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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

5,163 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,163
Reviews: 1,432
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 786
Gots: 1,433 | FT: 139
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: 5,163 | Reviews: 1,432 | Display Reviews Only:
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!

Photo of HopHead29
4.7/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

served in a tulip at recommended temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pours pitch black, lets no light through, with a dark tan head with a great deal of lacing and excellent retention.

Smell is of dark Belgian chocolate and whipping cream. Expresso beans as well.

Taste is of same, but also very much like a cafe mocha latte. Alcohol is there as well, but is very tolerable.

Mouthfeel is a bit on the rough side with a little bit of harshness.

Very easy to drink this intensely flavored beer.

Definitely one of the best out there. Incredible taste and appearance. Absolutely love this beer.

Photo of GilGarp
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been sitting on a bottle for about a year and then I happened to come across another while in Cleveland for Christmas. So I've decided to have one to celebrate my new car - a VW GTI.

The most elegantly bottled beer I've had the pleasure of opening. A brown 750 mL bottle with silver screen printed label. The silver plastic "foil" over the cap peels off easily unlike real foil found on Avery's big beers, for example.

Served cold and poured into a large wine glass. It is extremely dark, even on the pour there is barely any color. It has great espress crema-colored that settles very slowly leaving some thick lacing on the side.

The aroma is full and robust. There is great dark chocolate and espresso in the nose.

Flavor is simply excellent. For someone who loves stout and coffee in almost equal measures, this has got to be the ultimate. It starts with sweet melted dark chocolate and a hint of caramel. As it lingers in my mouth, the intense coffee flavors come forth with some very strong bitterness. Hops play a big part with this beer as well bringing an herbal, minty flavor.

Mouthfeel is full bodied with creamy smooth carbonation. The only down side is the strength of alcohol and bitterness. Drinkability is difficult to judge as well. Although it's a fantastic tasting beer, it's simply too strong in flavor and alcohol to enjoy much more than a glass.

This is up there with some of the best beers I've ever had. Great coffee flavor without taking over the beer. This was certainly worth the wait and the space in my suitcase.

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

750 from tustin total wine.

A - Pours black with 2 fingers of dark chocolate head, leaves beautiful lacing.

S/T - Dark roast coffee, chocolate, some roast caramel flowery hops, and light bittering hops. So dreamy and lucious.

M - Full-bodied, slightly malt dominated, so good.

D - More please! Notice no alcohol in notes, and this is a 12% beer. Very dangerous to session.

Photo of womencantsail
4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The pour is viscous and black with a thin layer of mocha colored foam.

S: The nose is full of rich dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, and alcohol.

T: While the nose wasn't quite as good as I remember it being, the flavor is still top notch. Great coffee and roasted malt flavor with bitter dark chocolate on the finish.

M: The body is incredibly full with low carbonation which leads to a nice creamy feel on the tongue.

D: Even with the boozy nose, this is still one of my absolutely favorite stouts. Great fresh or with age, and this bottle was no exception.

Photo of Patrick999
4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am afraid that I might have a bottle of the infected batch, so I crack this open with some trepidation. 750ml bottle, silver foil, silver lettering. I have no idea how old this is, but by my estimation, it's at least a year old.

Poured into a tulip as suggested on the bottle, served at proper temperature. Does it look like a top shelf stout? Absolutely yes, it does. Lots of creamy foam, good lacing. A lot of stouts this big begin to take on that "big beer" appearance, with little head retention, but NOT this one! This foam sticks, sticks, sticks! Little to no light penetration with this dark liquid.

Aroma is of hot buttered caramel mocha latte. Good, but actually not as intense and mind-blowing as I thought it'd be. Not crazy-good, just good.

Unsweetened chocolate and carob flavors hit up front, with a hefty dose of bitter roasted coffee and charred malts. This beer is not all about the coffee, though....indeed, this is actually a much more balanced coffee stout than I thought it would be. I was hoping for more of a coffee bomb, if I'm being honest, but I cannot knock the beer for being this tight and balanced - obviously a product of a very good base beer. It is damn good....obviously I did not end up with the infected batch! The 12% ABV must be aged out, because I really do not taste it. I think this drinks like an 8% stout!

Feel doesn't disappoint. Almost has the smooth feel of an oatmeal stout, even though this isn't one. It certainly slides down with ease.

AleSmith. What else can be said, other than that I wish their beers were more available to me? As it stands, this will have to serve as an occasional indulgence, when I feel like paying for shipping. For such a big beer, it is by no means a chore to drink. Maybe the added caffeine from the coffee makes it that much easier, who knows.

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

A- An aggressive pour from the bottle yielded a massive tan head, which was well retained with incredible sticky lacing throughout. The body was a seemingly uncarbonated opaque dark brown- almost black. Picture perfect.

