AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

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AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

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1,483 Reviews
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Reviews: 1,483
Hads: 5,679
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 8.94%
Wants: 836
Gots: 1,680 | FT: 154
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: 1,483 | Hads: 5,679
Photo of instrumentality
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First off, I didn't follow the instructions and wait 6 to 24 months before opening this. I waited less than a week (although it may have sat at the store for awhile beforehand). If it even has potential, I'll buy more and treat it the way it wants to be treated.

This one looked like thick red wine as it glumped its way out of the bottle and into my pint glass (beer foul #2: supposed to be a tulip glass, but I don't have one). Once in the glass, half of it was a frothy brown head, the other very dark brown (almost black) opaque body. It smelled like coffee and chocolate with a hint of fruit. This reminded me of the Samuel Smith Imperial Stout I had last night, only the head wasn't as intense.

Then I took my first sip. It no longer reminded me of the Sam Smith, which I loved. It was much better. Less of the red wine taste, more of the chocolate and coffee, very rich, very heavy, just a fantastic flavor. The aftertaste was a bit like red wine only more fruity and less bitter, and it didn't leave any bitterness caked on the roof of my mouth, which was my main criticism of Sammy. The finish was a resurfacing of the coffee flavor.

Mouthfeel is a bit sharp/bitter, but only for a moment. The carbonation is mellow, and the alcohol doesn't burn too much, although I can definitely taste it. The aftertaste, again, is pretty tasty, mainly of coffee beans, and while it sits on the palate long after taking a sip, it's very subtle and non-intrusive.

Apparently, this beer is brewed with "Ryan Bros. Coffee Beans," which would explain the coffee taste. This is the most coffee-intense beer I've had since the Red Hook Double Black Stout, which, if I recall correctly, was brewed with Starbucks beans. AleSmith is WAY better. And I don't even really like coffee.

This is a pretty strong beer. The alcohol is well hidden considering the ABV, but that's not saying much at 12%; it still packs a punch. The heavy coffee flavor isn't something you can exactly chug either, but I don't think that's what Alesmith intended. This is a beer best consumed slowly, so it might make sense to bring it down to more like 45 degrees instead of the 50 to 55 they recommend, and then allow it to evolve as it warms without getting too, too warm.

Or maybe I'm just a wuss and you guys would take this down much faster.

Definitely one I'll try again. This is way beyond simply having "potential." If it's this good now, I'm ready to rise to the challenge of waiting 6-24 months to try another. Better yet, I'll buy 4 or 5 of them and have one every 6 months, assuming they can survive in my oven of an apartment. (2,621 characters)

Photo of weazal
4.02/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Immediately noticeable sweetened coffee aroma. There's also toffee and faint chocolate baked in a breadiness. Slight, bright alcohol in the background the lends a welcome contrast.

T: The roast coffee flavor is present and rides through the whole tasting, leaving a espresso-like bitter aftertaste. But surprisingly, that potent flavor is nearly usurped by an exceedingly sour, tangy, and juicy sensation. So much so that the mouth is puckering by the end.

The contrast of rich, dark coffee bitterness and sour, juicy tanginess is not a flavor combination I'm used to. Not saying it's bad, Different. (617 characters)

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

Fortunate enough to get one in TX.

Starts with a black, opaque pour, with a nice, fluffy, dark khaki head. The head doesn't stick around for very long, but this already looks like a tasty beverage. Produces excellent lacing. The instant aroma is of chocolate and roasted coffee. With the first sip, it makes sense why there's praise around this beer. Vanilla, then coffee, followed by malts and hops, with a lingering, slight burning of booze. Silky smooth, with a nice, very slight hoppy tongue tingling bitterness; as full bodied as the appearance leaves you to believe.

Wasn't sure if there was a hope around it or not, but after sipping it, this definitely sets the standard for stouts. (692 characters)

Photo of DubbelTrubbel
4.01/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into Chimay chalice. Bought off the shelf and in the cellar about two months.

A- Black with an ultra-creamy tan head. Looked like a well-made latte, complete with swirls.

