AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

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

5,611 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,611
Reviews: 1,509
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.66%
Wants: 830
Gots: 1,656 | FT: 153
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: 5,611 | Reviews: 1,509
Photo of dbalsock
4.06/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours pitch black with a hint of blue (I love that in stouts) and loads of vanilla head... more head than I've seen in months. It is already brewtiful, but upon drinking I notice the lacing is incredible!

Smell: Flowery hops, carramel and coffee combine with a smokey sensation to make this a pleasant aroma. It all mixes well in the nose, but nothing stands out or makes it fantastic.

Taste: The alcohol mix with molasses, chocolate, grapefruit and other fruit (maybe banana or plum... but I'm having a hard time picking it out). It is complex and very well done, but again, nothing overly striking.

Mouthfeel: Thick, creamy and with a bitter balance, this is a fantastic mouthfeel for a stout. I find the alcoholic aftertaste goes well with the dense body to create a sensational feel. I only wish there was a little more bitterness at the end.

Drinkability: Although this has a high abv, I believe I could go through a few pints of it in a sitting... it's that dangerous.

Photo of tarheels86
4.06/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL 2008 ed. into snifter. Pours an opaque black with a small, dark tan head that disappears after awhile. Spotty lacing. Aroma of sour black cherries, chocolate covered strawberries, and fresh granny smith apples. Taste is sour with black cherries, strawberry tart, semisweet chocolate. Very oily, velvety mouthfeel that is coating on the palate. Reminds me of an imperial Bell’s Cherry Stout. Could actually be an RIS and Sour Ale combined. 12% is barely noticeable. As this drink warms, I start to get some espresso and vanilla ice cream as well as heavy whipping cream. Maybe this needs to be aged more but the overall impression I had was that this was very sour. 7/4/8/5/15=3.9

Tap at Hamilton’s SD. Pours near jet black with a fluffy, super rocky grayish head that has excellent retention and big, sheety lace. Aroma and taste are 100% coffee. Not much complexity. Thin to creamy mouthfeel. Pretty yummy but overall like iced coffee.

750mL 2009 ed. Pours near jet black with a towering deep brown to almost red mocha red with excellent retention and very good sheety lace. Excellent fresh, green coffee, tropical notes, bitter dark chocolate in the aroma. Taste is extremely bitter cacao and dark chocolate. Very hoppy but not distracting from the coffee. No residual sugars, no cloying sweetness. The 12% is perfectly hidden. Very good. 8/5/8/4/15=4.0

Photo of 4000qtrap
4.06/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Source/Serving: Draft

Smell: Lightly roasted coffee and chocolate in equal measures with creamy and caramel overtones. A hint of smoky/wood notes and some raisins and ripe fruit as it warms.

Taste: Higher carbonation than most stouts and some extra bitter roast coffee notes. Definite smokiness, but its soft and rounded not in your face. While it has good flavor it's a little one dimensional with no real changes in the flavor profile throughout the sip.

Photo of chicagobeerriot
4.06/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted blind as part of Blind Beer BIF #3 with much thanks to sholland119.

Pours flat black with only the slightest amount of ruby light at the extreme edge of the glass. Cappuccino-colored foam sticks around for awhile and creates some nice latticework as it slowly dissipates.

The nose is heavily hit with dark toast and coffee. There's a bit of molasses and vanilla in the background, but overall I'm expecting the char to outweigh the sweet.

Mouthfeel is full but not overly syrupy. A bit of carbonation keeps this from being too much of a beer-shake.

As I suspected, when administered internally, the coffee and char take an unquestionable lead. There's a bit of chocolate sweetness in there too, but, in general, this is a coffee bomb. Not as much complexity as a Peche Mortel or Founder's Breakfast Stout, but as a coffee geek, this does the trick. The finish has a little alcohol heat which might mellow with age, but the heat is moderated nicely by a prolonged hop and baker's chocolate bitterness (plus I wouldn't want to age it and lose the coffee).

Photo of westweasel
4.06/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured out a beautiful jet black liquid with a tall over one-inch frothy tan head. It looks like a root beer float. Tons of lacing were left on the glass. The aromas were a strong roastyness, coffee, and dark chocolate.

The taste is dominated by coffee and roasted grains. There is a nice bitter bite at the end of the swallow. The mouthfeel is medium to full.

The drinkability is very good. It's hard to tell that this is a high-alcohol beer.

Photo of Spica66
4.06/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Received this one from BigTomZ. Thanks, Tom!

750ml black glass champagne bottle with all silver/grey printed-on graphics and a silver foil on the top. Very sharp appearance to this bottle.

Poured into tulip

A: Black as night. Excellent head formation and retention. This is exactly how a stout should look in the glass.

