AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

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AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,482 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 1,482
Hads: 5,677
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 8.94%
Wants: 834
Gots: 1,679 | FT: 153
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
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Reviews: 1,482 | Hads: 5,677
Photo of Mahlik
4.11/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml bottle into a tulip glass.

A - Poured a deep black color with it a beautiful 1.5" thick and frothy brown head. The head retention was great. When it did finally start to dissipate, it left behind good lacing. I also noticed some carbonation making its way up the glass.

S - The chocolate hit my nose first. It's followed by sweetness from the dark fruits and vanilla. Some roasted malts are mixed in too. I found the coffee aroma to be very subtle. I guess I was expecting more coffee on the nose. For 12% abv, I really couldn't sense the alcohol's presence. The aroma is overall pleasant but nothing complex.

T - The coffee comes through more in the taste. Still, I feel the chocolate notes come out more here. I get dark chocolate up front with some bittersweet chocolate on the back side. I was a bit surprise by the bitterness of these beer. The alcohol makes its presence know but it's not overbearing.

M - This beer is very smooth and drinkable. I would never guess this beer is 12% abv. This is a full-bodied beer with a slightly creamy feel and solid carbonation. The booziness adds warmth to the overall taste/mouthfell.

O - I would have probably enjoyed this beer more if I hadn't hear so much hype about this beer. However, I'm glad I was able to find this beer at a local bottle shop. This is a great imperial stout. It's incredibly smooth for the style/ABV and I really enjoyed the chocolate notes in the taste. I just wish the smell and taste was a bit more complex. (1,505 characters)

Photo of B33R501
3.2/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Edit 7/30 I fucking hate inconsistency and if I remember correctly this brewer is the definition of inconsistency, last year I had a Yulesmith summer that was incredible, then I purchased 2 more that were flat, and terrible. Got an $8 32 oz bomber tonite, couldn't wait. Yet somehow the bottle was so much better, how is that possible? This draught stunk, no chocolate, no coffee, all vinous character, very boring. Maybe that's why the keg (according to the beer guy at whole foods) was so cheap? Whatever, what a disappointment. Brewers, here's a clue GET SOME F'ING CONSISTENCY.

Another great beer in a year filled with great beers I really don't know how to rate them anymore I guess I'll have to compare. I bought this on someone's comment, this crushes stone imperial stout. Well, we wouldnt go that far. I'd rate it just a bit below that.

Black, big chocolate head, no carbonation issues at all. Actually, the carbonation and mouthfeel are just about perfect. Reviewers note, I had 2 Yulesmith Summer bottles last year that were completely flat.

Chocolate coffee aroma, big coffee chocolate vanilla cream and sugar tastes. Notes of dark fruits, really sweet at times with a big dry bitter finish. This beer just sizzles on the tongue, no hint of alcohol at all, very drinkable I went thru this bomber like nobody's business. And then I stood up, wow this was fantastic. (1,380 characters)

Photo of gotbeer
3.93/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I sampled a bomber of this from the 06 vintage.

The appearance was like a great stout- dark, opaque, and with a mocha colored head.

The smell was very nice. Hints of chocolate.

The taste was big. Chocolate, coffee, and some noticable alcohol. It's a big imperial stout with some mocha notes to it.

The mouthfeel is thick and chewy.

Drinkability is good for the style. I don't know if the drinkability is good for the price around New England. Storm King, BBCS, and Stone IRS are also readily available for far less money, and all are delicious. Not to say Speedway was dissapointing- it is great. Worth a try on a special occasion. (647 characters)

Photo of DwnTwnBwn
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured a viscus black with an initially 4 finger head that fell to a finger till the beer was gone. Lots of lacing. There were fingers when swirled in the glass. Beautiful.

S- Lots of Toffee and Dark Chocolate in the nose. A good roasted barley note or too in there as well. Coffee and roasted malts are in there too.

T- There is a good sweet malt across the palette first then a strong dark chocolate malt characteristic. Lots of Roasted Barley and a strong Coffee finish. Almost no alcohol warmth. Well rounded RIS.

M- Velvety, and way to easy to drink. The body seems lighter then it is. Light Carbonation. Not too cloying, but does leave a sweet toffee taste.

