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AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,746 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,746
Reviews: 1,398
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 752
Gots: 1,327 | FT: 126
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:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-09-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,746 | Reviews: 1,398 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Verecund
3.95/5  rDev -10%

Opened on April 18, 2011. The last day of classes for the year.

Black, with a large four finger tan head. Recedes to a finger of froth. Thick lacing.

EDIT: PZ generously sent me a replacement bottle, which was more in line with my expectations. A very solid coffee stout. Thanks!

Verecund, Apr 19, 2011
Photo of zhanson88
4.22/5  rDev -3.9%

Appearance: Speedway Stout pours out nearly black and appears completely black in the glass. About 1.5 fingers of dark espresso colored head form that have nice retention and decent lacing. Pretty good looking beer, although I don't think it is going to be an overly viscous beer judging by how it pours out.

Smell: Lots of coffee show through immediately. Also a good amount of roasted malts and chocolate. A bit of alcohol, but remarkably little considering how high in ABV this is.

Taste: I get a lot of roasted malts up front, followed by a great deal of coffee flavor and lesser chocolate. Virtually no alcohol burn which is impressive. Really, this is one of the better balanced coffee stouts I've tried. It finds a nice balance of coffee with the roasted malts and chocolate. Not overly complex, but still extremely pleasing. This was the highlight of the beer for me.

Mouthfeel/Overall: This beer is very creamy with great fine carbonation. A bit surprising, because I find it to be a bit thin overall. I'd say it's a bit over medium bodied, but nothing overly thick. Overall, I think it's a pretty damn solid imperial stout, and one of my favorite coffee infused stouts. I'm glad I have a couple more bottles of this to enjoy.

zhanson88, Apr 16, 2011
Photo of NorthsideFred
4.3/5  rDev -2.1%

Thanks to Nickd717 for this bottle which I've cellered for almost a year. Shared with Deadm8 and a couple other guys.

A: Damn - this looks great. Pours black, with a nice dark brown head.

S: Coffee is the alpha male in this glass, overpowering all other scents. I can't imagine how strong this would have been fresh.

T: This is good, real good. The coffee is there, but roasted malts and bitter chocolate also come through nicely.

M: Medium bodied with a wonderful silky smooth texture.

O: Overall, this is an excellent beer (even though the coffee smell is a bit too strong) and very drinkable. I'm glad I was able to try it.

NorthsideFred, Apr 15, 2011
Photo of birderbeerer
3.78/5  rDev -13.9%

Black. Weird head. Lots of big bubbles rather than the usual foamy head.

Smells like dark roast coffee, black licorice, and overripe dark berries.

Taste is a little disappointing. A lot of coffee and thin. As it warms, the licorice and fruit come through more. But something seems off. Just not quite balanced right and too much alcohol without the body to support it. Still good and enjoyable but it's good parts don't add up to be the greatness it could be.

birderbeerer, Apr 14, 2011
Photo of Brez07
4.1/5  rDev -6.6%

750ml bottle split into Maine Beer Company glasses. Consumed about 2 months ago

A: The beer is dark brown. Pours with a 1 finger mocha colored head. Average retention but no lacing

S: Interesting nose, but not quite what I was expecting. Mix of roasted malt and creamed coffee. Definitely more roast then coffee. Some bitter chocolate

T: Ah, there is the coffee I was hoping for. Coffee presence is much larger, but still has the accompanying roasted malt and bitter chocolate. Small alcohol presence

M: Medium bodied, bordering on full. Super smooth with light carbonation. Roasted coffee aftertaste

D: A good beer that just didn't quite live up to my expectations. Nice coffee beer but not much also stood out. Worth trying if you happen upon it

Brez07, Apr 11, 2011
Photo of kscaldef
3.38/5  rDev -23%

Purchased about 1 month ago; no bottle date.

Slowly develops a 1-finger dark tan head after pouring. The beer is a very dark brown, near black.

The aroma has some roasty coffee notes, but also a medicinal note and some green wood. It's not particularly appealing, but not off-putting either.

The first sip is an explosion of coffee and chocolate. Unfortunately, it's chased by that same green, medicinal flavor and a bitter woody finish. The mouthfeel is heavy and coating, but a bit chalky. Almost no carbonation.

