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AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

5,336 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,336
Reviews: 1,456
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 800
Gots: 1,528 | FT: 141
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: 5,336 | Reviews: 1,456 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Kendo
4.7/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased at Halftime Beverage in Poughkeepsie, probably about 6-8 months ago (I think I paid $18.99 for it). Cellared until last night, when I put it in the DBF. Consumed on 12/11/10. . . .

A: Poured from the 750 ml into a Piraat tulip/snifter-type glass. Body is motor oil black. A 1-finger chocolate brown head settles on top, leaves behind good splotchy lace.

S: Good nose for a stout: coffee beans, roasty malt, chocolate and molasses. And a strong nose too. That's encouraging. Coffee becomes more prominent in the nose as it warms up a bit.

T: First impression: very nice. No, make that VERY nice. All those stout characteristics that were present, in force, in the nose are there in the taste as well, plus a bit of alcohol at the finish and a lingering bitterness. In order I get roasty malt, coffee, chocolate - mainly dark, but some milk as well - and then the waft of alcohol after a dry bitterness. I get lingering bitterness on the aftertaste, and given what has got to be a huge malt bill, it must take a ton of hops to get that bitterness (though I suppose some roasted coffee bean-imparted bitterness is possible as well). So while this beer is big all around, it's also balanced nicely. . . . As it warms I'm getting more chocolate up front and more of a sense of lingering coffee on the aftertaste. . . .

M: Heavy in weight. Good creaminess to it - carbonation is gentle, soft, not sharp at all.

D: This beer drinks like a RIS with 8 or 9% ABV -- the alcohol is noticeable, just not overwhelming - yet it's 12%. Wow. It does creep up on you, however - and pretty quickly.

Photo of afksports
4.22/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The AleSmith Speedway was one of my first goals in a trade and one of the highest rated on my Top100 (from this Summer). When I finally landed a bottle - and then when it hit shelves in NYC - there was tons of excitement. So I opened it with a buddy of mine Alex when he and his girlfriend Maria were visiting.

But it didn't deliver.

Maybe it was frozen at some point. Maybe it was too hot at some point. Maybe it wasn't aged enough. But regardless the taste was off. Extremely tangy, with dark fruits and grapefruit predominating. And water. Chocolate notes and malt notes were there, so was coffee, but it just wasn't that American Double that I've gotten to know and love.

The appearance was great - pitch black. Smell was amazing, coffee, toffee, bitter chocolate, sugar, fruit. Mouthfeel was excellent as well, although it didn't seem properly composed, it's like all those elements were floating in alcohol and water (hence the freezing guess). But since I just don't know, and it's a hard bottle to come by, I have to make this review now and then tag it for later to come back to.

AleSmith Speedway... we will meet again.

UPDATE: Enjoyed a better taken care-of bottle and better aged. Had side by side with the BA version. Yep. It's better. Upgraded taste from 2.5 to 4.0, and Overall from 2.5 to 4.0

Photo of cosmicevan
4.62/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-poured a silky black with a nice creamy tan head into an oversized snifter. a swirl of the glass left a bit of a lacing trail. has a bit of a coffee glow to it.

S-a frappuccino all the way. creamy coffee vanilla deliciousness. it really is amazing what a beer can be and the smell on this beer (considering the ABV which is super well hidden) is a great example.

T-deep chocolate roasted malts and coffee.

M/D-hint of a bitter aftertaste. the acl tingle seems to balance it out. unbelievably smooth and easy to drink and surprisingly not heavy at all. a real pleasure to drink.

Photo of mjsheehan08
4.37/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a thick, black liquid with minimal to no head topping the glass. No light escapes this thing. Some dark ruby color is present Minimal lacing around the rim of my glass
around the rim.

Nose has dark fruits in it, plums maybe raisins. This is a fresh bottle, and I can detect some booze in the nose. I'm also getting hints of chocolate, maybe some caramel and expresso. Biggest presence is from the roasted coffee

Unbelievable taste. Roasty, and dark, with a tinge of sweetness that lends itself to caramel, vanilla and molasses. The coffee is fresh, and makes me want to drink the bottles I have in the cellar night now. Slight bitterness on the back end from the hops, which have an earthy tone to them. A really well balanced work of art.

