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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.

5,152 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,152
Reviews: 1,428
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 785
Gots: 1,431 | FT: 140
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: 5,152 | Reviews: 1,428 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nerdrocker101
4.68/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle thanks to checkii, which I believe to be an 07'

Pours a rich black with a thin, lightly browned head.

Smells of chocolate and coffee.

The coffee notes are muted due to the aging. But there are huge flavors of molasses, chocolate, and light notes of espresso. Much like a chocolate covered espresso bean.

Thick, almost chewy. Certainly lingers on the palate. The alcohol is pretty well masked.

Photo of Chico1985
4.9/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Much thanks to cbutova for breaking this bad boy out. Split between 5 people I believe. It was about 9 months old.

Pours inky black with a super creamy, bubbly tan head. Retains very well and leaves great lacing. Mouth is watering.

Strong, excellent coffee in the scent. Booze and vanilla give it a bourbon vibe. A little bit of dark fruit.

The coffee is strong, rich and dark tasting ala Peche Mortel, this reminds me of that quite a bit. Chocolate covered raisins and vanilla. A little bit of grassy hops. More sweet than roasty in my opinion but overall a good balance of both. Aftertaste is amazing, booze is well-hidden.

Mouthfeel is extremely creamy and have a nice thickness. Just like everything else about this beer, pretty much perfect for the style.

I couldn't drink this all day, but damn drinkable for 12%, and oh so tasty. Probably the best coffee stout I have had so far. I vow to get a few of these bottles.

** 10/11/11 - more notes **

After having this twice, but with small pours (~5 oz) on both occasions, I'm finally sitting down with a fresh 750ml solo. Definitely a bit boozier than I remember, but I believe both of the other times I had it it was aged 9+ months. Huge coffee beans and chocolate fudge, big dark fruit, some vanilla and some hop bitterness there too. The 12% makes itself known but it's not overly hot and this beer definitely improves with warmth. Maybe not my favorite coffee stout but certainly top 5. Great fresh but maybe a bit better with a little bit of age on it, the coffee sticks around but the alcohol is tamed.

Photo of trygger87
4.18/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 750 ml bottle in SF CA. Beer pours a wonderful tar black with very little head that goes away very quickly.Smell is of an alcohol spiked black coffee, not getting much else just coffee and booze. Taste is coffee up front, then i get this sherry taste followed up by a nice malt character. Mouth feel is silky and smooth, i love it. Drinkability is great, dont taste any offensive alcohol tones. Very smooth for a 12 percent, i love this beer.
Over all a very very solid brew that i would happily pick up again.

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

A: poured a dark as night black that looked like oil as it came out of the bottle that had a finger of brown head and left good sticky lacing on the glass.

S: nice roasted malts and coffee aromas with some smokey, chocolate, and slight hop accents coming through the roastiness. There also seems to be dark fruits and booze notes as well.

T: coffee chocolate and roasted malts dominate the palate with a mild hop bitterness that also had dark fruit, caramel, and booze accents; tasty complex flavors.

M: full body with a good amount of carbonation that had a creamy coffee slight bitter and roasty finish.

D: very delicious and complex brew that was pretty damn drinkable for a stout. I've tasted this beer plenty of times but have a new appreciating for it.

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

I got this one after talking to a very nice young lady at the liquor store who mentioned that she had a few tucked away in the back. Thank you very much for that fellow BAer.

A: This brew poured a nice dark brown, almost black with the very little head developing after the pour finished. The head is a very fine lacing that sits patiently on top ever so slightly creeping up the side of the glass.

S: There is definitely a very upfront coffee smell apparent right off the start. The coffee smell transitions into a light molasses smell with roasted malts and dark chocolates.

T: The coffee taste is very much present here with a very strong coffee flavor, similar to a mocha coffee or a light chocolate espresso. Finishes with a roasted maltiness and a light amount of licorice.

M: Has a similar consistency to a melted Wendy's Frosty. Very creamy feeling on the tongue with an almost undetectable amount of alcohol. Finishes with an ever so very slight hint of alcohol gently warming the back of the throat.