Overall, this is a bit of an enigma to me, though. It's better than the sum of its parts and I keep being pulled back for another sip.

kscaldef, Apr 06, 2011
Photo of gskitt
4.47/5  rDev +1.8%

Pours a oil black, huge two fingers of sticky mocha head. Smells of fresh-brewed coffee, roasted malts, a wee bit of vanilla. Taste has a great balance of sweet and bitter coffee, has some vanilla and rum notes. Mouthfeel is thick and viscous but does not last, easy drinking for a thick 12%. Overall, great stout!

gskitt, Apr 05, 2011
Photo of Arenbeer
4.03/5  rDev -8.2%

750ml bottle into a Tulip glass. Thanks a lot to BillyBoKnowsBeer
for sending me this bottle.

2009 Vintage at fridge temp

A- Pours solid black with a huge 2 finger frothy light brown head that isn't going anywhere. Solid lacing and some nice alcohol feet when the head finally dissipates.

S- Strong roasted darker malts up front with TONS of high quality smelling coffee notes. Some slight dark chocolate in there as well and some alcohol notes in the background as well as a slight metallic smell but fades as it warms.

T- Up front you get faint coffee but mostly hit by a strong roasted malt flavor. After it goes down the fancy bitter coffee dominates the palate pretty much taking over. Not sure if it's the coffee or the malts they used but the finish kind of has a lager like finish. Maybe just me haha. Definitely some slight chocolate flavors in there and suprisingly for the high ABV you don't taste any alcohol at all.

M- Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a nice bitter finish.

Overall this is a great imperial stout that is definitely worth trying. Really smooth and full of a unique coffee flavor I haven't found anywhere else.


Arenbeer, Apr 03, 2011
Photo of dmsohyea
4.47/5  rDev +1.8%

On-tap at AleSmith tasting room 3/31/11. Served in a sample cup.

A: Pours very dark brown with two finger thick, rich, creamy, brown head. Extremely inviting for a double stout.

S: Smells of dark roasted malt and coffee. Small hop profile is a background player. If I were blindfolded, I'm not sure I could differentiate this from a standard cup of iced espresso.

T: Tastes like the most wonderful, full bodied cup of coffee you will ever have. The flavor of french roast without overpowering bitterness. A strong malt profile lends exactly the right amount of sweetness to this brew. Mid-palate some hops are noticeable, but this is all coffee flavor, all the time. As a huge black coffee drinker, this was an excellent brew.

M: Full bodied and rich. Soft and velvety with the perfect amount of creamy carbonation. This one is a winner.

O: A fantastic stout that is easy to drink and full of flavor. I couldn't ask for much more in this beer.

dmsohyea, Apr 01, 2011
Photo of OddNotion
4.1/5  rDev -6.6%

Appearance: Poured into my DFH Signature Glass. The beer pours with no head at all but a light lacing around the edges of the glass. The beer is pitch black and next to no light comes through even when held to the light.

Smell: First I am hit by the coffee flavors. Very nice. Next are the roasty flavors which really complement the coffee well. I liked the smell as it warmed up a lot better. When it was cold I did catch some metallic flavors but that was replaces with a nice sweetness.

Taste: There is a lot of coffee flavor in this bad boy. A lot of the bitterness in this beer comes from the coffee and some from the roasty malts.

Mouthfeel: Lightly carbonated, smooth and creamy. A little thick but more towards a medium feel which was nice.

Overall: I would recommend this to anyone. I liked the beer and while it was not my favorite in the style it is certainly well worth the time and money to acquire.

OddNotion, Mar 31, 2011
Photo of jsanford
4.7/5  rDev +7.1%

750ml bottle poured into a Bruery Tulip. Not sure of the vintage, bought it about 8 months ago from Holiday Wine Cellars. 400th review!

