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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.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

4,688 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,688
Reviews: 1,396
rAvg: 4.4
pDev: 8.86%
Wants: 748
Gots: 1,317 | 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: 4,688 | Reviews: 1,396 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hawks10
hawks10

Illinois

3.53/5  rDev -19.8%

750ml bottle - Foiled & Capped - Poured into a snifter...

Pours thick and black with a nice dense, one finger tan head. Some lacing is left behind...

Sweet milk chocolate on top of a nice, but more subtle than expected, roasted coffee aroma. A touch of booze.

Some sweet chocolate with a nice citrusy hop bitterness. Roasted with a bit of coffee, not near as much as expected though. Booze is very prevalent, burns the gums and lingers well into the aftertaste.

Full bodied but drinks a bit thinner than expected. Low carbonation, smooth. Very boozy, lots of burn...bitter, burning aftertaste...

Not a big fan

10-20-2010 23:45:30 | More by hawks10
Photo of errantnight
errantnight

California

4.33/5  rDev -1.6%

Tasted in a Spiegelau tulip during a RIS tasting (with plain crackers and water for palate cleansing between tastings).

Pours very dark with light ruby highlights with a frothy, espresso crema like foam.

Light milk chocolate and a mildly roast coffee. Subtle and complex with layers of nutty, toasty notes underlying.

Chocolate with a caramel/toffee sweetness fronting a slightly thin, bitter finish. The body is medium full and incredibly smooth with a long, lingering pleasant, balanced finish.

It's a superbly drinkable classic. It doesn't have the best, most complex flavor, but it does have an amazing body and a great nose and a solid flavor that belies its strength.

10-16-2010 22:17:53 | More by errantnight
Photo of mondegreen
mondegreen

Georgia

4.68/5  rDev +6.4%

750ml into a Founders Balloon tulip at 50F. Purchased at Belmont Party Supply in Dayton, OH in May 2010.

Pours black as night. No light escapes this beer, holding it in the bright Georgia sun, I see nothing but a dark void. A fluffy tan head rises from the blackness, hanging onto the side of my glass as it slowly receeds back into the abyss.

Nose is spectacular. Rich dark flavors of coffee, chocolate, and hints of dark fruits mingle with a welcoming warm alcohol aroma. The nose shows just how well crafted this brew is.

Taste is no less spectacular. The roasted flavors shine through, with the mellow coffee flavors holding it all together. The 12% is present, but not the centerpiece. Just a lovely stout.

Mouth is full-bodied, perfect for carrying the substantial, complex flavors of this brew.

Drinkability is through the roof for the style. I will enjoy sipping this one for a couple hours, and I hope to pick up another whenever I can. Bravo, Alesmith!

10-16-2010 18:40:03 | More by mondegreen
Photo of wvsabbath
wvsabbath

West Virginia

4.88/5  rDev +10.9%

Serving type - 220z bottle

Appearance - Black as night, lots like motor oil, 1 inch head with some tan traces in it

Smell - Whoa, the coffee is present, the malts, barley and chocolate is strong! Wow im ready to tear into this.

Taste - Amazing, so tasty. The kona coffee mixed with the sugars and malts and the stout beer is insane. Its so strong yet so smooth and tasty. IM not even a coffee drinker but man the kona coffee was great.

Mouthfeel - You get all these amazing flavors mixed in your mouth. The alcohol doesnt burn so you can hold it mouth and enjoy it. You will need to sip it it will overwhelm your mouth.

Drinkabilty - High as the sky! I cant wait to get more! Would be a 5 rating but its just too strong to drink alot of. I havent had enough of this to claim it as my favorite, founders breakfast has that claim, but another bottle or two of this, and ill know its its number one to me. Amazing stout, buy it and enjoy.

10-13-2010 04:15:16 | More by wvsabbath
Photo of mulder1010
mulder1010

Australia

4.88/5  rDev +10.9%

750 ML poured into a globe glass

A-- Poured black with touches of black oil. Not syrupy at all. Dark mocha colored head that was one finger in height, that settled to just above film. Great head retention to this and even better when swirled. Some lines of lacing and some foam lacing. Very nice looking beer.

S-- Coco powder, coffee, baking chocolate, and hints of black pepper. Coffee and coco take over with the beer getting more air and the beer gets a stronger smell with more oxygen. No hint of the ABV in the smell.

T-- Coffee, coffee, roasted malts and chocolate. Much thinner than I thought it would be but that is in a good way. Very smooth velvety taste to this.

M-- Thick and rich but has a smoothness and softness to this that is very different. Very little carbonation and a lot of coffee to this but not over coffee bitterness. Finishes dry due to the coco and baking chocolate but but little hint of bitter chocolate. Great feel to this and very big and bold but does not wreck a plate.