O- This is an amazing RIS. It may not be the most complex. But its wickedly too easy to drink. Amazing. (776 characters)

Photo of beerbully
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Poured into HF stemware

A-Black as midnight.....3/4 inch toffee colored head, decent retention, thick lacing that slides down the side of the glass (4.25)

S-Chocolate, coffee, anise, (4.25)

T- Lots of dark chocolate out of the gate..........slight anise, coffee, brown sugar, molasses, dark fruits, some booze but not 12% worth, very sweet, booze is more like rum than whiskey.......finish is like dark chocolate covered coffee beans soaked in rum (4.5)

M-Thick full bodied beer, 12% ABV is noticeable but not dominant.....just enough to provide some warmth......lots of flavors, well balanced (4.5)

O-Good full bodied beer to be sippin on a cold, damp afternoon. (4.5) (677 characters)

Photo of MagicJeff
4.24/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into my RR tulip.

Appearance: Deep black with a nice mocha head. Looks great and head is retained for a while with nice lacing afterwards.

Smell: Boozy coffee notes. Slight roasted chocolate and toffee

Taste: Delicious slightly dark chocolate with a coffee finish--initially sweet but a pleasantly bitter aftertaste; some dark fruits, plum and raisin mid taste. Slight alcoholic burn on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied. Why the hell am I drinking this in August? Would be ideal for a post holiday dinner beer. I'm not complaining though, this thing is great. Goes down the hatch smooth for 12% ABV.

Overall: An awesome stout well worth seeking out. It is a task to drink by one's self, but is still very delicious and balanced. (759 characters)

Photo of rodemey2
4.22/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

IMO could use a little more body. I prefer stouts of this ABV to be a tad more viscous, i might be alone here. other than that, its pretty much perfect. dried fruit on the nose, and you’d never know they hit 12% on it. paired with some bleu cheese, blissful. (260 characters)

Photo of Nick3
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer poured in into a Duvel tulip glass. A dark black brew with a chocolate brown head that dies a quick death. Roasted malt aroma with coffee and some chocolate. Taste like it smells and its darn good. Very, very well balanced and the alcohol is well hidden. Finish has a nice roasty bitterness that isn't too sharp. Nicely done brew. Drank this one when I bought it but I've got two others aging. Will revisit in 2 years. (423 characters)

Photo of slaintemhor
4.33/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The colour of this stout was jet black with absolutely no head whatsoever! The aroma was teeming with brown sugar, coffee and dark Swiss chocolate. On the palate, there was more chocolate, essence of bourbon, dark coffee, toffee, caramel, treacle and molasses. Gad! What a treat! And a heck of a deal for the 750ml bottle format! (329 characters)

Photo of DrewZ926
4.35/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- black as night, great lacing and a finger of nice mocha head

S- dark malt, dark fruit, very roasty coffee, a hint of smoke

T- coffee beans, raisonettes, bitter chocolate

M- superb, just enough carb, very coating and creamy, not hot at all

O- while i was expecting more of an in your face coffee presence, i'd say i'm quite surprise and pleased with how well balanced this brew is. great flavors and a robust, lingering flavor. high gravity but you would never know. perfectly priced and great for the season especially. (526 characters)

Photo of NitroGen
4.6/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Have been saving this one for my 100th review.

P: 750 ml. Brown bottle

A: Pours a jet black with one finger of dark chocolate foam head that quickly settles

S: Dark chocolate, roasted coffee and grains with feint alcohol fumes.

T: Myriad of chocolate and roasted coffee with creamy sweetness and huge alcohol fumes.

M: Wow is this a big! Well balanced throughout the tasting, and the aftertaste keeps on going and going...

D: Since this is in a 750 ml. and nobody else will imbibe I will make the sacrifice and drink this lovely brew by myself!
Will be having another long before my 200th review! (606 characters)

Photo of dannydetox
4.13/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Speedway stout is a massive beer from AleSmith. 12% abv and you can feel it after a 750 of this beast. Pours a viscous black with a brownish head. Loads of coffee and roasted malts - more coffee than I like, but that is just my personal taste aversion I developed after downing some 60 oz of Denny's coffee in an hour when I was a younger lad...

