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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

1,500 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 1,500
Hads: 5,747
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 4.59%
Wants: 842
Gots: 1,735 | FT: 156
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: 1,500 | Hads: 5,747
Photo of timtim
4.63/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

jet black with a dark tan head that held amazingly well and left tons of lace. this is what i want my stouts to look like. just a wonderful beer all around. coffee, followed by chocolate and earthy roasty malt in the nose. taste is superbly balanced and has a little hop kick in the finish followed by a nice warmth that ensues post finish. full bodied. insanely drinkable for being as high abv as it is. one of my favorite breweries of all time. beyond good. (459 characters)

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.55/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks a million to tayner for sending this one my way.

Pours a thick impenetrable black with a gorgeous fluffy dark tan head that just sits there like a milkshake. lace sticks quite well as the head reduces while I wait just a bit longer for this to warm. head leaves a little quicker than I would like, I am sad to see it go. The nose is moslty coffee beans with some dark chocolate in it and good maltiness. The taste follows with coffee up front. A nice coffe ride in the beginning, not like breakfast stout that just slaps you in the face with a cold dead coffee fish. Just enough. roasted malt is apparent in the flavor next. roasty and toasty goodness. The hop bitternes comes last. The only part of the taste that I am not an immeadiate fan of is a slight metallic taste in between the middle of the swallow and the hop bitterness on the end. Just a bit of a copper twinge, but defenitely not enough to take much away from the amazing flavor of this wonderful stout. A nice alcohol warmth on the finish, in a good way. The mouthfeel is just a touch thinner than I would like, but still very very good. Drinkability is simply divine for a beer coming in at 12%. This is an incredible beer, and I must give much much respect to the alesmiths. keep on smithing you midevil bastards. I love it! (1,299 characters)

Photo of david131
4.7/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I have had this bottle for a little over a year now, and I decided to make it a special night by opening it.

A- This is very very black with a monstrous brown head that has enough mass to dimple the top of the liquid and has excellent retention. This looks fantastic.

S- Very rich and chocolaty with coffee to boot. The slightest hint of cinnamon. This seems to blend better together than most other stouts. Absolutely wonderful.

T- Extraordinarily complex with lots of chocolate and coffee. The perfect balance of roastiness and smoothness. I am so glad to have a beer like this without a nutty aspect to it. The 12% alcohol is barely noticeable. Very well done.

M- I cannot believe how smooth this is for a 12% beer. The first time I had this beer, I thought it was a little over-carbonated, but now I realize it keeps things very smooth and highly drinkable and flavorful.

D- What a treat. Way better than I remember it the last time. The alcohol is barely noticeable and is not harsh in any manner. This is smooth and complex. I will be happy to see what this does with some more time on it. (1,101 characters)

Photo of jjayjaye
4.67/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque deep dark brown color with a thin wispy dark tan head that's gone in flash. Spotty patterns of lacing in it's wake. Not a super impressive pour, but at 12% ABV i guess the bar is lowered. I can't help but compare this to Sexual Chocolate that i recently considered (thanks Joel), but that's a RIS (i don't get it, but I'm a babe in the woods). The smell is right on the bar for a Double Stout. Aggressive rich Ghirardelli-like dark chocolate with a moderately roasted coffee mix, vanilla and a bit of the alcohol. That's complexity and it shouts "standby, this is a rich heavy creamy beer". Lightly carbonated, the mouth feel is full bodied, oily and conditioned with a tang from the alcohol. IMO, the edge of the alcohol is rounded off nicely by the coffee character. Full flavored, the choco-java taste and slick mouth texture leave the door open for the vanilla notes of the alcohol to walk right in. It permeates with the wonderful 'coating' texture of my favorite Double Stouts. A real easy drinker. My first experience was a draft serving from Naja's Place, on the waterfront at Redondo Beach, CA. The 12% is gently warming but otherwise well integrated. Time out... Surgeon General's warning...this will kick your ass. I recommend considering it more from your family room lounge chair than from a pre-dinner bar stool . Highly Recommended. (1,363 characters)

Photo of RomanW70
4.56/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Really excited about this one. Pours jet black with a thick, dark tan head that quickly disappears. Aroma of roasted coffee, chocolate, and alcohol. Taste of coffee, toffee, chocolate, and... coffee. Like everything else from Alesmith, gets better with each sip. Big bitter finish. Velvety mouth feel. Warming finish. I'm seriously considering moving to San Diego for the beer. (377 characters)

Photo of pheggeseth
4.73/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into my Darkness goblet.

