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AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

5,345 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,345
Reviews: 1,458
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 800
Gots: 1,536 | 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:
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: 5,345 | Reviews: 1,458 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bendurgin
4.31/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Lazerlobe for sending this one my way. Poured into a tulip. The body is big black and oily looking with about two fingers of dark tan head that settles down to a thick layer of foam. Great retention on this and it leaves good sticky lace. Toasty dark chocolate malts with a dark cherry aroma. Really sound caramel aroma to give it a touch of sweetness to partner with a bitter coffee aroma. Really a coffee bomb on the pallet. Certainly a great thing, coffee being in the forefront with a sweet toffee finish. The body is full and chewy. With the giant head I was afraid this would be over carbonated but it's really on point. Overall, this rocks hard. Easily one I want all the time.

Photo of 05Harley
4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No bottle dating information:

Purchased through Hi-Time Wine Cellars, Costa Mesa, CA

Price: $11.46/bomber

After a good day of snowmobiling this lovely gem just jumped out at me to help warm up my bones and replenish the energy levels.

Appearance: Pours like black ink revealing a 1" creamy tan cap. Head fades fairly quick to a lite sheen leaving behind an artistic laced decorated drinking vessel.

Smell: A rich aroma of coffee (not surprising given the pounds and pounds of coffee beans added), roasted malts and dark chocolate.

Taste: Coffee dominates the flavor followed by bitter chocolate, molasses and alcohol. Could use a tad more sweetness in the taste.

Mouthfeel: Starts out smooth like velvet with a medium body but quickly changes to a fairly bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability: If you like your stouts with a high amount of bitterness this one's for you. A little too much for my liking. An enjoyable beer never the less. At 12% the alcohol is well hidden. I've got a few more in the cellar and I suspect they will age quite well.

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

750ml bottle poured in a Duvel Tulip.

A: Pure Sexiness. Oily black body that you couldn't even pierce with the energy of the sun. The beer at pour produced a dark, DARK mocha head, a full three fingers worth that left a art work of lacing. Probably produced the largest head i have seen come out of a imperial stout ever.

S: A perfect blend of vanilla, coffee, milk and dark chocolates. Some what of a bready malt comes about, but ever so slightly. The chocolates really prevails in the smell. Spectacular smelling beer if i might say so.

T: Following the nose, again a blend of vanilla, milk and dark chocolates, and of course coffee. I really cannot say which of the flavors really stand out for they all co-exist magically together to produce a smooth tasting beer. No lingering after taste. Kind of sweet on the finish that just makes you come back asking for more. And alcohol? Is there any in there? For a 12% brew, its not existent. Felt as if i were drinking a really creamy milkshake. Very, VERY smooth beer.

M: This is the one thing i find lacking in the beer. Compared to most Imperial Stouts i have had, the body seems to be pretty small. I was expecting that with such excellent flavors and aromas this beer would be, i don't know, thicker. I will give it credit (and thus the 4/5) for how well the alcohol is hidden.

D: Usually on big Imperial Stouts that are boasting above the 10% ABV line (with this being at 12%abv), they become sippers. A bottle of beer lasting a while. Not this one. I found myself onto the next glass before i finished reviewing! Incredibly smooth drinking beer thats hard to put down. Readily available in my area making this one of my "go to" imperial stouts year round. Great job Alesmith, you impress me every time.

Photo of kwjd
4.39/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased from City Beer in San Francisco. Pours pitch black with thin brown head. Small amounts of lacing on the glass. Smells of coffee with roasted malt and hints of chocolate. The coffee in the flavour is very well balanced with the roast compared to many other coffee stouts. Sweet flavour with some small bitterness from the coffee. Smooth mouthfeel. This stout is absolutely delicious.

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

Poured at just below room temperature into my Stone IRS goblet.

This is a pitch black beer. No highlights around the edges ... just darkness. The cocoa colored head is huge and mountainous, with a thick creamy texture. Lacing is tenuous, but at 12% abv, can't hold that against it too much.

The nose is huge with "black maltiness", by which I mean coffee in abundance, cocoa in abundance, and roasty malt in abundance. Get the picture yet?

The taste is more awesome than the nose, but along the same lines. All those aromas abound in the taste, and the creamy smooth mouthfeel is SO full ... amazing. You haven't had an RIS if you haven't had this bad boy. Despite the high abv, the only notice is in the warming of the tummy. No fusel notes at all, but then, nothing could make it past the huge malt backbone. I know there are hops in here, but they are way in the background, and only serve to keep this from being cloyingly sweet. I would describe the hops as 'piney' in flavor, but they are barely noticeable. As for drinkability, it is very high for an RIS, but this can't be a session beer. Still, I'm enjoying every bit of this big bomber myself, and not regretting a moment of it.

