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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
97
world-class

4,759 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,759
Reviews: 1,398
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 753
Gots: 1,332 | 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: 4,759 | Reviews: 1,398 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mrasskicktastic
4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Rich brown brew with a deep mocha head. The head is medium sized but very dense. I even witnessed a lone droplet of beer trying to fight its way through the dense surface to the brew below. As it fades it leaves thick webs of lacing on the glass.

S - A subdued, yet present alcohol aroma is the first thing I smell. Then a charcoal and chocolate aroma.

T - At first I taste dark fruits, chocolate and coffee. More roasted malt flavors join the fray. The aftertaste

mrasskicktastic, Jan 10, 2011
Photo of GarthDanielson
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on-tap at the San Diego Brewing Co brewpub. They had it on for a guest tap while we were visiting. The beer poured jet black, with a thin, tan head. There was a milk chocolate nose, with hints of bitter toffee. The beer has flavors of coffee, nut, and chocolate, with bitter coffee undertones. The beer carries creamy flavors on a dry body, very well blended and balanced. The aftertaste is a blend of bitter and molasses, with a crisp finish. The beer has lingering tastes of sweet toffee. Very easy and smooth to drink.

GarthDanielson, Jan 10, 2011
Photo of oreo
4.72/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into my snifter.

Deep deep black with 2 fingers of dark head. Awesome lacing all the way down.

Smells of chocolate, coffee, vanilla and caramel.

One of my favorite beers. Tons of coffee, chocolate, and vanilla in the beer. Without bottle dating, I can't tell if it was fresh, but this particular bottle was the best ive had. Lots of coffee and chocolate bitterness offset the abv on this one.

Thick, but not so thick you think you are drinking syrup.

Wonderfully drinkable. Easily down a bottle alone. :)

oreo, Jan 09, 2011
Photo of swhite11
3.83/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

[A] - Pitch black with an extremely tan 1 1/2 finger creamy head. Retains and laces well.

[A] - Ungodly amount of coffee and chocolate. Slight breadiness with a moderate amount of alcohol.

[T] - Bounds of coffee and chocolate upfront. Ample roasted malt and hop bitterness. Roasted malt acidity dominates the finish - numbs the palate.

[M] - Very creamy/silky upfront. Dries quickly due to the alcohol and roasted malt acidity.

[D] - 12% is hidden well. The beer was consumed at a very young age yet it is very palatable. Carbonation is med-low. Acidity is a bit distracting.

[O] - A big, slightly acidic RIS with dominant notes of coffee and chocolate.

swhite11, Jan 09, 2011
Photo of GatheringBrews
4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich black/brown with a creamy tan head that lingers and laces quite a lot.

Aroma of coffee and malt; this bottle had a touch of hotness on the nose, but nothing offputting.

Tastes of espresso, dark chocolate with touch of bitterness and a slightly dry finish.

Excellent imperial stout.

GatheringBrews, Jan 06, 2011
Photo of ncaudle
4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

poured unknown vintage from 750ml bottle into snifter. pours a thick black with a thin mocha head that never dissipates leaving a slight residual lacing.

espresso, caramel and roasted malts surround the nose.. some dark chocolate bitterness pokes through on the toungue with some more coffee bean. more caramel makes it very sweet.

nice thickness; viscous yet still smooth. borderline syrup but in a good way. perfect level of carbonation.

at 12% you're expecting a heat that never hits.
can drink way too fast...

ncaudle, Jan 06, 2011
Photo of nas5755
3.33/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A black beer with a massive tan head some lacing is left on the glass, with a little retention. The nose has coffee, light chocolate notes and deeply roasted dark coffee bitterness. The taste follows the nose, heavy with dark roasted coffee and the astringent bitterness that comes from too much roasting, chocolate and roasted malt flavors. Too much roast when fresh. A very smooth and creamy stout with a great mouth-feel, but it was hard to appreciate because of the bitterness. A very good stout that should be aged, even with all the coffee notes. The astringent bitterness is just to harsh to truly enjoy. I have this beer with a little over a year and the astringency had faded considerably.

nas5755, Jan 05, 2011
Photo of chicagobeerriot
4.05/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted blind as part of Blind Beer BIF #3 with much thanks to sholland119.

