AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

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AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

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1,483 Reviews
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Reviews: 1,483
Hads: 5,678
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 8.94%
Wants: 836
Gots: 1,681 | FT: 154
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: 1,483 | Hads: 5,678
Photo of ONUMello
3.59/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Whole Foods, Columbus, OH. No bottling date. Unfortunately they had it in the fridge, not following the suggestion on the bottle to leave at room temp until ready to serve. I warmed to suggested 50-55F.
A: Dark brown, almost black. Strangely almost no head appeared.
S: Smells like a rich coffee/espresso, a hint of cream and sugar. Very nice.
T: Initial attack is pleasant, pure coffee, but then it turns quite bitter, but not in a hoppy way, more of an unpleasant burnt coffee way.
M: Slightly viscous but smooth, despite the 12ABV not much heat. Pleasant carbonation.
O: I do wish I knew its age, though I would guess on the young side so it would probably benefit from a bit of aging as suggested on the bottle. The smell is the best part of this beer. I might try it again to see what aging does, but this particular bottle I'm having a hard time getting past that burnt coffee component. (906 characters)

Photo of ndekke39
3.6/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this one with a group of friends. Pours an opaque black with a tan head. Good head retention. Smells and tastes of dark roasted coffee, chocolate, and cola. Pretty rich, but balanced overall. Hard to taste the alcohol, so watch out. Overall, a good stout - worth trying a copy times! (289 characters)

Photo of jdoolin
3.6/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 750 mL bottle, poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: Extremely dark brown, with a red tint at the very edges, one finger tan head that didn't last very long.

Aroma: Roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, vanilla and alcohol.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Roasted malts and chocolate up front, but the alcohol kicks in quickly. Too much malt sweetness. Definite, very pleasant coffee in the finish. Moutheel is very creamy and thick. Most excellent. But the alcohol keeps this from being a very drinkable beer.

Notes: It tasted to me like a barleywine mixed with an imperial stout, apparently because of the high alcohol. It makes for a very interesting and delicious beer, but it didn't meet my expectations. At $13 per bottle, I will most likely not be revisiting this. (780 characters)

Photo of joepais
3.61/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to duffmanrob for sending this want along to me in the black booty BIF

Bottle split among friends in snifters produced a small tan head that settled to a thin lace. The head easily could be brought back with a swirl of the glass. The body of the brew was the typical black stout color.

The first thing I noticed was tha lack of coffee aroma coming from the brew seeing the way they pushed it on the lable I expected something a little more robust. It did have a good chocolate smell and when it warmed got to room temp the coffee was a bit more present. On the flavor the sme thing happened I got some great roast but more bitter chocolate than coffee. The mouthfeel was good and thick with ample carbonation.

It drank well for a stout I wasn't really wanting for more. Maybe it was Hype meeting reality that thru me on this one I am glad I tried it but knowing the price point on this brew. Most likely one and done for me, but having said that I would like to see the difference on tap, and being barrel age brings. (1,028 characters)

Photo of Buebie
3.62/5  rDev -17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle courtasy of stubone.

Poured from a 750ml bottle into an oversized snifter. Neck is wrapped in a silver like tin. No freshness date on the bottle. I've had it in my possesion in the cellar for 3 months.
Served at 45 degrees.

This bad boy is pitch black, off a semi rigerous pour I get a gynormous 3 finger brown head. As it settles it leaves many rings behind, almost looks like the trunk of the tree with growth rings.
Settling finally to a thin brown cap.
Lace is quite tacky and long lasting leaving many lines and a spiderweb like pattern.

Aroma is super chocolaty, with cocoa powder, dense moist sweet chocolate cake like aroma. Its got a nice yeasty chocolate bread aroma, super delicious in the aroma department. Just a hint of alcahol warmth, which is quite humbled for a 12% beer.

