4.13/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Pours jet black with thin brown head.
S: Espresso aroma along with vanilla, chocolate, caramel, and hint of almond and licorice
T: The great thing about this beer is that the coffee flavor doesn't dominate like many other coffee stouts. It's got a great balance between coffee flavor and typical roasted malt stout flavors. The only negative in the taste is the slight astringency of the coffee which leaves a slightly sour and bitter taste.
M: This is one of the thickest stouts I've had in a while - very similar to Dark Lord in it's heavy, cream like thickness that coats the mouth very well.
D: Good drinkability, but it's definitely a sipper.
Overall, while isn't not the best coffee stout, it's definitely up there. The bold, thick flavor and mouthfeel certainly make it a beer to remember.

Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.13/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sharing a bottle with my buddy CarbonIS(Bill). Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Portsmouth snifter/tulip glass. Pours a black color, but partially clear. Leaves an incredibly thick and frothy deep tan head. Leaves great sticky lacing all over the glass.

Aroma is pretty much coffee...and a nice blend of coffee at that. Malty, and only slight booze. Other than that...nothing else really...just coffee!

This is a great solid beer. The reviews are absolutely correct. Flavor for flavor and considering complexity...this isn't the best stout out there. But for what it is, non-barrel aged...and labeled a coffee stout: it's awesome! Extemely drinkable, and you'd never know it's 12%! Booze is barely detectable. Medium body, low carbonation, semi-malty, and a ton of coffee flavor(with cream and sugar). Again, awesome and solid beer/stout!

Photo of rtepiak
4.13/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a big beer as expected. and something to be had when your ready to sit around in lethargic warmth. the abv is sneaky. pour is nice with a good head of two fingers... yest delayed. opaque black with a mocha head. nose of all the expected things in a american russian imperial. but then again its big and its american. its a treat it big done right. in all its subtleties. expected but perfect. licorice, coffee, cocoa., and cherry liquor candy.

Photo of colts9016
4.13/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a nonic at 50 degrees, this beer sat in my cellar for 6 months.

Appearance: A nice 2 finger dark tan head that is creamy and foamy. The head has really good retention, leaving a nice dark tan lacing on the glass. The color of the beer is dark brown with a touch garnet highlights. The clarity is opaque and there is some carbonation in the beer.

Nose: A rich roasted dark malty aroma with chocolate, coffee, espresso, molasses, and oak. There are more notes of bread, yeast, toast, caramel, solvents, phenols, a touch of floral, and some grapefruit note.

Taste: A bold dark roasted malt, with cocoa, espresso, oak, vanilla, molasses, caramel and a nice rounded toast. The other notes are bread, yeast, solvents, grapefruit, lemon, floral bouquet, and a nice subtle smokiness.

The mouth feel is creamy, rich, astringent, and coating.

Overall. The body of the beer is medium full and the finish is full. This beer has a really deep flavor profile, contrast, and finish. What a wonderful tasting beer. The alcohol is masked very well, the age on the beer gave it a smooth finish that just make your palate beg for more. Thank You Alesmith.

Photo of RuckusDu
4.13/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Larger 3 inch head of deep mocha color that sticks around for a while and leaves a very nice lacing. Body is pitch black and needs maybe 2 mm to see through. Aroma is on the sour milk side. nice chocolate and a little bit of coffee. Pretty simple and boring. Flavor is huge with a sweet coffee hitting you right up front. This goes to a bitter chocolate and nice coffee finish. Simple, strong, and delicious. Also has hints of vanilla and caramel. Creamy in flavor but not as much on the tongue. Mouth feel is a little lacking, the carbonation is good but body seems a bit weak. Overall a very good beer with great coffee tones, probably the best coffee I've had.

Photo of boatshoes
4.12/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, to finish off the evening during a recent trip to Brews Cafe in Granville, my friend ordered up a bottle of Speedway Stout (love that Alesmith is distributed to Ohio). Not my first experience with the beer but my first review.

Appearance- Pours the usual motor oil black out of the bottle with about a half finger of dark brown head made up of very large bubbles. Head dies back to a thin sheet across the top of the beer with little to no lacing present.

Smell- Wow, a whole lot of burnt French roast coffee going on here. Rich roasted malts as well but really dominated by the coffee. Just a touch of chocolate as well. Liking this nose a lot for a coffee stout.

