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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

5,154 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,154
Reviews: 1,429
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 787
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: 5,154 | Reviews: 1,429 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ChrisPro
4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle 2009 from John's Marketplace (Portland). Pours Jet black with about 3 finger mocha bubbly head. Great lacing and the head lingers long into the pour. Aroma hits the nose with deep dark roasted molasses, with chocolate and coffee coming through strong as well. Touch of earthiness and dark fruit (raisin). As it warms, much more deep dark chocolate comes out. Very full-bodied, only a touch of sweetness. Then, a pleasantly bitter coffee comes bursting through. This fantastic espresso mocha finish stays long on the tongue and makes me want more. Very drinkable imperial stout.

Photo of joepais
3.6/5  rDev -18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to duffmanrob for sending this want along to me in the black booty BIF

Bottle split among friends in snifters produced a small tan head that settled to a thin lace. The head easily could be brought back with a swirl of the glass. The body of the brew was the typical black stout color.

The first thing I noticed was tha lack of coffee aroma coming from the brew seeing the way they pushed it on the lable I expected something a little more robust. It did have a good chocolate smell and when it warmed got to room temp the coffee was a bit more present. On the flavor the sme thing happened I got some great roast but more bitter chocolate than coffee. The mouthfeel was good and thick with ample carbonation.

It drank well for a stout I wasn't really wanting for more. Maybe it was Hype meeting reality that thru me on this one I am glad I tried it but knowing the price point on this brew. Most likely one and done for me, but having said that I would like to see the difference on tap, and being barrel age brings.

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

A: Pours jet black with thin brown head.
S: Espresso aroma along with vanilla, chocolate, caramel, and hint of almond and licorice
T: The great thing about this beer is that the coffee flavor doesn't dominate like many other coffee stouts. It's got a great balance between coffee flavor and typical roasted malt stout flavors. The only negative in the taste is the slight astringency of the coffee which leaves a slightly sour and bitter taste.
M: This is one of the thickest stouts I've had in a while - very similar to Dark Lord in it's heavy, cream like thickness that coats the mouth very well.
D: Good drinkability, but it's definitely a sipper.
Overall, while isn't not the best coffee stout, it's definitely up there. The bold, thick flavor and mouthfeel certainly make it a beer to remember.

Photo of Kegatron
4.72/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on cask, via handpump, at the Blind Lady Alehouse (San Diego, CA) on 3/17/10 during their "Black Wednesday" St. Patrick's Day celebration. Served in a snifter.

Pours a dense, oily, black, topped with a frothy 1/2 finger of dark mocha head. This looks very burnt, with an angry looking reddish flareup when swirled, leaving back a huge cascade of spotty lacing that dots the sides of the glass. The aroma is lush with dark roasted coffee flavor, as well as a deep backing tang of chocolate and toffee sweetness. The whold thing is rounded out by a combo of herbal hops and some extra earthy coffee notes.

The taste showcases a bit more of the sharpness of the hops up front, with the fudgey sweetness of the chocolate malts coming in next, before that robust coffee and dark roasted malts fill out the back of the profile. This isn't quite as sharp and tangy as I remember it being on tap but there is definitley some more definition to the flavors here, with a ton of dry roasted flavor coming out in the finish. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a huge mellow creaminess to it that is maybe showing a bit more of it's warmth than usual here on cask. Fortunately, it isn't too distracting, as this still drinks like a champ for a beer this size.

I love when the cask-version of a beer brings a little something different to the table and this one definitely did. The extra definition of the flavors really exposes the coffee even more here but the quality of it was more than able to step up to the plate and meet expectations. I love this beer and it was a rare treat (this is only the 3rd cask review out of nearly 800 here on BA) to be able to try it this way.

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

I poured from a 750 ml bottle into a snifter. On the pour it is a non translucent black, no highlights, with a bigger than expected tan head. A great smelling beer, chocolate and coffee infused gin. SS is suprisingly balanced taste wise. Coffee and chocolate dominate, with a sweeter coffee winning at the finish. The high ABV is noticeable, but adds a nice layer to the flavoring. This is a creamy, full bodied beer with moderate carbonation. A really good stout that deserves its high reputation. Thanks to Boltz7555 for this one!

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

2008 vintage pretty sure, they don't date their bottles so that's an educated guess. Beer is black and has no head but manages to leave some lacing on the glass somehow. Carbonation is moderate.

Aroma is a mixture of sweet and a slight sour lactic aroma. There is also some alcohol in the aroma but not much.

Beer is sweet up front, medium to low body. Finishes slightly dry, no carbonation in the mouth. Drinkability is high and mouthfeel is high. I really liked this beer. I wonder what the barrel aged version is like.

