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AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,547 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,547
Hads: 5,983
Avg: 4.37
pDev: 16.93%
Wants: 866
Gots: 1,839 | FT: 155
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,547 | Hads: 5,983
Photo of HeyItsChili
4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Pours dark brown which olive hued chocolate syrup highlights. Little brown head that quickly dissipates.

S - Chocolatey, dark coffee, little bit of soy sauce.

T - Really robust coffee, chocolate syrup, cocoa powder.

M - Velvety, low carbonation, medium bodied. My description cannot accurately capture it, but the mouthfeel on this one is pretty close to perfect.

Thanks to Scott from the CBX for tossing this one my way.

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Photo of Gosox8787
4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Bomber bottle poured into a Portsmouth Brewery tulip. Enjoying this on a really snowy day at room temperature.

Appearance: Dark brown to black in color. A nice mocha colored head rises. About one and a half fingers in size with prettt good retention.

Aroma: Rich coffee beans, definitely good coffee. Some milk chocolate and a surprising bit of heat.

Taste: Rich coffee upfront. Balanced nicely with some milk chocolate. Not cloying or overly sweet at all. In fact, the coffee is really the star. Smooth, but a bit one dimensional.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, low carbonation, and a little thin near the end of each sip.

Drinkability: Very smooth for a 12% stout. I had no problem with finishing a bomber, but definitely a sipper.

Overall, I enjoyed this a great deal, but I was slightly underwhelmed. I have heard a ton about this beer and while the coffee notes were great, I can't help but feel this is slightly one dimensional.

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Photo of israel
4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - pitch black with a nice cappuccino colored head that didn't hang around too long.

S - the beans are in the foreground along with a nice roastiness from the malts.

T - this beer IMO is superbly balanced; nothing in the flavors are overly dominate and everything works well with one another.

M - again I think this is a really nice feature of this beer as its not overly syrupy or too heavy. Carbonation is there but the beer is just silky smooth and a pleasure to drink.

D - really the only draw back to this beers drinkabilty would have to be the alc%.

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Photo of brureview
4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This can be a difficult beer to find. Fortunately, I found it and I was looking forward to drinking it.

Served in an oversized wine glass at a relatively warm serving temp- about 55F. The color is very dark coffee- almost black. There are bubbles in the bottom of the beer, and the head seems to have some carbonation.

The aroma is strong cherry and coffee. I expected more coffee, but the predominant smell was cherry- and fruit in general.

The beer was a bit carbonated, almost unpleasantly so.

The finish was very alcoholic as expected. The coffee taste seems dwarfed by the alcoholic presence. Regardless, the finish is richly alcoholic with coffee overtones.

This is a sipper. Take your time on this beer. It's a contemplation beer- probably more suitable for the winter, but I wanted to try it, so I opened the bottle at the end of summer.

Overall, quite good- perhaps excellent. It's overwhelming. Worth experiencing.

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Photo of barczar
4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 vintage.

Big cocoa aroma, slightly sweet chocolate, and roast malt.

Flavor is lacking in malt depth. Roasty and malty in the finish. A very drinkable 12 percent. The cocoa comes out as it warms.

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Photo of aewinte1
4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- pours pitch black with light brown head. 2" head from vigorous pour
S- Smell is extremely strong of coffee. Smells creamy as well
T- Huge creamy soffee flavor as can be expected from te nose. The coffee flavors fades to a woodey smokey flavor. Huge roasted malt flavor
M- Thick and medium carbonation give this a good mouthfeel. Good, but nothing spectacular worth mentioning about the mouthfeel
D- drinkability is so-so on this one. The flavors are great, but its really a sipper and due to the strength and viscosity, I don't think I would want more than one. One bomber is enough.

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Photo of Lnedrive14
4.09/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had to write this one the morning after because I got a bit too drunk from that big bottle!

A: One heck of a dark beer - straight up opaque black. A bit disappointed that it poured with no head - maybe this was one of those issues AleSmith had been having with the beers sent to the east coast. In any case, the lack of head really detracted from the beer's appearance.

N/P: This really is a coffee stout. I think I started drinking this one a bit too cold so a lot of the flavors didn't come out very well. When it warmed up the coffee and roasted malts hit the palate hard. To be honest, I had a hard time pulling anything else out of this one - the coffee really dominates.

M/D: The alcohol I felt was a bit too much. I guess I should have expected it at 12%, but it was a definitely a bit stinging throughout the session. Other than that, the beer was fairly creamy and had a pretty good texture. Drinkability is fairly low, although I did manage to kill the bottle myself :)

All in all a good beer, but certainly it did not live up to my expectations. Perhaps this is a different beast on the west coast, but unfortunately, this is the only one I had to review.

