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AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

5,431 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,431
Reviews: 1,475
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 798
Gots: 1,576 | FT: 146
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,431 | Reviews: 1,475
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look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed out of a dark brown 750 mL bottle with no dating that I can find. It seems to have rubbed off in the trip it had to take from the Pacific NW to arrive at my doorstep. No matter, as the style should allow it to hold up well, even if it's a little older. Poured into a standard 16 oz tumbler.

Appearance - The body of this beer is where light goes to die. It's hard to tell if it's straight-up black or a brown so dark that it might as well be black. It seems slightly to my eyes as if it's the former rather than the latter. Atop the body sits a generous, creamy khaki head. Dissipates over about 2-3 minutes, leaving sparse lacing, but really nothing to speak of.

Smell - Knowing this is a coffee stout, I expected the aroma to be a little more fresh-ground espresso. Don't get me wrong, that distinctive strong coffee ground characteristic is there, but it's on a pretty level playing feel with the charred notes of roasted malt and the bittersweetness of cocoa nibs and raw cacao. I know that coffee is included in the drink, but I think semisweet chocolate is the more present element, at least in the smell.

Taste - Here, the coffee element becomes more dominant, with notes of a nice French roast percolating in amongst the bittersweet chocolate and charred malts. There is a a sweetness that blends nicely with the roasty bitter elements from the coffee and chocolate. There also seems to be a spiciness to it, as if it had chiles added or something. The esters from the huge ABV are noticeable, but don't overwhelm--this one is all roasted goodness and faint sweetness, like burnt caramel or overcooked molasses. Quite pleasant.

Mouthfeel - Heavy, in a good way, rich and decadent. Quite chewy, like you'd expect from a huge Imperial Stout like this one, reminiscent of a mocha latte. Carbonation is on the light side of medium, but more than I would have expected. Lingering and slight bitterness, but the finish is mostly dry.

Overall, a stellar beer. It's hard to compare to some of my other favorite coffee-based stouts because none of those even come close to the ABV on this one. That being said, this is quite an impressive imperial stout, coffee or no. The only thing I would change is to make the coffee a bit more pronounced. Given that I don't know the bottling date, I suppose it's possible that the coffee forwardness has simply faded a bit. Still makes for a delicious beer that I would gladly drink again (or share with friends).

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 5,431 ratings.