1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

5,049 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,049
Reviews: 1,415
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 780
Gots: 1,420 | FT: 141
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of AleSmith Speedway Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,049 | Reviews: 1,415 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dbrauneis
4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

dbrauneis, Mar 12, 2012
Photo of Billolick
4.53/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Billolick, Apr 16, 2004
Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.68/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Cracked open with @LaitueGonflable and @thescotdownunder to celebrate my 800th beer review on BA. Purchased at City Beer Store in San Francisco and carted back in my luggage to Sydney.

Pours with an amazing cascade effect -- the head forms backwards from what I expect, leaving some liquid darkness running down the inside of the glass, while the head forms downwards into the body of the beer. Quite spectacular to watch. It's a deep, heavy and opaque black colour, and the head, once it has formed, is a pleasant mocha brown. Lacing is very decent. Looks every bit the American Imperial Stout. Just wonderful.

Very dark on the nose, with huge roasted notes, but also a very distinct and spicy capsaicin note like freshly crushed chilli. Big oaky and roasted coffee notes as well -- I expect nothing less from the best Impy Stouts. Little coconut or vanilla, as I've had from many other examples, but the spicy notes give this its own edge, and its own unique character. Very, very good indeed.

Very smooth and slick profile on the palate; it's the first thing noticeable. It then delivers big roasted notes, but subtly leavened by good vanilla characters that almost evoke melted ice cream. Quite noticeable oak on the back, and it finishes surprisingly dry; that slight spice aroma gets revived in the dying moments. It's a lovely brew.

Oh yes, oh yes... this is an exceptionally good beer. Rich, full of character, dark and seductive, boisterous and aggressive in places. So much going on and so excitingly craft. I love it to bits.

lacqueredmouse, Sep 04, 2010
Photo of tempest
4.33/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very good beer. I don't know if I'll call it one of the best I've ever had (i.e. #12 like on the Best of BA), but its damn good. Pitch black with a tan head for starters. Big chocolate and sweet coffee aromas. Flavor kicks off with chocolate and then slides right into coffee beans and espresso. Ends with a kicks of more dry coffee. Drinkable, but I couldn't take down a 750ml alone. Find a good friend or three and share this great beer.

tempest, Nov 26, 2006
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a light tan head that is merely moderate. Lacing is mostly absent. The smell has deep roated malts, coffee, and bitter chocolate aromas as well as atouch of vanilla at the finish along with a deep bitterness. The taste exhibits that same deep bitterness, particularly on the finish. Dark fruit and bitter chocolate are prevalant along with a nice creaminess in the flavor and mouthfeel. A tiny bit of vanilla sweetness rides along with the other flavors, but it is definitely a subtext. Surprisingly drinkable given the high abv. Very, very good, but not the best RIS. I haven't had Dark Lord, but besides that my vote goes to Oskar Blues Ten Fidy. Regardless, Alesmith's version is wonderfull, as are so many of their beers.

Georgiabeer, Jun 03, 2007
Photo of superspak
4.53/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

superspak, Mar 03, 2012
Photo of barleywinefiend
4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep, deep brown with a small brown head. Nose was roasted, coffee and a slight chocolate hint. Taste followed the nose well. Lots of roastiness, chocolate and coffee beans with a the 12%ABV hiding pretty good. Mouthfeel was roasty and cocoa hiding but evident, coffee and creaminess mmm.

barleywinefiend, Nov 15, 2009
Photo of mothman
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
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'!

mothman, Nov 01, 2009
Photo of Trashcat
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Trashcat, Nov 16, 2014
Photo of ejimhof
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

ejimhof, Dec 24, 2012
Photo of mdaschaf
4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

mdaschaf, Dec 13, 2011
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.3/5  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.

Huhzubendah, May 18, 2010
Photo of Gonzoillini
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Gonzoillini, Jul 03, 2013
Photo of akorsak
4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 750 mL bottle obtained from Boolshot.

A: The ale is a black oily color. Absolutely nothing cuts through the darkness of the ale. There is a small ring of cappucino colored head in the glass. A pour generates a 1.5 finger sized head.

S: The stout has a deep roasted malty aroma that has a vinous depth. The alcohol is evident but not overpowering. Some hops add a floral florish without detracting from the malts.

T: The stout has a big bold taste. The first flavors to hit the tongue are heavily roasted, almost burnt malts. The intensely roasted flavors border on a very dry chocolate flavor. As the beer warms in the moith, a distinct, intense alcohol flavor emerges that is astringent. Back to the malts, this beer has a fairly subtle acidity that belies the coffee beans. Finally, the stout ends with a sweet flavor that finishes long and brings back hints of the roasted malts and coffee.

M: This big stout has a great deal going on at any one time. The malts and coffee combine nicely and are well-balanced. My only complaint is the alcohol burn.

D: The drinkability is limited by the 12% abv, but there malts are flavorful and the coffee is a great addition. I am very impressed that the ale has such a balanced flavor.

akorsak, Oct 30, 2006
Photo of DoubleJ
4.68/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The bottle I'm about to consume has been in my possession for about one year. The price tag is still attached to it: $8.99. I have a long trip ahead with a beer of this volume (750 ml) and strength (12% ABV). On to the beer:

Poured into a Delirium Tremens tulip, this beer is darker than black, the body being very thick, and an initial tan colored head on top, which fades to a lightly tinted cap. Some smoke in the nose, and a strong alcohol note. Molasses and chocolate makes a presence in the aroma as well.

