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AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,542 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,542
Hads: 5,960
Avg: 4.37
pDev: 16.93%
Wants: 864
Gots: 1,830 | FT: 155
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
Reviews: 1,542 | Hads: 5,960
Photo of jasonjlewis
3.27/5  rDev -25.2%
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.

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Photo of falcon1
4.62/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A truly outstanding Imperial Stout to say the least. The aroma and taste of AleSmith Speedway Stout is really amazing to experience. One of the finest examples of a great and well crafted infusion of coffee (Ryan Brothers - Espresso Gold) and the Imperial Stout style.

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Photo of RidiculedDisplay
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally getting a chance to review this. I guess my only previous reasons have involved availability in Santa Barbara and price tag when elsewhere.

Appearance: Pours with a, appropriately, coffee colored head, which is around a finger thick. Settles into a half-finger. Lacing is definitely present, spotty for hte most part, but in consistent and large patterns. Body is slight less dark than I would expect, with more hints of brown than I'm used to in a stout body.

Smell: Toasted pecans and almonds on the front end, followed by deep espresso or Turkish coffee (read: bold coffee aroma), followed by chocolates. The chocolate profile is more milk-inspired (as in milk chocolate) than I would have expected, with a little semisweet, but the dark chocolate, I would suspect, could be found in here, although I find it hard to distinguish it from the coffee aromas. Some nutmeg and alcohol on the back end. An extremely powerful aroma, which is appropriate for a 12% ABV, I suppose.

Taste: Some woodsiness on the front end, with some milk chocolates dangling in front of a slightly bitter, strong roasted coffee flavor that coats the tongue. Brown sugar and molasses follow, along with alcohol. Upon swallowing, the coffee smacks you in the face with a long, lingering aftertaste that is entirely pleasant. The alcohol is suprisingly well masked in this. Really, a tremendous stout.

Mouthfeel: Fizzy, roasty. Appropriate.

Drinkability: Surprisingly drinkable for such an ABV. I need to take my time with this one.

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Photo of phishgator
4.52/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Beautiful opaque color with a dark tan head. About an a half inch head that dissepates quickly. The aroma is roasted coffee, dark choclate, a slight dryness/bitterness from the hops, and even a touch of plum fruit jumps in there. The taste is much in the same accord as the aroma. The "dark" flavors come through from start to finish! A big bodied beer that is great for sharing!

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Photo of callmemickey
4.57/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Im going to break away from my typical reviewing pattern and just go at... this dark blackbrown behemoth looks great... smells amazing, tastes phenomenal and feels like a champ.... this beer truly unlocked everything that an american imperial stout has to offer

the coffee beans lend its self to a rich, and delicate flavor full of everything dark and grand... chocolate, coffee, caramel, roasted malts, ... smooth like it should be this beer is a king... love it. love it. love it.

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Photo of deepsouth
4.62/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

this beer poured a black color with a tan head and some rocky bubbles. a good looking beer.

the smell is of coffee, molasess, sweet malt, roastiness, espresso coffe beans... complex as hell.

the taste is divine and complex and consistent with the smell. indescribably balanced. alcohol present. damn near perfect.

the mouthfeel is full and velvety. it doesn't get better than this.

the drinkability of this beer is off the charts. perfect.

thanks to barefootbrewer for sharing this with me.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
4.47/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks like motor oil, black/very dark brown. Opaque. Brown head about a finger in size. Leaves some sticky lacing.

Nose is dominated by coffee smell, with notes of chocolate.

Very sweet up front. Malts make me think of molasses, chocolate, caramel. The middle is dry tasting, very much like coffee. Finishes with a boozy taste.

Creamy mouthfeel, proper carbonation.

Very drinkable. One of the most drinkable stouts I have encountered.

Great beer!

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Photo of SQNfan
4.26/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2007 bottle.
This pours opauqe black in color and a thick brown head. The nose immediately shows off the coffee along with scents of dark chocolate, plum liquor, dark caramel and hazelnut. Thick and rich in the midpalate with a nice bitter/dry edge picking up toward the lingering finish. While it is a sipping beer, it is so well-balanced that it is very easy to drink...not overpowering at all. Yum!