S- The most exceptional component of this for a stout is the nice fruitiness. This combines with milk chocolate and a little coffee. Very malty

T- Roast, bitter, dark chocolate, dark coffee. Fairly crisp

M- Not very thick for the style and abv, but very smooth and pleasant.

O- A very solid imperial stout. It didn't quite "wow" me, but it is a good take on the style. (552 characters)

Photo of stonequarrywest
4.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Anytime I see a speedway and can't stop myself from buying a few...seem to be all over Ohio.

Anyway..poured a beautiful black, black with not much head and a small bit of lacing.
Smells of a great cup of intense coffee/esresso with chocolate and roasted malts.
Tastes of super roasted coffee beans, raisins, figs and a touch of 12% alcohol.
It is very smooth with a nice carbonation and a mouthfeel.
Would love to drink more....But one is a perfect way to start a night. (471 characters)

Photo of MA_hops
4.54/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pretty delicious stuff! Both the aroma and the taste is a punch to your senses!
A: Midnight black with a thin, mocha colored head.
S: Raisins, roasted malt, subtle coffee, milk chocolate
T: Creamy milk chocolate both mid sip and aftertaste. Some light coffee and roasted malt flavors.
M: Very smooth, almost silk like with a little bit of carbonation and bitterness.
O: Very good….excellent on all fronts!! (409 characters)

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

Poured from a bottle into a snifter, this beer is a great opaque black. The head is brown and about a fingers width, it stays for a while and leaves decent lacing as it dissipates into a nice frothy coating on the top of the beer.

The smell is fantastic. Sweet and roasted malt flavor with notes of coffee and bitter dark chocolate as well as dark fruit. As it warms up there are some sweeter caramel flavors as well as more pronounced coffee notes.

The taste is similar to the smell, only with a big alcohol presence. Nice creamy mouth feel with coffee, dark fruit and roasted malts up front followed by an assault of alcohol leaving a warmth all the way down and a boozy flavor in the aftertaste.

Overall, a fantastic stout, perhaps more appropriate for dead of winter rather than a warm summer night! (808 characters)

Photo of sentomaster
4.16/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Bottle dated December 2011 poured into a boulevard tulip. Awesome thick and oily pour of opaque black with a massive mountain of dense, rich looking mocha colored cream.

S- Big whiff of semi sweet chocolate and smooth, medium roast, premium coffee. Quickly gets overridden by a soft boquet of floral hops. Faintest hint of alcohol when it warms up.

T/M- Roasted malts mingle upfront imparting flavors of milk chocolate, toasted graham crackers and cocoa nibs. Earthy, floral and slightly herbal hops take over. prickly carbonation and maybe some alcohol lift the hefty body over the tongue. An oatmeal like smoothness and spring water freshness mixes with a touch of ripe apple into the clean finish. Chewy full body leaves a sticky sweetness lingering.

O- quite possibly the smoothest big beer I've ever had. The resemblance to sam smith oatmeal stout is striking- and that's not at all a bad thing. SS on steroids. 12%...where? How? Such a smooth, subtle and nuanced brew that you could never know there's even a scintilla of alcohol, much less 12%. (1,058 characters)

Photo of dill
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
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. (323 characters)

Photo of BigB415
4.48/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with a light brown head. When I first opened the bottle(before pouring it into a glass) I could smell a little coffee oozing out of the bottle without having to put my nose anywhere near the bottle. After I poured it into my glass the smell amplified and I can smell the coffee and chocolate without having to put my nose to the glass or even having to really try to smell it since it took over my room. I taste the chocolate, coffee(some dark coffee) and alcohol. The coffee from Ryan Bros coffee beans is really heavy on the after taste so it lingers with me as I type this. I swear I'm drinking coffee and not beer. I would love to get another one of these and age it and see the differences. I hear it's great with some age on it. (752 characters)

Photo of GuinnessAtRogerWilco
4.28/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle purchased at Pinocchio's in Media, PA a little while back. Poured into a Chimay goblet.

