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AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

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

5,264 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,264
Reviews: 1,446
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 789
Gots: 1,483 | 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:
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: 5,264 | Reviews: 1,446 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DmanGTR
4.67/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Such a well made and balanced beer. I'm surprised this beer doesn't get more hype.

Poured the deepest onyx black with a creamy tan head. No lace and the head disappeared soon after.

Lovely aromas of expresso, cocoa, toast, and blackberries. And this is reflected in the taste as well. No alcohol burn or anything. If I didn't know it was 12% I'd say it's maybe 8% max.

Velvety, smooth, and rich. Coats the palate nicely and gives a long, smooth finish. Simply divine and a pleasure to drink.

Photo of Onslow
4.67/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I thought, seeing as Tropical Storm (Hurricane) Eduardo is hitting Houston tomorrow, I might be washed out to sea, and it would be a shame not to enjoy some really outstanding and rare beers tonight... First off is a beer that I have wanted for years... Pours a jet black midnight colour, dark as the night when you were a kid sneaking out at 2am....Lacing is really good, spots and dots, lower than expected head, but for 12% good... light alcohol, fresh coffee beans, chocolate from a century old swiss chocolate shop.... wonderful in the mouth, oily and chewy- smooth as silk but bold like a new magnum 500 sharpie ... I don't get it, the points (score) doesn't seem to match up on how much I am loving this beer, its not the most wow'ing beer i have had, but its just fuckin good!.. 'shit yeah, man!' ..'i am the walrus'..'are you a Lebowski achiever' ... I really like this beer, fuck that stuffed animal you hug at night,i want to spoon this beer when I go to bed...

Photo of Bitterbill
4.67/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle(room temp) pitch black with a small head that dissipated quickly leaving just a fine ring around the edge of the glass.

The smell is of maple syrup and/or molasses with some coffee notes as well.

The taste is full of coffee and molasses and is very thick in texture. There's a lot of smokiness as well for me in the flavour and that is definitely a positive in its overall presentation.

Wow. I had this one fresh and it was a treat but this +1 year old sample just kicks it up a notch or 2. Did I mention how obtrusive the 12% abv was in my review of this beer? I didn't? Well...there's a warming effect coming from this brew for sure but in no way was it obtrusive. Highly recommended!!

Photo of jjayjaye
4.67/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque deep dark brown color with a thin wispy dark tan head that's gone in flash. Spotty patterns of lacing in it's wake. Not a super impressive pour, but at 12% ABV i guess the bar is lowered. I can't help but compare this to Sexual Chocolate that i recently considered (thanks Joel), but that's a RIS (i don't get it, but I'm a babe in the woods). The smell is right on the bar for a Double Stout. Aggressive rich Ghirardelli-like dark chocolate with a moderately roasted coffee mix, vanilla and a bit of the alcohol. That's complexity and it shouts "standby, this is a rich heavy creamy beer". Lightly carbonated, the mouth feel is full bodied, oily and conditioned with a tang from the alcohol. IMO, the edge of the alcohol is rounded off nicely by the coffee character. Full flavored, the choco-java taste and slick mouth texture leave the door open for the vanilla notes of the alcohol to walk right in. It permeates with the wonderful 'coating' texture of my favorite Double Stouts. A real easy drinker. My first experience was a draft serving from Naja's Place, on the waterfront at Redondo Beach, CA. The 12% is gently warming but otherwise well integrated. Time out... Surgeon General's warning...this will kick your ass. I recommend considering it more from your family room lounge chair than from a pre-dinner bar stool . Highly Recommended.

Photo of wagenvolks
4.67/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into a pint glass. Split with trep and other friends at our stout tasting.

Pours jet black with a motor oil consistency and a thin cap of gingerbread-colored foam. Nice head retention, even with the 12% ABV, but not much in the way of lacing. If they made air fresheners with the aroma of Speedway Stout, I'd put one in every room, car, and office I ever owned--and I hate air fresheners! Smells of rich, doughy sweetbread, brown sugar, dark cocoa nibs, and chocolate liquor. The booze is sweet and inviting--can't wait for the first sip.

