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AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,547 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,547
Hads: 5,972
Avg: 4.37
pDev: 16.93%
Wants: 865
Gots: 1,831 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,547 | Hads: 5,972
Photo of jdhilt
4.65/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.83/5  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.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.62/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Black Raven imperial pint glass. Pours pitch black with a one finger medium brown, persistant head with lacing. Aroma of roasted malt, chocolate and coffee. Taste follows with dark fruit, roasted malt, vanilla, coffee and a pleasant coffee and light hop finish. Creamy and medium bodied. Very nicely integrated and pleasant to drink. Complex and well made. The high ABV sneaks up on you because the taste is so mellow.

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Photo of kscaldef
3.34/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Purchased about 1 month ago; no bottle date.

Slowly develops a 1-finger dark tan head after pouring. The beer is a very dark brown, near black.

The aroma has some roasty coffee notes, but also a medicinal note and some green wood. It's not particularly appealing, but not off-putting either.

The first sip is an explosion of coffee and chocolate. Unfortunately, it's chased by that same green, medicinal flavor and a bitter woody finish. The mouthfeel is heavy and coating, but a bit chalky. Almost no carbonation.

Overall, this is a bit of an enigma to me, though. It's better than the sum of its parts and I keep being pulled back for another sip.

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Photo of akorsak
4.28/5  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.

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

This bottle was purchased a week ago at Jungle Jim's and is being shared with zep9865. This beer pours a viscous midnight black in color with a two finger, creamy dark khaki head. The aromas are of mokah and bitter cooking chocolate. There is a nice cream aspect to it that welds the coffee and chocolate together in a near perfect manner. It drinks like lightly roasted chocolate coffee beans with a touch of cream and a light boozy finish. It's also sweet but not too sweet. It's nice but the coffee features a little more bitterness when compared to a bevy of other stouts. The alcohol isn't very present for being so high in abv. This drinks exceptionally smooth and coats the palate with chocolate and coffee goodness. Overall this is a superb beer and definitely worth a try. If only I didn't have to drive to Cincinnati to get it!

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

Poured from 750mL bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: utterly, completely, entirely black with two thick fingers of frothy light brown foam. There's good head retention and a nice lace on the glass, too. Beauty, eh?

Smell: a combination of rich, roasty malt, with coffee and chocolate notes, and a fruity alcohol character which I tend to love in the style. I think it's strong, balanced and intriguing -- love it!

Taste: whoa, there, Nellie! This is one massively flavored beer. Big alcohol hits me right up front, followed by the light fruitiness, then more alcohol, then finally the roasty malt character. Much less subtle and balanced than the aroma. Still good, but a bit too unbalanced to be great.

Mouthfeel: big body with a nice, well-integrated carbonation yielding a lush, rich and creamy mouthfeel. Wonderful.

Overall: I like this beer a lot, but the huge alcohol kind of detracts from some of its otherwise wonderful qualities.

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Photo of corby112
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Draft at AleSmith. March, 2013.

Pitch black and opaque with a two finger, frothy beige head that has great retention, only slowly fading into a thick, lasting ring.  The glass is left coated with streaks of soapy lace.  

Robust roasted coffee bean and dark malt aroma.  Very inviting with gourmet roast, dark chocolate, toast, burnt sugar and subtle lactic cream.  Underneath, there is some sweetness with bakers chocolate, caramel and toffee.

Full bodied and slightly viscous with a blast of deeply roasted coffee bean flavor.  Somewhat dry and bitter but pretty smooth and not acrid at all considering how much coffee flavor it has.  Some burnt toast along with gourmet coffee bean followed by oatmeal, strong dark chocolate flavor, fudge, sweeter bakers chocolate, caramel and toffee.  The robust coffee, dark malt and sweeter dessert-like flavors are very well balanced and the high ABV is excellently masked, making this beer deceptively drinkable.