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Photo of core42
4.09/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle is unknown year.
Poured pitch black with a 2 finger tan head into a Modern Times Snifter.
Nose is not heavy on the coffee but more cocoa.
Taste is also more cocoa than coffee with some slight bitterness with coffee undertones on the backend & in the finish
Feel is smooth
Overall less coffee than I expected but still a great tasting beer

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Photo of Holland
4.09/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: beautiful pour with excellent head and retention. Very viscous looking, but still nice brown head.

S: pretty standard for a hoppy stout, and I get very little hint of coffee or anything excellent.

T: great blend of hoppy bitterness, coffee, roasted malt, and sweet caramel. Excellent.

M: doesn't get better than this for mouthfeel. This is a huge stout, but with medium carbonation it comes alive.

O: solid beer, though disappointing in smell. Still awesome, but maybe not worth the price tag.

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Photo of Mdog
4.09/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black, good head for a strong beer.

Smell: Good coffee aroma.

Taste: Moderately sweet chocolate, pretty strong coffee flavors, some hot-boozy alcohol.

Overall: Alesmith is in Wiscoland so I picked up a bottle to try. This is pretty good, but could maybe use a little cellaring to better integrate the alcohol. Sometimes a 12% beer will show the alcohol and sometimes it hides it--I prefer the ones that can hide it better.

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Photo of TexIndy
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Hoss for shipping this one to me from San Diego. Poured from a 750ml painted bottle with cool graphics and back story into a pint glass. No dating info but he got this end of last year and I've been letting it age till now. Couldn't wait any longer. It was pitch black - no light getting through this one. It had a one finger brown head that settled into a collar with broken foam. No carb but good lacing.

The aroma was really good. Strong coffee but also good amount of toasted chocolate malts and caramel. The taste is awesome as well. I'm usually not a big fan of this style but damn this is tasty. Has a good bite to it at first and then finishes smooth. I'm not a coffee drinker so was concerned before I drank it that it would be too coffeeish but it's not. Despite the high ABV, the alcohol doesn't really appear in the smell or taste. But you definitely feel it halfway thru. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy.

Overall, an excellent beer that has earned the high ranking and praise. I wouldn't want to drink it too often as it's not my favorite style but I'd love to try at least once a year. Highly recommend.

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Photo of mmurphy525
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

Pours a nice black with a thin tan head (akin to a good espresso head) that lasts throughout

Smells of sweet chocolate, and little coffee

Lots of roasted malts and coffee notes with a nice sweetness balance. In the finish there is a slight alcohol burn in the back of the throat mixed with a hoppy bitterness.

Mouth feel is very full and creamy

Overall maybe a little understated, or at least less then what I was expecting. Yet still a very good stout.

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Photo of cwguy5
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks marine1975 for sharing this one! Poured from a bomber into an oversized wine glass.

- pitch black with tan head; faded to thin white cap; not much lacing that i could see

- slightly solvent aroma with big dark chocolate, dark roasted coffee

- dark chocolate and coffee true to smell; not boozy, but smooth; not sweet - not dry;

- thick, creamy; bit syrupy without the sweetness; heavy but drinkable for stout

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Photo of KeefD
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally getting around to trying this one. I've been looking forward to it for quite sometime, as I love me some coffee beers. Thanks goes out to drgonzo3705 for hooking me up with this bottle. Pours a nice dark brown color, almost completely black in the glass with just a hint of light coming through the edges. A nice two finger, creamed coffee head forms, excellent retention, and surprisingly nice lacing on the glass for the high ABV. Smell has nice chocolate presence but I'm not getting a lot of coffee notes, which is a bit disappointing, but it smells awfully nice, with lots of roastiness, some brown sugar and caramel. Flavor is right on with the nose, loads of chocolate and caramel, very sweet at first, lots of brown sugar encrusted chocolate bars, a touch of vanilla and graham cracker, with a nice hit of darkly roasted coffee beans on the finish. Possibly a bit of dark fruit flavors and raisins show up as it warms. Mouthfeel is thick and chewy, creamy and viscous. Nicely textured. Drinkability is on the higher side for an IS, as I can barely notice the alcohol at 12%. Overall this is a pretty great tasting imperial coffee stout, but it's no Peche Mortel in my book. But I was glad to have had the chance to try it!

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Photo of SupaCelt
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Brown. Real brown. Like black brown. Dessert style head of chocolate milk colour. Looks like a treat on its own. Of course there is also some lace to add visual appeal.

Smell: Heaps of chocolate. Chocolate syrup. A bit of a grainy base. Mild alcoholic whiffs slide through here and there. Low profile hop character is barely noticeable with all of this dark malty chocolate activity.

