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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

5,418 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,418
Reviews: 1,471
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 800
Gots: 1,572 | FT: 145
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: 5,418 | Reviews: 1,471
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%

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

This beer sets the bar for all stouts in my mind. It is special and gets better everytime i drink it. If you have had it only once drink it again and i guarantee you will have a new experience with it.

Smell is coffee and chocolate with undertones of caramel and vanilla. It smells so good it is hard to wait for it to warm to the drinking temp. It pours black as a can be and looks extremely viscous and full bodied. perfect head every time.

Taste is second to none for a year round release. Coffee, dark chocolate, toasted malts, caramel, with a little bitter taste to it at the end. A little warmth is present due to its 12% abv and I love it. Can't say enough.

Overall i use this beer to compare not only stouts but all beers. the quality is outstanding and is consistent year round. Hands down top 5 year round release for me.

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

Shared by CrellMoset--thanks Chris!

A: Pours a midnight black which lets no light through but for the chocolatey dark brown two fluffy fingers of head, and the slight mahogany glow around the edge of the glass when the light hits it. Many crisp, extremely fine carbonation bubbles stream to the top of the glass, where the head has by now subsided into a chocolatey latte-like foam. Nice lacing around the edge of the glass, and an uneven foamy ring that looks like a chocolate snowdrift in some places.

S: Notes of dark chocolate and dark coffee are immediately apparent, but there's a definite raspberry syrup in the nose as well. There's also fairly dominant toast and smoke notes, and a subtle nutty note. The raspberry note is definitely strongly present, but only noticed at first when agitated. Quite sweet and nice as it warms, and evens out nicely.

T: Very bitter and predominantly full of coffee, smoke, and toast, though these are blended with cream, nuts, roasted malts, and dark chocolate. A little bit of raspberry in the aftertaste, but nothing like was in the nose. Hints of apples and then anise as it warms. The fruit notes come out a bit more as it warms, but they aren't particularly coming across like raspberry as in the nose. The aftertaste is very much coffee, smoke, and hops. Very nicely balanced, and wonderful for how simple it is.

M: Somewhat crisp and very smooth. Not hot in the slightest, and I would never guess the ABV was anywhere near 12%. It seems almost a bit like sparking water to me, and while I would like to knock it for that, I'm thinking of ways it could be improved, and coming up short. I would like for it to be a bit creamier than it is, but this would inhibit the drinkability--it's already extremely smooth--and fewer bubbles would make it fall flat. As it warms, the mouthfeel evens out quite a bit and it's near perfect--as it's warmed I've had to bump it from a 4 to a 4.5 and now to a 5, and by the time it's finished, perfection.

Did someone steal my alcohol? So very highly drinkable. I don't know what I'd guess the ABV on this is--from the taste and lack of heat, I'd probably guess around a 6%--only half of what it is. I don't know how they did it. Pick up as much you can, drink it slowly, and allow it to reach its full potential as it warms!

Photo of raoulduke37
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Being a Californian, I thought I'd be able to get this easily, but that hasn't been the case. I've been looking forward to trying this one for a long time now. It is no disappointment.

A - Turbid black, giving no secrets out - like a black hole sucking in all light, planets, dark matter, etc. Head is very fluffy, tan, with large bubbles, and good retention. Lacing is mighty and attractive.

S - Up front phenols, with brownies, chocolate-covered espresso beans, and raisins.

T - Definitely the highlight here. Starts out tasting like raspberries and chambord, Turkish coffee, dark chocolate. Oh man, this is the stuff dreams are made of, gents. More chocolatey than a chocolate stout.

M - Velvety, creamy, nice and thick and chewy on the way in and down. Foam is like some kind of divine cotton candy.

D - High abv, but almost undetectable. Hides it very well, unlike other stouts I've tried with high abv's. This is a fantastic beer, and I've got it available for trade!

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

750ml bottle into a snifter (and later into a perfect pint).

A - Beee-lack. Just black. Two full fingers of mocha-colored head, with some serious staying power. Not a lot of lacing but wow, that head sticks around.

S - Lots of coffee, coupled with a chocolate sweetness. Cocoa, toast, and a bit of alcohol.

T - Wow. This has all the components that I look for in a stout. Leading off is an oat-y note that reminds me of breakfast cereal, followed closely by strong coffee flavors. Once the coffee fades the sweetness comes in, along with some milk chocolate. The finish is more coffee, and it goes a while. This is an awesome beer.

M - Smooth and creamy, substantial yet light. Carbonation is just right, and the finish is not too dry. I'm not aware of a better beer in this area.

D - Okay, the ABV is high, but if I had another bottle I'd be popping the top right now. RIGHT NOW.

O - This is truly a world-class beer. I may not live here on the left coast much longer, but I can tell you that I'll be buying a lot more of this while I'm still here.

Photo of jbertsch
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle aged almost 1 year old, I am assuming.

Appeared jet black with a caramel colored head one finger in size, poured into a snifter.

Big aroma of roasted coffee beans, chocolate, and notes of vanilla.

Its taste offers coffee up front. I then notice dark chocolate cake... Amost like a booze-soaked cake, though the beer isn't overly boozey. A touch of toffee comes to mind. Mocha lingers on the finish.