Photo of TMoney2591
4.1/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Honestly, this is how imperial stouts ought to look following a pour: damn jet black with a healthy finger of tan bubbly head that does not malinger. A decent amount of lacing is left behind. The nose drops off a bit, being dominated by coffee and chocolate, though some dark malts and some kind of wood are also detectable. The tongue finds itself agreeing heartily with the nose, as coffee and bitter dark chocolate spark off the proceedings here. Again, some dark malts and a vague woodiness are also there, but the coffee and chocolate are the real stories here. Not that all of this is necessarily bad, but not very complex at all and, as things progress, somewhat boring. But still pretty tasty nonetheless. Ironically (maybe), it's complicated. The body is rightfully heavy, with a light smattering of carbonation and an extremely smooth feel. Overall, for such a husky little man, the drinkability is relatively high, but he's just not as impressive as others have made out. Again, tasty nonetheless; it's complicated...

Photo of shageman331
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a stemless wine glass. Thanks to mrkrispy for this bad boy.

Appearance - Pours an opaque black with a nice tan mocha head sitting on top. A little over two finger head slowly reduces to a nice mocha disk floating over the blackness. Leaves some lacing.

Smell - Coffee and chocolate are the predominant smells. There is actually more chocolate than I was expecting, but that isn't a bad thing.

Taste - Again, coffee and chocolate really shine through on this one. Really great flavors on this one. It actually manages to leave the same aftertaste as taking a sip of cappuccino after having some dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel - The carbonation is very well done on this beer. It is just enough to move the party along while still managing to give this beer a decadent feel.

Drinkability - This is such a solid beer. It is definitely decadent and a dessert bier, but I can say that this is worthy of all of its hype (especially for the price). The only thing that is disappointing about this beer is the fact that I have to trade for it.

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

Poured into a snifter. Large tan billowy head on a black as night beer.

Aromas of roasted malt, cocoa, sweet malt, and alcohol.

tastes of espresso, dark cocoa, and roasted malt. Hints of licorise as well.

Mouthfeel is full, malty sweet, with cocoa and coffee. Not cloying, but sweet.

drinkability - will finish the bottle, but anot a session beer by any stretch. Begs for more, but it'll kick your ass if you have more than one.

Photo of hopsbreath
3.9/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Saw this at a Whole Foods in Portland and had to pick it up. Poured out of a 750 mL bottle into two over sized red wine glasses, I shared this with my wife. I gave the appearance a 5 because I cannot imagine an impy stout looking any better. There was half a glass full of thick cappuccino colored fluffy head that barely receded. The liquid itself was the typical double stout impervious black. Smell was fairly unassuming and muted. There was some dark chocolate and coffee in the nose but nothing really spectacular. Taste was good. Lots of cold coffee with dark chocolate it was a treat, and better than the smell suggested. Mouthfeel was very nice. Very creamy with minimal carbonation, maybe a little chalky. After half a 750 I had enough. I started to tasted the alcohol a little more at the end.

Overall this was a fine example of an impy stout and I would not think of aging it due to the muted smell and good creamy mouth. Try it young and it will not disappoint.

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

750ml bottle split up into pint glasses.

Pours dark black with a big fluffy long lasting light brown head, impressive lacing. Smells a little sweet, with some cherry and maybe a little grapefruit.

Taste is a little sweet with a sudden coffee bitterness, coffe really comes out in the flavor, but there's still some noticeable cherry.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly light, with a nice gritty texture. Nice flavor and mouthfeel make for a nice drinkable imperial stout.

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

750ml silver foiled wrapped bottle poured into a oversized wine glass. Big thanks to Gtreid for bringing this one over.

A- solid black. No light can pass through this thing. 1 1/2 of head. Pretty good retention and lacing.

S- roasted malts, chocolate, sweetness maybe molasses?? Not as much coffee smell as I wouldve expected, however, there is a hint of coffee beans.

T- FANTASTIC!!! Creamy chocolate. Roasted malts and a vanilla coffee blend that is just freaking awesome. I wouldve never guessed that the abv is so high because of the wonderful balance of all the flavors. They mask the alcohol and I barely know it's even there.

M- Simply perfect. This is one of the smoothest, creamiest stouts I have drank.
D- I wish I could have this brew everyday. I would drink this all night if I could. The only problem would be the high abv. I def will be seeking this one out again without a doubt.

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

2009 batch 750ml poured into small snifter

Pours a pitch black oil with a small tan head. Aroma of an extremely powerful coffee, dark malts, bittering chocolate and a bit of booze.

