AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,484 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,484
Hads: 5,680
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 4.59%
Wants: 837
Gots: 1,681 | FT: 154
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: 1,484 | Hads: 5,680
Photo of ThatOlBoy
3.4/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Good little stout, though there's nothing especially unique about it. I've had it both out of the bottle and on tap, and it was pretty consistent between the two. It has great color and smells wonderful. The one knock I have is that it has a little acidic hint on the back end which is a bit unpleasant. (303 characters)

Photo of skipxtracer
4.44/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

An extremely well made imperial stout. Pours deep black with a full brown head dense with tiny bubbles. Espresso aroma. Great coffee and dried fruit taste. Perfect mouthfeel. Paired this with brunch. Free range eggs with ramps, sausage, BBQ sauce, fruit salad. Stout paired perfectly with all of this. So happy I picked this up in San diego (340 characters)

Photo of Kuaff
4.78/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Around cellar temperature in sort of a small pint glass.

It's jet black with a massive three-finger chocolaty-brown, frothy head that lasts very long and leaves some pretty lacing behind. A creamy cap of close-knit mocha foam lingers indefinitely.

The aroma explodes with rich coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, maple, and raisin notes. There are also hints of cherries and fruity liqueurs, but with almost no booziness at all. Incredible aroma.

A sip initially releases a delicious blend of dark fruit flavors like raisins and prunes, then turning to luscious milk chocolate and vanilla. The outstanding finish reverberates with fantastically roasty, earthy espresso and dark chocolate. Slightly boozy. Damn.

It's full-bodied and thick, but also ridiculously creamy, velvety, and easy to drink.

This is a high-performance imperial stout. (841 characters)

Photo of Seadog20000
4.74/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

APPEARANCE: Pours black but clear yielding a two finger, medium looking dark tan head with very good retention. Black body, clear, with no real carbonation evident. Head fades to a wisp that sticks to the sides of the glass. A splotchy wisp remains leaving some bits of lacing down the glass. Still looks good.

SMELL: Roasted notes with band aid and rotten cabbage. Light cream notes but the coffee addition has come out like band aids and vegetables. Pretty rotten.

TASTE: Better than the nose, but still lousy. Cabbage and perfume with some roasted grain and coffee up front. Bolder finish of roasted coffee, sweet cream and lots of band aid and cabbage again. This is also rotten, though not as rotten as I'd expected from the nose.

PALATE: Medium-fully body, heavy on the palate, with medium to lower end carbonation. Heavy and creamy on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly mouth-coating. A slight prickly punch at the back after the swallow. Great mouthfeel for the style; big and mean.

OVERALL: The only saving grace of this is that I didn't have to drink my full share. The drain was in a good mood that day. The feel is still a menace and the look is good, but something went horribly wrong with this batch. Rotten vegetables and band aids all over the place. Nasty. The Kopi was a touch better and BA Kopi was the best, though that's not saying much. (1,382 characters)

Photo of Jackofallbrews
4.83/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Aroma: Milk chocolate with a malty sweetness. Roasted dark grains and mild fresh coffee aroma. No hop aroma. Minimal esters.

Appearance: Poured into a snifter glass (as suggested by the bottle), at 50 degrees F. Pitch black! Huge fine head that is nearly auburn in color. Head is persistent.

Flavor: A burst of expensive dark chocolate up front with a slow fade to a professional coffee shop Mocha, with coffee and chocolate finish. There is a slight roast bitterness, but this is balanced much more to the sweet side without being cloying. Alcohol is mild and not distracting. Mouthfeel is incredibly creamy and smooth.

Overall: This beer has wonderful balance and drinkability despite its high alcohol content. The coffee is mellow and not the star of this beer, but does add complexity to the beer. The mouthfeel on this is without peer. (843 characters)

Photo of MakeMineADoubleJack
4.73/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured this into a snifter after taking it out of the fridge and letting it sit on my counter for an hour. I've made mistakes in the past having a straight cold-from-the-fridge glass first. Never again. This approach was perfect.

The pour is near-black; gorgeous khaki-colored head that dissipates, but never leaves completely. Best lacing I've seen with a stout.

Taste is damn near perfect, and it feels like smooth velvet on the tongue. The coffee is so well-balanced that it beats Founders Breakfast Stout, in my opinion. Bravo!

I'm glad this bomber is all for me. I'm going to enjoy it as it continues to warm and open. (626 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.44/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into a wine glass...and later drank straight from the bottle (it makes sense in context...)