Taste- Really dominated by the coffee. Very rich roastiness but lots and lots of dark roast coffee in there as well. Coffee lends a bit of astringency that drys out the mouth and heightens the bitter bite that finishes off the sip. Not really any of the chocolate that I thought I picked up on the nose. A touch one-dimensional on the coffee but very good.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel is good especially given that it would seem easy to come across thin in a beer with the level of coffee flavor included in this one. Remains adequately rich and thick. Drinkability is pretty good as well for the ABV, lots of bold flavors to keep you interested if coffee stouts are your thing.

Overall, a very good coffee imperial stout. I need to review more coffee stouts but this gives me a good standard to judge against.

Photo of Donerik
4.12/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle, Consumed on the night before dark lord day.

My Palate was clear, but I'd been cooking so....

A: black, average RIS look. Nothing Suprising here. Dark foam stuck around in my snifter a bit before disapearing.

S: Good, Malty, Coffee, Smelling this beer was the highlight for me, the anticipation was quite high for a brew of this reputation

T: Coffee, Chocolate, Nothing....This was a great beer, well crafted but when something is rated #20 I expected more.

The Beer has a coffee essence that when combined with the very bitter dark chocolate has a bittering effect that keeps the malts in check. It's not too bitter, it's not too sweet, it just is. and that is was good for a 4.0

M: the carb was high than some less than many other styles.

D: I enjoyed my glass but I was ready to move on after having it. I could have had more, it wasn't too boozy, or to heavy, it was right about a 4.0 I'll drink my other bottle with friends at some point; gladly.

Photo of silenius
4.12/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I drank this while watching the Indy 500.

Drewbage gave me this a couple months ago.

It pours an impenetrable brown black with really no head to speak of. Yes, there was some carbonation, but not much. Looked like used motor oil.

Smell. How interesting. Espressso, raisins, and dark chocolate with a definite alcohol scent. Interesting. This beer is strong.

The taste doesn't end with this one. I keep tasting it minutes after taking a sip. It is a bit sharp. The taste is continuously the same. A blender mix of dark chocolate, dark cherries, raisins, old coffee and alcohol.

Mouthfeel is sharp and slick. Not as syrupy as I thought it would be.

This got me drunk faster than I would have liked. A treat every once in a while, but not something that I would go for again and again.

Photo of bamadog
4.12/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a couple of pint glasses.

Appearance: Poured black and thick, but not especially viscous like some other double stouts; 1 finger head that was deep tan and had really solid retention - eventually faded to a fairly thick skim that looked chewy; on the swirl, a sticky, oily foam sticks to the side.

Smell: Rich and chocolatey is very dominant and and smacks me in the nose upon opening the bottle, perhaps mocha; a roasty coffee smell is certainly present but wow, the choclate is really what strikes me.

Taste: Does not really match up with the smell at all - I thought the chocolate would be much more present in the taste but it was more subdued. I feel the most apparent presence to the flavor was the alcohol, but it wasn't especially overpowering so just a nice touch (more on that with the mouthfeel as well). There is a nice bitter to it, likely from the amount of coffee used in the brewing process, but also from the hop presence; some type of a mildly chocolate coated deep sweet fruit is in there as well, perhaps a date of prune, but this is only there on certain sips, so it's not overly present. There is also a bit of a metallic mineral in the aftertaste, I can't put my finger on it but Kels says iron, so I'll buy that.

Mouthfeel: A bit of a let down here, I thought it would be thicker than it was but really I found the body to be a little watery and thin; the presence of the alcohol really warms the the mouth, throat and stomach and this is pleasant enough; the mouth dries quickly as well from the alcohol but there's enough left behind to leave the mouth with a thin sticky coating.

Drinkability: Moderate for a heavier beer with a 12% ABV - I'm glad I split the bomber because it would have wrecked me to try to finish it myself. I enjoyed it, but think it might be a littler over-rated in the grand scheme of things. In terms of similar beers, I don't think I would put it quite in the same class as FBS.

Photo of srandycarter
4.12/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Black - not much on top at all. No head, no lace, to speak of.

S - Cup of friggin Joe! Huge coffee aspcect, burnt malt present.

T - Coffee times three, vanilla, bitter chocolate.

M - For such a harsh flavor balance nicely done. Good carb.

D - Palate killer.

AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 5,629 ratings.