A - Pours a dark, inky black with a huge, luscious head of mocha foam that never really disappears, only shrinks to 1/2 inch. Leaves tons of sticky, soapy lacing on the glass. Beautiful!
S - Dark roasted malt, chocolate, and a TON of coffee. The coffee is obviously of a high-quality, very rich and dark with just the slightest acrid waft. Some dark berries are in there, too, as well as just the slightest hint of soy sauce.
T - Wow, while this is obviously a coffee-forward Stout, the chocolate is very dominant as well. Definitely reminds me of a Mocha beverage from a coffee shop. More dark roasted malt and dark berries round out the flavor, luckily the soy sauce is no where to be found in the taste.
M - The mouthfeel is what really sets this beer apart, it's so creamy and luscious, it's more akin to a milkshake then a beer. Low carbonation, so smooth and drinkable it's ridiculous!
O - What a beer! I cannot believe this is actually a year-round release, if I had regular access to this I'd likely never buy anything else (well, at least Stout-wise). Phenomenal brew, one of the best Stouts I've ever had!

jsanford, Mar 30, 2011
Photo of ONUMello
3.53/5  rDev -19.6%

Bottle from Whole Foods, Columbus, OH. No bottling date. Unfortunately they had it in the fridge, not following the suggestion on the bottle to leave at room temp until ready to serve. I warmed to suggested 50-55F.
A: Dark brown, almost black. Strangely almost no head appeared.
S: Smells like a rich coffee/espresso, a hint of cream and sugar. Very nice.
T: Initial attack is pleasant, pure coffee, but then it turns quite bitter, but not in a hoppy way, more of an unpleasant burnt coffee way.
M: Slightly viscous but smooth, despite the 12ABV not much heat. Pleasant carbonation.
O: I do wish I knew its age, though I would guess on the young side so it would probably benefit from a bit of aging as suggested on the bottle. The smell is the best part of this beer. I might try it again to see what aging does, but this particular bottle I'm having a hard time getting past that burnt coffee component.

ONUMello, Mar 30, 2011
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.45/5  rDev +1.4%

2010 Vintage poured in to Duvel tulip. I wish I had tried this one fresh instead of sitting on it for almost a year.

A - Dark black with one finger of thick, foamy light brown coloured head.

S - Smokiness, roasted malts, some coffee but not a whole lot and a light cocoa nose. The smokiness is really intriguing.

T - Roasted malts, smoke, light coffee and a slight alcohol taste is present as well. Very robust. The coffee is somewhat of a background flavour but is still present. I wonder what this would be like fresh...

M - Medium body with a nice chew. Lightly carbonated.

O - An excellent imperial stout. Bold, robust and full of flavour.

TheSevenDuffs, Mar 30, 2011
Photo of Macca
4.47/5  rDev +1.8%

This pours jet black with a very generous tan head.

The aromas are of green coffee, espresso like but a very fruity one.

It's more like tasting a single origin espresso than a beer. The chocolate is hiding in there too but this is about the coffee.

Full bodied.

Limited tasting notes for this as I was so blown away I didn't write much down. An amazing beer and well deserving of its reputation.

Macca, Mar 28, 2011
Photo of FosterJM
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

344th review on BA
bottle to tulip (tulip per bottle recommendation)
750ML- 2010

App- An excellent dark brown, almost black stout. Very rich and velvety chocolate & coffee appearance. A good 1 1/2 finger head that took its time to recede.

Smell- Very roasty and rich coffee, to me it is more coffee than espresso and I get a lot of roasted malts. Smells are very clean and precised not muddled at all.

Taste- This was SO rich and creamy. This did not drink at all like I thought it was going to. What a pleasant suprise. The smell is not indicitive of the flavor profile. This is multi-leveled and delicious. The malts are in the front while the coffee and and roasted notes follow. Nice creamy taste as well.

Mouth- Full bodied with a medium carbonation level. Super creamy on the mouth. Left a great roast malt aftertaste.

Drink- A very good stout. I now see what all the fuss is about. I would have this again in a heartbeat. I REALLY want to try the BA version now?

FosterJM, Mar 27, 2011
Photo of Vdubb86
4.05/5  rDev -7.7%

Served in a snifter

Thanks to Axic10 for this want

This beer pours a decent blackness into the glass topped by a deep brown foam on the surface. The aromatics are solid. They remind of lots of coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, and leather. The taste is holy crap a lot of coffee. It was more of a punch in the face with the amount of bitterness that came up front. The coffee flavor took over the taste of this beer with mostly dark roast. The more this beer was drank the more it grew on me, but initially it was hard to swallow. This beer was consumed at the appropriate temperature and my coffee loving participant in this experience with me agreed this is a lot of delicious coffee flavor. The mouthfeel is still acidic and astringent, but with that kinda being the point I remain lenient to them. Overall this was a damn good coffee imperial stout, it's odd that they don't advertise it at that. Still it's tasty as heck and I wouldn't mind sharing it with friends again.