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

Pours black with a thick, creamy, large bubbled cappuccino head. The aromas promise a dandy; juicy dark fruit ester, roasted coffee, pineapple, chocolate powder and molasses, and hints of bubble gum. A silky mouthfeel, slightly oily, and a sharp carbonation that doesn't bite too hard is quite enjoyable. Dark fruits, plum, sweet tobacco notes and some coffee and cocoa but not like the nose indicated. A heavy dose of fruity, piney, citric hops is little off balance and lingers in the aftertaste. Alcohol starts hot but softens as it warms allowing for easy drinking.

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

Appearance: This is motor oil in a glass. No light gets through at all. Head is mocha colored and about two and a half fingers deep. Retention is absolutely superior and thick waves of lace line the glass. This is a great looking beer.

Smell: Very heavy roasted coffee aroma hits the nose first. It's easily one of the best coffee/espresso aromas I've had the pleasure of smelling in a beer. Very strong and rich. Roasted and chocolate malt aromas blend extremely well with the coffee fragrance. There is a slight hint of a smoky aroma. Alcohol appears to be blended very well as it's just barely noticeable here.

Taste: This really is a remarkable beer. Its balance is truly its strength. The roasted coffee and malt flavors are balanced perfectly. Neither wins out. They collide to create an excellent tasting stout. One that is no doubt unique and incredible. The flavor really develops as it warms. It does feature a slight smoked taste as well as some light dark fruit flavors. Alcohol is extremely well blended and is only barely noticeable. Impressive considering its stature. It's difficult to find anything overtly wrong with its flavor. I'm inches away from awarding a perfect score for flavor. But, I do think it's likely improved with a little barrel aging, if only ever so slightly.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's light to medium bodied. Extremely smooth and creamy. Personally, I'd prefer it to be just a tad thicker. But, it's got a great feel and is extremely drinkable. Given its 12% abv, that's a bit of a small surprise. I certainly want more than the meager 750 ml I have.

Speedway Stout is an incredible beer. There's no doubt about that. I personally believe the barrel aged version has to be damn near perfect. Perhaps I'm a bit reserved in scoring it in that regard. Aging this in bourbon barrels has to be simply amazing. I certainly hope the opportunity to try that version presents itself in the future.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

25.4 oz bottle received via trade with bennetj17. Thanks a bunch! Poured into my Duvel tulip

A: Pitch black with a thick dark brown head. Looks pretty in my glass

S: Intoxicating with chocolate, coffee, cream, all in beautiful balance. There hints of molasses and raisins too.

T: Coffee and chocolate up front with a pleasant roast flavor. The cream and the raisins come through for a little bit.This baby's full-bodied and finishes smooth and semi-sweet.

M: Slick, full-bodied and palate coating.

D: I'd be had pressed to peg this at anything above 6%. At 12%, I have no idea how they hide the alcohol the way they do.

**Edit 9 Feb 2012**
Drinking my one bottle from 2007 that my aunt was kind enough to get me. This is the green champagne bottle.

The nose is simply stunning. Rich, dark fruit character with plums, some raisins, chocolate and faint coffee notes, this has oxidized in a rather stunning fashion. Mild licorice, brown sugar and molasses are present. Very smooth, this reminds me a lot of the 03 BA Speedway. The palate is sublime. Smooth chocolate, raisins, port, red grape juice, and rather surprisingly, a little bit of a coffee character remains. Coupled with the sweetness, it brings to mind a cafe cubano. Rich, decadent and awesome with fudge, caramel. Ridiculously good. 4.5/5/5

**Edit 3rd May 2013**

Drinking my lone bottle of the 2004 vintage that I received from Faro. Thanks, man.

The nose is super mellow. A blend of mild soy, raisins, dark fruit, a little bit of alcohol, moderate sweetness, this smells great. This is clearly aged but not really old. The palate opens with a vinous sweetness, medium full in body, mildly carbonated with a blend of raisins and chocolate, very fruity, mildly soy-like, a touch of caramel, and towards the very end, just a little bit of paper. Medium-full in body, lightly carbonated,this has a long finish with a blend of mild char, chocolate, caramel and a little bit of soy. Very nice.

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Photo of Boto
4.58/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle: I believe this one dates to 2004: paper label and black foil. This one pours an inky very dark brown. There was a thin tan head that didn't linger. Rich aroma. Mainly Roasted coffee and chocolate, with hints of sweetness and some dark fruits. WOW: is the taste smooth. It is very full bodied, roasty chocolate caramel, definitely some hops to balance it out, but they are masked. Excellent.

