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AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

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1,526 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 1,526
Hads: 5,868
Avg: 4.37
pDev: 16.93%
Wants: 856
Gots: 1,786 | FT: 156
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
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Reviews: 1,526 | Hads: 5,868
Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Served in a snifter glass.

Appearance: Pours like the night, incredibly dark and completely opaque. The best way I could describe it is used motor oil. Brownish-black with an awfully dark tan head that rose to just above a finger's length.

Smell: Strong alcohol scent with strong malts and chocolate.

Taste: What a roasted feel of chocolate and alcohol. Strong and a little heavy, just drinking it you can tell this bottle isn't mean to be shared. Strong alcohol feel, bitter and very bitter but the alcohol and roasted chocolate is what offsets this beast of a beer.

Mouth: What you feel most is the bitter chocolate, coming off like toasted chocolate cake. A little dry, with medium and f'n ridiculous stickiness to it.

Overall: The worst part about this is finishing the bottle and trying to get every drop out of it. I have seen this in the store numerous times and till head out and grab a bottle again and again. At the time of this writing i haven't had many AleSmith (this might be my first) beers drinking this one in particular is the gateway to others. Salud!

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This pours a jet black, with a weak tan head. the nose is mostly coffee and roasted malts. The flavor starts chocolate, but quickly goes to a really nice bitter coffee flavor. I do love this beer. The feel is nicely thick and a bit creamy. This beer is way too drinkable for 12%ABV. What a great beer.

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Photo of malcontent
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Just Perfect. Jet black body with a towering three fingers of head. The cocoa-colored head almost appears to be a solid material and the lacing is flat out sinister. Just goddamned perfect!

Coffee, bittersweet chocolate, rye bread, fading vanilla, wisps of smoke, soft fusel alcohol to the finish...I could spend another hour detecting aromas from this beer and it wouldn't be hard to do from a full four feet away.

A stunning rush of dark, bittersweet chocolate with a perfect foil of finishing hops. Really little to no coffee on the tongue although charred qualities push through with a fair amount of discernible malt sweetness. Long, lingering burnt chocolate finish. Love it, love it, love it.

Smooth, creamy, lush and biting on the finish. Luxurious and bold yet never out of bounds. Despite the fact the ABV is firmly over the 10% line, when judging against style this one is a stunner. Just for a decadent edge I paired this with some premium coffee ice cream. Fucking ridiculous.

Kryptic, you've outdone yourself.

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Photo of BMan1113VR
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Many bottles and draughts over time. Old bottle from notes (2006). Wow! Pours with a small, ultra creamy, light brown head with some great lacing. Pitch black body. Amazing aroma of coffee and chocolate. Tastes of morning fresh french roast. Perfect mouthfeel, ultra creamy and so easy to drink (even at 12%), just amazing, nice alcohol warming. Nice and sweet mocha plays with your taste buds.

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Photo of Biggness
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This beer pours very dark with a two fingered head and tons of lacing. The smell is nice of chocolate coffee and nutty malts. The flavor is big and in your face a wonderful chocolate and coffee flavor with wonderful malt flavors. Nicely drinkable but couldn't all night it and a very nice and smooth mouthfeel

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Photo of SaxmanRick
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On cask at the taproom. Beautiful solid tan lacing, pitch black ale. Coffee/chocolate combo is deliciious! Great balance is neither bitter nor sweet. The mouthfell on cask and at a milder temperature was remarkable - creamy, but certainly not highly carbonated.

This was one of those one sip and WOW, another sip and WOW. Everything from the aroma to the follow-through taste was special. Somewhat better than my previous review from bottle (although previously highly pleasing).

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Photo of Philousa
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Inky black, impenetrable by light with a wispy dark tan head. Glad I chose the etched bottom NB goblet, as it keeps the drink bubbly. Very chocolaty, very roasty up front, coffee is strong as well. Some heavy caramel, but not a hint of alcohol. Even some vanilla comes out with a swirl as it warms up. Strong dark chocolate and coffee flavors start things out. Light up front, fading slowly to bitter, like 80% cacao chocolate. I get some nuttiness and caramel in there as well. Usually caramel is thick and in the way, but this is just an accent. This is surprisingly light on the palate. I would normally attribute this to the ABV level, but I've had beers with this much alcohol in them and still be heavy. Dry aftertaste to be expected with all the attributes I've mentioned above.