Vdubb86, Mar 25, 2011
Photo of hosehead83
3.9/5  rDev -11.2%

Poured from a big "bomber" bottle into a wine goblet. Relatively fresh bottle.
Very dark, motor oil/pitch black in color, with a very short head of foam.
Aroma-Strong coffee, dark roasted malt.
Taste-Dark baker's chocolate,dark roasted almost burnt malt, cold shot of espresso, charred dark fruit. Very dry, astringent finish.
Overall, I love coffee, but to me this was like putting a spoonfull of coffee grounds on your tongue and washing it down with an imperial coffee stout. Definitely could use some cellar time with this brew to mellow it out. Will have to age a bottle and try at a later date.

hosehead83, Mar 21, 2011
Photo of Pellinore1
4.4/5  rDev +0.2%

Thanks to both CaptinRedBeard and brees6221 for sending bottles of this fine brew.

Pours nearly black, and produces about a finger of light brown head. The fine foam slowly fades, and leaves lacing down the side of the glass.

Deep, dark malts define the smell, with nice chocolate and coffee notes.

The coffee comes through a little more clearly in the flavor, along with big, roasty malt and subtle chocolate.

Full bodied and smooth on the tongue, this beer goes down quite nicely. Very little noticeable alcohol.

Pellinore1, Mar 20, 2011
Photo of Jesse13713
3.9/5  rDev -11.2%

Appearance - A very dark stout. Pitch black liquid with a frothy brown head. Not a large head on this at all; less than half an inch. Looks very chocolaty.

Smell - Strong oats presence and extremely noticeable alcohol in the scent. Slight chocolate in the nose. The coffee is present but not overpowering.

Taste - Definitely a slight bourbon burn. The bourbon is accompanied with chocolate and coffee heavily. As with the smell, oats are a huge part of the taste as well.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability - An exceptionally smooth snout. Silk-like and enjoyable to sip. The vanilla-bourbon makes itself present without being overpowering. Well balanced and quite simple. The 12% is hidden quite well.

Jesse13713, Mar 18, 2011
Photo of scottfrie
4.43/5  rDev +0.9%

750ml bottle into 25oz snifter.

A: Pours black with a billowing creamy dark brown head that faded into a melted ice-cream like layer that left a thick wall of lacing down the glass.
S: Big notes of coffee with lighter notes of creamy chocolate ice-cream.
T: Exceptionally smooth and well integrated notes of creamy chocolate and coffee flavors. This tastes like liquid mocha ice-cream. Very delicious. There is almost no acidity from the coffee beans, nor is there hardly any bitterness from the hops. Finish is lightly sweet with a touch of caramel and burnt marshmallow. Aftertaste is roasted and smooth.
M: Full bodied with a thick and creamy mouthfeel. Carbonation is soft and creamy. This beer feels great! For 12% the alcohol is hidden masterfully.
O: Wonderful full-bodied stout that doesn't disappoint. Coffee is very well integrated and doesn't dominate the flavor at all. Thick and rich, this one is well worth seeking out.

scottfrie, Mar 17, 2011
Photo of jampics2
4.28/5  rDev -2.5%

750ml bottle into a snifter. This was purchased for around $12.99 at Whole Foods Cedar in University Heights the day it arrived at the store.

The beer looks good enough in the glass. It's cretainly one of the darkest beers I've ever had, with no real variation in the jet black body even around the edges when held to the light. The head is pretty dark too, a solid mocah brown color that hangs around for a bit then descends to the abyss, leaving no lace or record of its existence.

The smell is good, but I must say this batch is not the coffee bomb some have been in the past. To be fair, I've had this beer at least 20 times and just never got around to reviewing it. I was hoping a batch that literally just hit the store would be the freshest to review, but the coffee seems a touch subdued here. Some roasted malt notes give chocolate impressions and there is some chicory bitterness, but the roasted coffee is lost in the roasted malt. A touch of sweet caramelized malt gives depth and helps balance the hint of booze that's present. At 12%, this is complex and expressive but could be a bit more coffee-focused.

