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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

5,159 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,159
Reviews: 1,432
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 787
Gots: 1,434 | 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: 5,159 | Reviews: 1,432 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Anthony1
4.03/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The ale is a black oily color. Absolutely nothing cuts through the darkness of the ale. There is a small ring of cappucino colored head in the glass. A pour generates a 1.5 finger sized head. The stout has a deep roasted malty aroma that has a vinous depth. The alcohol is evident but not overpowering. Some hops add a floral florish without detracting from the malts. The stout has a big bold taste. The first flavors to hit the tongue are heavily roasted, almost burnt malts. The intensely roasted flavors border on a very dry chocolate flavor. As the beer warms in the moith, a distinct, intense alcohol flavor emerges that is astringent. Back to the malts, this beer has a fairly subtle acidity that belies the coffee beans. Finally, the stout ends with a sweet flavor that finishes long and brings back hints of the roasted malts and coffee.

Photo of hrking
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Bottle aged 2 years. Coffee seems to fall more to the background after aging letting the flavors blend together for a smoother chocolate roasted malt flavor. I have not tried the new version of this but I guess they tweaked it a little. The vintage stuff is still damn tasty.

Photo of cpetrone84
4.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 version i believe

A-jet black, no light comes through even with a large mag lite pointed directly at it, extremely dark tan head that is rich and creamy, tons of it come out, the head lingers for quite a while, very long indeed, and leaves huge lace on the glass...perfect!

S-the aroma is nice, not huge, dark roasted coffee and espresso come through with some milk chocolate that gives way to a faint dark berry fruit aroma, blackberries or dark cherries.

T-the taste is big and follows the nose but with greater magnitude, it starts with the roasted coffee bean and some refined espresso to smooth out the coffee taste, there is some dark chocolate in there that comes next giving way to a light sweetness of dark cherries. The finish adds a hint of herbal hops and a touch of bitterness. the alochol shows a little at the back, but for 12% is very well hidden.

M-this beer has a full body and is extremely smooth and creamy and seems to thicken as it moves to the back of the throat. you could take a bite of this stout. it is well carbonated and dries the throat slightly towards the finish with a biting feel from a low (perfect) hop balance

D-this beer is delicious and big, just how i like it. i'm glad i have 6 more, intend on aging and it can only get better from here. it is utterly beautiful to look at but the smell was slightly misleading as it was not very powerful.

Photo of Mora2000
4.72/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up in a trade with Kaiser81.

Beer pours black with a tan head. The aroma is strong chocolate with a little bit of coffee and roasted malt. The flavor has more coffee than the aroma but the beer finishes with a nice chocolate flavor, which gets stronger as it warms. There is also a bitter chocolate note that really works well with this beer. You get a little alcohol in the flavor as well. The mouthfeel is very creamy and makes this beer absolutely delicious. This is one of the best stouts I have ever had and I will definitely try it again.

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

Such a well made and balanced beer. I'm surprised this beer doesn't get more hype.

Poured the deepest onyx black with a creamy tan head. No lace and the head disappeared soon after.

Lovely aromas of expresso, cocoa, toast, and blackberries. And this is reflected in the taste as well. No alcohol burn or anything. If I didn't know it was 12% I'd say it's maybe 8% max.

Velvety, smooth, and rich. Coats the palate nicely and gives a long, smooth finish. Simply divine and a pleasure to drink.

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

This exits the bottle in languid drip that rouses itself to a half hearted attempt at liquidity, finally filling the snifter with an almost black, almost opaque beauty of a petroleum pour that is topped by an incessant and brown one-finger head of thick foam that finally settles to a thick cap. If there was an imperial stout beauty contest this baby makes the finals for sure.

The smell is a full aroma of rounded yeast notes, dark caramel, roasty-toasty scents, and pulling through it all is delicious coffee. Alcohol vapors are in the back of it, and give the bouquet a warm boost.

Oh my, where to start? The taste of this is exceptionally fine. It is very full of all the wonderful flavors in the nose, but there are burnt notes in there, dark chocolate, a subtle sweetness, sort of an herbal taste as I swallow, and a finish that is pure bitter, and herbal, half-dry, and luscious. Coffee is in there strongly, blessedly, make no mistake, the clean flavor of it is in the beginning, middle, and end of the sip. But here it is a partner with all the other flavors to blend into a magnificent stout. Sort of like the overture to Nozzi di Figaro, full of soprano, baritone, alto, and basso,containing many themes which all are tied together by irony, but combined through the magnificence of a genius composer to a work that is transcendental. The "composer" of this brew is Alesmith, worthy here of comparison to Mozart. Missing completely from the flavor profile is alcohol. This stout f***ing rocks.

