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AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

5,411 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,411
Reviews: 1,470
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 798
Gots: 1,569 | FT: 145
Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-09-2002

Jet Black, with an off-white head. Starts with a strong coffee and dark chocolate sensation, then fades to a multitude of toasty, roasty and caramel malt flavors. Clean and crisp, full- bodied. Warmth from the high alcohol content lightens up the feel. You won't fool your taste buds - this beer is HUGE!
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,411 | Reviews: 1,470
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4/5  rDev -8.9%

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4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

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5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great Stout - estimated around 2-3 months old...bought right before Christmas.

A - Jet back, excellent lacing in the Delirium Tremens snifter I poured it in. Nice 2 finger head of mocha mocha mocha coloring from a not too agressive pour which was more impressing.

S - A bit muted but opened up well when approaching room temp. Chocolate and Vanilla up front, almost Oatmeal cookie like. Yum. Backed up by a nice roasty coffee as it should but the nose told me straight up this one will have a velvety, silky mouthfeel which I'm looking forward to.

T - Follows nose 100%. Finishes a bit bitter from the hops but it works so well becuase it makes it an easier drinker. Chocolate and Vanilla Oatmeal cookie, roast coffee, and soft on the palate that finishes a roasty bitter...very good. 12% nowhere to be found. Very very well balanced stout at 12% leaving me impressed, very impressed.

M - Soft, velvety almost as if were aged and then the finish comes...reminding you it's young from the bitterness the hops provide. Carbonation = PERFECT. I'd assume mouthfeel unreal with age.

O - Age will smooth this bad boy out some but if the coffee fades, I feel this stout will lose it's edge. I must say though...it's so good that age would only make it softer on the palate, and I've never had an aged one so shit...I need to go out and buy more to find out! Great Beer and at $12.99, it's "about" right on the money these days.

*EDIT* Barrel Aging this one...I could only imagine!!! ISO ISO

Photo of josssmith
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of Mar02x
3.68/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I bought this beer at Borefst 2011, so its aged for certainly a half year now. Because I cracked it on new years eve!

A - A pitch dark brown beer, that looks pretty fluid. There is not much of a head being formed, only some very thin bubbles in a ring shape.

S - There wasn't a strong smell of coffee, chocolate and some wood, but it was there.

T - At first there is a strong coffee taste mixed with dark chocolate and than come other flavors like laurel, some black candy and hop bitterness.

M - A very soft carbonation, an almost dead beer with a coffee bitter finish. This beer does coat my mouth with a nice chocolate coffee mix though.

O - I expected a lot more from this beer. I had some pretty intense stouts lately of which I thought that they were in the same category. Unfortunately this beer doesn't even come close. I wouldn't call this an imperial stout or an American double, this is more like a good stout, nothing more.

Photo of match1112
4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this beer pours out brown but settles in pitch black. an impressive two fingers worth of thick creamy mocha colored head forms on top. after several minutes the head settles into a frothy cap with tons of lacing. wonderful aromas of dark fruit, roasted coffee and chocolate are wafting from the glass. my tastebuds are greeted with a wonderful creamy milk chocolate taste with roasted coffee and dark fruits complimenting each other perfectly. this stout has a rich creamy full bodied mouthfeel. good carbonation and a sharp chocolate bitter end make this one for the ages. i dont know that i have had too many stouts that can compete with this one.

Photo of blakelive784
4.02/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1 pt 9.4 fl oz bottle served in an Orval oversized wine glass, reviewed from notes:

A - Pours a jet black color with a chocolate brown head of half a finger. The head's a bit thin and retention is awful, but excusable considering the ABV.

S - Full roasted malt and bold coffee. Heavy dark fruit on the nose balance the roast. The ABV comes through a bit. It's a little more but nice all together.

T - Strong roasted barley, caramel, and toffee form the foundation. Bold roasted coffee plays throughout. The abv is present, but welcome. Dark fruit and raisin notes come through on the climax. Bold, assertive flavors.

M - Full bodied, and silky smooth throughout. Tailored perfectly.

D - I'll definitely have this one again when I can. Extremely high quality and drinkable to boot, even with the abv.

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5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of kojevergas
4.18/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed twice, with a 3rd set of notes from an 18 month old bottle. The score posted reflects an average of both reviews.


Brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a trappist Westvleteren goblet in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live.

A: Pours a half finger head of nice tan colour, lovely cream, great thickness, and okay retention. Colour is a solid black.

Sm: Heavy caramel, cocoa nibs, cream, chocolate, and toffee. A layered moderately strong aroma.

T: Complex, with all the notes of the nose layered in a brilliant balance. Not too rich, and nicely subtle. The cream undertones on both the finish and open are fantastic. A bit too much caramel, but it does fit into the build nicely.

Mf: Incredibly delicate and smooth. Just wet enough. Near perfect for the flavours.

Dr: Incredibly drinkable for the ABV. A very high quality beer. Abv comes through, but not as much as I'd expect.