This is slick upfront with a heavy cream mouthfeel and greasy like slickness across the toungue. Carbonation all through, with a bit more carbonation then I'd expect with such a heavy thick beer.
Its a bit warm and boozy especially after the swallow, gradually heating up into the linger to an un welcome amount of solvent like lingering flavors.
It starts out sweet though with a bit of a metallic tinge. Lots of cocoa powder like flavor and a touch of somthing aspirin like.
A good amount of grains in there, its quite malty. Alot of hop character left into the swallow and linger with grassy pine hop flavors. I'm kinda glad I didnt age this any longer to get the hop flavors. Although I wish I had to smooth out the hot boozyness.

This is a solid RIS and has alot going for it. Although my dislikes out weigh my likes. I dislike the solvent alcahol and hotness in the mouth, the higher amount of carbonation and the abv was too much to handle this one on my own. We dont need that much alcahol if its going to be so hot. (1,825 characters)

Photo of birchstick
3.62/5  rDev -17%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours deep black with a one finger chocolatey head - looks fantastic

S - smells of chocolatey malts and a touc of coffee. Pretty faint nose.

T - taste is of cocoa and dark chocolates initially and fades to some lighter roast coffee. Digging deeper, I got a little bit of dark fruit. Ends with a bit of bitter piney hops. Pretty solid stout, but I was hoping for a bit more.

M - luxurious, smooth mouthfeel that goes down nicely

D - this was a pretty good stout. After acquiring this through trading, I don't know if it is worth going after, but I would love to try it again. (582 characters)

Photo of Wadsey
3.62/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Speedway Stout, vintage May 2011

Served in one of last two DFH signature glasses left in my possession. The others must have read my reviews of DFH beers and leapt to their deaths. I also lost a fish last week. Coincidence? I'm not so sure. 

A: Pours black with massive brown head that takes a few moments to settle down to surface of beer. No appreciable lacing and so forth. 

S: Roasted malts with molasses and some dark fruits. Hints of licorice, acetone, cocoa nibs, and earth. 

T: Shocking sweetness combines with roasted malt and cocoa nib characteristics to form chocolate syrup, but of a higher quality than Hershey's. I do think the other characteristics I described in smell are manifested in taste, although acetone/alcohol is more subdued. Medium bitterness. Finish is long and roasty. 

M: Medium-heavy body and medium-light carbonation. Fuller mouthfeel that moves from creamy to powdery. A little warming. 

O: Coffee is much more low-key in Speedway Stout than I was expecting and acts as a prop to roast malts more than anything else. Then again, I recently drank some great coffee-forward stouts so maybe my palate is a little too tuned in to coffee for this beer. Reminds me of Yeti, which is another above-average imperial stout. 

Thanks Robo for the beer. I know Speedway Stout is your favorite so it couldn't have been easy to let it go.  (1,373 characters)

Photo of AgentZero
3.63/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Great looking motor-oil black with a nice tan head that dissipated with some fine lacing up the sides.

S - Coffee, toffee, a roasted smell, and a bit of woody gin offering, but pretty subtle.

T - I'll be honest, I'm slightly dissapointed in this one, out of all the big stouts this one is definately above average, but not meeting the hype, maybe I got a bad bottle. Coffee and roasted malts. Chocolate, with some slight vanilla.

M - Thick and smooth, pretty solid.

D - Don't think it tastes good enough to be more than averagely drinkable at this ABV. (561 characters)

Photo of champ103
3.64/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours an opaque black color. No light gets through. At first a tan head is slow to rise. Though eventually becomes towering. Rings of sticky lace are left behind.
S: Roasted malt and big coffee aromas. Acrid, slightly bitter, and metallic even. Chocolate and sweetness lingers.
T: Follows the nose. Big roasted malt flavors. Though the coffee overpowers everything. Which would not be so bad. Though it is very acrid, bitter and metallic like the nose.
M/D: A medium to full body. Good carbonation as well. This is a huge beer. The alcohol does show, but not a much as one would think. Still the acrid character makes this a slow sipper.