AP: Basically black like oil with a 1/2" thick frothy tan head and good lacing on the sides. Head fizzled to 1/8" while I let this one warm up a bit.
AR: Chocolate, roast malt, black bread, molasses and roast coffee, though the coffee aroma isn't as prominent as I was expecting from a Coffee Stout. Soft hints of dark fruits and vanilla in the background.
T: Like the nose, the coffee isn't as prominent as I was expecting. It's there, but a subtle way. The main flavours are molasses, bitter chocolate and roasted malts. It has secondary flavours of German chocolate cake and vanilla cream. Mellow note of coffee roast on the finish with a slight bitterness that makes me think of those little baking Hershey Kisses that weren't the regular ones. A tasty Stout with the 12% ABV well hidden, so well done on those counts, but I'm not getting enough coffee for a Stout that says on the label "Imperial Stout with coffee".
M: Low carbonation, nice thick fairly full body with a creamy texture and mouthfeel. A bit silky on the palate and a pretty clean finish for an Imperial Stout.
OV: Pretty much everything about this beer was spot on expect for the coffee flavour, which if you're going to spell out 'with coffee' on the label then IMO it should be bolder in the taste. Plus I love coffee flavour so I like a good amount of it, but it's at best a subtle mild addition here. A very well done and solid Imperial Stout, just not totally what it was advertised to be. (1,569 characters)

Photo of Beervis
4.63/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 750ml bottle a dark black with a very attractive thick, lasting tan head. In just the glass, this brew is amazing.

Smell is incredible, chocolate, caramel, and a boatload of coffee. Taste follows right along with chocolate and strong espresso up front, followed by a very creamy coffee taste, almost like a coffee with cream was poured into a strong stout. Full body with amazingly complex flavor notes. Hops are perfectly balanced, and a wonderful alcohol spice finishes it off perfectly. This beer is all about balance, and with every sip, I taste something new. As it warms, it's magical, every sip delving deeper into the already complex.

As for drinkability, I think that kinda goes without saying. I drank this bottle without any problem at all, and could have gone on to another, if not for the alcohol. It's more of a sipping beer, and one to savor.

Absolutely incredible!! (906 characters)

Photo of Monsone
4.8/5  rDev +10.1%
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. (629 characters)

Photo of kfsv034
4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared this bottle with evan007

A - pours a deep brown almost opaque color zero light escapes this bad boy with a thick tan head that leaves a thin cover

S - chocolate, coffee, licorice

T - taste follows the noise coffee is alittle more prodominent

M - medium bodied

D - drinkablity is good at 12% this bad boy is pretty easy to drink (342 characters)

Photo of Jack_Malts
4.59/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I don't know how much I can say about this beer. Big, bold, full of coffee and boozy dark chocolate goodness. Perfect huge coffee stout. If alesmith made it to virginia this would always be in my fridge. Considering the high availability of this beer, there's no excuse for not having tried this. Highly recommended. (316 characters)

Photo of chadspivey
4.2/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I almost made it a year aging this bottle. I traded for it 10 months ago so it's possible that its a year old at this point.

The body is as dark as can complimented by a light brown 2 finger head that stays for the rest of the beer as a good film of bubbles on top.

The smell is very complex and consists primarily of roasted malts. It has a porter-esque hop profile. Hints of chocolate and molasses. Vanilla and caramel come out as the beer warms. There's more, i'm just not sure what to call it.

Roasty malts in the flavor jump out at me first, followed very quickly by a little bit of that vanilla, caramely tatse you get from aging an imperial stout. Theres still a slight hop profile, that blending with the chocolate gives a bitter chocolate kinda taste. Of course there's coffee in there too, but not as much as I would have expected.

The mouthfeel is awesome. Very carbonated, very full body and thick and smooth. The alcohol isn't so present in the taste, but i can feel it warming my throat quite a bit. (1,021 characters)

Photo of Kudashov
3.73/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On a trip to Marty's I told Dan ~ Le Beer Man ~ that I was on the hunt for Stouts and Doppel Bocks . He gave me a bottle of Speedway Stout and said that it is one of his favs . Marty's is by far my favorite place for beer hunting . Yes some will say that the beers are tad but pricey but that old line " you get what you pay for " holds true . When poured in my Galway seidel mug the head was thin . The brew looks sooo thick . Coffee - espresso - flavor . Has a dark chocolate bitterness to it . On the tongue it is thick for a short while but there is no burn on the finish . Which I though would happen seeing that this is 12 % . I enjoy the warmth that this is giving me as I watch the LSU / Ole Miss football . LSU is killing my parlay right now . This is a good beer , not great . It has put the "red heat " in my cheeks but at $16 a bottle I would rather buy packs of Brooklyn Black Chocolate Founders Breakfast Stout , or my fav as of right now Kentucky Breakfast Stout . (979 characters)

