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AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

5,350 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,350
Reviews: 1,458
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 800
Gots: 1,542 | FT: 142
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: 5,350 | Reviews: 1,458 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Retail1LO
4.36/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a bottle.

This was the first time I've had this stout. I must say, very solid. I really enjoyed it. Typical of most stouts, this was impervious to light. A gorgeous shade of black with but a finger's width of a crown. The nose has myriad components to it. Malt, bittersweet chocolate, licorice, to name a few. For being a 12% offering, this didn't taste nearly as boozy as I'd anticipated. This has a nice solid mouthfeel to it. Thick, coats your entire mouth, and has some staying power to it. One of the better year-round stouts I've had the opportunity to drink. Glad I have a case's worth.

Photo of dcook11
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip.

A- Coffee black. Thick three finger mocha head. Sticky lacing. Sea foam like.

S- Fresh Coffee. Roasted malt. Some soy sauce. Vanilla. Carmel and chocolate as it warms. No abv heat. 12% undetectable.

T- Again coffee dominates. Roasted malt. Soy. Vanilla. Caramel. Chocolate. Alcohol very well hiden.

M- Heavy and thick.

O- Must try for any stout lover. One of the best stouts ive had.

Photo of InebriatedJoker
4.33/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up for $12.99 at Weilands.
Poured from 750 ml bottle into pint goblet - no best by date visible.

A: Black as used motor oil, slightly aggressive pour yields a three finger head that descended into a thick tan frothy lacing, decent carbonation.

S:Roasted barley and malts, chocolate with slight coffee .

T: Roasted barley's and malt with a good dose of chocolate, sweet bitter coffee ,some slight char flavor, hints of anise as well , great tasting stout.

O: overall I'm not sure why it took so long for me to try this, I always see it on the shelves then see the price and move on to something a little more reasonable, However I'm glad I got to try it and from now on I won't mind shelling out a coupla extra bucks for this solid stout every now and then - would definitely have again.

Photo of lcramer
4.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I discovered this stout when while visiting Long Beach, CA. We were at the Beachwood Brewery where they have a huge selection of beers on tap. The bartender recommended this one.

This is one of the best stouts I've ever had. Very creamy and rich. It's like velvet in your mouth with a sweet lingering after taste. Nice notes of chocolate both on the palate and nose. I don't usually love nitro poured beers because the beer is usually a little too flat for me but this was an exception. I thought the carbonation was perfect and as usual the nitro helped with the creaminess of the beer.

If you're a stout lover this should be on your list.

Photo of AdamBear
4.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-black with a stable tan head. great lacing

S-dark coffee beans. chocolate with a hint of ginger, good strength

T-this comes in super strong of coffee and some chocolate. a very strong taste that is slightly bitter. its such a high quality taste that lasts as a strong after-taste. this is awesome.

M-medium carbonation with a dry finish

O-well this was very good. its a very full flavored stout. it went down very easily and very enjoyable. i was very sad when my draft pour was gone!

Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.04/5  rDev -8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I was so happy to find this when I was in Ohio – Speedway Stout has been on my list for as long as I’ve been into craft beer. Some of my favorite beers in the world are Imperial Stouts, and I can’t wait to see how the coffee flavors in this one play out.

No bottle date, so that means that this beer was produced pre-June 2011 (i.e. when Alesmith started dating their bottles).

A: Wow, this looks incredible. This beer is so thick that the head has a hard time moving through the body; it makes it look like molasses being pushed around. Because of that, the foam is two-layered: on top there’s a brown cascade of big bubbles that cover the entire top portion. Underneath, though, there’s an even thicker dark brown meringue. The bottom part especially has some excellent retention, and it leaves some thick lacing as it disappears. The body is jet black – darkest beer I’ve ever seen. I don’t think I’ve witnessed a stronger presence from a stout.

S: That’s a surprise…I was expecting a much bigger nose. Malts are dark and chocolaty, only showing their roasts for a brief moment. There’s a hint of some grainy textures, but only in a fleeting sense before the coffee kick comes in. I gotta say, though, those are some great-smelling beans; rich and bitter, they mix perfectly with the grains. On subsequent sniffs, I get a feeling of some unpleasant chalky fruits, but they don’t last long, fortunately. This certainly isn’t a very aromatic beer, but you can tell that it has a complex character.