Let's get back to the beer. I love the full mouthfeel on the Speedway Stout. Viscosity again comes into play here. Plenty of toastiness and rich, rich malts throughout the finish. The booziness isn't super pronounced, but you get a bit of heat on this one. This is a good after dinner drink and pairs well with hazelnuts, gorgonzola dolce (or any other sweeter blue cheese), and Barely Buzzed from Beehive Cheese Co. in Utah. (772 characters)

Photo of Birdiebeagle
4.85/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle thanks to Brandon Pours a good deep black with a creamy brown head. The head lasts well. The lacing is perfect. Has a wonderful aroma of good alcohol, roast, coofee, chocolate, and some spices. Has a light carbonation. A tewrrific mouthfeel. The flavor is real good. Alcohol is well hidden. The balance is real good. The flavor is wonderful. Not too heavy and very smooth. Has a thick texture. Has a full body. The finish is nothing short of super. A great lasting aftertaste. This is a flat out awesome beer. I would drink this anytime any place. (554 characters)

Photo of tendermorsel
4.28/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

This a real sipping beer. Nice strong jet black color. Aroma of coffee. Very malty and a bit more hops than I expected. A remarkably smooth beer that became sweeter and smother as it warmed. Although I couldn't taste the booze I could definitely feel it. I am glad I shared this with a friend.

Overall a good beer. Not my all time favorite coffee stout but definitely up there. (403 characters)

Photo of kdmorse
4.73/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rich coffee, chocolate, and roasted flavors and smells throughout. Amazing and strong. Looks great. Lacing for days. Smells amazing. Tastes even better. Creamy and enjoyable. Easy to drink for a huge stout like this. Alcohol sneaks through a bit in the scent and the taste, but not bad for a 12%er. Great young. Need to get a few to put away and age. (350 characters)

Photo of TrickKnee
3.9/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wow, what a stout. The ratings and reviews speak for this beer alone and let me tell you the taste goes right along with it. Not being a huge stout fan i was delighted to see an amazing taste. Poured a deep dark color, (duh, its a stout) with a small amount of head. Rich chocolate , coffee and roasted flavors that linger in your mouth. Cant wait to try it again. (364 characters)

Photo of TheosTheories
4.43/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A- jet black with a nice finger of tan brown head, which leaves a nice lacing along the sides as it goes down

S- big roasted character I'm getting in this one, a lot of alcohol also, not much coffee as I was expecting though, bitter sweet chocolate, vanilla, I'm getting a little bourbon characteristics in this one, its probably because the big alcohol and roasted malt

T- again not much coffee for being a "coffe stout", I'm getting a lot of roasted malt in this one, dark fruits, which I didn't get really in the nose, dates and plumbs, I'm getting a nice vanilla with some chocolate, I am getting coffee in the after taste though but again not much, and that 12% is differently there, but it's nice.

M- thick, coats the whole mouth as it goes down, pretty sticky, but it is surprisingly smooth
O- overall a nice brew, alittle disappointed in the lack of coffee presences but still solid, gets better as it warms, it is really a complex brew and very well made, just wish they would of had more coffee in this one. (1,022 characters)

Photo of Tele
4.31/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 3.27.14
Consumed: 10.18.14

A: 4.75 Pitch black and looks silky pouring into a snifter. The two-finger tan head is dense and lasts about three minutes.

S: 4.25 The aromas are actually a bit subtle for a coffee stout. Of course, there is some dark roasted coffee and dark malt in the forefront, but other aromas are subtler. There’s some vanilla, cinnamon, chocolate, and a tiny bit of blackberry. While very pleasant, it all seems sort of muted.

T: 4.25 Similar story as the nose, but the coffee and chocolate flavors come forward more. The balance between the bitterness of the coffee and roasted malt is very well done and the chocolately sweetness helps to smooth everything out. The coffee flavor is very fresh tasting and not at all harsh, although the finish is rather bitter, but in a nice way for a stout.

M: 4.5 The body is fairly thick, though not as rich as I was expecting based on the pour. The carbonation is just about perfect and the bitter finish is also a bit dry which helps balance out the sweetness you get at first.

O: 4.25 Speedway stout goes down as a classic coffee stout and deserves its recognition. The beer is made very well and is complimented by quality coffee flavors that don’t overpower the base beer. There are also some unexpected flavors that take this beer from just another coffee stout to something special. (1,364 characters)

Photo of RomanW70
4.56/5  rDev +4.6%
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. (377 characters)

Photo of Cmack15
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried a bottle of this at Toronado. The beer pours thick and black like used motor oil(this is a good sign from an imperial stout).
The smell is super sweet, some chocolate and dark grain notes. Mouthfeel is a thick and chewy just the way I like my imperial stouts. I really liked this beer and think it could give Darklord a run for its money if it was aged in bourbon barrels.
Cheers (385 characters)

Photo of petacutlasaurus
3.92/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice stout, got it at a brutal markup, though, coming in at $19.99. I was very curious about this flagship beer from AleSmith, though, so I went ahead with it. I think to do it/my wallet justice I should have been a little more patient before drinking.