Full mouthfeel. Chewy. Not very slick...more so dry, which i love.

Overall this is decadent and beautiful. Hard to find a fault here. Its coffee and chcolate flavors are in nice balance,unlike some other coffee stouts. A real treat.

Photo of hophead247
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black and opaque in appearance; moderately thick in viscosity. Head is minimal at first but quickly diminishes to an oily overlay. Bitterness jumps out of the gate first for aroma, along with unsweetened dark chocolate, mocha mousse and cafe o' lait. Coffee and roasted malts are definitely represented in this speed demon. Alcohol is discernable in flavor. Bitter chocolate and espresso flavors dominate. It's like sucking on a handful of greasy, dark roasted espresso beans. Body is oily and dense. Malts seem to favor flavor over viscosity. Definitely has its share of IBUs. Moderate carbonation is probably livelier on the palate than in actuality because of the dactylic touch of alcohol. Finish is warming, bitter and mouth watering. While I served it at about 55 degrees as recommended on the bottle, I liked it better as it got even warmer, say 60-65 degrees. At the higher temp, it seemed to thicken and improve its body.

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

Poured into a wine glass

A - Black as twilight, with a thin lacing of medium brown around the sides, unlike the prominent head of creamier stouts like Guinness.

S - Mysterious, alcohol is surprisingly absent, coffee is present but toned down, traces of dark fruit and milk chocolate.

T - Like the smell, the coffee and chocolate is present but not overpowering; not like syrupy Starbucks, but a IHOP roast. Alcohol is craftily scaled back for a strong stout, and hints of Pinot Noir are present.

M - Thinner than most Imperial Stouts, but not watery. Little to no alcohol burn while sitting in mouth or after swallowing. Big flavor, but a pleasant aftertaste.

O - Very drinkable for a Imperial Stout, carries the characteristics of its style, but slightly of the beaten path. Not a revelation, but elegantly crafted and tasty.

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

I poured a 750 ml capped and foil wrapped bottle into a pint glass.

A: It poured an inky black body that looked chunky when it came from the bottle. It presented a nearly 2 finger head that was dark brown and receded slowly to a nice cover over the liquid. It laced nicely clinging even curtains to the side of the glass.

S: It hit the nose with a shot of straight black espresso then offered bakers chocolate and hints of smoky nuts and dark fruits.

T: The roasted malts had a smokey and nutty flavor that came from the nearly burnt malts. The coffee flavors were distinct and more pronounced early. After sitting the chocolate and dark fruits came more into play.

M: IT is full bodied with a thick presence on the tongue and a very warm and clean finish. Nearly no carbonation.

D: It is a bit heavy and has a touch too high an ABV to be a session brew...but it is a great RIS...one worth having....and even more so one worth drinking.

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

2005 vintage, opened 1/24/07

A- pours black and looks thick, two finger thick & creamy tan head sporting excellent retent, and eventually settles to a nice ring, thin tan lacing.

S- coffee, burnt malts, sweet cream, slight alcohol

T- lost of malt, burnt & roasted. roasted coffee flavor, creamy sweetness as well, roasted coffee aftertaste. only hints of alcohol throughout

M- creamy full (and filling) body, slides over palate

D- wonderful malty flavor, complex and mellow. filling brew and very satisfying, dont really need another because this can be enjoyed for quite some time. alcohol is amazingly well hidden. I enjoyed mine over a two hour period, and is was an amzing experience.

Photo of dukedevil0
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked up a 750mL bottle from Jungle Jims in Fairfield, OH.

A: Pours a dark black color with khaki head, attractive lacing on the glass

S: coffee is the dominant smell with some roasted malts and chocolate scents too

T: similar to the smell; coffee is the dominant flavor, but not overpowering with some chocolate and roast, with a slight bit of alcohol in there too.

M: creamy and very full bodied, but it doesn't feel "thick"...great mouthfeel

D: probably the most drinkable coffee flavored stout i've ever drank

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

On tap at AleSmith tasting room.

A: Impenetrable brown, darkish film of brown head which recedes to a ring and some swirls layered on the surface of the beer. The head is exceptionally fine and persists for the entire glass. The lacing coats the entire wall of the glass. Exceptional appearance for the style.

S: Big coffee with a little sweetness, blending beautifully with some smoke and dark chocolate undertones. Phenomenal.

T: Decadent coffee, again some dark chocolate and roasted notes underneath, with a mild espresso finish which peters out slowly. Slightly off dry.

M: Medium carbonation and full body. The carbonation adds a velvet smooth mouthfeel to the full body. Leaves a little sticky residue on your lips.

O: Glorious, decadent, and delicious. Coffee forward without crossing the line into oblivion. Not a whiff of alcohol is evident. Gorgeous.

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

Acquired via trade. This definitely fits the bill as a Big Beer. Pours almost sludge-like out of the champagne bottle. Thick and black with a miniscule beige head. Next to no lacing. The aroma is all roasted coffee. The body is big and bold and the flavors of coffee, bitter chocolate and warming alcohol really pack a whollop. It never becomes too much though. The beer remains smooth throughout. This is one of those beers that you wouldn't know was 12% by the flavor, only by the effect. The finish is dry and slightly bitter. Superb.

