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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.

4,617 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,617
Reviews: 1,394
rAvg: 4.4
pDev: 8.86%
Wants: 746
Gots: 1,299 | FT: 131
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: 4,617 | Reviews: 1,394 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of djmichaelk


4.68/5  rDev +6.4%

750ml bottle into a snifter (and later into a perfect pint).

A - Beee-lack. Just black. Two full fingers of mocha-colored head, with some serious staying power. Not a lot of lacing but wow, that head sticks around.

S - Lots of coffee, coupled with a chocolate sweetness. Cocoa, toast, and a bit of alcohol.

T - Wow. This has all the components that I look for in a stout. Leading off is an oat-y note that reminds me of breakfast cereal, followed closely by strong coffee flavors. Once the coffee fades the sweetness comes in, along with some milk chocolate. The finish is more coffee, and it goes a while. This is an awesome beer.

M - Smooth and creamy, substantial yet light. Carbonation is just right, and the finish is not too dry. I'm not aware of a better beer in this area.

D - Okay, the ABV is high, but if I had another bottle I'd be popping the top right now. RIGHT NOW.

O - This is truly a world-class beer. I may not live here on the left coast much longer, but I can tell you that I'll be buying a lot more of this while I'm still here.

09-13-2010 10:20:23 | More by djmichaelk
Photo of philbe311


4.6/5  rDev +4.5%

A - Just shy of two fingers worth of dense creamy batter-like head that is medium to dark khaki to color... Minimal retention gives way to a thick slightly uneven lacing... An absolutely opaque standard black color... A slight bit of lacing clings to the glass...

S - Chocolate and coffee... Coffee and chocolate... Roasted malts... Minor notes of licorice... A very subtle booziness... Very straightforward and very effective...

T - Cocoa... Roasted malts... Coffee... A touch of gooey caramel... The coffee really emerges and the finish and remains through the after taste along with a very faint alcoholic warmth lingers in the back of the throat...

M - Medium to full bodied... Slightly thinner than expected, but not "thin" by any means... A roasted chalkiness permeates... Slightly intensifies from start to finish, but otherwise very even and consistent...

D - Some big stouts are just too overbearing and detract from the overall enjoyability of otherwise terrific brews... That's not the case with Alesmith Speedway, this is a seriously big stout, but it fairly easy going and easy to workthrough... A truly world class offering...

09-12-2010 02:13:09 | More by philbe311
Photo of JoEBoBpr


4.63/5  rDev +5.2%

Poured into a tulip glass from a 750ml bottle.

A - Pours a dark dark brown almost black oily brew. It appears slowly but there is a nice thin .5 inch head with nice dense bubbles and some bigger to medium sized bubbles on the top. The head is nice and tan with some slight dark sandy colors.

S - Delicious sweet caramel first, that is quickly overtaken by some great fresh roasted coffee. The coffee is delicious and robust but with some slight mocha hints. Nice toasty and roasted malt hints with slight coffee and slight vanilla spice as well. Nice cocoa powder and the booze is not as apparent initially.

T & M - Delicious Wow! Roasted and toasty sweet chocolatey hints. Very nice sweet brown sugar hints as well. The roasted coffee flavor is up there as one of the best in a stout in my opinion. There is great complexity around this brew and each of the flavors are very interconnected and well represented. There is a slight warmth at the end that really adds to the sweetness as well probably from the 12% ABV. Nice oily and viscous with a lower carbonation fell that is very delicious and compliments the rich full body perfectly. There is some slight spice and some woody and smokey flavors as well and the nice roasted and dry finish is very exciting. Absolute MVP of the ADS in my book.

D - High ABV but dangerously hidden. One of my favorite Double Stouts.

09-10-2010 22:57:08 | More by JoEBoBpr
Photo of BMan1113VR


4.68/5  rDev +6.4%

Many bottles and draughts over time. Old bottle from notes (2006). Wow! Pours with a small, ultra creamy, light brown head with some great lacing. Pitch black body. Amazing aroma of coffee and chocolate. Tastes of morning fresh french roast. Perfect mouthfeel, ultra creamy and so easy to drink (even at 12%), just amazing, nice alcohol warming. Nice and sweet mocha plays with your taste buds.

09-10-2010 00:14:02 | More by BMan1113VR
Photo of alleykatking


4.22/5  rDev -4.1%

Poured from a 750ml bottle. Had this one many times and finally going to review it.

A- Pours a dark black color. No light getting through this one. One finger mocha colored head fades rather quickly. No lacing as it just falls back into the glass.