Insanely complex flavor, as this stout delivers a vinous, port-like chocolate flavor backed by melted milk chocolate bars. A hint of roasted malts and a blast of booze seals the deal. Mouthfeel is creamy smooth, thick but not overly viscous, and perfectly carbonated. As weird as it sounds, I don't want to swallow this beer. Each sip is more complex than the last, unfolding across the palate beautifully. Easily one of the best Double Stouts out there, and I cannot wait to cross paths with this brew again.

Photo of AdmiralDiaz
4.67/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber to pint glass. Thanks to Br3wmeister for sharing this one and LilMatrix for hookin him up with it!

A: Pours almost black with a beautiful light brown two-finger head that becomes full of craters. The body can't be seen through at all. The head retains pretty well and leaves a bit of thick, spotty lacing.

S: Very sweet scented, smells of fairly strong bittersweet chocolate and strong roasted malts, dark fruit, possibly figs and cherries. It's pretty complex but you're able to pick up all of whats going on.

T: Bitter chocolate and malts hit upfront and the chocolate quickly becomes sweet, followed by dark fruit (figs, prunes) turning into a semi-bitter coffee finish that leaves a strong coffee and chocolate aftertaste. Hops are apparent at the front and back of the palate. Pretty complex overall, which is something I love to see in this style. Alcohol becomes apparent after it becomes room temperature but I never would have guessed 12% abv, I didn't look at the bottle and my guess was about 9%.

M: Fairly carbonated especially for the style, It's pretty thick though and very smooth.

Overall: Amazing! I'm very happy that this didn't dissipoint me at all, I'm always afraid when I try a beer thats in the top 30. Very drinkable and absolutely delicious! Get this by any means you can.

Photo of Aethien
4.67/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

It pours black with a formidable caramel coloured head, it leaves plenty of lacing around the glass.

Right up front there's already a strong smell of pure chocolate and coffee goodness, definitely a very powerful smell, bittersweet, lovely roasted malts, toffee and caramel, some hints of dark fruits and just the right amount of booziness to let you know there's alcohol in there. Big and bold on the nose, absolutely delicious even before the first sip.

Again it's the bittersweet cacao and strong coffee flavours that run the show with roasted and charred malts, dark fruits and toffee playing a great supporting role. More bitter than the nose but still enough sweetness in there to keep it balanced. There's a nice touch of warming alcohol in the back as well.

The mouthfeel that accompanies it all is just perfect, super smooth and creamy, it almost feels like whipped cream or molten ice cream at times. Medium bodied and some subtle carbonation that allows you to just enjoy the flavours and the lovely creamy feeling.

In short, this is a really, really good imperial stout. Not crazy or weird or experimental or otherwise especially fancy, nothing unexpected but just executed really damn well. It paired brilliantly with some Belgian chocolates as well.

Photo of barnzy78
4.67/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle, pours opaque black with a huge, frothy, milk chocolatey colored head, with awesome retention and leaves chunky lacing on the glass. Aromas are sweet dark chocolate, creamed coffee, roasted malt. Tastes are bold, rich and well balanced with dark chocolate, coffee, booze, roasted barley, faint fruity esters, some bitter hops ride out the lingering dark chocolate. For 12% the booze is minimally noticeable and excellently concealed. Full bodied, super creamy and rich. Wow. Not a whole lot of complexity here, but it's brilliantly crafted. One of the best Imperial Stouts I've had.

Photo of jsanford
4.66/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into a Bruery Tulip. Not sure of the vintage, bought it about 8 months ago from Holiday Wine Cellars. 400th review!

A - Pours a dark, inky black with a huge, luscious head of mocha foam that never really disappears, only shrinks to 1/2 inch. Leaves tons of sticky, soapy lacing on the glass. Beautiful!
S - Dark roasted malt, chocolate, and a TON of coffee. The coffee is obviously of a high-quality, very rich and dark with just the slightest acrid waft. Some dark berries are in there, too, as well as just the slightest hint of soy sauce.
T - Wow, while this is obviously a coffee-forward Stout, the chocolate is very dominant as well. Definitely reminds me of a Mocha beverage from a coffee shop. More dark roasted malt and dark berries round out the flavor, luckily the soy sauce is no where to be found in the taste.
M - The mouthfeel is what really sets this beer apart, it's so creamy and luscious, it's more akin to a milkshake then a beer. Low carbonation, so smooth and drinkable it's ridiculous!
O - What a beer! I cannot believe this is actually a year-round release, if I had regular access to this I'd likely never buy anything else (well, at least Stout-wise). Phenomenal brew, one of the best Stouts I've ever had!