Taste also of very strong coffee. I was a little turned off at first by the booze presence and the tons of coffee however if you call it a coffee stout, you should be able to taste the coffee as you can in this. There is a little bit of bittering twang possibly from the play of coffee and dark roasted malts, a relatively powerful booze flavor which will probably tame with time. Personally I would age for a year if I were to get another bottle of this. For one person, 12% seemed like a chore with this bottle, lowering its drinkability IMO. Very chewy mouthfeel with relatively low carbonation.

A good imperial stout, not my favorite though.

Photo of hardy008
4.78/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black color with a nice 3 finger tan foamy head with small tight bubbles and excellent retention. The smell is roasted coffee malt and chocolate. Smells wonderful. The taste is amazing. Roasted coffee and chocolate, smooth and creamy, an absolutely amazing flavor. The taste is pure perfection.

This beer is smooth, creamy, silky, full bodied, and wonderful in every way. The feel on this is as perfect as the taste is. Absolutely perfect carbonation. Alesmith Speedway Stout is insanely drinkable. The 12% abv is very well hidden. I only wish this was available in Minnesota, but as long as I can continue to order this online, I will be happy.

Photo of Gtreid
4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml, silver foil wrapped, bottle poured into an oversized wine glass. Sorry, but I can't remember who sent me this, but to whoever did, a huge thanks.

A: Black. Enough said. A pillowy 2 finger wet sand color head appears and leaves behind some nice spotty lace. Some yeast was suspended here, and that is really the only knock on this.

A: A little light here in my opinon. I do get some really nice chocolate and toasty malts. But I'm not getting the coffee as much as I would have hoped for.

T: I don't think a stout could taste much better. Chocolate and roasted malts all the way. A little vanilla, coffee, and mollasses round out the flavor. Finishes slightly dry with a noticable but welcome warming from the ABV.

M: Again just about perfect. Full body, creamy and smooth. Just the right amount of carbonation.

D and overall impression: Drinkability for a stout of this magnatude is through the roof, I could easily polish off this bomber myself. Overall, this is seriously one of the best stouts I've ever had. Creamy, smooth and just plain delicious. Awsome! Skal.

Photo of boatshoes
4.1/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, to finish off the evening during a recent trip to Brews Cafe in Granville, my friend ordered up a bottle of Speedway Stout (love that Alesmith is distributed to Ohio). Not my first experience with the beer but my first review.

Appearance- Pours the usual motor oil black out of the bottle with about a half finger of dark brown head made up of very large bubbles. Head dies back to a thin sheet across the top of the beer with little to no lacing present.

Smell- Wow, a whole lot of burnt French roast coffee going on here. Rich roasted malts as well but really dominated by the coffee. Just a touch of chocolate as well. Liking this nose a lot for a coffee stout.

Taste- Really dominated by the coffee. Very rich roastiness but lots and lots of dark roast coffee in there as well. Coffee lends a bit of astringency that drys out the mouth and heightens the bitter bite that finishes off the sip. Not really any of the chocolate that I thought I picked up on the nose. A touch one-dimensional on the coffee but very good.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel is good especially given that it would seem easy to come across thin in a beer with the level of coffee flavor included in this one. Remains adequately rich and thick. Drinkability is pretty good as well for the ABV, lots of bold flavors to keep you interested if coffee stouts are your thing.

Overall, a very good coffee imperial stout. I need to review more coffee stouts but this gives me a good standard to judge against.

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

02.06.10 at City Beer

A: jet black, with mocha head; heavy lace hugs the walls as I sip ... yes, SIP

S: just straight-up coffee on the nose, there's a frothy quality to the aroma, like it a tingling in the nostrils

T: chocolate and coffee yumminess put together, it's like the best mocha ever

M: this beer gets your whole mouth involved, like it's a ton of malt balls packed into the glass

D: great, but be careful!

Photo of AgentZero
3.6/5  rDev -18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Great looking motor-oil black with a nice tan head that dissipated with some fine lacing up the sides.

S - Coffee, toffee, a roasted smell, and a bit of woody gin offering, but pretty subtle.

T - I'll be honest, I'm slightly dissapointed in this one, out of all the big stouts this one is definately above average, but not meeting the hype, maybe I got a bad bottle. Coffee and roasted malts. Chocolate, with some slight vanilla.

M - Thick and smooth, pretty solid.

D - Don't think it tastes good enough to be more than averagely drinkable at this ABV.

Photo of bret27
4.45/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

S: Roasty and coffee predominantly. Also chocolate. A little booze and toffee malty sweetness around as well.

A: Jet black w/brn thick head. What else?