The taste almost makes up for what seemed to be missing in the nose. The roasted malt is the star of the show here, giving huge notes of semi-sweet chocolate and coffee. The added coffee is a touch subdued but still provides a nice, fresh French Roast quality. There's some sweetness and bitterness from the hops, but this is a dark malt driven beer. All the flavors are expressive and very complimentary. Very, very nice taste!

The mouthfeel of this beer is very solid for the style. There's a nice viscosity going on - not too thick, but perfect when the flavors and ABV are taken into account. The beer's carbonation makes it seem creamy and it never crosses over into chocolate syrup territory. The beer is very drinkable and enjoyable. There's great flavor and Alemsmith has done a great job masking the booze. The taste doesn't have quite the punch I remember, but it's very pleasant and all the required elements are in their place. This is a great beer. Years ago, it was one of the top 5 in the world. Now, it's still worthy of a mention but there have been some recent entries that do a better job. Still a great beer!

jampics2, Mar 14, 2011
Photo of pdoran10
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%

Pours out pure black into a pint glass. Bottle split three ways. One finger of brown head that leaves nice lacing.

Smell is crisp dark malt with bitter earthy hop and slight coffee presence.

Taste is dry roasted bitter chocolate with light bitter coffee. I love dry thick stouts with coffee. This beer covers all my bases and then some. Roast and coffee meld well together.

Big substantial and dry with moderate carbonation. Lots of win here. I love me some dry, thick stout!

One glass was not enough.

pdoran10, Mar 14, 2011
Photo of BBP
4.4/5  rDev +0.2%

A- Pours dark black. Extremely thick. Good carbonation and gorgeous lacing. Maintained a decent head for the duration of the drink.

S- Booze and coffee. Little bits of bitterness. Hints of molasses.

T- Leaning to chocolate. Extremely rich malt profile. Reminded me a bit of storm king on steroids. The chocolate was extremely rich. There wasn't as much coffee as I expected out of this. It was definitely there, but it was subtle at the same time. The chocolate came out on top of it. Comparable to espresso chocolates. I'm happy that the coffee they used was quite rich, but it didn't get the focus as much as the chocolate flavors did.

M- Medium full. Extremely creamy. Carbonation was just right. Slightly dry, very sticky finish.

D- Quite drinkable for 12%. I was expecting more coffee from the description but it didn't disappoint. A superb stout and something that I wouldn't pass up.

BBP, Mar 13, 2011
Photo of Gmann
4.05/5  rDev -7.7%

Pours a pitch black color, total darkness. The head is tight and creamy looking and settles into a sparse cap.

The aroma is of a mild chocolate, caramel and coffee. There are some ash notes perhaps some burnt wood. Its a nice aroma just not very strong.

The taste is of a strong roasted malt and expresso roast. There is some caramel sweetness and a sour berry thing. Some bitter chocolate, licorice and vanilla notes finish the flavor profile. A very roast dominated stout.

The feel is well-bodied with semi-soft carbonation which gives the beer a silky feel. Starts off sweet but ends bitter with a subtle sour twang. ABV is well hidden.

A very roasty stout with bitter coffee flavors. Quite substantial. I prefer to see some other flavors equalize the heavy roast so I scored lower but heavy roast fans will love it.

Gmann, Mar 11, 2011
Photo of zoolzoo
1.68/5  rDev -61.7%

Received as a trade extra, thanks to the generous Adamdc. I am unsure of the vintage.

A: Pours "stout black", a weak mocha head develops and diminishes into a bubbly ring around the glass.

S: Strong dark fruit presence, soy sauce, burnt coffee, alcohol. Getting some chocolate, as well.

T: Wow, getting alot of strange tartness out of this one. Dark fruits yah, but also a weird semi-sour cherry thing. I wanna say this is infected, but I have no other sample to compare it to. Coffee presence is weak, chocolate presents itself as an under lying sweetness. Finish is again... a bit fruity!

M/D: Thick enough, carbonation is low which contradicts my infection theory. I don't understand how this beer is so well regarded. I may have a bad bottle, maybe not. As it stands I will never know, I wont be hunting this one down again.

zoolzoo, Mar 09, 2011
AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 4,746 ratings.