Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

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

1,500 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,500
Hads: 5,744
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 4.59%
Wants: 841
Gots: 1,729 | 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: 1,500 | Hads: 5,744
Photo of Strix
4.7/5  rDev +7.8%

Almost a year on it, bottled 9/3/13.

Pours pitch black with brown edges. Nice initial head with a couple trails of lace.

Coffee, caramel, toffee, sugar in the nose.

Caramel, coffee, toffee, vanilla flavors, with hints of blueberry/plum. Lingering pine/dark chocolate finish with a twinge of booze.

Creamy lush mouthfeel.

I'm a sucker for these kinds of beers, but this is exceptionally well done. Wouldn't mind being able to get this on a regular basis. (459 characters)

Photo of Deuane
4.7/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have had this beer many times. Finally getting around to a review...this from an on-tap offering in a snifter glass at the new Liar's Club, Alpine, CA.

A-Black. Like 10W-40, very viscous with a thick dark tan head. Leaves significant lacing.

S-Coffee and dark chocolate with background notes of molasses and dark fruits.

T-Big, rich roasted malts with chocolate and coffee. This is a very complex brew and simply gets better while it warms. Certain flavours pop out at different times...simply wonderful.

M-Smooth and full bodied. This is a delicious brew to sit and enjoy.

D-One of my favorite coffee infused American double stouts. The only holding back a 5 is the 12% ABV...I could never drink as much as I would like! I always jump at the chance to grab a glass of Speedway....well done by Peter and the AleSmith crew! (830 characters)

Photo of david131
4.7/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I have had this bottle for a little over a year now, and I decided to make it a special night by opening it.

A- This is very very black with a monstrous brown head that has enough mass to dimple the top of the liquid and has excellent retention. This looks fantastic.

S- Very rich and chocolaty with coffee to boot. The slightest hint of cinnamon. This seems to blend better together than most other stouts. Absolutely wonderful.

T- Extraordinarily complex with lots of chocolate and coffee. The perfect balance of roastiness and smoothness. I am so glad to have a beer like this without a nutty aspect to it. The 12% alcohol is barely noticeable. Very well done.

M- I cannot believe how smooth this is for a 12% beer. The first time I had this beer, I thought it was a little over-carbonated, but now I realize it keeps things very smooth and highly drinkable and flavorful.

D- What a treat. Way better than I remember it the last time. The alcohol is barely noticeable and is not harsh in any manner. This is smooth and complex. I will be happy to see what this does with some more time on it. (1,101 characters)

Photo of Drinkerofales
4.7/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black, some brown notes in the pouring and leaves a dark mocha head with bubbles of all size which dissipates to a ring. Lacing is thin and oily.

Smell is of coffee, bitter chocolate, sweet thick malt, a slight hop presence, and a touch of the booze.

Taste is of coffee, chocolate truffle coated in coco powder, sweet perfectly roasted malt.

The full body is creamy and smooth, and the oily, syrupy brew slides over the tongue like it just wants to be drank.

Easily the best stout I have had yet, great flavor makes me feel like a kid again. The texture is so nice as to feel like I am not drinking any alcohol. The only way I know it's got booze is the smell and the way my head feels.

DOA (701 characters)

Photo of oreo
4.7/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into my snifter.

Deep deep black with 2 fingers of dark head. Awesome lacing all the way down.

Smells of chocolate, coffee, vanilla and caramel.

One of my favorite beers. Tons of coffee, chocolate, and vanilla in the beer. Without bottle dating, I can't tell if it was fresh, but this particular bottle was the best ive had. Lots of coffee and chocolate bitterness offset the abv on this one.

Thick, but not so thick you think you are drinking syrup.

Wonderfully drinkable. Easily down a bottle alone. :) (532 characters)

Photo of BigJTrucker
4.7/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased this 750ml bottle from the Market of Choice, 29th & Willamette, Eugene, OR. Had the pleasure of consuming it with a buddy after the Ducks' amazing victory today.

Poured a very deep dark coffee black color. Thick, foamy, creamy head, excellent head retention.

Heavy coffee, dark chocolate, and roasted malty aroma. Very nice indeed!

OMG! Tastes very heavy of dark bakers chocolate, roasted coffee beans. This beer is heaven, in a glass!