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Photo of kkipple
4.52/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this in a trade and cracked out in Atlanta during a tasting at the Brick Store. Couldn't think of better company to drink it with.

A. Dirty black, tan head lies low. Opaque. Nothing unusual. Onwards!

S. Holy coffee stout, Batman! A plethora (yes, I know what it means) of roasted, bitter coffee springs up into the nose, along with a big big roast-burnt grain and molasses. It's altogether lush and coherent, despite the rather brash alcohol. Quite nice -- if you like coffee.

T. Mmm, coffee... Speedway is up there with the best coffee stouts I've had, and certainly the most alcoholic. Very deep and hot, think espresso with a shot of dark rum added. Huge coffee and roasted flavors wrap themselves around your tongue with just a hint of hop bitterness. The coffee is the real start here. Exceptionally roasty bitter and finishes dry and long.

M. Thick, with only a little bubbly bite, the alcohol warms your throat as the coffee tingles your taste buds.

Speedway is an excellent coffee-booze treat! Don't drink before bedtime, but if you do, lemme know how it treats you. Highly recommended for the caffeine jitterbug and the stout fiend.

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Photo of gford217
4.78/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to tayner for the opportunity to try this beauty!

750ml bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Wow is this a beautiful looking beer! Pitch black pour with a dense 2 finger dark tan head. The head linger for quite a while and leaves a lot of lacing.

S: Roasted malts with dark chocolate and coffee aromas in support. Also faint dark fruitiness in the background.

T: Initial maltiness gives way to a more dominant roasted coffee flavor with figs and chocolate undertones. Extremely complex yet balanced. By far the best tasting coffee-infused stout I've ever had.

M: Nice creamy mouthfeel that just coats you mouth completely. Leaves a pleasant lingering coffee bitterness.

D: Wonderful, wonderful beer. This would certainly be near the top of my list of stouts or any beers for that matter.

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Photo of dill
4.47/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. It poured deep black with no head at all. The initial aroma was mostly coffee and the chocolate came through as it warmed. The flavor was the same with roasted malt also on the tongue. Nice and creamy in the mouth with light carbonation. This is a great beer to relax with at night.

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Photo of BeerManDan
4.88/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

When poured, the color was on the verge of black. But, after a short period, a very small amount of dark tan foam popped up in my glass. Also, a small amout of lace stuck to the face of my glass while drinking this stout. The smell of coffee and roasted malts was not really overpowering, but, suttle. The flavor was of chocolate, coffee and roasted malts was fantastic. All the flavors were well balanced and even more as this stout warmed up. In fact, I like it a lot more as it got warmer. More intenise flavor. I love this Stout so much, I didn't share it with anyone else. More please!

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Photo of Monsone
4.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Pours a pitch black and thick like used engine oil. Looks just like you would expect it to.

S - Coffee scnets and chocolate malt. Dark fruit hanging around too.

T - Huge flavor with nice flavors of roasted malt, chocolate and coffee. Complex. Imporves as the the beer warms. More dark fruit hanging around.

M - Silky smooth with a full body.

D - Pretty damn drinkable for an RIS coffee stout. No overwhelming flavors that tire the palate. The alcohol is well hidden.

Overall, one of my favorite Imperial Stouts. Just a great experience. Only thing I have had that is better is Darkness and the Speedway came damn close.

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Photo of timtim
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

jet black with a dark tan head that held amazingly well and left tons of lace. this is what i want my stouts to look like. just a wonderful beer all around. coffee, followed by chocolate and earthy roasty malt in the nose. taste is superbly balanced and has a little hop kick in the finish followed by a nice warmth that ensues post finish. full bodied. insanely drinkable for being as high abv as it is. one of my favorite breweries of all time. beyond good.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks a million to tayner for sending this one my way.

