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AleSmith Speedway Stout | AleSmith Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
97
world-class
1,606 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,606
Ratings:
6,353
Avg:
4.37
pDev:
16.93%
 
 
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AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

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!

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-09-2002

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,606 | Ratings: 6,353
Photo of wpqx
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Hot diggity dog this is way smoother than I thought for 12%.

A - Jet black with a generous head if poured violently
S - Very mild smell wise, might be seasonal allergies but I get some coffee aromoas but that's about it.
T- So smooth, seriously I was aging this because I assumed it'd be harsh, not at all.
M - Extremely pleasant going down, enough said.
O - Not as complex and boozy as I was expecting, very drinkable and very smooth. I look forward to drinking this again, but far from a life changing imperial.

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Photo of jeffjfindley
4.53/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ebony body, and the darkest head I've ever seen. Way beyond the parchment color of many micro stouts, this is BROWN. The smell is nice, and suggestive of the intense amounts of coffee beans they threw into this thing.

The taste is wonderful, and beyond smooth. It is even throughout, packing incredibly rich chocolate maltiness, mocha, and a healthy blast of alcohol at the end. The feel is perfect, and the most outstanding feature of this most outstanding brew. Almost too drinkable, considering it's ABV. Exercise restraint, or you may wind up pantsless in the gutter.

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

Not tasting a lot of coffee here, but this is incredibly creamy. My goodness does this go down easy. I can't believe The ABV on this. No burning, just creamy smooth goodness going down. You get the coffee as the aftertaste, but it is subtle. Well done.

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

Beautiful black beer with thick tan head. Thick sticky lacing coats the glass after each sip.

Huge nose of alcohol, roasted coffee beans (as the bottle warns) and some bitter chocolate.

WHOA! This beer hits the tongue with LOADS of flavor. Roasted coffee exlodes on the tongue. Lots of bitter chocolate and slight hop presence balance out the sweetness. Alcohol warming follows as this one finishes dry. The huge creamy thick feel makes this one overly pleasant to sit down with.

If only I could come across this one more often. Many thanks to Jetsbeer for this one.

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Photo of athensbeermaster
3.95/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I just got a new job so I could afford this expensive brew. This stout didn't pour much of a head and almost no lacing? The nose had some expresso and chocolate peeking out with a huge alcohol presence. The taste was full of dark roasted malts and rich chocolate and coffee flavors. The mouthfeel was smooth and went very well with my CAO mx-2 cigar. The drinkability scores as good as you can get for being so high in alcohol. This beer is very complex I picked up more flavors on the last glass and tasted some fig notes and smoky caramel. The finish is nice & clean with a dry coffee aftertaste.

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Photo of Wadsey
3.62/5  rDev -17.2%
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. 

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Photo of schlimenhaumer
4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to kojevergas for this bottle as well as hosting the first formal tasting I’ve attended on January 3! Starting the night out strong with this one. Poured into a Gouden Carolus tulip at altitude in Denver.

A: Pitch black with a dark tan head of little retention and spotty lacing. Oily appearance when swished around the glass.

S: Dark chocolate, peaty oak notes, some vanilla and a bit of booze.

T: Dark chocolate with some oak notes on the finish. Very straightforward in terms of flavor, but the flavors here complement each other and it’s very well balanced. The alcohol is concealed very nicely here.

M: Full-bodied and silky smooth. Quite possibly the best aspect of this beer, and near perfect for an imperial stout in my opinion.

D: This is a very drinkable beer, especially in light of its alcohol content. I think it’s a great model for a simple approach to an imperial stout.

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Photo of Hophazzard
4.66/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is amazing. To me, it's almost the perfect stout. Incredibly balanced, alcohol is well hidden. Chocolate and coffee are not overpowering. Awesome.

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Photo of hophead247
4.65/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black and opaque in appearance; moderately thick in viscosity. Head is minimal at first but quickly diminishes to an oily overlay. Bitterness jumps out of the gate first for aroma, along with unsweetened dark chocolate, mocha mousse and cafe o' lait. Coffee and roasted malts are definitely represented in this speed demon. Alcohol is discernable in flavor. Bitter chocolate and espresso flavors dominate. It's like sucking on a handful of greasy, dark roasted espresso beans. Body is oily and dense. Malts seem to favor flavor over viscosity. Definitely has its share of IBUs. Moderate carbonation is probably livelier on the palate than in actuality because of the dactylic touch of alcohol. Finish is warming, bitter and mouth watering. While I served it at about 55 degrees as recommended on the bottle, I liked it better as it got even warmer, say 60-65 degrees. At the higher temp, it seemed to thicken and improve its body.