Really creamy mouthfeel that pops in the back of the mouth. Medium to full feel. Stays with you minutes afterwards.

Photo of colts9016
4.13/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a nonic at 50 degrees, this beer sat in my cellar for 6 months.

Appearance: A nice 2 finger dark tan head that is creamy and foamy. The head has really good retention, leaving a nice dark tan lacing on the glass. The color of the beer is dark brown with a touch garnet highlights. The clarity is opaque and there is some carbonation in the beer.

Nose: A rich roasted dark malty aroma with chocolate, coffee, espresso, molasses, and oak. There are more notes of bread, yeast, toast, caramel, solvents, phenols, a touch of floral, and some grapefruit note.

Taste: A bold dark roasted malt, with cocoa, espresso, oak, vanilla, molasses, caramel and a nice rounded toast. The other notes are bread, yeast, solvents, grapefruit, lemon, floral bouquet, and a nice subtle smokiness.

The mouth feel is creamy, rich, astringent, and coating.

Overall. The body of the beer is medium full and the finish is full. This beer has a really deep flavor profile, contrast, and finish. What a wonderful tasting beer. The alcohol is masked very well, the age on the beer gave it a smooth finish that just make your palate beg for more. Thank You Alesmith.

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

A - Pours almost completely black, a bit of red around the edges, opaque. Small brown head settles into a thick ring, leaving some very nice lacing

S - Chocolate, Dark fruit, coffee, leather. Complex and wonderful.

T - It's a bit lighter tasting than I expected, but it's got all the elements from the nose there. It's a bit dry, and coffee is the dominant taste, but it's well balanced and very enjoyable.

M - It's just super smooth and creamy. It's fairly viscous, but not to the point where it's chewy.

D - Perhaps the only thing detracting from it's drinkability is it's alcohol content. It's pretty drinkable, has a nice warming quality to it, and the dryness of the aftertaste makes you want another sip.

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

From a Bottle to a Glass.
This Beer pours like a black hole. no light passes through. Coffee brownish tint around the edges. The Head Looks like a dark latte color, larger bubbles than anticipated
Smell is sweet coffee and a little chocolaty
Taste is Coffee Coffee Coffee, very smooth, chocolaty but not as much as the smell would make you think. Love the aftertaste - alcohol at first but then smooth creamy coffee.
Mouth feel is Heavy body with warm feel, very good carbonation for this beer.
Overall this beer is great, I am tempted to add some coffee creamer to this bee.r I would buy it again, it's a slow drink, sip the whole thing. no way could i drink this fast. Recommend to dark heavy beer lovers

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

"Streetlights bend into the void, cars enveloped into the darkness, deeper than a blind man's sleep, soon to paint the world." - Black Dahlia Murder

This is as a dark, evil double stout should be.

Pours tamarind paste black with dark brown edges. Sits thick and gooey bottomless pit black in my glass like a black hole sucking in the light. Large, creamy tan head leaves spider vein lacing strewn about mine glass. Bottle aged 1 year in the cellar.

Cocoa powder, burnt caramel roast malt, and espresso aroma. Some dark fruit and maybe even a few pine needles from persistent hops? It's not the complexity that shines here, just the utter perfection.

Coffee, bittersweet cocoa, dark fruit. Dark and rich as all get out. Underlying alcoholic warmth is embracing as a warm hug. Sigh. No real hop flavor but I can tell they're they're as a supporting role, pushing the malty richness forward. This beer is so dark, strong and evil looking it wouldn't hesitate to punch a napping kitten.

Photo of mrgnwlkr
2.6/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm kind of conflicted about whether to post this review at all, especially seeing as it's only my second review. But I'll give my review, and let others decide whether its a valid reflection on the quality of Speedway Stout.

From a bottle purchased at the AleSmith brewery in San Diego.

Very small, light brown, diminishing head. Muddy, very dark brown with ruby on the edges.

Coffee scent with a strong aroma of alcohol/sherry. In addition there's a strong, almost overwhelming, scent of soy sauce/umami.

Very soft carbonation, almost entirely flat. The body is very light, especially for a stout. It has a oily mouthfeel, much like AleSmith's IPA (which I love). Finish is very long and bitter.