D: Very, very drinkable. For the high ABV in this brew, almost dangerously drinkable. I will definitely be finishing the bottle. I will make it a point to go back and try and get another one of these.

Photo of kfsv034
4/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared this bottle with evan007

A - pours a deep brown almost opaque color zero light escapes this bad boy with a thick tan head that leaves a thin cover

S - chocolate, coffee, licorice

T - taste follows the noise coffee is alittle more prodominent

M - medium bodied

D - drinkablity is good at 12% this bad boy is pretty easy to drink

Photo of Arbitrator
1.45/5  rDev -67%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Chilled bottle into a glass. Purchased in early 2009 at K&L. I purposely aged it (admittedly at room temp) to tone down the coffee flavor, as I'm not a huge fan of coffee stouts.

A: Pours a pitch black body with a finger or so of mocha colored head. It retains poorly, retreating into a thin collar with no lacing in a matter of seconds.

S: Chocolate, prunes, cherries, some coffee. I expected more coffee since I'm told this is a coffee-brewed imperial stout, but aging apparently did the job. However, I'm not a fan of the dark fruit presence, which is too strong for my preference. I really can't get over the feeling that this is infected.

T: Definitely dark-fruit dominated here. Again, I'd put money on it being infected if I hadn't picked up similar flavors (though not as strong) in 07 BA Speedway, and if the head hadn't been so weak. Tart dark plums and cherries drive the taste, with a secondary chocolate component. The coffee is noticeable, but I'd argue it has mostly faded out -- which is fine. My complaint is that the beer tastes far fruitier and more tart than a coffee stout should be. Overall, an interesting flavor for the style, but nothing I'm thrilled to revisit.

M: Chewy, semi-dry for the style. A tart flavor and aftertaste that, again, suggests infection. However, the carbonation is low, which contradicts that. Who knows.

D: $12 for this thing? Really? This is a generally agreed-upon example of a good imperial stout? I don't get it. It's disappointing and sad, at best.

I contacted the brewery and sent them my tasting notes, asking if they thought I got an infected bottle. They ignored me. *shrug* The review stands.

EDIT: They got back to me after some pestering. They did have a bad batch around the time I bought it, but they told me no bottles made it to my area. I suspect K&L transported it internally between their stores, and that's how I came into this one. Since they are insistent that the beer is fine, I'm leaving my review.

Photo of zoso1967
4.68/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black as a starless night with a thickness that is evident in the pour. It is capped with a fluffy mocha head that slowly melts into the viscous black liquid. The aroma is full of roasted coffee and the darkest coca, as well as a dark malty sweetness and a hint of licorice. The flavor is wonderful. Roasted coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malt, burnt marshmallow sweetness, licorice, molassas and a touch of chalkiness. All the flavors are well incorporated and the alcohol is well hidden, though it warms nicely as it settles in my stomach. Also, as this beer warms I realize just how bitter it is. Strangely, this bitterness is not overwhelming and works with, and not against the roastyness. The mouthfeel is also wondrous and is full, chewy and smooth. The finish is both sticky and slick at the same time, but just right for style. Very drinkable and just delicious. So far Alesmith is 2-2 and I will definitely be picking some of this up for friends to sample.

Photo of russellaaron69
4.85/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice pitch black w/ two fingers of light brown head. Minimal carbonation. Very good lacing. Every sip left behind some clinging to the glass. Smell is that of roasted malt and coffee. Taste was exceptional. Coffee and malt shine through up front with a vary nice chocolate sweetness bring up the rear. This beer feel very full in the mouth...so full i found myself actually chewing after a couple larger sips. Drinkability is superb also. Hides its alcohol very well. Thank you AleSmith for such a wonderful beer. Cheers.

Photo of RomaniIteDomum
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I forget which awesome BA sent this my way, but a million thanks are owed. I popped this one open with my dad one afternoon.