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

A top notch Imperial stout to be sure. Had on tap at the brewery but glad to see this is all over NYC now as well. Opaque, black, with a brown head that settles fairly quickly, leaving strong lacing up and down the glass. Aroma is full of freshly roasted coffee, bitter chocolate, and deep dark malt.

Super tasty. All the coffee, chocolate, and malt from the nose are there in the taste in spades. Big, delicious flavor hits all the right notes for the style to be sure. Slight booziness but overall pretty well hidden underneath everything else. Coffee is dominant, moderate sweetness adds to the overall tastiness. A hint of fruitiness as well.

Full bodied stopping just short of thick and chewy. Creamy, sticky, with low-medium carbonation giving it just enough life without getting fizzy or prickly. A bit dry in the finish. I’d actually prefer a little fuller body but I’m nitpicking here. Powerful sipping stout.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 750mL bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 1/3/12
*From notes

-- Thanks to SirRuss for bringing this back east on his recent trip --

A: Big, black and nasty. A generous pour yields a cascading 2.25 finger head. Killer rentention and gobs of lacing rim the glass.

S: Toasty. A heavy dose of char, freshly brewed coffee and a surprising amount of hop oil.

T: Damnit if this isn't delicious. Rich, creamy chocolate up front evolves into a hot booziness on the mid. The finish is crisply charred, and it must be noted that there's a pretty hefty hop kick too.

M: Extremely viscous. You can cut this with a Ginsu knife and still need help getting through it.

O: I now feel much better about my eventual move to the West Coast. AleSmith's Speedway Stout immediately struck me as the Left Coast answer to Founders Breakfast Stout, which is one of my all-time fav's. I really regret not getting into a bottle of this sooner. It's one that I'll revisist, and often.

Easily recommended, and heartily so.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle obtained via trade with oggg. Thanks for the opportunity... Capped and foiled.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" of dark brown head over the totally dark brown/black brew. Head holds steady for most of the drinking experience, and exhibits excellent foamy lacing. Aroma is dark malts, coffee, and alcohol. Taste is creamy coffee with dark fruit tinges and the slightest alcohol notes. Funny, the booze is hidden over the tongue, because my chapped lips are stinging, and my throat is warm as all get out, so I know it's in there... For the style, mouthfeel and drinkability are great. Smoothness and not over the top alcohol presence (at least perceived), make this one a great one.

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

A: Black with a tan head, some retention & lace.

S: Big aroma of chocolate, coffee & a little hop spicing.

T: Coffee, chocolate, molasses & a light fruitiness & spice. Very warming alcohol, but surprisingly not harsh.

M: Moderate body & carbonation, slightly chalky with a touch of roasted acidity. Incredibly well-attenuated for it's strength (to the point that it's almost not stout-like).

D: Insanely drinkable for its strength, but definitely a sipper.

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Photo of DrJay
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Inky black with no visible highlights and a dark brown head. Beautiful lacing and good retention, though the pour left the head a little thin. Also apparent were "legs" from the higher abv, especially when the beer was swirled. Plenty of different malts in the aroma, balanced roast, coffee, milk chocolate, a bit vinous with light hoppiness and dried fruits. Light hop bitterness peeks through the powerful maltiness, with a good deal of roasted and coffee bitterness, dark chocolate and fruit. Coffee really shines in the dry, roasted finish. Full body, slick and oily, very fine bubbles from the low carbonation. Alcohol only makes itself known in the warmth at the finish. This was a real treat and a world class stout. I'll be looking for more of this one in the future.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.67/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle(room temp) pitch black with a small head that dissipated quickly leaving just a fine ring around the edge of the glass.

The smell is of maple syrup and/or molasses with some coffee notes as well.

The taste is full of coffee and molasses and is very thick in texture. There's a lot of smokiness as well for me in the flavour and that is definitely a positive in its overall presentation.

