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AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,543 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,543
Hads: 5,963
Avg: 4.37
pDev: 16.93%
Wants: 864
Gots: 1,830 | FT: 155
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: 1,543 | Hads: 5,963
Photo of Slatetank
4.67/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on Nitro pour at Al's of Hampden served in a snifter.

The color is black as pitch with small medium brown cap with ultra fine bead, the head returns with a swirl and retreats again. Clarity is opaque and lace sticks decently. The smell is luscious dark chocolate mixed with espresso and some vanilla with light hints of dark sugar. The feel is very good, not bad on Nitro with thick viscous creamy body and mild alcohol with subtle bitterness and smooth roast essence, the finish is medium dry.

The flavor is rich like brownie batter with spiked coffee and vanilla with slight rum-like dark sugar tinge. The flavor of the coffee is well blended with the smooth mildly sweet dark malt which is slightly cocoa-like and has a hint of earthy peppery hops to back up the light caramel. Overall I loved this and didn't want to stop, but alas a 12% stout that is this drinkable is dangerous. I think this is one of the best of this style a must try if you can get it on tap or in this case Nitro.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.39/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

First had: ?
Not sure when or where I first had this. This review is from a recent tasting on tap at TJ's, Paoli, PA.

Great to see this on tap. Served in a snifter, a dark brown-black pour with a creamy cap of mocha-colored head that receded to a dense ringlet, leaving some attractive lacing on the glass throughout the session. Aroma is pretty much straight-up dark chocolate and booze. Taste is heavy with creamy dark chocolate (one of the biggest dark chocolate profiles I've ever had in a beer actually), dark malts, moderately roasty, booze that's not at all timid, and minor notes of espresso, grass, and cherry cordial. Full bodied and delicious, probably just short of a "5" on mouthfeel due to the heat, but let it come down to a warmer temperature and the smoothness will improve. Very tasty and a great brew overall; one of the better non-BA stouts out there.

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Photo of russpowell
4.69/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2007 Version pours an effervescent ebony ( I hold it towards the setting sun & zero light penetrates it!) with 2+ fingers of mocha colored head into my Vondel snifter. Shimmers like 50 wt motor oil. Not much lacing & head retention

S: Chocolate, iron & roasted malts, plus some booze as this warms, oakyness as really warmed up

T: Iron, roasted malt, milk & baker's chocolate up front. I get a mocha as this warms along with dark chocolate & a bit of booze, plus Kahlua. Finishes dry with strong coffee
( Kona to me! ), much chocolate & the right amount of booze

MF: Real chewy & oily, plus silky with minimal carbonation, very rich

Drinks easy for the ABV, the complexity just sucks you in. A little too much coffee & dryness to try to session on IMO. Superb Imp Stout!

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

Pours pitch black like motor oil with no head really. Just a thin layer of dark tan on the top. Nose is very complex. Molasses, toffee, chocolate, malts, and tar. Flavor is smooth and robust and consistent. Slightly noticeable alcohol. Thick is the name of the game. Molasses and noticeable malts. Very smooth liquid feel. Low carbonation, but it's all good. Very nice. Vedy, vedy nice.

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

750 ml bottle with silver foil into snifter; no bottle date, but I picked this up last fall. Pours viscous pitch black color with a nice thick and creamy 1 finger tan head with great retention that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Some spotty soapy lacing on the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, toast, caramel, molasses, biscuit, herbal spiciness, smoke, and earthiness. Amazing aromas with great balance and strength. Taste of huge dark roasted chocolate, coffee, black roasted malt, caramel, toast, molasses, biscuit, smoke, earthiness, vanilla, and herbal spice. Very light amount of spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of big dark chocolate, coffee, dark roasted malt, caramel, vanilla, molasses, and biscuit on the finish for a while. Medium carbonation and very full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and thick mouthfeel. Alcohol is pretty much invisible considering the 12%, with only a faint warming well after the finish present. Overall this is an absolutely mind blowing imperial stout brewed with coffee. Big and lush flavors; with great balance and no booziness at all considering the alcohol level.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.57/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Light doesn't have a chance at making it through this black hole abyss, it's a solid dark roasted murky dark black color with a thin large bubbled head, lacing comes packaged in tiny specks amazing. Aroma: A coffee chocolate combo backed with a deep brandy alcohol infused tone fruit lies there in the complexity these aromatics are amazing. Taste: Coats the palate with the lbs. of coffee beans added to the boil, than comes whopping you with the alcohol and chocolate. Mouthfeel: Full bodied this is a meal within itself so much complexity, with a mild carbonation. Drinkability: Each sip wants you to taste more and more, great stuff.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.42/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 2/6/10 notes. Had at SC Day from a 750 ML bottle thanks to nimbleprop.

