Dismiss Notice
Hello, is it beer you're looking for?

Learn more about beer. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for as low as 68% off the single issue price.

Subscribe now →

AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,526 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,526
Hads: 5,870
Avg: 4.37
pDev: 16.93%
Wants: 857
Gots: 1,789 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 1,526 | Hads: 5,870
Photo of WellRested518
4.03/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L- Black with a two and a half finger mocha head. Good lacing.

A- Boozy up front with a hint of raisin, fig, and dark cherry. Bakers chocolate and coffee are substantial. Toffee & caramel kick up as well. A bit fuesil in my opinion.

T- Booze, Devils food cake, brownie batter, big dark fruit, and some roasted coffee bitterness toward the backend.

F- Creamy and slick, but not as thick as many other imperial stouts. I feel like although this is a sipper, it should be enjoyed by two or three people at once over dessert.

O- A great beer that has its faults. The fuesil character in my bottle will change indefinitely, but it will also leave with even more dark fruit and less coffee.

Edit: I have a tendency for over thinking certain beers. Looking back, both the aroma and taste were very good, but I will stand behind some of its off characters.

 853 characters

Photo of CayseyW
4.48/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L: Perfect looking imperial stout. Jet black with a creamy brown head. The very thick head also leaves a very sticky tan lacing.
S: Roasty and fruity. Very nice aromas coming through with this beer. There is a brightness in there, cutting through all the big stout aromas you expect.
T: Surprisingly bright for such a huge stout. Dark chocolate and fruit, but really lacks the coffee flavors I was hoping for. Still, it has great flavors and a super long finish that eventually highlights the coffee I was looking for.
F: Perfect thickness. Some people might think its a bit too thin for the weight of this beer, but I love it. It is a bit boozy, but I mean at 12% you have to expect that. I think i might like a bit more bite in a double though. Still, great beer to drink.
O: This is only my second AleSmith beer (other is .394 APA), but so far I am extremely impressed by what these guys are doing. This is a world-class stout for sure. I can't wait to age one to see what happens with it.

 992 characters

Photo of gopens44
4.24/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark, milk chocolate colored head and your standard stout colored liquid. Lacing is sticky and sparse.

Smells of chocolate, coffee, toastiness and lightly like coconut.

Taste is immediately strong with some nearly overwhelming alcohol but it fades in time to allow the dark bitter chocolate to shine along with a bit of coffee and some nuttiness before the astringency circles back around.

Finishes sticky and just a touch sweet

 435 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.65/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this several years ago at a beer fest, and was blown away. Fast forward to the present, and Alesmith has arrived in Maine.
Very dark brown with a rim of red. Small tan head.
Beautiful aroma of coffee, chocolate, and charcoal.
The taste only improved on the aroma. Espresso coffee, bittersweet chocolate, and char.
Smooth, easy to drink. The 12% ABV is well-hidden.
Fantastic beer!

 388 characters

Photo of Dustin_Sallitt
4.23/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours jet black with a large khaki head. Smell is a little muted, but has some coffee and cocoa present. The taste reminds me of founders breakfast stout, just way more well done. Tons of coffee, a little cocoa, and a nice roasted finish. Strong coffee lingering aftertaste. Pretty good, but I'm overall a little let down.

 322 characters

Photo of tripledbrew
4.14/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark black in color with a light tan head. At first sip it was a little thinner than I expected. A little coffee flavor with some bitter chocolate. The 12% was well hidden, may be due to the 04/24/2014 bottle date? The flavor was more pronounced as the beer warmed. Overall a good beer, however I have had others that I feel showcase the style better. Look forward to drinking my other after more cellar time.

 415 characters

Photo of HattedClassic
4.41/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours a nice brownish and slightly creamy but more bubbly head that dissipates quickly. The beer itself is a nice gorgeous black color that has a slick texture to it. The look is very appealing.

The smell is absolutely great. It's a fairly complex smell with multiple distinct notes that I really enjoy. The most distinctive and present note is the coffee, which is a bit sweet and roasty. The chocolate comes in as well and is fairly sweet. Both the chocolate and coffee mix nice and go well with the slightly boozy smell.

The taste resembles the smell in its delicious mixture of chocolate, coffee, and alcohol but also includes a slight hint of dark fruit. The combination of the three make for a wonderful experience.

The feel is good. The beer has a nice biting carbonation to keep it from feeling too thick from its heavy body. There is a also some warmth in the finish.

Overall, a fantastic beer and worth getting when you can find it. This one of the better stouts with a nice full flavor to it.

 1,018 characters

Photo of laketang
4.27/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

poured into snifter pitch black with burnt butter head

chocolat notes as well as cake batter and gingersnap

like drinking a chocolat bar! a bit bitter (in a good way)some anise, alcohol is noted, but not overly tho

full mouth rich with a slight bitter linger

can I have another one please

 292 characters

Photo of mschrei
4.22/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Love how this beer looks. Smells and tastes pretty good but doesn't live up to the look. Not a lot of coffee, even though it's billed as such. I'll give them credit for disguising the alcohol however, as it's not that forward for a 12%. Warms up well after coming across thin on first taste. Still feels and tastes creamy after an hour, which is the best thing I can say about it. Enjoyable but was expecting a lot more.