Overall, this is a completely different beer than the one I tasted at the brewery tasting room. That beer was extraordinarily well balanced, like everything good about coffee and everything good about beer in a single brew. This bottle was rather strange, with a distinctly different aroma. I'm new at the review thing, but from consulting some resources I wonder if this bottle was a bit autolysed?

Photo of jpmclaug
3.48/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into my Founders snifter

A - Black as can be but where is the head? There are a few bubbles here and there but not really any head to speak of even when swirling it.

S - Dark malts provide tons of mollasses roast and chocolate notes but I am picking up a lot of vanilla and coffee. Smells like it'll be kinda syrupy and sweet

T - Nice coffee flavor mingles with some roast and dark chocolate notes. Not picking up on the booze at all. The coffee notes definitely compliment rather than dominate.

M - heavy body. no carbonation. I think I got a bad bottle. Kind of a bummer because I think this beer could be much better with some carbonation

D - Despite the lack of carbonation this is still a pretty good beer. I think I will have to try another bottle and see if it is carbonated. I really like the coffee flavors and the vanilla notes.

Photo of cope0021
2.06/5  rDev -53.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a dark color, but not quite black. Decent carbonation with a full, persistant head.

Strong alcohol smell. Chocolate notes.

Taste is bitter. Verry bitter. Burnt coffee and bitter chocolate. This is too bitter of a stout for me.

Very thin on the tongue.

Photo of hb812
4.62/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Pours dark as a cave with a frothy tan head that leaves some nice lacing as it dissipitates.

Nose is strong of a roasted coffee with some hints of dark chocolate ,and alcohol.

Mouth is very smooth, and full. It seemed a bit light for so much flavor. I was some what taken back by this (was kinda waiting for a thick heavy stout slick on the palate).

Drinkability the sky is the limit on this one. I can see this stout as one that will become a staple throughout the next chilling months that are upon us.

All in all this is one truly great stout. I tip my hat to you Alesmith sirs!

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.67/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL pours an opaque black color with a rich, creamy brown head. Retention is ridiculous and lacing good.

Nose smells delicious. Just enough coffee to balance the chocolaty sweetness. Straightforward, but very good. Low fruit, very American.

Taste is uber-smooth...12% - surely you jest! Rich and smooth in the mouth and feels more foreign export than imperial. The coffee flavor is so well integrated and balanced with an oaty/slick sweetness. Just about perfect. A well handled hop bitterness on the finish, never gets close to cloying. Near perfection, just a WOW type of beer. I am very glad I have one more of these in the cellar.

Photo of tr4nc3d
4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into my tulip

Opaque black with a huge dense two and half inch brown colored head. Long lasting head that slowly fades away and leaves good amounts of lacing.

Aroma consist of chocolate and lots of it. Milk chocolate dominates the aroma with bits of dark chocolate as well. Some dark cherries, brownies, espresso, vanilla, and roasted malts.

Taste upfront is of dark chocolate with a bit of espresso. Mild milk chocolate midway with a touch of vanilla. Some barley and bit of coffee bitterness in the finish.

Full bodied with minimal carbonation. Sweet aftertaste.

Good stout that I would recommend for others to try.

Photo of Coji
2.7/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

It is quite possible that this beer was, dare i say it, overhyped? I was very excited to try this beer because of the very good things I had heard about it. The mouthfeel was very, very smooth. It was barely carbonated, which no doubt was the contributor to this category. Prior to the mouthfeel, the smell made me even more excited to be engulfed by euphoria. The smell of a legitimate stout, with a very strong coffee scent was very appeasing. The taste however, did not live up to my the olfactory and mouthfeel. It was too strong for my palate which is disheartening for me to say because I do enjoy very dark, flavorful beverages.

The tastes were good at best, but it was far too strong for my expectations. This is why the drinkability category took a hit. Mouthfeel combined with the strength of the drink resulted in a less-than-stellar drinkability. I must say that if I had enjoyed the drinkability, I think it would have been too filling to consume the entire bottle (in one sitting. I know not to waste beer!).