Pours black with a dark tan head. Looks like motor oil.

Smells of strong coffee and dark chocolate. If I could climb in there and take a nap I would. One of the best smelling beers I've encountered.

This is a great tasting brew with good balance between sweet chocolate and coffee and appropriate bitterness from both. Sweet finish.

Creamy in the mouth. Great feeling with light carbonation.

This is a great brew that proves, along with a few notable others, that you don't need to put your beer in a barrel to be awesome.

Photo of squaremile
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at the AleSmith taproom in San Diego. Pours a smooth dark black with a brown head that stays for half of the pour. Smell is wonderful: coffee, cocoa, and hints of vanilla. Taste is more of the same and very well blended. The bottle can be a bit over coffeed, but this is not. Great smooth mouthfeel, no harshness at all. Beautiful.

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

Split a bottle three ways with two good friends on my birthday...

Pitch black with a huge dark tan head. Excellent retention and lacing to boot. A picture perfect stout just lovely.

Coffee, roasted malts, and molasses primarily in the nose.

Taste is roasted malts, molasses, and of course coffee. Very solid coffee flavor at that. Got some chocolate in there as well. Works well with the other flavors. This IS is not sweet at all. There's a very obvious bitterness from the hops and coffee and perhaps malt that lingers through the finish.

Thick creamy mouthfeel. Very nice.
No alcohol anywhere to be seen. Definitely a sipper stout and would like to get another bottle in the future.   
All three of us agreed it was a very good beer.

Photo of trbergman
4.03/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a tulip.

A - Pours jet black with three fingers of dense cinnamon-colored foam. The head reduces to about half a finger but leaves behind solid rings of lace.

S - Earthy coffee/burnt/anise aroma with dark fruits. Some chocolate and nuts come through as the head falls. Rather light on the nose.

T - More of a rich espresso flavor than drip coffee. Low and earthy with chocolate, dark fruit, and mineral notes. Roasty bitterness lasts from the middle through a lengthy finish. Hops contribute a somewhat leafy flavor and a gentle bitterness. No sign of the 12% abv. Tasty and enjoyable, but I've had better coffee/imperial stouts.

M - Slick and viscous, with a rich, full body. Very nice.

D - Maybe it's just suffering by comparison to my recent bottle of Bourbon County Coffee, but I'm a little disappointed in Speedway. It's good, but I'm not sure it's worthy of the hype. I'd definitely have it again, but in the future I'll know not to expect to be wowed.

Photo of theghost3
4.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown, almost black with a 1-finger cafe au lait head. Medium lacing.

Smell is very strong of quality, black coffee with dark chocolate and some slight dark fruit; delicious. The taste is overwhelmingly rich coffee, but there are some dark cocoa flavors and even a hint of herbal hops. Lots of coffee in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is perfectly carbonated--small, intense bubbles. It's surprisingly not full-bodied; somewhere between medium and full-bodied. Smooth, not oily.

This is so smooth and delicious that I can look past the high ABV, which is apparent. Share it with another beer lover, and you'll both be happy.

Photo of Duhast500
4.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into a stemmed glass.

The color is a dark black with about two to three fingers of head and a ton of lacing left on the glass.

The smell of this beer is pretty chocolaty and has some nice dark licorice tones that brings it into a great level of coffee flavored beers.

smell of chocolate. Although this is brewed with large amounts of coffee, the java smell is definitely secondary to the chocolate. Also a reasonable sniff of black licorice as well. So far so good!

The taste is really deep chocolate flavor with coffee flavor and has a nice dark licorice flavor. Some nice heat in the flavor that is really nice with a good kick.

The feel is a good hard stout with a burning flavor that goes into a good amount of even feel and it smooth once past the hard flavor of this beer.

I like this beer and want more of it before the next batch is brewed.

Photo of KAP1356
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Weyerbacher tulip glass...

A - Very dark with a gorgeos roughly two finger head. The head is a deep rich espresso color that floats nicely atop the almost completely black beer.

