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AleSmith Speedway Stout | AleSmith Brewing Company

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AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

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!

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-09-2002

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,616 | Ratings: 6,405
Photo of andrewinski1
4.16/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. Thanks to Bendurgin for sharing. Nice 2 finger thick creamy mocha colored head. The lacing is super sticky. I can't imagine one better looking than this.

The battle between coffee and fruity aromas is barely one by the latter. A hint of dark cherry is noticed. Nice chocolatey undertones.

Well starts out nice and chocolatey and finishes with a huge coffee bitterness. This is dryer than I expected, aiding its drinkability.

Thick, creamy, velvety, perfection. The mouthfeel in big stouts is key, and this hits spot on.

A great beer. I should sip this, but I'm not sure I'll be able to.

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Photo of bobhits
4.16/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Black as night, what little head forms is crushed by alcohol.

Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, lightly burnt malts, espresso, and heavy cream.

Dark malts, dark roasted coffee grinds, bakers chocolate, and a surprising amount of hops really show through in this. Leaves a somewhat citrus coffee mouth feel covered in pounds of dark chocolates and roasted flavors. A hair expensive but a worthy treat. Now what to serve with it? Jerky was not optimal.

This is a big beer, but lets be honest in the world of barrel aged beers like bourbon county stout, this beer seems rather small. The alcohol however is NOT small and it adds a warning with every drink as it warms the whole body.

This is a really really nice stout, but given beers like Narwal, founders breakfast stout, founders imperial stout....I just don't think this lives up to the hype. Most likely that's just a sign of the times and how brewers are more and more able to improve on the past. Still a worthy beer even at the 12.99 price tag I paid.

Edit from a second tasting but the real weakness in this beer is the high ABV or perhaps just the brewing style leaves a somewhat thin mouth feel which is really hurting this one. I think my first time through I was disappointed and didn't realize where the problem was.

I'm moving the Taste score up to 4.25 from 4 and dropping the feel from 4.25 to 3.75. Also dropping the look score to 4.5 from 4.75, it's a bit light around the edges but upping overall to 4.25 from 4.

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Photo of adamette
4.16/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Live review. Poured from the 750 ml bottle that my nephew Christopher's wife Audrina bought at a bottle shop near Riverside, CA for $11.99 and brought back in her luggage for me. Thanks Audrina. Bottle has foil like wrap over the cap and I took it out of the fridge to let it warm up a bit before drinking it as the ideal serving temperature is listed at 50-55 degrees on the back label. Poured into my gold rimmed Gulden Draak tulip since I do not own an AleSmith tulip which is also suggested on the back label for serving. I do not know if the bottle is painted black or if it is just really dark and the beer itself is that dark but there is no seeing through the unopened bottle. Just thought I would mention that detail before actually commenting on the beer itself. Of course I looked forward to trying this beer as it is on the top 100 and that is why I went to the lengths that I did to get it.

A Absolutely pitch black body letting no light through under an awesome, creamy super fine medium brown head that reminds me very much of coffee with cream. Upon my initial pour the carbonation which would later form the head billowed up from below in a great display. The Gulden Draak label never looked better against the ultra black body of this beer. To top it all off (pun intended) there is a great curtain like lacing inside the glass. I do not know how it can be improved. 5.0

S Swirling a bit to get more aroma, I get the dark roast malt that I expected, some coffee house wonderful smells but little to no alcohol. This is a good smelling beer but within that it is just kind of basic, dark roast with coffee smell. Repeated sniffs provided no more information. 4.0

T What a ride. After the intial wetness and smooth feel (described below), I get spike of alcohol, dark roast malt and coffee grounds bitterness that might also be hops in the mix somewhere. Sips taken near the bottom of the bottle seemed a bit harsher than the first few sips which were a nice balance of sweet dark roasted malt, coffee and bitter hops but later sips (I left the brewers yeast in the bottle per instructions on the label) the harshness was more prominent. This beer really developed and changed within the bottle. I have experienced that before but I do not recall when it was so obvious. Early sips were 5.0. Later sips were 4.0 for an average (for me anyway) of 4.5

M Sooo smooth and for this style, ABV and inclusion of coffee tastes that is not easy to achieve. Just great. Again, later sips from the bottle were more harsh but the feel has to at least average 4.0

D This is certainly a sipper of a beer. I will finish the 750 ml bottle (except for the brewer's yeast) so as to experience the whole thing but would not think of drinking any more. That is just about two tulip glasses worth and this ABV would not allow more than that. 3.5

Notes: Well there it is, one of the BA top 100. A great beer that had the interesting quality of changing from the top of the bottle to the bottom.

