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AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,502 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,502
Hads: 5,758
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 8.94%
Wants: 842
Gots: 1,738 | FT: 157
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: 1,502 | Hads: 5,758
Photo of ZebraCakez
4.57/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

It pours a deep black color with a tan one finger head that lingers for a long time. It is very aromatic with a strong coffee and deep boozy scent. Taste is bold chocolate and high quality coffee beans. There is a slight spiciness on the finish. I keep waiting for the same blast of alcohol I got on the nose, but it never comes. It just finishes smooth as can be with no burn (surprising given the ABV). Feel is that also, smooth and velvety/creamy with an adequate level of carbonation. Overall, a super impressive brew. Wasn't sure I'd want the whole bottle to myself, but halfway through my first glass I'm already looking forward to the second. It's a bit pricey, but not out-of-this-world expensive, and certainly worth picking up now and then. (750 characters)

Photo of Zonk
4.56/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black with a light tan head. Really strong coffee aromas on top of roasty malt and cocoa. Rich and creamy mouth feel with a great doese of coffee. Very impressive stout. (181 characters)

Photo of TheViolator666
4.62/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle (with a huge cap) poured into pint glass.

A: Very slight creamy brown head. Pours black as all hell. Leaves faint lacing behind.

S: Smell is more present than most stouts. Definitely smells of chocolate and roasted malt.

T: Tastes more and more of coffee as it warms up. This one's hot! HUGE warming alcohol sensation after every sip... some don't like this, but I love it! I would also like to try this one with a few years on it for sure. This one would be ideal for a cold winter's night. I get an almost plum-like sweetness as well as slight chocolate in the aftertaste.

M/D: This one's got a very full body, definitely one of the thicker stouts I've had, but goes down well if you don't mind the boozeyness.

Overall, this is an exceptional stout... as it should be for the price! (804 characters)

Photo of airohead2001
3.81/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter from a 750ml bottle. Split with glazeman.

A - Beautiful looking stout. Pitch black with a nice tan one finger head that eventually fades to thick bubbles around the edge. Great lacing that coats the rims of my snifter for the remainder of the drink.

S - Pretty good - bitter coffee, alcohol, some light malts, and some dark fruits.

T - This one is pretty interesting. When it was cold out of the bottle, it was really sweet up front with some harsh bitter roasts at the end. Closer to room temperature, things are a bit more complex, but not necessarily more tasty - after some warming, this one has bitter roasts through out with an interesting sweet and sour taste in the beginning. There is also some nuttiness in the finish.

M - Average mouthfeel. Not too thin, but I would have definitely liked it to be a bit thicker and chewier.

D - Very drinkable. A tasty stout indeed and very well balanced. The high ABV is well hidden. (961 characters)

Photo of Brewfan
4.82/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ok, sitting here on Christmas eve with a long night of cooking ahead of me. And I decided that it's been too long since I've had a Speedway, and for some reason or other, never reviewed it. So here we go...

'06 Vintage. Poured into my large DFH snifter.
It's hard to imagine a beer getting much darker. Baking chocolate dark, with a pinch of coal thrown in for good measure. Impenetrable to light. 1 1/2 finger head of fluffy, chocolate colored head with minimal retention. Lot's of full, multi-sized bubbles, eroding to a thin ring that stayed throughout the beer. Very little lacing to speak of.
Immediate coffee on the nose. Strong, like a triple espresso, hold the cream. Powerful roasted malt, pruny, with almost an oily aroma. Also getting a strong whiff of chocolate. This is like one big 12% mocha.
This one, even so big, tends to be gulped rather than sipped. Maybe it's the long day, maybe it's the creamy, luscious mouthfeel, or maybe it's the HUGE coffee and dark chocolate whollup that explodes in my mouth with every sip. Bitter and sweet in every mouthful. The two tastes play back and forth with each other. It's coffee, no it's chocolate. It's playfully sweet, no it's a man's drink. Either way, it's a big beer with a big bite. Getting some slight fruitness in the backbone. A dry, hoppy bitterness (or is it the bitter coffee) rounds out the glassful. But don't worry, there's still over 1/2 a bottle to go.
Medium carbonation with a very big body. Thick and viscious. This may be where Old(er) Viscosity got it's inspiration.
This is one of my favorite beers of all times. It doesn't get much better than this.
Merry Christmas everyone. (1,662 characters)

