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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.

4,743 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,743
Reviews: 1,398
rAvg: 4.4
pDev: 8.86%
Wants: 751
Gots: 1,327 | FT: 126
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: 4,743 | Reviews: 1,398 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%

Thanks a million to tayner for sending this one my way.

Pours a thick impenetrable black with a gorgeous fluffy dark tan head that just sits there like a milkshake. lace sticks quite well as the head reduces while I wait just a bit longer for this to warm. head leaves a little quicker than I would like, I am sad to see it go. The nose is moslty coffee beans with some dark chocolate in it and good maltiness. The taste follows with coffee up front. A nice coffe ride in the beginning, not like breakfast stout that just slaps you in the face with a cold dead coffee fish. Just enough. roasted malt is apparent in the flavor next. roasty and toasty goodness. The hop bitternes comes last. The only part of the taste that I am not an immeadiate fan of is a slight metallic taste in between the middle of the swallow and the hop bitterness on the end. Just a bit of a copper twinge, but defenitely not enough to take much away from the amazing flavor of this wonderful stout. A nice alcohol warmth on the finish, in a good way. The mouthfeel is just a touch thinner than I would like, but still very very good. Drinkability is simply divine for a beer coming in at 12%. This is an incredible beer, and I must give much much respect to the alesmiths. keep on smithing you midevil bastards. I love it!

AKBelgianBeast, Mar 27, 2008
Photo of likestoswallow
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%

750ml bottle from the brewer. Pours opaque motor oil black that no light will shine through. Accompanied by a dirt brown head that dissipates slowly and has moderate lacing. Aromas of sweet anise, espresso and coffee. Taste is pure bliss, bitter hops and coffee dominate with some black licorice and dark chocolate in the background. Mouthfeel is perfect--full, creamy and smooth. The finish was long and showcased bitter chocolate hops. Recommended.

likestoswallow, Oct 27, 2007
Photo of gregshead
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%

Reviewed on 12/13/10 from notes:

A: Black w/ a good amount of carbonation. Nothing out of the ordinary but plenty of every appearance characteristics for me.

S: Roasted grains and coffee w/ a little alcohol smell.

T: Lost of coffee taste which is well combined with the grains. Not nearly the heat the smell made me think of.

M: Can't believe how creamy this stout is. Just the right amount. Some sips you feel on the nose in just the right way.

D: Unbelievably drinkable. 12% what? 12% who? It couldn't be this beer. Or maybe that's why I feel a little light headed after drinking all of that one.

gregshead, Dec 21, 2010
Photo of yamar68
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%

Poured from 750ml bottle to tulip glass. Bottled sometime last year. Managed to break the edge off the top of the bottle and drop it into the beer. This will make for a fun scavenger hunt.

Pours about as black as it gets. That said, there is still an edge of slow beading that frames the beer. Big, swelling medium brown head that leaves a boat load of lacing. A beer couldn't look much bigger than this.

Massive nose. Rich dark chocolate notes barely suffocate a toxic bitter coffee. Divine. A dessert beer to end all dessert beers. Tons of rich roasty bits... evolving coffee, dense chocolate, raisin, brown sugar, a bit of booze is buried way beneath all the dessert notes. Yum.

The coffee has definitely taken a bitter turn. What was once fresh and aromatic has turned bitter to compliment a ton of dark chocolate. Nice. Drinking at cellar temp, there is hardly a suggestion of alcohol. What's there is perfectly incorporated with the coffee and chocolate.

Hardly drinkable but what did you expect? It's about as easy drinking as a 12% imperial coffee stout could be (which, admittedly, isn't saying much).

A fantastic beer. What else can I say?

yamar68, Jun 19, 2012
Photo of tviz33
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%

Poured from a 1 pint 9.4 ounce bottle in to a Duvel tulip.

A- Thick and black with a thicker than average brown head. Bring it on.

S- Mostly roasty notes with some coffee. A little alcohol, which helps in this case.

T- Just freakin' delicious. The roasty/coffee notes come through immediately followed by some dark chocolate and brown sugar. Phenomenal.

M- Super thick and creamy. Coudn't ask for more.

O- I'm eager to try the barrel aged version of this because this exceeded my expectations by far.

tviz33, Dec 22, 2013
Photo of DavoleBomb
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%

Poured into a pint glass.

4.5 A: Black as night color. Two fingers of thick creamy light brown head with good retention and plenty of lacing.

5.0 S: Wow. This is a great smelling brew. At first, it smells like a thick chocolate milkshake. Sweet milk chocolate, lightly roasted coffee, roasted barley, dark chocolate, and a touch of bourbon. Awesome, truly.