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Photo of 05Harley
4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No bottle dating information:

Purchased through Hi-Time Wine Cellars, Costa Mesa, CA

Price: $11.46/bomber

After a good day of snowmobiling this lovely gem just jumped out at me to help warm up my bones and replenish the energy levels.

Appearance: Pours like black ink revealing a 1" creamy tan cap. Head fades fairly quick to a lite sheen leaving behind an artistic laced decorated drinking vessel.

Smell: A rich aroma of coffee (not surprising given the pounds and pounds of coffee beans added), roasted malts and dark chocolate.

Taste: Coffee dominates the flavor followed by bitter chocolate, molasses and alcohol. Could use a tad more sweetness in the taste.

Mouthfeel: Starts out smooth like velvet with a medium body but quickly changes to a fairly bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability: If you like your stouts with a high amount of bitterness this one's for you. A little too much for my liking. An enjoyable beer never the less. At 12% the alcohol is well hidden. I've got a few more in the cellar and I suspect they will age quite well.

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Photo of papat444
4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked up in Philly 2 years ago.

Poured from a 750ml. bottle, code2120L (not sure if it means anything).

Appearance: Real thick, viscous pour. Like motor oil almost. Frothy foam that`s modest but ever present. Thick coating on the glass.

Smell: Macadamia nuts, ground coffee beans, very long lasting and full.

Taste: Well roasted coffee beans, not too robust, bit milky, bittersweet chocolate a bit but all about the coffee in a good way.

Mouthfeel: Ultra smooth, silky, melt in your mouth quality.

Overall: Bonus points for being drinkable despite high ABV. A bit expensive but a nice treat all around.

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Photo of pepsican
4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a medium sized tan head. Strong coffee aroma. A bit of toasted malt. Flavor has loads of coffee, chocolate, and caramel. Body is medium, I figured it would be thicker, very nice and balanced. You can notice the alcohol. It's almost like a one two punch. Flavor...then boozy goodness. This is very nice, I'm glad I have a few more

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Photo of jcalabre
4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Last sampled 28 July 2002. Jet black w/ a nice brown head. Very strong coffee nose and flavors w/ chocolate undertones. The high alcohol level is noticeable. This brew's flavors are big and bold. An excellent stout, up there in the same league w/ Stone Russian Imperial & Victory Storm king

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750mL bottle, capped and foiled. no date, but I purchased a few months ago.

pours black, with 1/4" dark tan head. some lacing left by the thin collar that stays. definitely strong espresso aroma, mixed with dark chocolate, booze, & molasses.

taste is complex - caramel, vanilla, coffee, mildly acidic. almost a salty aftertaste, good balance of sweetness and bitterness. no trace of the 12% ABV. medium body, subtle carbonation, a little oily feeling.

definitely improves in aroma and taste as the beer warms. heed the bottle label's suggestion to serve at 50-55 degrees.

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Photo of schlimenhaumer
4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to kojevergas for this bottle as well as hosting the first formal tasting I’ve attended on January 3! Starting the night out strong with this one. Poured into a Gouden Carolus tulip at altitude in Denver.

A: Pitch black with a dark tan head of little retention and spotty lacing. Oily appearance when swished around the glass.

S: Dark chocolate, peaty oak notes, some vanilla and a bit of booze.

T: Dark chocolate with some oak notes on the finish. Very straightforward in terms of flavor, but the flavors here complement each other and it’s very well balanced. The alcohol is concealed very nicely here.