Wow. I had this one fresh and it was a treat but this +1 year old sample just kicks it up a notch or 2. Did I mention how obtrusive the 12% abv was in my review of this beer? I didn't? Well...there's a warming effect coming from this brew for sure but in no way was it obtrusive. Highly recommended!!

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Photo of cjgator3
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my 750th beer review on BA. To celebrate number 750, I decided to review a special beer in a 750ml bottle. What better occasion to review Speedway Stout, an awesome beer but one I have yet to review.

A- Pours a deep dark pitch black color with a nice tan colored head that leaves a good amount of lacing and retention.

S- The aroma is spectacular. Dark roasted malts, loads of coffee, hints of cocoa and hints of alcohol make up the fabulous aroma.

T- The taste is unsurprisingly as big and bold as the aroma. The taste starts a bit sweet with the dark roasted malts dominating. Some bitter coffee flavors start to come into play somewhere in the middle, with the bitterness lasting well into the finish. There is also some warming from the alcohol, but it is not as noticable as you would expect from a beer with such a high ABV.

M- The mouthfeel has a very nice smooth and creamy texture with a perfect amount of carbonation.

D- This is definitely a sipper, but it is dangerously drinkable considering the high ABV.

Overall, AleSmith Speedway Stout is one of the finest beers of it's styles and one of my favorite beers regardless of style. Highly Recoomended.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.36/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into tulip 23/4/13 cheers Rutager for the long time want

A black liquid with a dark cola edge a fingernail deep, plenty of bubbles floating up the side of the glass and they keep a two finger mocha foam going for quite a while leaving a couple partial rings followed by random patches

S all sorts of chocolate on the nose, coco, fudge, bakers chocolate and syrup, coffees hard to miss and the roast is dark, there's a little booze, smoke and charred wood but its faint, just a little over ripe plum and licorice with a slight nutty aspect, smell very rich and sexy

T the coffee I'm smelling more like burnt espresso in the mouth, much more dark roast with lots of char but not smokey, faint booze but I'd be guessing 8% not 12% so its quite well concealed, I like it but I loved the nose with more chocolate and less ultra intense roast the mouths offering

M thick and silky with just the right amount of carbonation, a little heat but less then one would expect from a beer this strong, very strong espresso and char on the finish lingers for ages and its just a little sticky on the lips

O big on coffee and chocolate and a very intense dark roast make for an intimidating brew, well concealed booze and I 'll be tasting this one tomorrow at this rate, pretty solid brew if your a coffee lover like me

No bottling date info that I can see but I'd be surprised if this ones fresh as they hide 12% pretty well, enough booze to close one eye and enough coffee to have the other wide open.

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Photo of rudzud
3.86/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Shared with bpk59. 2012 vintage?

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice dark brown almost black hue with a great two finger mocha head that leaves nice side lacing.

S - Aromas of chocolate, older coffee, alcohol is hidden nicely.

T - Taste is fair amount of dark fruits, kind of over power the coffee and chocolate. Definitely tastes older slightly old.

M - Mouthfeel is nice smoother carbonation. Not much alcohol.

O - Overall this was a bit too dark fruit for my liking. Ah, very unfortunate.

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

Pours black as hell, small roast coffee brown head forms, great lacing and legs on this one. Smell is floral hops, coffee, slight alcohol, and chocolate. Taste is chocolate coffee roast, hoppy floral middle, sweet malt and a dry bitter finish. Mouthfeel is very slick and oily, very thick, really dry, carbonation is low. I'm indebted to you for this one DrJay.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.78/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer literally glugged out of the bottle. In the glass, it looks black. Very black. Black Hole black. Ink black. A tight yet bubbly brown brown head of minimal height graces the surface and recedes to a thin coating gradually. Big chocolate, java, cocoa powder on the nose. Also get a whiff of some milky sweet lactic tones. And some dark, roasted malts come to mind as well. Great nose. The mouthfeel is oh so creamy, but the body isn't as viscous as I like Imperials to be. It's about medium-full. Maybe a little better. I'd rather it was full with no question about it. Good nonetheless, just not exceptional. Upon tasting, I ask, "This can't be 12% a/v, can it?" It's hidden very nicely. The every so slight ethanol I do detect blends beautifully with the roasted bitterness and burnt malt tones of this beer. The chocolate qualities are delicious....as are the coffee tones. I love an Imperial Stout with a big bitterness and this one has it. Lovely. Burnt malt bitterness. Hop bitterness. Oh yeah. This one is a gem.

