AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

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AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

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1,485 Reviews
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Reviews: 1,485
Hads: 5,683
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 8.94%
Wants: 837
Gots: 1,680 | FT: 154
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,485 | Hads: 5,683
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.05/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I first tried this over a year ago and couldn't stand it. I think the problem was that I drank it after four (or so) lighter beers during a poker game, and all I needed was to finish with more session beers. It was so thick and heavy...

Now I tried it again and found it to be really good. The appearance was nice, pitch black with a decent tan foam on top. It smelled appetizing too, coffee and malt and a little chocolate. The taste was mostly the same, very good but not my favorite coffeed stout (I like Two Brothers Imperial Stout and Founders Breakfast Stout more).

Maybe not worth the price for me, but it was nice anyway. (635 characters)

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.05/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a jet black with a thin, copper-orange head that leaves an oily residue down the sides of the glass. The nose is rich and chocolatey with a bit of roastiness to help balance out the intense sweetness. There isn't a tremendous amount of coffee in the nose, but you can tell it's there. The taste intensely chocolatey and sweet with great acidity from the coffee to help balance. The mouthfeel is rich and leaves a lingering roastiness on your palate. Excellent beer that would be a mainstay if it were available in my area. (537 characters)

Photo of ChadQuest
4.05/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Townhag for this.

Pitch Black with a finger of capachino colored head that lasts as a thin cap way longer then i expected for a 12% stout.
First off the coffee profile is great, it's roasty, not thin and watery, but still only a compliment to a great stout. Smooth caramel, with some bittersweet dark chocolate. The Alcohol is hidden well but still provides a nice additional kiss. Nice strong carbination and thick oily mouthfeel. (446 characters)

Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.04/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I was so happy to find this when I was in Ohio – Speedway Stout has been on my list for as long as I’ve been into craft beer. Some of my favorite beers in the world are Imperial Stouts, and I can’t wait to see how the coffee flavors in this one play out.

No bottle date, so that means that this beer was produced pre-June 2011 (i.e. when Alesmith started dating their bottles).

A: Wow, this looks incredible. This beer is so thick that the head has a hard time moving through the body; it makes it look like molasses being pushed around. Because of that, the foam is two-layered: on top there’s a brown cascade of big bubbles that cover the entire top portion. Underneath, though, there’s an even thicker dark brown meringue. The bottom part especially has some excellent retention, and it leaves some thick lacing as it disappears. The body is jet black – darkest beer I’ve ever seen. I don’t think I’ve witnessed a stronger presence from a stout.

S: That’s a surprise…I was expecting a much bigger nose. Malts are dark and chocolaty, only showing their roasts for a brief moment. There’s a hint of some grainy textures, but only in a fleeting sense before the coffee kick comes in. I gotta say, though, those are some great-smelling beans; rich and bitter, they mix perfectly with the grains. On subsequent sniffs, I get a feeling of some unpleasant chalky fruits, but they don’t last long, fortunately. This certainly isn’t a very aromatic beer, but you can tell that it has a complex character.

T: Nice balanced spice upfront, followed by some thick chocolate. There’s licorice, blackcurrant, cinnamon, and marshmallow/whipped cream flavors interspersed throughout. The malts roll off the tongue in an odd way; sometimes with the crispness of grains, sometimes with an unappetizing murkiness. It might be the yeasts or the alcohol, but whatever it is has confirmed the chalky notes that I detected in the nose. It’s easy to look past that, though, since the bitters are so strong. A good, but timid coffee flavor couples with the main astringent here, hops, to bring these tones to the tongue last, but not least. On a bed of soft grains, these tart accents rush to the aftertaste and beyond, leaving this (appropriately) with the same finish as a cup of good coffee: smooth, and slightly dry. If only that chalk flavor wasn’t so large, I’d be in love with this beer.

M: Lush, warming, smooth; it’s everything you want in a stout. It has just enough carbonation to make every sip a fresh, new experience. Perfect.

