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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.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

4,411 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,411
Reviews: 1,389
rAvg: 4.4
pDev: 8.86%
Wants: 731
Gots: 1,233 | FT: 119
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of AleSmith Speedway Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,411 | Reviews: 1,389 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of capra12
capra12

New York

3.15/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was served in a Snifter glass during dessert.
Reviewed with the help of wheatman106, Jimmy and Chrissy

Appearance- The deep dark brown was no surprise with 1 1/2 fingers of head. The head was frothy and the lacing left on the glass was slightly spotty.

Smell- The initial scents that came to mind were dark roast malts, with coffee, and roasted hops. As this brew warmed to room temperature the coffee really cut through the malts and hop.

Taste- The opening of this brew gave me a nice roasted coffee and very very subtle dark malts, but from the middle to end of this brew an extreme hop profile was apparent along with a burnt coffee taste lingered as I passed off my glass to the other tasters. When paired with the dessert and at a warmer temperature, the sweetness mellowed out the dark malts in the opening and helped mellow out the burnt taste of coffee from middle to end and made it quite enjoyable.

Mouth Feel- The full bodiedness of this brew coated my palate initially with coffee and hops but the flavors developed and the strength of the roasted hops and coffee created a lingering coffee hop well after my last sip.

Drinkability- For this style of beer I can see why is is on the top 100 but as far as having another I'll save this bottle for a nice cold winter night.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2009 05:18:31 | More by capra12
Photo of PhxHorn
PhxHorn

Arizona

3.18/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours almost black, with very little head. Smells of intensely of coffee and dark chocolate. Tastes the same, except very sweet. Actually, too sweet and too much coffee for me; quite lopsided. Needs more bitter flavor to balance out the sweetness. Took me quite awhile to finish the glass. This is a very rich, sweet and coffee-tasting beer, more than I care for. I'm sure it's just the beer for someone who love coffee, but it's just not the right one for me.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2007 05:27:13 | More by PhxHorn
Photo of merryjoulton
merryjoulton

Arkansas

3.18/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a deep thick black with a nice dark tan head that dissipated quickly. Smells of chocolate, coffee, roasted malts and caramel. The smell got me really excited to taste because it smelled very complex and thick. Taste was a letdown, very bogged down by the coffee beans. Tastes like an over extracted coffee. Very sour and acidic. Mouthfeel is not as thick as I expect from a stout this big. Drinkability is low because of the acidity.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2009 04:39:47 | More by merryjoulton
Photo of B33R501
B33R501

Pennsylvania

3.23/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Edit 7/30 I fucking hate inconsistency and if I remember correctly this brewer is the definition of inconsistency, last year I had a Yulesmith summer that was incredible, then I purchased 2 more that were flat, and terrible. Got an $8 32 oz bomber tonite, couldn't wait. Yet somehow the bottle was so much better, how is that possible? This draught stunk, no chocolate, no coffee, all vinous character, very boring. Maybe that's why the keg (according to the beer guy at whole foods) was so cheap? Whatever, what a disappointment. Brewers, here's a clue GET SOME F'ING CONSISTENCY.

Another great beer in a year filled with great beers I really don't know how to rate them anymore I guess I'll have to compare. I bought this on someone's comment, this crushes stone imperial stout. Well, we wouldnt go that far. I'd rate it just a bit below that.

Black, big chocolate head, no carbonation issues at all. Actually, the carbonation and mouthfeel are just about perfect. Reviewers note, I had 2 Yulesmith Summer bottles last year that were completely flat.

Chocolate coffee aroma, big coffee chocolate vanilla cream and sugar tastes. Notes of dark fruits, really sweet at times with a big dry bitter finish. This beer just sizzles on the tongue, no hint of alcohol at all, very drinkable I went thru this bomber like nobody's business. And then I stood up, wow this was fantastic.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2012 11:56:34 | More by B33R501
Photo of polloenfuego
polloenfuego

Ontario (Canada)

3.24/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I am going to preface this review by saying that I am not convinced this was an entirely healthy bottle of Speedway Stout.

While this beer looked okay, it poured nice and had a nice off white head that gave way to nice lacing, this is where the high points ended for this experience.

Smell wise, there was coffee and anise...very strong anise. This was almost overpowering. The taste was also very heavy on anise or licorice. Roast and coffee were also prominent but the anise was very front and center.

From a mouth feel perspective the beer had a medium feel and a moderate to low amount of carbonation.

