AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company
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Ratings: 4,502 | Reviews: 1,392 | Display Reviews Only:
4.21/5 rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Enjoyed out of a dark brown 750 mL bottle with no dating that I can find. It seems to have rubbed off in the trip it had to take from the Pacific NW to arrive at my doorstep. No matter, as the style should allow it to hold up well, even if it's a little older. Poured into a standard 16 oz tumbler.
Appearance - The body of this beer is where light goes to die. It's hard to tell if it's straight-up black or a brown so dark that it might as well be black. It seems slightly to my eyes as if it's the former rather than the latter. Atop the body sits a generous, creamy khaki head. Dissipates over about 2-3 minutes, leaving sparse lacing, but really nothing to speak of.
Smell - Knowing this is a coffee stout, I expected the aroma to be a little more fresh-ground espresso. Don't get me wrong, that distinctive strong coffee ground characteristic is there, but it's on a pretty level playing feel with the charred notes of roasted malt and the bittersweetness of cocoa nibs and raw cacao. I know that coffee is included in the drink, but I think semisweet chocolate is the more present element, at least in the smell.
Taste - Here, the coffee element becomes more dominant, with notes of a nice French roast percolating in amongst the bittersweet chocolate and charred malts. There is a a sweetness that blends nicely with the roasty bitter elements from the coffee and chocolate. There also seems to be a spiciness to it, as if it had chiles added or something. The esters from the huge ABV are noticeable, but don't overwhelm--this one is all roasted goodness and faint sweetness, like burnt caramel or overcooked molasses. Quite pleasant.
Mouthfeel - Heavy, in a good way, rich and decadent. Quite chewy, like you'd expect from a huge Imperial Stout like this one, reminiscent of a mocha latte. Carbonation is on the light side of medium, but more than I would have expected. Lingering and slight bitterness, but the finish is mostly dry.
Overall, a stellar beer. It's hard to compare to some of my other favorite coffee-based stouts because none of those even come close to the ABV on this one. That being said, this is quite an impressive imperial stout, coffee or no. The only thing I would change is to make the coffee a bit more pronounced. Given that I don't know the bottling date, I suppose it's possible that the coffee forwardness has simply faded a bit. Still makes for a delicious beer that I would gladly drink again (or share with friends).
Serving type: bottle
11-15-2013 05:52:19 | More by LambicPentameter
4.44/5 rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Deepest black color, no light could ever come through it, with a two finger thick brown head that build with some delay with medium retention.
Delicious aroma of intense dark chocolates and coffee notes with hints of fired wood.
And what a flavor, roasted coffee could not be fresher. Notes of dark fruits, burnt caramel, oak, vanilla, cherries and honey.
Dry and bitter aftertaste with a long lasting roasted and creamed espresso coffee taste.
Full body, almost liquorish, with low carbonation. Alcohol of 12% abv is incredibly well hidden. A distant acid sensation.
One of the best coffee imperial stouts around, a flavor punch. Though the huge bottle took me sometime to have it on my own. Highly recommended.
Serving type: bottle
11-12-2013 16:55:23 | More by FLima
4.08/5 rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Never made it to the cellar, taken from the fridge and left at room temperature for roughly thirty minutes prior to opening. Pours jet black with khaki head.
Raisin, coffee, and black licorice bombard the nose. Very slight soy passes through the nostrils on the exhale. Very powerful.
Sweet, booze laden, dark fruit flirts with the tongue soon to be pried away by a burnt, harsh black malt flavor that sticks around for awhile. My mouth is left very dry, eager to revisit the initial sweetness. Not picking up as much coffee as I would have expected apart from in the aroma, but it is present. Chocolate notes are noticeable throughout. The sweetness comes through more as it warms, providing more balance to the harsh bitterness.
Lush carbonation provides a pleasurable experience. I bet this would age rather well, perhaps mellowing the unforgiving harshness that lingers long into the aftertaste.
To me, the nose stole the show, really very nice. I'll go as far as to say that if you pick up a bottle of this for yourself, ultimately, you won't be disappointed. However, I'm not sure I'd seek it out if it wasn't in my market. A solid representation of the style.
Serving type: bottle
11-10-2013 22:46:10 | More by MarkJBurch
AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 4,502 ratings.