O: This beer has so much going for it: the awesome mouthfeel, the special coffee beans, the sophisticated appearance. There were just a few striking sections of the nose and taste profile that really let me down. I know that this is a really respected beer, though, so I’ll give it another chance when I have an opportunity. In fact, this is one of those stouts that I actually think would be better fresh (or at least with six months of age or less). I’ll be on the lookout next time I’m out of state, because this stuff just has too much potential to let slide under the radar. Updates forthcoming… (3,170 characters)

Photo of kmeves
4.04/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black with a frothy tan head. Aroma is lightly sweet dark fruit and a lot of grounf coffee. Flavor is less chocolate along with some chocolate and sweet malt. Heavy bodied, chewy mouthfeel. Finishes dry, long and bitter. A very good full bodied stout. (264 characters)

Photo of Slackerville
4.04/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Speedway Stout has been around for a while and is one of the easier 10+% ABV stouts to find in So Cal. As long as you are in the right mood this is one of the better Imperial Stouts you will find. AleSmith has a history of making very strong flavorful beers and this is no exception.

Pitch black in color with amazing aromas of coffee and mollasses. A thick mouthfeel as is appropriate for the style but not too chewy. Certainly sneaky on the alcohol front since the array of chocolate and other dark malts and slight residual sweetness balance the beer nicely. A good beer to enjoy in small glasses, great as a substitute for dessert or a nightcap. (650 characters)

Photo of Retsinis
4.04/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Living in Southern California, this beer is not hard to find, and I have had it a number of times, but finally got around to taking the time to review it properly a few weeks back. Split the bottle with my wife.

Review from notes.

A: Poured from the 750 ml bottle into a tulip glass. Wisp of bubbles, like a port wine, razor thin ring of bubbles, black as oil in color, and some film rises to the oily surface if swirled.

S: Potent, high grade, finely roasted fresh ground coffee, and dark fruits, slight plum & rasin.

T: Flavors of fresh cofee, medium roasted malt, plum, hint of rasin, faint vanilla, dry bitter chocolate. Thin on the finish.

M: Light carbonation, medium mouth, a bit sticky.

O: A solid RIS, and a good to beer when I'm in the mood. Though since it has a long shelf life, and there is always so much to try, I don't drinnk this often, but when I do, it's like visiting an old friend. (914 characters)

Photo of keanex
4.04/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter from a 750ml bottle.

A: Pitch black with a thin tan head, mean looking.

S: Light coffee/espresso, slight dark chocolate. Really mellow and lacking.

T: Roasted coffee and dark chocolate, again really mellow.

M: Thick and syrupy, light carbonation.

O: A good stout, but I can think of other ones I'd rather buy for the price. (352 characters)

Photo of NJpadreFan
4.03/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

AleSmith- Speedway Stout

Big thanks to Pimpp for this 1.

A- Thick viscous black with a thick creamy tan head.
S- Immediately got hit with fresh roasted coffee with hints of cocoa and alcohol.
T- Strong dark roast black coffee with ccoa powder mixed in. A slight cream flavor pronounced in the end. Boozy alc. shines through in the end also.
M- Very very smooth up front, mild bitterness makes way for a very creamy body. Alc kicks you in the nd.

Overall- An excellent stout for a long cold evening. Surprisingly smooth for a 12% alc beer!?! 1 bomber is plenty for the night. (577 characters)

Photo of Rutager
4.03/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance. Pours black with 3 fingers of creamy tan head that rises fro the depths, lasts a good while, and leaves some great lace.

Smell. Dark malts with molasses and burnt sugar. Some licorice, bitter chocolate, coffee and booze. Slighty metalic smelling.

Taste. Dark roasted malts an dark bitter coffee, molten semi-sweet chocolate and just a bit of black licorice. Lightly acidic, like a cup of dark black coffee. Light booze is there.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body with smooth below-medium carbonation. Just a little booze warmth.