D-- Amazing. Plain and simple. ABV is more than well hidden in this. Scary drinkability as this is way easy to go through. One of the best Imperial Stouts I have had. This is big but it is well reserved and extremely well made.

10-12-2010 12:50:31 | More by mulder1010
Photo of kingcrowing
kingcrowing

Vermont

4.53/5  rDev +3%

750ml poured into a weiß glass.

Pours a pitch black oily color with a huge fluffy thick dark brown head it's awesome. Nose is chocolate, smoke and bitter coffee, it's very rich and nice.

Taste is fairly roasty, chocolate and rxh complex tasty malt. It's super rich and tasty and just gets better Jen it warms. Easily one if the best stouts I've had, it's really good.

10-09-2010 01:15:02 | More by kingcrowing
Photo of biggred1
biggred1

Indiana

4.28/5  rDev -2.7%

Ebony, coffee colored with a dense, creamy mocha head that lasts forever and has larger bubbles on top and leaves sheets of lace on the glass. Chocolate, cocoa powder, anise, raisin and fresh roasted coffee make up the aroma. Roasty coffee and molten fudge with a charred bitterness and well hidden alcohol. This is a truly great stout. Full bodied and creamy with smooth, mild carbonation. Alesmith SS really lives up to it's own hype.

10-05-2010 02:18:44 | More by biggred1
Photo of Spica66
Spica66

Indiana

4.05/5  rDev -8%

Received this one from BigTomZ. Thanks, Tom!

750ml black glass champagne bottle with all silver/grey printed-on graphics and a silver foil on the top. Very sharp appearance to this bottle.

Poured into tulip

A: Black as night. Excellent head formation and retention. This is exactly how a stout should look in the glass.

S: Even when pouring, chocolate aromas were wafting up from the glasses. The labeling talks about the pounds and pounds of coffee used the beer, but neither Fr. Ian nor I smelled anything special about the coffee notes and they were hard to find under the bitter chocolate smell.

T: Very dark roast taste. Coffee and dark chocolate notes as one would expect from a beer this dark. The 12% does not show up until well down the esophagus.

M: Way too thin for this big of a beer. I was really surprised by how light it was and the lack of creaminess or roundness in the mouth.

D: This is easily one of the easiest to drink high-ABV stouts I have ever had.

10-04-2010 14:10:10 | More by Spica66
Photo of mechamifune
mechamifune

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -14.8%

Poured out of the 750ml bottle into sifter.

Pours with almost no head to speak of.... some light pleasant lacing but thats it. Beer is close to jet black with almost no hint of carbonation.

Smell is lots of coffee and notes of chocolate.... more muted than, say, FBS, but still very enjoyable.

Taste is coffee upfront, followed by a lingering tartness and almost no sense of hops. Still its a pleasant taste, not world class, but enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is where it really falls flat to me... this is a beer with almost no carbonation.... it still is relatively creamy and thus not totally unpleasant, but it just gets a little difficult to drink after a while. But for a 12% beer, it has a very minimal sense of alcohol, and the taste and flavors are enjoyable enough that I feel I can still rank this as a good beer....but relative to other "big" stouts, this one doesn't really match up.

10-04-2010 01:42:29 | More by mechamifune
Photo of HopJ
HopJ

California

2.78/5  rDev -36.8%

This was a real let down for me. I will look to taste again in case my taste buds were just crazy this night. The smell was heavily weighted towards chocolate. Leaning toward bitter chocolate. But for me it was distractingly so. The aromas were powerful but it would depend on how the flavors worked with it. Really no head on this. My first sip confirms that this is totally flat. With its heavy mouthfeel and dominating chocolate flavors, I needed some carbonation. With no carbonation, this got old fast for me.

10-02-2010 15:54:46 | More by HopJ
Photo of HURTemHIZZY
HURTemHIZZY

Virginia

3.7/5  rDev -15.9%

Poured a (basically) black tone with a nice deep tan head that took a while to dissipate to the thin ring it remained at until the beer was through. OK lacing. Smell was a bit muted, with notes of coffee and chocolate; I was certainly expecting a bit more.

The taste is not really what I was expecting from a brew that is this highly regarded. Notes of coffee, caramel, and bittersweet chocolate. There is a tiny bit of hop bitterness. Everything was nice and worked well together, but the overall flavor was a bit subdued for an imp stout. No WOW factor imo.

Nice creamy mouthfeel, with a bit of carbonation to keep it alive. This was a nice stout, just not worthy of the hype.

10-01-2010 16:08:00 | More by HURTemHIZZY
Photo of billshmeinke
billshmeinke

California

4.58/5  rDev +4.1%

Had this on tap at Blue Palms. Served in a snifter.

Half a finger creamy beige head. Ptich black body. dies down to a ring of foam around the edge. Oilly legs pull any lacing back into the brew.