4.5 T: Thick and sweet, but balanced nicely with bitterness from the hops and coffee. More bitter than I would have expected. Flavor profile consists of dark chocolate, espresso, molasses, heavily roasted malt. Alcohol is apparent and some fusels. Burnt flavors and coffee in aftertaste.

4.0 M: Heavy body. Thick and creamy and smooth. Could use a bit more carbonation though.

4.5 D: This beer lives up to expectations. Well done and glad I have another 13.4 oz.

DavoleBomb, Oct 10, 2009
Photo of TCgoalie
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%

Review #200!! Well sort of... I have quite the backlog of reviews, so this is my 200th entry. Had to make it a good one:

Big props to zozo1967 for sharing this on 12/11/10 with Matt, Kyle, and I.

Pours black with a tan head that recedes to a film. Bubbles regenerate and pop at the top of the glass. The lacing is great and reminds me of morel mushroom skin! Bubbly and crazy.

The smell is surprisingly fruity for a double. Plum and dark cherry are the main fruits. I also detect some coffee and chocolate.

Gentle chocolate malts lead to lots of dark chocolate and a coffee acidity bitterness. The aftertaste of the coffee bitterness lasts forever. This is extremely flavorful.

Medium-full in the mouth and very creamy. The slight drying in the end is a perfect end to this amazing feel!

Wonderful company for the tasting lends to a very drinkable 12%. That doesn't make much sense, but this stout is excellent. That is all.

TCgoalie, Jan 01, 2011
Photo of Ryan011235
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%

Poured into a snifter on 10/13/09

A - Densely opaque brown; nearly black. Solid 1/4 inch of moderately dark tan foam that doesn't hold. The low retention isn't surprising. Lacing is decent but thins out toward the end.

S - Smooth & potent malt aromas. Roasted coffee is predominant with large swaths of chocolate & a wonderful toastiness.

T - The flavor of the beer is so intense that it simply dwarfs the nose which, while good, cannot hold a light to this darkness. Boatloads of coffee & chocolate aplenty to smooth it over. Excellent.

M - Smooth, creamy & somewhat slick (but not cloyingly so). Full bodied & dense. The 12% is masked very well.

D - Quite drinkable considering the magnitude of this beer. It is flavorful & fulfilling, this is a glorious after dinner mint. Easily recommended.

Ryan011235, Nov 07, 2009
Photo of projectflam86
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%

A- Pours a jet black color with an impressive mocha colored head that leaves a few scattered rings of lace.

S- Huge wave of roasted dark malt mixed with coffee and cocoa. I can already tell that this one is going to be good...

T- Roasted/charred espresso beans with a bittersweet chocolate finish. The cocoa flavor seems to serve as the bittering ingredient while coffee and sweet malt flavors develop throughout. Definitely a bit of molasses and roasted nut flavor as well.

M- Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Slightly thinner than I thought it would be but still smooth and creamy.

D- This one is worthy of it's praise. The alcohol is barely noticeable at all even though it is at a whopping 12%! I'll be picking this one up again soon.

projectflam86, Oct 06, 2009
Photo of kkipple
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%

Got this in a trade and cracked out in Atlanta during a tasting at the Brick Store. Couldn't think of better company to drink it with.

A. Dirty black, tan head lies low. Opaque. Nothing unusual. Onwards!

S. Holy coffee stout, Batman! A plethora (yes, I know what it means) of roasted, bitter coffee springs up into the nose, along with a big big roast-burnt grain and molasses. It's altogether lush and coherent, despite the rather brash alcohol. Quite nice -- if you like coffee.

T. Mmm, coffee... Speedway is up there with the best coffee stouts I've had, and certainly the most alcoholic. Very deep and hot, think espresso with a shot of dark rum added. Huge coffee and roasted flavors wrap themselves around your tongue with just a hint of hop bitterness. The coffee is the real start here. Exceptionally roasty bitter and finishes dry and long.

M. Thick, with only a little bubbly bite, the alcohol warms your throat as the coffee tingles your taste buds.

Speedway is an excellent coffee-booze treat! Don't drink before bedtime, but if you do, lemme know how it treats you. Highly recommended for the caffeine jitterbug and the stout fiend.

kkipple, Apr 10, 2008
Photo of Jacobob10
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%

Bottled on 11/1/2013. Bought this beer with the intention of holding onto it for a special occasion. My wife and I closed on our first house today. It's an incredible feeling and an exciting change in our lives for both of us. What better time to crack this monster of a beer and celebrate?

