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AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

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

5,351 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,351
Reviews: 1,458
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 800
Gots: 1,544 | FT: 142
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: 5,351 | Reviews: 1,458 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pmarlowe
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

Photo of Dogbrick
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Acquired via trade. This definitely fits the bill as a Big Beer. Pours almost sludge-like out of the champagne bottle. Thick and black with a miniscule beige head. Next to no lacing. The aroma is all roasted coffee. The body is big and bold and the flavors of coffee, bitter chocolate and warming alcohol really pack a whollop. It never becomes too much though. The beer remains smooth throughout. This is one of those beers that you wouldn't know was 12% by the flavor, only by the effect. The finish is dry and slightly bitter. Superb.

Photo of SShelly
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

Photo of Martyrob
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of Yesac
4.64/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2013 bottle.

A- Jet black opaque in color, desert sand tan head colored head. Nice even fine lacing on the glass.

S- Powerful dark roasted malt, hints of chocolate and espresso.

T- Along with smell, nose is dark delicious roasted malt, roasted coffee bean, dark bitter (and very delicious) chocolate with an espresso type bitter finish. The finish is outstanding. Even more rewarding as it warms.

M- Very well balanced here, a perfect weight body for this style (medium/heavy) and it lingers well and covers the palate without being too dry. The carbonation level is medium and dialed in to perfection. It leaves you wanting to frequently pick up the glass for another sip.

O- One of the best stout's I've ever had. This has it all. The mouthfeel and aftertaste are the highlights for me. Such a delicious and well rounded beer overall. Complex and flavorful without being too heavy and too big, it's just right. And the ABV is very well hidden at 12%. Wow.

Photo of TheSarge
4.64/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Speedway Stout pours great for a three finger dark tan head, and a jet black opaque body.

Fragrance is roasty coffee, semisweet chocolate and metallic characteristics.

In the taste, semisweet chocolate is the dominate trait. The coffee doesn't really kick in until the very end. Even then, the coffee addition is kick ass, and goes for a great finish.

This feels very creamy, and has a mild slickness. Alcohol warmness is slightly notable, and is kind of masked; however, this is still a warming beer.

What with all the complexity, how can this beer be wrong? It's a desert in a bottle!

Photo of prokopt2
4.64/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of Nietzsches_Horse
4.64/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of wanker
4.64/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wonderful thick, creamy mouthfeel. Almost feels like cream has been added. Among my favorite mouthfeels ever.

Delicious coffee flavor. The coffee is really out front and provides all the bitterness in the beer. I couldn't taste any hops - but that is ok. Because of the coffee bitterness the beer was adequately balanced between sweet and bitter flavors. No alcohol taste, even though the ABV is 12%.

Super drinkable, until you pass out from the ABV.

Just a few negatives:

I couldn't get any head out of this beer, even with a fairly aggressive pour. I'd like to see a bit of head. Thus the 3.0 appearance rating.

Even though there is no alcohol in the taste, the alcohol hits you pretty hard in the nose. So I took off a point for smell.

Photo of Bobloblawlawblog11
4.64/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of infi
4.64/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle, shared with BAs johnjae, NYManc and r0nyn. 10/29 notes.

Poured into a Duvel tulip.

A dark void in the glass: dark, rich, opaque and concentrated. A thin tan head emerged from the pour but quickly melted away in a matter of seconds. Little to no lacing on the glass as well. The aromas was seriously a freshly opened bag of coffee grounds. Those Ryan Brothers' coffee beans declare a mammoth presence onto you once you get your nose into the glass. Especially considering I was holding onto this bottle for about a year, the coffee is still readily there and in a big way. Although this is not as roasted and bold as the Ithaca Eleven, which was actually really overwhelming for me.