M: Full-bodied and silky smooth. Quite possibly the best aspect of this beer, and near perfect for an imperial stout in my opinion.

D: This is a very drinkable beer, especially in light of its alcohol content. I think it’s a great model for a simple approach to an imperial stout.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into a large snifter.

A: Pours inky black with a one inch tan head. Retention is decent. Lacing is small and spotty.

S: Heavy chocolate fudge, suggestions of vanilla bean, slight woody scent, rich and earthy aroma of roasted coffee beans in the background, plum, raspberry and blackberry esters, and some spicy alcohol.

T: Chocolate fudge and roasted coffee beans open. Roasted malt tastes of wood and char provide an acrid edge. Plum and blackberry darkfruit in the background. A spicy alcohol presence rears its head toward the end, but stops just short of being hot. Dry finish of bakers chocolate and a kiss pf smoke.

M: Very rich, full, and creamy. Luscious and velvety, even. Chewy. Very little carbonation. Great mouthfeel.

O: It took me a little while to settle in and fully appreciate the complexity of this beer. It's so big and robust, yet it remains delicate, nuanced, and even subtle at times. One hell of a dessert beer.

Notes: A good six months in the cellar tamed the alcohol presence just enough. I look forward to trying some with more age on them in the future.

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Photo of angelmonster
4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a one finger dark brown head, body is pitch black with no light penetrating. Head retention is good and lacing is above average.

Smell is of roasted espresso beans and smoky burnt malts. Sweet chocolate syrup is also in there mixed with alcohol. Thats pretty much what dominates the aroma completely.

Taste is heavy on roasted coffee beans and burnt malts. There is also an aftertaste of bitter coffee grounds, it's almost like sipping on a double shot of espresso. Hops could also add to that bitterness I'm tasting. Alcohol is definitely present at 12% but not overpowering.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, nice and syrupy. Carbonation levels are good, well carbonated for such a big, strong beer. Head contributed some creaminess to the body, just not enough to give it a 5

Drinkability is very good. Would have given it a 5 but at 12 percent, it packs a punch. I love Coffee Stouts and it definitely delivers tons of coffee flavor. Drank the whole 750 ml bottle and could have had another but with the alcohol content it would have knocked me on my ass.

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Photo of CurtisLoew
4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle thanks to my California trading buddy.

Pours dark brown/black. Brown cream colored head. Great looking beer. Smell is heavy on the coffee, chocolate, bitter, very roasty. Taste is more of the same, a little sharp. This is a really great big coffee beer. Would really enjoy trying this again.

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Photo of kawilliams81
4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle not a 8 oz snifter.

A- pours a nice black with a 1" light brown head. Leopard/zebra print lacing remain on the glass.

S- nice coffee aroma with some dark chocolate and roasted malts.

T- bitter, roasted coffee, dark chocolate, anise and very bitter pine.

M- full body and medium carbonation. Smooth and creamy.

O- nice RIS that had more bitter, roast flavor than the nose led on.

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Photo of NoLeafClover44
4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle poured into a snifter.

A - Pours black with a thick, dense two finger mocha head. Great retention and a leaves beautiful complete lacing.

S - Rich, roasty aroma. Some bitter coffee, vanilla, and sweet milk chocolate.

T - Very bold flavor. Lots of coffee and dark fruit sweetness. Significant bitterness on the finish. The alcohol is noticeable in the throat at the beginning, but this fades over time.

M - Good carbonation and a medium feel.

O - I have been waiting a while to try this one. I was impressed by the aroma and found the flavor to be very good. There was nothing that really set this one apart from the vast sea of double stouts out there. Very good, not exceptional.

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Photo of JamesMcPolin
4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice gas release upon cracking open. Poured from the 750ml bottle into a snifter.

Beautifully black. Great head at first plus pretty good head retention. Its mocha colored head at first, while thick, but gets lighter and more tan as it dissipates.