T: Mostly coffee along w/the delcious maltiness and roastiness. Vanilla, chocolate, toffee notes. A little boozy presence but the etoh is well hidden for sure.

M/D: Thick and velvety sublime mouthfeel. Drinkability is definitely impressive for ABV.

Overall: I can't really add anything. This beer is all over socal at reasonable prices, and it's still one of the highest rated beers in the world year after year.

Photo of sitarist
4.1/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a deep, all most black color. One finger of a caramel colored head falls to a ring. Pretty heavy amount of lacing.

S- The smell is very complex with chocolate and coffee leading the way, along with hints of fruit, and whoppers, but there is a liquid smoke scent that doesn't belong.

T- Nothing wrong with the taste. There is a lot of chocolate(both sweet and bittersweet), malt balls, and coffee. Almost taste like a mocha. The smokiness from the nose does not come into play with the taste.

M- Medium body, sticky, with light carbonation. The mouthfeel and flavors go well together.

D- Who cares if this is 12% alcohol? Pour me another!

Notes- Other than the smokey scent; I cant think of anything bad about this beer.

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

Paid $19.99 for a 750ml bottle from Perry's Liquor in Livermore, CA. Poured into a snifter to review.

Yields a small half inch head after an aggressive pour. Head is dark tan and very dense at the bottom, but rather lacy up towards the top. These large bubbles leave a layer of retention on the inner ring of the snifter. Opaque black. Good lacing.

Aroma is very big, layered and complex. Dark roasted malts, creme, vanilla, oak, smoked jerky, dark chocolate and heavily roasted coffee are all detected.

That first taste gets my buds invigorated and watering. That smoke and beef jerky taste comes through even more. Alcohol completely at bay which is scary considering this is 12%. The coffee and chocolate flavors are certainly present, but they do not overpower the stout which I find as a downfall in many other beers of this style. Great harmony of all of its complexities.

Full bodied, smooth, creamy and lightly carbonated. Class mouthfeel with a drinkability that is nearly unparalleled, especially considering its ABV. Only as I approach the halfway point of the bottle that I realize the warming effects in my face. Still alcohol is only felt in effect, not taste.

This is a fine, fine stout. Perhaps the best I've tasted to date.

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

Alesmith brewed a winner with this beer. It poured jet black with a small, creamy head. Smell of robust coffee and chocolate fills the nose. Taste was phenomenal. Tons of cocoa, tons of coffee, tobacco, and molasses. This beer was heavy yet, very easy to drink despite the 12% that could not be tasted.

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

Poured this 750 mL brown bottle into a Duvel glass. No date but I have cellared this one since 6/07. The body was completely opaque and intensely brown. The deep tan head was huge and fine.

Smell was espresso puck grounds. Malted milk balls. Chocolate and creamy malt. Faint cocoa powder. Incredibly well hidden alcohol.

Taste was rich creamy coffee. Lightly brandy-like. All aspects of this beer work wonderfully together. Very drinkable, well hidden alcohol. Not too sweet, wonderfully balanced and gone way too quickly.

Mouthfeel was full and dense (without being too thick). There was a subtle carbonation and alcohol sizzle.

Photo of mdfb79
4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 2/6/10 notes. Had at SC Day from a 750 ML bottle thanks to nimbleprop.

a - Poured a dark brown with a small amount of brown head. Not as dark as the barrel aged Speedway but still very dark.

s - Smells of coffee, but the coffee smells somewhat faded to me. Still very nice with hints of roasted malts and chocolate as well.

t - Tastes of coffee and roasted malts. Again, I thought the coffee was fading, but it had a great taste that was sweeter than I was expecting.

m - Smooth and creamy, full bodied, little carbonation.

d - Overall I really liked this one. We sampled this followed by an 06 Barrel Aged Speedway and while this was not as good as that beer, this was still very good. I have a bottle of 09 Speedway that I think I'll be holding onto for a year or so in hopes it taste like this.

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

Bottle shared by Hogtownharry, thank you sir! Pours charcoal opaque black, with a creamy mocha froth. Head is sticky and structured. Massive aroma of freshly ground coffee beans, coffee, black coffee, coffee again. Vanilla seed pod extract, black cherries, toasty roasty malts, lactic milky-ish, and lots of assertive hops. The flavour profile is completely dominated by coffee, and since I am a coffee lover, this appeals to me greatly. Flavours are chocolate covered coffee beans,strong Ethiopian black coffee, cherries and plum, with vanilla, burnt caramel, roasted malts, and some fresy hoppy bitterness. Very dry and chalky, finish, great carbo level. Way too drinkable and creamy. This was certainly a treat! Thanks so much Harry!

AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 5,154 ratings.