S: Even when pouring, chocolate aromas were wafting up from the glasses. The labeling talks about the pounds and pounds of coffee used the beer, but neither Fr. Ian nor I smelled anything special about the coffee notes and they were hard to find under the bitter chocolate smell.

T: Very dark roast taste. Coffee and dark chocolate notes as one would expect from a beer this dark. The 12% does not show up until well down the esophagus.

M: Way too thin for this big of a beer. I was really surprised by how light it was and the lack of creaminess or roundness in the mouth.

D: This is easily one of the easiest to drink high-ABV stouts I have ever had.

Photo of lordofstarside
4.06/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 3/27/14

Pours black with a finger of foam that's receded pretty quickly. No retention or visibility. Lacing is okay, leaves a nice frothy ring around the glass

Smells of dark fruit, cherry, dark chocolate, coffee, and notes of vanilla. Finishes with some alcohol, really fruity

Taste is also pretty fruity. Upfront cherry and raspberry, followed by dark chocolate and some espresso. Alcohol ensues

Feel is pretty thick and creamy. Alcohol is pretty noticeable, sips okay

Overall okay, didn't live up to the hype for me, though. Coffee for the most part was pretty absent, what's up with that

Photo of Gmann
4.05/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch black color, total darkness. The head is tight and creamy looking and settles into a sparse cap.

The aroma is of a mild chocolate, caramel and coffee. There are some ash notes perhaps some burnt wood. Its a nice aroma just not very strong.

The taste is of a strong roasted malt and expresso roast. There is some caramel sweetness and a sour berry thing. Some bitter chocolate, licorice and vanilla notes finish the flavor profile. A very roast dominated stout.

The feel is well-bodied with semi-soft carbonation which gives the beer a silky feel. Starts off sweet but ends bitter with a subtle sour twang. ABV is well hidden.

A very roasty stout with bitter coffee flavors. Quite substantial. I prefer to see some other flavors equalize the heavy roast so I scored lower but heavy roast fans will love it.

Photo of oline73
4.05/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown, almost black, with no light coming through at all. There is a half finger of tan head that fades to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Very sweet and roasty with lots of coffee and roasted malt dominating. There is some dark fruit, chocolate, and alcohol in there as well.

Taste: Very smooth but very roasty. The coffee and roast make this one pretty bitter, but there is a ton of sweetness to balance it out. Some chocolate and dark fruit. Roasty alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Very thick body, sticks to your mouth. Tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: Very well balanced other than the bitterness in the finish. I would have liked the finish to be a little bit smoother, but still a wonderful beer. I'd love to have it again.

Photo of Absumaster
4.05/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is a black, non transparant beer with a small off-white head.

Smell is strong roasted that is predominantly black malt. There is some smoke and the coffee beans are in here, but not as upfront as I expected. You would have to know it to smell it.

Taste is roasted and burned, I get goose bums on my back at the first sip. This stuff is bitter! Now I get the coffee sensation, but still it is not strong and does not smell like fresh ground coffee or like fresh coffee. You could have fooled me and say that the burned/ roasted notes came from the dark malts. Bitterness is high and dominated by US hops, which means piney and citric aggressive bold bitterness and full of cohumulone.
The body is medium and drinkability is good, for a 12%ABV beer they have hidden the alcohol remarkably well, there is not even a warming sensation. Aftertaste is dry and lingering bitter and roasted.

I got this bottle from dogfooddog, thanks again!

Photo of mikeg67
4.05/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle. Pours black with tall, long lasting, creamy, brown head, nice lacing and lovely carbonation. Aroma is of roasted malt, toast, dark fruit herbal hops. Body is full, creamy and slightly crisp. Taste is of nutty, toasted malt, coffee, chocolate, brown sugar, dark fruit and herbal hops. Finish is long and bitter. Great Imperial Stout.

Photo of Frozensoul327
4.05/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Wow. Amazing stout. From the recommended tulip glass. Pours out to a jet black color with a small head of brown foam. Lower carbonation. Aromas of dark chocolate, coffee, rich toasted malts and cocoa are present, blending well and hinting at the richness that this beer offers. Flavors of rich full bodied roasted malt, smooth java, a touch of dark fruits, cocoa, and a dryness likely from the hops. Nice. Mouthfeel is smooth, creamy and dense. Magnificent. Drinkability is only average, as this is one once in awhile brew, not intended for or enjoyable on a regular basis. Special thanks to Himerman for the sample.