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Photo of bret27
4.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

S: Roasty and coffee predominantly. Also chocolate. A little booze and toffee malty sweetness around as well.

A: Jet black w/brn thick head. What else?

T: Mostly coffee along w/the delcious maltiness and roastiness. Vanilla, chocolate, toffee notes. A little boozy presence but the etoh is well hidden for sure.

M/D: Thick and velvety sublime mouthfeel. Drinkability is definitely impressive for ABV.

Overall: I can't really add anything. This beer is all over socal at reasonable prices, and it's still one of the highest rated beers in the world year after year.

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

2011

Looks delicious. Luscious large brown head with deep dark brown body. Head dissipates very very slowly leaving thick lace.

Big coffee and chocolate aromas. Definitely sweet. You can sense the alcohol. Maybe a bit of vanilla ice cream, whipped cream sorta scent.

An initial spiciness is immediately followed by sweet coffee chocolate flavors. Theres a definite subdued sense of hops in the finish. The chocolate and coffee blend well in the finish. The coffee flavors throughout are very good.

The mouthfeel on this is exceptionally smooth with small bubbly carbonation, lighter side of heavy. 12% get increasingly prominent but always welcome and warm.

One of the top imperial stouts I've tried. Delicious.

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Photo of punkrkr27
4.01/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 bottle. Lots of rich sweet yet bitter black strap molasses character with a shot of espresso. There's some milk chcoclate that comes out in the middle and it finishes with a long bitter black coffee finish. There was a hint of soy I didn't care much for though. The body is sticky and full with moderate carbonation.

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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 natasharai
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass with 3cm dark tan creamy head. The beer is black in color, no light can pass through this stuff! Good head retention, stayed until almost finished with the glass, and nice thick lacing down the glass.

Smell: Very roasty like a roasted marshmallow, very sweet up front with a slight bitterness at the end.

Taste: A lot of roasty malts up front. Followed by a stronger bitter flavor than expected, like a dark chocolate or coffee bitterness. Almost no taste of alcohol. Leaves my mouth with a nice subtle bitter taste.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy bodied, little carbonation, small hop bite. Nice balance of creamy texture and bitter bite.

Overall: The taste was not bad, could barley notice any alcohol considering the ABV. I couldn't detect any fruity taste which I do enjoy in imperial stouts... so that was slightly disappointing. Otherwise I really enjoyed the mouthfeel and appearance.

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Photo of Beers-es
4.54/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

From a 22 oz bomber into a snifter, pours black with a finger of dense tan head whose top is dotted by frothy, larger bubbles. Head dissipates but never leaves completely. Lacing is moderate but lasting. Holding this beer to the light reveals a deep, rich ruby-brown along the edges--the middle is still impenetrable. Beautiful stuff.

Smells are initially dark fruits--raisins and black cherries--with coffee and chocolate mixing in. After warming a bit, roasty malts and caramel toffee appear as well.

Taste is roasty, dark fruit with evolving layers of complexity. Sweetness is balanced well by the bitter roasty flavors. Feel is dang near perfect. Rich and full without being overly viscous. The carbonation comes in just when you want to liven things up.

This is an outstanding Imperial Stout, worthy of its world-class rating.

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Photo of Estarrio
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a black chocolate thick mysterious color with a coffee ground colored head. The head gave way to thick, intricate and full lacings.

Big malt aroma with some floral and hoppy suggestions.

Thick, and foamy consistency...this is a big beer!

Sweet malt base flavor mixes with a complex grouping of coffee, roasted malts, caramel, chocolate molasses and hops. The sweetness and warmth suggest the presence of the high alcohol percentage but the alcohol taste is lost amidst the other flavors. I found the sweetness to linger slightly too much in the aftertaste, but aside from that the flavors are excellent.

I'm looking forward to aging a few of these before I review again.

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

L: Pours pitch black with a decently-sized khaki head for the style that retains itself in large bubbles around the edges of the glass.

S: Semi-sweet with musty coffee, caramel, bready malt and some dry cacao. A nice roasted character that breaks through the malt and maintains a good balance.

T: Very balanced but certainly on the sweet side, particularly in the finish. Lots of caramel and toffee, with fairly restrained coffee flavor for a coffee stout. Thick and rich, with just enough coffee and hops keeping the rest from getting out of hand. Sweet, syrupy finish with plenty of roasty coffee and a decent amount of booze.

F: Medium-plus body – surprisingly light for this beer’s strength – with light-to-medium carbonation and a substantial amount of lingering warmth in the finish.

