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AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,547 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,547
Hads: 5,972
Avg: 4.37
pDev: 16.93%
Wants: 865
Gots: 1,832 | FT: 155
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,547 | Hads: 5,972
Photo of pmarlowe
4.65/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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Photo of Dogbrick
4.65/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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Photo of SShelly
4.65/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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Photo of jsanford
4.66/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into a Bruery Tulip. Not sure of the vintage, bought it about 8 months ago from Holiday Wine Cellars. 400th review!

A - Pours a dark, inky black with a huge, luscious head of mocha foam that never really disappears, only shrinks to 1/2 inch. Leaves tons of sticky, soapy lacing on the glass. Beautiful!
S - Dark roasted malt, chocolate, and a TON of coffee. The coffee is obviously of a high-quality, very rich and dark with just the slightest acrid waft. Some dark berries are in there, too, as well as just the slightest hint of soy sauce.
T - Wow, while this is obviously a coffee-forward Stout, the chocolate is very dominant as well. Definitely reminds me of a Mocha beverage from a coffee shop. More dark roasted malt and dark berries round out the flavor, luckily the soy sauce is no where to be found in the taste.
M - The mouthfeel is what really sets this beer apart, it's so creamy and luscious, it's more akin to a milkshake then a beer. Low carbonation, so smooth and drinkable it's ridiculous!
O - What a beer! I cannot believe this is actually a year-round release, if I had regular access to this I'd likely never buy anything else (well, at least Stout-wise). Phenomenal brew, one of the best Stouts I've ever had!

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Photo of OneManRockFight
4.66/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Long time listener, first time caller. This is my first review, and I saved it for a world-class beer. I"m an admitted RIS groupie, from Stone IRS to Sea Monster to tenFidy, but this takes the proverbial cake.

Appearance: Pours a dark-as-night black with minimal lacing, half finger of dark tan head. Beautiful. Enough said.

Nose: One of the highlights of this beer, very coffee heavy. Not surprising as this is a coffee stout, but it is a very good-smelling beer. Also a tiny bit of alcohol sting in the nose, but this serves as a come-hither, not a deterrent. Better nose than IRS or Yeti (both incredible beers), not quite tenFidy level but close.

Mouthfeel: Another selling point of this beer. Starts off thick but just melts away on the tongue. Very near the perfect amount of carbonation. Delightful.

Taste: The bread and butter. Hits all the right notes. Coffee, toffee, and a little dark fruit / currant in the front, fading to milk chocolate. Runs through an incredible gamut of flavors. Taste complexity is what all RIS's are judged by and Speedway has it in spades.

Overall: An incredible RIS. From the slightly boozy coffee-toffee up front to the silky milk chocolate finish, this is a ridiculously flavorful sipper that can serve as a session beer if one has the pocket book for it. Very, very well done.

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Photo of Hophazzard
4.66/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is amazing. The best stout I've ever had. To me, it's almost the perfect stout. Incredibly balanced, alcohol is well hidden. Chocolate and coffee are not overpowering. Awesome.

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Photo of vic21234
4.66/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a snifter. Got this one as an Xmas present, probably not more than 3 months old.

A- Pours black with a nice finger's worth of caramel colored head which quickly dissipates into a think film along the top. Lacing is apparent on the sides of the glass.

S- Lots of coffee, hints of chocolate and vanilla, roasty malts. Alcohol is also evident in the aroma.

T- Up front I get lots of roasty malts, which moves into the coffee flavor. The coffee is big in this one, as one would expect. Then some hints of chocolate come about. For a stout I can taste some hop presence as well. Very good stuff.

M- Thick and chewy. For being 12% ABV the alcohol doesn't bite too bad. A great sipper.

This is certainly one of the better stouts I've had. You wouldn't think it of it as being 12% ABV based on the way it drinks. I'd like to see how the coffee flavors fare with some age on this one.

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Photo of FitnessForBeer
4.66/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a really dark black, finger worth of brown/ tan head. Looks like espresso
S: dark rich chocolate and espresso, smells of alcohol, slight black licorice
T: super sweet chocolate mixed with espresso and vanilla. Bitter dark chocolate and little earthiness comes through. You don't even realize this thing is 12 percent alcohol, extremely well balanced
M: big bodied stout with fine carbonation,
O: super awesome non barrel aged big stout that is my standard for how a stout should taste. Super well balanced as well

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Photo of magictacosinus
4.66/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 750ml bottle into a wine glass. Purchased this bottle 6 weeks ago, but believe the coffee flavor should still be fresh by now.