Pours a thick impenetrable black with a gorgeous fluffy dark tan head that just sits there like a milkshake. lace sticks quite well as the head reduces while I wait just a bit longer for this to warm. head leaves a little quicker than I would like, I am sad to see it go. The nose is moslty coffee beans with some dark chocolate in it and good maltiness. The taste follows with coffee up front. A nice coffe ride in the beginning, not like breakfast stout that just slaps you in the face with a cold dead coffee fish. Just enough. roasted malt is apparent in the flavor next. roasty and toasty goodness. The hop bitternes comes last. The only part of the taste that I am not an immeadiate fan of is a slight metallic taste in between the middle of the swallow and the hop bitterness on the end. Just a bit of a copper twinge, but defenitely not enough to take much away from the amazing flavor of this wonderful stout. A nice alcohol warmth on the finish, in a good way. The mouthfeel is just a touch thinner than I would like, but still very very good. Drinkability is simply divine for a beer coming in at 12%. This is an incredible beer, and I must give much much respect to the alesmiths. keep on smithing you midevil bastards. I love it!

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Photo of david131
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I have had this bottle for a little over a year now, and I decided to make it a special night by opening it.

A- This is very very black with a monstrous brown head that has enough mass to dimple the top of the liquid and has excellent retention. This looks fantastic.

S- Very rich and chocolaty with coffee to boot. The slightest hint of cinnamon. This seems to blend better together than most other stouts. Absolutely wonderful.

T- Extraordinarily complex with lots of chocolate and coffee. The perfect balance of roastiness and smoothness. I am so glad to have a beer like this without a nutty aspect to it. The 12% alcohol is barely noticeable. Very well done.

M- I cannot believe how smooth this is for a 12% beer. The first time I had this beer, I thought it was a little over-carbonated, but now I realize it keeps things very smooth and highly drinkable and flavorful.

D- What a treat. Way better than I remember it the last time. The alcohol is barely noticeable and is not harsh in any manner. This is smooth and complex. I will be happy to see what this does with some more time on it.

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Photo of jjayjaye
4.67/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque deep dark brown color with a thin wispy dark tan head that's gone in flash. Spotty patterns of lacing in it's wake. Not a super impressive pour, but at 12% ABV i guess the bar is lowered. I can't help but compare this to Sexual Chocolate that i recently considered (thanks Joel), but that's a RIS (i don't get it, but I'm a babe in the woods). The smell is right on the bar for a Double Stout. Aggressive rich Ghirardelli-like dark chocolate with a moderately roasted coffee mix, vanilla and a bit of the alcohol. That's complexity and it shouts "standby, this is a rich heavy creamy beer". Lightly carbonated, the mouth feel is full bodied, oily and conditioned with a tang from the alcohol. IMO, the edge of the alcohol is rounded off nicely by the coffee character. Full flavored, the choco-java taste and slick mouth texture leave the door open for the vanilla notes of the alcohol to walk right in. It permeates with the wonderful 'coating' texture of my favorite Double Stouts. A real easy drinker. My first experience was a draft serving from Naja's Place, on the waterfront at Redondo Beach, CA. The 12% is gently warming but otherwise well integrated. Time out... Surgeon General's warning...this will kick your ass. I recommend considering it more from your family room lounge chair than from a pre-dinner bar stool . Highly Recommended.

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Photo of RomanW70
4.56/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Really excited about this one. Pours jet black with a thick, dark tan head that quickly disappears. Aroma of roasted coffee, chocolate, and alcohol. Taste of coffee, toffee, chocolate, and... coffee. Like everything else from Alesmith, gets better with each sip. Big bitter finish. Velvety mouth feel. Warming finish. I'm seriously considering moving to San Diego for the beer.

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Photo of pheggeseth
4.73/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into my Darkness goblet.

A: pours pretty thick, settles opaque with virtually no head, spotty lacing

S: roasted malt, dry dark coffee beans, light hops, a little alcohol, not as strong as I was expecting

T: coffee, roasted malt, chocolate in the middle, some hops at the end, just really tasty, can't quite put my finger on it

M: incredibly smooth, but rich, not as acidic as I was expecting

D: very drinkable in my opinion, the alcohol was not too present for my tastes, I could have drunk the whole bottle if I let myself

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Photo of Tilley4
4.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big shoutout to Overlord for the chance to try this brew via our trade.

Absolute midnight black... Thick, thick, thick with a small tan head...

Aroma of dark bitter chocolate and strong coffee with the faintest aromas of some sweet fruit in the background..

Man, this is heavenly... Loads of chocolate and coffee mixed with a strong booziness that I am in love with.. A bit too strong for the wifey which means more for me... I'm loving it...

Top 5 all time stouts here... Absolutely delicious brew...

Thanks, Overlord!!!

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Photo of JDV
3.28/5  rDev -24.9%
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.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,542 ratings.