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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
97
world-class

4,756 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,756
Reviews: 1,398
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 751
Gots: 1,329 | FT: 126
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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of AleSmith Speedway Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,756 | Reviews: 1,398 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jasonjlewis
3.28/5  rDev -25.3%
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.

jasonjlewis, May 16, 2008
Photo of tut2528
3.28/5  rDev -25.3%
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

tut2528, Dec 31, 2012
Photo of HiAIPA
3.3/5  rDev -24.8%
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.

HiAIPA, Nov 23, 2009
Photo of BZero007
3.33/5  rDev -24.1%
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.

BZero007, May 16, 2011
Photo of brystmar
3.33/5  rDev -24.1%
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.

brystmar, Aug 30, 2011
Photo of bruachan
3.33/5  rDev -24.1%
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

bruachan, Jan 05, 2006
Photo of nas5755
3.33/5  rDev -24.1%
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.

nas5755, Jan 05, 2011
Photo of GregSVT
3.33/5  rDev -24.1%
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.

GregSVT, Jul 24, 2010
Photo of jeonseh
3.35/5  rDev -23.7%
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.

jeonseh, Aug 04, 2012
Photo of jwolfie70
3.35/5  rDev -23.7%
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.

jwolfie70, Feb 13, 2008
Photo of ThatOlBoy
3.35/5  rDev -23.7%
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.

ThatOlBoy, Jun 04, 2014
Photo of BigPapa
3.38/5  rDev -23%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Not a bad beer overall, seems a bit over rated. I would agree with beer bros rating on it more so. Doesnt have the strong coffee taste I expected and is a little more bitter than I would like. A little surprised on the lack of head with the poor as well.

BigPapa, Jul 10, 2013
Photo of kscaldef
3.38/5  rDev -23%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Purchased about 1 month ago; no bottle date.

Slowly develops a 1-finger dark tan head after pouring. The beer is a very dark brown, near black.

The aroma has some roasty coffee notes, but also a medicinal note and some green wood. It's not particularly appealing, but not off-putting either.

The first sip is an explosion of coffee and chocolate. Unfortunately, it's chased by that same green, medicinal flavor and a bitter woody finish. The mouthfeel is heavy and coating, but a bit chalky. Almost no carbonation.

Overall, this is a bit of an enigma to me, though. It's better than the sum of its parts and I keep being pulled back for another sip.

kscaldef, Apr 06, 2011
Photo of scott
3.4/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2006-My shop just got this is in today, so it's straight off the boat, and I am looking very forward to my introductory taste of this Alesmith SS.

Pours beautifully, with black as pitch body, and 1/4 inch tan head at the rim. Literally georgeous in a tulip. Art. Very nice under light.

Strong coffee upfront, which I love for my stouts. Chocolate syrup not far behind in the nose. Burnt and almost powerful.

Taste is average, at best. I want to love this beer. It's not simple enough to be perfect, not complex enough to make think another glass will drive me to insanity. Think Black Hole meets LH Milk Stout. Drinkable, yes. Outstanding?! 92 points?! Big beers are my thing, and this just doesn't justify the hoopla, nor the $12.99 tag.

Syrupy, with minimal tang. Not very expressive.
Yet, everytime I look at it, I want another pull. I wish it could deliver.

scott, Aug 17, 2006
Photo of JBogan
3.4/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown, which if you're not really paying attention might appear black. It is topped with a one finger darkish tan head which leaves minimal lacing.

Smells of the very familiar coffee and some tobacco.

Tastes, not surprisingly of coffee along with what seems like cola. Possibly a nut in there somewhere too, but maybe I'm grasping at straws. Basically it tastes like someone took a Coke and a coffee and poured them together. No real sign of alcohol taste, but there is a warming after you get through some of this beer.

Mouthfeel was not as velvety as some others in it's class. Somewhat thin too as it goes down.

I know a lot of folks like this brew, but it really didn't tickle my fancy. It's one and done for me.

JBogan, Feb 28, 2009
Photo of kenito799
3.43/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz bomber poured into a chalice.

Many thanks to Tizzod for sharing this special brew with me.

Black black black with tan foamy head.

Aroma is really rich, molasses, caramel, dark roasted coffee, sweet malt.

Flavor carries through with loads of roasted black richness, molasses, caramel, chocolate, coffee...a bit too rich for my taste, it is over the top, too syrupy and alcoholic to have much drinkability. Fun to try once and maybe best beside a fire in the winter, but I would probably go for a Belgian quadrupel in that case.

kenito799, Jun 04, 2007
Photo of CoolJosh
3.45/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Ya know with all the hype around this beer, I figured why not give it a shot. Only problem, I didn't have one. Answer, host a tasting with a friend whose cellar reaches back a little further then mine. Thanks treyrab!!

The appearance really throws me off, doesn't look like an imperial stout. Not quite black, with some mahogany accents around the edges. No head head at all.

In the nose, I found mostly very ripe darker fruits, and a little bit of smoke. Sweet darker chocolate is present but this portion of the beer is really lacking, as it comes off a bit airy.

In the mouth, the flavors aren't too difficult to decipher. Some chocolate and caramel at the beginning of the sip, leading into some riper dark fruits (my guess would be red cherries). Alcohol is present, and not very pleasing. There's a slight amount of smoothed out coffee on the end.

I guess I expected a bit more for a beer so highly regarded.

CoolJosh, Dec 08, 2008
Photo of bdkucharski
3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

bdkucharski, May 01, 2012
Photo of Zonian1
3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

Zonian1, Mar 22, 2014
Photo of Adkins1203
3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

Adkins1203, Nov 16, 2013
Photo of jworkman
3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

jworkman, Jan 08, 2014
Photo of beerhan
3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

beerhan, Dec 18, 2011
Photo of ThisMoonlife
3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

ThisMoonlife, Oct 02, 2013
Photo of jdougherty
3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

jdougherty, Mar 22, 2013
Photo of wardenclyffe
3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

wardenclyffe, Apr 17, 2013
AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 4,756 ratings.