Mouthfeel is very heavy, thick and syrupy. In times past, i wouldn't have been worthy of a beer with this amount of mouthfeel and would've came away overwhelmed, but praise be to Ninkasi, I'm greatly joyed that i can enjoy a beer of this magnitude.

Drinkability is very high. So much flavor and mouthfeel make this beer a joy to behold. 12%abv though makes it a bit much to drink more than a bomber of this, but it's truly an honor to be able to share this 750ml bottle with a close friend. (943 characters)

Photo of axisjones
4.7/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Liar's Club in San Diego.

Pours as black as the flipside of a colon with a toasty brown head. Is it motor oil? Beer? Light lacing dissipates with the head.

Rich coffee aroma with chocolate, toffee, and malt in the nose. A rich inviting smell.

I am a man who can appreciate a black cup of coffee, and this beer takes the concept of coffee in beers and speeds down the track. Super rich espresso flavors with a roasted flavor and bitterness from both hops, roasted malts, and coffee. Toss in some alcohol and you have a very unique, warming beer.

I could drink this all night long. For a beer this big and with such a high ABV, it is smooth and easy going down.

A much hyped beer that manages to live up to the gossip. Rich and unique, Speedway Stout should be experienced by every beer drinker. I need to find some more... soon. (858 characters)

Photo of PuckLSHS
4.7/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well, what can I say about Alesmith Speedway Stout? Or, as I like to call it, a gift from the gods. I have had this in the bottle, on-tap at Pizza Port and on a nitro-tap at Naja's in Redondo Beach countless times. It never ceases to make me happy each and every time.

The appearance is a dark black stout with a creamy finish at the top. I usually get about a 1-2 finger head that dissipates at a slow rate. Just beautiful and mighty.

The smell and taste are great. The taste is coffee, chocolatey goodness that lingers on the palate.

Wonderful mouthfeel as it goes down quite creamy and smooth. The drinkability is exceptional. When you first look at the ABV and the size of the bottle, you take a step back and wonder how you would ever get through it with your buddy. Well, I can tell you, it can be done. You could probably even do it yourself with a lot of patience and some good company to keep your eye on the prize. (933 characters)

Photo of Kendo
4.7/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased at Halftime Beverage in Poughkeepsie, probably about 6-8 months ago (I think I paid $18.99 for it). Cellared until last night, when I put it in the DBF. Consumed on 12/11/10. . . .

A: Poured from the 750 ml into a Piraat tulip/snifter-type glass. Body is motor oil black. A 1-finger chocolate brown head settles on top, leaves behind good splotchy lace.

S: Good nose for a stout: coffee beans, roasty malt, chocolate and molasses. And a strong nose too. That's encouraging. Coffee becomes more prominent in the nose as it warms up a bit.

T: First impression: very nice. No, make that VERY nice. All those stout characteristics that were present, in force, in the nose are there in the taste as well, plus a bit of alcohol at the finish and a lingering bitterness. In order I get roasty malt, coffee, chocolate - mainly dark, but some milk as well - and then the waft of alcohol after a dry bitterness. I get lingering bitterness on the aftertaste, and given what has got to be a huge malt bill, it must take a ton of hops to get that bitterness (though I suppose some roasted coffee bean-imparted bitterness is possible as well). So while this beer is big all around, it's also balanced nicely. . . . As it warms I'm getting more chocolate up front and more of a sense of lingering coffee on the aftertaste. . . .

M: Heavy in weight. Good creaminess to it - carbonation is gentle, soft, not sharp at all.

D: This beer drinks like a RIS with 8 or 9% ABV -- the alcohol is noticeable, just not overwhelming - yet it's 12%. Wow. It does creep up on you, however - and pretty quickly. (1,602 characters)

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.7/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Cracked open with @LaitueGonflable and @thescotdownunder to celebrate my 800th beer review on BA. Purchased at City Beer Store in San Francisco and carted back in my luggage to Sydney.

Pours with an amazing cascade effect -- the head forms backwards from what I expect, leaving some liquid darkness running down the inside of the glass, while the head forms downwards into the body of the beer. Quite spectacular to watch. It's a deep, heavy and opaque black colour, and the head, once it has formed, is a pleasant mocha brown. Lacing is very decent. Looks every bit the American Imperial Stout. Just wonderful.