T: Nice balanced spice upfront, followed by some thick chocolate. There’s licorice, blackcurrant, cinnamon, and marshmallow/whipped cream flavors interspersed throughout. The malts roll off the tongue in an odd way; sometimes with the crispness of grains, sometimes with an unappetizing murkiness. It might be the yeasts or the alcohol, but whatever it is has confirmed the chalky notes that I detected in the nose. It’s easy to look past that, though, since the bitters are so strong. A good, but timid coffee flavor couples with the main astringent here, hops, to bring these tones to the tongue last, but not least. On a bed of soft grains, these tart accents rush to the aftertaste and beyond, leaving this (appropriately) with the same finish as a cup of good coffee: smooth, and slightly dry. If only that chalk flavor wasn’t so large, I’d be in love with this beer.

M: Lush, warming, smooth; it’s everything you want in a stout. It has just enough carbonation to make every sip a fresh, new experience. Perfect.

O: This beer has so much going for it: the awesome mouthfeel, the special coffee beans, the sophisticated appearance. There were just a few striking sections of the nose and taste profile that really let me down. I know that this is a really respected beer, though, so I’ll give it another chance when I have an opportunity. In fact, this is one of those stouts that I actually think would be better fresh (or at least with six months of age or less). I’ll be on the lookout next time I’m out of state, because this stuff just has too much potential to let slide under the radar. Updates forthcoming…

Photo of ditmier
4.03/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 Bottle 750mL - Beautiful black pour with a healthy tan head. On the first sip, lots more malt than I remembered, but a well rounded overall finish of bitter chocolate, coffee and sweet brown sugar. Had to share it or risk sleeping on a friends couch, but as fine of an Imperial Stout as you are going to find. I can’t wait to see how this one turns out after a few years on the rack.

Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a darkness snifter, shared with a fellow BA.

A- Two finger tan brown head dissipates to a nice bubbly ring, great lacing and retention, great looking beer.
S- Aroma is very mellow compared to the taste; coffee beans, cocoa, roasted dark malts upfront, some molasses comes out in this finish.
T- Big coffee taste, roasted coffee beans, cocoa, nice hop profile, really nice complex beer, this beer is a sipper alcohol is definitely present but not overpowering.
M- Big mouth feel, well carbonated, definitely a sipper, sticky, dry finish.
O- I absolutely love this beer, its big, it’s a sipper, and it’s a quality stout with a great coffee and chocolate profile, big roasted notes that really makes this beer top notch.

Photo of gdkersey
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I will just echo a lot of what has been said about this beer, but it really is a standout beer with unbelievable smoothness.

A: pure black with a dark brown head
S: absolutely fantastic once wamrs up - vanilla, light roasted coffee
T: follows the nose, but pick up some almond-like taste. a bit astringent, same feeling from drinking a very strong espresso
M: this is where I fell in love with the beer, absolute silky mouthfeel from start to finish

World-class Imperial Stout.

Photo of thagr81us
4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this one up while out in Cali for the Bruery Reserve Society Party earlier this year. Big thanks goes out to womencantsail for shipping this one to me after I got back home. Shared this one with funkydelic, beeruser, and dbhall. 2010 Vintage! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller flute. Poured pitch black with a one finger tan head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, coffee, caramel, and subtle acidity. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, coffee, and coffee acidity. It had a heavy feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. I can tell that a lot of the coffee aspect on this one had faded as it sat in my cellar. However it was still very present and quite enjoyable. The mouthfeel on this one was spot on for what I would expect from a brew of this style. Got to try this one side-by-side with BA Speedway Stout as well, but found BA to be superior due to the added woodiness and sweet alcohol aspect. Still a really good brew that I would suggest to anyone I came across.

Photo of warbird07
4.82/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Having this stout in my usual manner..into my new belgium globe..51 deg according to my thermometer..

appearence is black with a nice kahki head after an aggressive pour, substantial lacing for a beer of this type, albeit quickly fading...nice appearence..

the smell, oh man, up front coffee,chocolate,malt sweetness...extrememly pleasing, especially for a black coffee lover like myself...

Bitter chocolate, coffee, sweet back end, overall very smooth, where 12% apv is hiding, who knows..nary a hint of booziness, very smooth..impressive..

The smoothness of this beer lends a good mouthfeel, not really heavy on the tounge,velvety..this a highly drinkable impy stout

Photo of EgadBananas
4.74/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Inky black pour, with a beautiful mocha-colored two fingers worth of frothy head. The aroma is huge, with coffee, big velvety chocolate, roast, slight charring, slight dark fruits and no alcohol. Chocolate is massive in the taste; rich, dark, milky and creamy. Coffee plays a lessor role in the taste, but it's still wonderful. Lots of roasted malts and hints of sweet dark fruits are subtle. It's just stellar. Naturally the feel is thick, chewy, coating and filling. This is exceptionally drinkable, and one of the best Imperial Stouts I've ever had...

Photo of mjyoung
4.37/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank 6/20/11.

A: Very dark pour, with almost NO head. It's so viscous that it sounds like pouring motor oil.