Taste: Chocolate would be a good guess. Yes, it has a chocolate syrup feel going on. This even seems to be a bit dairy influenced. There is an undertone of malty raw grain character that keeps this from feeling completely like a dessert drink. This and also a vague bitterness gently cut the sweetness to keep things palatable. Rich is the word here. Tightrope hijinx.

Mouthfeel: Thick and smooth. No chunks. Dreamy.

Drinkability: Good considering. This is going to require some insulin. It also has the potential to smack your noggin. It doesn't put up a fight, so be thee wary. Solid. Overpriced too.

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Photo of Estarrio
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a black chocolate thick mysterious color with a coffee ground colored head. The head gave way to thick, intricate and full lacings.

Big malt aroma with some floral and hoppy suggestions.

Thick, and foamy consistency...this is a big beer!

Sweet malt base flavor mixes with a complex grouping of coffee, roasted malts, caramel, chocolate molasses and hops. The sweetness and warmth suggest the presence of the high alcohol percentage but the alcohol taste is lost amidst the other flavors. I found the sweetness to linger slightly too much in the aftertaste, but aside from that the flavors are excellent.

I'm looking forward to aging a few of these before I review again.

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Photo of Cisco619
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

64 oz growler poured into Duvel tulip. Yet again, another staple in my fridge I felt was time to review.

A: Black with a bit of light that illuminates a sliver of the edge to a reddish brown. Mocha colored head that quickly disappears rapidly, leaving a thin halo to remain around the edge of the glass. Had a nice viscosity to it when I poured. What you expect a high abv stout to look like.

S: Coffee with a touch of roasted malt. A slight hint of chocolate. Almost completely hides the alcohol. Just a hint is present. 12% abv well hidden.

T: Coffee tempered by bakers chocolate with a slight roasted malt hint. Alcohol is more apparent than in the nose, but not overbearing.

M: Nice & robust that leaves a silky smooth lingering feeling. This is why I love the style. Big & bold yet flavorful & balanced.

O: One of my favorite stouts. I'm lucky i live close to the brewery & have the ability to have this in my fridge regularly. Nice blend of flavors that achieves great balance.

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Photo of DosBeerigos
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

C: Pitch black hard to tell how clear it is, but nice chocolate head
H: Black
N: At cold temp. nose is not there at all, warms to a coffee, roasty malt, slight boozie

The attack of the Speedway Stout is light on chocolate and heavy on coffee, it doesn't seem overly complex. Though pretty straight forward, the body feel of the beer is dead on, it is smooth and creamy. The carbonation is spot-on for a stout, and helps with the consistency of the body. I was impressed with this beer because of the hype it gets online, well it followed through just fine. Dare I say that it almost taste like chocolate milk (if you add a lot of chocolate syrup to your cup)???? I heard the availability of this beer is insane in San Diego, like you can go to 711 and pick up a bottle. If thats the case, I am thinking about relocating!

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Photo of Gushue3
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Philly for this beer.

A. Pours dark brown and has an enormous brown head. Great retention thats very foamy. Body is black and has a few carb bubbles sitting on the side of the glass

S. Big coffee bean roast and sweetness. Somewhat bitter.

T. Coffee bean roast with sone sweetness behind it. Chocolate interlaced with the coffee. Theres some sweet dark feuits comming through as it warms up. Finish is slightly bitter roast that lingers a bit.

M. Nice full bodied feel with minimal carbonation, the way i like my stouts.

O. Nice beer here. Didnt really floor me bit i may have had too high expectations but maybe they were a little too high?. But either way, nice beer that i could get more often.

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Photo of jojox
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a - Black Black. Pours Viscous. Thin head which holds on a while, then fades, but stays thin around the edges.

s - Raisin-y. Dark roast, lots of coffee.

t - WOW, huge flavor! Lots of coffee, huge roasted/burnt flavors. No noticeable alcohol. Almost over the top with roast/burnt flavor. Bitterness is a bit harsh, combined with the burnt aspect.

m - really nice. Viscous

d - I could drink 2.

Impressions - a great RIS which got better as it warmed up - it started quite cold. The roasted flavor boardered and really overflowed into "burnt" territory, I'm wondering how much black patent malt and total roasted malts there were to give it the more charcoal taste. Not sure how that flavor will age, but I can see combined with oak barrels that would be quite delicious! I will age 6+ months before I open the next.

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Photo of Tupperwolf
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Where to start?

In the San Diego area there seems to have been a shortage of Speedway Stout; I swung by the brewery to buy some and was informed by a friendly but chagrined employee (Mike? Matt?) that they were waiting on coffee from Ryan Bros. before they could get a new batch on the market and that they didn't have any left at the brewery at all. He recommended a couple of places, both of which didn't have it, and I stumbled upon the last bottle at BevMo. I intended to give the bottle away for Chanukah, but was determined to at least try it. At the time I didn't have a chance to review, and I stumbled across another couple of bottles at Dick's Liquor. I've been saving my bottle for some time now; It's been calling to me.