On a positive and commending note, the beer was very complex and well constructed. I am sad to give this review because I think it may have been due to my incorrect and presumptive expectations. I tried the beer a little later at a slightly warmer temperature, but I am afraid my initial thoughts and review still stands.

Photo of cwguy5
4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks marine1975 for sharing this one! Poured from a bomber into an oversized wine glass.

- pitch black with tan head; faded to thin white cap; not much lacing that i could see

- slightly solvent aroma with big dark chocolate, dark roasted coffee

- dark chocolate and coffee true to smell; not boozy, but smooth; not sweet - not dry;

- thick, creamy; bit syrupy without the sweetness; heavy but drinkable for stout

Photo of r0nyn
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into my DFH snifter. Courtesy of BA infi and split with him, NYManc and johnjae.

Pours an inky darkness that refuses to allow any light in. Half inch billowy tan head crops up then dissipates slowly and leaves a ton of sticky stringy lacing. It's literally all over the inside of the glass. Really a beautiful looking stout. Smell is full of malts, vanilla and a freaking lot of coffee. It smells like my morning dark and sweet constitutional from Dunkin' Donuts. Wow.

I've rarely given out 5s for taste, but this beer just deserves it through and through. Roasted coffee is the dominant flavor and it is extremely well done. Not overdone, not underwhelming, but just right. Like drinking a coffee-infused milkshake. Sweet caramel and vanilla malts become evident towards the end, along with the expected bitter coffee aftertaste. Alcohol is masked extremely well, as I can only barely detect the rather massive 12% ABV. That's how good this brew is. Mouthfeel is silky and smooth. Finishes dry with minimal carbonation. Impressive, but it could have been just a touch thicker, and that really would have put it over the top.

Drinkability is out of this world. I love coffee, so this is really rather appealing to me, thanks to the absolutely delicious flavors and nuances. The ABV is hidden behind this amazing taste, making this brew really, really dangerous. Balanced, well-done and luscious. Definitely a top tier beer. Will have to procure a couple of bottles for myself at some point!

Photo of NYManc
4.32/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Courtesy of BA infi, shared with BA r0nyn, and another friend jae.

A: Upon pour it was a bigger head than most Stouts that I have come across, about a half a finger head. There was little to no lacing at all. It was also poured pitch black.

S: First initial sniff is of a strong smell of coffee with a tinge of chocolate mixed in. About the same as other great imperial stout's but more coffee oriented. Malts can also be smelled after multiple whiffs.

T: Huge taste of coffee on initial sip. After-taste is mostly consisted with coffee and malts on the back end of that. To me it was sort of bitter every now and then. As it warmed up the taste of the coffee becomes stronger, and it was a huge plus to me.

M: Very light bodied with a good amount of carbonation, something different from what I am used too.

D: Very drinkable. I would be able to drink this beer very fast, If I had multiple on hand. I would recommend this beer to everyone.

Photo of infi
4.64/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle, shared with BAs johnjae, NYManc and r0nyn. 10/29 notes.

Poured into a Duvel tulip.

A dark void in the glass: dark, rich, opaque and concentrated. A thin tan head emerged from the pour but quickly melted away in a matter of seconds. Little to no lacing on the glass as well. The aromas was seriously a freshly opened bag of coffee grounds. Those Ryan Brothers' coffee beans declare a mammoth presence onto you once you get your nose into the glass. Especially considering I was holding onto this bottle for about a year, the coffee is still readily there and in a big way. Although this is not as roasted and bold as the Ithaca Eleven, which was actually really overwhelming for me.

Taste was like drinking a cold cup of black, dark-roasted coffee with melted dark chocolate squares thrown in. Definitely world class tasting. The roasted character starts you off then moves into a nice sweet malt and chocolate sweetness and ends on a striking - but not conquering - astringency. It even leaves that familiar sour/tart aftertaste that you get after drinking coffee. And for 12%, the taste didn't have any alcoholic tastes. Too ninja. Every flavored aspect was superbly well-balanced in this stout- a feat that's always a plus for me. /standing ovation.

Mouthfeel was the only thing that surprised me- a bit thin-bodied, with the carbonation being pretty evident like an ale. This is still a total beer, but just one that I'd like to have been a bit more thicker. Drinkability is definitely high, especially if you love coffee like I do. Everything was on-point for this beer, especially for its price. HEHE ;) Speedway is now my favorite coffee-oriented stout.