S: A nicely balanced combination of chocolate, coffee, and caramel. The base is a delightfully robust undercurrent of malt.

T: The taste is remarkably close to the nose, but with some additional hints of booze. Exceptionally tasty.

M: A little weak and watery, at least not what I was expecting from a beer this strong and robust. Definitely low on the carb side.

O: Great taste counters the weak feel. Very drinkable and I'll be looking for this one again.

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

Presentation: 750 ml brown painted bottle, foiled, nice label...no date that I can see, based on the time I traded for this and the trader's access, I'm guessing this MIGHT be a 2010?

Appearance: The wife and I split this into two Southern Tier stemmed tulips and served it with a flourless chocolate cake for our 2 year anniversary. The pour looks at first as if there will be no head whatsoever, and I was afraid we'd gotten a bad bottle, but as the first glass was filling up, a rich, creamy dark mocha head started to form. When both glasses were topped up, this pours a pitch black hue, with creamy mocha foam on top that leaves really nice sheets of lace.

Smell: Tons of coffee up front, dark and fruity, vibrant and fresh. I'm looking to get more out of this, but at first, it's all about the coffee. About halfway through the glass (and nearly at room temperature) I'm picking up rich dark malts and a hint of something a touch earthy...reminds me of Fuggles or some other English aroma variety, but I have no idea what this is hopped with.

Taste: Dark roasted coffee, burnt grains, rich melted semi-sweet chocolate, a hint of dark fruitness. This doesn't taste like 12%...maybe 9-10 at most. The alcohol is there, but warm, not hot. Chocolate-covered espresso beans meet with chocolate/black malt in the background. Sweet, but ends somewhat dry.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, rich, full...remarkable

Overall: This begs (IMO) a comparison with one of the other coffee stouts I was hanging on to that I had saved for a special occasion: Goose Island Bourbon County Coffee. I found that underwhelming and really disappointing. Speedway, on the other hand, is worthy of the 'one of the best coffee stouts out there' hype that it gets. Really a great beer, and paired extraordinarily with an over-the-top flourless chocolate cake.

Photo of BeerAmbassador
4.62/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on draft at the Pizza Port in Ocean Beach. I have had this beer a few times before but it has been a long while and I have never reviewed it. Pours a jet black with a decent tan head. As others have said, decent amount of carbonation for an Imperial Stout. Aromas of coffee, chocolate, molasses and raisins. This beer is huge on the palate, the coffee comes through but so does a serious amount of sweetness and a bit of booze as well. However, the alcohol level, while present (as it should be in a 12% abv beer) is kept in check by the sweetness and intensity of the other flavors present. Overall this is as well balanced as a huge over the top Imperial Stout can be. One of the first "extreme" beers I had when I was really starting to get into craft beer 5 or 6 years ago and it still holds up well.

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

A top-shelf imperial stout -- a rich, dark brown head forms with a standard pour. I've found many imperial stouts lacking in carbonation ... not the case here. Perfect.

Interesting the way the coffee bitterness comes forward. Covers a sweetness hidden beneath. Very nice balance.

Some of the imperial stouts seem desert-like with their syrupy overtones. This one has those flavors but they are more subdued.

Overall I think it's a bit more bitter than I like. Dragon's Milk still rules!

Photo of billzav
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This full-bodied stout is nothing less than superlative. Pours a jet black color, with big notes of coffee in the nose and taste. The latter is balanced by milk chocolate, dark fruit, and roasted malt with a hint of caramel at the finish. Quite smooth from start to finish, and the alcohol content is fairly well hidden for a beer of its potency.

Photo of CuttDeez
4.32/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a snifter

A - Dark black body with a decently large dark leather brown head. The head was resilient and left some lacing.

S - Deep malt characteristics with a ton of esspresso and coffee. There is also a good amount of chocolate and dark fruits in there. It is a strong warming and engulfing nose.

T & M & D - Taste is much like the nose. Big coffee and chocolate and dark fruit flavors. The espresso hits you on the front end and then opens to a nice complexity of deep fruits and awesome dark chocolates. Big and bold in the mouth with full body complexity. The drinkability is acutally pretty high as the abv is well hidden.

O - A great big stout with a great flavor profile and nose. I would recommend drinking it fresh and sipping to enjoy and explore the flavors.


Photo of Agold
4.28/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Speedway pours with a nice big billowy just off white head with sheets of lacing. Big coffee mild chocolate aroma. The taste is mildly roasty with lots of coffee and a bit of sweetness. There is also some coco that emerges as it warms. The alcohol is really well hidden. Smooth mouthfeel, surprisingly light for such a big beer. Really awesome beer.

