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AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

4,885 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,885
Reviews: 1,405
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 771
Gots: 1,372 | FT: 131
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:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-09-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,885 | Reviews: 1,405 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of oberon
4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to orfeu I finally get a chance to have this brew,poured into an imperial pint glass a jet black with a very tight formed 1 1/2 finger mocha colored head that leaves globs of lace as it ever so slowly settled.Aromas of bitter chocolate,dark roast coffee a very definitive fruit essence,even a hint of tree bark.Starts out quite dry with big French Roast coffee flavors with notes of earth and wood after awhite a sweeter rummy like flavor comes thru that lingers after the finish.The alcohol creeps but never really rears its head just a nice little burn,wow this is a masterpiece stout its huge and packed with intense flavor,a gem no doubt and probably my new favorite stout of any kind.

oberon, Apr 03, 2007
Photo of JAHMUR
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

JAHMUR, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of largadeer
4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Visual: Black and opaque like espresso, quarter inch head that coats the walls of the glass and remains until the beer is gone.

Smell: Quite a nose on this one. Burnt sugar/molasses in the forefront, undertones of dark roasted coffee. A bit of alcohol in there as well. Reminds me ever so slightly of dark, aged rum.

Taste: Coffee and dark chocolate come through pretty strongly in the flavor, like an alcoholic mocha. Molasses and just a touch of hops give it a lingering, bitter finish that lasts until the next sip. This is surprisingly smooth and sweet for such a robust beer. It looks intimidating, but it's actually pretty drinkable.

Mouth: To call this "full-bodied" is an understatement. Thick and syrupy, minimal carbonation. It coats the mouth in the way that only an imperial stout can.

Drinkability: Good for the style, but it's still so heavy that a glass or two should be enough for most people.

largadeer, Jan 14, 2007
Photo of TMoney2591
4.1/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Honestly, this is how imperial stouts ought to look following a pour: damn jet black with a healthy finger of tan bubbly head that does not malinger. A decent amount of lacing is left behind. The nose drops off a bit, being dominated by coffee and chocolate, though some dark malts and some kind of wood are also detectable. The tongue finds itself agreeing heartily with the nose, as coffee and bitter dark chocolate spark off the proceedings here. Again, some dark malts and a vague woodiness are also there, but the coffee and chocolate are the real stories here. Not that all of this is necessarily bad, but not very complex at all and, as things progress, somewhat boring. But still pretty tasty nonetheless. Ironically (maybe), it's complicated. The body is rightfully heavy, with a light smattering of carbonation and an extremely smooth feel. Overall, for such a husky little man, the drinkability is relatively high, but he's just not as impressive as others have made out. Again, tasty nonetheless; it's complicated...

TMoney2591, Mar 20, 2010
Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

SocalKicks, Aug 03, 2012
Photo of emerge077
4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Amanda for lugging these beers back from LA!

Jet black body, frothy mocha foam in the glass that slides down slowly around the edges. Some sticky lace is left behind, though there's not much head retention save for a swirl of skim on the surface.

Roasty black malt, bitter unsweetened chocolate, mild coffee aromas. A healthy amount of char that lends a toastiness in the taste, intertwining seamlessly with dark chocolate and mellow coffee notes. Body is creamy and silky smooth. 12% abv is nowhere to be seen. Top class Imperial Stout, all the best characteristics of the style rolled in together.

emerge077, Feb 18, 2012
Photo of zeff80
4.28/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a ruby highlights. It had a small, caramel-colored head of bubbly foam that left minimal lace.

S - It smelled of chocolate, molasses and orange/citrusy hops.

T - Nice sweet stout with hints of molasses and toffee. Touches of caramel, too. There was a mild bitter hop bite with an orange peel kick.

M - It was soft, smooth and somewhat creamy. A medium to full-bodied beer with a slightly dry finish.