 421 characters

Photo of Chris7482
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Nice pour, left a nice lasting lacing. nice dark chocolate and licorice aroma. Great chocolate flavor with hints of coffee. Nice balance of sweet/bitter. A little more carbonated than I prefer, but still a nice overall creaminess. great beer, would drink again

 264 characters

Photo of Spinaltapped
3.56/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

L: Extremely black with a darker khaki head. A good looking stout and a decently thick two finger head. Cant complain.

S: The smell is primarily malt and coffee. There are are also strong notes of caramel, bitter chocolate, toffee, and a pinch of boozey sweetness.

T: Initially, very strong coffee with lingering bitter chocolate. There is some semi-sweet cocoa, but there is a large degree of additional sweetness that comes off as a bit much. It's just not quite what I want from a coffee stout. I want a lot more balance. I want less sweetness especially.

F: Tons of smooth residual sugars to keep the beer silky a day smooth. Almost has a milk stout like smooth, lactose mouthfeel. I only wish the mouthfeel was a bit thicker, it's pretty light, especially for an imperial stout.

 789 characters

Photo of dd43
4.23/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This will be a two part review, starting with a relatively fresh bottling and concluding with a bottle I intend to age for 6 months.

Fresh bottle:

Poured at 49 degrees. What, you don't temp your stouts? Given the flavor/aroma profile of this beer and the readily apparent booziness, I was somewhat surprised that the body of this beer wasn't more substantial. Big dark chocolate notes up front, as well as roasted coffee and almost a vanilla like presence. Flavors follow suit, roasty and toasty malts with a chocolate fudge character. Good amount of hop bitterness coupled with the bitter touch from coffee. The heat from the alcohol is pretty big here, there's really no getting around it. That vanilla thing in the bouquet really came to mind because of the alcohol, and I found myself exhausting it through my sinuses after swallowing. The mouthfeel is pretty nice, but like I said a bit more thin than what I was expecting on the initial pour. The legs on the inside of the glass and the coffee colored foam on top were appealing. This is a yummy beer that I recommend sharing with someone that appreciates big time imperial stouts.

Aged bottle:

 1,153 characters

Photo of von_kaiser
4.54/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Thick black motor oil w/ 2 finger brown head action. Scent and taste are full of coffee for DAYS! Feel is a little hot but not too much as i'm left wanting more. Highly recommend and glad that alesmith is now availiable in CT. Look forward to having again. Cheers!

 269 characters

Photo of MHurley
4.46/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black as night with great tan head. Smell of bourbon, rasins and carmel. Thick lacing that stays. Tastes of bourbon gets better with every sip. Ill definitely be looking for more of these

 187 characters

Photo of TX-Badger
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opqaue jet black color with khaki colored head. Coffee, roasted malt, and sweet chocolate on the nose; follows onto the palate. Full bodied. Finishes with coffee and cocoa, like a chocolate espresso.

 208 characters

Photo of mastergintoki
4.23/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

: Two fingers of a brown head. Black as the night.

S: dark roasted coffe. Molasses amd licorice.

Molasses licorice. The coffe is baely therer. There is some sweetness

Poured from a 750mL bottle,

 198 characters

Photo of TruePerception
3.61/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

AleSmith's Speedway Stout, imperial stout brewed with coffee. 12% ABV.

A: Three fingers (!) of chocolate milk brown head. Pure black in the glass. Dark brown in the dimple. Some slight lacing and sheeting.

S: Big char and very dark roasted coffee dominate. A touch of licorice. Smells almost like oil, interestingly enough. The is a burnt oat note in the background. I almost missed it, entirely.

T/MF: Even more char on the palate. Ash, licorice. The coffee is almost completely lost in darker flavors. There is some sweetness on the front of the tongue. A bit dark for my tastes. Could definitely use some sort of barrel aging.

Poured from a 750mL bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

 689 characters

Photo of IronLover
4.21/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Deep black in color with dark brown and ruby hues on the edges. Poured with thick, dense, dark beige foam that quickly reduces to a thick cap with good retention. Mellow, medium high, roasted malt and milk chocolate aromas. Medium light dark fruity esters of sweet fig and raisin. No hop aromas. Light, pleasant, boozy notes in the background as this warms. Full bodied with a creamy smooth, thick, viscous feel and light carbonation. Medium high flavors of sweet milk chocolate up front followed by dark roasted malts into the middle. Medium high hop bitterness through the middle along with dark fruity esters and a definitive, pleasant, boozy, warmth that slowly intensifies to the end. Finished dryly with a lingering, mellow hoppy and roasty bitterness. Incredibly drinkable considering the high abv. No hot boozy, solvent flavors or feel. Generally mellow flavors and aromas (for the style) that may be a result of a year of cellaring. Also, bo coffee characters were noted, flavor or aroma. Not sure if this was also a result of aging or si ply perceptikn. Fabulous balance between the sweet and roasty malts and hop bitterness. Pleasant, mellow, warm, booziness, despite the higher abv.