Coffee is most upfront and obvious. Smells delicious. Dark caramel, roastyness of course, chocolate is tantalizingly in the background of the nose but is still there just enough to segue into the taste where it's more present

The 12% is buried deep into in this massive brew. Had quite a few sips before even thinking about the fact that this had a higher abv and that's with barely even giving it any time in the fridge to chill from room-temp storage before cracking.

Full-bodied, viscous, warm and syrupy in the best way as it returns to room-temp.

A solid imperial stout. Love the 12%, love the 750ml bottle, love the 'only' $10 to acquire. If you already love the imperial stout style and you dig the heavy coffee versions, this one is definitely more at the coffee end of the style's somewhat subtle spectrum.


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Photo of chalsk
4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally experience this fine brew. Pours a black color with a caramel colored head. Has an aroma of coffee and chocolate. Sweet start with coffee spice. Chocolate notes on the finish. A nice big stout with some bold flavor. Aging would help but one good brew.

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Photo of Scotchboy
4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

New 750ml bottle procured and shared with my brother. In all, this is exactly what I thought this stout should be. Now that the carbonation and mouthfeel are spot on, the alcohol fades to the back and dark roasted malts and coffee notes are very prominent. This is still a beast, but its a very good Imperial coffee stout.

Old Review (1-30-12)
A: 4
S: 4.5
T: 3.5
MF: 3
O: 4
Old Score: 3.78

Speedway Stout. From a trade with FosterJM waaay back in the day. Decided to break this one out earlier rather than later to salvage as much of the original coffee flavors as possible. Poured into a New Belgium globe.

A: Jet black. A hard pour produces not head, just some big bubbles. No lacing...though there is some alcohol legs.

S: Big nose as it warms; roast, sweet chocolate, coffee, hint of caramel and vanilla, and a decent amount of booze. Coffee is still there but has probably faded a touch...right now it has a nose of sweetness and booze and some bitterness all mixed together.

T: Smooth malt presence...roast and coffee and chocolate. After this long it has still retained an espresso-like bitterness. Booze...finishes with a flash of chicory and molasses. Sweet and syrupy.

MF: Absolutely no carbonation. Medium-full mouthfeel, cut & thinned by the alcohol presence. Pretty syrupy.

O: I still liked it a lot but the taste and mouthfeel suffered because of the lack of carbonation. I read about that happening to some batches about the time I picked this one up, so I'm glad I pulled this out of the cellar instead of sitting on it for another year. I believe that carbonation would have cut the boozy, syrupy feel of this beer.

I'll look for another bottle of this to re-review.

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Photo of ffejherb
4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into goblet on 3/8/09. Thanks to sholland119 for sharing.

A - Poured pitch black with sparse carbonation and a creamy, burnt mocha head that settled to about a quarter inch of retention and left thick lacing around the glass.

S - Complex and inviting aroma featuring roasted malt, toasted oats, hints of chocolate and coffee, mixed nuts, cocoa, milky notes and a hint of alcohol heat.

T - Roasted coffee and nuts with some sweet milky and bitter chocolate notes. Very roasty flavor overall with a bit of an astringent character. Finish is quite bitter with an abundant earthy hop presence.

M - Medium to full bodied with a rich, creamy texture that was almost chewy. Warm mouthfeel overall. Finish is quite earthy and bitter on the palate.

D - Very good imperial stout that was heavy on the roast but not so much the chocolate or oatmeal as the aroma suggested. It was a bit astringent, but still extremely drinkable for a 12% brew.

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Photo of BuccoFan
4.14/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Lacing is tremendous. Body is medium but solid. Coffee is prominent on both ends, with a bitter finish. Sweetness is a little more detectable than roast is. It's a very good coffee stout.

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Photo of micromaniac129
4.14/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very thick and velvetty. Jet black in color. There is no foamy head though and looks flat.
Smells of rich and roasted malts with coffe and vanilla some chocolate.
Taste is rich and complex with lots of roasted malts and black coffee. Hints of bittersweet chocolate works in perfect harmony.
Thick and heavy on the palette with a velvetty smooth flow.
Quite decadent and rich. A sipper.
At 12% ABV its almost an after thought. You won't notice it until well into the aftertaste.

