Dismiss Notice
Get FREE shipping on all US orders of $25 or more from the BeerAdvocate Store.

No promo code required. Offer valid through 4/30.

Ready to gear up? Start shopping →

AleSmith Speedway Stout | AleSmith Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
97
world-class
1,590 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,590
Ratings:
6,307
Avg:
4.37
pDev:
17.16%
 
 
Wants:
899
Gots:
2,004
For Trade:
158
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,590 | Ratings: 6,307
Photo of smcnulty1981
4.36/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A: pitch black color dark brown notes when held up to the light when pouring got about a 2 finger head that went away fairly quick good ammount of lacing with a good ammount of alcohol legs

S: good ammount of chocolate and coffee notes on the nose a little bit of dark fruits with a slight hit of alcohol

T: I can really get the coffee almost tastes like taking a black cup of coffee adding a little yeast and sugar there was a nice hint of chocolate there was a bit of an alcohol burn and taste at first as it settled a little bit it became more subdued

M: lighter than expect it was more on the medium full side not as viscous as most imperial stouts I've had in the past but I could see it cutting through a heavy meal really like with fish and chips

O: fantastic beer overall I'm going to try and drink with a little more chill next to see if the burn for the alcohol goes away otherwise this beer comes highly recommended

 934 characters

Photo of badboyrsl84
4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Another fabolous brew from the guys at Alesmith

pours really really dark/black no head to this one in my glass

I get a roasted choc smell to this one with a hint of alcohol.

This has an amazing taste. Lots of raosted choc up front with an alcoholy finish. I would definitly expect that from this brew cause it's has an abv of 12%. I feel the choc dominates this one though.

It's really hard not to see Thomas adrinkable
beer it's a solid brew but the longevity of this beer is a session could be damanging to you.

 517 characters

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

A: Poured from a bottle into a snifter. This beer comes out a midnight black with a tan head. Can see the thick viscosity along the side of the glass when swirled around a little bit.

S: Malty, coffee, and some caramel. Smell has an almost creamy feel to it. A pungent smell that helps make the taste that much more powerful.

T: A wonderful changing taste as the beer temperature changes. Very cold starts with the malts and caramel from the smell, while as it warms, the coffee enters more into taste. Once again, I feel like a milky smooth taste in the beer, something creamy or dairy almost. I feel like this is an imperial stout meets milk stout. A really complex taste that leads to finding each sip different from the one before.

F: Good amount of carbonation, and nicely full bodied. Goes quite down quite smoothly.

D: At 12% abv, it will rock you a little, but you won't be able to notice. This goes down smoothly and the alcohol is hidden nicely by the complex taste and easy to handle full body. A great compliment to any cool night, this beer will not have any trouble going down. Wish I had access to this readily or else I'd be enjoying this brew multiple times during the cold IL winters.

 1,207 characters

Photo of BenwayPHD
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Pours pitch black with two finger mocha head. The nose is rich with mocha, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, booze, roast malt. Delicious. The flavor is very nice. Big and roasty. Toffee. The coffee seems a bit mellow, could be the age of the bottle. Thick, creamy mouthfeel. Great stout.

 287 characters

Photo of JonathanL7890
4.6/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Nov 2007, Thanks Miguel!
Poured kind of cold into my New Belgium snifter.
No apparent head. Just a small ring of foam around the perimeter of the glass.
Smell was of chocolate , coffee. I sat enjoying the aroma until the beer warmed up to a suitable temperature, i.e. it didn't give my fingers frostbite.
Taste: Strong coffee taste, lots of roastiness.
Kind of sweet. It tastes just like an iced coffee that you would get at Starbucks.
As the beer warms there's more complexity coming out. I get some dried fruit, fig, raisins, etc. No alcohol burn 12% you say? Hah!
Mouthfeel: spot on for a stout. Not as thick as one would expect, despite there being quite a bit of sludge at the bottom of the bottle.
Drinkability: Yes it is. Very drinkable. I would be able to put a bottle of this away by myself, although it would take an entire evening.

