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AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

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

1,502 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

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Reviews: 1,502
Hads: 5,758
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 8.94%
Wants: 842
Gots: 1,738 | FT: 157
Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-09-2002

Jet Black, with an off-white head. Starts with a strong coffee and dark chocolate sensation, then fades to a multitude of toasty, roasty and caramel malt flavors. Clean and crisp, full- bodied. Warmth from the high alcohol content lightens up the feel. You won't fool your taste buds - this beer is HUGE!
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,502 | Hads: 5,758
Photo of EdwardAbbey
4.6/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In my experience, this one sets the bar for a non-BA imperial stout w/o adjuncts (not counting the coffee). Huge at 12% ABV, but somehow very easy to drink because of the coffee, rich roasted malts, effectively bitter hops, and solid carbonation. If AleSmith ever put this beer in a 4-pack of 12 oz. bottles, at a slightly better value, it'd always be in my fridge. (Hint, hint...) (383 characters)

Photo of tillmac62
4.16/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

BOD 3/23/15. Pours as dark as pitch black on a starless night. World class head volume, lacing and retention.

Almost world class nose of dark chocolate, molasses, hints of dark fruit (plum, raisin), vanilla, caramel and coffee.

Full bodied with a rich creamy texture. Below normal carbonation with no effervescence in the middle and a nice burst in the somewhat prickly finish.

The flavor profile is outstanding. It is intense, complex and reasonably balanced. However, the alcohol is not well hidden and produces an astringent alcohol flavor that prevents this exceptional stout from being world class. It begins with slightly bitter dark bakers chocolate, cocoa, that hints at sweetness. This flows into a rich sweet molasses with strong caramel notes. The middle is slightly bitter with roast and hop characteristics. Underneath are subtle notes of dark fruit, although not as pronounced as suggested by the nose. They are subdued by the arrival of the grain alcohol astringent flavor, which stays and lingers after the finish. The finish is a slow fade of rich chocolate and molasses that competes with grain alcohol astringency and finally succumbs to it. This is a world class stout that failed to make the grade due to the 12% alcohol content. (1,265 characters)

Photo of bsp77
4.04/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Almost jet black with thick tan head and light lacing.

Smell: Molasses, coffee, chocolate and cream.

Taste: Not as nuanced as the aroma. There is some chocolate, caramel and spicy hops, but it is overshadowed by molasses and coffee. Mostly molasses actually, with the aftertaste mostly burnt molasses.

Feel: Full bodied, low carbonation, exceedingly smooth and creamy. Almost a 5, but that aftertaste screws up the finish for me.

Overall: While still very good, it isn't a top echelon Imperial Stout for me due to the burnt molasses. (599 characters)

Photo of mnj21655
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours completely opaque, jet black with a large coffee colored head. Aroma is coffee, chocolate, dark malts, dry fruits. Taste is dark chocolate and coffee, more dried fruits and a solid hop bitterness to even it out a bit. Full body, moderate carbonation, some alcohol warmth. Overall this is a damn good beer, if you like coffee and chocolate then this a beer for you. (370 characters)

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

Great coffee flavor, sweet, just enough carbonation, a little chocolate too. Really a solid 4.4-4.5 rating. One of the best non-barrel aged coffee stouts. (154 characters)

Photo of SayBoom
4.87/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Was drunk in comparison with Mikkeller Beer Geek Vanilla Shake.
A: Black with a small creamy head, some viscosity in the pour.
S: Nose is not heavy on the coffee but many cognac notes. Chocolate, toffee, dry fruits.
T: Dark malt, cocoa, cream, caramel. Some hop bitterness.
F: Heavy weight and so smooth and creamy on the palate. 12% is nowhere to be found.
A very well done chocolate/coffee imperial stout. (410 characters)

Photo of Cannibalgasm
4.54/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle.

A: Pours completely opaque black allowing absolutely no light to penetrate it's darkness. Resembles used motor oil like a great stout should. Head is two inches of magnificent foamy mocha color that retains for an insanely long time and leaves behind lots of beautiful lacing. This is a great looking beer.

S: Aromas of chocolate, coffee, dark roasted malts, and caramel make themselves know immediately. Then you get some notes of dark fruits, toffee, raisins, cinnamon, tobacco, some noticeable alcohol, and a subtle earthy wood like scent. While the aromas aren't bombastic they are very pleasant, complex, and inviting and it opens up as it warms.