A: pours pretty thick, settles opaque with virtually no head, spotty lacing

S: roasted malt, dry dark coffee beans, light hops, a little alcohol, not as strong as I was expecting

T: coffee, roasted malt, chocolate in the middle, some hops at the end, just really tasty, can't quite put my finger on it

M: incredibly smooth, but rich, not as acidic as I was expecting

D: very drinkable in my opinion, the alcohol was not too present for my tastes, I could have drunk the whole bottle if I let myself (535 characters)

Photo of Tilley4
4.85/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big shoutout to Overlord for the chance to try this brew via our trade.

Absolute midnight black... Thick, thick, thick with a small tan head...

Aroma of dark bitter chocolate and strong coffee with the faintest aromas of some sweet fruit in the background..

Man, this is heavenly... Loads of chocolate and coffee mixed with a strong booziness that I am in love with.. A bit too strong for the wifey which means more for me... I'm loving it...

Top 5 all time stouts here... Absolutely delicious brew...

Thanks, Overlord!!! (528 characters)

Photo of JDV
3.28/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle from Liquid Solutions.
Pours a deep, opaque, black with a short lived tan head. Smell is not what I expected at all. No coffee aromas for me, coming out of the snifter. Rich, sweet dark fig like fruitiness, some ripe banana, alcohol in nose. Mouthfeel is creamy, a bit rich, and still not a hint of coffee... Alcohol however, is very noticeable, and detracts from it for me. After opening up for a while, I get the faintest hint of coffee in the aftertaste, but not like I'd expect from something that mentions coffee in the Description 4 times. Definitely not a bad Imperial Stout, but too alcoholic, not enough coffee or roasty malt flavor, and overall a let down. (673 characters)

Photo of dsigmon
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: poured a dark black with thin head rising and falling rather quickly of a brownish color. Very little lacing is left on the glass.

S: smells of espresso and roasted malts with a definite anise smell bringing it all together.

T/M: taste is of a mild coffee and chocolate. Subtle hints of black licorice lie on the tongue as the coffee tingle and mild hops bring it together with a dry ending. Perfect mouthfeel and light carbonation makes it oily and heavy on the tongue but with a somewhat clean finish.

D: very nice drinker. great taste and mouthfeel would be great to sip on all night. The coffee isn't too overbearing which allows for more of the flavors to shine. (673 characters)

Photo of joe1510
4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml Bottle

Received this from Taynor a couple months back, thanks Dana! Speedway Stout is black as night when poured into my snifter letting no light pass through whatsoever. A short but dense one finger beige head formed on the pour, quickly falling to a skimming with a thick ring around the glass. Leaves respectable lacing after each tip of the glass.

The aroma hits hard with big doses of roasty malt and anise. I didn't expect so much anise in a coffee stout. There's more creaminess than coffee in this particular bottle and some dark berriness wafts through the more pronounced aromas. All this makes for an inviting stout but I was hoping to get a little more coffee. A mild boozy spiciness brings up the backend creating a bit more depth in the aroma.

Now this is a tasty stout! Roasty malts are quickly followed by mild bittersweet coffee, anise, and a pleasant spicy alcohol that brings some of that peppery berriness. There's still not a great deal of coffee involved but this is a top shelf stout without it. The finish is a perfect combination of bitter coffee, dark berries, and roasty malts creating a bit more bitterness. I love my stouts with a bitter finish and this one brings it.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side of the spectrum. This is just my picky side but it could use a touch more creaminess. Leaves some residue, without being sticky, that helps the flavor linger.

As big as this stout is the drinkability is up toward the top of the ladder. The lack of creaminess actually helps the drinkability.

This is, without a doubt, an excellent stout! I just don't think it's a World beater! I would like to get my paws on another bottle for more extensive testing but as it stands I feel there's better examples out there. (1,757 characters)

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

CO2 Draft pour at Boneyard Bistro in Studio City, CA on 08/11/07.

The glass must have had a black hole in it, as no light escaped from this jet black beer. The minimal tan head was appropriate for a CO2 pour (not on nitro, as I would have preferred). Coffee and a very subtle sour cherry aroma greet the nose. The beer crosses the threshold into the mouth with a luxurious velvety smooth texture.

Coffee! Sour cherries lurk furtively in the huge, agreeable coffee bitterness. Mild astringency and a predictably bitter finish last well into the next day. Even though the flavors are huge, they are in balance and agreeable.

The best example of an imperial stout I have ever had. (682 characters)

Photo of Deuane
4.7/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have had this beer many times. Finally getting around to a review...this from an on-tap offering in a snifter glass at the new Liar's Club, Alpine, CA.

A-Black. Like 10W-40, very viscous with a thick dark tan head. Leaves significant lacing.

S-Coffee and dark chocolate with background notes of molasses and dark fruits.

T-Big, rich roasted malts with chocolate and coffee. This is a very complex brew and simply gets better while it warms. Certain flavours pop out at different times...simply wonderful.

M-Smooth and full bodied. This is a delicious brew to sit and enjoy.