Pours flat black with only the slightest amount of ruby light at the extreme edge of the glass. Cappuccino-colored foam sticks around for awhile and creates some nice latticework as it slowly dissipates.

The nose is heavily hit with dark toast and coffee. There's a bit of molasses and vanilla in the background, but overall I'm expecting the char to outweigh the sweet.

Mouthfeel is full but not overly syrupy. A bit of carbonation keeps this from being too much of a beer-shake.

As I suspected, when administered internally, the coffee and char take an unquestionable lead. There's a bit of chocolate sweetness in there too, but, in general, this is a coffee bomb. Not as much complexity as a Peche Mortel or Founder's Breakfast Stout, but as a coffee geek, this does the trick. The finish has a little alcohol heat which might mellow with age, but the heat is moderated nicely by a prolonged hop and baker's chocolate bitterness (plus I wouldn't want to age it and lose the coffee).

chicagobeerriot, Jan 05, 2011
Photo of BuckyFresh
4.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to zoso1967 for supplying this tasty brew. Also among the blessed were TCHopCraver and TCgoalie.

Appearance: Pours a jet black color, with a one-finger head. Retention is not amazing, but the lacing is good. The head is a dark tan in color and remains as a film on top after receding.

Smell: My first thought after inhaling was that this beer smelled like a hair salon that had a pot of coffee on and also happened to be across the street from a chocolate factory. Also vying for attention are dark fruit, brown sugar, molasses, and lots of malty sweetness.

Taste: Lost of nutty dark bitterness. Roasted malt and coffee with a creamy texture and an almost sweet/sour finish. Bitterness is up front in the taste and the sweetness subtly makes its way in at the end.

Mouthfeel: Creamy texture and lots of bitterness, but it seemed just a tad thin.

Drinkability: Very complex with lots of delicious, subtle nuance. A very dynamic tasting experience that evolves from start to finish.

BuckyFresh, Jan 05, 2011
Photo of thetomG
3.95/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage...

Typical dark brown/black appearance. Very little head with minimal lacing left behind.

Aroma is (surprisingly, and somewhat disappointingly) pretty standard - roasty malts, little bit of coffee. Flavor is a bit more interesting, but still underwhelming - I was expecting more. Not bad by any means, but just sort of a standard flavor profile in my opinion.

Mouthfeel was a bit thin but this is a very drinkable beer and something I would try again - perhaps it improves with more age on it...

thetomG, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of nataku00
4.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into snifters. Beer is pitch black and cannot see anything through it when held up to the light. A half finger of light brown khaki colored head dissipates quickly to the surface, leaving a decent amount of lacing and a lot of alcohol feet.

Nose is a fruity coffee, not a bitter dark french roast, but maybe something Kona roast style, medium roast and brewed to show off the other qualities of a good coffee. Some dark chocolate and roasted malt comes through as well, but the coffee aroma is just amazing, the best stout with coffee that I've ever smelled.

Taste doesn't not disappoint, excellent coffee flavor greets your tongue right away. Some roasted notes follows through but the coffee is the star of this stout. Slight bitterness at the back of the tongue helps mask a light alcohol taste of this six month old bottle.

Rich full bodied beer has just a very small amount of carbonation, but at 12% abv, I wasn't expecting too much carbonation. Creamy and lush on the tongue, coating the inside of your mouth with excellent flavor with each sip. The finish is medium in length, mostly a light roasted bitterness note with the chocolate, enough to remind you for the next sip but not as lasting as some barrel aged stouts.

Very good imperial stout, something I need to buy more bottles of.

nataku00, Jan 02, 2011
Photo of diomz88
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Coffee, right away smells good coffee, with chocolates, vanilla, toasty, roasty, smells great! Black, black and black. With minimal brownish head. Lacing is present too. So much going on with this beer. So smooth, compared to some other imperial stouts i've tasted before. Coffee, dark chocolate flavors, with some other flavors in it like hints of vanilla, and a little sweetness to it. I don't mind the bitterness because it is very appropriate for this kind of beer. Full bodied, very slick and smooth and clean, especially at the finish. This is a very enjoyable beer, great beer! Can't wait for the next one!

diomz88, Jan 02, 2011
Photo of TCgoalie
4.55/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Review #200!! Well sort of... I have quite the backlog of reviews, so this is my 200th entry. Had to make it a good one:

Big props to zozo1967 for sharing this on 12/11/10 with Matt, Kyle, and I.