T: Wow. That was a great initial taste. Dark chocolate, roasted coffee, and caramel up front, then roasted malts, sweet bread, dark fruit, raisins, molasses, and toffee flavors appear in the middle. Finishes with flavors of oak, tobacco, some subtle earthy hops and a pleasant alcohol note. They really nailed it with this one. Like the nose it opens up with warmth.

M: Full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Slick, smooth, creamy, thick feel with a nice alcohol warmth and oily after feel . A very pleasant and drinkable sipper.

O: An absolutely phenomenal brew. AleSmith has definitely been impressing me. This is a very complex yet well balanced stout, the flavor profile is fantastic. A great sipper that gets better with every sip. I will be buying some more to enjoy and a few to set aside for a couple years. I would recommend those of you with access to do the same. I can't wait to see what a couple years of growth does to this brew. (1,638 characters)

Photo of -Rick
4.12/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: Jet oil black, huge brown head that retained for quite a bit
S: coffee, chocolate, a slight vanilla hint
T: like the nose,coffee, chocolate, raisins, some sweet caramel in there also
F: this is a creamy silky drinking brew!
O: this was quite nice. at first sip, I found it to be lacking in its blending of all its flavors (poured it at room temperature) but as it sat around (took about 45 mins to drink a 12oz pour) it came together quite nicely. Solid brew! (464 characters)

Photo of JMUbrewz
4.43/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent imperial stout. Big chocolate and coffee notes without being too bitter or too sweet. It's well balanced, and the mouthfeel is impeccable. There's also very little heat, which made this one almost too drinkable. (221 characters)

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

This pours the color of spent oil, capped with a cocoa tinged layer of creamy foam. The aroma is amazing, full of an intense roast with hints of dark chocolate, raisins and dates. Intensely smooth flavor, with a great dark roast, chocolate and dried fruit character. The ABV isn’t noticeable on the palate, although it gives a kick at the end. Delicious. (356 characters)

Photo of teromous
3.52/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Black body with a very large foamy dark brown head.

Aroma: I pick up some roasted grain aroma and a bit of charred wood with a small trace of alcohol on the nose.

Taste: It has a lot of "dark" flavor to the beer. There's a pretty strong roasted grain bitterness which is paired with a bit of black coffee laced with some alcohol. There is a bit of an earthy quality to the beer as well, a bit like cigar tobacco.

Mouthfeel: It has a nice smooth mouthfeel supporting a full body and a good amount of bitterness. The alcohol presence reduces drinkability a bit but it has a very nice thickness.

Overall: The beer mentions that it is brewed with coffee and while I did get some coffee qualities in the beer it really took a back seat to the roasted grain flavor and bitterness. I wouldn't recommend it as a coffee stout per se but it is a very robust dark stout. It didn't have a wide breadth of flavor or aroma which was a bit disappointing. For a big showcase beer like this I would have liked more. The label says "chocolate and roasted malts dominate the flavor, supported by notes of dark fruit, toffee, and caramel." Unfortunately I didn't pick up any of these flavors aside from the roasted malts. The flavors I did pick up were very nice, but the beer really didn't deliver anything special. I enjoyed the beer but I won't be buying it again. (1,363 characters)

Photo of oldn00b
4.44/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap in a bulbed pint (!) glass.

Pours black. Nice dark khaki head lingers for a minute before fading.

Nose is dark malt and really not much more but deep rich dark malt.

Flavor is typical stout, but just incredibly smooth and balanced. Would be surprised being served this to learn it's 12%. Very rich, notes of chocolate and burned caramel. Carbonation is perfect for this beer. Finish is a rich and sweet but not syrupy. (440 characters)

Photo of FriedSlug
4.53/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Bottle date 12/5/14. Poured into tulip glass. Super dark with a nice head that lingers a bit. Smells like booze, coffee, chocolate and dark fruits. The taste is pure chocolate and coffee with some malt and plum/raisin/fig tastes. A nice bitter chocolate and hops finish with a bit of residual heat from the alcohol. You can feel the alcohol but do not really taste it much. Really well done stout. (397 characters)

Photo of ClavisAurea
4.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

11/2014 vintage served in a tulip glass.

Appearance: jet black with a massive coffee colored head. Nice lacing and legs.

Nose: coffee, chocolate, malty sweetness, prunes, raisins, dark fruits, boozy alcohols (even after 9 months.)