S- Pungent smoky, roasty, coffee and crystal malt aromas, complimented by a mild hop aroma. Bold and enticing.

T- Starts off with sweet crystal malt and chocolate flavors... then some roasty coffee hits in the middle, before being overtaken by some substantial hop bitterness and some peppery alcohol. A bit of a flavor rollercoaster.

M- A huge creamy body- lots of silky textures- and the carbonation is incredibly soft. Impressive. I suppose a little more chewiness would be desired.

D- Goes down damn smooth, particularly given the ABV... the alcohol gets to you quickly though. This is a big beer, and certainly is as intoxicating as it is delicious.

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

Served from a 750ml bottle acquired in a trade with davidsk (Thanks man!) into my Cigar City snifter at the appropriate temperature (01/30/10).

A: Pours an extremely dark and mildly thick motor oil black with a lighter than expected two-finger head with nice retention leaving some sticky lace.

S: Potent aroma of coffee and roasted malt with just a faint hint of dark, bitter chocolate. A one dimensional, but very solid.

T: Coffee is certainly the dominating force with this Imperial Stout and it does so in a very effective way. Seems quite fresh with some espresso-like qualities with a great degree of roasted malt and some hints of chocolate in a dark and bitter form.

M: I must say that the mouthfeel was a bit thin at times with slightly hire than expected carbonation. Medium-bodied, but lacked some thickness and viscosity.

D: Quite easy to drink especially for a 12% Imperial Stout.

To be honest, I felt a bit let donw from this beer, but it was still quite enjoyable just not nearly what I expected from an Imperial Stout with such a high ranking. Solid beer, just did not live up to the hype for me. Thanks again David!

Photo of billab914
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into my Dogfish snifter glass. pours black with a thin tan colored bubbly foam on top. The head settled out and stuck to the sides of the glass but left good lacing on the sides as I drank it.

Not surprisingly coffee is the first thing that hits you in the aroma, but it also gives off some bitter chocolate and roasty flavors. Taste, much like the nose is coffee dominant but is also somewhat balanced out with the chocolate and roasted flavors.

Mouthfeel is on the thicker side and slightly creamy. Carbonation is moderate. It's very drinkable for being 12% abv, I didn't even think it was that high until I checked the bottle for the review. It's a very smooth and easy drinking coffee beer.

Overall one of the best stouts I have had, the coffee flavor is very present but not overdone. It's very surprising that it can be over 12% and have virtually no alcohol bite. It really drinks like it could be a 6% stout. I will be buying this one again as long as Southbay keeps shipping them to me.

Photo of iamnitrox
4.72/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Darkest brew I've ever looked at. It truly is a sight to behold. Barely made a head at all, even with a sloppy pour. head theat arose was dark brown in color. It's an intimidating looking brew to say the least.

S- I detect alot of fruit flavor and coffe and carmel. It smells like wine almost, a funny thing to say about a beer, but it really does remind me of a merlot. It smells alot stronger than it tastes

T- Bitter, with alot of coffee and carmel flavoring. Reminds me of raisins almost. The taste and texture remind me of stone russian imperial stout. The beer goes down almost syrupy. It's beautiful in texture. It has a wine-like aftertaste, most likely from the 12.0% ABV, but nonetheless, very pleasant.

M- Definitely powerful, not recommended for big brew drinkers! Sits strongly on the tongue, but is much less offensive than the smell would let on.

D- Lovely going down. It's a great drinking beer. It would be great with red meat or even a dessert like carrot cake or some kind of cheesecake. I recommend it to anyone for any reason. A definite must-have beer!

Photo of bargerking
3.58/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured at 50-55 degrees into pint sized tulip. 09 Bottle.

A Pitch black. Decent darker tan head with good retention with a few swirls. Bubbles form like pancake batter on a griddle after swirling. Thick viscosity.

S Roasted malts. Strong oak characteristics dominate. Hints of bitter chocolates. Theres more going on here but I can't pull it out...

T/M Wow! Really thin. Was not expecting this. Almost disappointing. Mouthfeel is a little chocolate/creamy. Complexity is not as deminsional as its smell. Kind of boozey with an odd burn. Dark chocolate shines through on the finish. Aftertaste is sticky and not all that great. Actually im not liking it at all.

D Everything was great until I actually drank the beer. Taste was average with nothing that stood out. Decent beer for sure but I was expecting more out of this. Maybe I will put this down for a year or two next time I get it.

Photo of afausser
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Shared by CrellMoset--thanks Chris!

A: Pours a midnight black which lets no light through but for the chocolatey dark brown two fluffy fingers of head, and the slight mahogany glow around the edge of the glass when the light hits it. Many crisp, extremely fine carbonation bubbles stream to the top of the glass, where the head has by now subsided into a chocolatey latte-like foam. Nice lacing around the edge of the glass, and an uneven foamy ring that looks like a chocolate snowdrift in some places.