D-One of my favorite coffee infused American double stouts. The only holding back a 5 is the 12% ABV...I could never drink as much as I would like! I always jump at the chance to grab a glass of Speedway....well done by Peter and the AleSmith crew! (830 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
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. (386 characters)

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

2004 vintage thanks to hopasaurasrex!

A - like motor oil, thick viscous black brew with a large dark tan head.

S - deep dark chocolate, arabica coffee, cocao, molasses and dark fruits.

T - rich dark malts, chocolate, coffee notes swirl in a warming vinous blend of wonderfully aged stout!

M - full bodied, nicely carbonated, vinous, smooth, warming

D - this bottle was shared amongst friends and it found a great home! a slow sipper but what a nicely aged stout to savor!

a bit pricey in these parts for me to build a big cellar of but darn was that tasty! (562 characters)

Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.3/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beastly 4 inch head erupts to the top of the glass. Huge rocky carmel colored foamy bubbles slowly receed. Body is absolutely onyx black. Nose is vibrant, as you can smell it as soon as you open the bottle. Massive spicey coffee tones and sweet maltiness is evident. Enters the mouth with an array of flavors, initially thick rich alchol laced coco. Zesty spiced coffee swells all over the tongue. Mineral based hop bitterness finishes out the well rounded palate. This beer is very big and super thick on the mouth. Hop and coffee bitterness hangs on to the back of the tongue. Noticeable alchol is a consistant factor throughout the flavor profile. Drinkability, well you can feel good about sharing the bottle with a friend. (729 characters)

Photo of BMoney575
4.2/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on 2-15-08
Green bottle vintage.

Pours a completely opaque and light-absorbing black, with a thick tan head that fades away to a thin film. Huge lacing coats the sides of the glass, then leaves thin fingers of bubbles.

Smell is very good, and quite aged. Big aromas of molasses and dark fruits, with a malty coffee right in the middle. I pick up oak and even some chocolate. All of the qualities you look for in a big stout.

Taste is exactly what you'd expect, but maybe a little young. Huge malt with a definite woody character, followed by a sizable coffee flavor and bitterness to balance it out. The alcohol leaves a slick finish, but is very well tamed.

Mouthfeel is nice and thick, bu the carbonation is a bit too much. The bitter finish also seems to thin things out.

Drinkability is very good for such a big beer. The flavors are very pleasant and the alcohol is well managed. Watch out.

Overall, a little less than I was expecting. Maybe I built it up too much in my head, but I think I'm just spoiled. Very good though, and well worth picking up a few. (1,076 characters)

Photo of iconoklaztor
4.72/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Note: 2006 Vintage

This beer smells fantastic! Holy Hell!! As soon as I smell this black, holy shit of a beer I knew what it was going to taste like. Chocolate malts! The beer is very reminiscent of another very popular beer. *cough* stone *cough*

The mouthfeel is creamy and complex. I have a feeling this brew will produce a nice warm buzz. The drinkability of this SS is that of a creamy, warm cocoa.

Overall, this brew is a beautiful example what an Imperial Stout should be. I WOULD LOVE to drink it often. Its just a beautiful beer.
---
2011

Recent bottles have been very acidic and harsh tasting. Not nearly as nice as the 06 vintage. (646 characters)

Photo of bassmantin
4.57/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've been waiting to try this one for a while, and iconoklaztor just opened one and was generous enough to give me a taste.

Pours a very dark brown, slightly transparent but still very dark. Head is dark tan and robust with very fine lacing that clings to the glass for quite some time.

Smell is amazing, so deep, thick, and rich. Everything I was hoping for. Taste invades the palate. A strong chocolate taste, with an immense alcohol flavor that persists long after the mouthful is swallowed.

This is my first Speedway Stout, an '06, so I can't comment on how well it ages, but it seems like it has done quite well in the bottle.

Great beer. Try it if you can get one. A classic. (685 characters)

Photo of jwolfie70
3.4/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a jet black, with a small tan head. The smell is dominated by coffee, with a burnt malt presence as well. The taste is also almost all coffee. At times it feels like some subletlies in flavor tried to come through, but overall the coffee dominated. This was not a bad RIS, but overall I was less impressed with the beer than I thought I was going to be. (359 characters)

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.68/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - pours deep, rich, and luscious. A two finger mocha crust up top. Melts down with pillars of sticky lace.

Aroma - heavy roasted coffee and alcohol. Dark fruit, nuts, raisin and rum.

Taste - big, roasted malt, charred and then a little more. Oh this is tasty. A load of earthy coffee beans at mid-palate. Still picking up a touch of greenness from them. Chalky bitterness on the swallow, some malty roasted sweetness, and a fair portion of alcohol warming. Very rich finish, bittersweet chocolate and dark roasted coffee beans really go out in style. Green, somewhat grassy element pops up now and then and is then only thing that I would prefer toned down. The abv comes out more as it warms and may be sufficient at 10% instead of 12. Still, an outstanding brew.