Thoughts: A classic for a reason. At 12% abv and with it’s sweetness it’s not the most drinkable beer I’ve come across, but it’s a very well crafted imperial stout. The relatively light body adds some drinkability, and the coffee definitely adds some balance and complexity.

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Photo of Trevor11
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Decent stout. very strong coffee notes at end. prominent alcohol presence at 12%. Not as good as some of the other stouts that I have had. I still need to try its variants. Maybe the barrel aging would round out some of its flavor profiles.

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Photo of garbercury
3.69/5  rDev -15.6%
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!

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

From notes:
I had this on tap at the Blue Palms Brewhouse in Hollywood Califas!!

Appearance: Black as any stout. The head is mocha colored and sticks around for a good while

Aroma: Coffee, some bakers chocolate, I also detect a little hop as well. The aroma in this stout is not as pronounced as many of the big RIS’

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and almost creamy. Great mouth-feel

Taste: This beer has a rich premium coffee taste there are some malts in it as well. The coffee does wonders in hiding the heat in the alcohol

Drinkability: This is by far the most drinkable RIS that I have ever had. This beer has an ABV of 12% yet I feel like I can easily quaff this goblet down!

Overall: This is a definite go to IRS, the drinkability will make you forget that it is a huge stout. Easily one of my favorite beers of all!!

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

Poured into tulip glass

A: pours black, with a small brown head that dissipates into a tiny head

S: coffee

T: strong coffee taste with big dark chocolate. Maybe a little caramel as it warms up

M: slick and smooth. Full bodies but still crisp. Very warm on the finish from the alcohol content. A little dry

Overall: very good imperial stout. One of my favorites now. About to try the barrel aged version. Huge flavor. Great.

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Photo of tattooedtolley
4.82/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: thick black pour, very dark tan/light brown head.

Smell: Coffee, hints of chocolate, a bit of a dark/slightly fruity smell, a little alcohol too.

Taste: Big roasted malt flavor with perfect coffee notes. The alcohol is apparent but not overpowering the taste. Eventhough they dont stand out too much, the hops are taming what could be a very sweet beer, which is appreciated.

Mouthfeel: Thick in body, very smooth however, silky.

Drinkability: This beer was perfect served at cellar temp and eventhough I enjoyed this beer over a couple hours, it never became too warm even with the fireplace going. A delicious stout and inspite of the alcohol, very drinkable.

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Photo of HURTemHIZZY
3.71/5  rDev -15.1%
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.

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Photo of boomer31
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brought back from AZ about 3 months ago.

A - Pours a full black with only a think line of deep brown around the edges. Tight brown head the leaves quickly but with a swirl returns. Some lacing left on the glass. Pours every bit an Imp Stout

S - Nice roast nose, some burnt sugar and maybe some smoke. Reminds me of a fresh bag of figs, perhaps some leather.

T - Complex roast, more burnt sugar, malt and some sugary sweetness in the back. There is a hop bitterness lingering but not overwhelming. There's also an alcohol spice in the back that really grows on you. Very nie

M - Rich and full bodied, nice low carb.

O - Every bit the great Imp Stout it's made to be. I think the best part of this beer is the back end...sweet, bitter and long. Quite a fantastic brew. Can't imagine the barrel aged version

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Photo of Mustard
4.03/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: 25oz. dark green bottle; no "bottled on" or "best before" warning on the label; I know this particular bottle dates to the later part of June 2003, however, as I witnessed its packaging in person; purchased for $10 directly from the AleSmith brewery.

Appearance: Poured a viscous, sludgy black with little in the way of head, carbonation or lacing; the 4oz. sampler I had on tap down at Stone's 7th Anniversary showed a beautiful, cascading, cocoa-brown head with lots of lacing and good to very good retention; it is upon the latter experience that I have graded this beer's appearance; bottled version would merit a 2.5.

Nose: Largely of chocolate, coffee and sherry -- and all three pungently so.

Taste: Huge notes of sweet chocolate and dark, plum-like fruits upfront; predominant quality is of a deep, roasty coffee, however; thick, pleasing bitterness in the finish; strongly phenolic; unfortunately, the bottled version's lack of carbonation created a syrupy, liquer-like effect which was off-putting; mouthfeel score is again based on the aforementioned 4oz. sampler which was itself a tad thick for my tastes; bottled version would merit a 1.5.

Notes: Between the prohibitive $9-10 cost, stupor inducing 12% ABV and the above noted carbonation troubles, I will probably never buy this again; that said, the 4oz. tap sampler I had out in San Marcos was downright beautiful and one of the tastiest examples of an Imperial stout I have ever had.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,606 ratings.