This is one awesome beer. It's a sipper for a cold night, when you've let it warm up a bit. Complex and rewarding, this makes me wonder what the barrel aged version tastes like...

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Photo of stouts_mageezax
4.69/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

AleSmith needs to be told firmly about this beer. The first time I tried this beer it was divine. Super creamy mouth feel with milk chocolate and lightly roasted malt flavor with smooth coffee undertones. I was telling every one of my stout loving buddies about this beer after I tried it. However, when I took the foil off the top, I saw rust around the bottle cap. I had read the reviews about this beer where people have noticed an oxidized taste, so much so that people have given this beer a rating as low as a 2. But luckily when I tried it the first time I got the pleasure of all AleSmith has to offer with this beer.
The second time I had the speedway stout it was awful! I made the mistake of not sealing these when I got them. The second one I had 2 months after the first. It tasted foul with a strong acid flavor that completely ruined the beer. AleSmith needs to change the way they bottle this beer or whatever is causing this to happen. I have already left them messages with no response. This is an amazing beer that does not deserve to not be tried because of this. Anyone who lives close to aleSmith or someone who can talk with them needs to

My rating represents that of the first time I had speedway stout

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Photo of williamjbauer
4.69/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottled served in a conical pint glass on 5/1/12 drank with the old man

A - Obsidian black with a healthy 2.5 finger tan head with excellent retention, fluffy, with great lacing.

S - Molasses, dark fruit, espresso bean, dark chocolate, touch of smoke, alcohol, perfection.

T - Follows the nose so complex, sweet, and tasting. It is satisfying from beginning to end, smooth throughout with a touch of alcohol, with a heavy molasses and dark fruits flavor, with a slightly bitter finish.

M - Full body, moderate carbonation, chewy finish.

O - One of my favorite beers and a really delightfully complex imperial stout. Yummy molasses!

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Photo of russpowell
4.69/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2007 Version pours an effervescent ebony ( I hold it towards the setting sun & zero light penetrates it!) with 2+ fingers of mocha colored head into my Vondel snifter. Shimmers like 50 wt motor oil. Not much lacing & head retention

S: Chocolate, iron & roasted malts, plus some booze as this warms, oakyness as really warmed up

T: Iron, roasted malt, milk & baker's chocolate up front. I get a mocha as this warms along with dark chocolate & a bit of booze, plus Kahlua. Finishes dry with strong coffee
( Kona to me! ), much chocolate & the right amount of booze

MF: Real chewy & oily, plus silky with minimal carbonation, very rich

Drinks easy for the ABV, the complexity just sucks you in. A little too much coffee & dryness to try to session on IMO. Superb Imp Stout!

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Photo of MoorBeerPlz
4.69/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Served from the 750ml bottle into a globe glass...

Pours a opaque black with purplish brown edges, 1 finger head forms that will build quick if poured too aggressive. Tan foam that drops off to sticky foam on the sides of the glass, a foam layer and a nice ring around the glass. So far, so good.

Smells of dark chocolate, roasted grains, coffee and a little alcohol. As with some other beers I've tried, I'm surprised by the lack of aromatics sometimes but I know it doesn't always mean something bad.

The first sip is dark chocolate, roasted grains, mocha, maybe some vanilla, a little hop presence and the alcohol at the end.

Smooth mouthfeel, medium to thick body that I loved just moving around as I tasted. Not much carbonation, which is fine. Finish is a little on the dry side, with the chocolate, roasted grains, mocha and the alcohol burn at the end.

Overall, this is one damn fine stout and I will definitely pony up the $$$ for more. While I still have a lot to learn about this style, this stout in particular is currently in my top spot and Alesmith's reputation is safe on my account.


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Photo of tbeckett
4.69/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle split thanks to volcanicbeat IP. Thanks man! From notes.

A - Poured black with two fingers of brown head. Left spotty lace and a film of retention.

S - Aromas of coffee and roast. Smelled so original and smooth. Espresso, mocha, caramel sweetness. Lot's of lovely aromas. Good stuff.

T - No hint of alcohol in the flavour. Coffee, roast, licorice. So great. Chocolate was present as well. Heavenly.