Very dark on the nose, with huge roasted notes, but also a very distinct and spicy capsaicin note like freshly crushed chilli. Big oaky and roasted coffee notes as well -- I expect nothing less from the best Impy Stouts. Little coconut or vanilla, as I've had from many other examples, but the spicy notes give this its own edge, and its own unique character. Very, very good indeed.

Very smooth and slick profile on the palate; it's the first thing noticeable. It then delivers big roasted notes, but subtly leavened by good vanilla characters that almost evoke melted ice cream. Quite noticeable oak on the back, and it finishes surprisingly dry; that slight spice aroma gets revived in the dying moments. It's a lovely brew.

Oh yes, oh yes... this is an exceptionally good beer. Rich, full of character, dark and seductive, boisterous and aggressive in places. So much going on and so excitingly craft. I love it to bits. (1,540 characters)

Photo of DrJay
4.7/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Inky black with no visible highlights and a dark brown head. Beautiful lacing and good retention, though the pour left the head a little thin. Also apparent were "legs" from the higher abv, especially when the beer was swirled. Plenty of different malts in the aroma, balanced roast, coffee, milk chocolate, a bit vinous with light hoppiness and dried fruits. Light hop bitterness peeks through the powerful maltiness, with a good deal of roasted and coffee bitterness, dark chocolate and fruit. Coffee really shines in the dry, roasted finish. Full body, slick and oily, very fine bubbles from the low carbonation. Alcohol only makes itself known in the warmth at the finish. This was a real treat and a world class stout. I'll be looking for more of this one in the future. (775 characters)

Photo of francisweizen
4.7/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml Capped Bottle. This beer pours an opaque black colour with a small beige head that is reminiscent of the infamous Expedition stout. The aromas are heavy and consist of coffee beans, alcohol, roasted malts, hops, yeast, and more. The taste is similar to the aromas and consists of coffee, alcohol, malts, hops and more. The mouthfeel is very thick and rich as well as creamy. The drinkability is excellent for a brew of this size (12%ABV) but this just isnt as well balanced or tasty as a Victory Storm King or Stone Imperial. This brew is "world-class" none-the-less though!

Cheers to JCalabre for giving me this chance to finally try this marvellous brew!

(670 characters)

Photo of dcmchew
4.7/5  rDev +7.8%

Pours pitch black, even in the light, with a two finger mocha head, pretty fast to some floating spots and a sticky lace.
Smells awesome, salty roasted malts, rich dark chocolate, rich coffee bean, rich strong Italian espresso, some vanilla and raisin/plum, dark spices and the faintest warm alcohol (really cool).
Coffee and caramel up front, bit of toffee and some nice dark chocolate, something like a stronger cappuccino. Still sweet for a few seconds with a sprinkle of vanilla, licorice and cinnamon and some juicy plum, dark cherry and fig, subtle. Gets roastier, with rich dark malts, some nut peel and some more robust coffee bean, plus cocoa powder. It's also woody, a weird (nice weird) kind of whisky barrel feel (placebo, maybe?), probably from the greatly handled alcohol and the rich malts. Roast and some mild bitter hops close this up.
But tons of choco-coffee richness gets through to the aftertaste, tempting you to renew the flavors with another sip, and then another, and so on. The beautifully hidden alcohol also helps, but it will hit eventually. Medium body, smooth and easily drinkable.
LE: Gets a bit boozier later on. I guess it's normal, tho.
This deserves to be a classic, especially for the rich flavors and the stealthiness it has. Not a very complex beer, but it excels at what it advertises. Very tasty stuff. (1,343 characters)

Photo of kevd193213
4.7/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle, aged for two years. Oily black pour with a thin light coffee head. Aroma of chocolate, coffee and faint smoke. Fantastic taste of bitter chocolate and coffee Also had notes of roasted almonds. Completes with a nice dry bitter finish with warming alcohol present. (270 characters)

Photo of ficknish
4.7/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Opaque black. Light tan head.

S - Coffee. Bourbon. Chocolate bitterness. Tall grass. Some wood.

T - Coffee. Alcohol. Roasted malts. Bittersweet chocolate. Burnt spicy bitterness. Coffee acidity. Oak.