I've not had many Alesmith brews, but now I will have to be on the lookout for more, because this has to be nearly a perfect example of an RIS. If you haven't tried it, this is a MUST. It's a bit pricey, but worth every penny I say. I highly recommend this to all. Great Job Alesmith!

Na Zdravje!

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

a big beer as expected. and something to be had when your ready to sit around in lethargic warmth. the abv is sneaky. pour is nice with a good head of two fingers... yest delayed. opaque black with a mocha head. nose of all the expected things in a american russian imperial. but then again its big and its american. its a treat it big done right. in all its subtleties. expected but perfect. licorice, coffee, cocoa., and cherry liquor candy.

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

Received this one as an extra!

Poured into a tulip.

A: Pours a very dark and somewhat thick black - no light's getting through this one and it was apparent from the start with the solid black bottle. 1 finger of light milk chocolate head. Head retention is fairly good, and spotted lacing develops.

S: Heavy chocolate and roasted malts. Some coffee and espresso, but not nearly what I was expecting. A little soy is also present.

T: Rich, roasted coffee beans. A little bitter kick from the hops, and a smooth chocolate to follow. This one has it all, but necessarily initially. The aftertaste highlights everything that makes this beer great. Roasted malts, strong coffee and espresso, sweet chocolate, and a balancing hop bitterness all combine to leave one of the best aftertastes I've ever had in a stout.

M: Thick, but not as thick as expected. Moderate to low carbonation. Borderline creamy. Coffee and chocolate flavors linger.

D; Excellent coffee profiled stout. Not over the top and sweet, yet solid and highly drinkable. Leaves me wanting more.

Photo of codewarrior
4.21/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Capped 750mL poured into a Snifter

Been looking forward to this for a while, my friend T was nice enough to bring one to a late night tasting last weekend (I was nice enough to help him finish it).

L: Pours motor-oil thick, with ridiculous head ... unreal retention ... seriously there is a high water mark, and at one point the dimpling resembled a nuclear mushroom cloud. Jet black body, deep, layered dark break head ... looks like a chocolate pillow.

S: Hugely booze-forward, lots of malts shortly behind. Coffee is light and in the back, touch of lingering burnt coffee in the finish. Pretty straight-forward and huge coffee stout.

T: Front is a good boozy start into a watery-coffee middle. From there it develops into a chocolate, coffee, mealy affair with huge depth and great balance. 50/50 for me here, up front it's not great, second half is world class.

F: Smooth, thick and rich. Everything a stout should be.

D: Pretty damn drinkable at 12% ... all-around enjoyable

Photo of TheFightfan1
4.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I boought this one at the Hulmeville Inn. Poured into a snifter. Pours opague black. Viscous light brown colored heading.So thick so lovely.

Smell has a heavy chocolate aroma quickly followed up and finished with a coffee aroma. Nice heavy roastiness all over the place.

Taste is simply exceptional. I am not a coffee lover but this would make me start drinking it.A nice sweet caramel sugarish touches down but is no match for the heavily roasted coffee beans.

Mouth is about a full bodied a beer can get. With the slickest and smoothest mouth you could possibly have. Great carbonation from such a higher ABV beer.

All around exceptional. I was a bit skeptic on a coffee stout but seeing it rated so high on here I had to try it. Good stuff.

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

A bottle poured into a duvel tulip with some killer chocolate and other tasty treats.

A- three fingers of dense coffee and creamy colored head from a very hard pour. The massive head ever so slowly settles leaving tons of thick sticky lace and a good cap on top. This all about the black can't say much more about the color then that. There is just the faintest of brown glow at the edges. This is a beautiful looking beer.

S- deep dark roasted almost burnt malts, loads of coffee and bitter chocolate. A good amount of black licorice and a touch of char.

T- bitter and roasty up front with espresso and 96 percent dark chocolate. This borders on burnt its so roasty but some times the edge of the cliff has the best view. A sweet anise flair brings a balancing touch but never evens things out. Hops might be a component of the bitter but I'm not sure its tough to pick things out of a brew like this. Long lasting roasty close.

M- way less thick on the palate then pour had me thinking. About medium maybe a bit fuller with a carb on the lighter side bringing a smoothness to things. The abv does show a bit and provides a good warm to the mouth and the belly. Super dry finish.

D- I've had this a few times and after really giving this a good hard look I've come to the decision that its very roasty and choc full of coffee and its very good at being that. Its just not my favorite of this very heavy style. I really like that it goes its own way and makes quite a statement in the flavor department. Now I really want to try the ba version.

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

Reviewed from notes 1/13/2011

A: coffee, caramel, and a whiff of alcohol

Ap: black, 2 finger mocha colored head, very thick, frothy, and foamy, nice lacing

B/T: mild carbonation, well balanced, slightly thick, but not overwhelmingly so, smooth.