One of the best stouts out there and aging it fo r a year or two definitely helps.

 942 characters

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

Whether has turned cold, out come the Stouts.

Pours a deep sticky obsidian, coupled with a huge dark tan colored head. Retention was superb, and lacing was much evident.

Aroma is of immense bitter chocolate, coffee, espresso beans, and the darkest malts AleSmith was able to muster. Superb combination of all these scents culminates in a beer begging to be sipped.

What a great beer! It explodes up front with bitter sweet chocolate followed in due course by espresso and cocoa in the finish. Molasses was also prevalent, but took a back seat to all other things darker and tastier!

Mouthfeel was the epitome of "chewy". Big, thick, and viscous make this a formidable and enjoyable beer.

Drinkability is excellent, not the slightest hint of that 12% ABV.

 760 characters

Photo of BMan1113VR
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Many bottles and draughts over time. Old bottle from notes (2006). Wow! Pours with a small, ultra creamy, light brown head with some great lacing. Pitch black body. Amazing aroma of coffee and chocolate. Tastes of morning fresh french roast. Perfect mouthfeel, ultra creamy and so easy to drink (even at 12%), just amazing, nice alcohol warming. Nice and sweet mocha plays with your taste buds.

 394 characters

Photo of CuttDeez
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a snifter

A - Dark black body with a decently large dark leather brown head. The head was resilient and left some lacing.

S - Deep malt characteristics with a ton of esspresso and coffee. There is also a good amount of chocolate and dark fruits in there. It is a strong warming and engulfing nose.

T & M & D - Taste is much like the nose. Big coffee and chocolate and dark fruit flavors. The espresso hits you on the front end and then opens to a nice complexity of deep fruits and awesome dark chocolates. Big and bold in the mouth with full body complexity. The drinkability is acutally pretty high as the abv is well hidden.

O - A great big stout with a great flavor profile and nose. I would recommend drinking it fresh and sipping to enjoy and explore the flavors.

-Cheers

 808 characters

Photo of dblinkhorn
4.23/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a foil-wrapped 750ml capped bottle into a snifter.

Appearance - Pours with a dark tan half-finger head that is very creamy but has a large number of larger soapy bubbles, too. This quickly dissipates to a very thin layer of patchy lace. Good lacing is left sticking to the sides of the glass as you drink it. The beer is opaque black.

Smell - Fresh extremely oily-smelling wet hops. Roasted malt character is definitely there, but it seems like the character isn't quite as dark roasted as some. Some alcohol-like over-ripe dark fruit character, mainly fig and raisin. Notes of milky chocolate are also present with a touch of coffee aroma. Moderate alcohol aroma, but it is not a harsh sensation.

Taste - Super oily bitterness up front from hops and ultra-bitter dark chocolate flavors. Again, and old-ale like alcohol character with raisin and fig fruitiness. Also a more milk-chocolate flavor with some bitter coffee tastes in the middle. Some peppery spiciness is also present, along with notes of molasses, caramel, and brown sugar behind the strongest set of flavors. I am tasting some dry grainy character, as well. The malt character tastes much darker than it smelled here, and definitely seems fully-roasted. The aftertaste has some earthy tones with a background bitterness of dark chocolate and hops, on a background flavor from the malt.

Mouthfeel - Perfect. The carbonation has absolutely no bite and holds its structure throughout the entire taste. This is a very heavy-bodied beer and it is extremely smooth.

Drinkability - Extremely bitterness of chocolate/coffee/oily hops character. Strong and rich (almost filling) malt presence. I probably won't be able to finish this bottle by myself, even though it's very good.

An excellent and powerfully flavored stout from Alesmith. Having this really perks my interest in the oak-aged version of this brew. If you like strong-flavored stouts with a super wet and oily mouthfeel and hops, this is for you. Highly recommended (as a sipper!).