Photo of OneManRockFight
4.66/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Long time listener, first time caller. This is my first review, and I saved it for a world-class beer. I"m an admitted RIS groupie, from Stone IRS to Sea Monster to tenFidy, but this takes the proverbial cake.

Appearance: Pours a dark-as-night black with minimal lacing, half finger of dark tan head. Beautiful. Enough said.

Nose: One of the highlights of this beer, very coffee heavy. Not surprising as this is a coffee stout, but it is a very good-smelling beer. Also a tiny bit of alcohol sting in the nose, but this serves as a come-hither, not a deterrent. Better nose than IRS or Yeti (both incredible beers), not quite tenFidy level but close.

Mouthfeel: Another selling point of this beer. Starts off thick but just melts away on the tongue. Very near the perfect amount of carbonation. Delightful.

Taste: The bread and butter. Hits all the right notes. Coffee, toffee, and a little dark fruit / currant in the front, fading to milk chocolate. Runs through an incredible gamut of flavors. Taste complexity is what all RIS's are judged by and Speedway has it in spades.

Overall: An incredible RIS. From the slightly boozy coffee-toffee up front to the silky milk chocolate finish, this is a ridiculously flavorful sipper that can serve as a session beer if one has the pocket book for it. Very, very well done.

Photo of vic21234
4.66/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a snifter. Got this one as an Xmas present, probably not more than 3 months old.

A- Pours black with a nice finger's worth of caramel colored head which quickly dissipates into a think film along the top. Lacing is apparent on the sides of the glass.

S- Lots of coffee, hints of chocolate and vanilla, roasty malts. Alcohol is also evident in the aroma.

T- Up front I get lots of roasty malts, which moves into the coffee flavor. The coffee is big in this one, as one would expect. Then some hints of chocolate come about. For a stout I can taste some hop presence as well. Very good stuff.

M- Thick and chewy. For being 12% ABV the alcohol doesn't bite too bad. A great sipper.

This is certainly one of the better stouts I've had. You wouldn't think it of it as being 12% ABV based on the way it drinks. I'd like to see how the coffee flavors fare with some age on this one.

Photo of FitnessForBeer
4.66/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a really dark black, finger worth of brown/ tan head. Looks like espresso
S: dark rich chocolate and espresso, smells of alcohol, slight black licorice
T: super sweet chocolate mixed with espresso and vanilla. Bitter dark chocolate and little earthiness comes through. You don't even realize this thing is 12 percent alcohol, extremely well balanced
M: big bodied stout with fine carbonation,
O: super awesome non barrel aged big stout that is my standard for how a stout should taste. Super well balanced as well

Photo of magictacosinus
4.66/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 750ml bottle into a wine glass. Purchased this bottle 6 weeks ago, but believe the coffee flavor should still be fresh by now.

Pours an extremely blackened, opaque, oil-slick color. There's some brown streaks that glow towards the bottom of the glass, but otherwise, no light is going through this thing, and it fits straight into whatever theme this was going for. There was a surprisingly large mocha-colored head considering the ABV, and yet it was more surprising that the head never seemed to vanish throughout consumption. Lacing was plentiful the whole way, with thickened frothiness coating the edges of the glass unlike any imperial stout I've seen before. This is extremely viscous and thickened overall, and is truly eye candy in some ways. I honestly have no complaints here.

The aroma is quite what I expected, filled with a sweetened coffee extract aroma, but still retains unique aspects such as darkened fruit flavors and spices that I haven't quite gotten in a coffee stout before. Raisins, blackcurrant, and vinous proprieties abound, but they are coated with warm vanilla, chocolate maltiness, and amazingly fresh ground coffee flavors - exactly the kind of aroma that you get immediately after grounding some beans. As someone who worked at a coffee shop once, it's uncanny. As this warms up, it gets nuttier, and the fruit flavors become more forward, but it also reveals the booze quite clearly. At that point, it almost resembles a deep Malbec or Cabernet blend. Very, very complex, a tad overwhelming, and yet pleasing to the senses.