750ml brown glass bottle with foiled over pressure cap served cold and allowed to warm during consumption. Served into a pilsner glass in me gaff in Los Feliz. Acquired at the brewery for $10.99 5 days ago. Expectations are high; I loved this before and I'm a huge fan of the brewery.

Poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 5 finger beautiful dark tan chocolate colour head of dazzling frothy cream, smooth rolling complexion, fantastic lacing, amazing thickness, and incredible retention considering the high ABV. It just sits there for 3 minutes, hardly reducing at all. Colour is a solid nontransparent jet black. Remarkable appearance. Near perfect for a stout. Could only be better with a bubble show. I can't wait to try it.

Sm: Refined aroma of chocolate, chocolate malts, rich java/coffee, roasted barley, dark malts, caramel, a bit of nut, and toasted malts. Subtle, evocative, and welcoming. Could use a bit more boldness, but its subtlety is quite alluring. Moderate strength aroma.

T: Delightfully subtle rich coffee and java roast, with hints of mocha and cream. Creamy throughout, greeting you on the open. Dark malt foundation, with chocolate malts as well. Chocolate is subtle throughout, and not particularly dominant. Less cacao nibby and more dark brick chocolatey. Caramel. Near perfectly balanced, with each note coalescing in an intentional meaningful way. There's so much going on here, yet each flavour is so subtle. If anything, coffee dominates - but really nothing does. Rather, the beer balances all of its notes without losing focus. The whole experience is the emphasis, not one particular flavour. No yeast or alcohol comes through. The roast is wonderful.

Mf: Incredibly light and delicate for the style. Creamy throughout without feeling washed out. Fragile and supportive of the bold flavours. Masterfully tailored to the flavours. Excellent brewing here. Smooth and wet. Thin but not weak. Delightful. I don't know how they accomplished it. That said, I will say that I do personally prefer more coarseness and dryness in a stout. I'm nitpicking. Alcohol warmth is minimal but pleasant; very little booziness or heat.

Dr: Hides its ABV absurdly well. Drinks very easily for its high ABV. I could down this all night. The coffee should help keep you upright while you quaff it too. Very well priced; the quality is unmatched at this price point - only $10.99? I'd take this over a 4 pack of Old Raspy 6 days out of the week. This is a solid go-to imperial stout for us locals. Bravo, Alesmith. Probably their finest mainstay. Lives up to the hype. I'd definitely have this again, especially on nitro (if its offered). I can't wait to try the barrel aged variants.

Small criticisms. It could use more complexity. This style definitely has high expectations. I like that this is so widely available in SoCal, but it doesn't match the complexity of something like The Abyss or Black Tuesday.

An excellent candidate for aging. I've got a few in my cellar as we speak.

Would pair well with chocolate and unsalted plain nuts.



Truncated notes (18 month aged 2011 vintage):

A: Gorgeous 3 finger tan colour head. Good cream and thickness. Solid opaque jet black body. Head retains for easily 8+ minutes. Spotty lacing.

Sm: Coffee has faded, but there is some faint roast and earthy bitterness. Dark & chocolate malts. Not as seamless and balanced an aroma as I remember from fresh bottles. It hasn't developed with age. Moderate in strength.

T/Mf: Luscious silky texture is still a highlight here. Dark & chocolate malts. Coffee has really faded here, to its detriment. I can't recommend this beer for aging. Creamy. Certainly balanced and cohesive, but it's a shadow of its former self and has lost complexity. Smooth, wet, well carbonated. Good body and thickness.

Dr: Drinkability is as good or better than I remember, but the beer hasn't developed. Don't age this; drink fresh. I'm disappointed, but it's still easily a "B" at 18 months.


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4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

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4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

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4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

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4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of jwhancher
4.74/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought a bottle back in September from the brewery on a trip out to San Diego. Had been saving it for a special occasion, so yesterday being New Year's Day I shared the bottle with my big brother.

A: Great presentation- descriptive notes on the back of the bottle, nice foil presentation, but couldn't find a bottled on date. Pours jet black with minimal head. Was a little disappointed that the head wasn't bigger. Gave it a vigorous pour into a large snifter glass.

S: Smells awesome. Aromas of chocolate, roast, candy bar, coffee/espresso beans. A pure joy to savor. Hops hide behind all the dark malts, chocolate & roast character.

T: Tastes just like it smells. Excellent. Reminds me of being a kid and biting into a giant chocolate candy bar. Or being older and walking into a coffee store with excellent roasty aromas in the air. Can hardly tell this one is 12% ABV.

M: Feels velvety soft & cream-like. I wish the head was bigger. No hot alcohols. Not too sweet or bitter. Drinks way too smooth.

O: A pure joy. Glad to have tried this one again. Would like to try this on tap again (perhaps at the brewery), but not sure when that will ever happen again. An excellent beer from a great brewery!

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4/5  rDev -8.9%

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4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

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4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

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4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

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5/5  rDev +13.9%

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 5,411 ratings.