Pours black with a tan head that recedes to a film. Bubbles regenerate and pop at the top of the glass. The lacing is great and reminds me of morel mushroom skin! Bubbly and crazy.

The smell is surprisingly fruity for a double. Plum and dark cherry are the main fruits. I also detect some coffee and chocolate.

Gentle chocolate malts lead to lots of dark chocolate and a coffee acidity bitterness. The aftertaste of the coffee bitterness lasts forever. This is extremely flavorful.

Medium-full in the mouth and very creamy. The slight drying in the end is a perfect end to this amazing feel!

Wonderful company for the tasting lends to a very drinkable 12%. That doesn't make much sense, but this stout is excellent. That is all.

TCgoalie, Jan 01, 2011
Photo of birchstick
3.63/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours deep black with a one finger chocolatey head - looks fantastic

S - smells of chocolatey malts and a touc of coffee. Pretty faint nose.

T - taste is of cocoa and dark chocolates initially and fades to some lighter roast coffee. Digging deeper, I got a little bit of dark fruit. Ends with a bit of bitter piney hops. Pretty solid stout, but I was hoping for a bit more.

M - luxurious, smooth mouthfeel that goes down nicely

D - this was a pretty good stout. After acquiring this through trading, I don't know if it is worth going after, but I would love to try it again.

birchstick, Dec 28, 2010
Photo of AwYeh
4.05/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bomber into a 16oz. snifter.

A: Pours a very dark brown, almost black, with less than a finger of brown head.

S: Aroma is of strong coffee and chocolate, with a good deal of ethanol.

T: Taste follows aroma; AleSmith has got the flavor balance (and quality, especially on the coffee) down pretty well. Hints of vanilla show up too. A bit more ethanol than I would like holds this back from being rated higher. Lingering bittersweet finish, with coffee and dark chocolate holding strong.

M: Medium bodied with soft carbonation; very smooth for such a big stout.

D: In my first bottle of Speedway the 12% ABV was well hidden, but on the second it was quite noticeable (perhaps the first one was older than I expected). Goes down easily if you're feeling something sweet, but it was a bit hard to finish my half of a bomber split with Jesse13713 (thanks!) due to the sweetness this time.

AwYeh, Dec 25, 2010
Photo of VelvetExtract
4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Pours an all-encompasing dark color. No light penetrates the edges of this brew. The darker tan head sits atop the brew and slowly fades. There is some lacing as well. Looks frightening.

S-Unbelievable dark roasty malted flavor. Big, big chocolate and coffee. Smells like a gigantic booze-coffee mutant. Alcohol is present but is not a detractor seeing as the beer is so big.

T-Super assertive. Quite like the nose with the roastiness, chocolate, coffee/espressso attack. The taste lingers and lingers forever. An absolute monster. Speedway Stout has one of the most in your face tastes I have come across. Tastes like Kahlua but way more awesome.

M-Sludgy and viscous. Light carbonation. Slick. Just how a big boy stout should feel.

D-Can't stop sipping. Especially at %12. I am shocked by its drinkability.

I find the Founders makes some hardcore stouts but this one plants itself right next to the top for me.

VelvetExtract, Dec 25, 2010
Photo of gregshead
4.55/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewed on 12/13/10 from notes:

A: Black w/ a good amount of carbonation. Nothing out of the ordinary but plenty of every appearance characteristics for me.

S: Roasted grains and coffee w/ a little alcohol smell.

T: Lost of coffee taste which is well combined with the grains. Not nearly the heat the smell made me think of.

M: Can't believe how creamy this stout is. Just the right amount. Some sips you feel on the nose in just the right way.

D: Unbelievably drinkable. 12% what? 12% who? It couldn't be this beer. Or maybe that's why I feel a little light headed after drinking all of that one.

gregshead, Dec 21, 2010
Photo of TCHopCraver
4.55/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes made on 12-11-10. Thanks to zoso1967 for bringing the bottle from PA, cheers to TCGoalie for his marriage, and salut to BuckyFresh for his excellent company.