M - Good mild carbonation, full body, and a good bitterness.

O/D - Beautiful stout. I was in shock as to how good this was. So many great flavours. Spot on. Could have it all day.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.69/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is very lightly carbonated, it forms a wispy brown head. Deep black in color. Aromas of chocolate, coffee, alcohol, and burnt grain waft from my glass. It is quite thick, this is definitely a sipping brew. Luckily, despite its thickness, this beer is not syrupy, which I don't really like in a beer. Definitely tastes of coffee, with chocolate and alcohol in the finish. Reminds me of a good creamy dark chocolate bar. A definite malty sweetness is here, it is controlled by the roast flavors though. A certain restrained fruitiness is here, the closest analogy would be burnt raisin. This is quite good, and though I was disappointed at first, the carbonation is just about perfect for this heavy beer. The roasted - coffee notes of this beer just linger in your mouth, it is quite wonderful. This is a dark, black beast that is thoroughly enjoyable.

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Photo of Kappakoosh
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I was really happy to get to try this beer. I have not had access to it, so when I found it at Top Hops in NYC, I jumped at the opportunity. Bottom line is this is a fantastic tasting beer and extraordinarily smooth. I would recommend jumping all over the opportunity to try it. A little pricey...but worth every penny.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Well damn. Just when I thought I knew what my favorite stout in the world was. Going into the end of my second bottle, its all up in the air.

How many ways can you say thick jet black w/ cherry cola head appearance. Amazing lacing, retention, even keeps the tan and red head stuck to the side of the glass after the black liquid is long gone.

Big chocolate and coffee nose. Boozy for sure. That will really be your last impression of booziness.

Taste, immaculate, you won't know 12% was the abv. Thick, no bad aftertaste, just mild coffee melded with a big chocolate malt roast (no bitterness or astringency to it). Just enough sweetness to make it smoother, without sweetness being a hallmark flavor that makes this beer. It never fades, even to the last sip. So coating, every drop, mouthfeel never stops, never fades, you just get sip after sip of heaven. This was drank Saturday, in 90 degree weather around the pool. Yeah, not what many would consider ideal conditions to drink a stout.

IMHO, don't worry about anything else, this stout makes the conditions around you ideal. I wouldn't argue with you if you said this was the best stout in the world.

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Photo of hagbergl
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

AleSmith Speedway Stout–one of the true "white whales" among American Imperial Stouts. My girlfriend bought this as a special bottle for us to share while in Provincetown for the weekend. It's always a special occasion when there's Speedway Stout to be drunk. Enjoyed in my Dogfish Head snifter. Review is from notes.

Appearance (4.5/5): Speedway Stout is pitch black, completely opaque, and is topped by a very nice looking one finger, tan/milk chocolate head of foam. Somewhat unusual for the style, lots of sticky tan lacing is left on the sides of the glasses as you drink.

Smell (4.5/5): Notes of chocolate, espresso beans and fresh-brewed coffee, butterscotch, caramel, and a touch of alcohol blend to make this a very strong, pungent brew. Despite not featuring the most unique nose ever, it's extremely satisfying–really, downright mouth-watering.

Taste (5/5): Speedway Stout flavor is dominated by chocolate and coffee notes that are enhanced by a slight–though noticeable–booziness. It's much more complex than that, though: it also features woody notes (perhaps from the aging process?), a subtle smokiness, and a touch of fresh, herbal hops. Not overly sweet or roasty, but decadent nonetheless. This is just pure stout greatness: everything is where it should be and beautifully executed.

Mouthfeel (4.5/5): Medium carbonation, smooth, and not abrasive despite the high ABV (12%). This is quite an accomplishment and the brewers need to be commended. Dangerously drinkable. Very pleasing, never challenging.

Overall (4.5/5): Without a doubt, this is one of my favorite stouts. Speedway is just about as big and bold as coffee-infused stouts come. My favorite thing about it is that there is far more complexity to it than you find in your average Imperial Stout. If you're a fan of stout and you run across this rare beast, buy it!