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

Finally I am getting around to trying this beer. Poured into my NB globe glass it is pitch black with a beautiful 1 inch beige head that didnt go down. Smell is phenomenal, dark chocolate, hints of roast coffee, just perfect for a stout. Taste is the same, dark chocolate, followed by coffee roastyness. Truely amazing. I felt mouthfeel could be a bit thicker, but still it was better than most. Drinkability is only hindered by the price, which this is definitly worth. Probably the greatest stout I have ever had thus far, if you can find this, get it, you wont be disappointed. (580 characters)

Photo of CaptainTripps
4.55/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750ml bottle poured in a Duvel Tulip.

A: Pure Sexiness. Oily black body that you couldn't even pierce with the energy of the sun. The beer at pour produced a dark, DARK mocha head, a full three fingers worth that left a art work of lacing. Probably produced the largest head i have seen come out of a imperial stout ever.

S: A perfect blend of vanilla, coffee, milk and dark chocolates. Some what of a bready malt comes about, but ever so slightly. The chocolates really prevails in the smell. Spectacular smelling beer if i might say so.

T: Following the nose, again a blend of vanilla, milk and dark chocolates, and of course coffee. I really cannot say which of the flavors really stand out for they all co-exist magically together to produce a smooth tasting beer. No lingering after taste. Kind of sweet on the finish that just makes you come back asking for more. And alcohol? Is there any in there? For a 12% brew, its not existent. Felt as if i were drinking a really creamy milkshake. Very, VERY smooth beer.

M: This is the one thing i find lacking in the beer. Compared to most Imperial Stouts i have had, the body seems to be pretty small. I was expecting that with such excellent flavors and aromas this beer would be, i don't know, thicker. I will give it credit (and thus the 4/5) for how well the alcohol is hidden.

D: Usually on big Imperial Stouts that are boasting above the 10% ABV line (with this being at 12%abv), they become sippers. A bottle of beer lasting a while. Not this one. I found myself onto the next glass before i finished reviewing! Incredibly smooth drinking beer thats hard to put down. Readily available in my area making this one of my "go to" imperial stouts year round. Great job Alesmith, you impress me every time. (1,765 characters)

Photo of bman13
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

If I could give this better than a 5, I would. This is a PERFECT DOUBLE STOUT. I mean PERFECT on every level. There's nothing off or wrong with it at all. I'm a Ten Fidy fan as well, and this even beats that. Everything in this beer is tremendously perfectly balanced, the coffee, chocolate, malts, and hops all work in perfect harmony of one another. So happy that I was able to find this. (390 characters)

Photo of Grabbin2nd
4.57/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From Notes: 3/29/09
Alesmith Brewing Co.
Speedway Imperial Stout
12% Abv.
750ml bottle into Allagash Snifter

Appearance= Initial pour into snifter yields a mild 2 finger brown head. Good clinginess on the sides of the glass as the beer goes down.

Smell= Wow, instantly after I pop the cap, coffee, choco awesomeness! The smell almost floats to your nose!

Taste= Really good. Coffee and a fat red fruit of some kind?? Chocolate

Mouthfeel= Awesome Mouthfeel. Thick and delicious.

Drinkability= Abc @ 12% is really not noticeable. Taste is awesome. I could drink this all day. In fact, it was my breakfast. Don't judge me. (624 characters)

Photo of Pabs311
3.93/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- beer pors a deep dark black color with a nice tan head.

S- aroma is mostly of chcolaty roasted malts. there's also some coffee notes coming through but muted at best.

T- very similar to the nose, mostly choclaty roasted malts, with a hint off coffee to it. the lack of coffee surprised me considering that coffee beans are added to this beer.

M/D- full bodied, thick with low carbonation. good mouthfeel and the drinkability on this is very easy. no alcohol detected at any point. good beer but dissapointed with the lack of coffee characteristics though. (563 characters)

Photo of cpmichael
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared at Dark Lord Day, poured into a 8 oz. Chimay goblet.