A: Pours a pitch black color. The head is about a finger high, with a khaki shade. For 12%, the retention is pretty nice, and the texture is quite soft. No lacing is left on the glass, but there are some alcohol legs.

S: Wow, the nose is chocolaty, roasty, and even a bit leathery all at the same time. Many imperial stouts have this kind of nose, but this one has superior integration than most. It's actually mildly alcoholic - hey, it's 12%, who cares? It's not as if it's oppressively boozy on the nose. I forgot to mention the coffee! It's nice and subtle, but not overdone.

T: It opens up with a lot of coffee and chocolate, with the coffee becoming slightly bolder near the midtaste. The finish is insanely well attenuated - it's dry, yet fruity and faintly tart. There's just enough alcohol presence to help nuance the flavors without coming across too harshly. Otherwise, I'm having trouble telling this is 12%. Every flavor is well balanced without compromising the bigness of the brew - ergo, I'm enjoying the hell out of this.

M: It has the creaminess I like in an imperial stout...and yet, it's so dry. Dry, dry, dry - and even better, the alcohol is well concealed on the palate. It's not relying on the carbonation to cut through the full body and mild sweetness (it's a bit timid in terms of carbonation, actually...) This one is ridiculously dangerous.

O: Apart from giving family members a few sips (and almost all of them despised it :(), I basically drank this whole bottle solo. And I had little trouble doing such a thing. Not only is this beer big and extreme, it's also nuanced and even delicate all at the same time. It's a fantastic imperial stout - I really wish this beer was readily available in my distribution area, because I would buy the hell out of it, even at $10 a bottle! (1,918 characters)

Photo of Dave1999
4.01/5  rDev -8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured pitch black with a big foamy brown head.

Smell is roasted malts, coffee, milk chocolate and a little alcohol.

The taste is chocolate, bitter coffee, milk and a fair bit of alcohol.

The mouthfeel medium bodied, a little creamy with medium carbonation.

Overall a very good beer, I was expecting a bit more but it was decent enough. I would've like a bit more flavor and a heavier mouthfeel. (399 characters)

Photo of larryi86
4.6/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, dated 1/27/14, poured into a teku

A- Black with a three finger dense mocha head.

S- Roasted coffee, rich chocolate, caramel malts, some vanilla.

T- Coffee, rich milk chocolate, some dark fruits and vanilla, roasted malts, some caramel.

M- Smooth, creamy, medium body.

O- A great coffee stout, very well balanced and alcohol well hidden. If you like big coffee stout this is a must try. Definitely will pick this again when I get a chance. (458 characters)

Photo of vette2006c5r
4.94/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Speedway stout pours a black color with a nice tan lacing head. There is as bold massive roasted aroma, nice warm alcohol, with hints of black licorice. The taste is full of chocolate, and coffee, great roasted notes, and a perfect alcohol warmth. Perfect blend of flavors, great warmth. Overall this is really a near perfect stout. (332 characters)

Photo of stouts_mageezax
4.69/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

AleSmith needs to be told firmly about this beer. The first time I tried this beer it was divine. Super creamy mouth feel with milk chocolate and lightly roasted malt flavor with smooth coffee undertones. I was telling every one of my stout loving buddies about this beer after I tried it. However, when I took the foil off the top, I saw rust around the bottle cap. I had read the reviews about this beer where people have noticed an oxidized taste, so much so that people have given this beer a rating as low as a 2. But luckily when I tried it the first time I got the pleasure of all AleSmith has to offer with this beer.
The second time I had the speedway stout it was awful! I made the mistake of not sealing these when I got them. The second one I had 2 months after the first. It tasted foul with a strong acid flavor that completely ruined the beer. AleSmith needs to change the way they bottle this beer or whatever is causing this to happen. I have already left them messages with no response. This is an amazing beer that does not deserve to not be tried because of this. Anyone who lives close to aleSmith or someone who can talk with them needs to

My rating represents that of the first time I had speedway stout (1,229 characters)

Photo of Roguer
4.44/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick, mocha head with unbelievable retention, eventually leaving thick bubbly lacing. Brew is dark black, with purple or garnet hints.

Strong aroma, with a sour tinge, coffee notes, vanilla extract, roasted barley, and dark chocolate peeking through.

Everything in the nose is represented in the flavor, but in exact opposite proportions. Coffee-laced chocolate hits strongly, with vanilla bean, tons of barley, wood and tobacco, and almost no hint of that dark fruit sourness.