Pours an extremely blackened, opaque, oil-slick color. There's some brown streaks that glow towards the bottom of the glass, but otherwise, no light is going through this thing, and it fits straight into whatever theme this was going for. There was a surprisingly large mocha-colored head considering the ABV, and yet it was more surprising that the head never seemed to vanish throughout consumption. Lacing was plentiful the whole way, with thickened frothiness coating the edges of the glass unlike any imperial stout I've seen before. This is extremely viscous and thickened overall, and is truly eye candy in some ways. I honestly have no complaints here.

The aroma is quite what I expected, filled with a sweetened coffee extract aroma, but still retains unique aspects such as darkened fruit flavors and spices that I haven't quite gotten in a coffee stout before. Raisins, blackcurrant, and vinous proprieties abound, but they are coated with warm vanilla, chocolate maltiness, and amazingly fresh ground coffee flavors - exactly the kind of aroma that you get immediately after grounding some beans. As someone who worked at a coffee shop once, it's uncanny. As this warms up, it gets nuttier, and the fruit flavors become more forward, but it also reveals the booze quite clearly. At that point, it almost resembles a deep Malbec or Cabernet blend. Very, very complex, a tad overwhelming, and yet pleasing to the senses.

The flavor really takes things up a notch, but instead of exaggerating one of the many flavors this has, it instead melds them altogether. The coffee extract flavor remains obvious, but it is quickly coated by a dark chocolate fudge texture combined with vanilla, brown sugar, caramel, and dark fruits. The bitterness produced by the coffee and malts prevent this from becoming too sweet, and whatever hops are there (no clue myself), they're doing a strong job. In some ways, this seriously reminds me of Rochefort 10 with coffee, which is most likely due to the bottle conditioning. This is a nearly perfect drinking experience in many respects - creamy, silky, hearty, and yet wonderfully easy to drink. While the alcohol makes itself known in the aroma, it never, ever becomes present in the flavor. No heat or sting or anything. My only complaint is that it's a bit dry overall, in the same way big wines can be. However, it's perhaps the price to pay for it's full bodied character.

Truly something this decadent and filling couldn't be this easy to drink. And yet it is! This transcends the coffee stout as I know it. It's very complex and filled with all kinds of flavors that make it resemble chocolate coffee cake in liquid form. I believe it's worth tracking down, as it really is a big beer that never seems like a chore to drink in any respect. I could drink a whole bottle myself if I wanted to, but I'm glad I split it. Can't recommend it enough!

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Photo of popery
4.66/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

One of the best stouts that I've ever had. Chocolate, roasted malt, light coffee and more blend smoothly and nearly perfectly to create a really incredible beer. It's dark as night with a small mocha cap. The aroma is a bit lighter than the flavor, but it's still excellent. The mouthfeel is smooth and luxurious without ever showing its weight. I'm shocked that this beer is anywhere near 12% abv. It's a real treat. I dearly wish that it was more readily available.

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Photo of NWer
4.67/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this near black into a 21st Amendment tulip. Decent with adequate head very nice lace.
The initial taste was burnt dark chocolate. Mouth fills with rich creamy flavors of chocolate and coffee. Burning alcohol in the mouthfeel and aftertaste. Delicious. A real sipper full of complexity.

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Photo of magictrokini
4.67/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Easily one of the best beers I've ever had. Dark as night, very thick, and a wall of a brown head. Powerful aroma of strong coffee and dark chocolate. Flavor is excellent, strong coffee, slight sweetness brought about by the bakers and dark chocolate flavors, then bittersweet finish. Alcohol is masked by the coffee, but you feel the 12% after finishing a bottle. It is really like no other stout.

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Photo of CRJMellor
4.67/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours thick, viscous midnight black with a dark tan head and spider-webbed lace on the Imperial Pint glass.
Aromas of creamy chocolate, hint of roasted malt and a good shot of fresh roasted coffee beans.
Flavor is thick, milk chocolate, rich but deeply bitter roated coffee and more sublt notes of roasted peanuts and drak bread. As beer warmed got some faint hints of dark citrus fruits.
Mouthfeel is amazingly lush and palate-coating from start to finish. Rich, powerful chocolate malts cut by robust but well moderated bitterness.
Drinkability is very high. Near perfection for a stout. Thickness and fullness might make it tough for some but great too style and simply enjoyable.

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Photo of Wreckoncile
4.67/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750ml bottle into snifer

A - Pours with a slight viscosity, although lower than some in the style, and forms an inch of creamy tan head that slowly retreats leaving good lacing. Black and opaque.

S - Initial aroma is strong with a medley of roastiness, chocolate/cocoa, and a slightly sweet booziness almost reminiscent of some bourbon (eventhough I'm pretty certain no such ingredient is in this). A slight coffee bitterness rounds out the scent.

T - The initial flavor is strongly coffee like, with a bitter and roasty character that is immediately present. As it reaches goes down, the creamy mouthfeel imparts an almost milky chocolate malt flavoring that finally yields at the very end to a slightly boozy and bittersweet flavoring.