The flavor really takes things up a notch, but instead of exaggerating one of the many flavors this has, it instead melds them altogether. The coffee extract flavor remains obvious, but it is quickly coated by a dark chocolate fudge texture combined with vanilla, brown sugar, caramel, and dark fruits. The bitterness produced by the coffee and malts prevent this from becoming too sweet, and whatever hops are there (no clue myself), they're doing a strong job. In some ways, this seriously reminds me of Rochefort 10 with coffee, which is most likely due to the bottle conditioning. This is a nearly perfect drinking experience in many respects - creamy, silky, hearty, and yet wonderfully easy to drink. While the alcohol makes itself known in the aroma, it never, ever becomes present in the flavor. No heat or sting or anything. My only complaint is that it's a bit dry overall, in the same way big wines can be. However, it's perhaps the price to pay for it's full bodied character.

Truly something this decadent and filling couldn't be this easy to drink. And yet it is! This transcends the coffee stout as I know it. It's very complex and filled with all kinds of flavors that make it resemble chocolate coffee cake in liquid form. I believe it's worth tracking down, as it really is a big beer that never seems like a chore to drink in any respect. I could drink a whole bottle myself if I wanted to, but I'm glad I split it. Can't recommend it enough!

Photo of popery
4.66/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

One of the best stouts that I've ever had. Chocolate, roasted malt, light coffee and more blend smoothly and nearly perfectly to create a really incredible beer. It's dark as night with a small mocha cap. The aroma is a bit lighter than the flavor, but it's still excellent. The mouthfeel is smooth and luxurious without ever showing its weight. I'm shocked that this beer is anywhere near 12% abv. It's a real treat. I dearly wish that it was more readily available.

Photo of funkyspunk87
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

AleSmith Speedway Stout
AleSmith Brewing Company
Style: American Double / Imperial Stout
ABV: 12.00 %

Presentation: 750ml bottle

BOOM! This beer took over my night once I finished it. At 12%, I definitely felt it after finishing this. Choco-coffee taste with a medium body. A great beer to have after dinner or winding down the night - put me to bed.

Photo of Goodwire80
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of Dukeofearl
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Split a 750 ml bottle with a couple of friends.

Pours a dark, thick, oily (seriously, motor-oil like) into pint glasses, with a brown, and I mean BROWN head that is moderate in size, and quickly collapses to brown oil spill cap over the beer. There is no way to see through this beer- not with sunlight, flourescent, flashlight, or even cell-phone glow (he-he-he). A gorgeous stout that tells other stouts what they should look like.

Aroma is rich, powerful, and oh so good. I am a big coffee-espresso fan, and this brings out the bitter aromatics of a fine expresso, with a dark bitter chocolate overlay.

Flavor follows through from the aroma. If I didn't know better, I could convince myself I was drinking coffee, not beer (ok, not really, but you get the idea). And yes, there is a strong alcohol presence sitting behind it all.

Mouthfeel is also wonderful- rich and creamy and just lingers oh so well.

Where this beer really falls down for me (in terms of scoring, but only slightly so) is in drinkability. We split the 750, so that was 250 ml each. I think that's more than enough of this beer. It's incredible, and I love it, but it should be in small quantities to be best appreciated. Much like you don't get a huge mug of espresso, I don't want to drink this as anything more than a small nightcap at the end of a day.

Photo of toolbrew
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark, opaque black color with a deep tan head. Great retention and lacing down the glass.

Smells like coffe, chocolate, dark malts.

Wow! Tastes increadible! Thick choclate and coffe, with heavy sweet malts - just as it smells. Goes down smoothly. Very well balanced with no alcohol burn.

As stated above, goes down smoothly with no alcohol burn. Heavy, but as any imperial stout should be.

I only wish I could afford more of these. Or that they were sold in Michigan. Wonderful session beer.

