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AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

5,159 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,159
Reviews: 1,432
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 787
Gots: 1,434 | 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:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-09-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,159 | Reviews: 1,432 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Padron4KM
4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

notes from 5/30/04
Bottle served at 55 degrees.
This stuff is dark! I held a flashlight up to the glass and no light penetrated.
Medium sized dark brown head that disipates quickly and leaves behind a patchy, chunky lace.
Aroma was rubbing alcohol and coffee. maybe a little prune juice in there.
Flavor is milk chocholate, coffee and dark fruit with a sweet caramel finish.

Surprisingly soft and smooth for a beer so high in ABV. kind of went down like a kahlua and cream. or a chocholate milk with chocholate syrup, heavy cream, coffee and a shot of everclear.
This was a great beer.
I am buying a bottle tomorrow to put in the wine chiller/beer cellar. This is definitely the Padron Anniversario Maduro of beers.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml foil wrapped capped bottle aged for approx. 6 months and served at cellar temperature in a Pint Glass

A – Poured a very deep dark black oil like liquid with a large two finger head of tannish brown foam on top. Very nice thick poured on this one as it seemed to just ooze out of the bottle and plop down into the glass. There was no way to vigorously pour this one; rather you just kind of had to let it slide down. Nice retention initially as it took a good few minutes before the head settled down to just a thin film of brown across the top. After five or more minutes even this was gone as the only thing remaining were some small amounts of tan suds clinging to the side and a thick black oil looking liquid taking up residence in the glass.

S – The aroma was very rich and full of roasted malts and hints of coffee. It was rather strong and pungent with hints of dark baker’s chocolate also easily apparent as you took in whiff or two. Some strong hints of the alcohol were also easily found even in the aroma, giving you a hint at what lies beneath this 12%abv monster. As it warmed you were able to start picking out some aromas of sugary lactose and even a hint of caramel or vanilla adding some great depth and profile to the smell.

T – The flavor was very full and rich and really made me very pleased to be able to try it. With all the hype surrounding it, it was nice to not be let down and to see this one hold up to the loft goals I had set for it. The rich flavor awaiting me was touched off by a storm of dark baker’s chocolate laced in between rich Smokey roasted malts a touch of alcohol creating almost a wave of just dark delights that rolled over you and warmed you from the inside out. The deep flavor gave way to a subtle sweetness mingled in were the nice lactose flavor and the hints of vanilla which only served to deep its profile and increase its grip on me. The finish was strong with a long lasting hint of chocolate and a boozy like quality that dragged it out.

M – A very full bodied ale this one came across as thick as molasses with a rich oil like coating across the entire inside of your mouth. A very big rich creamy feel this one simply would not let go. It was truly the dessert beer, not really reach out and grasping that feeling of shake like consistency, but more relying on the just full bodied assault of the sense. Very nice.

D – Well for 12%abv you could barely tell I will give it that. It was very filling, really putting a hurt on you and filling you up pretty quickly. Now I took my time with this one to be honest, really enjoying it and taking almost 3 hours to drink the bottle. I just thought it was better this way as it really let me take in the flavors and see the changes occur as it went from the 50 degrees of my cellar to almost room temperature.

Overall I thought this was great. Really a very fine and high quality ale here. I would have no issues getting this one again as it really embodies a strong stout in every sense of the word. Very full big flavors with a long dry finish. What more could you ask for. Completely deserving of its spot on the list, a really fine ale indeed.

Photo of RyanK252
4.63/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of baiser
4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dessert in a glass. Pours pitch black, with a dark brown, foamy head. Intense coffee/chocolate aromas along with a hint of alcohol. Very roasty, rich, full and sweet. Amazing after dinner drink. $10/bottle at the brewery is worth every penny. Probably my favourite imp stout.

Photo of OrangeMen
4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Aged 1 year, bought fresh and properly cellared at home

Appearance- Deep black, opaque. Gorgeous thick mocha/cinnamon, deep khaki head, frothy, hangs around awhile but settles down. Beautiful lacing on sides of glass. A truly beautiful beer.
Aroma- Decadent dark chocolate, some sweet chocolates, molasses, caramel as well. Rich espresso, wonderful dark fruits, some tartness created. Roasted malt rounds everything together.
Taste- Intense, rich dark chocolates, incredibly decadent, dessert like. Bitter roasted malts, rich mocha/espresso flavors as well. Slight fruity tartness, nice warming alcohol on finish.
Feel- Incredibly thick and even more creamy. Full bodied as they come, decent amount of carbonation as well.
Overall- Such a beautifully balanced beer, incredibly intense but calm and smooth at the same time. Tastes like a rich gourmet chocolate cake with a nice cup of coffee on the side. Dark chocolates are so rich and decadent, sweet caramel/vanilla/chocolate come through, then everything is balanced nicely with bitter roasted malts and rich espresso notes.