Overall, not what I expected or wanted. That is why I am concerned that this was not a healthy bottle. I just did not experience the smells, flavors and feel that most other reviewers have shared. I would like to believe this was one bad experience. I will try again and rereview.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2013 22:58:13 | More by polloenfuego
Photo of sia478
sia478

Washington

3.25/5  rDev -26.1%

12-23-2013 18:04:44 | More by sia478
Photo of frankthetank86
frankthetank86

New York

3.25/5  rDev -26.1%

07-03-2013 02:17:43 | More by frankthetank86
Photo of hopsaplenty
hopsaplenty

Virginia

3.25/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml green (why?) bottle. No date info, but it is silkscreened and came topped with silver foil. Picked-up via trade in November 2005, and has sat in the cellar ever since.

Deep black with mud brown edges. Towering, crackling head of jumbled espresso colored bubbles topped with a fine layer of crema. Pock marks slowly develop as the head drifts down to a pillowy cover. Slow rising carbonation. The aroma is noticeable at a distance, sweetened coffee, chocolate milkshake, smoked caramel, roasted pine cone, and a bit of alcohol. The taste is hot with alcohol and a coffee roastiness is set firmly in the background. Dry pine carries into the finish along with a bit of smokiness. A dry, baker’s chocolate flavor becomes apparent, but is covered by the alcohol. The body feels thin, and the mouthfeel light with fine carbonation. This has a dry, dusty feeling. The alcohol starts to dominate and detract from the overall flavor. I am left wondering where the body went and what happened to the complexity. The bottle indicates that it can be cellared for 6-24 months, and this was only down there for 15 months, so it should have held up better.

Meh. I was expecting more.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2007 15:32:26 | More by hopsaplenty
Photo of VaporDome
VaporDome

New York

3.25/5  rDev -26.1%

03-17-2013 00:42:12 | More by VaporDome
Photo of Bluecane
Bluecane

New York

3.25/5  rDev -26.1%

04-21-2013 06:03:06 | More by Bluecane
Photo of JDV
JDV

Texas

3.25/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle from Liquid Solutions.
Pours a deep, opaque, black with a short lived tan head. Smell is not what I expected at all. No coffee aromas for me, coming out of the snifter. Rich, sweet dark fig like fruitiness, some ripe banana, alcohol in nose. Mouthfeel is creamy, a bit rich, and still not a hint of coffee... Alcohol however, is very noticeable, and detracts from it for me. After opening up for a while, I get the faintest hint of coffee in the aftertaste, but not like I'd expect from something that mentions coffee in the Description 4 times. Definitely not a bad Imperial Stout, but too alcoholic, not enough coffee or roasty malt flavor, and overall a let down.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2008 19:05:20 | More by JDV
Photo of BlackNote
BlackNote

Michigan

3.25/5  rDev -26.1%

09-27-2013 12:18:48 | More by BlackNote
Photo of Alpar
Alpar

Minnesota

3.25/5  rDev -26.1%

07-08-2013 05:32:33 | More by Alpar
Photo of BoRaeCho
BoRaeCho

California

3.25/5  rDev -26.1%

09-19-2012 16:49:40 | More by BoRaeCho
Photo of jasonjlewis
jasonjlewis

Texas

3.28/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

pours a mediocre head with some decent retnetion and a very full dark brown color.

Smell is of chocolate, raisin, grape, and toffee with some coffee notes.

Taste starts off sweet and chocolatey with a little bit of raisin undertone. It finishes with a coffee bitterness and a dry assertiveness from the alcohol, which is not too bad, but a little aggressive. Seems to be a little vanilla on the swallow as well. A nicely complex beer that could use some thicker malts and sweetness over the astringency of the alcohol.

The mouthfeel is slightly astringent on the finish and the malts don't cling to the mouth like I would like them to.

Overall this beer is too boozy even when cold. I could drink it as a nice night cap, but only a glassfull at that.

I think age would make this a much better beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2008 04:34:25 | More by jasonjlewis
Photo of tut2528
tut2528

Illinois

3.28/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Finally! I get the chance of trying this one out. Purchased off the shelf on 12-29-12

A: pour is completely black, and it pours a massive 2-3 fingers worth of frothy dark mocha head formation. the lacing is very nice and the nice bubbly film layer remains once the head dies down

S: alcohol soaked dark fruits, bitter dark chocolate, robust coffee grounds, alcohol burn, slight touch of tobacco. very nicely balanced brew.