A: Pours a jet black, with a mocha colored foam that has good retention.

S: Smells of prebrewed, ground coffee with hints of chocolate and roasted malts. A little booze in the nose.

T: ground coffee, that high quality shit, with bitter chocolate, roasted malts and a touch of hops.

M/D: Thick and creamy, with good carbonation. This thing is very tasty. Pretty well balanced and very smooth for 12%. Not sure if ours was an older bottle or not, but it wasn't hot at all. (534 characters)

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

Thanks to Imstillthegman for this.

Consumed (mostly) during the 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500.

First pour went into a small brandy snifter (hey, it's 10 AM, I'm not ready to go full throttle just yet!). Perhaps a tad too cold; virtually no head and scant lacing.

Second pour went into the recomended tulip glass and yielded a full two-finger tan head atop an STP-colored pour. (engine additive reference for Indy tie-in only, for all I know STP is golden. This stuff is friggin black, okay??)

This review is based on the second pour. When you pour yours, go with the recommended glassware & temperature.

Okay...black, with a big, fluffy tan head that pretty much stayed put, and left a solid wall of lacework down the glass.

Aroma of dark chocolate, espresso, malted grains, prune, anise. Flavor is all that and then some. Add fig & molasses to the mix.

Mouthfeel is smooth but with a little bite, from the very active carbonation and probably augmented by the alcohol warmth--though I must say this doesn't strike me as overly boozey. Thick, but not what I would call syrupy.

Not sure how old this bottle is but I'm told it's likely very recent, and while there's a lot of complexity to this beer and it's very well balanced, it tastes like it could improve greatly with some age for mellowing.

Excellent brew. Next one I get sits for a couple of years. (1,374 characters)

Photo of dowen17
4.22/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a pitch black with a nice two finger milk chocolate head. Great retention. Leaves patchy lacing down the glass.

On the nose is rich roasted coffee. Big dark malts. Bittersweet chocolate. The coffee smells very very fresh here.

Taste is very coffee heavy. Roast dark coffee and bitter chocolate. Alcohol is present on the aftertaste.

Big chewy mouthfeel as you would expect from a stout. Good carbonation as well. (424 characters)

Photo of srroos
4.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Stuffed Sandwich. Enjoyed in a pint glass filled to the brim, which may technically be a bad pour, but certainly gives the best bang for the buck!

A: Pitch black with a tiny brown ring, partly due to the pour and partly due to the beer. I've had this beer from the bottle before and it had minimal head as well.

S: Mainly chocolate and coffee, much less of a burnt aroma than many imperial stouts, which is a big plus in my book.

T: As expected, primarily sweet chocolate and bitter coffee flavors, some "burnt" flavor, but not much. So well balanced, everything melds together perfectly! Definitely some alcohol, but nothing like the high percentage would suggest.

MF: Full bodied, smooth, and creamy. Feels very thick, but goes down so smooth you'd never know.

D: So smooth and tasty with minimal alcohol burn. I could have drank this all day! Another perfect score!

After one bottle at home and a pint on tap, I'd say this has to be one of my favorite beers. One to try at all costs! (1,002 characters)

Photo of mkotsayfan
4.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a snifter. Pours a deep dark black with a nice mocha colored head with some frothiness. The aroma is very nice and balanced, coffee and chocolate notes, along with some slight vanilla and roasted malt notes. The taste has the same chocolate and coffee notes, again well balanced. The mouthfeel is thick and somewhat chewy, but not as silky smooth as I had hoped.

Overall, a quality stout from AleSmith, wish I could get my hands on the BA version. (480 characters)

Photo of gregb13
3.83/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A nice, heavy coffee stout. Extremely strong at 12% - some alcohol but no heat to speak of, a sipper for sure. Not very complex and a bit overbearing on the coffee. Insanely full-bodied and sticky beer. Totally coats the palate, coffee will overwhelm the meek. Pretty solid, but was expecting a bit more honestly, especially at $13 for 25.4 oz. bottle, at least in terms of complexity. It's enjoyable but would hesitate to recommend. (433 characters)

Photo of iSrALE
4.9/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this at Labellas Pizza in Chula Vista 25oz mug for $8.