D - This is a great stout. I'm glad I finally got a chance to taste some Speedway.

zeff80, Nov 24, 2009
Photo of biboergosum
4.19/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle. There are 19 different versions of this beer, by dint of wood, fruit, and spice? Fuuuck. Anyways, thanks be to doktorzee for 'importing' this for me from SoCal a little ways back.

This beer pours a typically opaque black, with the same subtle, understated basal dark cola highlights, and three ebullient fingers of puffy, bubbly, thickly foamy milk chocolate head, which leaves rather prominent Tim Burton-inspired honeycombed lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells of a soft milk chocolate sweetness, further dense mountain holiday fudge, thin, somewhat plain morning office coffee, middling dark roasted salted caramel malt, a hint of wayward smoke, fleshy, watery orchard fruit, mild anise spice, and a bursting at the seams booziness. The taste is weirdly acerbic cocoa powder, well toasted Americano coffee, all with a certain lack of smoke or wood - things so prevalent elsewhere in the realm, instead bolstered by a restrained lactic quality, some softly oily nutty notes, more earthy licorice, and an amusing tussle amongst the sassy hops and alcohol for the title of 'innocuous in the least obvious way'.

The carbonation is quite on the low and unobtrusive side, the body heavy with a niggly medium twinge, and crazily smooth and creamy, with a sense of god-like pandering. It finishes off-dry, in the most pithy way, as the chocolate, coffee, and regrouped black fruit hold great sway, in the face of a swelling alcohol and hop (why are they so easily coupled here?) edginess.

A solid example of things possible with a stout when the American sensibility takes a firm hold - duly tasty additives without overt responsibility. An offering more or less worthy of its heady reputation, especially its ability to rein in the 12% ABV elephant in the room.

biboergosum, Apr 30, 2013
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.45/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted at 48F. The body is black with a mahogany glint beneath the thin head of dense orange-ish tan cream. The head drops shortly but leaves some interesting lace and maintains a thin surface covering - which is surprising considering its 12%abv! Roasted malts and deeply caramelized sugars appear in the nose alongside a splash of fresh brewed coffee. The body is full, smooth, and exceptionally creamy due to a very fine and moderate carbonation from bottle conditioning. Alcohol and coffee appear upfront before it softens to reveal some sugary caramel and cocoa in the swallow. A solid bitterness rises in its long, dry finish. As it warms, the alcohol falls more into place and richer coffee notes appear - although it still remains a bit overdone strength-wise. An alcohol content more in the range of 9-10% might do wonders for this beer - particularily adding to its drinkability! Still, quite an impressive brew!

NeroFiddled, Jul 25, 2003
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.19/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

one of those beers you just have to try to believe, really like no other. ive been holding onto this bottle for some time now, finally the time was right. inky black, motor oil on the pour, careful inch of light mocha head and a great density. aromatics of acid free coffee beans, smoke, birch bark, and chocolate syrup, very complex, but kid friendly as far as I am concerned. the alcohol is also minimal, which shocks me at 12% abv. the coffee isn't as strong in the flavor as I expected it to be, but it adds a richness and another layer of decadence to an already colossal beer. I feel the caffeine as much as the booze, which totally works at the lunch hour. chocolate as it finishes, not much bitterness at all, more like a cappuccino than an espresso, also okay. as big as body gets in beer, a definite bottle to share. overall exceptional, but not as distinct as I thought it would be. memorable but not the best ive ever tasted.

StonedTrippin, Oct 24, 2013
Photo of Jason
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Jason, Jan 08, 2013
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

WVbeergeek, Mar 01, 2004
Photo of nickfl
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

nickfl, May 03, 2012
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.94/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2009 release poured from a 750ml bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark black color, with a short light brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, chocolate, coffee and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a hearty roasted malt character up front followed by mildly sweet flavors of chocolate and coffee. There are touches of dark fruit and smokiness in the background. The hop presence is very mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Viscous and smooth, heavy body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, very strong kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a long time, but there are several other big stouts that I would choose first.