I'm dissappointed immediately by the utter lack of a head; The cap hissed when I opened it, so I assume the cap seal wasn't bad, but there's just no head at all other than a few bubbles I force with an aggressive pour that soon dissappear. I'm left with a murky brownish-black tulip full of what looks like a nightmare child of dark wine and the blackest of military coffees. I hate giving this beer a below average score for appearance but as far as I can tell there's nothing wrong with my particular bottle - the other sample I tried was similarly headless.

The smell punches you in the nose with coffee (duh) and bitter baker's chocolate. Little whiffs of raisin and sour-fruity-sweetness tie the two together, and the alcohol makes a slight appearance. Heady, heavy, alcoholic, the scent is somewhat intimidating. That's a good thing!

The taste is so full of coffee, toffee and chocolate notes it's like drinking a cool mocha (maybe even an Irish coffee, with the alcoholic notes on the back of the tongue). The taste is just like the smell, with slight variations in the acidity of the raisin-plum notes that are the background to the chocolate-coffee. Big, big flavors have been forced into this one alongside big abv.

Mouthfeel takes a big hit because this simply doesn't have any carbonation. This Imperial/Double Stout has the right consistency - chewy and sticky, with lingering sheets of carmally flavors coating the inside of the mouth that just won't go away - but I wish it had some froth to liven things up a bit more than they already are.

For a Big Beer, this one drinks like a champ. Go into the game expecting alcohol and coffee and you'll flip for this one.

It may seem obvious that something was wrong with my bottle and I should have had more carbonation; But I reviews 'em as I sees 'em. I'm more than willing to try another bottle of this to see if I get a better example! Until then, my review stands.

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Photo of OldSock
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – 750 ml bottle bought several months ago at Bev Mo and carried back to Mass with me on a plane. Not sure of the age, but the bottle has the old paper label with silver foil. In my tulip the beer is pitch black with a bubbly head with good retention and lacing.

Smell – Rich chocolate and coffee without a hint of alcohol. Sadly, I believe that this has a bit of oxidation resulting in a bit of cardboard in the aroma.

Taste – The perceived oxidation in the nose does not appear in the taste. At first it has a slight charcoal flavor, but that dies down quickly and the coffee flavor takes over. Slightly bitter aftertaste. As I drink more the sharp roastiness calms down and the full flavors off this beer come out. There is a solid amount of hop bitterness, but not much hop flavor. Alcohol is only mildly present, impressive for such a big beer.

Mouthfeel – Medium-full body for the style with subdued carbonation.

Drinkability & Notes – In an hour and a half or so I had no problem, aside from inebriation, polishing off the whole 750 by myself. Luckily this beer just became available near by, so I will give a fresh bottle a try to see how it compares to this abused bottle. Overall, I feel like without the addition of coffee this would be a stout lacking flavor, there just isn't much to the base beer. A solid coffee stout, but at least this bottle is not earth shattering.

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Photo of kbutler1
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received this beauty from fbm115 (thanks!)
Pours a deep, dark black with a HUGE froathy tan head. Smells just like the bottle says: Roasty, toasy, and coffee with a subtle sweetness in the nose.
Sweet up front with an aggressive bitterness in the back end. Very drinkable. Slight alcohol taste in the end, glad I have another in the cellar as it might mellow out with some age on it.

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Photo of wknight167
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Apearance - Pours jet black with a 2 finger light brown head that sticks around quite a while.

Nose- Just a hint of booze, but mainly coffee, vanilla, roast malt and milk chocolate.

Palate- Warming coffee, sweet vanilla and chocolate. Sweetness is very well balanced with the roast grains with the grains just winning out. Alcohol is very well hidden.

Mouthfeel- Full bodied, Med carb. I would not have guessed the alcohol percentage.

Drinkability- I would be happy to come home to a fridge full of these.

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Photo of ChugginOil
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beast pours a mad thick pitch black. Mocha head sits at less than an inch. Sticky lacing leaves little bubbles around the glass. The nose is chocolatey and roasty. There is a bit of coffee involved but at the nose I am almost convinced that I had held onto this beer for longer than I should have. Nontheless, the massive chocolate and roasty offerings create a nice aroma. The taste is straight Willy Wonka. Chocolate infused with some toffee and deeply roasted malt. Great stuff going on here but the moutjfeel is the kicker. Oily, viscious and bold, Speedway Stout packs a candied, sticky punch that lathers the palate. Overall, this was a trade worthy of making as I do not have access to Alesmith brews and the flavors are robust and beastly. But, now
im ready to try this stout fresh. Love it.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,547 ratings.