A really nice coffee stout that lost points for a somewhat hollow body. I wanted a little bit more gravity here, but really enjoyed the notes that were represented. I also think that even though the body is light for my tastes, it complements the coffee notes really well. This would be a fantastic beer at $12/bottle. (572 characters)

Photo of schroederm
4.18/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

In a tulip:

One and a half fingers of chocolaty head form over a dark brown body and settle quickly into a thin blanket. Sheets of lacing are left on the glass. Substantial alcohol in the nose, with some coffee, dark chocolate, and umami. An absolutely wonderful maltiness persists from the moment it touches the tongue all the way through to the aftertaste. Umami flavors complement bourbon, dark fruit, and vanilla. The bitter is entirely coffee based and balances the beer quite well. Unfortunately, I found the body to be a little thin. Good balance of carbonation, however. It's high ABV reduces drinkability, but excellent maltiness makes this brew highly desirable. Mouthfeel thinness actually helps drinkability along as well.

Overall: This is a fantastic beer, but I believe it may be a bit overrated. The Goose Island remains my favorite in the style to date.. but don't get me wrong, this is an amazing brew and a standard among the Best of BA. (957 characters)

Photo of johnnydicfore
4.31/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

First review... Here it's goes

Poured in to a pint glass

A: pours thick, pitch black, one finger head

S: roasted coffee beans hit the nose first, followed by dark chocolate, and roasted malts

T: bitter dark chocolate up front fades to coffee/espresso and finishes with the malt and a hint of alcohol at the end

M: thick, creamy, heavy, very smooth, warm alcohol feel as you swallow

O: very enjoyable and balanced. gets better as it warms up, that's when the complexities shine. (483 characters)

Photo of wyllder
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Excellent.

I haven't written a review in a while, but for this I'll make an exception.

Speedway pours the expected opaque deep chocolate brown, bordering on black. A caramel colored head forms but dissipates rather quick. As you go, it leaves quite a bit of sticky lacing on the sides of your glass.

The smell is top-notch. Notes of roasted chocolate, caramel, coffee and molasses are all here.

Taste is bliss. Smoothly comingled flavors of chocolate, roasted malts and coffee play out on the palate. Only slightly hoppy, with plenty of malt to smooth things out, this comes in somewhere between a Russian Imperial and an American Double stout: a really tasty place.

Mouthfeel is perfect. Smooth, not resinous or viscous but just thick enough to warn you of its potency. The alcohol is there, but never overwhelms as it provides a nice warming tone going down.

Drinkability. Send me more, much more. Keep it coming. Thank heaven I had two friends help me with the bottle or I might not have remembered much of the evening.

Having tried their IPA and Yulesmith previously, Speedway has put Alesmith firmly on the top of my favorite brewers list. A trip to San Diego is in order.

UPDATE: Had a second bottle of this about 6 months after the first. Every bit as good as the first. And, after some consideration, I've decided to get it over with and make it the first beer I 5-out. I love this stuff.

Wyllder- (1,433 characters)

Photo of BuckyFresh
4.54/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to zoso1967 for supplying this tasty brew. Also among the blessed were TCHopCraver and TCgoalie.

Appearance: Pours a jet black color, with a one-finger head. Retention is not amazing, but the lacing is good. The head is a dark tan in color and remains as a film on top after receding.

Smell: My first thought after inhaling was that this beer smelled like a hair salon that had a pot of coffee on and also happened to be across the street from a chocolate factory. Also vying for attention are dark fruit, brown sugar, molasses, and lots of malty sweetness.

Taste: Lost of nutty dark bitterness. Roasted malt and coffee with a creamy texture and an almost sweet/sour finish. Bitterness is up front in the taste and the sweetness subtly makes its way in at the end.

Mouthfeel: Creamy texture and lots of bitterness, but it seemed just a tad thin.

Drinkability: Very complex with lots of delicious, subtle nuance. A very dynamic tasting experience that evolves from start to finish. (992 characters)

AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,482 ratings.