Speedway Stout appears very black and opaque with just a hint of a dark brown tint around its edges. This 750 mL bottle was split five ways, so the head was not huge, but it was attractive with its medium to brown colored froth and it retained like a champion. Dainy, spotty, sticky, vertical lacing covered the glass after each sip.

The bouquet of this beer is magnificent. The coffee component is perfectly blended with smells of plum, dark cherry, brown sugar, molasses, and roasted malts. Of all the aromas, though, bitter, dark chocolate asserts itself with the most clarity. This smell is amazingly rich and full and I am blown away by how well all of the separate aromas come together.

At the outset of the drink, roasted malts leap onto my palate, which is somewhat surprising as they were but a well blended piece of the smell. After the roastiness tapers off, coffee, chocolate, and sex just melt in my mouth. The dark fruit aromas that were quite apparent in the smell are very subdued in the taste and take a backseat to other flavors. The sweet, rich middle of the taste finishes with great taste of bitter coffee.

The mouthfeel is good, but is the weak point of the beer in my mind. It has a medium body, is fairly creamy, and has perfect carbonation for the style. However, I find it to be just a little light, as I generally prefer a bigger, more coating feel from an Imperial Stout.

The drinkability is awesome. This is one of the top IS's that I have had, and I will feel priveleged to have it again when next our paths cross. I was shocked to see that the a.b.v. is 12% when I logged on to review. It's just so smooth and flavorful that I did not notice the alcohol when I tasted it.

TCHopCraver, Dec 19, 2010
Photo of Chizoad
4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Nearly identical on draft and in the bottle, and a great stout.

Inky black liquid with a brown foam cap. It really isn't beautiful but it certainly is impressive.

Nice aroma of coffee and roasted malts.

Excellent flavor that improves as the beer heats up. Roasted malts and coffee, just like the nose, and also chocolate, balanced by bitterness that could be a touch stronger. Really great flavor though.

Thick but not overwhelming. A little frothy at times.

Staggeringly drinkable for a 12% stout. Or any beer for that matter.

Chizoad, Dec 17, 2010
Photo of nkersten
3.78/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle generously shared at the most recent Chicago BA gathering. Poured into taster glass, pitch black with a tiny tan head that settles to a collar. Smells of heavily roasted malts, spicy hops, coffee, sugary sweetness, some alcohol. Taste is bitter and hoppy up front, burnt malts, a bit of coffee in the finish. Mouthfeel is heavy body with a medium carbonation. Very drinkable and hoppy, but the taste could have used a bit more sweetness to balance out some of the bitterness.

nkersten, Dec 16, 2010
Photo of JamesMcPolin
4.13/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice gas release upon cracking open. Poured from the 750ml bottle into a snifter.

Beautifully black. Great head at first plus pretty good head retention. Its mocha colored head at first, while thick, but gets lighter and more tan as it dissipates.

Coffee is most upfront and obvious. Smells delicious. Dark caramel, roastyness of course, chocolate is tantalizingly in the background of the nose but is still there just enough to segue into the taste where it's more present

The 12% is buried deep into in this massive brew. Had quite a few sips before even thinking about the fact that this had a higher abv and that's with barely even giving it any time in the fridge to chill from room-temp storage before cracking.

Full-bodied, viscous, warm and syrupy in the best way as it returns to room-temp.

A solid imperial stout. Love the 12%, love the 750ml bottle, love the 'only' $10 to acquire. If you already love the imperial stout style and you dig the heavy coffee versions, this one is definitely more at the coffee end of the style's somewhat subtle spectrum.

Cheers!

JamesMcPolin, Dec 15, 2010
Photo of elgiacomo
4.55/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle, unknown date.

Pours black with a good sized brown head that leaves nice clumpy rings of lacing and holds a small island and ring. Good lacing and head retention for such a high-ABV Imperial Stout.

Excellent aroma of premium coffee, chocolate, more coffee, roasted malts, even more coffee, also some anise, dark fruits, and a bit of alcohol. Great strength.

Flavor features rich coffee, great chocolate notes of dark chocolate, bakers chocolate and milk chocolate. Roasted malts, anise, dark fruits round things out but the chocolate and coffee are the headliners. Some alcohol kick, but not boozy or overpowering. Some bitterness from the malt and coffee along with a touch of sweetness. Long, lingering coffee & chocolate finish with a touch of heat from the alcohol. Wonderful.