Tone down the acrid coffee character, and make it more balanced and this is a winner. As is, not something I am coming back to if I see it again. To many other great coffee stouts I would grab before this. First in line would be Founders Breakfast stout. (896 characters)

Photo of TheDM
3.64/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a dark brown head of large quickly disappearing bubbles and an uncarbonated black as night colored body. It has a very strong coffee alcohol aroma and a very strong alcohol flavor. This brew is one that should at least be on everyone's list of beers to try. (273 characters)

Photo of bargerking
3.65/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured at 50-55 degrees into pint sized tulip. 09 Bottle.

A Pitch black. Decent darker tan head with good retention with a few swirls. Bubbles form like pancake batter on a griddle after swirling. Thick viscosity.

S Roasted malts. Strong oak characteristics dominate. Hints of bitter chocolates. Theres more going on here but I can't pull it out...

T/M Wow! Really thin. Was not expecting this. Almost disappointing. Mouthfeel is a little chocolate/creamy. Complexity is not as deminsional as its smell. Kind of boozey with an odd burn. Dark chocolate shines through on the finish. Aftertaste is sticky and not all that great. Actually im not liking it at all.

D Everything was great until I actually drank the beer. Taste was average with nothing that stood out. Decent beer for sure but I was expecting more out of this. Maybe I will put this down for a year or two next time I get it. (892 characters)

Photo of Kadonny
3.65/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml foil topped bottle into a snifter glass. This one was ages maybe 2 years.

A: A jet black with a 2 finger medium brown head. Minimal glass lacing.

S: Dark roastiness and coffee with dark chocolate and dark fruit smells. Sweetness is picked up along with some alcohol.

T: The roasted malt flavor starts off. As the beer warms, more of the coffee flavors come through with a decent amount of milk chocolate moreso than the dark chocolate. Funny because I smelled the darker choc but it is sweeter on the flavor. The fruits are prunes and some cherry with some soy sauce flavor. Not as much coffee as I thought, but as I said this was aged probably close to 2 years so that could affect it. The huge caramel sweetness turns sugary at finish and lingers. No hops detected at all.

M: Full, coating, sweet and cloying after awhile.

O: A sweeter stout for sure that got sweeter on warming and I honestly found it a struggle to finish the bottle. This is highly rated but I just didn't get it personally.

I love a good Impy Stout, but this one missed the mark for me. It seemed a bit too cloying sweet with no balance of hops to keep the sweetness down. A well crafted beer for sure, just not my type of Impy Stout that I really enjoy. (1,253 characters)

Photo of jooler
3.66/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Eggshell thickness. Not really a smell to it. Initial thoughts are that it is pretty damn smooth for a stout at 12%. A hell of a lot smoother than modern times monsters park. Aside from that, it sort of has a lager taste to it. There is a faint hint of chocolate with coffee up front (283 characters)

Photo of bishopdc0
3.67/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Shared a bottle with my wife. She had brought this home on a work trip to Portland, OR.

This is a 2011

The beer is black with a thick tan head. As I drink from my goblet it leaves nice lacing despite the high abv.

the nose is subtle coffee is there but just as much as the alcohol. I was a little durprised given the age, I expect a lack of coffee but the alcohol I did not expect. Overall not bad but certainly nothing to write a beer review about.

The taste is much better than the nose. This beer was pulled from the cellar(aka basement), aprox 55 degrees, This is a perfect temp. It starts ever so slightly sweet but quicky as the name indicate becomes a mix of roast, chocolate and coffee. Unlike many in this category, well known stouts, it is less sweet and finishes dry with a lingering roastyness.

Despite the alcohol on the nose the beer is very drinkable, dangerously so. Overall if this was a beer in 4 or 6 packs at a resonable price it would be a go to, however to compare it to say old rasputin or better yet FBS, I would likly chooose those for price and taste reasons. A great beer but not outstanding (1,124 characters)

Photo of GTJayG
3.67/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Just don't find this beer to be all that the reviews here hype it to be. It's a nice stout, but it's not special. Even after some aging in the bottle there's too much of an alcohol forward taste. Not nearly as full of a mouthfeel as one would expect for a beer of this style. (275 characters)

Photo of Mar02x
3.68/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I bought this beer at Borefst 2011, so its aged for certainly a half year now. Because I cracked it on new years eve!