 2,031 characters

Photo of 0110x011
4.26/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours moonless Alaska winter night black. 1.5 finger khaki head has medium retention, and leaves bits of spiderweb lacing behind. It's amazing how dense this head is. Like I could stick a fork in it and it would stand up. This is how an Imperial Stout should look.

S - The expected coffee rush comes first, but then surprisingly, a strong dark fruitiness comes through, with raisin, plum, and blackberry aromas. After the fruit shock, more of the roasty, charred notes become present, with a leathery earth component too. Some booze. After it warms, the fruit becomes less dominant, balancing nicely with the coffee & roast. Some milk chocolaty notes as well. Very nice.

T - Big chocolate and dark fruit flavors out the gate. Chocolate is on the sweet milk chocolate side, with raisin, prune, blackberry and dark, sweet cherry flavors. The coffee is almost an afterthought, but it's there, along with some smoky roastyness. Some herbal hop character can be found in the back if it's looked for hard enough. Finish is almost tangy in a way. Like after eating a chocolate covered orange. A dash of heat, but nowhere would you be lead to believe that this was 12%.

M - Smooth and creamy. Silky. Goes down like water. Thick, creamy, chocolaty water. Can not get any better.

D - So creamy and smooth, with no sign of 12% abv, this one gets a super high score. Too rich to be perfect, but very high nonetheless.

This is an excellent Imperial Stout. Stouts being overly sweet are usually a turnoff for me (I'm looking at you, Darkness...), but this grew on me over my two glasses. The exceptional creaminess and complexity make this one a winner in my book.

 1,659 characters

Photo of tarheels86
4.06/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL 2008 ed. into snifter. Pours an opaque black with a small, dark tan head that disappears after awhile. Spotty lacing. Aroma of sour black cherries, chocolate covered strawberries, and fresh granny smith apples. Taste is sour with black cherries, strawberry tart, semisweet chocolate. Very oily, velvety mouthfeel that is coating on the palate. Reminds me of an imperial Bell’s Cherry Stout. Could actually be an RIS and Sour Ale combined. 12% is barely noticeable. As this drink warms, I start to get some espresso and vanilla ice cream as well as heavy whipping cream. Maybe this needs to be aged more but the overall impression I had was that this was very sour. 7/4/8/5/15=3.9

Tap at Hamilton’s SD. Pours near jet black with a fluffy, super rocky grayish head that has excellent retention and big, sheety lace. Aroma and taste are 100% coffee. Not much complexity. Thin to creamy mouthfeel. Pretty yummy but overall like iced coffee.

750mL 2009 ed. Pours near jet black with a towering deep brown to almost red mocha red with excellent retention and very good sheety lace. Excellent fresh, green coffee, tropical notes, bitter dark chocolate in the aroma. Taste is extremely bitter cacao and dark chocolate. Very hoppy but not distracting from the coffee. No residual sugars, no cloying sweetness. The 12% is perfectly hidden. Very good. 8/5/8/4/15=4.0

 1,368 characters

Photo of KellyScottMad
4.77/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer looked and smelled amazing once I poured it in the glass. The taste was good, but it didn't overwhelm me with flavor. Don't get me wrong...this is a good beer, but it didn't even crack my top 5 for Imperial stouts.

 226 characters

Photo of numenor1
4.83/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a beautifully crafted stout.

2006 bottling

This pours black with thick towering brown colored head that leaves great lacing. Huge roasty nose, along with deep caramel, molasses, coffee, chocolate and dark fruit esters. Initially starts off a touch sweet with mild, almost milk chocolate. This quickly fleshes into full blown stout glory with deep roasted malts, raspberry syrup, figs, molasses, dark chocolate and more than a touch of hops. Coffee is omnipresent and delicious, but really takes off through the finish, intermixing with hops and bittering the massive malt of this beautifully. Mouthfeel is terrific, very full (though less so than i anticipated) yet with lots of very fine bubbled soft carbonation giving a very creamy impression. Drinkability is very very good considering the weight of this beer (no hint of 12% whatsoever). Quite probably the best american double stout i've had yet.

