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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

5,065 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,065
Reviews: 1,417
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 781
Gots: 1,422 | FT: 141
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: 5,065 | Reviews: 1,417 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Starchild, Nov 14, 2005
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.

Boto, Apr 19, 2008
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

sinstaineddemon, May 20, 2006
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.

Alextricity, Nov 16, 2014
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.

rkuhnel, Nov 27, 2008
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.

pmarlowe, Feb 07, 2012
Photo of timtim
4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

jet black with a dark tan head that held amazingly well and left tons of lace. this is what i want my stouts to look like. just a wonderful beer all around. coffee, followed by chocolate and earthy roasty malt in the nose. taste is superbly balanced and has a little hop kick in the finish followed by a nice warmth that ensues post finish. full bodied. insanely drinkable for being as high abv as it is. one of my favorite breweries of all time. beyond good.

timtim, Mar 29, 2008
Photo of SShelly
4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

SShelly, Nov 25, 2008
Photo of warrenout330
4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750ml bottle

A- pours a pitch black color... big tan head... stays for minutes.... very sticky lacing to the glass

S- bitter sweet chocolate front, roasty coffee grains...charcoal in the back... hint of anise with a little black liquorice funk

T- sweet bitter chocolate... coffee domincace... as I drink this the 12% presents itself...and quite a bit it does... lingering coffee roastyness

M- thick full body... creamy feel... oily on the tongue... prickly carbonation... bitter balance

O- one of the best imperial stouts out there... very rare in my area so when it's here... you better grab it....

warrenout330, Nov 13, 2012
Photo of celticfutblclub
4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into a snifter

A - a nice jet black body poured heavily gives an ok finger thick brown head. the head was mildly disappointing but it does lace brilliantly.

S - strong aroma of sweet chocolate coffee molasses and a tiny bit of alcohol in the back. this nose is gorgeous.

T - the taste is no let down from the smell. strong tastes of coffee and chocolate hit up front. there is a pretty good bitter bite on the back end to compliment. this is one world class tasting stout.

M - full bodied with a good amount of carbonation on the tongue. the bitterness leads to some puckering and there is definitely a note of alcohol felt on the throat.

O - wow this is probably the best imperial stout i've had to date. its amazingly in just about every way. just can't seem to put it down (which may be a problem at 12%).

celticfutblclub, May 19, 2011
Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.61/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into 22oz snifter; opaque jet black with a medium fizzy brown head that fades after a bit into a nice ring of thick foam. Leaves incredibly fine lacing coating as the liquid level falls.
Smell is slightly metallic, dark roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, sweeter notes like caramel and toffee, and slight dark fruit.
Taste is big and sweet at first, with chocolate and dark fruit; it soon moves through roasted malt and coffee and finishes bittersweet with hints of alcohol (nowhere near the 12% that it is) and the bitter chocolate/coffee aftertaste mingling with sweet chocolate and toffee.
Mouthfeel is huge and creamy, good carbonation.
Overall, this is a benchmark for imperial stouts. It's a perfect example of imperial stout flavor, without any fancy accouterments. It's simple, but it's very good at doing what it does. Delicious!

BurgeoningBrewhead, Aug 26, 2013
Photo of Greywulfken
4.61/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my first epic stouts - had to revisit and update my initial review because it had been so long since I've had one of these.

A: black hole black - makes the room darker. Thick dark tan head dissipates as you drink but adorns the glass with lace as it goes...

S: deep, dark espresso - snaps you to attention

T: espresso w/ notes of cocoa, mellow roasted malt; the perfect balance between sweet and dry; classic flavors: bitter clingy espresso, and roasted, smooth chocolate malt. Doesn't have the anise/licorice you get with some stouts like this

M: creamy, silky, very palatable; abv just faintly hovers behind the dry, bitter espresso... black, chewy, bitter aftertaste

O: Great stout. No wonder its a top-rated stout. The sweet-to-dry balance is what does it. Beer me.

Greywulfken, Jan 13, 2011
Photo of MC6
4.61/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

MC6, Nov 22, 2014
Photo of larryi86
4.61/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, dated 1/27/14, poured into a teku

A- Black with a three finger dense mocha head.

S- Roasted coffee, rich chocolate, caramel malts, some vanilla.

T- Coffee, rich milk chocolate, some dark fruits and vanilla, roasted malts, some caramel.

M- Smooth, creamy, medium body.

O- A great coffee stout, very well balanced and alcohol well hidden. If you like big coffee stout this is a must try. Definitely will pick this again when I get a chance.

larryi86, May 11, 2014
Photo of CharlatanSin
4.61/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Had a couple of times before, just getting around to reviewing now. Poured from a bottle into a tulip.

A- Pours black with a nice tan head, which lingers. A little lacing.

S- Delicious dark chocolate and coffee. Dark fruit as it warms, with a little alcohol. Definite coffee liqueur character.

T/M- Coffee is the main flavor. Very roasty. Dark chocolate, dark fruit. A little bit of wine-like sweet booziness, but with no burn. That dark fruit is more pronounced as it warms. All of these flavors are powerful and delicious. Definitely let this one warm up, folks. One of the most flavorful non-BA stouts I've enjoyed. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy with low carbonation.