M - Huge body. Alcohol heat. Sweet velvety finish.

O - So down with this stout. Great complexity and depth. Huge bitter coffee flavors and a warming alcohol feel. Bittersweet chocolate and coffee acidity balance the body nicely. Will definitely be drinking again. (471 characters)

Photo of CHADMC3
4.7/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque black with a thick and creamy mocha head that really takes its time dissipating and leaves a scattered, sticky lacing as its remnants.

Aromas of chocolate and coffee waft from the glass. There are some earthy hops buried in there somewhere as well with additional roasted malt and a sweet chocolate close.

Flavors are bold coffee and rich, sweet chocolate with earthy hop notes, and a half sweet chocolate/half roasted malt finish.

This stout has a voluptuous body with generous carbonation and a chocolaty sweet coating to the palate.

This beer knows what it is and only tries to be exactly that. A huge, rich imperial stout with direct aromas and flavors focused around coffee, chocolate, and earthy hops. An amazing beer! (746 characters)

Photo of tectactoe
4.71/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Opened at a tasting alongside the BA and Kopi versions. Pours a deep, dark black color; very dark brown tints the edges when held close to a light. The cap forms - creamy, small, fine, and a shade just lighter than tan. Initially, Speedway doesn't look quite as oily thick as I was expecting it to be, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

The aroma is very smooth on the nostrils, flowing with a river of roasted coffee beans - more on the sweet, creamy, and milky side of things, with a nice roasted quality acting as the strong backbone. Chocolates bounce in and out, never really pushing the coffee aromas to the side, rather blending with them softly in a "mocha java" kind of way. For one of the first times ever, I'm picking up a big marshmallow flavor - creamy, and toasty, a slight touch of char even, but I'm definitely getting marshmallow, and it's absolutely wonderful.

Just from the aroma, my palate is already expecting a big-time roasted coffee flavor, and that's exactly what Speedway delivers. Coffee beans attack the palate, slightly oily and definitely roasted - almost to the point of being charred or burnt. What I love about this is that the coffee flavor in Speedway is so unique - so definitively roasted, bitter, and sweet all at the same time, with an incredibly distinct pungency to it - it's amazing.

There is a good amount of cocoa in the taste, much more than on the nose, and it introduces a deep fudge flavor that plays with the fine line between bitter and sweet so well. And hot damn - that fuckin' marshmallow - I can actually taste it. Now, I don't know what exactly would produce that marshmallow taste/aroma, but it's definitely there. 100%. I thought maybe my nose was tricking me, but my mouth is saying the same thing. Lightly creamy on the finish with some bittersweet fudge and fading coffee. Heavy, oily body, silky and smooth with pretty moderate carbonation.

This is a fantastic stout. Despite being comprised of the tastes found in many stouts - chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, etc. - the raw flavors are unique and definitely set Speedway apart from the rest. Not to mention that incredible toasted marshmallow flavor I was picking up. Are you serious?! Call me crazy, but between this beer, the barrel-aged version, and the Kopi coffee variant, this one was tops for me. Hey - if it ain't broke, don't fix it. (2,367 characters)

Photo of brurevu
4.71/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

From my tasting notes: The beer poured a pitch black with practically zero head. The aroma was of coffee (of course), dark chocolate, and vanilla. The first taste was stronger coffee and chocolate which mellowed and became much smoother and decadent as it warmed. The Speedway Stout clocks in at a 12% ABV so by the time I finished my first glass I though this was easily the best beer on the planet! In retrospect I would put it up there with some of the best beers in the world, but to call it the best is more a matter of taste and mood. This was a truly great beer that I was happy to get the opportunity to try. (616 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4.72/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up in a trade with Kaiser81.

Beer pours black with a tan head. The aroma is strong chocolate with a little bit of coffee and roasted malt. The flavor has more coffee than the aroma but the beer finishes with a nice chocolate flavor, which gets stronger as it warms. There is also a bitter chocolate note that really works well with this beer. You get a little alcohol in the flavor as well. The mouthfeel is very creamy and makes this beer absolutely delicious. This is one of the best stouts I have ever had and I will definitely try it again. (552 characters)

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.72/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to fartingdog for this bottle in a trade. Cheers!