Sticky, chewy, ultra-full mouthfeel. Lively with no sting or foaming; noticeable alcohol presence. Long, strong finish; you'll be tasting this beer long after your sip has warmed your belly.

This is one big, big stout! Very few non-BA stouts belong in this class, and I cannot think of many off-hand with this depth of character. The coffee is strong and noticeable without being off-putting. Balance is superb. (902 characters)

Photo of Sandbarunner
3.79/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Great Stout! When I was out west I drank a few too many of them. Hell, you can get them at the San diego airport!

Nice mouth feel, just enough bubbles to keep it from being syrup like. This one was bourbon barreled. If you can find it; drink it!!!

Had it on draft as well at a local Yacht Club in San Diego. Makes me wonder what it would taste like on Nitro. I preferred the bottle serve. The draft I had was too cold. Preferred to take out of the fridge and let sit for about an hour and a half then open. Here in SC I can serve at the right temp. Unfortunatley, I can't buy it in SC.

Enjoy! (595 characters)

Photo of nodder
4.41/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A- Black as night with a thick tan head. A little lacing and alcohol legs cling to the glass as it fades.

S-Chocolate, coffee, malts, maybe some dark fruit. The alcohol is detectable but well hidden.

T- Chocolate/coffee up front with a bit of hop bitterness in the finish. Again, alcohol is present but certainly doesn't taste like 12%. Very balanced.

M- Medium to full and creamy. The flavor balance in this beer is just great.

O- A very well crafted I. Stout. Def. one of the most balanced beers I've tasted. (514 characters)

Photo of spinrsx
4.36/5  rDev 0%
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. (671 characters)

Photo of Franziskaner
4.27/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark black color with a good inch of tightly knit khaki colored head. Aroma is ripe with plums,coffee and dark roasted malt. Another whiff brings black strap molasses out. Brussels lacing. Mouth is bone dry and surprisingly smooth for the style. The flavor starts off with dark roasted malt on the front of the palate and thens into an odd pairing of sweet plum and molasses along with bitter notes from the roasted barley and coffee. Definitely unique and very interesting. (474 characters)

Photo of auee92
4.9/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Aroma: Essence of chocolate covered cherries, coffee, and a nice dark, oily Habano Maduro wrapped cigar

Appearance: Pitch black, with a frothy, one inch tan head of luxurious foam.

Taste: Medium sweetness up front, and a very bitter, lightly sour aftertaste.

Palate: Medium body, thin oily slick feel, lively carbonation, beautifully bitter finish.

Overall: Brilliant stout. Very, very good. (396 characters)

Photo of hillvt4me
4.38/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle date 11/22/13; coffee version poured into a tulip glass.

A - Pitch black with amber undertone; frothy mocha head. Nice lace left around the glass throughout.

S - Dark chocolate, coffee, toffee and roasted malts.

T - Dark chocolate, coffee, dried cherries, milky-malt flavor and bourbon. The 12% ABV is well hidden. Really solid!

M - Thick milky texture and well balanced.

O - This is an excellent stout. I look forward to some of the other variants! (462 characters)

Photo of WheelsPSU
4.56/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce pour on tap at St Gambrinus in Boerum Hill.

Jet black pour with an average khaki colored head with extremely good lacing for a such a high alcohol beer.

Smell produced a massive amount of the locally roasted coffee beans as well as both dark and milk chocolate, or something that gives it a touch of sweetness. There is also a bit of caramel and plum. This beer has an overall hefty and dense smelling quality to it suggesting you might need a fork and knife to consume it.

Dark chocolate, lots of coffee, and a bit of caramel sum up the initial taste. As the beer warmed, it started to release a sweet vanilla flavor that reminded me of a butterscotch/creme brulee type dessert. Burnt sugar and bittersweet chocolate round out the finish. This beer is thick but not cloying or syrupy. Extremely well done.

Very easy drinking 12% beer that uses coffee to highlight its other great smells and tastes instead of disguise them. Well done Alesmith. (961 characters)

Photo of dank203
4.61/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

this thing pours black with some fluffy head. the aromas have a lot of stouty notes and some coffee. the flavor gives an abundance of dark chocolate, like chocolate milk, with coffee. its a really outstanding thing and its beyond comparison, like a chocolate coffee milkshake (275 characters)

Photo of minterro
3.98/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought at Colorado Liquor Mart. Bottle on 10/24/13, so cracking it now put the aging at 5 months. I little reward for my TAing my first class of the quarter. Poured into a oversized wine glass at about 54 deg and paired with popcorn & goat cheese and crackers.