O- Outstanding. Go get some.

CharlatanSin, May 15, 2013
Photo of merlin48
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Shared a bomber of this nice impy stout with mtnlover over the weekend. Pours a dark and opaque body, with a longlasting, one finger light brown head. Garnet fringes lurk around the edges of the glass and sheet lacing gives way to attractive patch lace as the contents are drained.
Aroma has cocoa, medium chocolate, and roasted coffee beans in the background.
Mouthfeel is robust and full bodied. Good carbonation and a zing of hops on the tongue.
Taste is nicely complex, with chalky cocoa, milk chocolate, and chewy roasted coffee beans for bitterness. Some alcohol warming is noted. Bitter, burnt roasted coffee notes at the finish.
Complex, and very well put together. Hard to believe this is 12% abv, as a pleasant warming sensation was the only clue. Definitely, a world class Imperial Stout here.

merlin48, Jan 31, 2005
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Light doesn't have a chance at making it through this black hole abyss, it's a solid dark roasted murky dark black color with a thin large bubbled head, lacing comes packaged in tiny specks amazing. Aroma: A coffee chocolate combo backed with a deep brandy alcohol infused tone fruit lies there in the complexity these aromatics are amazing. Taste: Coats the palate with the lbs. of coffee beans added to the boil, than comes whopping you with the alcohol and chocolate. Mouthfeel: Full bodied this is a meal within itself so much complexity, with a mild carbonation. Drinkability: Each sip wants you to taste more and more, great stuff.

WVbeergeek, Mar 01, 2004
Photo of lnashsig
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So, I've had a really shitty day (my ceiling fell in because of a water leak) and my Astros have been sucking hardcore. So, I really need a BIG beer to pop the universe out of this slump. So, here is #BOTG 50! Alesmith Speedway Stout!

Poured from 750ml bottle (presumably 2011?) into my CBS snifter. Pours a wicked black oil like thickness and color, a dark tan/brown bubbly foam gurgles off the top of the head. This looks like a mean bastard of an Imp Stout. Smell- dark chocolate, dark fruit (reminds me in some ways of Black Metal with the yeast?) Booze definitely present. What I can't get out of this is the presence of coffee. Really nice aroma. Taste- whoa. Sweet dark chocolate bitterness blasts the back of my mouth. The roast coffee is the lighter note, its there on the end as well, and just melds perfectly with the aggressive bitter chocolate notes. Warming alcohol warms my chest- this is pretty assertive, a quality I like in my big stouts. The carbonation is appropriate here too. Overall, I'm real pleased with this one, will be sipping it and rooting on my Astros tonight!

lnashsig, Jun 02, 2012
Photo of BeerAmbassador
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on draft at the Pizza Port in Ocean Beach. I have had this beer a few times before but it has been a long while and I have never reviewed it. Pours a jet black with a decent tan head. As others have said, decent amount of carbonation for an Imperial Stout. Aromas of coffee, chocolate, molasses and raisins. This beer is huge on the palate, the coffee comes through but so does a serious amount of sweetness and a bit of booze as well. However, the alcohol level, while present (as it should be in a 12% abv beer) is kept in check by the sweetness and intensity of the other flavors present. Overall this is as well balanced as a huge over the top Imperial Stout can be. One of the first "extreme" beers I had when I was really starting to get into craft beer 5 or 6 years ago and it still holds up well.

BeerAmbassador, Jul 28, 2011
Photo of Bung
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Old engine oil black pour, dark tan head that lasted the entire glass. Looking at it from the side there were 3 layers, dark tan, reddish brown, then black. Roasted aromas, coffee and malt. Great creamy mouthfeel for such a big beer. Roast malt, some coffee, chocolate, mocha, a little lactic even. The alcohol is nearly non-existent for being 12%. Finishes much less bitter than many imperials. Lingering mocha latte. If there was an imperial milk stout, this could be it. The best of both, the roast, bittering and ABV of the imperial stout combined with the creamy mouthfeel and chocolate of a milk stout. At this point it is close, but I think this might be the best beer I've had nearly ever. I've rated the Bell's double cream stout higher because it's abv allows for more prolonged comsumption. This is the first time such a high expectation was met. That being said, I may be rating a little based on expectations. We'll see after the other 3 I have age a bit. Will have to try the barrel aged.

Bung, Dec 10, 2008
Photo of philbe311
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Just shy of two fingers worth of dense creamy batter-like head that is medium to dark khaki to color... Minimal retention gives way to a thick slightly uneven lacing... An absolutely opaque standard black color... A slight bit of lacing clings to the glass...

S - Chocolate and coffee... Coffee and chocolate... Roasted malts... Minor notes of licorice... A very subtle booziness... Very straightforward and very effective...

T - Cocoa... Roasted malts... Coffee... A touch of gooey caramel... The coffee really emerges and the finish and remains through the after taste along with a very faint alcoholic warmth lingers in the back of the throat...