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Photo of Brenden
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This has a sort of old school of the new school look; this beer's been around, and it was a big black and viscous behemoth of a beer before stouts had gotten so big. As such, it's still at the top of its game with a big, thick onyx body and a nicely sized tense, thick, rocky and creamy crown of medium brown head that holds up and leaves behind evidence in patching that's pretty strong considering the ABV.
Plenty of wood comes into play both in the nose and on the tongue, and combined with a vanilla-like sweetness that complements and the warming booze that's smooth and not too hot, it's a wonder this isn't barrel-aged. Barrel aging isn't the be-all, end-all of craft beer, but this one incorporates its best aspect: namely, a big, bold depth and complexity of flavors that a spirit in a barrel can bring out with just the right use. It's got so much creamy smoothness and sweetness mingling toffee and smoky caramel flavors into the huge roast underneath. There's a bit of fresh ground and maybe even roasted coffee with some dark chocolate and creamy smooth mild chocolate notes. This is what brewers are striving for with their barreling programs.
Big, rich, thick without weighing down the palate or feeling overly heavy, and massively smooth with so much creaminess it wraps itself on the tongue, this beer has exactly the feel it ought to, with just the perfect carbonation to flow and develop the layers that open up, just the perfect amount of crispness to focus on the smoothness, and a little dryness to cut the sweetness and balance perfectly.
This is an impressive beer, period. Forget the whales; this is a year-round shelf beer.

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the gems of the Madison Big Stout session. We were bruised and battered, yet not quite beaten by the time we got to this bad boy.

Pour: BLACK, all black, no light to be seen under an inch of capuccino cream and a bit of spotty lacing.

Nose: fresh roasted coffee (courtesy of Ryan Bros. apparently) caramel/vanilla cream, oatmeal malt and a bite of booze in the finish.

Taste: roasted gourmet coffee bitterness, baking chocolate, dark sweet fruit and grainy oatmeal malt with a vanilla liquor finish.

Feel: on the light side for the style, but silky smooth with velvety/tickling carbonation.

Drinkability/Overall: Hot Damn. This is a tasty ADS. Freshest coffee taste/nose I've witnessed, very refined and balanced with everything else going on. Parallels with the now defunct Heavyweight's Perkuno's Hammer Imp Porter. A top notch big stout. You SoCal mofos are lucky if you haven't figured that out yet.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my 750th beer review on BA. To celebrate number 750, I decided to review a special beer in a 750ml bottle. What better occasion to review Speedway Stout, an awesome beer but one I have yet to review.

A- Pours a deep dark pitch black color with a nice tan colored head that leaves a good amount of lacing and retention.

S- The aroma is spectacular. Dark roasted malts, loads of coffee, hints of cocoa and hints of alcohol make up the fabulous aroma.

T- The taste is unsurprisingly as big and bold as the aroma. The taste starts a bit sweet with the dark roasted malts dominating. Some bitter coffee flavors start to come into play somewhere in the middle, with the bitterness lasting well into the finish. There is also some warming from the alcohol, but it is not as noticable as you would expect from a beer with such a high ABV.

M- The mouthfeel has a very nice smooth and creamy texture with a perfect amount of carbonation.

D- This is definitely a sipper, but it is dangerously drinkable considering the high ABV.

Overall, AleSmith Speedway Stout is one of the finest beers of it's styles and one of my favorite beers regardless of style. Highly Recoomended.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on cask, via handpump, at the Blind Lady Alehouse (San Diego, CA) on 3/17/10 during their "Black Wednesday" St. Patrick's Day celebration. Served in a snifter.

Pours a dense, oily, black, topped with a frothy 1/2 finger of dark mocha head. This looks very burnt, with an angry looking reddish flareup when swirled, leaving back a huge cascade of spotty lacing that dots the sides of the glass. The aroma is lush with dark roasted coffee flavor, as well as a deep backing tang of chocolate and toffee sweetness. The whold thing is rounded out by a combo of herbal hops and some extra earthy coffee notes.

The taste showcases a bit more of the sharpness of the hops up front, with the fudgey sweetness of the chocolate malts coming in next, before that robust coffee and dark roasted malts fill out the back of the profile. This isn't quite as sharp and tangy as I remember it being on tap but there is definitley some more definition to the flavors here, with a ton of dry roasted flavor coming out in the finish. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a huge mellow creaminess to it that is maybe showing a bit more of it's warmth than usual here on cask. Fortunately, it isn't too distracting, as this still drinks like a champ for a beer this size.