Taste was like drinking a cold cup of black, dark-roasted coffee with melted dark chocolate squares thrown in. Definitely world class tasting. The roasted character starts you off then moves into a nice sweet malt and chocolate sweetness and ends on a striking - but not conquering - astringency. It even leaves that familiar sour/tart aftertaste that you get after drinking coffee. And for 12%, the taste didn't have any alcoholic tastes. Too ninja. Every flavored aspect was superbly well-balanced in this stout- a feat that's always a plus for me. /standing ovation.

Mouthfeel was the only thing that surprised me- a bit thin-bodied, with the carbonation being pretty evident like an ale. This is still a total beer, but just one that I'd like to have been a bit more thicker. Drinkability is definitely high, especially if you love coffee like I do. Everything was on-point for this beer, especially for its price. HEHE ;) Speedway is now my favorite coffee-oriented stout.

Photo of kudos200
4.64/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of BierJager89
4.64/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a snifter.

A: Black with a brown head. Beautiful.

S: Nose is full of chocolate and coffee.

T: Mocha, espresso, coffee goodness, roasted malt and dark chocolate. A bit bitter,but not overly bitter. Delicious.

M: Full bodied and smoooth.

O: One of the best coffee stouts out there. Possibly the best I've had thus far. It might be too bitter for non-coffee-drinkers, as my friend found it to be undrinkably bitter. I suggest trying it on tap if you can before investing in such a large bottle.

Photo of Alextricity
4.64/5  rDev +5.7%
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 Crosling
4.64/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was unbelieveable. It poured pitch black. The head: light tan in size with a mostly diminishing head that left some lacing. Nice nose. Molasses and lots of toffee and coffee but mostly a sweet milk chocolate covered pot leaf that I loved. Starts out with vanilla, toffee and tons of cocoa. The mid-palate was full of chocolate but not the usual chocolate but more of a melted milk chocolate. The finish was amazing and hard to put into words. It was a tobacco laden coffee bean dripping with chocolate and it was very lingering. The coffee beans served there purpose, molding all the flavors together and eliminating a lot of the alcohol flavors. This was a 12% beer and I could barely taste any alcohol and I think it was the coffee beans than eliminated it. This beer was amazing and the past few days I have been sitting in the middle of class and I could swear that I tasted the tobacco laden coffee bean dripping with chocolate finish. Rerate: I’ve had several bottles since my first review above and each bottle still blows me away. One of the best Imperial Stouts in the world.

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

Thanks to FosterJM for sending me this big-time Want.

750ml bottle poured into a snifter

A: Opaque black with a very inviting 1 finger mocha head. Head settles to leave a thin cap plus ring around the edge. Although the viscosity of the pour and appearance of the head hinted at creaminess..it looks to be on the oily side. Some lacing evident.

S: Dark chocolate, dark fruit, espresso, vanilla, cinnamon, licorice and roasted black malt.

T: Delicious. A creamy cup of coffee but with so much more. Chocolate and vanilla is in there...the dark fruit is in there. The unfermented malt provides a slight sugary sweetness but it’s far from cloying. Finishes with lovely roasted black malt and a touch of cinnamon.

M: Very balanced. Body is above medium and the carbonation is pleasing.

O: I’m forced to compare this to my all-time favorite coffee stout, Founders Breakfast Stout, and this delivers. It’s got all the flavor of FBS but slightly less bitterness and it just feels more luxurious. Easy to drink for such a complex beer...although I’d prefer it to come in a more manageable size....especially at 12% ABV.

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

I’ve had this one cellaring for a few months now and decided I couldn’t wait any longer.

The head is a light brown and the body pure black. It smells of chocolate and coffee. It is the coffee taste that hits you right away, too. Hints of roasted barley and molasses, maybe even a little nutty flavor in there somewhere, but it is all lost to the coffee and chocolate overtones. The finish is pure dark chocolate goodness that continues to linger on the tip of the tongue for at least ten seconds.

As it warms, the bitterness extends to the back of the tongue and even the roof of the mouth and gets stronger on the finish. You can definitely taste the alcohol in the aftertaste more as it warms, but it never overpowers, as the other tastes become more profound as well. Mouthfeel is almost like carbonated melted chocolate, very creamy. It coats the palate completely.