S- Big time coffee smell. Light baker's chocolate (bitter) in the background. A light roasted malt backbone to this. Alcohol tingles the nose as you sniff. Hint of vanilla with this as well.

T- Chocolate malts come off first in bitter start. This is interesting as I expected the coffee to start this. The coffee kicks it into high gear though and that is all you can taste in a espresso like middle. The alcohol shines for a minute as it transends into a light roasted malt mixed with chocolate again. The ending has more alcohol but it is hidden throughout the beer so well.

M- Heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the stlye. Very chewy and slick as it cover the palate. Coffee flavors left on the palate and chocolate covered coffee beans make up the aftertaste with a kiss of alcohol. Medium drying on the palate from the alcohol. Flavors are so well blended it's kind of crazy.

D- This is a fantastic beer that really is drinkable. Although, having more than a couple pints of this could be bad news. The high ABV lmits the drinkability on this to be honest.

09-09-2010 01:42:28 | More by alleykatking
Photo of Gfunk720


4.08/5  rDev -7.3%

Have had this bottle for a year and a half, and finally opened it. Consumed from my Trappist Rochefort goblet.

A- Pours almost pure black, very dark, no light passes through. Nice healthy tannish head, good retention too.

S- Coffee predominantly, with some notes of caramel. Also smell some dark fruit and some booziness.

T- Tastes mostly of dark coffee and caramel. Nice malty backbone swoops in for a second, and then fades to a nice coffee aftertaste.

M- Very nice mouthfeel. It is more carbonated than most beers of this style, but it works. Gets better as it warms...

D- Pretty heavy but the mouthfeel keeps drawing me back. The initial flavor was good, but the coffee aftertaste got to be a little much after a while.

A tasty coffee stout, and always a safe bet. It has a touch too much coffee in it for it to be perfect for me, but I'd buy it again. The Barrel Aged version is perfect, as the barrel aging mellowed out the coffee.

09-05-2010 15:14:34 | More by Gfunk720
Photo of rand


4.38/5  rDev -0.5%

From bottle to oversized wine glass

Had this bottle aging since early '10, and I've had this on tap several times, so I thought I'd crack it open and see if I could detect any changes

A: Pours coffee-black with not a trace of light passing through as I hold it up to the light. There's plenty of carbonation here, but only a small, mocha-colored head forms, I assume from the the viscous complexion you would expect from a 12% stout. As I lightly twirl the beer, a small layer of lacing is left behind which slowly cascades down the glass.

N: Sweetened espresso and chocolate fill the nose. This isn't the chocolate-like aromas you pick up from many stouts which are almost molasses or carob-like. No, this is straight-up dark, unsweetened chocolate. Alcohol is also present, but not overpowering as you might expect given the ABV.

T: Italian roasted coffee and dark chocolate are immediately prevalent. As the bottle states, "brewed with Ryan Bros. coffee beans", so you're expecting the coffee notes, but this brew is so chocolaty I'm surprised Ghirardellii didn't have a hand in this. A slight orangey citrus is noted as the sip progresses, and the finish is bitter chocolate and warming alcohol. The alcohol is damn well hidden for the strength of this ale, but does become noticeable as the glass warms. Nothing is out of balance here, and it really contains all of the rich flavors you might crave in a stout, yet more pronounced.

M: Creamy, chewy, oily, delicious. The rich complexion induces slow sipping, making this brew a nice pair to a rich desert or an after-dinner digestif.

D: This one really goes down nicely, especially given the 12% ABV, which is remarkably and dangerously hidden. The coffee/chocolate notes are far more pronounced than the alcohol, but the alcohol does add a nice warmth, especially as the beer warms.

Notes: This was aged a little longer than 6 months and I didn't notice a huge difference than when I've had it on tap in the past. I'm going to pick up another and forget about it for a couple of years and see if the flavors change or relax at all.

09-05-2010 06:46:19 | More by rand
Photo of DNICE555


4.88/5  rDev +10.9%

Had this in the beer fridge for so long. First weekend in the new apartment not having to move anything. Humidity and heat finally left and it's a nice early Sept cool night. Poured into a Bell's tulip.

A: Wesley Snipes body with a Bunny Rabbit chocolate milk head.

S: Coffee front, chocolate, big badass stout smell that filled up the whole room.

T: Coffee, Iced coffee, Chocolate, cherries, molasses. I've been very patient storing this bigfoot. It has not dissapointed. The flavor is huge.

M: Light carbonation. Big thick chewy mouthfeel.

D: If you like coffee stouts, pick up this beer.