Black as midnight with a huge, thick, tan head. Lacing all over the place. Legs on the glass when you give it a nice swirl.

The aroma is huge. I will try to describe what's going on, but it might be too complex to describe. Tons of coffee, chocolate, caramel, butterscotch, raisin, fig, and port. You could tell me there are hops in this beer, but I wouldn't believe you. Stellar!

Full-bodied, slick mouthfeel, and flavor that lasts forever. It's drinkable, but it's an absolute beast. Not for the faint of heart. For some reason, I was expecting somewhat of a more mild stout. I was very wrong. An incredible beer by a brewery that (so far, from what I have tried) can do no wrong. An east coast boy giving some love to a west coast brewery? You betcha.

This beer is world class and deserves every accolade it has received. Bold in every sense of the word and not for the faint of heart. Worth seeking out if you are a lover of strong stouts.

Jacobob10, Jul 26, 2014
Photo of beerguy101
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%

Eclipse black color. Large tan head. Aroma is coffee and roasted malts. A very full-bodied stout. Thick and rich, nearly chewy. Flavors are mainly of coffee, but there are also lots of chocolate, toffee, roasted malts, vanilla and cherries. Its amazingly complex and the flavors are at the same time very separate and blend well together in an amalgam of flavors. Extremely smooth. Excellent sipping beer. Hides the 12% alcohol very well. A WORLD CLASS stout. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and dry. Aftertaste is slightly bitter. The 750ml bottle disappeared all too quickly. Thanks to Herbjones for this one.

beerguy101, Jun 13, 2003
Photo of sommersb
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%

Tasted On: 01-23-2012
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 750 ml brown bottle
Glassware: Snifter
Purchased: Single from Chuck's, Bowling Green, KY

Appearance is jet black and opaque. The thin, tan head only lasts a little while, but with this much ABV I'm not surprised. A little lacing clings to the glass.

Aromas are a big wow moment! Rich notes of chocolate, coffee, alcohol, vanilla and roasted malts.

Flavors carry over from the nose, with bold taste of chocolate malts, coffee, caramel and strong alcohol. I get some bittersweet chocolate - slightly sweet and a little bitter as well.

Feel is smooth, think and full-bodied. Carbonation is on the low side. Nice warming effects.

Overall this is an incredible beer. At 12%, its a slow sipper you can sit back and slowly savor.

sommersb, Jan 24, 2012
Photo of drmcleod10
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%

2013 Bottle have multiple. Thought I'd crack one to see what it's like decently fresh.

A - Beautiful dark motor oil with a khaki half inch foam head. Very thick and syrupy and seemed to crawl out of the glass.

S - Amazing smelling beer with strong hints of coffee and chocolate as well as roasted malts. Had some strong hints of alcohol as well as minor hints of vanilla and carmel.

T - Taste follows the smell as a huge mouthful of coffee and chocolate hit you hiding the alcohol very well. Very rich and very much a sipping beer that was also very drinkable. Split between 4 people. Booze well hidden with he chocolate prevalent throughout. Vanilla came out as it approached 60 degrees

M - Full bodied thick with molasses. Rich and creamy with a medium amount of carbonation. Aging a bottle for a year or two will do this one wonders it seems as I approve of the creamier less carbonated wale stouts.

O - An awesome beer and glad that I have more. Can't wait to try my next bottle in a year or so to see what aging does to this gem. For the price this beer is amazing and I suggest snatching it up anywhere you can. You do not feel like you are wasting a top 50 beer in the world for the price but the quality and taste make it a top 10 for myself

drmcleod10, Nov 03, 2013
Photo of CaptainTripps
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%

750ml bottle poured in a Duvel Tulip.

A: Pure Sexiness. Oily black body that you couldn't even pierce with the energy of the sun. The beer at pour produced a dark, DARK mocha head, a full three fingers worth that left a art work of lacing. Probably produced the largest head i have seen come out of a imperial stout ever.

S: A perfect blend of vanilla, coffee, milk and dark chocolates. Some what of a bready malt comes about, but ever so slightly. The chocolates really prevails in the smell. Spectacular smelling beer if i might say so.

T: Following the nose, again a blend of vanilla, milk and dark chocolates, and of course coffee. I really cannot say which of the flavors really stand out for they all co-exist magically together to produce a smooth tasting beer. No lingering after taste. Kind of sweet on the finish that just makes you come back asking for more. And alcohol? Is there any in there? For a 12% brew, its not existent. Felt as if i were drinking a really creamy milkshake. Very, VERY smooth beer.