Overall. A very nice coffee stout. A bit on the dry side with some nice smooth roasty and bitter dark chocolte flavours. (659 characters)

Photo of camil1mj
4.03/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at cellar temp.

A: Dark brown like a dark chocolate Hershey bar. Tan colored creamy head.

S: Roasty and semi-sweet chocolate.

T: Big chocolate, caramel and roasted toffe notes that give way to hints of coffee.

M: Heavy bodied. Medium carbonation.

I: Great non-barrel aged stout. One of my favorite standards stouts. I wish it was distributed to MI. (360 characters)

Photo of Arenbeer
4.03/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into a Tulip glass. Thanks a lot to BillyBoKnowsBeer
for sending me this bottle.

2009 Vintage at fridge temp

A- Pours solid black with a huge 2 finger frothy light brown head that isn't going anywhere. Solid lacing and some nice alcohol feet when the head finally dissipates.

S- Strong roasted darker malts up front with TONS of high quality smelling coffee notes. Some slight dark chocolate in there as well and some alcohol notes in the background as well as a slight metallic smell but fades as it warms.

T- Up front you get faint coffee but mostly hit by a strong roasted malt flavor. After it goes down the fancy bitter coffee dominates the palate pretty much taking over. Not sure if it's the coffee or the malts they used but the finish kind of has a lager like finish. Maybe just me haha. Definitely some slight chocolate flavors in there and suprisingly for the high ABV you don't taste any alcohol at all.

M- Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a nice bitter finish.

Overall this is a great imperial stout that is definitely worth trying. Really smooth and full of a unique coffee flavor I haven't found anywhere else.

SkÅL! (1,170 characters)

Photo of Mustard
4.03/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: 25oz. dark green bottle; no "bottled on" or "best before" warning on the label; I know this particular bottle dates to the later part of June 2003, however, as I witnessed its packaging in person; purchased for $10 directly from the AleSmith brewery.

Appearance: Poured a viscous, sludgy black with little in the way of head, carbonation or lacing; the 4oz. sampler I had on tap down at Stone's 7th Anniversary showed a beautiful, cascading, cocoa-brown head with lots of lacing and good to very good retention; it is upon the latter experience that I have graded this beer's appearance; bottled version would merit a 2.5.

Nose: Largely of chocolate, coffee and sherry -- and all three pungently so.

Taste: Huge notes of sweet chocolate and dark, plum-like fruits upfront; predominant quality is of a deep, roasty coffee, however; thick, pleasing bitterness in the finish; strongly phenolic; unfortunately, the bottled version's lack of carbonation created a syrupy, liquer-like effect which was off-putting; mouthfeel score is again based on the aforementioned 4oz. sampler which was itself a tad thick for my tastes; bottled version would merit a 1.5.

Notes: Between the prohibitive $9-10 cost, stupor inducing 12% ABV and the above noted carbonation troubles, I will probably never buy this again; that said, the 4oz. tap sampler I had out in San Marcos was downright beautiful and one of the tastiest examples of an Imperial stout I have ever had. (1,477 characters)

Photo of scifan
4.03/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured pours almost black with a nice mocha colored head into my tulip glass. Quickly fades to a small wispy ring and leaves some nice lacing.
Smells nice. Not as quite as much coffee as I expected with this. It's there but its there as kind of an afterthought. I'm getting mostly dark roasted malts, with hints of dark bitter chocolate, and some fruity notes as well.
The first sip reveals sweet dark fruit flavors, plum, and fig come to mind. Then there's some nice roasted flavors, and a touch of coffee at the end for some bitter balance for all that sweetness. Also the alcohol provides a nice warming sensation at the end.
A little thick and chewy but not in bad way. A beer this big is gonna be. But the alcohol is well hidden and it goes down nice and easy. To be honest I'm a little disappointed in this one, it's still a great beer but I was hoping for more coffee. Like founder's BS (895 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
4.03/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this several times, but just now got around to reviewing it. This latest bottle courtesy of TexIndy, thanks for the opportunity.