 1,195 characters

Photo of cjgiant
4.11/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The pour looks awesome. Color is pretty much black - can't see much light even through the edges. The tan head builds and sticks around. Lacing is pretty significant.

The nose is deep roasted notes, and most predominantly coffee, which is not a surprise given it is brewed with coffee. It's fairly straightforward with very little other scents punching through the roasted/coffee curtain.

The taste starts like the nose, by hitting you smack up front with dark roasted coffee. The other thing it hits with, however, is the burn of alcohol. In its straightforward nature, it is in line with what I expect in a highly rated coffee stout, as we tend to like bold flavors here. Letting the beer warm a bit smooths the edges some, but the main taste continues to be dark, mildly astringent coffee. The edges start to add in some milk-chocolate cocoa, but the coffee and alcohol erase these notes before mid-taste.

Especially early, this beer is a little rough on the tongue with alcohol (and some carbonation early, which fades before I finish the glass). The suggested temp is towards the higher end at 50-55, and by the time the beer smooths out considerably, it seems almost room temp (emphasis on seems).

So, this beer more or less delivers on its promise. It has bold flavors that are in line with what a coffee stout should probably be. The feel gets better and better with warmth, but never loses its alcohol/astringent bite.

 1,444 characters

Photo of Mooslerfitness
4.59/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bod 1/26/15 left in my cellar till now
Pours black with 2 finger light brown head in my yeti sniffer smells Of a little chocolate and dark roast coffee not tons on the nose T chocolate, coffee,toffee,Carmel F thick rich with slight carbination O so good on this cool crisp day I need try one fresh and aged longer

 313 characters

Photo of ThaneMcC
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pitch black with copious tan head. Smells of roasted malts, cocoa, leather, coffee, a hint of barn yard. Tastes sweet, roasted malts forward, molasses, cocoa, hint of coffee. Midnote there is a pleasant acidic, piney twang mid note culminating in a very clean palate . Not syrupy despite its sweetness, medium bodied, smooth almost milky profile.
Overall very well balanced, silky smooth, imperial stout with just a hint of coffee, easily one of the best imperial stouts I’ve had – thoroughly enjoyable – hopefully it will be produced in a 4 pack (maybe even. . . dare I say. . . a can?).

 606 characters

Photo of alienlifeforcecube
4.13/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

i didn't get much on the nose. it's dark and thick. lots of coffee and molasses. low on the carbonation. i can't taste the 12%abv. it's masked very well. overall a wonderful stout.

 187 characters

Photo of Viaduck
4.36/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Very dark & not much of a head. Smells like chocolate & coffee & molasses. Salty & sweet & complex flavors hide any alcohol flavor. It's low carbonation doesn't detract from the enjoyment of this excellent beer.

 211 characters

Photo of tillmac62
4.16/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

BOD 3/23/15. Pours as dark as pitch black on a starless night. World class head volume, lacing and retention.

Almost world class nose of dark chocolate, molasses, hints of dark fruit (plum, raisin), vanilla, caramel and coffee.

Full bodied with a rich creamy texture. Below normal carbonation with no effervescence in the middle and a nice burst in the somewhat prickly finish.

The flavor profile is outstanding. It is intense, complex and reasonably balanced. However, the alcohol is not well hidden and produces an astringent alcohol flavor that prevents this exceptional stout from being world class. It begins with slightly bitter dark bakers chocolate, cocoa, that hints at sweetness. This flows into a rich sweet molasses with strong caramel notes. The middle is slightly bitter with roast and hop characteristics. Underneath are subtle notes of dark fruit, although not as pronounced as suggested by the nose. They are subdued by the arrival of the grain alcohol astringent flavor, which stays and lingers after the finish. The finish is a slow fade of rich chocolate and molasses that competes with grain alcohol astringency and finally succumbs to it. This is a world class stout that failed to make the grade due to the 12% alcohol content.

 1,265 characters

Photo of bsp77
4.04/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Almost jet black with thick tan head and light lacing.

Smell: Molasses, coffee, chocolate and cream.

Taste: Not as nuanced as the aroma. There is some chocolate, caramel and spicy hops, but it is overshadowed by molasses and coffee. Mostly molasses actually, with the aftertaste mostly burnt molasses.

Feel: Full bodied, low carbonation, exceedingly smooth and creamy. Almost a 5, but that aftertaste screws up the finish for me.

Overall: While still very good, it isn't a top echelon Imperial Stout for me due to the burnt molasses.

 599 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,526 ratings.