Mouthfeel is very rich, creamy and velvety, not the thickest Imperial Stout I've had but still very full bodied, low carbonation. Possibly the perfect mouthfeel for the style, thick, but not too thick, so creamy and smooth without over active carbonation getting in the way.

Oh. My. God. Every bit as good as I anticipated this magnificent brew to be. Glad I went ahead and stocked up on six bottles with my one chance to procure this epic brew. One of the best coffee/imperial stouts I've ever had! Amazing!

elgiacomo, Dec 12, 2010
Photo of Kendo
4.72/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased at Halftime Beverage in Poughkeepsie, probably about 6-8 months ago (I think I paid $18.99 for it). Cellared until last night, when I put it in the DBF. Consumed on 12/11/10. . . .

A: Poured from the 750 ml into a Piraat tulip/snifter-type glass. Body is motor oil black. A 1-finger chocolate brown head settles on top, leaves behind good splotchy lace.

S: Good nose for a stout: coffee beans, roasty malt, chocolate and molasses. And a strong nose too. That's encouraging. Coffee becomes more prominent in the nose as it warms up a bit.

T: First impression: very nice. No, make that VERY nice. All those stout characteristics that were present, in force, in the nose are there in the taste as well, plus a bit of alcohol at the finish and a lingering bitterness. In order I get roasty malt, coffee, chocolate - mainly dark, but some milk as well - and then the waft of alcohol after a dry bitterness. I get lingering bitterness on the aftertaste, and given what has got to be a huge malt bill, it must take a ton of hops to get that bitterness (though I suppose some roasted coffee bean-imparted bitterness is possible as well). So while this beer is big all around, it's also balanced nicely. . . . As it warms I'm getting more chocolate up front and more of a sense of lingering coffee on the aftertaste. . . .

M: Heavy in weight. Good creaminess to it - carbonation is gentle, soft, not sharp at all.

D: This beer drinks like a RIS with 8 or 9% ABV -- the alcohol is noticeable, just not overwhelming - yet it's 12%. Wow. It does creep up on you, however - and pretty quickly.

Kendo, Dec 12, 2010
Photo of afksports
4.18/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The AleSmith Speedway was one of my first goals in a trade and one of the highest rated on my Top100 (from this Summer). When I finally landed a bottle - and then when it hit shelves in NYC - there was tons of excitement. So I opened it with a buddy of mine Alex when he and his girlfriend Maria were visiting.

But it didn't deliver.

Maybe it was frozen at some point. Maybe it was too hot at some point. Maybe it wasn't aged enough. But regardless the taste was off. Extremely tangy, with dark fruits and grapefruit predominating. And water. Chocolate notes and malt notes were there, so was coffee, but it just wasn't that American Double that I've gotten to know and love.

The appearance was great - pitch black. Smell was amazing, coffee, toffee, bitter chocolate, sugar, fruit. Mouthfeel was excellent as well, although it didn't seem properly composed, it's like all those elements were floating in alcohol and water (hence the freezing guess). But since I just don't know, and it's a hard bottle to come by, I have to make this review now and then tag it for later to come back to.

AleSmith Speedway... we will meet again.

UPDATE: Enjoyed a better taken care-of bottle and better aged. Had side by side with the BA version. Yep. It's better. Upgraded taste from 2.5 to 4.0, and Overall from 2.5 to 4.0

afksports, Dec 11, 2010
Photo of cosmicevan
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-poured a silky black with a nice creamy tan head into an oversized snifter. a swirl of the glass left a bit of a lacing trail. has a bit of a coffee glow to it.

S-a frappuccino all the way. creamy coffee vanilla deliciousness. it really is amazing what a beer can be and the smell on this beer (considering the ABV which is super well hidden) is a great example.

T-deep chocolate roasted malts and coffee.

M/D-hint of a bitter aftertaste. the acl tingle seems to balance it out. unbelievably smooth and easy to drink and surprisingly not heavy at all. a real pleasure to drink.

cosmicevan, Dec 11, 2010
AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 4,759 ratings.