Pours a solid black with a good sized creamy tan head that has some staying power. Nostrils are filled with scents of coffee in the foreground, with wisps of brown sugar, dark fruits, and caramel. My pallet is filled with tastes of milk chocolate, cherries, other dark fruits, lots of coffee and a touch of alcohol. Mouthfeel is creamy/slightly acridic, carbonation is medium, body is full. Great stout! I don't seem as blown away by this as I have been in the past. Recipe change? My perception? I'd still happily drink it. (663 characters)

Photo of SykDoc
4.03/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at a local stout event that was put on by brdc and company. Much appreciated.

Poured from a blinded (and revealed after rating) bottle into a flute. It pours a thick deep brown that is opaque when held to the light, except at the edges. A persistent tan colored head from that overall is lattice-like.

The aroma was subtle to me but quite complex if you spent the time to sniff. It had notes of roasty oak and dark cherries. Smaller notes of coffee and is fairly sweet.

The taste is also complex with a significant amount of sweetness that seems to come from that same dark cherry component. The oak is definitely present, as is an earthy tone. The chocolate and alcohol tastes are also present.

The mouthfeel seemed medium bodied to me, perhaps because of all the stouts we were sampling. It was sticky and thick with a nice level of carbonation.

Overall, I thought this was a good beer for the style. It was not the best stout of the night but it is hard to compare when it is going against Dark Lord and others. Overall, a very good beer and I will continue to keep my eyes open for more. (1,105 characters)

Photo of Anthony1
4.03/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The ale is a black oily color. Absolutely nothing cuts through the darkness of the ale. There is a small ring of cappucino colored head in the glass. A pour generates a 1.5 finger sized head. The stout has a deep roasted malty aroma that has a vinous depth. The alcohol is evident but not overpowering. Some hops add a floral florish without detracting from the malts. The stout has a big bold taste. The first flavors to hit the tongue are heavily roasted, almost burnt malts. The intensely roasted flavors border on a very dry chocolate flavor. As the beer warms in the moith, a distinct, intense alcohol flavor emerges that is astringent. Back to the malts, this beer has a fairly subtle acidity that belies the coffee beans. Finally, the stout ends with a sweet flavor that finishes long and brings back hints of the roasted malts and coffee. (846 characters)

Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.03/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Kevin for sharing this! Had it before but have not reviewed it yet.

A- Huge dark tan foamy head that is 2-3 . This fades eventually to 1/2 finger and has good retention from there. Body is big, viscous, opaque, and black.

S-This brew smells really hot w/ alcohol. A big roasted malt/coffee presence is also noticeable and dominant. Behind all this are characteristics typical for an IRS such as dark fruit, licorice, dark chocolate, plum, and anise. Nose is pretty complex.

T- Flavor is HUGE and filled with roasted malt, and coffee flavors upfront, and, as with the nose, a lot of IRS characteristics going on like dark fruit, anise, and dark chocolate. The ABV is pretty hot and does not really even attempt to hide itself. It offers a slight bitterness and a big alcohol heat at the end.

M-Medium carbonation, thick viscous body, slightly smooth and creamy but has an alcohol astringency component as well.

D-This is a big,really intense, high octane stout that is full of flavor, complexity, and a lot of booze. Overall-a really good, well put together brew by one of my favorite breweries-Alesmith. (1,115 characters)

Photo of ditmier
4.03/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 Bottle 750mL - Beautiful black pour with a healthy tan head. On the first sip, lots more malt than I remembered, but a well rounded overall finish of bitter chocolate, coffee and sweet brown sugar. Had to share it or risk sleeping on a friends couch, but as fine of an Imperial Stout as you are going to find. I can’t wait to see how this one turns out after a few years on the rack. (390 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
4.03/5  rDev -7.6%
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. (931 characters)

Photo of Tucquan
4.03/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on 2012-05-17 in Columbia, PA

A - Opaque dark brown-black with a 2-finger light brown head and rich lacing.

S - Rich chocolate, espresso, molasses, dried black currant and dark roasted grain. Very nice smell even when initially served a bit to cool.