Photo of JavaNoire
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of mntlover
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark deep black have to hold to the light to get dark red highlights around the edges. Has a nice chocolate colored head that leaves some lace.
Aroma is lots of roasted flavors chocolate, coco, and moca coffee aromas mix with together for wonderful experience.
Taste is nice chocolate roasted malts nice and smooth coffee flavors come to the surface and mix with the roasted chocolate to add a touch of bitterness that is aided by some light herbal/floral hop mixture. It is nice change from the west coast variety this time. I was expecting big coffee flavors from this one after reading the label about the special coffee beans used but it was more smooth sweet chocolate first then some coffee flavors and light bitterness after. Very tastey. Some
Mouthfeel is big full smooth and dreamy very nice feel.
Drinkability is great 12% you have to be kidding me nothing more then a warming feeling is ever noticed a very fine Impy Stout, many thanks to merlin48 for sharing this one with me.

Photo of jdhilt
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a one finger, light brown head that slowly fades to a ring leaving a good lace. Solid black color. Light carbonation and heavy bodied. Roasted coffee nose. Starts as a sweet malt and roasted coffee, smooth, finishes with a smokey caramel flavor; the high ABV is not noticeable. Excellent Imperial stout. Serious yeast in bottom of glass. $12.85 for a 750ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

Photo of Gavage
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: black in color with a short 1/4" milk chocolate colored head. Some big bubbles stick to the sides of the glass.

Smell: roasted malt, big chocolate tones, and a hint of alcohol is picked up by the nose.

Taste: roasted malt, dark bitter chocolate, prunes, some hint of grapefruit and pine. Bitterness is strong but not overpowering. Alcohol is noticeable and warming.

Mouthfeel : heavy in body. Light crispness to start, smooth and velvety at the finish. Warming aftertaste.

Overall: a great example in the style. Smooth and tasty, very easy to drink despite the very high alcohol levels. Superb beer.

Photo of goodbyeohio
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

got this pimped out 750 in a trade a ways back.. want to say its courtesy of ejquin but hard to remember exactly. either way...

majestically noir into a brandy snifter. no light is penetrating. tan furry layer of thin cream rests atop.. trippy arms of lacing. very espresso-like in appearance, thanks to the microbrew coffee used in the brew process undoubtedly.

nose is unequivocally boozy, reminiscent in its malt/yeast profile of dogfish head big beers, wws most noticeably. chocolate malts release a really dry cocoa aroma mixed with some tree bark and wild, pungent hops. coffee isn't so much fresh brewed as it is oily, roasting beans. huge fucking beer to be respected.

slick, oily.. with a real snakebite in the finish. a sipper for sure, and that evens out the abrasive elements that throw off the body. when sipped, this is an invigorating experience. silky carbonation, dense, rich syrupy body and great hop levels keep each tag off the glass interesting and equally powerful. there are few beers that don't diminish in strength as you drink more.. and this is certainly one of them.

flavors i pick up here include burnt vanilla bean, coffee grounds, pumpkin pie filling, plummy/cherry yeast fruitiness and essential bittersweet chocolate syrup. a full, enriching beer experience.

dangerously drinkable. i had no problem throwing back a 750 of this over the course of an evening.. well, no problems until the next morning. 12% seems more like.. 9?

awesome beer, for a RIS (double? bah!).. no dark lord, but what is, besides dark lord. still, considering the availability of this beer and its dominance to other locals like stone.. an american classic through and through.

Photo of beerwolf77
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been meaning to get to this one forever. Well it's an awesome cool crisp late summer evening so I think this fits the bill.

Poured from the bottle into my duvel tulip.

A: Wow talk about a beauty. The beer is so black I think it's sucking light in from the room I'm in. Beautiful waves of cascading carbonation look like a waterfall of chocolate milk. Huge three finger mocha hued head sets up and refuses to leave. After an agonizing wait a thick coating of lace is left around the glass.

S: Sweet and rich milk chocolate are the first thing to greet my nose. Like melted chocolate ice cream. Plenty of roasted malt and black coffee are present as well. Just a hint of campfire. As it warms further I can pick up hints of dark fruit and molasses. This beer is giving the Abyss a run for it's money as my favorite big stout.

T: Bitter dark chocolate up front slowly fades into fire roasted coffee beans. Molasses and black cherries are present as well. The flavor isn't as spectacular as the nose but only by a slim margin.

M: full chewy body, thick like motor oil, light carbonation

D: Overall a wonderful beer. Well worth it's place on the top 100.

Photo of MLDucky
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%

AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 5,264 ratings.