09-05-2010 02:36:51 | More by DNICE555
Photo of lacqueredmouse


4.68/5  rDev +6.4%

Cracked open with @LaitueGonflable and @thescotdownunder to celebrate my 800th beer review on BA. Purchased at City Beer Store in San Francisco and carted back in my luggage to Sydney.

Pours with an amazing cascade effect -- the head forms backwards from what I expect, leaving some liquid darkness running down the inside of the glass, while the head forms downwards into the body of the beer. Quite spectacular to watch. It's a deep, heavy and opaque black colour, and the head, once it has formed, is a pleasant mocha brown. Lacing is very decent. Looks every bit the American Imperial Stout. Just wonderful.

Very dark on the nose, with huge roasted notes, but also a very distinct and spicy capsaicin note like freshly crushed chilli. Big oaky and roasted coffee notes as well -- I expect nothing less from the best Impy Stouts. Little coconut or vanilla, as I've had from many other examples, but the spicy notes give this its own edge, and its own unique character. Very, very good indeed.

Very smooth and slick profile on the palate; it's the first thing noticeable. It then delivers big roasted notes, but subtly leavened by good vanilla characters that almost evoke melted ice cream. Quite noticeable oak on the back, and it finishes surprisingly dry; that slight spice aroma gets revived in the dying moments. It's a lovely brew.

Oh yes, oh yes... this is an exceptionally good beer. Rich, full of character, dark and seductive, boisterous and aggressive in places. So much going on and so excitingly craft. I love it to bits.

09-04-2010 08:55:03 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of beerwolf77


4.63/5  rDev +5.2%

I've been meaning to get to this one forever. Well it's an awesome cool crisp late summer evening so I think this fits the bill.

Poured from the bottle into my duvel tulip.

A: Wow talk about a beauty. The beer is so black I think it's sucking light in from the room I'm in. Beautiful waves of cascading carbonation look like a waterfall of chocolate milk. Huge three finger mocha hued head sets up and refuses to leave. After an agonizing wait a thick coating of lace is left around the glass.

S: Sweet and rich milk chocolate are the first thing to greet my nose. Like melted chocolate ice cream. Plenty of roasted malt and black coffee are present as well. Just a hint of campfire. As it warms further I can pick up hints of dark fruit and molasses. This beer is giving the Abyss a run for it's money as my favorite big stout.

T: Bitter dark chocolate up front slowly fades into fire roasted coffee beans. Molasses and black cherries are present as well. The flavor isn't as spectacular as the nose but only by a slim margin.

M: full chewy body, thick like motor oil, light carbonation

D: Overall a wonderful beer. Well worth it's place on the top 100.

09-04-2010 02:49:31 | More by beerwolf77
Photo of ne0m00re


4.18/5  rDev -5%

08/19/10- Had this one out of a 750 mL bottle.
A: Black with a slow developing, nice caramel head.
S: Caramel, mocha, bananas, espresso, nice dark chocolate and molasses... very good.
T: Espresso and dark chocolate, bourbon vanilla character that is mild, roasted charred flavor and a strange cannabis green finish lingers.
M: Sticky, but with a nice cleansing frothiness.
D: Very good.

08-31-2010 00:53:58 | More by ne0m00re
Photo of pokesbeerdude


4.3/5  rDev -2.3%

Picked up a 750ml of this from the deli next to my hotel when I was in San Diego about a month ago. I've been waiting for the right night to drink it, and I was in a stout mood tonight. Around $10. Into my Stone IRS glasses, split with my girlfriend.

A: Pours a deep inky black with a light brown head, a good two fingers worth that sticks around nicely. Excellent lacing as the head recedes into a good half inch of dense head. Completely opaque. Excellent here.

S: Lots of nice roasted flavors, fresh coffee, dark malts, and surprisingly no booze, which is great for a 12% beer. Underneath that are notes of molasses, chocolate syrup, brown sugar, and a few dark fruit flavors, maybe plums. Overall very nice here, but I've definitely smelled better stouts.

T: Follows over nicely from the nose, excellent coffee flavors as well as a little bit of booze. Tons of roasty flavors that add a nice bitterness to counteract the sweetness of the immense chocolate flavors. A few hoppy bitter flavors, and a bit of earthyness as well. Some brown sugar, and some caramel in there as well. Excellent flavors, very enjoyable.

M: This is almost perfect in the mouth, sticky, thick and rich, but a surprisingly dry finish which I think is really aided by the booze here. Decent amount of warmth in the gullet. Pretty much right on here.

D: Dangerous. for a 12% beer, I could see me sipping on this all night and eventually falling into a stout induced coma of satisfaction. Thankfully I only have one bottle, because if there was another in the fridge I would be all over popping it open tonight. Great beer, definitely lives up to the hype.