a - Poured a dark brown with a small amount of brown head. Not as dark as the barrel aged Speedway but still very dark.

s - Smells of coffee, but the coffee smells somewhat faded to me. Still very nice with hints of roasted malts and chocolate as well.

t - Tastes of coffee and roasted malts. Again, I thought the coffee was fading, but it had a great taste that was sweeter than I was expecting.

m - Smooth and creamy, full bodied, little carbonation.

d - Overall I really liked this one. We sampled this followed by an 06 Barrel Aged Speedway and while this was not as good as that beer, this was still very good. I have a bottle of 09 Speedway that I think I'll be holding onto for a year or so in hopes it taste like this.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.77/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

An Imperial stout that's also brewed with coffee? This must be the beer designed just for me!
Dark as the blackest night, with a head that, on this pour, stays small, but lasts for the duration as a fine, brown-tinged ring.
Aroma is thick and viscous, a twisted, motor-oily smell, wrapped up in licorice, molasses, dark rum. Deeep, dark, delectably intoxicating. Potent stuff, wicked, but delicious: I love it!
Taste: an intensive barrage boards the senses, thick, chewy, immense, the flavor quickly dominates the senses, slays any opposition, rearranges the furniture, makes itself completely at home in the mouth. There's a new King in the Castle! Devastating! Amazing!
Coffee flavor is there, for certain, but isn't dominant, rather it seems to be the skeleton that holds this incredible flavor together. And a never-flagging flavor it is, too, every element continue to roll luxuriantly in the mouth. I was in a state of beery blissdom, brought on by this bottle.
Alcohol is so well-concealed by the flavor, it's largely unfelt until halfway through the bottle. And I made a mistake, not realizing that it's a whopping 12%, until I was well into it. My sobriety took a definite hit in this sampling!
A most impressive stout. If I were a very good boy indeed, I'd love to sink into one of these every night, as my reward.

Great big thanks to BierRiese for this one!

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Photo of orangesol
4.39/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A - Pours dark as night black with a nice one and a half finger tall tan head, dissipating down to a light film, leaving webs of lacing down the glass.

S - Smells of chocolate malt, rich espresso, molasses, dark fruits, and a faint hint of booze. Very complex yet enjoyable nose.

T - Plenty of rich coffee right off the bat slowly giving way to a sweet mix of chocolate and molasses. The feel is very creamy, how all stouts should be in my opinion. The finish is a mix of sweetness and dark roast. This is one awesome beer.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Smooth feel with a rich, bold, body. The finish is all sweet roast, lingering for some time.

O - I love this beer. It is complex yet easy to drink. I can only imagine what the BA version tastes like. Someday I will get one!!

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Photo of jwc215
4.58/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into tulip glass (as per instructions on the bottle):

Pours black with a huge tan head that slowly descends to a lasting cover, leaving webs of lacing. Awesome retention for the abv/style, or for any beer in general.

The smell is of coffee, chocolate, dark fruit and licorice. Dark breadiness is there that fades to the background as it progresses.

The taste is of coffee (very fresh - no burnt or overdone "bitter" edges"), chocolate, dark fruit and a liqueurish sweetness. The sweetness is balanced by a hint of roast and a piney/resiny bittering touch. Peppery alcohol is warming but not hot. It has a semi-drying, long finish.

This is truly full-bodied - velvety and silky with a thickness that is hefty without being too syprupy because there is just enough carbonation to let it glide over the palate. Perfect for the style, IMO.

This is dangerously drinkable, indeed! Coffee-accented, and wonderfully so (would like to get a hold of the coffee used in this one!) but with other "dark" complexities going on in wonderful harmony. A thrill to drink!

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.42/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours jet black with a thin dark tan (almost mocha) colored head. The head reduces to absolutely nothing. Light amounts of lacing is observed.

S: Wonderful aromas of coffee and dark chocolate with subtle hints of dark roasted malts. There is that bitterness to the smell that I associate with freshly ground coffee beans (like minutes after completing the grinding).

T: Really rich flavors of coffee, dark chocolate, and heavily roasted (almost burnt) malts. There are some slighter hints of oak. There is a wonderful espresso bitterness in the finish that lasts and lasts.

M: Full bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: The alcohol in this beer is extremely well hidden. Wonderful coffee aromas and flavors (something I really enjoy in a stout) make this beer top notch and one of the best coffee beers that I have had. Great beer and please let me have it again.

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

2008 vintage pretty sure, they don't date their bottles so that's an educated guess. Beer is black and has no head but manages to leave some lacing on the glass somehow. Carbonation is moderate.

Aroma is a mixture of sweet and a slight sour lactic aroma. There is also some alcohol in the aroma but not much.