Photo of josiahschlender
4.73/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this beer sitting around for a year or so, finally got around to opening it up tonight.

Great presentation, I love the hefty 750ml bottle, foil wrapper and silk screened logos. Just as pretty when poured, too! Nearly absolute black, zero light gets through with a big dark brown head that lasts a long time.

Very nice aromas. Lots of coffee, dark chocolate, burnt malts, and a chocolate liqueur note that reminds me of a few Russian imperials I've had.

Flavors confirm for me, this is a world class beer. Great intensity and balance of rich dark chocolate, french roast coffee, blackened malts, a little bit of earthy hops. Just the right amount of bitterness that strikes a better balance than some of the ultra-high IBU impy stouts I've had. Despite the 12% abv, alcohol is expertly hidden; no alcohol heat to be found here. Full body and long finish that leaves the pleasing flavors lingering.

Yet another incredible brew from Alesmith. I wish their beers were not so scarce here in Portland. Superb beer that's worth a try if you can find it. Not cheap by any means, but totally worth the price of admission. I'll be looking for this one again.

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

Jaysus. This is a beer. No dickin around. Poured with a decent tan, foamy, frothy, thick head that lasts a while and good lace. Color is as black as my heart (black) and opaque. Aroma is massive dark, roasted malts and coffee. Body is velvet, full, round, a bit chewy with perfect carbonation. Finish is like flavor, relatively short and also benignly brief in alcohol evidence. Killer. Could be a session if you let it. Dangerously good.

Photo of 321jeff
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours almost jet black with plenty of mocha head at first that quickly withers away leaving nothing... no lingering bubbles, not really any lacing, just nothing.

Aroma is nice with some roast malt and coffee, nice, but not quite as strong as I was expecting.

In the taste, things start to take a turn in a positive direction... Mostly roast flavors and dark chocolate, some hints of dark fruits coming through as well.

The mouthfeel is just amazing, it enters smooth and goes down smooth. No excessive bitterness and it totally masks the 12% ABV. So smooth it's almost silky, might be the smoothest beer I've ever had. It definitely goes down way too easy, I'll be searching for some more of this one.

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

Appearance -- Pours an incredibly deep brown, jet black in the glass with zero highlights. Two fingers of chocolate brown head.

Smell -- Initial whiff of chocolate-covered espresso beans along with burnt bread crust, raisin, and toffee. Overall, very robust with a nice balance of roasty bitterness and malty sweetness. My interest is piqued.

Taste -- Caffè macchiato, bitter chocolate, raisin, a touch of red grapeskin tannin mid-palate, toffee sweetness. There's a healthy dose of earthy/herbal hops felt in the back-end. Finish is bitter herb, coffee grounds, grapeskin, and toffee.

Mouthfeel -- Full-bodied, chewy, with mild carbonation. Alcohol can be felt ever so faintly in the finish, but overall incredibly well-hidden.

Drinkability -- This beer is almost too drinkable: very robust flavor profile, coffee is highlighted exceptionally well, alcohol is hidden almost completely, good mouthfeel. While I know I've had stouts I've preferred over this, Speedway Stout is phenomenal. It has earned its accolades. By all means seek this out.

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

Finally experience this fine brew. Pours a black color with a caramel colored head. Has an aroma of coffee and chocolate. Sweet start with coffee spice. Chocolate notes on the finish. A nice big stout with some bold flavor. Aging would help but one good brew.

Photo of hawks10
3.55/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml bottle - Foiled & Capped - Poured into a snifter...

Pours thick and black with a nice dense, one finger tan head. Some lacing is left behind...

Sweet milk chocolate on top of a nice, but more subtle than expected, roasted coffee aroma. A touch of booze.

Some sweet chocolate with a nice citrusy hop bitterness. Roasted with a bit of coffee, not near as much as expected though. Booze is very prevalent, burns the gums and lingers well into the aftertaste.

Full bodied but drinks a bit thinner than expected. Low carbonation, smooth. Very boozy, lots of burn...bitter, burning aftertaste...

Not a big fan

AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 5,336 ratings.