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AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

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AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

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1,500 Reviews
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Reviews: 1,500
Hads: 5,751
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 4.59%
Wants: 843
Gots: 1,737 | 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: 1,500 | Hads: 5,751
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)

Photo of Budinetz
4.79/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 750ml into a wine glass. Bottle was stamped " bottled on 11/25/13".

A- pours an opaque Black color with a dark tan head that holds for quite a while before residing. Fantastic lacing throughout the glass as I drink this brew. And I kid you not...the lacing was so perfect that it continued as the beer warmed and had the appearance of a Classic Italian espresso!

S- smells of sweet malt and dry coffee with hints of bitter chocolate Nibs. I also detect an array of caramel on the finish. I detect zero ether or ethanol aroma at all, impressive of the style and abv at 10% abv.

T- as I sip this brew I detect strong roasted malts and intense coffee notes. There is some bitter chocolate as I swallow the beer and then lick my lips. This brew is delicious!

M- very soft on the tongue with low carbonation and a very comfortable palate. No harsh flavors from the malt. No harsh ethanol from the abv. It is actually undetectable! One of the smoothest beers of this caliber I have ever experienced!

O- quite the imperial coffee stout. This beer has an Extremely delicious, virtuously undetectable 12% abv that I never noticed until I woke up and hour late for work. If my boss is erasing this, then you understand what I'm talking about. It hit me HARD!

Enjoy this beer with dessert, a shot of espresso, or with what I ate....6 Peanut butter eggs. You could even do a spoonful of peanut butter and I think that would compliment this brew perfectly!!!! (1,468 characters)

Photo of Jeffo
1.93/5  rDev -55.7%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Originally reviewed this a 4.43 back in 2010. We recently had a newer bottle and I felt it was time for a re-review of this one.

From a 75cl into a snifter
Bottled 12 April 2013

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. (1,563 characters)

Photo of Charlemagne7
4.73/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2013 Bottle, poured into snifter

I've had this beer a few times now, figured I was well versed enough with it to get off my lazy ass and review it lol

The appearance is that of any quality Impy Stout. Pours black with a mocha brown head. Not overly carbed (duh), so the head isn't very prominent, but damn does it look good.

The smell is very coffee and chocolate forward. I'm sure it's been said many times, but how are their not candles that smell like this. Reminds me of Mazzaro's, for you Florida folk lol.

The taste on this one is great. Starts out with a mild chocolate sweetness before progressing into a strong coffee presence. The malty sweetness balances out the subtle bitterness from the coffee perfectly. Very rich flavor, so a perfect desert beer.

The mouthfeel on this beer is probably the only thing not practically perfect. I don't know why, but it seems just the wee bit thin. Perhaps it's my imagination, but it just seems slightly watery. For something so heavy and rich, I'd expect a motor oil viscosity (ya you Ten Fidy).

Overall, this beer is one of the best non-BA stouts I've had. It's no wonder the BA version is so damn good, it's base beer is stunningly delicious. I would recommend splitting the bomber with a few friends as the ABV is masterfully hidden and can become quit a chore to tackle on your own. Cheers! (1,349 characters)

Photo of berkshire413
4.29/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Excellent blend here with and American Imperial matched up with a Double Stout. they really nailed the blend here as the chocolate and coffee hits up front in a nice smooth malty fashion it takes its time to reveal the piney and light citrus hops on the back end. this is based on a sample, i would love to get into a bottle of this and really explore this beer some more. (372 characters)

Photo of rjp217
4.43/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

IS with coffee version poured into a tulip glass. No bottle date found...

A - Pitch black with a full frothy one finger head. Nice lace left around the glass throughout. Perfect looking stout

S - Dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, toasted marshmallow

T - Follows the nose. Has a milkshake type quality. The 12% ABV sneaks up on you ever so slightly. I would recommend splitting this between friends.

M - Very frothy, milky, creamy. Rolls off the palate ever so smoothly. Follows with a bitter aftertaste

O - This is an excellent stout. I only wish I knew the bottle date because of the coffee being added. I would love to compare a fresh bottle and aged bottle. I've heard good things and this lives up to the hype (724 characters)

Photo of rodemey2
4.22/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

IMO could use a little more body. I prefer stouts of this ABV to be a tad more viscous, i might be alone here. other than that, its pretty much perfect. dried fruit on the nose, and you’d never know they hit 12% on it. paired with some bleu cheese, blissful. (260 characters)

Photo of winningwes91
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Typical, beautiful imp. stout look. very opaque black with about 1/2 finger of cocoa head on it. Very Nice.

Smell- Yum. Smells like fresh brewed coffee with dark and milk chocolate and some cherries and raisins.

Taste- Similar to the aroma, but even better IMHO. The nose had all the aforementioned aromas, but not as defined as the taste. So damn delicious. And 12% abv.? Get outta' here! Don't know where they're putting all the alcohol, but it sneaks up on you after about 20 minutes! Just excellent stuff.

Mouthfeel- One of, if not the best quality of this beer. Feels like a delicious, alcoholic milkshake. Coats the mouth and lingers afterwards, making you crave more.

Overall- This is easily one of the best non-ba stout in the world. Amazing stuff. (774 characters)

Photo of dgilks
4.24/5  rDev -2.8%
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. (304 characters)

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.34/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From notes dating back to August
A - pitch black creamy mocha head, solid looking stout
S - toasty coffee, licorice, cocoa, and a hint of booze
T - Big coffee kick, licorice and cocoa are prominent with a lightly smoky finish
M - chewy smooth start, creamy through the middle, slightly bitter finish, not even a hint of the high octane within
O - Its been a while, but i recall really savouring this brew with my beer advocate in crime andrenaline, very impressed by the flavours and masking of the high alcohol content, would love to stumble across this again (560 characters)

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