Photo of Nietzsches_Horse
4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of jdhilt
4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
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 flexabull
4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ok, I have had this before, but it was a 4 year old bottle, this bottle is a fresh new arrival at my local store. Happy to see Alesmith again!

Pours a deep flat black color with a huge tan head. Looks wonderful.

Nose is of dark heavily roasted malts, a fresh cup of coffee, and some dark chocolate.

First sip, wow... This is full flavored! Lots of coffee, more so than a lot of coffee beers I have had before, but it's not overly strong. I taste what reminds me of those chocolate covered coffee beans, some dark sugar, cream, and some bitterness on the finish. No hints of heat from the alcohol at all.

Mouthfeel is quite good, this is a bit viscous, but not to thick. It's actually quite smooth too.

Overall, an outstanding beer. I think it's much better than the aged one I had a few years ago. I think this is a beer best consumed fresh. I'm impressed, but that is something that Alesmith does often to me while drinking their brews.

Photo of Greggy
4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Great thick fluffy 2 finger head, great head retention, nice black body, and great lacing. The head really doesn't recede much during the pint.

S- Nice deep choc, dark fruits (raisin), coffee, a tiny hint of alcohol. Nice balance. Definitely isn't green.

T- Nice dark fruits and balanced hopiness. Excellent dark fruits, coffee, chocolate, cream. The finish seems never ending, but eventually turns dry.

M- Great smooth feel and great balance.

D- This was an incredible beer. The 12% is well hidden. It's not sessionable, but I will drink it again.

Photo of beerwolf77
4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
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 TheLongBeachBum
4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

There I was wondering through the beer aisles when I saw stacked boxes of this “much read about, but never tried” beer. My penknife came out & I opened the stores box for them, and quickly loaded one of them into my trolley. As such, this must be the 2003 batch.

Presentation: 750ml green glass bottle with a rather racy looking label that has two chequered flags set about a large Pint glass. Labelled as a 12% ABV Imperial Stout brewed with Ryan Bros. Coffee Beans.

Appearance: Highly viscous black-tar pour offers little head. It settles almost flat with a very thin brown halo ring head. It’s a shame really because the appearance is probably slightly spoiled by the complete lack of any head.

Nose: Massive and a mix of Dark Bourneville Chocolate and Coffee beans.

Tastes: Quite awesome. Deep roasted coffee beans lead you into a dark bitter chocolate middle that lingers on the tongue. Every sip accentuates a different aspect of this mighty beer; bitter, roast, silky, toasted malts, alcohol, dark chocolate all wrapped up in lovely cocoa milk smoothness.

Mouthfeel: Impressive silky chewy dark chocolate toffee bitterness. It lingers in the mouth just to remind how damn good this beer is.

Drinkability: Considering its strength, I found this to be a highly quaffable brew. Very moorish.

I’m getting some more of this monster to cellar.
A great beer to finish Saturday night with (or did it finish me?).

Photo of JonathanL7890
4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Nov 2007, Thanks Miguel!
Poured kind of cold into my New Belgium snifter.
No apparent head. Just a small ring of foam around the perimeter of the glass.
Smell was of chocolate , coffee. I sat enjoying the aroma until the beer warmed up to a suitable temperature, i.e. it didn't give my fingers frostbite.
Taste: Strong coffee taste, lots of roastiness.
Kind of sweet. It tastes just like an iced coffee that you would get at Starbucks.
As the beer warms there's more complexity coming out. I get some dried fruit, fig, raisins, etc. No alcohol burn 12% you say? Hah!
Mouthfeel: spot on for a stout. Not as thick as one would expect, despite there being quite a bit of sludge at the bottom of the bottle.
Drinkability: Yes it is. Very drinkable. I would be able to put a bottle of this away by myself, although it would take an entire evening.

One of the best stouts out there and aging it fo r a year or two definitely helps.

Photo of deepsouth
4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

this beer poured a black color with a tan head and some rocky bubbles. a good looking beer.

the smell is of coffee, molasess, sweet malt, roastiness, espresso coffe beans... complex as hell.

the taste is divine and complex and consistent with the smell. indescribably balanced. alcohol present. damn near perfect.

the mouthfeel is full and velvety. it doesn't get better than this.

the drinkability of this beer is off the charts. perfect.

thanks to barefootbrewer for sharing this with me.