M - The mouthfeel on this beer is superb. Among my favorites for the style and a clinic in appealing mouthfeel. A rich and creamy mouthfeel that gives it an almost milkshake like quality, and yet it has an appropriate level of carbonation to just add that extra element and bring the aromatics to the nose.

O - The appearance and taste of this are solid for the style, while the scent and mouthfeel are exceptionally well crafted. The taste does cause me a slight schizophrenia as it was at times harshly bitter and at times cloyingly sweet. Usually those two balance eachother out well, but I think the creaminess of the mouthfeel (which was unquestionably my favorite aspect of this beer) allows the residual beer to sit on the tongue just a bit longer and confuse you with it's progressions. Nonetheless, a must have in the cellar for any die hard stout fan.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.67/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL pours an opaque black color with a rich, creamy brown head. Retention is ridiculous and lacing good.

Nose smells delicious. Just enough coffee to balance the chocolaty sweetness. Straightforward, but very good. Low fruit, very American.

Taste is uber-smooth...12% - surely you jest! Rich and smooth in the mouth and feels more foreign export than imperial. The coffee flavor is so well integrated and balanced with an oaty/slick sweetness. Just about perfect. A well handled hop bitterness on the finish, never gets close to cloying. Near perfection, just a WOW type of beer. I am very glad I have one more of these in the cellar.

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Photo of ivandm13
4.67/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into a snifter

Appearance: jet black with a thin tan head which subsides to an archipelago of lone bubbles

Smell: coffee, dark roasted malt, alcohol, and a light note of vanilla

Taste: coffee, dark chocolate, and roasted malt. Alcohol is definitely present up front but smoothed and balanced by the other flavors but subsides and let you know it's still present while the coffee and malt linger on the palate.

Mouthfeel: smooth and full bodied but still quite light

Overall: extremely drinkable and smooth while still packing a potent dose. an amazing go to for me in the realm of year round and readily available imperial stouts. For me it rivals the best.

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Photo of brentk56
4.67/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a rich blackstrap molasses color with a modest head that drops to a ringlet and archipelago but leaves splotches of lace around the chalice

Smell: Coffee, molasses, bittersweet chocolate and a touch of citrus hops

Taste: Starts out with a mouthful or rich, sweetened espresso that builds in molasses and chocolate flavors by mid-palate; after the swallow, the hoppy bitterness kicks in and is accompanied by some fruity character

Moutheel: Medium to full body with relatively low carbonation

Drinkability: One of the most wonderful tastes in beerdom

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Photo of paco1029384756
4.67/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with no head and little carbonation.

Scent of huge roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, molasses and dark fruits; great stuff.

Taste is similar with huge roasted malts, coffee, sweet molasses, dark fruits, and dry faint hops. Finishes dry with strong roasted malts filling the mouth.

Mouthfeel is heavy and very smooth, I love it.

I will get more of this in the future and will continue to be a customer to AleSmith as long as I can to contribute to their line of marvelous beers.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.67/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on Nitro pour at Al's of Hampden served in a snifter.

The color is black as pitch with small medium brown cap with ultra fine bead, the head returns with a swirl and retreats again. Clarity is opaque and lace sticks decently. The smell is luscious dark chocolate mixed with espresso and some vanilla with light hints of dark sugar. The feel is very good, not bad on Nitro with thick viscous creamy body and mild alcohol with subtle bitterness and smooth roast essence, the finish is medium dry.

The flavor is rich like brownie batter with spiked coffee and vanilla with slight rum-like dark sugar tinge. The flavor of the coffee is well blended with the smooth mildly sweet dark malt which is slightly cocoa-like and has a hint of earthy peppery hops to back up the light caramel. Overall I loved this and didn't want to stop, but alas a 12% stout that is this drinkable is dangerous. I think this is one of the best of this style a must try if you can get it on tap or in this case Nitro.

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Photo of DmanGTR
4.67/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Such a well made and balanced beer. I'm surprised this beer doesn't get more hype.

Poured the deepest onyx black with a creamy tan head. No lace and the head disappeared soon after.

Lovely aromas of expresso, cocoa, toast, and blackberries. And this is reflected in the taste as well. No alcohol burn or anything. If I didn't know it was 12% I'd say it's maybe 8% max.