Appearance: Looks like motor oil, dark coffee, coca cola, seems thick.

Smell: Fresh coffee, biscuity, like a very well crafted brew, very good.

Taste: Wow! This is the best part, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, molases, cocoa, licorice all combined in an artisanal way, my taste buds are having a party right know! Very drinkable for an Impy Stout, and the 12% is very well masked on this puppy, I could sip this all night long especially on a cold one.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, it gets better as it warms up.

Overall. This beer is fantastic I remember the first time I had it and the last time and everything in between including a 2003 barrel aged versioh. This is my favorite Imperial Stout, I will put this over the Abyss, but that's just my humble opinion. An overall Excellent Beer from a local brewery. Thank's Alesmith. (888 characters)

Photo of jhoban19
4.83/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml poured into a chalice, 10oz at a time. Nibbling on some gouda and a dark chocolate hazelnut toffee candy bar.

A: thick and dark, like an Oreo cookie milkshake made with chocolate ice cream and chocolate milk, with a thick brown rocky foam, a solid 2 fingers. The foam settles into a good ring with full surface coverage. Strong lacing forms with each sip that slides back into the foam, but yet enough clings to the glass.

S: as it pours I get a waft of bourbony alcohol, but only for a fleeting moment. As I dive into the chalice for a big whiff, I detect sweet milk chocolate combined with bitter coffee, well balanced on the nose. Also catching subtle notes of vanilla and something else I can't quite put my finger on, maybe maple syrup, but not quite. Now that I've poured glass #2, I believe what I'm sensing is the rich caramel malt with a hint of butterscotch.

T: Many of the stouts I've enjoyed recently have been heavy on the bitter coffee flavor with accents of chocolate. Not Speedway, this baby has dominant chocolate flavors with well-balanced hints of strong dark coffee, caramel and hazelnut. As it warms, the sweet chocolate gives way to a bitter flavor, with that sweet chocolate taste still present. Part of that bitterness seems akin to an Imperial IPA the way it coats the tongue, suggesting a hops presence I normally don't detect in these big stouts. The alcohol is well masked for such a big brew, but by glass #3 I'm definitely feeling it even if I can't really taste it.

M: full bodied and rich, smooth and creamy, as I would expect given the appearance and style. A perfect amount of carbonation dances on the tongue as the flavors of chocolate, coffee, and caramel fill the mouth. Bit of a dry kick on the back end along with a pleasantly bitter aftertaste.

D: Speedway Stout is an unbelievably drinkable brew- dangerously so at 12% ABV! I am enjoying the hell out of this beer. I think this is the longest review I've written, which I attribute to the wonderful complexity of this brew. Heaven in a bottle, a best-in-show caliber beer. I bought 2 bottles with the intention of drinking 1 and putting the other in the cellar for at least a year. After drinking this one, the challenge will be to wait 12 months to drink the other. (2,269 characters)

Photo of BuccoFan
4.14/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Lacing is tremendous. Body is medium but solid. Coffee is prominent on both ends, with a bitter finish. Sweetness is a little more detectable than roast is. It's a very good coffee stout. (187 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 grandq
4.2/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Flows heavily from the bottle a deep dark black with a dark tan head that barely amounts to more than lacing. The scent is mostly milk chocolate and coffee with creamer. A faint whiff of sharp hops and something cedar-like. The flavor is much the same, opening with the cup-a-joe, immediately transitioning into a melted dove bar, then splits off into that cedar or maybe cherry wood taste and prune. Coffee comes back with a vengence to wrap it all up in a neat, bitter bow - accompanied with well managed alco-heat.

I'd had this before and I again vascilate about the aftertaste. Initially I love the caffeinated intensity but it just grows too astringent for my liking, like they dumped too many beans in. Seems unbalanced to me.

The mouthfeel on this hefty beast is probably appropriate, but I do find it a bit too viscous at times, especially given how it makes the bitterness cling to the taste buds. Just a touch too syrupy. Overall, a nice sipper in the heavier end of imperial stouts. Pretty tasty - reminds me a lot of Ten Fidy with a shot of espresso.

Thanks to bbothen for the chance to give this one another go. (1,128 characters)

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, just...wow. 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)

AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,502 ratings.