Beer is sweet up front, medium to low body. Finishes slightly dry, no carbonation in the mouth. Drinkability is high and mouthfeel is high. I really liked this beer. I wonder what the barrel aged version is like.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.17/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice black color with a one finger mocha colored head, nice retention and lots of lacing. It is thin, but covers most of the glass.

S: Lots going on in the nose with some chocolate, molasses, licorice, brown sugar and a little bit of coffee – not as much as I was expected, and for me not a problem at all. Could be from age, no idea how old the bottle is. There is a little bit of dark fruit as well.

T: A good bit of roasted malt and chocolate, with coffee undertones. A little bit of nondescript dark fruit shows up. Very light smokiness and underlying vanilla and cream.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Slight warming in my stomach from the alcohol, but for 12%, hidden very well. Drinks very smooth.

O: Very nice beer, lived up to reputation. Again, not sure on bottle age, but the coffee really was not as strong as I expected, which is a good thing for me.

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Photo of mothman
4.34/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Darkness snifter...

A slight aggressive pour yields almost 3 fingers of head. Wow the head is really dark, a nice mocha chocolate tan color. Nice lace rings. Amazing retention! Lasts the entire time! Color is a deep oil black... speedway.. makes sense right?

Aroma: Wow, I get a mix of fresh coffee combined with a ton of earthy hops. Damn, the coffee is mixed so well into this beer. A ton of chocolate blends in. I am diggin' the aroma. Very sweet.

Taste: Huge roasted malt flavor right of the top. Then comes the coffee, chocolate, and earthy hops. Nice toffee in the background with a touch of caramel. I am enjoying this, but it packs some heat. Hard to give it a 4.5, but it is better than a 4.0.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, and a little bitter. Full bodied with a nice amount of carbonation. A little boozy here. Ends with a sticky aftertaste. Very dry.

Overall, this is a really damn good stout. Very nice coffee notes. Pretty drinkable. I really like the complexity of this one. I'd easily drink more. Keep those fresh coffee beans comin'!

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Photo of stakem
4.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to wishuwerebeer for sharing. Poured into a snifter, this brew appears black in color with a thin rim around the edge that shows some lighter brown and redness when held to the light. A brown cap of froth is composed of large bubbles. A film of lace forms across the top of the brew once the head has dissolved. A light swirl revives the cap and leaves light patches of lace on the glass.

The smell of this brew is roasty with chocolate malt that is roasty yet sweet smelling all at the same time. Plenty of fresh roasted coffee character fills the nose accenting the roasty quality of the malt and adding a bit if citrus element to it as well that really works with the hops. There is a bit of solvent alcohol comin through the back which is understandable considering the abv.

The taste of this brew is roasty and bitter with the level of roast to the grain. There are citrus hops included in the flavor that mixes with a citrus offer element. The aftertaste includes chocolate that is semisweet. Some residual grainy sweetness is pleasant and keeps the roasted bitter quality to this brew in check.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. It is easy drinking and very roasty. The abv is very well incorporated, I could seemingly drink this all night but end up with quite a buzz in no time (either from the coffee or bold abv.)

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

Alesmith Speedway Stout is opaque black, except for a tiny hint of brown at the top of the liquid when held up to the light. A thick beige head sits atop the blackness and leaves ample lacing in its wake. Aromas consist of bitter chocolate, coffee, and roasted malt. Upon the first sip, I notice everything in the aroma is present and accounted for, but there is also a slightly lactic, bitter note, perhaps from the coffee beans. The feel is very smooth and creamy, with an ever so slight warming burn in the finish. Great beer. The 750ml bottle is perfect for splitting a few ways.

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Photo of WesWes
4.42/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a pitch black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a wonderful mix of black and chocolate malts as well as a complimentary coffee aroma. It's sweet with a hint of earthy character and alcohol warmth. The taste is great as well. It has a smooth and complex malt character, which boasts of chocolate and espresso beans. It warm and inviting with just enough black malt character. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn good stout. It's bold and complex, with tons of mouthfeel and excellent coffee character.

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Photo of billab914
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into my Dogfish snifter glass. pours black with a thin tan colored bubbly foam on top. The head settled out and stuck to the sides of the glass but left good lacing on the sides as I drank it.

Not surprisingly coffee is the first thing that hits you in the aroma, but it also gives off some bitter chocolate and roasty flavors. Taste, much like the nose is coffee dominant but is also somewhat balanced out with the chocolate and roasted flavors.

Mouthfeel is on the thicker side and slightly creamy. Carbonation is moderate. It's very drinkable for being 12% abv, I didn't even think it was that high until I checked the bottle for the review. It's a very smooth and easy drinking coffee beer.