I love when the cask-version of a beer brings a little something different to the table and this one definitely did. The extra definition of the flavors really exposes the coffee even more here but the quality of it was more than able to step up to the plate and meet expectations. I love this beer and it was a rare treat (this is only the 3rd cask review out of nearly 800 here on BA) to be able to try it this way.

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Photo of scottoale
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Whoa ! Served in the 12oz. plastic cup at the source, this is a dark black...maybe brown (it's hard to tell it's so dark) with a light brown frothy head. Good lacing that sticks.

Smells of dark, rich roasted espresso , bitter-sweet chocolate and some alcohol, oh my!!

First taste wakes the tastebuds, post-haste! Strong powerful, bitter, eye-opening coffee fills the mouth, goes down easily, then lingers and lures you to please, have some more ! Don't have to twist my arm, this stuff is delicious and very potent ! At 12.0% ABV, I think this is a one-of-a-kind, definitely the strongest stout I have ever tasted.

A full-bodied beer that hits hard at first, subtly mellows and lingers in a most pleasant way...what a stout ! Creamy, smooth mouthfeel...nice !

The best stout I've ever had on tap, highly recommended...try it !

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Photo of WeisGuy
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to HimerMan for trading me this bottle a few months ago.

a - pours black with a two-finger tan head with an orangish tint, surprising retention for such a big brew and great lacing

s - big scents of coffee and bittersweet chocolate, burnt malt, dark fruits, some black cherry, slight hoppiness, hints of alcohol

t - quick dark fruit sweetness right up front, quickly evolves into an intense coffee taste with strong notes of bittersweet chocolate and roasted malt, a bit of hoppiness on the finish along with some black cherry and hints of alcohol, very complex, every sip brings new flavors

m - full-bodied, low carbonation, very creamy, coats the mouth well, pretty dry finish, nice warming effect

d - as drinkable as a big stout can be, the alcohol isn't all that evident in the taste, but you can definitely feel the warming, I could sip on this all night

Wow, this lived up to all the hype for me and has instantly become one of my all-time favorites. I waited for the right occasion to drink this bottle and tonight was the night. Incredibly complex brew that I wish I had a few more bottles of to enjoy tomorrow night and the night after that. Definitely worth seeking out.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the finest there is. For being such a huge beer, it's very drinkable. Being a coffee stout lover, this is what it's all about. Everything in this stout is brought together so nicely. All the flavors compliment each other and work well together.
Pours a nice black color with a slight tan froth for a head. The smell is great. You can spend some time enjoying this beer even before the first taste. The taste is unbelievable for a beer this complex and huge. The coffee, chocolate and flavors are brought together and can be noticed quite easily. It is incredibly smooth on the palate. Honestly, this stout was closer to a five ranking for me. Still an incredible stout, and readily available in my home state. There's got to be a benefit to living in Ohio, right?

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Photo of bigfnjoe
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a Duvel tulip. No freshness date, but I bought it about a year ago

A- pours jet black with a three finger dark brown head. Looks amazing, as it damn well should

S- a huge aroma of coffee smashes you in the face, with a bit of a chocolate backbone as well and roast coming through extremely heavily. Vicious

T- bitter coffee with some slightly sweet chocolate coming through as well. Decent bit of roast in the finish as well....no burn at all. Unreal

M- viscous. Motor oil thick. You can cut this beer with a knife.

O- pretty close to as perfect of an imperial stout as you can get. Affordable, no heat at all, huge flavors...amazing

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Photo of vwcraig
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 bottle received in a trade with TheKegergator

Pours black with a short-lived mocha colored head. Some bubbles linger around on the top. Initial smells of dark-roasted coffee beans and bitter and sweet chocolate. Very appetizing nose. First taste is dominated by the coffee and chocolate. A light bitterness that hangs around is there also. Light warming alcohol sensation is felt until you get a few drinks into it. Heavy and filling mouthfeel that is silky and slick. Very low carbonation and extremely smooth drinking for 12% ABV. Favorite stout of mine so far and worth the buzz. I would love to keep this in rotation with Storm King and Expedition if I had it around. Will definitely track this down again and again.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,526 ratings.