M: This is the one thing i find lacking in the beer. Compared to most Imperial Stouts i have had, the body seems to be pretty small. I was expecting that with such excellent flavors and aromas this beer would be, i don't know, thicker. I will give it credit (and thus the 4/5) for how well the alcohol is hidden.

D: Usually on big Imperial Stouts that are boasting above the 10% ABV line (with this being at 12%abv), they become sippers. A bottle of beer lasting a while. Not this one. I found myself onto the next glass before i finished reviewing! Incredibly smooth drinking beer thats hard to put down. Readily available in my area making this one of my "go to" imperial stouts year round. Great job Alesmith, you impress me every time.

CaptainTripps, Jan 30, 2011
Photo of callmemickey
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%

Im going to break away from my typical reviewing pattern and just go at... this dark blackbrown behemoth looks great... smells amazing, tastes phenomenal and feels like a champ.... this beer truly unlocked everything that an american imperial stout has to offer

the coffee beans lend its self to a rich, and delicate flavor full of everything dark and grand... chocolate, coffee, caramel, roasted malts, ... smooth like it should be this beer is a king... love it. love it. love it.

callmemickey, May 06, 2008
Photo of elgiacomo
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%

750ml bottle, unknown date.

Pours black with a good sized brown head that leaves nice clumpy rings of lacing and holds a small island and ring. Good lacing and head retention for such a high-ABV Imperial Stout.

Excellent aroma of premium coffee, chocolate, more coffee, roasted malts, even more coffee, also some anise, dark fruits, and a bit of alcohol. Great strength.

Flavor features rich coffee, great chocolate notes of dark chocolate, bakers chocolate and milk chocolate. Roasted malts, anise, dark fruits round things out but the chocolate and coffee are the headliners. Some alcohol kick, but not boozy or overpowering. Some bitterness from the malt and coffee along with a touch of sweetness. Long, lingering coffee & chocolate finish with a touch of heat from the alcohol. Wonderful.

Mouthfeel is very rich, creamy and velvety, not the thickest Imperial Stout I've had but still very full bodied, low carbonation. Possibly the perfect mouthfeel for the style, thick, but not too thick, so creamy and smooth without over active carbonation getting in the way.

Oh. My. God. Every bit as good as I anticipated this magnificent brew to be. Glad I went ahead and stocked up on six bottles with my one chance to procure this epic brew. One of the best coffee/imperial stouts I've ever had! Amazing!

elgiacomo, Dec 12, 2010
Photo of spointon
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%

I poured this one from a 750ml brown champagne bottle (crown capped rather than corked and caged) into a tulip pint glass.

A= Initial pour was too cold as the bottle came directly from the fridge, so I let it warm for 15 minutes before continuing.

This stout poured a deep black/brown with zero light penetration, even around the edges. The dense tan head started a bit over 1" and slowly settled to a bubbly, soapy skim, leaving decent creamy lace down the glass.

S= Though the aromas were subdued, there was a deep complexity in there. I found sweet malts, roasted grains, treacle, chocolate, molasses, coffee ice cream, and leather. Some alcohol near the end as well.

T= Very good flavor profile leading off with the sweet stuff (malts, molasses, and chocolate) followed by the bitter roasty grains and a nice coffee presence. The finish dried out considerably and melded the roasted flavors with some warming alcohol. Nice.

MF= The body of this beer can only be described as "big boned". Big and heavy (in a good way) with a beautiful carbonation level that provides just the right amount of crispness to lift the body a bit without ruining the creamy, tongue-coating mouthfeel.

D= This is a deceptively drinkable beer. Delicious flavors and a fantastic mouthfeel make this an easy one to put down quickly. Though there is detectable alcohol in there, the huge ABV is almost too easy to get along with. A dangerous and wonderful beer. I must get more.

spointon, Nov 26, 2008
Photo of mjgardner
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%

Appearance - Pours pitch black with a tan head that dissapates somewhat quickly.

Aroma - A big coffee and toffee aroma. I also picked up a bit of the alcohol in the aroma.

Taste - A bit smokey malt taste. Almost a sweet expresso coffee finish with some heat from the alcohol.

Mouth - Quite full bodied with decent carbonation.

Drinkability - This is a big beer and I would recomment drinking with a friend. Definitely a good brew.

mjgardner, Apr 26, 2007
Photo of RichD
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%

Poured from a 750 mL into a snifter.

A: Pours a deep black with a 2 finger dark khaki colored head. This looks absolutely beautiful.

S: Smells of dark chocolate and some malts. I also catch some coffee, which is totally expected seeing as it says it's brewed with coffee on the label. I also pick up a slight alcohol smell. I also smell some dark fruits which are quite delightful.