S: Notes of dark chocolate and dark coffee are immediately apparent, but there's a definite raspberry syrup in the nose as well. There's also fairly dominant toast and smoke notes, and a subtle nutty note. The raspberry note is definitely strongly present, but only noticed at first when agitated. Quite sweet and nice as it warms, and evens out nicely.

T: Very bitter and predominantly full of coffee, smoke, and toast, though these are blended with cream, nuts, roasted malts, and dark chocolate. A little bit of raspberry in the aftertaste, but nothing like was in the nose. Hints of apples and then anise as it warms. The fruit notes come out a bit more as it warms, but they aren't particularly coming across like raspberry as in the nose. The aftertaste is very much coffee, smoke, and hops. Very nicely balanced, and wonderful for how simple it is.

M: Somewhat crisp and very smooth. Not hot in the slightest, and I would never guess the ABV was anywhere near 12%. It seems almost a bit like sparking water to me, and while I would like to knock it for that, I'm thinking of ways it could be improved, and coming up short. I would like for it to be a bit creamier than it is, but this would inhibit the drinkability--it's already extremely smooth--and fewer bubbles would make it fall flat. As it warms, the mouthfeel evens out quite a bit and it's near perfect--as it's warmed I've had to bump it from a 4 to a 4.5 and now to a 5, and by the time it's finished, perfection.

Did someone steal my alcohol? So very highly drinkable. I don't know what I'd guess the ABV on this is--from the taste and lack of heat, I'd probably guess around a 6%--only half of what it is. I don't know how they did it. Pick up as much you can, drink it slowly, and allow it to reach its full potential as it warms!

Photo of RonfromJersey
4.55/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Black, or the darkest possible brown, body, nary a highlight, topped by three fingers of dense dark tan foam. No lace.

Aroma heavy on roasted coffee and dark chocolate, with dark fruits soaking about.

Coffee leads the way across the tongue, quickly pursued by milk chocolate. Some well soaked dark fruits bubble along behind. No alcohol sense anywhere.

Thick, rich, though not quite the super lush of some imperial/double stouts.

Drinkability is superb, both for today and tomorrow.

A terrific stout, highly recommended. Start your engines.

Photo of oggg
3.88/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Gift from a friend, sourced from Wallys. 750ml

I removed the capsule and popped the cap. I got an old man's sigh, suggesting low carbonation. I poured aggressively and got just a token show of bubbles. I saved half in the fridge with a vacu-vin cork and mini-vacuum, but the next day the bubbles were almost entirely gone.

This stout is really really black and opaque. Intimidating. Maybe a ring of dark brown when you shine a light on it. Again, little to no head.

The nose is basically a raspberry dark chocolate truffle.
On the tongue, this is a heavy syrup-like concoction that starts off oily, hits you with a heavy (not bright) raspberry liqueur flavor. I struggle to get past it, and there's some thick dark chocolate. Really heavy. Like drinking bittersweet chocolate. Coffee is there but it's in the shadow of the chocolate. I kinda wish this was more burnt. Alcohol is there, though I didn't think it was 12%! The finish is surprisingly not that cloying.

Overall: I don't really like fruit liqueur infused chocolate because of the fruit part, but if you like that sort of thing, this is right up your alley.

Photo of Onenote81
2.68/5  rDev -39%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Bottle received in a trade with fatboyjim1 in a trade long ago. Thanks, Jim!

Have had this one cellared for about a half a year. Poured into a snifter. Not sure the vintage of this as there is no stamp on the bottle.

Pours a jet black; allows no light to penetrate. Starts off with a huge creamy mocha head on top. Good retention; left some nice lace on the glass. Scents of roasted malts and chocolate. A bit of drying scent in there, not sure what that is specifically.

Decent body on this beer. A tad crisp, but it still retains some creamy smoothness that I like in this style. Alcohol is pretty well hidden in this beer. It's not noticeable in the flavor at all. Doesn't taste "hot." This is a really bland Imp. Stout. Flavors of some mild cocoa, and finishes really charred and burnt. There is no sweet balance in this beer at all. There's some hops there, but this is too roasted and grating. Unbalanced and unpleasant. Sorry, Jim, but this beer fell short for me.

Photo of SDHoffers
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a massive beer! Generally served in smaller portions because the 12 plus alcohol % will knock you down. The great thing about this beer isn't the high % though. This beer is so damn flavorful! Very roasty and loaded with chocolate and carmel highlights. This is definitely a beer that I always try to keep stocked at my bar.

Photo of punkrkr27
4/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 bottle. Lots of rich sweet yet bitter black strap molasses character with a shot of espresso. There's some milk chcoclate that comes out in the middle and it finishes with a long bitter black coffee finish. There was a hint of soy I didn't care much for though. The body is sticky and full with moderate carbonation.

AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 5,163 ratings.