M - Medium to full bodied... Slightly thinner than expected, but not "thin" by any means... A roasted chalkiness permeates... Slightly intensifies from start to finish, but otherwise very even and consistent...

D - Some big stouts are just too overbearing and detract from the overall enjoyability of otherwise terrific brews... That's not the case with Alesmith Speedway, this is a seriously big stout, but it fairly easy going and easy to workthrough... A truly world class offering...

philbe311, Sep 12, 2010
Photo of oxmasterscream
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured with the color and viscosity of motor oil. Darker in fact. Coaxing a head out of this baby was next to impossible but once I stopped pouring, a tiny swirl of mocha bubbles came forth from the depths of the jet-black elixir. Smell was intense to say the least. Deep, dark, chocolate, sweet, overripe cherries, scorched toffee, chocolate-covered peanuts, dark-roast coffee, and a kiss of anise. Sublime. Taste... holy crap, it's as good as I imagined. Hella chocolatey up front, intermixed with the darkest, sweetest, ripest of fruits. Brandy-like at times as a result. Nicely peppery in the middle. Finishes of over-sugared, bitter, dark-roast coffee that hangs in the back of your throat until you're ready for your next sip. Shit, this stuff tastes like morning and night. Immediately warms the insides yet the ABV is masked as well as anyone could mask in such a monstrosity of a beer. Carbonation is practically non-existent. Mouth is full and silky. Am I dreaming? A godlike offering.

oxmasterscream, Oct 30, 2005
Photo of dln646
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Deep dark brown with a brown beige creamy head, about two fingers high. Once swirling the glass there's no doubt about this beer's viscosity. It's positively thick.

Right of the bat the beer is a great deal more nuanced than I had anticipated, very meditative. At one fell swoop the beer is clearly high in its intensity. There's almost this mineral aroma of wet asphalt that brings a certain freshness to the nose. Vastly pronounced and complex malt aromas of chocolate malt, dark chocolate and coffee. Very roasted and attractive. Adding to the scent stratum is a slightly smoked hints of charketurie and a subtle green component.

On the palate the beer is tremendously well composed. There's a tickly syrupiness on the top of my tongue, and like with music, Speedway Stout has a substantial mid-range feel that joins together high nuanced elegance with deep roasted malt characteristics. The mid-palate is justly rounded and thick. The best is yet to come, the aftertaste. Like something heavy, the aftertaste is bound to sit on my palate while I fully enjoy every bit of it. Structurally this stout ends in a massive complex form of bitter, fine sweetness and long flavors. First there's coffee-like bitterness supplemented by a sort of not at all unpleasant flower-like bitterness.

It is complex, concentrated and yet elegant for a 12% ABV Imperial Stout. The length is perfected in terms of structure. The alcohol mainly contributes to the rounded body and contributes and integrates to a fantastic balance. This beer is as well thought-out as most beers I've tasted from AleSmith. Hopefully sometime in the future, I'll be able to drink one of the special Speedway Stouts on tap, seeing as this is one of my best stouts to date. http://quaffable.org/?p=300

dln646, Feb 20, 2013
Photo of Boilermaker88
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at the 7th Annual San Diego Strong Ale Festival at the Carlsbad Pizza Port. Okay, two things I really enjoy in life are beer (obviously, or I wouldn’t be doing this) and coffee. When I was in the service, I sometimes used to have a cup of coffee with the beers I had - especially when in Korea, a black hole for beer, IMO. So I’d have a beer in one hand, a cup of coffee in the other. Now, Alesmith has thoughtfully put the two together in one container for my drinking pleasure.
Sitting in the glass, Speedway Stout has a malevolent blackness to its hue, with a bubbly and blotchy espresso-toned head perched on top and looking like it wants to jump out of the glass. It slowly settles to a small brown ring. Placing a nose close to the glass reveals a darkly wonderful blend of espresso beans, black licorice, roasted malts, molasses, and a warning shot across the bow of alcohol. A taste yields a heavy dose of espresso and molasses while some bittersweet chocolate and roasted malt notes scurry around trying to find a place to hide from the all-consuming charred coffee bean flavor. The taste finishes off with a nice hops bite and another veiled warning as to this beer’s alcohol content in the form of a pleasing warmth and hint of ethanol. The feel was thick and chewy. It also had a real dryness that had me searching for some water afterward.
Those couple of warning shots about Speedway Stout’s %ABV are no joke and should not be ignored. At 12.5% this brew can definitely put a dent in your sobriety. That stated, the alcohol content is the only downside to this beer’s drinkability. If you love beer and coffee, Speedway Stout will hit the spot.

Boilermaker88, Dec 08, 2003
Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: jet black. Thick mocha head that sticks around despite the 12%.
smell: I gotta borrow ChainGangGuy's line, "chocolate cake (topped with a cherry)". That nails it. Coffee to be sure and chocolate with dark fruit. What a nose. Classic Imperial Stout with a unique twist (topped with a cherry).
taste: And the taste delivers. All the coffee, chocolate and dark fruit. A bit of bitterness in the finish.

cindyjeffsmith, Aug 04, 2012
AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 5,065 ratings.