Photo of Matthew
4.05/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml green bottle. Pours out a dark black, no light can get though this one. Nice big thick dirty tan head sits atop the inky black beer.
First big aroma I noticed with this beer is unsweetened dark chocolate, with some faint coffee undertones and big whiffs of alcohol. As the beer warmed the coffee character in the nose become more apparant along with the chocolate aromas and the big alcohol element began to fade a bit.
Nice big chocolatley, bitter coffee tastes up front with some nice dark roasted malt flavors that really pull through with warmer drinking temperatures. Alcohol is very present but doesnt hurt the flavor of the beer, just its drinkability.
The mouthfeel is not as big and viscous as I had initially had expected but is not too thin by any means for a big stout like this one. Definatley a sipping brew. I'd think that this beer will get better with a year in the cellar. We shall see.

Photo of AwYeh
4.05/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bomber into a 16oz. snifter.

A: Pours a very dark brown, almost black, with less than a finger of brown head.

S: Aroma is of strong coffee and chocolate, with a good deal of ethanol.

T: Taste follows aroma; AleSmith has got the flavor balance (and quality, especially on the coffee) down pretty well. Hints of vanilla show up too. A bit more ethanol than I would like holds this back from being rated higher. Lingering bittersweet finish, with coffee and dark chocolate holding strong.

M: Medium bodied with soft carbonation; very smooth for such a big stout.

D: In my first bottle of Speedway the 12% ABV was well hidden, but on the second it was quite noticeable (perhaps the first one was older than I expected). Goes down easily if you're feeling something sweet, but it was a bit hard to finish my half of a bomber split with Jesse13713 (thanks!) due to the sweetness this time.

Photo of MrDanno96
4.05/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark pour with about a finger of tan head. Just a little spotty lace coats the sides of the glass.

S: Tons of roasted malt and coffee - like sticking my nose into a cup of iced dark roast coffee. Some dark chocolate and smokiness are also detectable around the coffee aroma.

T: Similar to the nose in most respects - very coffee dominant. Strong espresso and dark patent malt dominate the flavor with dark chocolate in the background. Fairly distinct burnt coffee aftertaste.

M: Nice full body with a moderate amount of carbonation. Nice and smooth going down. Alcohol very well hidden!

D: All around this is a very solid Imperial Stout. I think I could do with a little less coffee being added in order to bring out some of the brew's other flavors. In the end, I like this beer, but I don't think it's one of the top 20 beers in the world.

Photo of dogfooddog
4.05/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml, pours with a small dark tan head. nose is slightly sweet, very chocolate-like, not really much in the way of roasted or burnt odors here at this point. served 50f.

some alcohol gets through into the taste, at 12% not that surprising. once again, semi-sweet chocolate is the major feature. beyond that, there is a slightly sour bitterness into the aftertaste/finish. maybe I am missing something, but this is not a terribly complex drink. I am surprised by its relatively high ratings.

very pleasant 12% american stout, very nicely balanced taste, worth trying, along with alesmith's other products.

I will note that I believe the size and abv of this beer are too much, combined. I understand this is a 'premium-priced' alesmith product, but some smaller alternative (like a 375ml corked bottle) would be nice if one were to wish to drink this without either dumping half the bottle or being mildly inebriated upon finishing it.

Photo of Vdubb86
4.05/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter

Thanks to Axic10 for this want

This beer pours a decent blackness into the glass topped by a deep brown foam on the surface. The aromatics are solid. They remind of lots of coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, and leather. The taste is holy crap a lot of coffee. It was more of a punch in the face with the amount of bitterness that came up front. The coffee flavor took over the taste of this beer with mostly dark roast. The more this beer was drank the more it grew on me, but initially it was hard to swallow. This beer was consumed at the appropriate temperature and my coffee loving participant in this experience with me agreed this is a lot of delicious coffee flavor. The mouthfeel is still acidic and astringent, but with that kinda being the point I remain lenient to them. Overall this was a damn good coffee imperial stout, it's odd that they don't advertise it at that. Still it's tasty as heck and I wouldn't mind sharing it with friends again.

Photo of koopa
4.05/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours black as the devil's soul while sunbathing on a beach during a total solar eclipse. Staring into the glass is like staring into a murderers pupils. Mocha 2 finger crown shows little retention and a few swirls of lace.

Smell: A nice display of coffee and dark chocolate over extremely roasty malt over the tiniest hint of alcohol.

Taste: Loads of coffee, dark roasted malt, a bit of alcohol warmth, and a long finish that is slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel: Rich and full bodied with minimal carbonation and a slickness.

Drinkability: heavy mouthfeel, low carbonation, and a double digit abv is making this 750ml a challenge for me to finish alone :)

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.05/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.05/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

Photo of ChadQuest
4.05/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.04/5  rDev -8%
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…

Photo of kmeves
4.04/5  rDev -8%
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.

Photo of Slackerville
4.04/5  rDev -8%
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.

Photo of Retsinis
4.04/5  rDev -8%
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.

AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 5,611 ratings.