T: alcohol, bold coffee, chocolate and more alcohol are pretty much the main players. leather, slight tobacco, and a burnt/smokiness is also present. in all honesty, I get only a slight sweetness....mostly during the burps!

M: for as dark as this beer is. i find it much too light. i find much too light and the alcohol destroys any nice flavors that could be left on the palate, its felt all over the upper gums, cheeks and palate.. i suppose there is a slight bitter dark chocolate but, i really have to pull for it.

O: im utterly shocked. for receiving such high reviews, this brew is extremely underwhelming. its an alcohol bomb....flat.... for being such highly ranked, i expect more out of a beer of this caliber.... its an average AD/IS. nothing special or great about it. I strongly feel this needs to be paired with food, or seriously aged.

.... is this a bad bottle/batch?.... glad i'm at least getting drunk

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2012 03:26:00 | More by tut2528
Photo of HiAIPA
HiAIPA

Maine

3.3/5  rDev -25%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from b/w/grey silkscreened 750ml bottle. This black stout had a medium body and poured with minimal head. Robust aromas of bread, coffee, tar and roasted caramel malts were prominent. The coffee and roasted flavors were good, but there was this acidic high note kinda like a lactose or sweet stout thing that detracted from this. This should be a heavy thick brooding stout, and the sweet thing wasn't ideal.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2009 01:13:55 | More by HiAIPA
Photo of BZero007
BZero007

Virginia

3.33/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle from Vendomere in CA

Poured a extreme black color void of any light. no head formation at all. The aroma nice with a sweet coffee background twirled around. The smell was not very strong but was nice and plesent. The taste was of a well balanced coffee, roasty, dark fruit flavor. Honestly they all seemed to match very well, but the biggest problem was no carbonation. The carbonation in this brew was way to low and hard to find honestly. I felt for this flavor profile it needed just a dash more to tie everything together. I am hoping I had a bad bottle but this was my second bottle both of which were different years. So I am just chacking this up to not my style. Don't get me wrong this a good Stout just not something I will seek out again. If it was sold in m area I would probably pick it up from time to time. The body was great as a medium/thick style but again the lack of carbonation hit this brew hard for me.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2011 18:58:45 | More by BZero007
Photo of brystmar
brystmar

Texas

3.33/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Been wanting to try this for awhile, so I was excited to see it offered at Rattle N Hum. The bottle we shared was served far too cold, so I let it warm up before getting critical.

A: pitch black, literally zero head, mild lace. Speedway Stout is purported to be a top-tier imperial stout, and I expected much more in this department.

S: smells *very* hot. Booze, chocolate, booze, and faint traces of coffee. Did I say booze? Zero aromatic complexity. Doesn't make me giddy with every whiff like the other top stouts in this category.

T: first sip was very cold, bland, and disappointing. Waited until it warmed up, then tasted again. Chocolate, roasted malt, sweet malts, mild coffee, and then plenty of booze. Lacks complexity and refinement, and doesn't hide its strength well. Reminds me of countless other mid-level imperial stouts. A decent beer, but wholly unimpressive.

M: its big, silky, smooth body is the only saving grace here. Definitely the best part of this brew.

D: about average for a 12% beer, but well below average in comparison with other top imperial stouts. Strong amount of alcoholic warmth as it goes down. Pretty heavy too, but this is usually not a point of contention for me. I'll be generous with a 3. Glad I shared this bottle.

I opened this bottle with high expectations and was let down every step of the way. This is in sharp contrast to a beer like Dark Lord: I again came in with high expectations, but was absolutely blown away on all fronts. My hopes for Cigar City's Marshal Zhukov were also high recently; that brew proved itself at least satisfactory on every level and excelled in mouthfeel. Can't say anything similar here.

Speedway Stout really let me down. I actually wish the bottle were musty or stale so I could chalk it up to those problems, but that was simply not the case. In two words, it's overhyped and unimpressive.