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Photo of Jonada
4.14/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle poured into a snifter

Appearance: Pours a black viscous liquid, with no head except for a dark tan, almost brown colar. Completely opaque in the glass.

Smell: Dark roasted coffee, roasted malt, dark chocolate, black licorice, earth. There was a slight metallic aroma when first poured, but this faded as the beer warmed.

Taste: Bittersweet dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, slight burnt toast flavor. Sweetness at the front of the tongue yields to a coffee bitterness in the finish. Booze is noticeable in the flavor.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with high carbonation. Goes down pretty easy for 12% though.

Overall: Really good imperial coffee stout, but I don't think it quite lives up to its lofty ratings. It's worth picking up if you can find it, but I wouldn't recommend going to any great lengths to obtain.

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Photo of alienlifeforcecube
4.13/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

i didn't get much on the nose. it's dark and thick. lots of coffee and molasses. low on the carbonation. i can't taste the 12%abv. it's masked very well. overall a wonderful stout.

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Photo of standardcherry
4.13/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bought the bottle almost a year ago but god knows when it was bottled.

A: Pitch black with a huge mocha-colored head. Beautiful looking stout. Thick and great head retention.
S: Eww licorice? I hate licorice. Some roasted coffee, roasted malt and dark chocolate. Not the best smelling beer out there.
T: Dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malts. Thank god there's no licorice in here. A little chocolate bitterness in the aftertaste. Hint of alcohol at the end.
M: Full bodied, medium carbonation. A bit sticky.
O: This is a great coffee stout. Even though I'm not a huge fan of coffee I enjoyed this quite a lot.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.13/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Its been over a year and a half... figured I should finally review my namesake beer. 2010 vintage only because I remember when I bought it. Poured from a foiled and capped 750ml. bottle into a Southampton oversize snifter.

A: Standard pour yields a 1 finger frothy mocha colored head with good retention. Beer is an opaque black though it looks a bit on the thin side. Lacing is stringy and layered with very good cling. Nice legs too. A pretty beer overall though it lacks a certain viscosity.

S: Nose is a sharp espresso bean first and foremost. Chocolate, liquorice, and roasted malt plays around in the background hidden by the coffee and slight booziness. Aromatic and pungent overall but I've smelt better. A bit one-dimensional.

T: Opens milk and dark chocolate sweetness which is quickly complemented by coffee bean bitterness along with a smoothing roasted malt character. Very robust throughout. Coffee tingles in the background towards the middle while a hint of liquorice appears. Coffee powers forward towards the finish, ending with a nice crescendo of spiciness, slight coffee bean tartness, and a touch of dark fruit. Cocoa powder and coffee beans in the finish. Like the aroma, a bit one sided, but that side is done very very well.

M: Medium bodied with low carbonation. This one drinks much better than it looks. Silky and smooth in the mouth with a touch of spiciness going down. Sticky and viscous throughout. Finish is messy with a lingering aftertaste.

D: I've had this beer fresh before and I can say that with a year on it, there's no comparison. The aged version is far better. More balanced and not so intensely coffee forward. I'm not a huge fan of imperial stouts with a heavy coffee persuasion, but this is a very solid offering from alesmith. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of dannydetox
4.13/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Speedway stout is a massive beer from AleSmith. 12% abv and you can feel it after a 750 of this beast. Pours a viscous black with a brownish head. Loads of coffee and roasted malts - more coffee than I like, but that is just my personal taste aversion I developed after downing some 60 oz of Denny's coffee in an hour when I was a younger lad...

Let's get back to the beer. I love the full mouthfeel on the Speedway Stout. Viscosity again comes into play here. Plenty of toastiness and rich, rich malts throughout the finish. The booziness isn't super pronounced, but you get a bit of heat on this one. This is a good after dinner drink and pairs well with hazelnuts, gorgonzola dolce (or any other sweeter blue cheese), and Barely Buzzed from Beehive Cheese Co. in Utah.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,616 ratings.