S - Chocolatey dark roasted malts up front. Surprisingly not as much alcohol asI expected. The coffee is picked up right at the end of the whiff. Seems like it is perfectly balanced so far.

T - Dark rich roasted malts and a bittersweet chocolate perfectly mixed with a coffee taste that just lingers on the back of the palate. When I first sipped this one, the coffee was so strong, but now that I let it warm, it is almost perfectly balanced. The alcohol is much more present here than it is in the smell, but is still not as strong as I would've expected for 12%

M - Creamy and rich. Very smooth on the tongue. Could be a bit thicker for my taste though, especially for such an intense stout.

D - I'm not getting overwhelmed by the alcohol as much as I though and am actually enjoying the entire bottle quite a bit. This could however easily be split between two if not three people.

Overall a really great and tasty coffee stout. Very well balanced and I will definitely enjoy my other bottle again after a year or so of aging.

Photo of DovaliHops
4.85/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this one up a few months ago. Poured a gorgeous engine oil black with a thick 2 inch, frothy, espresso colored head. Strong coffee smell with very sweet chocolate notes and roasted nuts. WOW! This tastes sooo good! Very well balanced...the coffee, chocolate and booze align almost perfectly. Can't imagine what the other two I have will taste like after years of cellaring. With initial sip, the booze is not present, but the warming sensation follows soon after. Nice dark chocolate aftertaste left on the palate. This is a wonderful imperial stout that is meant to be savored...not chugged.

Photo of rwf08
4.45/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Duvel glass at around 55F. No idea on the vintage, it has the label printed on the bottle.

A: Pitch black with a light mocha head on the top. Looks like a large cup of fresh espresso. No lacing to be found.

S: Dark roasty smells. Dark bitter chocolate, some coffee smell.

T: Light molasses followed by dark chocolate, coffee, and some hops. Yeah, lots of chocolate flavors, faint faint alcohol in background.

M: Chewy and viscous. Tongue coating full bodied brew. Very satisfying a filling.

D: I could sip on this all night long. The 12% ABV isn't noticeable but the full body just fills me up so fast. One of my favorite stouts ever.

I do not get as much coffee in this as I would have expected. When I see coffee on the label I am wanted it to be up front and powerful. That does not go against this beer at all. I do appreciate the hints of coffee in there and the roastiness is adds.

Overall this is an exceptional stout. Great body, good smooth chocolately flavors, roasty and comforting. Just wish I had another.

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

A: At fridge temp = nothing really stands out, warms to coffee, and subtle roasted malt aroma
A: Pours black w/ a thin cocoa/tan colored head, no lacing.
F: I really, really, love the fact that I get chocolate milk upfront when drinking this beer and has a creamy espresso finish.
M: Creamy and smooth with light carbonation
O: I believe that Speedway Stout is a great breakfast /brunch/dessert stout. Delicate in aroma, smooth in taste and mouthfeel, and at 12% abv, it can creep on you if not careful. Be sure and share with friends. Good for any occasion.

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

Alesmith Speedway Stout is opaque black, except for a tiny hint of brown at the top of the liquid when held up to the light. A thick beige head sits atop the blackness and leaves ample lacing in its wake. Aromas consist of bitter chocolate, coffee, and roasted malt. Upon the first sip, I notice everything in the aroma is present and accounted for, but there is also a slightly lactic, bitter note, perhaps from the coffee beans. The feel is very smooth and creamy, with an ever so slight warming burn in the finish. Great beer. The 750ml bottle is perfect for splitting a few ways.

Photo of jjanega08
3.73/5  rDev -15%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A= This is a 2008 bottle sent to me from Thomashardy. Thanks Brady! The pour is a nice blackout black color with a good looking two finger head on it that holds it's retention and has excellent lacing. The heads color is a nice dark tan color. Pretty impressed with the size due to the age of the beer. I figured that after two years some of the carbonation would be lost.