T - Sweet dark roasted grain, bitter chocolate, coffee, earthy spice, metallic, chalky, alcohol. The very long-lasting aftertaste is leafy, sweet/sour, dark-roasty and with significant bitterness.

M - Medium body and light carbonation. Creamy, rich but not as thick as I'd like. Some alcohol heat.

O - It's a good Imperial Stout but for my tastes, not in the same top-tier as Parabola, CBS, King Henry or Marshall Zhukov's. (690 characters)

Photo of Lunch
4.03/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 750ml bottle acquired in a trade with davidsk (Thanks man!) into my Cigar City snifter at the appropriate temperature (01/30/10).

A: Pours an extremely dark and mildly thick motor oil black with a lighter than expected two-finger head with nice retention leaving some sticky lace.

S: Potent aroma of coffee and roasted malt with just a faint hint of dark, bitter chocolate. A one dimensional, but very solid.

T: Coffee is certainly the dominating force with this Imperial Stout and it does so in a very effective way. Seems quite fresh with some espresso-like qualities with a great degree of roasted malt and some hints of chocolate in a dark and bitter form.

M: I must say that the mouthfeel was a bit thin at times with slightly hire than expected carbonation. Medium-bodied, but lacked some thickness and viscosity.

D: Quite easy to drink especially for a 12% Imperial Stout.

To be honest, I felt a bit let donw from this beer, but it was still quite enjoyable just not nearly what I expected from an Imperial Stout with such a high ranking. Solid beer, just did not live up to the hype for me. Thanks again David! (1,141 characters)

Photo of jamiejohnson
4.03/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Respect this black masterpiece. If you like your beers tough, this one's for you. I've been riding bareback having had a difficult week with a family medical emergency. I felt it was finally time to break out this 6 month-aged ammo. At 12% it'll take you away from your troubles, guaranteed. Like the bottle states, this one's roasty and toasty and filled with copious amounts of the good stuff that make up an exceptional beer. Ain't nobody skimp'en on this San Diego treat. Give'em an A for attitude.

Life can sting,
Oh so true.
A tasty brew
Helps us through. (562 characters)

Photo of poundboy
4.03/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this one up from the dwindling selection at The Table and Vine. I had heard great things about this beer but sadly was a bit disappointed. Imperial Stout is one of my favorite styles, and this one, while quite good, lacks the complexity of secondary flavors which the truly great ones, such as Yeti or Rogue have in abundance.

Appearance: Beautiful packaging, Fancy 750 capped bottle with white, black and grey lettering. Poured with a think brownish head. Black, Black, Black. More lees in the bottom of the bottle than I have ever seen on anything, even homebrew. Props.

Smell: Rich coffee and roasted malt with alcohol and slight hop undertones.

Taste: Its got the roasted notes, its got the slight pleasant alcohol burn. Perhaps a bit less hop flavor than I go for. And none of those complex vinous and raisiny complex yeast flavors you often get with the a well brewed malt bomb, which as I mentioned was slightly disapointing

Mouthfeel: thick, tingly

Drinkability: All things are relative I suppose. Not one you have three of while your grilling, but good for the style. For the price I paid for it however, I could have two or three Smuttynose RIS's and be much more satisfied. A very good beer, but a top 10 beer, not to me. (1,255 characters)

Photo of Reagan1984
4.03/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brought this bottle back from Portland, OR in my suitcase...

Pours with a tan head the builds from within... Excellent retention...

Light coffee aroma, some black licorice.. roasty

Coffee, tobacco, black licorice and deep dark roasted malts.. One that gets much better as it warms. We opened the bottle at about 42-44 degrees. Was definitely better after a bit. Tastes like a nice creamy iced coffee. Just the right hint of sweetness.

Very slight carbonation and almost a deep rich mouth feel Certainly big bodied.

Wonderfully drinkable and hides the 12% ABV very well. A treat... (586 characters)

AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,485 ratings.