Taste: sweet malty backbone, coffee, rich and thick, boozy, chocolate, Malt heavy, dark fruits, complex

Fantastic. One of if not the best Imperial Stouts I've ever had. (403 characters)

Photo of uvachief
4.27/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 ml Bottle at 55 degrees into a snifter glass. 3 full fingers of fluffy tan head that lingered. Nice lacing throughout. Oily residue on the surface. Pitch coffee grounds black. Smells of black coffee, not espresso, and bitter Sweet chocolate. Little else. First taste is a rush of coffee, not espresso, and dark chocolate followed by roasted malts with a hint of toffee. Not sweet. Thinner than I would have imagined. Abv is buried in the taste. Very smooth. Traditional Russian Imperial coffee stout. 12.0% ABV is barely noticeable. Smooth. Little dry and bitter for my liking but good. Very good. (617 characters)

Photo of clayrock81
4.21/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured a black body with one finger creamy khaki head that left a little bit of lace ring around glass. Aroma is balanced between roasted coffee and dark chocolate along with hints of caramel, toffee and figs. While at first the beer seems more coffee than anything else, as this slow, full-bodied sipper warms it release more chocolate notes, so at end of beer I find myself drinking a chocolaty, slightly caramelized/toffees coffee beer with some figs and possible raisins stashed away. A little bit sticky with no discernible ABV, not even in finish, this beer blends all elements seamlessly together and lives up to the hype.



S: There are moderately strong aromas of chocolate in the nose.
T: The taste has strong flavors of bittersweet chocolate and coffee beans along with notes of dark roasted malts. A light amount of bitterness is present.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and quite smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. (959 characters)

Photo of Beer-A-Lot
4.27/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Roasty, toasty, chocolatey, coffee-y, liquid gold in a glass. Even a hint of grape. Much milder in the bourbon taste, but that let's the other flavors come through. So glad it's now available in my good. (203 characters)

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

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

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

Looks black, no light goes through. Head foam is consistent and wide. Taste is amazing and complex, coffee, chocolate, sherry, dark fruits, no acidity. Incredible Imperial Stout to enjoy, it´s a shame it´s hard to get in Mexico. (230 characters)

Photo of Barnoloid
4.68/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is an imperial stout that blew me away. Perfectly black in color, with a rich depth and tan head. The overwhelming initial flavor of mocha comes in with an english toffee note kicking into gear as this warms up. Some dried fruit comes through but overall this is a dessert in a glass. Luxurious and delicious. (314 characters)

Photo of core42
4.09/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle is unknown year.
Poured pitch black with a 2 finger tan head into a Modern Times Snifter.
Nose is not heavy on the coffee but more cocoa.
Taste is also more cocoa than coffee with some slight bitterness with coffee undertones on the backend & in the finish
Feel is smooth
Overall less coffee than I expected but still a great tasting beer (346 characters)

Photo of gregy55902
4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a bottle that was four months old - the beer just wasn't meaty enough. Yeah there were coffee and alcohol flavors, but that's pretty much it. Will try aging my 2nd bottle for a while. (187 characters)

Photo of Scott17taylor
4.85/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Look black with two finger khaki head.
Smell coffee overpowers slight chocolate and dark fruit with it.
Taste sweet up front finishes with toasty coffee flavored. Not too boozy but there is definitely some alcohol heat.
Mouth feel thick chewy stout but is surprisingly drinkable for style and abv.
Overall great beer pick it up l. Very thick chewy flavorful stout would buy it by the case if I could. Great beer. (412 characters)

Photo of barczar
4.1/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 vintage.

Big cocoa aroma, slightly sweet chocolate, and roast malt.

Flavor is lacking in malt depth. Roasty and malty in the finish. A very drinkable 12 percent. The cocoa comes out as it warms. (201 characters)

Photo of Ryancthomas7
3.72/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served on draft.
L - Pitch black with minimal head.
S - Coffee, but not as much as one would expect.
T - BOOZE! Extremely boozy for the abv. Not much coffee going on for me. Completely overpowered by alcohol.
F - Like I want to spit this out, but the high ratings are making me keep it in my mouth.
O - Super disappointed given the extremely high ratings for this beer. I have another tucked away in the fridge that I will need to open soon to see if the bottle is different than draft. Mega Black House by Modern Times absolutely blows this beer out of the water in my opinion. No contest.

Edit: Had this in a bottle after my horrible experience on tap. MUCH BETTER. Rating has been slightly increased. However, Mega Black House still blows this out of the water. (769 characters)

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