Photo of pheggeseth
4.73/5  rDev +8.5%
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 (535 characters)

Photo of nerdrocker101
4.68/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle thanks to checkii, which I believe to be an 07'

Pours a rich black with a thin, lightly browned head.

Smells of chocolate and coffee.

The coffee notes are muted due to the aging. But there are huge flavors of molasses, chocolate, and light notes of espresso. Much like a chocolate covered espresso bean.

Thick, almost chewy. Certainly lingers on the palate. The alcohol is pretty well masked. (404 characters)

Photo of jwolfie70
3.4/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a jet black, with a small tan head. The smell is dominated by coffee, with a burnt malt presence as well. The taste is also almost all coffee. At times it feels like some subletlies in flavor tried to come through, but overall the coffee dominated. This was not a bad RIS, but overall I was less impressed with the beer than I thought I was going to be. (359 characters)

Photo of warbird07
4.82/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Having this stout in my usual manner..into my new belgium globe..51 deg according to my thermometer..

appearence is black with a nice kahki head after an aggressive pour, substantial lacing for a beer of this type, albeit quickly fading...nice appearence..

the smell, oh man, up front coffee,chocolate,malt sweetness...extrememly pleasing, especially for a black coffee lover like myself...

Bitter chocolate, coffee, sweet back end, overall very smooth, where 12% apv is hiding, who knows..nary a hint of booziness, very smooth..impressive..

The smoothness of this beer lends a good mouthfeel, not really heavy on the tounge,velvety..this a highly drinkable impy stout (672 characters)

Photo of soulfly967
4.88/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Seved this up in a tulip glass. Big thanks to Zorro for the trade.

Poured an evil looking black, with a fluffy tan head that faded fairly quickly to a ring of tiny bubbles on the outer edges. This looks great!

The smell was of fresh coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malts, some dark fruits and toffee.

The taste was of rich chocolate, caramel, coffee, a slight hoppiness in the middle and finished with bittersweet chocolate, some more coffee, and a slight alcohol warming.

The mouthfeel was thick, rich, and satisfying. Amazingly smooth and warming.

Overall... this is one bad ass brew. This is a perfect way to blow an hour of your day. Sip, savor, and enjoy this woderful beer. (695 characters)

Photo of hrking
4.55/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Bottle aged 2 years. Coffee seems to fall more to the background after aging letting the flavors blend together for a smoother chocolate roasted malt flavor. I have not tried the new version of this but I guess they tweaked it a little. The vintage stuff is still damn tasty. (275 characters)

Photo of israel
4.1/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - pitch black with a nice cappuccino colored head that didn't hang around too long.

S - the beans are in the foreground along with a nice roastiness from the malts.

T - this beer IMO is superbly balanced; nothing in the flavors are overly dominate and everything works well with one another.

M - again I think this is a really nice feature of this beer as its not overly syrupy or too heavy. Carbonation is there but the beer is just silky smooth and a pleasure to drink.

D - really the only draw back to this beers drinkabilty would have to be the alc%. (561 characters)

Photo of ChimRichels
3.94/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - What can I say? Black. That's about it. It sports quite a solid head for being a 12%, I still have a good finger worth of light brown head as I'm typing this, about 1 minute and a half after pouring.

S - Not quite as bold as I was expecting. Subtle cold coffee, some dark chocolate and a bit of hazelnut.

T - Sweet dried dark fruits, followed by some sweet chocolate and iced coffee. The coffee comes through subtly, but is very dominant on the finish.

M - Light on carbonation,thick, viscous and rich, as to be expected from a beer of this gravity.

O - Pretty solid stout, would probably buy again if it were cheaper. (627 characters)

AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,483 ratings.