A - A pitch dark brown beer, that looks pretty fluid. There is not much of a head being formed, only some very thin bubbles in a ring shape.

S - There wasn't a strong smell of coffee, chocolate and some wood, but it was there.

T - At first there is a strong coffee taste mixed with dark chocolate and than come other flavors like laurel, some black candy and hop bitterness.

M - A very soft carbonation, an almost dead beer with a coffee bitter finish. This beer does coat my mouth with a nice chocolate coffee mix though.

O - I expected a lot more from this beer. I had some pretty intense stouts lately of which I thought that they were in the same category. Unfortunately this beer doesn't even come close. I wouldn't call this an imperial stout or an American double, this is more like a good stout, nothing more. (942 characters)

Photo of wiltznucs
3.68/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served in a CCB snifter. Smell is typical of a stout with malty goodness. Pours an inky black with no head. I don't pick up any coffee notes and a bit thin for my liking. A bad bottle perhaps? Overall, pretty good but better stouts can be had. If free forming I'd give it a 3.75. Overall quite nice... (301 characters)

Photo of biglite351
3.68/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - pours black with large thick brown head that lasts and leaves thick lacing. Almost a true foam.

S - rich deep scent. Solid chocolate and coffee.

T - complex with chocolate, coffee and malt. Mild alcohol taste with a tinge of bitterness in the after taste, but not too much.

M - solid coating tingling on front sides of the tongue. After a glass you can feel the alcohol burn in tour throat.

D - I would have one of these, it is a large bottle and high ABV, from time to time, but not every week. (503 characters)

Photo of garbercury
3.69/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Although I was told to hold out and wait until winter to drink this celebrated beer, I could not contain myself and cracked open the 750ml bottle. Thank you Vintage Wine and Beer for access to this relatively rare beer.

A--Black as tar, I mean really, really, black. You can see how thick this beer is. The head, though minimal has a deep orange hue that is pretty cool

S--To me this was excellent. You can really smell the roasted malt, coffee, and sweet tones of chocolate and even vanilla. The aroma was extremely appealling.

T--Very intense. I have heard that this beer really masks the alcohol and that is just not true. I found it to be overbearing. Deep roasted malt flavor and you can definitely get the hints of coffee and chocolate.

M--You can practically chew this one. The mouthfeel is very distinct and heavy.

D--Now maybe it was drinking it at the wrong time but can you say way overrated? I expected to have an epiphany drinking this stout and was quite frankly, disappointed. I wonder a bit if people are simply rating this beer on expectation more than what it really is. I would take a Guinness Stout or Shakespeare Stout over this any day. Certainly worth a try and not bad, but you must be crazy if you are going to tell me this is one of the top 10 beers in the world. It being ahead of some of the beers on top 100 only makes you understand how George Bush got to be President, people are crazy! (1,436 characters)

Photo of alpinebryant
3.7/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 batch 750ml poured into small snifter

Pours a pitch black oil with a small tan head. Aroma of an extremely powerful coffee, dark malts, bittering chocolate and a bit of booze.

Taste also of very strong coffee. I was a little turned off at first by the booze presence and the tons of coffee however if you call it a coffee stout, you should be able to taste the coffee as you can in this. There is a little bit of bittering twang possibly from the play of coffee and dark roasted malts, a relatively powerful booze flavor which will probably tame with time. Personally I would age for a year if I were to get another bottle of this. For one person, 12% seemed like a chore with this bottle, lowering its drinkability IMO. Very chewy mouthfeel with relatively low carbonation.

A good imperial stout, not my favorite though. (831 characters)

Photo of HURTemHIZZY
3.71/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a (basically) black tone with a nice deep tan head that took a while to dissipate to the thin ring it remained at until the beer was through. OK lacing. Smell was a bit muted, with notes of coffee and chocolate; I was certainly expecting a bit more.