Thank you Sir Bum for the Liquid Gold.

I'm gonna go fold kids' clothes now. And I'll have a great time doing it with this beer to accompany me.

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Nose: espresso, chocolate, roast malt
Pours heart of darkness black with a thin 1/2" tan tinted foam cap, some lace, has legs.
Palate: light sweetness followed by black espresso coffee that gives way to a hint of chocolate and a hint of dark dried fruit.
Creamy rich full body, medium low carbonation, warming but the alcohol is not as hot as you would expect for 12% abv.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.85/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

25.4 oz bottle poured into my Duvel Tulip glass.

Appearance - Motor oil black with a tan head that forms only on the edges.

Smell - Strong coffee scents, some chocolate.

Taste - Smooth coffee and chocolate.

Drinkability - Low carbonation. Not as sweet as many stouts, which is a good thing.

Overall - Dropped the bottle and it started to leak, so I cracked it open. I enjoyed it.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Well damn. Just when I thought I knew what my favorite stout in the world was. Going into the end of my second bottle, its all up in the air.

How many ways can you say thick jet black w/ cherry cola head appearance. Amazing lacing, retention, even keeps the tan and red head stuck to the side of the glass after the black liquid is long gone.

Big chocolate and coffee nose. Boozy for sure. That will really be your last impression of booziness.

Taste, immaculate, you won't know 12% was the abv. Thick, no bad aftertaste, just mild coffee melded with a big chocolate malt roast (no bitterness or astringency to it). Just enough sweetness to make it smoother, without sweetness being a hallmark flavor that makes this beer. It never fades, even to the last sip. So coating, every drop, mouthfeel never stops, never fades, you just get sip after sip of heaven. This was drank Saturday, in 90 degree weather around the pool. Yeah, not what many would consider ideal conditions to drink a stout.

IMHO, don't worry about anything else, this stout makes the conditions around you ideal. I wouldn't argue with you if you said this was the best stout in the world.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, I've had the bottle at least a year and a half but I'm not exactly sure how much older than that it is. Served in a snifter, the beer pours black with about a half inch brown head. Head retention and lacing is decent. It smells like coffee, roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, caramel and molasses. The taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also some dark fruit (cherries) and vanilla noticable too. Although the bitter coffee comes out the most in this brew, there's also a good amount of sweetness. Mouthfeel/body is full, it's creamy, rich, slick and velvety smooth. Drinkability is pretty good, the alcohol is well hidden but after finishing a bottle of it you know it's there. This is definitely an excellent brew. I think it's worth the money, and I would recommend this to others.

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Photo of spinrsx
4.36/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jfam for this - 2011 edition

Appearance - Dark brown colour with an average size frothy head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some decent lacing. The head lasted for around 5-6 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, grains, coffee, chicory, vanilla

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate, and coffee. There is also some vanilla, dark fruit, and chicory.

Overall -What this big beer manages to do very well is - not be cloying. Its got a lot of taste and booze, but not the sweetness that usually accompanies this. A fantastic beer worthy of its acclaim.

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Photo of dgilks
4.24/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Inky. Oily black. Nice small tan head.

Chocolatey aroma. Some sweetness. Touches of roast. Nice.

Really rich chocolate. Interesting roast and cacao. Touches of bitterness.

Complex and rich malt. Medium-full body with moderate carbonation. Solid.

Nice beer. Really good complex flavour. Works well.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,547 ratings.