Velvety, smooth, and rich. Coats the palate nicely and gives a long, smooth finish. Simply divine and a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of Onslow
4.67/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I thought, seeing as Tropical Storm (Hurricane) Eduardo is hitting Houston tomorrow, I might be washed out to sea, and it would be a shame not to enjoy some really outstanding and rare beers tonight... First off is a beer that I have wanted for years... Pours a jet black midnight colour, dark as the night when you were a kid sneaking out at 2am....Lacing is really good, spots and dots, lower than expected head, but for 12% good... light alcohol, fresh coffee beans, chocolate from a century old swiss chocolate shop.... wonderful in the mouth, oily and chewy- smooth as silk but bold like a new magnum 500 sharpie ... I don't get it, the points (score) doesn't seem to match up on how much I am loving this beer, its not the most wow'ing beer i have had, but its just fuckin good!.. 'shit yeah, man!' ..'i am the walrus'..'are you a Lebowski achiever' ... I really like this beer, fuck that stuffed animal you hug at night,i want to spoon this beer when I go to bed...

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.67/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle(room temp) pitch black with a small head that dissipated quickly leaving just a fine ring around the edge of the glass.

The smell is of maple syrup and/or molasses with some coffee notes as well.

The taste is full of coffee and molasses and is very thick in texture. There's a lot of smokiness as well for me in the flavour and that is definitely a positive in its overall presentation.

Wow. I had this one fresh and it was a treat but this +1 year old sample just kicks it up a notch or 2. Did I mention how obtrusive the 12% abv was in my review of this beer? I didn't? Well...there's a warming effect coming from this brew for sure but in no way was it obtrusive. Highly recommended!!

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Photo of jjayjaye
4.67/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque deep dark brown color with a thin wispy dark tan head that's gone in flash. Spotty patterns of lacing in it's wake. Not a super impressive pour, but at 12% ABV i guess the bar is lowered. I can't help but compare this to Sexual Chocolate that i recently considered (thanks Joel), but that's a RIS (i don't get it, but I'm a babe in the woods). The smell is right on the bar for a Double Stout. Aggressive rich Ghirardelli-like dark chocolate with a moderately roasted coffee mix, vanilla and a bit of the alcohol. That's complexity and it shouts "standby, this is a rich heavy creamy beer". Lightly carbonated, the mouth feel is full bodied, oily and conditioned with a tang from the alcohol. IMO, the edge of the alcohol is rounded off nicely by the coffee character. Full flavored, the choco-java taste and slick mouth texture leave the door open for the vanilla notes of the alcohol to walk right in. It permeates with the wonderful 'coating' texture of my favorite Double Stouts. A real easy drinker. My first experience was a draft serving from Naja's Place, on the waterfront at Redondo Beach, CA. The 12% is gently warming but otherwise well integrated. Time out... Surgeon General's warning...this will kick your ass. I recommend considering it more from your family room lounge chair than from a pre-dinner bar stool . Highly Recommended.

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.67/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into a pint glass. Split with trep and other friends at our stout tasting.

Pours jet black with a motor oil consistency and a thin cap of gingerbread-colored foam. Nice head retention, even with the 12% ABV, but not much in the way of lacing. If they made air fresheners with the aroma of Speedway Stout, I'd put one in every room, car, and office I ever owned--and I hate air fresheners! Smells of rich, doughy sweetbread, brown sugar, dark cocoa nibs, and chocolate liquor. The booze is sweet and inviting--can't wait for the first sip.

Insanely complex flavor, as this stout delivers a vinous, port-like chocolate flavor backed by melted milk chocolate bars. A hint of roasted malts and a blast of booze seals the deal. Mouthfeel is creamy smooth, thick but not overly viscous, and perfectly carbonated. As weird as it sounds, I don't want to swallow this beer. Each sip is more complex than the last, unfolding across the palate beautifully. Easily one of the best Double Stouts out there, and I cannot wait to cross paths with this brew again.

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Photo of AdmiralDiaz
4.67/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber to pint glass. Thanks to Br3wmeister for sharing this one and LilMatrix for hookin him up with it!

A: Pours almost black with a beautiful light brown two-finger head that becomes full of craters. The body can't be seen through at all. The head retains pretty well and leaves a bit of thick, spotty lacing.

S: Very sweet scented, smells of fairly strong bittersweet chocolate and strong roasted malts, dark fruit, possibly figs and cherries. It's pretty complex but you're able to pick up all of whats going on.

T: Bitter chocolate and malts hit upfront and the chocolate quickly becomes sweet, followed by dark fruit (figs, prunes) turning into a semi-bitter coffee finish that leaves a strong coffee and chocolate aftertaste. Hops are apparent at the front and back of the palate. Pretty complex overall, which is something I love to see in this style. Alcohol becomes apparent after it becomes room temperature but I never would have guessed 12% abv, I didn't look at the bottle and my guess was about 9%.

M: Fairly carbonated especially for the style, It's pretty thick though and very smooth.

Overall: Amazing! I'm very happy that this didn't dissipoint me at all, I'm always afraid when I try a beer thats in the top 30. Very drinkable and absolutely delicious! Get this by any means you can.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,547 ratings.