08-29-2010 04:31:45 | More by pokesbeerdude
Photo of Pabs311


3.93/5  rDev -10.7%

A- beer pors a deep dark black color with a nice tan head.

S- aroma is mostly of chcolaty roasted malts. there's also some coffee notes coming through but muted at best.

T- very similar to the nose, mostly choclaty roasted malts, with a hint off coffee to it. the lack of coffee surprised me considering that coffee beans are added to this beer.

M/D- full bodied, thick with low carbonation. good mouthfeel and the drinkability on this is very easy. no alcohol detected at any point. good beer but dissapointed with the lack of coffee characteristics though.

08-28-2010 18:24:13 | More by Pabs311
Photo of hu5om


4.47/5  rDev +1.6%

split in duvel tulips with newk340
big thanks, evan.
a-very black, pillowy tan foam. sparkly foam that leaves gorgeous lacing.
s-biiiig dark chocolate. oatmeal. coffee. almost a burnt toast
t-dark chocolate. again a burnt toast vibe. coffee, heavy on the oats. robust. licorice. a bit of spice and heat. who cares? delic.
m-a bit boozy but mostly creamy and smooth.
d-very very good. one of my fav non-barrel aged stouts. wish i had another bottle! could have laid this one down for a while, but oh well. still great!

08-25-2010 21:38:58 | More by hu5om
Photo of Aenema


4.2/5  rDev -4.5%

Appearance - Pitch black, deep tan head.
Smell - Coffee, cocoa, vanilla, oak. Tremendous aromatic combination.
Taste - Cocoa, coffee, some bitterness towards the end.
Mouthfeel - Silky smooth with low-medium carbonation.
Drinkability - Very enjoyable and although it is a very filling, strong beer, it manages to remain easy to continue drinking. The biggest problem I ran into was a bit more bitterness than I would like on the end of this one.
Overall - A tremendous nose and great drinkability really set this one apart. I'm looking forward to trying this one again.

08-25-2010 04:31:32 | More by Aenema
Photo of soupyman10

District of Columbia

4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Got this one with an IPA and a Yulesmith (Winter) in an order from Joey at South Bay Drugs. Another delicious beer from AleSmith. Amazing deep brown color with a tan head that lingers, and the monstrous chocolate, caramel, some toffee, molasses, and other dried fruit flavors. Big body, as expected. I will say this this one didn't quite distinguish itself from some of my favorite Imperial Stouts like I expected, but certainly a delicious stout.

08-24-2010 19:30:01 | More by soupyman10
Photo of Beejay


4.33/5  rDev -1.6%

A: Obsidian Black. Fairly little head, what is there is a nice dark brown color, and dissipates into large bubbles.

S: Huge chocolate, and malt scent. Bitter coffee in the back. Big and bold, you can sense a hint of the booze in there.

T: Rich, smooth, and loaded with coffee. There is a big bite at the end full of bitterness and coffee. Wonderful and roasty, big malt flavor. This is definitely a big beer.

M: Rich, smooth, and creamy. The carbonation is low, but it works with the style.

D: Overall quite good. Very enjoyable, rich, bold, and tasty.

08-23-2010 02:35:22 | More by Beejay
Photo of bs870621345

New Jersey

4.78/5  rDev +8.6%

Pours black with a 1/2 inch of mocha head. Leaves lacing around the glass.

Smells of coffee, alcohol, dark fruits.

Tastes of coffee, fruit, molasses and caramel. It has a low hop bitterness and the bitterness is from the coffee.

Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated and creamy. Its truly remarkable.

Drinkability is high, except for alcohol. At 12% its a hefty brew, but extremely drinkable for that much.

Overall a great beer, I'm really enjoying this and the second bottle I have stashed away.

08-22-2010 20:38:54 | More by bs870621345
Photo of snpub540


4.3/5  rDev -2.3%

Pours a pretty much black void with a hint of dark brown around the edges. No head at all even with a vigorous pour. Pretty much no lacing at all but I wasn't expecting any from such a big beer.

Smell is a nice blend of coffee and roasted malts. Hints of raisins and other dark, ripe fruits create a very vinous like nose.

Taste is exceptional. It is a very complex mix of coffee and roasty goodness with hints of nutty malt flavors. There is the ripe fruit flavor along with a strong bitter woody finish and the slow warmth of alcohol as it slides down your throat. Definately a sipper but incredibly smooth.

The mouthfeel is very velvety and smooth. I enjoyed every sip of this and it would be perfect on a cold night. Drinkability is pretty good for such a big beer, but its definately better to share this bottle. A winner here for sure.