The feel of this belies the look. It is creamy and surprisingly light on the tongue. It looks chewy, and is quite viscous, but it is low carb, clean cling, and easy on the palate. How they accomplished this is something worth learning.

Drinkability for an Imp Stout seems moot to me, but this stout can be consumed at an extremely self-destructive pace of sipping.

Photo of bunnyhustle
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into snifter from bottle. Pours black as night and thick as can be. Disappointed in the head, found it to be thin and very bubbly, some retention and lacing but not a ton. Smell is of coffee, chocolate, molasses and a bit of alcohol. Taste is on par. A brilliant mix of coffee, caramel, chocolate, and cream. A warming sensation as it goes down with a little alcohol. Very thick and full bodied, creamy and smooth. Overall a great beer and a slow sipper. Was a great choice to enjoy on Christmas.

Photo of wd40
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow this beer did not disappoint.
Poured an awesome dark brown foamy head.
Appearance is pitch black. No light shines through, like motor oil.
Smells and tastes of sweet coffee.
The smell could be a little stronger, but the coffee taste is perfect, not too strong, but present.
Creamy, fluffy mouthfeel.
High in alcohol, but can't taste it. It's definitely hitting me though. Fantastic beer. Need more.

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

750ml bottle brought back by a co-worker from his trip to California. Thanks Miles!

A- Like pretty much all stouts it pours jet-black with some nice ruby hues at the edges. Pretty clean and clear for an Imperial Stout. Soapy tan head fades farely quickly and leaves little lacing. Better head would have pushed this one up to a 5.
S- Not a lot going on. Some subtle dark fruits (raisins), coffee, malty sweetness. Maybe I'll get more as the beer warms.
T- Pretty tasty. A nice burnt roasted malt character to compliment coffee grounds and faint lactose sweetness. Alcohol is well hidden.
M - Thick, creamy, luscious. Very smooth. It's not bitter or harsh or prickly. Couldn't ask for more.
D- For a 12% Imperial Stout this was really drinkable. The alcohol (and lack of food) caught up to me at the end of the bottle, but I'll take more any day.

Overall - An imperial stout that certainly lives up to it's accolades. Nice subdued cofee tones with all the standard impy stout qualities. Considering the price, this is probably the best bang-for-your-buck stout that can be easily obtained and doesn't require a 2+ hour wait in a line. Well done.

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

Appearance: Pours black as the devil's soul while sunbathing on a beach during a total solar eclipse. Staring into the glass is like staring into a murderers pupils. Mocha 2 finger crown shows little retention and a few swirls of lace.

Smell: A nice display of coffee and dark chocolate over extremely roasty malt over the tiniest hint of alcohol.

Taste: Loads of coffee, dark roasted malt, a bit of alcohol warmth, and a long finish that is slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel: Rich and full bodied with minimal carbonation and a slickness.

Drinkability: heavy mouthfeel, low carbonation, and a double digit abv is making this 750ml a challenge for me to finish alone :)

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

appearance - Poured like old oil that was just drained. Nice brown-tan head formed

smell - Roasted malts, dark chocolate, molasses.
and coffee.

taste - Mix of what I smelled above all rolled into one. Nice warming taste of alcohol at the end.

mouthfeel - Medium-full body

drinkability - Slow drinker for me. Something i have heard about but never got my hands on. Very rich stout. yumo.

Photo of bulletrain76
4.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Draught at The Red. You would never believe that this is so strong. Despite the thick and creamy mouthfeel, the alcohol and sweetness are kept in check by the coffee, roast, and bitterness. Looks amazing with a really dark head that lasts, over a pitch black body. Still probably the best integration of coffee into a big stout that i have tasted. It's definitely present, but plays a supporting role to the rich malt.

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

Got 2 bottles of this, one from BA Tanger in the Secret Santa BIF, and another from a previous trade with BA jstassi. Thanks Joey and Jon!

Silver foil removed, cap cracked. Poured into a pint glass, this is pitch black and thick as motor oil. Sort of has a lack of head, but there is some brown sugar colored head. Leaves lacing on what little head is produced.

The nose is very strong, almost barrel aged. I was expecting much more coffee, but I got a more woody character. I get woody and vanilla like characters that I would assume came from barrel aging...but I'm fairly certain this wasn't -bal aged. Anyways, huge malt backbone, bitter chocolate and dark fruits come to mind. Bit booze character, definitely up there at 12%.

The taste is just like the nose, but even less coffee. For a beer that advertises it's brewed with coffee right on the bottle I'm a little disappointed. Then again, this bottle could be 2 years old, who knows, I can't find vintage information on the bottle anywhere. Alcohol isn't as noticable in the taste as it was the nose. Huge malt character, sweet and bitter, toasted malts, bitter chocolate, light coffee, molasses, vanilla, so complex.