 917 characters

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

#100. 25.4 oz bottle. Pours a thick black that is impossible to see through with a 2 cm tan foamy head that is slowly diminishing. Aroma is totally dominated by coffee with hints of malt and alcohol. Initial flavor is coffee heavy with a hint of chocolate that changes to a balance of previous flavors plus malts and a slight hop bite at the end. Ends moderately bitter, lasts, can feel the alcohol here. Tons of lacing, medium body, very light carbonation, and obvious alcohol hanging around. Drinkable, yes, best stout around, maybe, best I have tasted yet, absolutely.

 571 characters

Photo of fitrock2112
4.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured Speedway Stout into a Belgian Tulip.

A - Pours black as midnight with 2 and half fingers of mocha head with a aggressive pour.

S - Roasted malts, bitter coffee, baker's chocolate.

T - Wow, now this is tasty. First off getting roasted coffee, some roasted malts, dark chocolate. Mid palate getting a touch anise with some dark fruit in there. Quality stuff here.

M - Better than expected, medium carbonation with heavy mouthfeel. Yummy!

O - A very good quality coffee stout. Recommended ! Cheers!

 507 characters

Photo of beerbully
4.5/5  rDev +3%

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 paytoplay
4.6/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From paper label 750ml, silk screen would be minus 0.3 probably. Bigger richer, more intense, still bring acidity alc and balance keeping it high toned with a seemless lengthy finish. Enjoyed with dinner and friends, needed about 20 minutes to wake up. An outstanding brew. I look forward to my 1 other paper label and barrel aged ones. Also enjoyed this the same night from keg. Keg was a bit softer and more femenin. Different batches and years apart. I'd take the paper label for special occasions, the keg and new bottle versions are outstanding "everyday" type beers.

 572 characters

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

This beer has long been a favorite of mine and I'm just getting around to reviewing it.

App: Black with a thick brown sticky head

Smell: One of the most unique and delicious smells of any stout I've had. Heavy coffee with some hop spice. Chocolate, alcohol, and sweet anise type smells. Some malt in there as well.

Taste: Heavy on the coffee upfront with a dry finish. Some hop bitterness lingers in the aftertaste with a slight alcohol sting. The alcohol is not too harsh, but the beer is very warming going down. There's a hefty dose of bittersweet chocolate as well.

Mouth: Thick and slippery. Very low carbonation which I love in a double stout of this magnitude.

Drink: Good for a 12%er.

Overall: As stated before this has been a favorite stout of mine for a while. A beautifully executed double stout.

 825 characters

Photo of PhiloPsych
4.87/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer makes remember why I like stouts. Rather than inadequately analyzing it, I'll just say this beer has great character. Everything about it is good. The aroma may be the best aspect of it! It smells wonderful. Contrary to what several other raters here have experienced, my bottle poured a thick, rich head.

The high alcohol doesn't come out in the taste, so it sneaks up on you. Plan to share a bottle, not to drink it all on your own. I am not sure how I should characterize the drinkability. On the one hand it is perfectly smooth and balanced. On the other hand, it doesn't take much at all to start you buzzing, so it is definitely to be appreciated in moderation. This is a problem, though, because it tastes so damn good and goes down so smooth it is hard to stop drinking it!

 794 characters

Photo of Beerisheaven
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decided to crack open a bottle on a cool rainy night. Aged for approximately 1 year in my cellar. Who I got this from I can't quite remember.

A - Pours almost black into my Dogfish snifter with a nice tan pillow that rises up and then settles down leaving a nice head in the glass for sometime.

S - Lots of coffee, dark malts, chocolate, and some hops.