Overall one of the best stouts I have had, the coffee flavor is very present but not overdone. It's very surprising that it can be over 12% and have virtually no alcohol bite. It really drinks like it could be a 6% stout. I will be buying this one again as long as Southbay keeps shipping them to me.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.82/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

10/01/05- Purchased at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA

Presentation- 750ml bottle poured into my Corsendonk Christmas Ale tulip. No date on the bottle.

Appearance- One of the most black colored pours I have seen. No light getting though this one. 3/4 inch ultra dirty brown head. Lacing could have been a bit better.

Smell- More coffee than anything. A touch of dark chocolate and some sweet roasted malt in the nose. Definitely some alcohol presence as well.

Taste- The nose does not lie my friend. Nice ground coffee flavor to go with a darn sweet average toasted malt background. About perfect...not to weak, not to over the top. A touch of bittersweet chocolate rounds the taste out. Some hops lingering in the finish.

Mouthfeel- After nursing this one over about 3 hours, at the finish it's semi creamy, low carbonation and nicely warming.

Drinkability- Had no idea this was 12% until I looked at the label. Drained the last 2oz and dregs right out of the bottle into my mouth and thought maybe about 9% at first, then looked at the label! Very deceiving alcohol. Didn't hit me that hard. Quite delicious.

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Photo of Lare453
4.53/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle served into a riedel snifter.

A black and opaque with a wonderful looking cocoa powder brown head.

S Dark chocolate, heavy coffee and a light malt

T huge coffee and dark chocolate beginning and middle which fades into a roasted malt and caramel malt finish. The aftertaste is also heavy coffee and lasts a while.

M smooth, rich and a good light carbonation.

O one of the best bers I've ever had bar none. It's rich, smooth, delicious and heavy on the coffee. I bring it back to Florida Fromm any place that I visit.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up in a trade with Kaiser81.

Beer pours black with a tan head. The aroma is strong chocolate with a little bit of coffee and roasted malt. The flavor has more coffee than the aroma but the beer finishes with a nice chocolate flavor, which gets stronger as it warms. There is also a bitter chocolate note that really works well with this beer. You get a little alcohol in the flavor as well. The mouthfeel is very creamy and makes this beer absolutely delicious. This is one of the best stouts I have ever had and I will definitely try it again.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of the bottle into a tulip glass. Out it comes slightly thick from the bottle dark walnut, but also typical dark walnut body. However, there is NO head at all to be made on this beer at all. Nevertheless, though the beer keeps a very large bubbled collar through out drinking. It looks like a pour of potted coffee.

A real good simple quality coffee smell. Hints of milky chocolate comes through, sweet with malty backbone. Hint of heat and roast also.

Taste is big overall. Enormous quality roast coffee with a big thickness and density. Milk chocolate feel, but none of the coffee bitter finish or astringency. Has an enormous coffee sensation more than beer. Incredible roast mellow character but malt character gets lost over time, but keeps the feel of malt chew throughout drinking.

Overall this might be the most favorite coffee style stout I have ever had, it's just great. Just solid and great!

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Photo of Billolick
4.48/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Champagne bottle, pours DARK and gooey, Licorish, chocolate and coffee grinds in the nose. Velvety on the tongue, strong, intense,smooth flavors expected in a strong stout such as this one. My first try of Alesmith beer. Yeeha I love trying new stuff, learning about a new brewery. This was greatly enjoyed. Very high quality and tasty product. Seek out and enjoy.

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

10oz pour at the 2nd Street Brew House in Philly.

Alesmith Speedway Stout pours in the glass a pretty thick coat of dark black with just a touch of dark brow foam up top that leaves some gunk. Some swirls bring out some more life, a lot of activity for a 12% stout. Smell is all about the roasted malt with roasted coffee mixed in. It's bold and smells like the pure Columbian kind. Some faint chocolate and earthy hops, but this is all about the COFFEE. Taste is extremely roasty and some bitterness comes with the coffee. The main ingredient delivers. Small traces of vanilla and a small hop bite at the end. This must be a fresh keg. Pretty creamy and a nice full feel, carb is light, just like the bottles that I have had, but it works for this type of beer. Not a lot of alcohol or heat as well. I drank this quicker than most huge stouts which speaks for it's ease of drink. Not the most impressive stout in terms of balance, but one of the more impressive ones that's main ingredient is coffee.

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

Appearance: black in color with a short 1/4" milk chocolate colored head. Some big bubbles stick to the sides of the glass.

Smell: roasted malt, big chocolate tones, and a hint of alcohol is picked up by the nose.

Taste: roasted malt, dark bitter chocolate, prunes, some hint of grapefruit and pine. Bitterness is strong but not overpowering. Alcohol is noticeable and warming.

Mouthfeel : heavy in body. Light crispness to start, smooth and velvety at the finish. Warming aftertaste.

Overall: a great example in the style. Smooth and tasty, very easy to drink despite the very high alcohol levels. Superb beer.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,543 ratings.