Rich nose of coffee and bittersweet chocolate cake. A hint of dark cherries, and a whiff of alcohol. Really rich and decadent smelling.

Taste follows smell almost exactly except more of the dark cherries come through than in the nose. The coffee flavor is also really rich and complex.

Mouthfeel is fairly thick with lower carbonation. Really smooth. A real treat.

The coffee presence is much more complex and delicious in the fresh on tap version of this beer compared to the bottle (which is one of my favorite beers anyway). Too drinkable. Is this alcohol? Just the slightest warmth in the belly

09-30-2010 04:10:48 | More by billshmeinke
Photo of Brent
Brent

Kentucky

3.9/5  rDev -11.4%

Lots of coffee and unsweetened chocolate in the malt, with a rather unusual lactic tartness lurking in the background, somehow related to the lactose sugar notes in the beer. Mouthfeel seemed a little thin for the style, with a little wateryness. The substantial alcohol content was well integrated into the flavor. Where sometimes the inclinatin is to rate a well-regarded beer high, here I found my self a bit letdown. A very nice beer, no question, but not outstanding in the class.

09-29-2010 13:44:10 | More by Brent
Photo of scottyshades
scottyshades

Florida

4.68/5  rDev +6.4%

Thanks to mrmiles!
A: Pours a viscous looking pitch black color. The head is massive and chocolate color, retention is excellent.

S: Coffee, chocolate, raisin, fig, slight lactose, roasted and toasted malts. Hops are also apparent. Awesome.

T: Tastes better than it smells...big bittersweet chocolate, caramel, toffee, coffee, raisin, fig, and just awesomeness. Really one of the best stouts I've tried. Alcohol is completely masked, and only adds body and a little warming feeling.

MF/D: Very viscous, but I have seen thicker. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel from the lactose. Carbonation is right on the money. Amazingly drinkable for 12%

Notes: This is absolutely deserving of the rating. I got too excited to try this, so I'll be ISO for another one to cellar. Thanks Miles, this made my interest in stouts come alive again!

09-26-2010 19:13:34 | More by scottyshades
Photo of AdamGarcia
AdamGarcia

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev -3.4%

750ml bottle served in Darkness tulip.

A: Pours noticeably viscous and near black. Zero light getting through. Cappucino colored head rises up and settles down quickly, leaving a film of multi-sized bubbles.

S: Bold dark fruit. Chocolate and vanilla. Coffee in the background. Hints of sweet cherry.

T: Big doses of chocolate. Waves of bitter chocolate smoothed out with milk chocolate. Dark fruit is present briefly, but not to the same extent as in the aroma. Coffee is understated, but very tasty. This is a coffee stout that will appeal to non-coffee lovers as well.

M: Lovely viscous feel. Silky & smooth. Perfect.

D: Good. I don't find this to be tremendously complex, but it is very interesting. At 12% abv this is clearly a sipper. Something that I can't quite put my finger on, keeps me from wanting multiple servings.

Very nice beer. I really wish Alesmith was available in the Pittsburgh market, as everything I've had from this brewery is world class. Luckily, a short trip to Vintage Estates is all it takes to replenish my Alesmith stash. If you haven't had Speedway be sure to put it on you "to do" list.

09-22-2010 03:10:10 | More by AdamGarcia
Photo of samie85
samie85

Illinois

4.9/5  rDev +11.4%

A-Pours a deep, midnight black with a three finger, dark brown, dense, crater-y head into a snifter. This one leaves thick, sticky rings of lacing.

S-Roasted malt with smooth coffee notes and some vanilla with chocolate malt and some alcohol.

T-Chocolate upfront with some deep, roasted coffee notes, some light traces of vanilla, and finishes dry, roasty and with the smallest hint of booze on the finish.

M-This could be the thickest, creamiest stout I've had. The only ones I can think of that might touch it's mouth-feel are BCS and Darkness. The carbonation level is low, and the beer finishes dry and with a warming quality from the alcohol.

D-This has to one of the easiest drinking high alcohol beers I've had. Almost no indication that this beer is 12%. The mouth-feel blew away as did the taste. I wish I had regular access to this damn near perfect specimen of a coffee stout.

09-22-2010 00:29:03 | More by samie85
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

4.71/5  rDev +7%

Well damn. Just when I thought I knew what my favorite stout in the world was. Going into the end of my second bottle, its all up in the air.

How many ways can you say thick jet black w/ cherry cola head appearance. Amazing lacing, retention, even keeps the tan and red head stuck to the side of the glass after the black liquid is long gone.

Big chocolate and coffee nose. Boozy for sure. That will really be your last impression of booziness.