This is not a bad beer by any stretch, but expecting something special from this beer will leave you disappointed.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2011 17:09:36 | More by brystmar
Photo of bruachan
bruachan

District of Columbia

3.33/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

from hudson acme

i bought myself some new beerware to accomodate 750s, and frankly, this thing's too big. it's a 160 oz brandy snifter. that's right...it can accomodate FIVE 750s. anyway, i figured this was an appropriate brew to christen my BIG glass (i call it...the grrrail)

big chocolate aroma out of the bottle (which, now that it is empty, i see is green and not black). pours a reddish brown, but black in the glass. chocolatemilkshake head that sticks to the glass when it sloshes around (looks almost like changing tides in this glass). when i stick my face in the snifter's port (literally; when i sip my hairline is in the cavernous glass. i should wear a hairnet) i get alot of ethanol in my nose, along with the expected black malt aromas and some deep dark fruitiness

a fair amount of bitterness from the highly kilned malts, but it could be a much smoother drink. vanilla, rum, raisin. the hop bitterness seems to mesh with the ethanol flavor, so the alcohol appears more prevalent than it really is. in any case, i should be expecting some alcohol to come through (though it's a little strong in the aroma)

coffee doesn't seem to have as much of an impact compared to peché mortel, but i don't drink the stuff so i might be missing some of the nuances that i might pick up otherwise

in conclusion, i'm disappointed. i don't like the bitterness at all, i get too much ethanol aroma and, though complex, the flavors just aren't enjoyable. their wee heavy is much better

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2006 05:02:03 | More by bruachan
Photo of nas5755
nas5755

Massachusetts

3.33/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A black beer with a massive tan head some lacing is left on the glass, with a little retention. The nose has coffee, light chocolate notes and deeply roasted dark coffee bitterness. The taste follows the nose, heavy with dark roasted coffee and the astringent bitterness that comes from too much roasting, chocolate and roasted malt flavors. Too much roast when fresh. A very smooth and creamy stout with a great mouth-feel, but it was hard to appreciate because of the bitterness. A very good stout that should be aged, even with all the coffee notes. The astringent bitterness is just to harsh to truly enjoy. I have this beer with a little over a year and the astringency had faded considerably.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2011 23:53:22 | More by nas5755
Photo of GregSVT
GregSVT

Texas

3.33/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle into a snifter - 2009 Vintage

A: Pours a deep black with ruby tinges on the side and a small dark tan head that fades quickly and leaves some lacing on the glass. I poured this pretty vigorously and it barely produced a small head...I'd like to see more than that otherwise great.

S: The nose is amazing. Roasted malt leads to a coffee aroma with vanilla and cocoa in the background. I literally said "oh my god" when I took my first whiff.

T: The taste is much different from the nose. It starts slightly sour with a lot of dark fruit and that leads to a vanilla and coffee flavor. Not as impressive as the nose led on but not bad either.

M: The feel is pretty thick and oily. Not a whole lot of carbonation which isn't a bad thing for an Impy Stout.

D: I'd like to try this again before I give my final verdict. Perhaps I'll get the new 2010 vintage and have it fresh.

I can't even imagine what the smell and taste would be on the barrel aged version...must be out of this world.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2010 01:34:55 | More by GregSVT
Photo of jeonseh
jeonseh

Indiana

3.35/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a Kuhnheen Tulip

A - I forgot that high ABV stouts can have a nice head. Has a nice, one finger mocha color head that sits throughout. Color is deep, brown. Clean looking and slightly reflective.

S - Chocolate, light bitter coffee with a slight caramel sweetness. There is a slight almost Marmite / vegetal hint I pick up in the nose as well

T - Slight chocolate and definitely get a kick of the bitter coffee in the middle. There is slight caramel and vanilla sweetness that comes in near the end before you get slammed with a huge alcoholic kick. This by far has the strongest alcoholic kick I've had in a beer in a long time and even seems strong for a 12% ABV.

MF - Nice medium body that is thick and smooth with light carbonation. Finish though is very astringent and boozy as you'd expect given the booze in the flavor

O - I was not impressed by this offering and thought this was an overall let down. It is way too boozy for the ABV which comes on way too strong.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2012 03:09:38 | More by jeonseh
Photo of jwolfie70
jwolfie70

California

3.35/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a jet black, with a small tan head. The smell is dominated by coffee, with a burnt malt presence as well. The taste is also almost all coffee. At times it feels like some subletlies in flavor tried to come through, but overall the coffee dominated. This was not a bad RIS, but overall I was less impressed with the beer than I thought I was going to be.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2008 00:27:00 | More by jwolfie70
Photo of ThatOlBoy
ThatOlBoy

California

3.35/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Good little stout, though there's nothing especially unique about it. I've had it both out of the bottle and on tap, and it was pretty consistent between the two. It has great color and smells wonderful. The one knock I have is that it has a little acidic hint on the back end which is a bit unpleasant.

Serving type: on-tap

06-04-2014 22:40:13 | More by ThatOlBoy
AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 4,411 ratings.