Af: coffee, caramel, does not linger long.

O: perfect balance, very drinkable


Photo of Greywulfken
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my first epic stouts - had to revisit and update my initial review because it had been so long since I've had one of these.

A: black hole black - makes the room darker. Thick dark tan head dissipates as you drink but adorns the glass with lace as it goes...

S: deep, dark espresso - snaps you to attention

T: espresso w/ notes of cocoa, mellow roasted malt; the perfect balance between sweet and dry; classic flavors: bitter clingy espresso, and roasted, smooth chocolate malt. Doesn't have the anise/licorice you get with some stouts like this

M: creamy, silky, very palatable; abv just faintly hovers behind the dry, bitter espresso... black, chewy, bitter aftertaste

O: Great stout. No wonder its a top-rated stout. The sweet-to-dry balance is what does it. Beer me.

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

A - Rich brown brew with a deep mocha head. The head is medium sized but very dense. I even witnessed a lone droplet of beer trying to fight its way through the dense surface to the brew below. As it fades it leaves thick webs of lacing on the glass.

S - A subdued, yet present alcohol aroma is the first thing I smell. Then a charcoal and chocolate aroma.

T - At first I taste dark fruits, chocolate and coffee. More roasted malt flavors join the fray. The aftertaste

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.27/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on-tap at the San Diego Brewing Co brewpub. They had it on for a guest tap while we were visiting. The beer poured jet black, with a thin, tan head. There was a milk chocolate nose, with hints of bitter toffee. The beer has flavors of coffee, nut, and chocolate, with bitter coffee undertones. The beer carries creamy flavors on a dry body, very well blended and balanced. The aftertaste is a blend of bitter and molasses, with a crisp finish. The beer has lingering tastes of sweet toffee. Very easy and smooth to drink.

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

Poured from the bottle into my snifter.

Deep deep black with 2 fingers of dark head. Awesome lacing all the way down.

Smells of chocolate, coffee, vanilla and caramel.

One of my favorite beers. Tons of coffee, chocolate, and vanilla in the beer. Without bottle dating, I can't tell if it was fresh, but this particular bottle was the best ive had. Lots of coffee and chocolate bitterness offset the abv on this one.

Thick, but not so thick you think you are drinking syrup.

Wonderfully drinkable. Easily down a bottle alone. :)

Photo of swhite11
3.87/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

[A] - Pitch black with an extremely tan 1 1/2 finger creamy head. Retains and laces well.

[A] - Ungodly amount of coffee and chocolate. Slight breadiness with a moderate amount of alcohol.

[T] - Bounds of coffee and chocolate upfront. Ample roasted malt and hop bitterness. Roasted malt acidity dominates the finish - numbs the palate.

[M] - Very creamy/silky upfront. Dries quickly due to the alcohol and roasted malt acidity.

[D] - 12% is hidden well. The beer was consumed at a very young age yet it is very palatable. Carbonation is med-low. Acidity is a bit distracting.

[O] - A big, slightly acidic RIS with dominant notes of coffee and chocolate.

Photo of GatheringBrews
4.16/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich black/brown with a creamy tan head that lingers and laces quite a lot.

Aroma of coffee and malt; this bottle had a touch of hotness on the nose, but nothing offputting.

Tastes of espresso, dark chocolate with touch of bitterness and a slightly dry finish.

Excellent imperial stout.

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

poured unknown vintage from 750ml bottle into snifter. pours a thick black with a thin mocha head that never dissipates leaving a slight residual lacing.

espresso, caramel and roasted malts surround the nose.. some dark chocolate bitterness pokes through on the toungue with some more coffee bean. more caramel makes it very sweet.

nice thickness; viscous yet still smooth. borderline syrup but in a good way. perfect level of carbonation.

at 12% you're expecting a heat that never hits.
can drink way too fast...

Photo of nas5755
3.36/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A black beer with a massive tan head some lacing is left on the glass, with a little retention. The nose has coffee, light chocolate notes and deeply roasted dark coffee bitterness. The taste follows the nose, heavy with dark roasted coffee and the astringent bitterness that comes from too much roasting, chocolate and roasted malt flavors. Too much roast when fresh. A very smooth and creamy stout with a great mouth-feel, but it was hard to appreciate because of the bitterness. A very good stout that should be aged, even with all the coffee notes. The astringent bitterness is just to harsh to truly enjoy. I have this beer with a little over a year and the astringency had faded considerably.

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

Tasted blind as part of Blind Beer BIF #3 with much thanks to sholland119.

Pours flat black with only the slightest amount of ruby light at the extreme edge of the glass. Cappuccino-colored foam sticks around for awhile and creates some nice latticework as it slowly dissipates.