Exceptionally smooth in the mouth, and viscous, but not too viscous. There's a little booze in the body, but not as boozy as the nose. Plenty of roasted coffee with a sweet touch of baker's chocolate. Like coffee liquer. Smoke and peat are mixed in.

Now it's becoming easier to drink. After a few ounces, this beer becomes easier to approach. The flavors meld together better, there's little interruption from the alcohol and coffee...this is becoming a favorite of mine. I can taste fudge brownies in here. Is this exceptional as far as drinkability goes, or merely very good?

Is it healthy to mix a high ABV stout with coffee? If it isn't, I'm in trouble, as it is one of my favorite kinds of beer, and this offering is one of the most accessable. Another world class offering from AleSmith, and the best beer I've had since....well, since I had Pliny the Younger 27 hours ago.

DoubleJ, Feb 22, 2009
Photo of BARFLYB
4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

BARFLYB, Apr 15, 2012
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.85/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

(Served in tulip glass)

A- This beer pours an inky jet black opaque body that floats a thick creamy head of deep tan. The head last and last sticking to the sides with each sip and slowly sliding down the glass. This beer is to dense for any signs of carbonation even at the base of the glass.

S- This beer has strong aromas of roasted coffee beans and dark roasted black malt that is rich and fresh. There are nice chocolate malt and black roasted malt notes in the background with a note of cream and cola.

T- This beer has a dark black earthy malt flavor with a deep roasted coffee flavor that has a hint of chalk taste to it. The coffee has some good depth like a Sumatra blend or Cafe Verona roast. There are notes of chocolate malt and chocolate hints in the coffee that have notes or lighter roasted malt flavors. There are some notes of prunes and white raisins along with some lighter fruit notes. The finish is a nice iced coffee bitterness and flavor. At the beginning of the bottle there are some fusel alcohol notes but they taste more like bourbon notes as the beer warms.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a warm alcohol finish that cleans the thick complex malt flavors from the palate.

D- This is a serious stout,and a seriously exceptional stout. The malt and coffee flavors are fresh and well balanced with many layers of flavor that I couldn't capture in my review. The alcohol content was nice and played an important part of the finish. I didn't taste any oxidized coffee notes like old coffee grounds or stale coffee which is a big turn off in coffee beers. After a sip the beer just begged me to take another sip.

rhoadsrage, Jun 30, 2007
Photo of Zorro
4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Silver foil top so this is the 2005 vintage.

This is a beer I have traded several times but just never got around to trying it myself. Sort of like living in Anaheim California and never going to Disneyland.

As the beer is poured in to the glass this is a jet black colored beer with a short brown head. This is in fact very slightly transparent to light at the very edges but for all practical purposes this is black as coal soot.

Smell is strong coffee liqueur with some fig and prune aromas. The aroma is only what I can describe as super Kahlua. After you warm this with your hands chocolate and pepper aroma fully develop along with some fainter brandy aromas.

Taste is sweeter than expected with a good strong coffee bite from the very start. Strong chocolate flavors are the equal of the coffee here and are not overwhelmed. Despite the power of this beer it stays completely away from harshness. The more subtle flavors here hide in the after taste in the shadow of the coffee and chocolate. Vanilla and walnuts are the major sub flavors here. I tried to find the "Licorice" flavor in this one and it just isn't there for me.

Mouthfeel is not as full as I would have expected for such a big beer.

Drinkability is very good but this isn't any easy to chug lager on a hot day. This is like Turkish coffee, strong and powerful and best consumed in small cups. Definitely a beer to share with someone, a great substitute for after dinner coffee.

Zorro, Jun 24, 2006
Photo of jdhilt
4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a one finger, light brown head that slowly fades to a ring leaving a good lace. Solid black color. Light carbonation and heavy bodied. Roasted coffee nose. Starts as a sweet malt and roasted coffee, smooth, finishes with a smokey caramel flavor; the high ABV is not noticeable. Excellent Imperial stout. Serious yeast in bottom of glass. $12.85 for a 750ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

jdhilt, May 07, 2006
Photo of afsdan
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

afsdan, Mar 22, 2014
Photo of Stinkypuss
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Alesmith Speedway Stout

Pours a jet black color with a mocha colored head. Aroma of coffee, roasted malts and chocolate. In the taste, premium coffee with a little residual bitterness. Roasted malts are heavy. Mild anise like notes arise, coupled with coffee and roasted malts give it a refined "classic" stout taste but more vivid and lively than most. Full bodied feel, smooth, and very easy to drink despite the big abv. I would like to have a few of these in the cellar.

Stinkypuss, Aug 27, 2011
Photo of Mebuzzard
4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I think the Abyss might be darker, but how do you compare dark black with dark black? I would say this falls short of a 5 on appearance only for the head. And while the nice deep tan head is nice and a bit rocky it just doesn't look like a 5. Dunno...I could be crazy.

Coffee up front in the aroma. Not a dark roast...something a bit lighter yet sturdy. A mix of dry chocolate and slight smokey leather. Alcohol. It's kind of all over the place, could probably blend better a tad.

Great taste of that coffee and dry cocao. Slight anise in the sides with a hint of sweetness up front. Feels a bit thin at first, but expands as it warms on the palate. Alcohol seems to cut through the chocolate and directs the taste towards dark fruit and dry feel. This has a good feel to it and is not overly thinned by alcohol. A great DIS, wish I had more.

Mebuzzard, Sep 28, 2009
Photo of BillRoth
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

BillRoth, Apr 30, 2013
Photo of smakawhat
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
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!

smakawhat, May 09, 2011
Photo of DrBier
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

DrBier, Jul 14, 2014
AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 5,049 ratings.