Photo of paytoplay
4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From paper label 750ml, silk screen would be minus 0.3 probably. Bigger richer, more intense, still bring acidity alc and balance keeping it high toned with a seemless lengthy finish. Enjoyed with dinner and friends, needed about 20 minutes to wake up. An outstanding brew. I look forward to my 1 other paper label and barrel aged ones. Also enjoyed this the same night from keg. Keg was a bit softer and more femenin. Different batches and years apart. I'd take the paper label for special occasions, the keg and new bottle versions are outstanding "everyday" type beers.

Photo of nycwinter
4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750ml bottle and split between a pint glass and a chalice. I have been aging this bottle in the back of my pantry for 4 months, and couldn't wait any longer.

A= Black as night. Deep ruby red along the edges. Orange-brown thick foamy head. Pint glass had a three finger head, and the chalice had a four finger head. I don't know if that had to do with the order I poured them or not. The head slowly dissipated and became chunky and rocky. A thin orange blanket stuck around throughout the experience.

S= There's a great balance of aromas here. At first dried cherries and raisins hit the nose. A lot of earthy/mossy and espresso coffee notes fill nose when whiffed.

T= Strong bitter espresso hits the tongue initially. This is balanced by very tart dried fruits in the aftertaste. As it warms, you get mouthfuls of bittersweet chocolate. Very delightful.

M= Medium-heavy body. Coats and cools, yet the high ABV leaves your palate warm.

D= This one is a sipper. Savor it. It is excellent as soon as you pour it, but it gets even better as it warms. The high ABV it not for the faint at heart. I recommend sharing it with fellow advocate.

Side Note: I hope this doesn't negate my review...Try a splash of it over vanilla ice cream. Goodbye Hershey's syrup!

Photo of SaisonRichBiere
4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bottle into a red solo cup on the golf links.

Appearance- Thick, viscous motor oil with a substantially bubbly head. Looks like a fresh poured double espresso with brown bubbles.

Smell- Roasty espresso malty notes, a hint of boozy kahlua vibes. Awakens the senses with its robust richness.

Taste- Big coffee attack, followed by a very strong dark chocolate swell. A dark fruity raisin and brown bread note precedes a slightly boozy finish. Roasty charred chocolate and coffee notes remain on the palate.

Mouthfeel- Thick and creamy, like a heavy cafe au lait. Thickens up your saliva and gives you brown spits.

Overall- Possibly the best "breakfast" beer out there. I drank this one at 9 AM, and found it quite enjoyable. I'm not much of a coffee drinker, but I love coffee stouts, so it isn't uncommon for me to get into a stout like this in the morning on weekends. The perfect storm of coffee, chocolate, creamy texture, and well-hidden alcohol make this a great stout all around- no matter what time of day! This would be an excellent beer to pair with a creamy dessert.

Cheers.

Photo of ngandhi
4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Coffee, but not in any way ovepowering. Rich with cocoa and an ethereal, high-end carbernet mouthfeel. Tons of coffee, yes, but never overpowering. Fresh hop character is subtle and serves to lend structure without ever compromising the enormous malt and java character in this brew. An imperial stout before a coffee stout that is entirely impressively and archetypal of the style -- not of coffee/chocolate/nut whatever that means, but of stouts in general.

Drink now.

Relax, relax.
ng

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Pours an all-encompasing dark color. No light penetrates the edges of this brew. The darker tan head sits atop the brew and slowly fades. There is some lacing as well. Looks frightening.

S-Unbelievable dark roasty malted flavor. Big, big chocolate and coffee. Smells like a gigantic booze-coffee mutant. Alcohol is present but is not a detractor seeing as the beer is so big.

T-Super assertive. Quite like the nose with the roastiness, chocolate, coffee/espressso attack. The taste lingers and lingers forever. An absolute monster. Speedway Stout has one of the most in your face tastes I have come across. Tastes like Kahlua but way more awesome.

M-Sludgy and viscous. Light carbonation. Slick. Just how a big boy stout should feel.

D-Can't stop sipping. Especially at %12. I am shocked by its drinkability.

I find the Founders makes some hardcore stouts but this one plants itself right next to the top for me.

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass from a 750ml bottle.

A - Pours a dark dark brown almost black oily brew. It appears slowly but there is a nice thin .5 inch head with nice dense bubbles and some bigger to medium sized bubbles on the top. The head is nice and tan with some slight dark sandy colors.