S= Classic RIS smell. A beautiful deep chocolaty sweet aroma coming from it. Really sweet smelling. Not much coffee in it which I assume died with the age. There is a little coffee detectable however. One of the sweetest smelling RISs I've ever had. Beautiful.

T= Not as sweet as the smell led on to believe. The coffee really comes through in the taste. Excellent coffee hits the tongue right away. There is a great deal of dark chocolate taste to it as well. The mid is all chocolate sweetness but not as intense as the smell. The finish is coffee bitterness. Not much heat coming out of it at all for the high alcohol.

M= It hits you nice and thick but then sort of thins out for some reason. It never really gets as thick as I would like it to be. Nice lasting coffee bitterness.

D= Pretty decent and a great way to end a looong couple of days of work. Not the best RIS I've had but still pretty good. I would seek this out again and would for sure pick it up off shelves if it were distributed near by. Worth trying.

Photo of hayesez
4/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Kaiser81 for shipping this one out. Shared with two other BAs at our recent gathering; poured into my Bruery tulip.

Deep dark brown - nearly black. No light escapes this bad boy, and there is just a small area around the top that is not opaque. A thick soft four finger dark tan head rises quickly and very slowly diminishes to one finger, leaving copious amounts of sticky lace.

Strong smell of chocolate. Although this is brewed with large amounts of coffee, the java smell is definitely secondary to the chocolate. Also a reasonable sniff of black licorice as well. So far so good!

The chocolate is still the preeminent portion of this beer. Still coffee in there, which supports the flavor very well, but the dark, chocolate base is still the centerpiece of this flavor profile. The roasted malt and sweet / bitter chocolate definitely linger around long after the drink is gone. I've heard several say that this is a fairly hot beer, but I found it to be quite the opposite. For such a reasonably high ABV, I was expecting something in the drink... Thick and moderately carbonated. Not quite as creamy and smooth as I would prefer, but still a beer that drinks very well.

Overall, I am impressed with the Speedway stout. Not quite as intense as it was a few years ago, but definitely still a very good beer. Thanks Ryan!

Reviewed on May 12th, 2010

Photo of hoegaardenhero
4.18/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a: deep thick oil lack with a little bit of brown on the edges

s: very mild coffee; sweet syrupy chocolate; raisins;

t: deep dark chocolate; light coffee; mild sweet cocoa powder; smooth and mild; almost menthol;

m: smooth and creamy; very mild carbonation

d: a good beer that is worth a try; flavorful yet smooth

Photo of DosBeerigos
4.13/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

C: Pitch black hard to tell how clear it is, but nice chocolate head
H: Black
N: At cold temp. nose is not there at all, warms to a coffee, roasty malt, slight boozie

The attack of the Speedway Stout is light on chocolate and heavy on coffee, it doesn't seem overly complex. Though pretty straight forward, the body feel of the beer is dead on, it is smooth and creamy. The carbonation is spot-on for a stout, and helps with the consistency of the body. I was impressed with this beer because of the hype it gets online, well it followed through just fine. Dare I say that it almost taste like chocolate milk (if you add a lot of chocolate syrup to your cup)???? I heard the availability of this beer is insane in San Diego, like you can go to 711 and pick up a bottle. If thats the case, I am thinking about relocating!

Photo of MrDanno96
4.05/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark pour with about a finger of tan head. Just a little spotty lace coats the sides of the glass.

S: Tons of roasted malt and coffee - like sticking my nose into a cup of iced dark roast coffee. Some dark chocolate and smokiness are also detectable around the coffee aroma.

T: Similar to the nose in most respects - very coffee dominant. Strong espresso and dark patent malt dominate the flavor with dark chocolate in the background. Fairly distinct burnt coffee aftertaste.

M: Nice full body with a moderate amount of carbonation. Nice and smooth going down. Alcohol very well hidden!

D: All around this is a very solid Imperial Stout. I think I could do with a little less coffee being added in order to bring out some of the brew's other flavors. In the end, I like this beer, but I don't think it's one of the top 20 beers in the world.

AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 5,152 ratings.