A&S: Good looking beer even after a couple of months in the bottle. Jet black colored beer. Deep tan head that has really good retention and leaves stringy and speckled lacing on the glass. The pour leads me to believe this beer isn't super thick. Toffee and dark chocolate control the main elements of the aroma. Hints of bourbon. I'm not getting any dark fruit characteristics as described on the bottle.

T&M: Not incredibly complex. About what I expected: dark chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon. Similar to aroma, lack of dark fruits. I haven't tried this beer fresh so I don't know if it is due to aging or just the beer in general, but AleSmith does a great job of masking the high ABV without doing away with it completely. I may just be used to midwest porter and stouts, but this mouthfeel isn't really doing it for me. Odd mix of fizzy carbonation and smoothness. On the higher side of body just not in comparison to most stouts. On the contrary very drinkable.

Overall: I had pretty high expectations for this beer, and it didn't completely live up to my own hype, but not bad. Probably not something I will set aside to age again, but wouldn't necessary not buy it to drink right away again. I like to review before looking at the rating, I was incredibly surprised by 98 on this beer, I didn't think it was bad, but I'm confused by it's rating. (1,618 characters)

Photo of FitnessForBeer
4.66/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a really dark black, finger worth of brown/ tan head. Looks like espresso
S: dark rich chocolate and espresso, smells of alcohol, slight black licorice
T: super sweet chocolate mixed with espresso and vanilla. Bitter dark chocolate and little earthiness comes through. You don't even realize this thing is 12 percent alcohol, extremely well balanced
M: big bodied stout with fine carbonation,
O: super awesome non barrel aged big stout that is my standard for how a stout should taste. Super well balanced as well (525 characters)

Photo of DenverHopHead
4.41/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750 mL bottle with a bottled on date of 10/24/13; into a pint glass.
Appearance - shadow black, no light; thick, creamy mocha head. Lacing is thick, but scattered.
Smell - coffee, dark chocolate, some dark fruit and vanilla.
Taste - robust and flavorful coffee and dark chocolate. This is a big and tasty brew!
Feel - big and bold; creamy and complex!
Overall - this is as good as I imagined! Very pricey, but worth treating yourself if you like really big stouts. (478 characters)

Photo of jwchestnut
3.55/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

So perhaps its unfair for me to review as I have yet to have a coffee stout that I really enjoyed, but I have heard such rave reviews about this one and thought it was worth a try and it would maybe be a game changer for me. It poured beautifully. Totally black with a huge dark khaki head that held up for quite a while. The nose was dark sweet malts, some cocoa, gas station coffee, milk chocolate, no hints of alcohol. The taste was sweetened dark chocolate, maybe some charred/smoky marshmallow, but it was dominant coffee flavor that turned me off. Admittedly it grew on me as the beer warmed but I still found it to be too one noted and too much like cold gas station coffee for me. No traces of the 12% alcohol. All that said, it felt fantastic going down - rich, smooth and thick without being cloying. I really wanted to love this beer as it is clearly well crafted and highly regarded, but the single noted coffee flavor was too much for me to get past and really enjoy. (980 characters)

Photo of Skendawg
4.36/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- I poured it with a rather large 2" head, and man did that stick around. The head itself is darker than 80% of beers on the market, and the beer underneath is essentially black.

S- The first thing you are going to pick up on when you smell this stout is the coffee. Rich dark coffee is immediately apparent. Great smell, and lets you know the power of the beer you're about to consume. Absolutely great smelling.

T- I love the taste of this beer. Delicious and smooth, it is sweet and embraces you with the warmth of the hefty 12% ABV. Afterward a chocolate taste sticks around along with a warmth at the back of your mouth...

F- I guess I started to go into the way that the beer feels in the last section, but I will reiterate that it leaves a warm sensation in your mouth which is incredible. The feel of this beer in your mouth is a great one. Not very carbonized at all, as you might expect with a Stout like this, but that's okay. For how thick this beer is, bordering on syrupy, the amount of bubbles is just right.

O- Overall I thought this was a great Stout. I'm not a big fan of stouts, so I decided to try this one as I had been told it is the cream of the crop when it comes to stouts, and I was not let down. This beer is a great representative for Stouts, and if I were a Stout guy, this would be a 5 hands down for me. (1,339 characters)

AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,484 ratings.