Taste, immaculate, you won't know 12% was the abv. Thick, no bad aftertaste, just mild coffee melded with a big chocolate malt roast (no bitterness or astringency to it). Just enough sweetness to make it smoother, without sweetness being a hallmark flavor that makes this beer. It never fades, even to the last sip. So coating, every drop, mouthfeel never stops, never fades, you just get sip after sip of heaven. This was drank Saturday, in 90 degree weather around the pool. Yeah, not what many would consider ideal conditions to drink a stout.

IMHO, don't worry about anything else, this stout makes the conditions around you ideal. I wouldn't argue with you if you said this was the best stout in the world.

09-20-2010 21:33:10 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of BA23598
BA23598

California

4.38/5  rDev -0.5%

Took me three days to finish this bottle...really wanted to get the feel of this beer... So recorked it after a glass every night... It was mind-blowing on the final night... Drank after dinner.

A. Black. Thick. Bootylicious. Nice body and legs..
S. Dark chocolate, brown sugar...slightly maple syrup.. Expresso
T. Just like the smell... On the last day, lots of creaminess and powdered chocolate came out.
M. Thick.. Not for a beginner...may scare some beer drinkers... But conosiurs will love the effort that went into this beer... Definately for those that have tried and enjoyed KBS, Darklord, Black Tuesday, Tokyo*, Weasel, DFH WWS, etc.
D. If you've tried any of the above, u know what I'm talking about...

09-20-2010 06:20:53 | More by BA23598
Photo of bohemiandonut
bohemiandonut

California

4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

750 into Welch's mini, my glass of choice for the style. (It's a makeshift tulip.)

Not much head but man this is a seriously DERK brew, no ruby highlights here. Anarchy. Punk rock. Nascar?

The vapors on this are mellow but robust and balanced. Classic wafts of RIS between disfamiliar invitations speaking thick-ass coffee and espresso. To be honest (and retarded), this smells like a coffee "tree" that has been brutally felled by a bourbon wielding chocolate snowman.

Jesus Christ if you haven't *warmed* a beer yet let this one be your first. Twelve percent (12.00 %) alcohol?? Might as well be twelve percent Ghiradelli chocolate for how smooth and lusciously delectable this drink is.

Finishes smoother than a 90's R&B artist. I could drink this all night and I will, fuck Sunday!

09-19-2010 03:10:52 | More by bohemiandonut
Photo of velosuds
velosuds

Oregon

4.78/5  rDev +8.6%

Poured from a beautiful 750 ml bottle into a clear pint glass. Son bought this for my birthday and I am sharing it with him.

A-Black beauty. Prettier than any stallion. Pours a midnight black. Very dark. No light gets through this beauty. A one and a half finger, creamy tan head with good retention and lacing ensues. A gorgeous craft beer.

S-Deep, dark chocolate and patent malts, roasted barley, and coffee beans. And, just the slightest hint of alcohol, though not unwelcome in a beer this big at 12%ABV. Aroma is intense and prominent. Very nice.

T-Velvety chocolate, as in the sweetest, most delectable fudge, espresso coffee, black-strap molasses, brown sugar, and a hint of rum. The depth and complexity is amazing. Taste definitely improves as it warms. I imagine this will also improve as it ages.

M-Robust, but very smooth with medium to full body. Alcohol is not noticeable.

D-This is a great beer. Best enjoyed by sipping. Very glad to have finally given this a try. I'll be back for more this fall and winter, which seems to be coming early in Oregon this year.

09-19-2010 00:56:25 | More by velosuds
Photo of laituegonflable
laituegonflable

Australia

4.4/5  rDev 0%

Pours a dark, murky colour, red-tinged up to the light. Head is ochre-hued with large bubbly texture on top, modest but retaining extremely well. Lace is very nice, sticky. Yes, a very good-looking beer indeed.

A lot of coffee on the nose. Rich, dark robust espresso flavours. Nice cocoa underlying and some touches of oak, vanilla and caramel as well. Nice bitterness that isn't overdone; certainly appealing.

Very dark flavour, lots of roastiness on that. Very syrupy mouthfeel is the first thing I notice, plus I'm sipping small amounts, yet getting a huge amount of flavour. Pleasant espresso bitterness with lots of that cocoa-rich chocolate, touches of wood and brown sugar as well. Definite heady strength to it, I mean it sort of feels heavy but doesn't taste it. There's an imperial-stout heaviness that doesn't compare to other alcoholic heaviness but this is also crazy drinkable. Bitterness is noticeable but pleasant and earthy. Sweet characters pop up here and there just for my enjoyment. The finish has a bite to it, but more like a lovebite, really.

This is a damn nice beer. Perhaps just a whisper of gritty bitterness hangs around, rendering it just slightly imperfect.

09-14-2010 07:12:18 | More by laituegonflable
Photo of djmichaelk
djmichaelk

Florida

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
philbe311

Pennsylvania

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
JoEBoBpr

Missouri

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
BMan1113VR

California

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
AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 4,688 ratings.