This is a delicious beer, and I must say one of my favorites. I have another bottle that is cellaring and I am interested in how the tastes will age, but I think this can't get much better. For the style, it is hard to beat.

Photo of daythree16
4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. Jet black with a tan, one-finger head that leaves some lace as it fades into a thin ring around the edges.

Aroma is mainly a combo of dark chocolate and a lighter, sweeter milk chocolate. I don't really smell any coffee at all. Taste, however is different. Very rich and chocolaty with a finish like a cup of coffee but not as bitter. Very little alcohol presence. This is absolutely delicious.

Mouthfeel is creamy and has the consistency of what I imagine motor oil to have. Drinkability is fantastic for such a high ABV. The lack of a strong alcohol presence plus the creamy chocolate sweetness are probably the reason I'm bogarting the whole 750ml. Hopefully my wife won't be too mad.

Photo of RyanK252
4.63/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of zoso1967
4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black as a starless night with a thickness that is evident in the pour. It is capped with a fluffy mocha head that slowly melts into the viscous black liquid. The aroma is full of roasted coffee and the darkest coca, as well as a dark malty sweetness and a hint of licorice. The flavor is wonderful. Roasted coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malt, burnt marshmallow sweetness, licorice, molassas and a touch of chalkiness. All the flavors are well incorporated and the alcohol is well hidden, though it warms nicely as it settles in my stomach. Also, as this beer warms I realize just how bitter it is. Strangely, this bitterness is not overwhelming and works with, and not against the roastyness. The mouthfeel is also wondrous and is full, chewy and smooth. The finish is both sticky and slick at the same time, but just right for style. Very drinkable and just delicious. So far Alesmith is 2-2 and I will definitely be picking some of this up for friends to sample.

Photo of Luk13
4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle via trade with Blankboy. This beer is huge. Jet black pour with brown head. Aroma is super rich, coffee with also lots of licorice, molasses and also something vanilla about it too. Taste is just awesome rich coffee flavors, with some vanilla smoothness great bitter/sweet mix. Palate is perfectly creamy with just enough carbonation, one of the best I've had.

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

750ml bottle split between two. served in my sweetwater pint.

Thanks Ryan011235 for the bottle

A- pours jet black with 1/2 finger of fluffy tan head. no light penetrating this one.

S- the aroma isn't the most overwhelming ever, but it has some very nice roasted/coffee notes. with some sweet cocoa floating in the backround. some molasses/licorice possibly in there as well.

T- the first sip is absolutely awesome. same as the aroma, the roasted malts/coffee flavors lead the charge but the chocolate is quite heavy as well. more bitter than your average stout, even a coffee stout. the aftertaste is pure espresso, making this one all around fantastic. The beer is very well balanced as well.

M/D- not the creamiest of Impy stouts but it's definitely not thin by any means. a nice subtle carbonation blends in perfectly with the beer. 12%??? this beer drinks as smooth as any imperial stout out there. with that extra couple percentage points it scores some points as a dangerously easy drinking stout.

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

750ml silver foiled wrapped bottle poured into a oversized wine glass. Big thanks to Gtreid for bringing this one over.

A- solid black. No light can pass through this thing. 1 1/2 of head. Pretty good retention and lacing.

S- roasted malts, chocolate, sweetness maybe molasses?? Not as much coffee smell as I wouldve expected, however, there is a hint of coffee beans.

T- FANTASTIC!!! Creamy chocolate. Roasted malts and a vanilla coffee blend that is just freaking awesome. I wouldve never guessed that the abv is so high because of the wonderful balance of all the flavors. They mask the alcohol and I barely know it's even there.

M- Simply perfect. This is one of the smoothest, creamiest stouts I have drank.
D- I wish I could have this brew everyday. I would drink this all night if I could. The only problem would be the high abv. I def will be seeking this one out again without a doubt.

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!

AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 5,351 ratings.