The kids are in bed, the wife is out, and Speedway Stout is in my liver. Life is good. Poured right from my cellar. Very black in appearance. Big smell & taste of coffee and chocolate with a hint of booze. Mouthfeel is smooth and the drinkability is a bit affected by the ABV. This is a great beer. At PopeDx's house last year, we did a blind Speedway vs DL tasting & I preferred the Speedway. Nough said.

Highly recommended. (484 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
4.72/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, I've had the bottle at least a year and a half but I'm not exactly sure how much older than that it is. Served in a snifter, the beer pours black with about a half inch brown head. Head retention and lacing is decent. It smells like coffee, roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, caramel and molasses. The taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also some dark fruit (cherries) and vanilla noticable too. Although the bitter coffee comes out the most in this brew, there's also a good amount of sweetness. Mouthfeel/body is full, it's creamy, rich, slick and velvety smooth. Drinkability is pretty good, the alcohol is well hidden but after finishing a bottle of it you know it's there. This is definitely an excellent brew. I think it's worth the money, and I would recommend this to others. (808 characters)

Photo of hyuga
4.72/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I think this is the 2002 bottling. Pours jet black with very little head, which is almost brown. That's understandable for a beer with this much alcohol. Roasted coffee beans are definitely in the aroma, as well as massive blackened chocolate and a little caramel along with some faint hoppiness. Faint alcohol presence. Extremely rich and robust flavors, and an absolutely creamy mouthfeel. Massive rush of dark chocolate and coffee, all burnt to a crisp. A little charred caramel and molasses here and there. Leafy and slightly rind-like hops provide the small amount of balance this needs. They come out more in the back and definitely in the finish. No alcohol is detectable after it's in your mouth. Just the way an imperial stout should be. It really doesn't need a head to add anything to the mouthfeel. Very well done, the coffee beans added to this brew are not out of place at all, they add quite a bit to it. A must-try for imperial stout lovers! My second favorite imperial stout. (992 characters)

Photo of Axic10
4.72/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 750ml bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a pitch black with two fingers of mocha colored head that settles down to about a finger for the rest of the drink.

Smell: Rich dark chocolate, fudge brownies, roasted malt, roasted coffee, cocoa and some molasses. As it warms the aroma has a hint of alcohol burn but the aroma is just amazing.

Taste: Dark chocolate, roasted malts, coffee and cocoa balanced together nicely. Slight alcohol burn, but nothing offensive.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and incredibly smooth.

Drinkability: Wow, while I can't drink more than a bottle of this in an evening, I giving this a 5 for drinkability, because I will definitely be buying this again. Such a tasty stout. I would really love to try the BA version of this and compare. (781 characters)

Photo of SpruceFish
4.72/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- pitch black dark brown head very little lacing head stated nice though out

S- wow this one is intense 1st off plenty of coffee lots of chocolate then sweet dried fruits (raisins, dried cranberries, and some prunes) then i sensed perhaps a smell bourbony undertone

T- as my friend said it kicks you in the mouth coffee, chocolate, sour dried fruits very interesting in a stout very balanced a nice bitterness at the finish

M- good carbonation thick in the mouth how a stout should be

D- probably the best of any beer is have ever had with an ABV this high i could drink this all day not a hint of booz here at all

what a great beer (643 characters)

Photo of donkeyrunner
4.72/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

"Streetlights bend into the void, cars enveloped into the darkness, deeper than a blind man's sleep, soon to paint the world." - Black Dahlia Murder

This is as a dark, evil double stout should be.

Pours tamarind paste black with dark brown edges. Sits thick and gooey bottomless pit black in my glass like a black hole sucking in the light. Large, creamy tan head leaves spider vein lacing strewn about mine glass. Bottle aged 1 year in the cellar.

Cocoa powder, burnt caramel roast malt, and espresso aroma. Some dark fruit and maybe even a few pine needles from persistent hops? It's not the complexity that shines here, just the utter perfection.

Coffee, bittersweet cocoa, dark fruit. Dark and rich as all get out. Underlying alcoholic warmth is embracing as a warm hug. Sigh. No real hop flavor but I can tell they're they're as a supporting role, pushing the malty richness forward. This beer is so dark, strong and evil looking it wouldn't hesitate to punch a napping kitten. (986 characters)

AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,500 ratings.