The nose is heavily hit with dark toast and coffee. There's a bit of molasses and vanilla in the background, but overall I'm expecting the char to outweigh the sweet.

Mouthfeel is full but not overly syrupy. A bit of carbonation keeps this from being too much of a beer-shake.

As I suspected, when administered internally, the coffee and char take an unquestionable lead. There's a bit of chocolate sweetness in there too, but, in general, this is a coffee bomb. Not as much complexity as a Peche Mortel or Founder's Breakfast Stout, but as a coffee geek, this does the trick. The finish has a little alcohol heat which might mellow with age, but the heat is moderated nicely by a prolonged hop and baker's chocolate bitterness (plus I wouldn't want to age it and lose the coffee).

Photo of BuckyFresh
4.54/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to zoso1967 for supplying this tasty brew. Also among the blessed were TCHopCraver and TCgoalie.

Appearance: Pours a jet black color, with a one-finger head. Retention is not amazing, but the lacing is good. The head is a dark tan in color and remains as a film on top after receding.

Smell: My first thought after inhaling was that this beer smelled like a hair salon that had a pot of coffee on and also happened to be across the street from a chocolate factory. Also vying for attention are dark fruit, brown sugar, molasses, and lots of malty sweetness.

Taste: Lost of nutty dark bitterness. Roasted malt and coffee with a creamy texture and an almost sweet/sour finish. Bitterness is up front in the taste and the sweetness subtly makes its way in at the end.

Mouthfeel: Creamy texture and lots of bitterness, but it seemed just a tad thin.

Drinkability: Very complex with lots of delicious, subtle nuance. A very dynamic tasting experience that evolves from start to finish.

Photo of thetomG
3.93/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage...

Typical dark brown/black appearance. Very little head with minimal lacing left behind.

Aroma is (surprisingly, and somewhat disappointingly) pretty standard - roasty malts, little bit of coffee. Flavor is a bit more interesting, but still underwhelming - I was expecting more. Not bad by any means, but just sort of a standard flavor profile in my opinion.

Mouthfeel was a bit thin but this is a very drinkable beer and something I would try again - perhaps it improves with more age on it...

Photo of nataku00
4.49/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into snifters. Beer is pitch black and cannot see anything through it when held up to the light. A half finger of light brown khaki colored head dissipates quickly to the surface, leaving a decent amount of lacing and a lot of alcohol feet.

Nose is a fruity coffee, not a bitter dark french roast, but maybe something Kona roast style, medium roast and brewed to show off the other qualities of a good coffee. Some dark chocolate and roasted malt comes through as well, but the coffee aroma is just amazing, the best stout with coffee that I've ever smelled.

Taste doesn't not disappoint, excellent coffee flavor greets your tongue right away. Some roasted notes follows through but the coffee is the star of this stout. Slight bitterness at the back of the tongue helps mask a light alcohol taste of this six month old bottle.

Rich full bodied beer has just a very small amount of carbonation, but at 12% abv, I wasn't expecting too much carbonation. Creamy and lush on the tongue, coating the inside of your mouth with excellent flavor with each sip. The finish is medium in length, mostly a light roasted bitterness note with the chocolate, enough to remind you for the next sip but not as lasting as some barrel aged stouts.

Very good imperial stout, something I need to buy more bottles of.

Photo of diomz88
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Coffee, right away smells good coffee, with chocolates, vanilla, toasty, roasty, smells great! Black, black and black. With minimal brownish head. Lacing is present too. So much going on with this beer. So smooth, compared to some other imperial stouts i've tasted before. Coffee, dark chocolate flavors, with some other flavors in it like hints of vanilla, and a little sweetness to it. I don't mind the bitterness because it is very appropriate for this kind of beer. Full bodied, very slick and smooth and clean, especially at the finish. This is a very enjoyable beer, great beer! Can't wait for the next one!

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

Review #200!! Well sort of... I have quite the backlog of reviews, so this is my 200th entry. Had to make it a good one:

Big props to zozo1967 for sharing this on 12/11/10 with Matt, Kyle, and I.

Pours black with a tan head that recedes to a film. Bubbles regenerate and pop at the top of the glass. The lacing is great and reminds me of morel mushroom skin! Bubbly and crazy.

The smell is surprisingly fruity for a double. Plum and dark cherry are the main fruits. I also detect some coffee and chocolate.

Gentle chocolate malts lead to lots of dark chocolate and a coffee acidity bitterness. The aftertaste of the coffee bitterness lasts forever. This is extremely flavorful.

Medium-full in the mouth and very creamy. The slight drying in the end is a perfect end to this amazing feel!

Wonderful company for the tasting lends to a very drinkable 12%. That doesn't make much sense, but this stout is excellent. That is all.

AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 5,345 ratings.