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

Bottle from Red Carpet.

Pours dark brown/black with low tan head, fades quick and leaves behind a little lace with some legs.

Smells of chocolate and coffee, slight hop aroma in the background, definetly wait for this to warm up when it hit 55+ the aroma changed for the better.

Flavor is dark and malty with a strong coffee presence, balancing hops but really no bitterness, plenty of hop aroma in the finish with a nice residual sweetness (pz's signature sweet finish). Leaves a wonderful roast sweetness in the mouth.

A great beer, highly enjoyable, I wish they made more of it.

Photo of Martyrob
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of Yesac
4.64/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2013 bottle.

A- Jet black opaque in color, desert sand tan head colored head. Nice even fine lacing on the glass.

S- Powerful dark roasted malt, hints of chocolate and espresso.

T- Along with smell, nose is dark delicious roasted malt, roasted coffee bean, dark bitter (and very delicious) chocolate with an espresso type bitter finish. The finish is outstanding. Even more rewarding as it warms.

M- Very well balanced here, a perfect weight body for this style (medium/heavy) and it lingers well and covers the palate without being too dry. The carbonation level is medium and dialed in to perfection. It leaves you wanting to frequently pick up the glass for another sip.

O- One of the best stout's I've ever had. This has it all. The mouthfeel and aftertaste are the highlights for me. Such a delicious and well rounded beer overall. Complex and flavorful without being too heavy and too big, it's just right. And the ABV is very well hidden at 12%. Wow.

Photo of TheSarge
4.64/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Speedway Stout pours great for a three finger dark tan head, and a jet black opaque body.

Fragrance is roasty coffee, semisweet chocolate and metallic characteristics.

In the taste, semisweet chocolate is the dominate trait. The coffee doesn't really kick in until the very end. Even then, the coffee addition is kick ass, and goes for a great finish.

This feels very creamy, and has a mild slickness. Alcohol warmness is slightly notable, and is kind of masked; however, this is still a warming beer.

What with all the complexity, how can this beer be wrong? It's a desert in a bottle!

Photo of prokopt2
4.64/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of Nietzsches_Horse
4.64/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of wanker
4.64/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wonderful thick, creamy mouthfeel. Almost feels like cream has been added. Among my favorite mouthfeels ever.

Delicious coffee flavor. The coffee is really out front and provides all the bitterness in the beer. I couldn't taste any hops - but that is ok. Because of the coffee bitterness the beer was adequately balanced between sweet and bitter flavors. No alcohol taste, even though the ABV is 12%.

Super drinkable, until you pass out from the ABV.

Just a few negatives:

I couldn't get any head out of this beer, even with a fairly aggressive pour. I'd like to see a bit of head. Thus the 3.0 appearance rating.

Even though there is no alcohol in the taste, the alcohol hits you pretty hard in the nose. So I took off a point for smell.

Photo of Bobloblawlawblog11
4.64/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of infi
4.64/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle, shared with BAs johnjae, NYManc and r0nyn. 10/29 notes.

Poured into a Duvel tulip.

A dark void in the glass: dark, rich, opaque and concentrated. A thin tan head emerged from the pour but quickly melted away in a matter of seconds. Little to no lacing on the glass as well. The aromas was seriously a freshly opened bag of coffee grounds. Those Ryan Brothers' coffee beans declare a mammoth presence onto you once you get your nose into the glass. Especially considering I was holding onto this bottle for about a year, the coffee is still readily there and in a big way. Although this is not as roasted and bold as the Ithaca Eleven, which was actually really overwhelming for me.

Taste was like drinking a cold cup of black, dark-roasted coffee with melted dark chocolate squares thrown in. Definitely world class tasting. The roasted character starts you off then moves into a nice sweet malt and chocolate sweetness and ends on a striking - but not conquering - astringency. It even leaves that familiar sour/tart aftertaste that you get after drinking coffee. And for 12%, the taste didn't have any alcoholic tastes. Too ninja. Every flavored aspect was superbly well-balanced in this stout- a feat that's always a plus for me. /standing ovation.

Mouthfeel was the only thing that surprised me- a bit thin-bodied, with the carbonation being pretty evident like an ale. This is still a total beer, but just one that I'd like to have been a bit more thicker. Drinkability is definitely high, especially if you love coffee like I do. Everything was on-point for this beer, especially for its price. HEHE ;) Speedway is now my favorite coffee-oriented stout.

Photo of kudos200
4.64/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of BierJager89
4.64/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a snifter.

A: Black with a brown head. Beautiful.

S: Nose is full of chocolate and coffee.

T: Mocha, espresso, coffee goodness, roasted malt and dark chocolate. A bit bitter,but not overly bitter. Delicious.

M: Full bodied and smoooth.

O: One of the best coffee stouts out there. Possibly the best I've had thus far. It might be too bitter for non-coffee-drinkers, as my friend found it to be undrinkably bitter. I suggest trying it on tap if you can before investing in such a large bottle.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 5,418 ratings.