Photo of inlimbo77
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into DFH Signature glass. No bottle date, but think this was a May/June release (?). 12% ABV.

A: Pours a DEEP black color. Awesome 2 finger head on this! Mocho in color with tight tiny bubbles. Carbonation is out of this world for this high an ABV. Alcohol legs and good lacing.

S: Lots of coffee and dark chocolate from the initial nose. Supremely roasted malts. Deeply complex for such a young beer.

T: Tasts of bitter chocolate. Huge coffee notes. This is a big beer, but it's still smooth. A little boozy in the back of the throat, but totally drinkable. Gets better with warmth.

M: FULL bodied brew. Definitely chewy deep beer.

O: Amazing RIS here. Drinks great now, but I bet this will just get better with age. Maybe some of that booze will die a little bit. Good job AleSmith!

Photo of CHADMC3
4.7/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque black with a thick and creamy mocha head that really takes its time dissipating and leaves a scattered, sticky lacing as its remnants.

Aromas of chocolate and coffee waft from the glass. There are some earthy hops buried in there somewhere as well with additional roasted malt and a sweet chocolate close.

Flavors are bold coffee and rich, sweet chocolate with earthy hop notes, and a half sweet chocolate/half roasted malt finish.

This stout has a voluptuous body with generous carbonation and a chocolaty sweet coating to the palate.

This beer knows what it is and only tries to be exactly that. A huge, rich imperial stout with direct aromas and flavors focused around coffee, chocolate, and earthy hops. An amazing beer!

Photo of Cmack15
4.42/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried a bottle of this at Toronado. The beer pours thick and black like used motor oil(this is a good sign from an imperial stout).
The smell is super sweet, some chocolate and dark grain notes. Mouthfeel is a thick and chewy just the way I like my imperial stouts. I really liked this beer and think it could give Darklord a run for its money if it was aged in bourbon barrels.

Photo of Krakistophales
4.42/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours jet black with no head, leaving little carbonation and almost no lacing.

S: Plenty of coffee. A good deal of milk chocolate, much sweeter smelling than most stouts, this one, with plenty of dark roast and roasted barley to accent the flavors. A touch of caramel, but it's very faint.

T: Honestly, I get a bit of oranges and hints of citrus in the front of this brew. Not sure if I'm going nuts or not, but there it is. The middle is plenty of nutty, roasty, dark coffee and double espresso, and the finish is a dry sort of oakish/woody flavor accentuated by the coffee and hops. The mouthfeel is almost anemic, and the carbonation is non-existent.

O: This is an interesting stout. I'm not sure why in hell I would get orange and citrus flavors at the front, but I do. Even so, it doesn't spoil the flavor one bit. A mighty fine stout, and a unique one. Would've liked more head/carbonation, but it isn't bad at all as it is.

Photo of baconsausage
4.06/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black wit a nice tan halo that laces nicely down the glass. Aromas of coffee and chocolate in a sea of booze. Taste follows nose with a bit of vanilla sweetness to round it all out. Nice thick mouth coats the tounge. This is a sipper, and opens as it warms to fill the senses with awesomeness.

Photo of Cavery
4.42/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Oversized Wine Glass, 750ml shared with SundaySour

A: Black cherry with lighter reds at the rim. Really apparent black coffee look with some deep brown bubbles. Bakers chocolates with powdery cocos. The look of char anticipates deep roastiness.

S: Really chocolatey with swirling roast aromas. Really comes off as a creamy coffee with charred notes of high coco dark milk chocolates. Some Hazelnut nuttiness melts into butter into a balance of a creamy coffee nose. This just begs for a chocolatey dessert pairing.

T: Deep swirling complex notes of nutty coffees. Mellow woody flavors without overt acidity. Dark chocolates imply a belgian origin; leading to an unreal palate creaminess. Buttery Soft notes of butterscotch round out a coffee theme. There really is just a wonderfully swirling mess of hazelnut/cream/chocolates/coffee. The flavor just begs sip after sip.

M: A lower carbonation with a creamy medium/heavy body. The ingredients really wear thick on the feel. Mouthfuls of flavor add a sensation of weight to the low carbonation; without an overwhelming presence of alcohol. Velvet textures follow the silky introduction. A soft coating of the tongue really gives this a fancy dessert feel. Really one of the best mouths in style.

O: Just phenomenal! Having had this multiple times now I'm astounded by the consistency. Bold flavors that are framed in a deep creaminess and soft mouth-feel. Superb canvas for barrels to paint upon. This will make an impression on any stout and or coffee lover. For fans of both -- this is your soul mate. It's impossible not to appreciate the coffee/stout blend of this beer; it's truly a marriage of all the ingredients.

AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 5,350 ratings.