T: Strong chocolate and coffee overtake my pallet. There's a slight warming alcohol burn. Also, there's some roasted malts and maybe a hint of vanilla. There's a sweet finish with a little bitterness from the coffee. This is definitely a delicious tasting beer.

M: A smooth, but heavy mouthfeel on this. This is definitely the epitome of a Russian Imperial Stout. There's some lingering effects from the alcohol which could improve, but I'm not one to complain. Especially since everything else was awesome.

Overall: This beer is definitely top 10 in its style, maybe even top 5. The chocolate and coffee work extremely well together as opposed to some other brews that allow both to stand alone. I mentioned a bit about some alcohol burn, but for 12% this is extremely impressive. There's nothing overbearing about this beer. When it comes to non-barrel aged imperial stouts, this definitely is right up there with the best of them. I now really want to get my hands on the different coffee variants and the barrel aged versions of this. For right now though, I'll stick with the deliciousness of the original. Alesmith has themselves a quality product on their hands.

RichD, Jul 02, 2013
Photo of nrbw23
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%

A- Pours a black with a great big tan head that has pretty good retention. Head leaves a great amount of lacing.

S- Smells of coffee, which is the first thing that jumps out, but there's a lot more to the smell than just that. I could also pick up caramel, bitter cocoa, and molasses. Just a hint of alcohol in here.

T- The flavor starts with lots of coffee upfront then followed up by quite a bit of roasted malts and chocolate.

M- Gonna go with medium in body. I didn't think this was really thick at all but very smooth.
Right on with the carbonation though.

D- Quite good for a stout of this strength. The alcohol is barely noticeable. Easy to drink and highly recommended.

nrbw23, Jul 28, 2009
Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%

Had this on-tap at The Neighborhood in San Diego and was served in a tulip.
Jet black color with no light penetration whatsoever. Thin film for a head which was dark mocha colored. Visually this is a very appealing stout.
Aroma is predominantly of coffee; lots of espresso and roasted coffee. Hints of licorice, molasses, chocolate malt come through.
Taste likewise is predominantly of coffee with hints of sweetness upfront and some licorice and ends with hints of bitterness.
This is a BIG stout with lots of flavor and a lot going it's way.
Very impressed by this imperial stout and was lucky to get it at a decent price on-tap.
Very highly recommended and if you like imperial stouts this is a 'must-try'.

CaptDavyJones, May 29, 2012
Photo of impending
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%

750ml into a tulip. Pours brown bear at midnight dark. One finger big bubble head, I can see myself wave in the largest yet leaves sticky lacing.

Top of the line aroma, big, dark and rich, as fine as there is. Easy to linger, a delicious smell.

The taste exceeds what the nose promised. The best single word description is rich. The dark chocolate bitter aftertaste is unmatched. This is a big beer, a special occasion beer, a sipping beer, ultimate cold winter night in front of a fire beer, a damn fine beer on a Sunday afternoon beer.

impending, Jul 25, 2010
Photo of Mounty4Life
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%

On tap at house of a 1000, super dark and opaque small resinous head that is brownish. Smells of coffee, roasted malts and a hint of the 12%....tasted all kinds of stuff and it made me keep swallowing with all the flavors resonating in my mouth....coffee,robust malts and smokeyness real deal if looking for smoother heavy hitter. M/f is all over place and will have you tasting speedway for a while after. Overall really freaking good, and a pleasant night cap per!

Mounty4Life, Jul 01, 2012
Photo of Halcyondays
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%

On-tap at Hollingshead's Delicatessen in Orange, CA,

A: Pours black, an oily sludge black, with a brown head, small out of the tap, but leaves abundant lacing in a Chimay chalice, and good retention all the way through the drink.

S: Coffee, dark, roasted malts, some dark chocolate there as well.

T: A truly delicious beer in every sense of the word. Huge coffee flavours bombard the palate, baker's chocolate, and roasted malts just add to the delight. There is a slight alcohol burn at the end, but it is hardly noticable, since the big flavours make you concentrate on them and not the ethanol, the ethyl alcohol is very well hidden.

M: Smooth, silky smooth, creamy, robust, full-bodied, this is a beer that demands your attention. And for a beer so high in alcohol, you'll never notice it, so be careful.

D: The most drinkable big beer I have ever had probably, another of the two truly outstanding offerings I have had from Alesmith, along with Yulesmith. On-tap or in a bottle, any SoCal beer fan should find this beer and try it at least once.

Halcyondays, Oct 23, 2007
AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 4,743 ratings.