Mouthfeel is rich and thick. It coats your mouth much like it coats the glass. Lingering bitter aftertaste is washed away with heat as it goes down my throat. Drinkability is great. I actually had no problem finishing the 750 myself.

Overall, a solid Imperial Stout. I wish there was a higher coffee portion, but I still enjoy this none the less. I think more time on this bottle would have made it better, so thankfully I have a second!

Photo of wknight167
4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Apearance - Pours jet black with a 2 finger light brown head that sticks around quite a while.

Nose- Just a hint of booze, but mainly coffee, vanilla, roast malt and milk chocolate.

Palate- Warming coffee, sweet vanilla and chocolate. Sweetness is very well balanced with the roast grains with the grains just winning out. Alcohol is very well hidden.

Mouthfeel- Full bodied, Med carb. I would not have guessed the alcohol percentage.

Drinkability- I would be happy to come home to a fridge full of these.

Photo of TheSarge
4.7/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Speedway Stout pours great for a three finger dark tan head, and a jet black opaque body.

Fragrance is roasty coffee, semisweet chocolate and metallic characteristics.

In the taste, semisweet chocolate is the dominate trait. The coffee doesn't really kick in until the very end. Even then, the coffee addition is kick ass, and goes for a great finish.

This feels very creamy, and has a mild slickness. Alcohol warmness is slightly notable, and is kind of masked; however, this is still a warming beer.

What with all the complexity, how can this beer be wrong? It's a desert in a bottle!

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

Live review. Poured from the 750 ml bottle that my nephew Christopher's wife Audrina bought at a bottle shop near Riverside, CA for $11.99 and brought back in her luggage for me. Thanks Audrina. Bottle has foil like wrap over the cap and I took it out of the fridge to let it warm up a bit before drinking it as the ideal serving temperature is listed at 50-55 degrees on the back label. Poured into my gold rimmed Gulden Draak tulip since I do not own an AleSmith tulip which is also suggested on the back label for serving. I do not know if the bottle is painted black or if it is just really dark and the beer itself is that dark but there is no seeing through the unopened bottle. Just thought I would mention that detail before actually commenting on the beer itself. Of course I looked forward to trying this beer as it is on the top 100 and that is why I went to the lengths that I did to get it.

A Absolutely pitch black body letting no light through under an awesome, creamy super fine medium brown head that reminds me very much of coffee with cream. Upon my initial pour the carbonation which would later form the head billowed up from below in a great display. The Gulden Draak label never looked better against the ultra black body of this beer. To top it all off (pun intended) there is a great curtain like lacing inside the glass. I do not know how it can be improved. 5.0

S Swirling a bit to get more aroma, I get the dark roast malt that I expected, some coffee house wonderful smells but little to no alcohol. This is a good smelling beer but within that it is just kind of basic, dark roast with coffee smell. Repeated sniffs provided no more information. 4.0

T What a ride. After the intial wetness and smooth feel (described below), I get spike of alcohol, dark roast malt and coffee grounds bitterness that might also be hops in the mix somewhere. Sips taken near the bottom of the bottle seemed a bit harsher than the first few sips which were a nice balance of sweet dark roasted malt, coffee and bitter hops but later sips (I left the brewers yeast in the bottle per instructions on the label) the harshness was more prominent. This beer really developed and changed within the bottle. I have experienced that before but I do not recall when it was so obvious. Early sips were 5.0. Later sips were 4.0 for an average (for me anyway) of 4.5

M Sooo smooth and for this style, ABV and inclusion of coffee tastes that is not easy to achieve. Just great. Again, later sips from the bottle were more harsh but the feel has to at least average 4.0

D This is certainly a sipper of a beer. I will finish the 750 ml bottle (except for the brewer's yeast) so as to experience the whole thing but would not think of drinking any more. That is just about two tulip glasses worth and this ABV would not allow more than that. 3.5

Notes: Well there it is, one of the BA top 100. A great beer that had the interesting quality of changing from the top of the bottle to the bottom.

Photo of PDXHops
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Ryan011235 for this 750ml bottle, poured into a Duvel tulip at cellar temperature. Unsure of vintage, although I'm assuming the most recent.

Pours near black with thick tan head that's initially a huge 3+ fingers. Oddly, it reduces at a rather quick rate over the next couple of minutes, ending up as a skim that I revive once in a while with a gentle swirl. Not a ton of lacing, but it stains the glass impressively.

With many deep inhalations, I get just a tiny hint of the hefty ABV. Very well hidden booziness so far, with lots of chocolate muffin, fresh roasted coffee, roasted and burnt malts.