The taste is not really what I was expecting from a brew that is this highly regarded. Notes of coffee, caramel, and bittersweet chocolate. There is a tiny bit of hop bitterness. Everything was nice and worked well together, but the overall flavor was a bit subdued for an imp stout. No WOW factor imo.

Nice creamy mouthfeel, with a bit of carbonation to keep it alive. This was a nice stout, just not worthy of the hype. (680 characters)

Photo of Jackolope
3.72/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I found this beer to have an astringent aftertaste. It has a nice nose and looked good but when it came to the flavor I found this beer to be lacking in subtlety. It poured thick and had a nice mouthfeel, but missed some of the creaminess I like with a stout clocking in at 12% ABV. My overall experience with the beer went through a couple of phases initially i thought the flavor was lacking in sweetness, but as i sipped the carmel flavors started to build and i thought the beer was starting to round out as it warmed, however as i continued to drink the alcohol seemed to overpower the overall flavor of the beer. (618 characters)

Photo of Kudashov
3.73/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On a trip to Marty's I told Dan ~ Le Beer Man ~ that I was on the hunt for Stouts and Doppel Bocks . He gave me a bottle of Speedway Stout and said that it is one of his favs . Marty's is by far my favorite place for beer hunting . Yes some will say that the beers are tad but pricey but that old line " you get what you pay for " holds true . When poured in my Galway seidel mug the head was thin . The brew looks sooo thick . Coffee - espresso - flavor . Has a dark chocolate bitterness to it . On the tongue it is thick for a short while but there is no burn on the finish . Which I though would happen seeing that this is 12 % . I enjoy the warmth that this is giving me as I watch the LSU / Ole Miss football . LSU is killing my parlay right now . This is a good beer , not great . It has put the "red heat " in my cheeks but at $16 a bottle I would rather buy packs of Brooklyn Black Chocolate Founders Breakfast Stout , or my fav as of right now Kentucky Breakfast Stout . (979 characters)

Photo of mechamifune
3.74/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of the 750ml bottle into sifter.

Pours with almost no head to speak of.... some light pleasant lacing but thats it. Beer is close to jet black with almost no hint of carbonation.

Smell is lots of coffee and notes of chocolate.... more muted than, say, FBS, but still very enjoyable.

Taste is coffee upfront, followed by a lingering tartness and almost no sense of hops. Still its a pleasant taste, not world class, but enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is where it really falls flat to me... this is a beer with almost no carbonation.... it still is relatively creamy and thus not totally unpleasant, but it just gets a little difficult to drink after a while. But for a 12% beer, it has a very minimal sense of alcohol, and the taste and flavors are enjoyable enough that I feel I can still rank this as a good beer....but relative to other "big" stouts, this one doesn't really match up. (892 characters)

Photo of StoneTSR
3.74/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a gorgeous silver foiled 750 ml bottle.

APPEARANCE: Deep, dark black. Pitch black. Not a single ray of light passed through this beer. There was no red tint, no slightly less opaque parts of the glass, it was solid, straight black. On top of the beer rested a nice, thick brown head that dissipated rather quickly, but was very nice before it vanished.

SMELL: Coffee is the dominant aroma, but it is not as strong as it should be for such a big beer.

TASTE: There is a big hop character to this stout, much more so than most. Grapefruit dominates the hop character, but a strong coffee taste is the backbone of the entire stout. Hints of chocolate are apparent along with some subtle lemon. The finish is a combination of coffee and grapefruit hoppy bitterness.

MOUTHFEEL: Very dry with a nice sparkle, but it is thinner than I would have liked.

OVERALL: While this was an excellent stout it does not match up to its counterpart from Paso Robles - the Parabola. I thoroughly enjoyed the Speedway, but it is just doesn't have the feel that the perfect imperial stout would have. Aside from that it was great. (1,126 characters)

AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,483 ratings.