T - Follows the nose. Immediate shot of coffee meets your lips on the first taste, then hitting you with chocolate and dark roasted malt goodness. Personally, I did not get as much of the fruits or smoke; perhaps, the year plus or more that this has been in my cellar has smoothed it out somewhat. For me predominantly coffee and chocolate rule this one.

M - Label says rich and chewy, for me not quite as robust a mouthfeel as advertised. Nice but not as full and rich as other stouts.

D - You don't get ABV but this is one that you can and probably should share.

A really good stout and very enjoyable. Looking forward to breaking out the other bottle that I have some when there is some snow on the ground and a nice fire to sit by.

 1,094 characters

Photo of Chambic
4.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

02.06.10 at City Beer

A: jet black, with mocha head; heavy lace hugs the walls as I sip ... yes, SIP

S: just straight-up coffee on the nose, there's a frothy quality to the aroma, like it a tingling in the nostrils

T: chocolate and coffee yumminess put together, it's like the best mocha ever

M: this beer gets your whole mouth involved, like it's a ton of malt balls packed into the glass

D: great, but be careful!

 420 characters

Photo of SwillinBrew
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Hollingshead. Actually, until this one, i've never seen nitro used at the Head.

Well, this poured a beautiful black as midnight color that was like an expresso without any cream. No light shined thru and the head had a chocolate chip cookie color to it. My head was actually 4 inches high and i was going to ding for that, but actually, i attribute this to the Head having the wrong mix of nitro.
The aromatics were pure "roasting on an open fire" roastiness, burnt toast and coffee. The tidal wave of scented goodness really slaps you like a pimp.
The flavors are just immaculate. A tidal wave of cocoa, coffee, caramel and crisp toast bread flood your palate then divide and conquer. While i detected the alcohol, it was nicely woven in with the flavors. There's no doubt you just had some speedway stout... you wont forget it.
Quite heavy on the tongue and a bit chewey. I like the carbonation because you'd think it would lean towards being flat, but it's not. My advise, get some of this and drink it! Then drink more! This is the best stout i've ever had.

 1,086 characters

Photo of warrenout330
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750ml bottle

A- pours a pitch black color... big tan head... stays for minutes.... very sticky lacing to the glass

S- bitter sweet chocolate front, roasty coffee grains...charcoal in the back... hint of anise with a little black liquorice funk

T- sweet bitter chocolate... coffee domincace... as I drink this the 12% presents itself...and quite a bit it does... lingering coffee roastyness

M- thick full body... creamy feel... oily on the tongue... prickly carbonation... bitter balance

O- one of the best imperial stouts out there... very rare in my area so when it's here... you better grab it....

 618 characters

Photo of hillvt4me
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle date 11/22/13; coffee version poured into a tulip glass.

A - Pitch black with amber undertone; frothy mocha head. Nice lace left around the glass throughout.

S - Dark chocolate, coffee, toffee and roasted malts.

T - Dark chocolate, coffee, dried cherries, milky-malt flavor and bourbon. The 12% ABV is well hidden. Really solid!

M - Thick milky texture and well balanced.

O - This is an excellent stout. I look forward to some of the other variants!

 462 characters

Photo of blankenhoney
3.87/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Fresh bottle from 11.19.14, enjoyed from a snifter

A: Deep, dark brown with an eggshell/khaki head. Looks pretty inviting.

S: Smells like raspberries covered with dark chocolate. Intense aromas of rich chocolate and dark berries, and only mild notes of sweet, creamy coffee.

T: More rich, rich chocolate, dark berries, chocolate fudge, and a bit of roasted coffee beans. Kind of a chocolate bomb, with some very faint espresso roastiness and bitterness on the finish.

M: Thicker than medium-bodied, nice and creamy

O: I don't know. I see a label saying imperial stout with coffee, and I'm hoping for a lot more coffee flavor and aroma than I found here. Speedway is a chocolate bomb, but a very well done chocolate bomb at that. Rich and luscious, but too sweet and chocolatey for me.

 789 characters

AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,590 ratings.