Tastes great. I'm extremely impressed both with how well the alcohol is hidden, and how wonderfully balanced the flavors are. Not a "sugar bomb", unlike some high ABV stouts. In fact, dark roasted and burnt malts assert their grainy, dry presence all the way to the swallow. There's plentiful cocoa and dark chocolate, with moderate levels of tangy dark fruit. The alcohol heat level is just right. Delicious.

Mouthfeel is thick and chewy, wonderfully creamy and velvety. A touch of bitterness and a hint of chalkiness sneak in at the swallow.

Overall impression: Excellent imperial stout. I'm astounded how smooth it is at this (presumably) young age. I'll definitely seek out some more of this one for aging.

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

Had at Blind Lady Ale House as a comparison to Dog Fish Chicory Stout.

A - Wonderful thick head with dark brown to black notes.

S - Coffee notes along with lots of roasted grains.

T - Killer coffee notes come thru quickly, supported by the robust grain bill. No hint of alcohol despite being 12%. More flavor comes with warmth, but still little alcohol coming thru.

M - Nice full feel that I'm looking for in a stout...shocking while A/Bing with the Chicory.

D - High, as long as you only have 1! This is a wonderful example of Imperial Stouts and a go to for any stout lover in San Diego. Improves with a little warmth. Watch out for that 12%...

Photo of juhl31
4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

-good and dark with a nice looking tan head

-i am getting a lot of chocolate cake smell. cant get past it really. there is some coffee pulled out in there too

-again...chocolate cake, even to where a good chocolate cake is moist. very sweet. i wish the coffee were more apparent

-very smooth all the way through

-definitely one of the sweeter imperial stouts that i have had. i usually like more bitterness and boldness with the style. that being said, this is a very good beer and am glad i have more bottles for the future

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

750ml magnum poured into a tulip.

A- Pours out really slow and thick looking. A smallish one finger head thats a deep brown forms and fades leaving lacing all around. The beer is deep black. pretty heavy looking.

S- Nose full of coffee and chocolate some oatmeal and a slight roasty bitterness. Its really nice.

T- Big on the chocolate malts, the coffee isnt nearly as strong as the nose would have you believe. There is a lot of roastiness which lends some bitterness. Theres also notes of oatmeal and a grassy hop presence.

M- Really low carbonation, really slick and silky. Finishes semi-dry.

D- The ABV is big but it doesnt show. This is a pretty good stout, I feel like I've had better though.

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

Whoa this is nuts. Aroma is a hint of sourness, roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate, prunes/raisins, hints of cooked and oatmeal, and so much more. Flavor hints on a great malty sweet and sour with a roasty malt lingerness with touches of coffee that add just the right amount (not gross overuse of coffee like some), and so much more! Yum!

Photo of homebrewhawk
3.85/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to MASPuros for this one. 750ml bottle served in a snifter. Poured a deep brown/black with some red highlights. Sparse tan head. Chocolate in the aroma along with a bit of sourness that had me worried. Also thought I detected some cinnamon. Full bodied, rich and smooth. Roasted malt predominates, not as much coffee as I would suspect. Fair amount of hop bitterness to balance the malt. Long dry malt finish. Also some alcohol in the finish. Not a lot of carbonation.

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

Had a recent bottle of this...

- Dark black stout... with a huge thick mocha head... lacing all over the place.. a very pretty stout.

- Nice smooth mild smell.... slight coffee... grain, oats, and light bitterness... chocolate malt.

- Fantastically smooth for a 12% brew... perfectly balanced chocolate malt, lightly sweet, with a great light touch of coffee... some extra bitterness.... creamy...

- A little chalky, but overall very nice... not too dry, and certainly not chewy.

- One of my favorite imperial stouts to date... very smooth and very drinkable compared to many others that are just too strong to handle. With a 12% Alc. content, it drinks like one that is 7%.

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

750ml bottle poured into a Chimay chalice.

A: Pitch-black body. No head at all.

S: Dark fruits and roasted malts.

T: Strong fruity flavors. Becomes roastier as it warms up. I can't really detect any coffee. Alcohol is definitely detectable, but it isn't boozy.

M: Surprisingly light.

D: Not bad, but a bit of a letdown. To be fair, though, it was served way too cold. I'll have to try it again when I can serve it at my preferred temperature.

Photo of kbutler1
4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received this beauty from fbm115 (thanks!)
Pours a deep, dark black with a HUGE froathy tan head. Smells just like the bottle says: Roasty, toasy, and coffee with a subtle sweetness in the nose.
Sweet up front with an aggressive bitterness in the back end. Very drinkable. Slight alcohol taste in the end, glad I have another in the cellar as it might mellow out with some age on it.

AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 5,159 ratings.