Mouthfeel - that first sip is so very smooth, silky and thick. The carbonation is kicking, trying to keep up with the intense play of flavors, and does an admirable job. Very coating, the flavor stays around longer than I care to wait for the next sip.

Drinkability - this is one big ass beer in every sense. What a fine evening this sipper created! (1,129 characters)

Photo of chadspivey
4.2/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I almost made it a year aging this bottle. I traded for it 10 months ago so it's possible that its a year old at this point.

The body is as dark as can complimented by a light brown 2 finger head that stays for the rest of the beer as a good film of bubbles on top.

The smell is very complex and consists primarily of roasted malts. It has a porter-esque hop profile. Hints of chocolate and molasses. Vanilla and caramel come out as the beer warms. There's more, i'm just not sure what to call it.

Roasty malts in the flavor jump out at me first, followed very quickly by a little bit of that vanilla, caramely tatse you get from aging an imperial stout. Theres still a slight hop profile, that blending with the chocolate gives a bitter chocolate kinda taste. Of course there's coffee in there too, but not as much as I would have expected.

The mouthfeel is awesome. Very carbonated, very full body and thick and smooth. The alcohol isn't so present in the taste, but i can feel it warming my throat quite a bit. (1,021 characters)

Photo of Oxymoron
4.85/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have had this beer a couple of times, not sure why it took me so long to rate it. The pour is a rich midnight color that has a very nice viscous quality to it. Nice to see the glass change colors as you drink it. The head is a darker tan color that remains around the edges of the glass but limited lace. More viscous then lace.

The nose is malty but limited for being as big as it is. Mostly darker malt notes such as chocolate, roast and a touches of coffee. Some lactic quality that blends nicely with the alcohol/solvent esters. Some coca cola smells as well. There is a touch of tropical fruits, figs and raisins mostly, but some feint woody characteristics as well, vanilla comes to mind.

The taste is rich and full flavored. The initial tastes come out nicely with an expensive dark chocolate taste. This is followed up with a more roast like flavor that isn't as astringent as would have expected, rather smooth and silky. Some sugary notes, molasses and alcoholic warmth to it. There is a smooth finish that isn't quite like a milk stout but has the feel to it. Some bonus flavors of vanilla and mocha finish off a great taste.

The body is noticeably big and chewy. The rich flavor adds to the silkiness almost like a oatmeal stout. Some oily textures that are a bit of a deterrent but overall a great beer to race to get. (1,336 characters)

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.62/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$14.20 at Downtown Wines in Boston.

Pours pitch black, no light penetrates even the extremities. A smallish tan cap quickly recedes to a ring and leaves lots of lace on the glass. A heady mix of dark, astringent malts, milk chocolate and cappucino fill my nostrils on first sniff. Chocolate gets bigger as the beer warms, and some alcohol heat becomes evident. The taste is an intense combination of concentrated Roasted barley, fresh ground coffee, dark and milk chocolate, toffee and overripe berries. A bit of alcohol lies in the back, quite modest for the high ABV. Some citric hoppiness emerges with warmth.

The mouthfeel is extremely full bodied with a silky almost oily texture. Carbonation is light. The finish is roasty and bitter. Very satisfying stuff. (766 characters)

Photo of NitroGen
4.6/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Have been saving this one for my 100th review.

P: 750 ml. Brown bottle

A: Pours a jet black with one finger of dark chocolate foam head that quickly settles

S: Dark chocolate, roasted coffee and grains with feint alcohol fumes.

T: Myriad of chocolate and roasted coffee with creamy sweetness and huge alcohol fumes.

M: Wow is this a big! Well balanced throughout the tasting, and the aftertaste keeps on going and going...

D: Since this is in a 750 ml. and nobody else will imbibe I will make the sacrifice and drink this lovely brew by myself!
Will be having another long before my 200th review! (606 characters)

Photo of aerozeppl
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Split a 750ml bottle which was really cool looking. Silver foil over a plain bottle cap.

A: Black with 2 fingers of tan head. Tons of carbonation in the edge of the glass.

T: Tootsie rolls! Chocolate and roasted malt are there as well. Slight hope smell at the end. Was really surprised how boozy this was. Definitely noticeable.

M: Nice solid heavy body. Carbonation was good.

D: Glad I split this. Very powerful tasting. My GF brough this back with her from Cali and we had been saving it. Definitely a great beer but living in NY and not being able to get it I would have been disappointed if I had given up anything really good to get this. If I was living in Cali I would enjoy being able to get this beer on the regular. (730 characters)

AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,500 ratings.