TheManiacalOne, Sep 11, 2013
Photo of Kegatron
4.72/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on cask, via handpump, at the Blind Lady Alehouse (San Diego, CA) on 3/17/10 during their "Black Wednesday" St. Patrick's Day celebration. Served in a snifter.

Pours a dense, oily, black, topped with a frothy 1/2 finger of dark mocha head. This looks very burnt, with an angry looking reddish flareup when swirled, leaving back a huge cascade of spotty lacing that dots the sides of the glass. The aroma is lush with dark roasted coffee flavor, as well as a deep backing tang of chocolate and toffee sweetness. The whold thing is rounded out by a combo of herbal hops and some extra earthy coffee notes.

The taste showcases a bit more of the sharpness of the hops up front, with the fudgey sweetness of the chocolate malts coming in next, before that robust coffee and dark roasted malts fill out the back of the profile. This isn't quite as sharp and tangy as I remember it being on tap but there is definitley some more definition to the flavors here, with a ton of dry roasted flavor coming out in the finish. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a huge mellow creaminess to it that is maybe showing a bit more of it's warmth than usual here on cask. Fortunately, it isn't too distracting, as this still drinks like a champ for a beer this size.

I love when the cask-version of a beer brings a little something different to the table and this one definitely did. The extra definition of the flavors really exposes the coffee even more here but the quality of it was more than able to step up to the plate and meet expectations. I love this beer and it was a rare treat (this is only the 3rd cask review out of nearly 800 here on BA) to be able to try it this way.

Kegatron, Mar 24, 2010
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

RblWthACoz, Feb 27, 2008
Photo of russpowell
4.72/5  rDev +7.5%
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!

russpowell, Jan 06, 2008
Photo of Slatetank
4.7/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

Slatetank, Jul 07, 2012
Photo of jlindros
4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had as part of the mini Whale Stout tasting back in mid December. '09 vintage.

Big fluffy dark head fades slowly with some lacing over a pitch black no light escaping beer.

Nose is loaded with coffee, chocolate, caramel, heavy and rich, lots of dark chocolate, a little vanilla, a bit of a bitter earthy hop, light oatmeal, pure dark malts and a slight velvety like aroma.

Taste is creamy luscious dark malts, lots of roast and coffee, black patent malts, chewy oats, dark earthy bitter baker's chocolate, vanilla, caramel, very complex. Some earthy hop bitterness and even bitterness from the scorched malts, light chocolate milk. The sweetness fades to a light dry feel on the finish, mouth coating, with a long bitter coffee roast and chocolate and light tingly booze.

Mouth is thick and creamy, velvety, decent carbonation.

The drink is decent, it def drinks smoother than 12% as all the heavy malts, sweetness, and bitterness as well as complex flavors balance out pretty well, although there is a slight sticky mouth coating on the finish but a beer this big you can't blame it.

jlindros, Feb 14, 2011
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.78/5  rDev +8.9%
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!

feloniousmonk, Nov 02, 2003
Photo of drabmuh
4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

drabmuh, Mar 21, 2010
Photo of oline73
4.05/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown, almost black, with no light coming through at all. There is a half finger of tan head that fades to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Very sweet and roasty with lots of coffee and roasted malt dominating. There is some dark fruit, chocolate, and alcohol in there as well.

Taste: Very smooth but very roasty. The coffee and roast make this one pretty bitter, but there is a ton of sweetness to balance it out. Some chocolate and dark fruit. Roasty alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Very thick body, sticks to your mouth. Tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: Very well balanced other than the bitterness in the finish. I would have liked the finish to be a little bit smoother, but still a wonderful beer. I'd love to have it again.

oline73, Nov 06, 2011
Photo of Rifugium
4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Rifugium, Apr 27, 2012
Photo of WesWes
4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

WesWes, Oct 13, 2012
Photo of mendvicdog
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

mendvicdog, Mar 03, 2013
AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 4,885 ratings.