S - Delicious sweet caramel first, that is quickly overtaken by some great fresh roasted coffee. The coffee is delicious and robust but with some slight mocha hints. Nice toasty and roasted malt hints with slight coffee and slight vanilla spice as well. Nice cocoa powder and the booze is not as apparent initially.

T & M - Delicious Wow! Roasted and toasty sweet chocolatey hints. Very nice sweet brown sugar hints as well. The roasted coffee flavor is up there as one of the best in a stout in my opinion. There is great complexity around this brew and each of the flavors are very interconnected and well represented. There is a slight warmth at the end that really adds to the sweetness as well probably from the 12% ABV. Nice oily and viscous with a lower carbonation fell that is very delicious and compliments the rich full body perfectly. There is some slight spice and some woody and smokey flavors as well and the nice roasted and dry finish is very exciting. Absolute MVP of the ADS in my book.

D - High ABV but dangerously hidden. One of my favorite Double Stouts.

Photo of Starchild
4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I vigorously poured Speedway into a standard pint, eventually getting nice cascading that left with me with a khaki inch of foam. The smell is dominated by java with some burnt sugar. Aged < 24 months.

Speedway is a fast spinning kaleidoscope of flavor. Just the alcohol alone had three distinct flavors moving as the beer warmed. At first, the hot spicy alcohol reminded me of bourbon with hints of vanilla. Next, the alcohol turned astringent reminding me of some vodka and cola. Then the alcohol turned vinous reminding me of port. While java and bittersweet chocolate form this beers core and host of other characteristics come to light and transform. I found Speedway tangy, rich, malty, and smoky all at different times. Clearly, this thinner and less carbonated (for the style) recipe helps Speedways flavor change so much. A beer that’s hard to find, catch, and enjoy but worth the effort.

Photo of Boto
4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle: I believe this one dates to 2004: paper label and black foil. This one pours an inky very dark brown. There was a thin tan head that didn't linger. Rich aroma. Mainly Roasted coffee and chocolate, with hints of sweetness and some dark fruits. WOW: is the taste smooth. It is very full bodied, roasty chocolate caramel, definitely some hops to balance it out, but they are masked. Excellent.

Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - absolute black, with a chocolate milk colored head 1/4 of a finger thick and rocky, obviously too dark to see any carbonation

S - can't smell much else other than coffee, but its a rich, high quality coffee aroma, there is an alcohol kick to the aroma as well

T - wow, this really tastes like cold coffee, a very thick, rich coffee taste, it overpowers any other flavors, right through to the aftertaste, did i mention theres a coffee taste to this

M - smooth and thick from the coffee sweetness, balanced very well too

D - must like coffee, if so, high, very high, sweet and easy down, the higherish ABV and the easy sweetness could get one in trouble easily

Photo of Alextricity
4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottled 10/16/13. Poured 11/16/14. I got this in Wisconsin in July. Finally cracked it open.

Appearance: Aggressive pour brought on a slow forming brown head that wound up being three fingers in height. This stout is pitch black with nothing getting through the glass. The lacing is really great -- plenty of it all over the glass.

Smell: Everything you'd want from an Imperial Stout: lots of chocolate and roasted malt. There's some coffee character in there, but that aroma accents more than anything. I don't get any kind of dark fruits on the aroma, but I do get a caramel quality and a plain cake doughnut sort of smell that I usually pick up in high ABV stouts -- especially BBA'd ones. I know, I'm weird.

Taste/feel: Absolutely delicious. The taste is almost exactly like the aroma, and I have zero problems with that. The mouth feel is fantastic... not super heavy, but pretty full-bodied, with a light carbonation. It feels like chocolate milk in beer form. Lots of smooth milk chocolate flavors coming through in this beer with caramel malts... the finish is some roasted malt and coffee with a little much needed bitterness that balances out the initial sweetness. I don't really get any dark fruit flavors to speak of... this reminds me of a more balanced Chocolate Manifesto. Speedway Stout still remains a somewhat sweet Imperial Stout overall, but then again it is 12% ABV.

Excellent, and the best I've had from the style (as of this review, of course). Worthy of every bit of the praise it receives.

Photo of rkuhnel
4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I waited a long time to my lay a hand on this one and finally found in on a trip to So. California. This poured BLACK. Not dark brown but black with no light at all even on the edges and threw up a very fat tan head that lasted a long time. Nose is very powerful and of coffee and chocolate. Very thick mouthfeel. Flavor is rich roasted malts with the chocolate and coffee in abundance. Finish is dry and bitter. Simply amazing stuff. Maybe my best stout ever. I loved this stuff.

Photo of pmarlowe
4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 5,159 ratings.