08-21-2010 05:08:32 | More by snpub540
Photo of thatsfine


4.25/5  rDev -3.4%

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Pitch black appearance with a two finger dark tan head that dissipates pretty slowly and leaves nice lacing.

Chocolate and coffee to the nose. Nothing too complicated but very inviting.

The taste immediately gives me chocolate and coffee but neither is overpowering. In the aftertaste, the coffee dominates. Plenty of roasted malts. Delicious. Not as much alcohol heat as I expected.

Thick, creamy mouthfeel and pretty low carbonation. This is a pretty filling beer.

The low carbonation makes it easier to drink, but this is definitely still a sipping beer.

08-21-2010 02:32:45 | More by thatsfine
Photo of newk340


4.25/5  rDev -3.4%

Poured in a Duvel tulip and bottle split with hu5om.

A: thick black pour, voluptuous tan 2-finger head that left excellent lacing.

S: a pleasing blend of chocolate and coffee.

T: a blast of coffee that sizzles for a few seconds before fading to a bitter chocolate with the swallow, oddly still leaves a coffee aftertaste with hints of caramel and malts.

MF/D: a brief sizzle of carbonation with a nice smooth swallow.

08-16-2010 22:14:29 | More by newk340
Photo of Schmaltzy


4.35/5  rDev -1.1%

A- Pours jet black with dark tan 1-2 finger head, good retention with lace clumping all over my glass.

S- Nice almost dark fruit with roasted malt and tons of dark chocolate coffee flavors, followed by a slight warming cherry sherry scent.

T- Very similar to the smell which is very nice, however this bottle is still young and has a slight bitter hop finish which will die in 1-2 years of cellaring.

M- Full body beer with tons of flavors a slight warming alcohol presence and almost too much carbonation on this beast, let it mellow for 1-2 years and re-review is best.

D- For being 12% alcohol, I finished a 750ml and started on some Stone Self Righteous, with some age this would be fantastic.

08-09-2010 03:36:10 | More by Schmaltzy
Photo of TheJollyHop


4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

2008 Vintage poured into a tulip glass

Style: Chocolate and molasses scents emanate from a rich, two toffee brown fingers of frothy head crowning a viscous, opaquely black body; superb head retention with blankets of lace.

Plums in the nose with undertones of dark roasted coffee. Sherry like notes, cherries, cinnamon, hint of vanilla extract. Creamy, silky coffee middle mixed with caramel. Chocolate upfront with a roasted malt finish. Moderate bitterness with alcohol warmth throughout. A touch of grassy hops flavor as well.

Opinion: Sweetness is not cloying and the body is surprisingly not as full bodied as I expected. Couple that with an overall balanced flavor profile. Fantastic!

08-06-2010 01:27:07 | More by TheJollyHop
Photo of GJ40

North Carolina

4.9/5  rDev +11.4%

Sampled from a 750ml bottle in my DFH snifter. No date on the bottle but I've been aging it for a year or so. Started at 50 degrees then it warmed from there.

A - A deep, dark black with no light coming through. Topped with a big, tan head that dissipates pretty quickly. It looks like something you could fall into and never be seen again.

S - Cocoa, molasses, vanilla and coffee. I was pleasantly surprised that the coffee didn't overpower it. I was a bit worried when I realized it had actual coffee in it.

T - Smooth and creamy. The coffee is there but it's joined by plenty of other flavors including cocoa, vanilla, molasses and a hop bitterness. Everything works in perfect harmony. There's no harshness or imbalance at all. And the 12% alcohol is completely hidden except for a gradual warming feeling.

M - As silky as any beer I've had. The low carbonation makes it slide right down.

D - A great beer to sip slowly while unwinding at the end of the day.

08-05-2010 22:09:59 | More by GJ40
Photo of rfgetz

New Jersey

4.3/5  rDev -2.3%

Pours a deep dark near black with adequate cap of brown, creamy head, leaving a nice cap and decent lacing. Smell brings a mellow but good scent of fresh roasted coffee beans with a light touch of cream. A faint nuttyness from the roast and malts is also present along with a bit of boozy cherry liqour. Initial taste brings a quick touch of warm, cherry liqour like boozyness (my first hint that this 2010 release should have aged longer), as it sits the flavors develop into a smooth creamy taste of dark roasted (but not burnt) espresso beans with nice touched of chocolate and cream. Faint hints of spice, like cinammon on the palate as well as minor notes of vanilla from the oak. Full bodied, rich, creamy without being too heavy, perfect carbonation. A great tasting beer that could only improve with age.

08-02-2010 13:19:45 | More by rfgetz
AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 4,617 ratings.