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AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

5,411 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,411
Reviews: 1,470
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 798
Gots: 1,570 | FT: 145
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: 5,411 | Reviews: 1,470
Photo of OddNotion
4.1/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured into my DFH Signature Glass. The beer pours with no head at all but a light lacing around the edges of the glass. The beer is pitch black and next to no light comes through even when held to the light.

Smell: First I am hit by the coffee flavors. Very nice. Next are the roasty flavors which really complement the coffee well. I liked the smell as it warmed up a lot better. When it was cold I did catch some metallic flavors but that was replaces with a nice sweetness.

Taste: There is a lot of coffee flavor in this bad boy. A lot of the bitterness in this beer comes from the coffee and some from the roasty malts.

Mouthfeel: Lightly carbonated, smooth and creamy. A little thick but more towards a medium feel which was nice.

Overall: I would recommend this to anyone. I liked the beer and while it was not my favorite in the style it is certainly well worth the time and money to acquire.

Photo of jsanford
4.66/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into a Bruery Tulip. Not sure of the vintage, bought it about 8 months ago from Holiday Wine Cellars. 400th review!

A - Pours a dark, inky black with a huge, luscious head of mocha foam that never really disappears, only shrinks to 1/2 inch. Leaves tons of sticky, soapy lacing on the glass. Beautiful!
S - Dark roasted malt, chocolate, and a TON of coffee. The coffee is obviously of a high-quality, very rich and dark with just the slightest acrid waft. Some dark berries are in there, too, as well as just the slightest hint of soy sauce.
T - Wow, while this is obviously a coffee-forward Stout, the chocolate is very dominant as well. Definitely reminds me of a Mocha beverage from a coffee shop. More dark roasted malt and dark berries round out the flavor, luckily the soy sauce is no where to be found in the taste.
M - The mouthfeel is what really sets this beer apart, it's so creamy and luscious, it's more akin to a milkshake then a beer. Low carbonation, so smooth and drinkable it's ridiculous!
O - What a beer! I cannot believe this is actually a year-round release, if I had regular access to this I'd likely never buy anything else (well, at least Stout-wise). Phenomenal brew, one of the best Stouts I've ever had!

Photo of ONUMello
3.59/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Whole Foods, Columbus, OH. No bottling date. Unfortunately they had it in the fridge, not following the suggestion on the bottle to leave at room temp until ready to serve. I warmed to suggested 50-55F.
A: Dark brown, almost black. Strangely almost no head appeared.
S: Smells like a rich coffee/espresso, a hint of cream and sugar. Very nice.
T: Initial attack is pleasant, pure coffee, but then it turns quite bitter, but not in a hoppy way, more of an unpleasant burnt coffee way.
M: Slightly viscous but smooth, despite the 12ABV not much heat. Pleasant carbonation.
O: I do wish I knew its age, though I would guess on the young side so it would probably benefit from a bit of aging as suggested on the bottle. The smell is the best part of this beer. I might try it again to see what aging does, but this particular bottle I'm having a hard time getting past that burnt coffee component.

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

2010 Vintage poured in to Duvel tulip. I wish I had tried this one fresh instead of sitting on it for almost a year.

A - Dark black with one finger of thick, foamy light brown coloured head.

S - Smokiness, roasted malts, some coffee but not a whole lot and a light cocoa nose. The smokiness is really intriguing.

T - Roasted malts, smoke, light coffee and a slight alcohol taste is present as well. Very robust. The coffee is somewhat of a background flavour but is still present. I wonder what this would be like fresh...

M - Medium body with a nice chew. Lightly carbonated.

O - An excellent imperial stout. Bold, robust and full of flavour.

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

This pours jet black with a very generous tan head.

The aromas are of green coffee, espresso like but a very fruity one.

It's more like tasting a single origin espresso than a beer. The chocolate is hiding in there too but this is about the coffee.

Full bodied.

Limited tasting notes for this as I was so blown away I didn't write much down. An amazing beer and well deserving of its reputation.

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

344th review on BA
bottle to tulip (tulip per bottle recommendation)
750ML- 2010

App- An excellent dark brown, almost black stout. Very rich and velvety chocolate & coffee appearance. A good 1 1/2 finger head that took its time to recede.

Smell- Very roasty and rich coffee, to me it is more coffee than espresso and I get a lot of roasted malts. Smells are very clean and precised not muddled at all.

Taste- This was SO rich and creamy. This did not drink at all like I thought it was going to. What a pleasant suprise. The smell is not indicitive of the flavor profile. This is multi-leveled and delicious. The malts are in the front while the coffee and and roasted notes follow. Nice creamy taste as well.

Mouth- Full bodied with a medium carbonation level. Super creamy on the mouth. Left a great roast malt aftertaste.

Drink- A very good stout. I now see what all the fuss is about. I would have this again in a heartbeat. I REALLY want to try the BA version now?

Photo of Vdubb86
4.05/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter

Thanks to Axic10 for this want

This beer pours a decent blackness into the glass topped by a deep brown foam on the surface. The aromatics are solid. They remind of lots of coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, and leather. The taste is holy crap a lot of coffee. It was more of a punch in the face with the amount of bitterness that came up front. The coffee flavor took over the taste of this beer with mostly dark roast. The more this beer was drank the more it grew on me, but initially it was hard to swallow. This beer was consumed at the appropriate temperature and my coffee loving participant in this experience with me agreed this is a lot of delicious coffee flavor. The mouthfeel is still acidic and astringent, but with that kinda being the point I remain lenient to them. Overall this was a damn good coffee imperial stout, it's odd that they don't advertise it at that. Still it's tasty as heck and I wouldn't mind sharing it with friends again.

Photo of hosehead83
3.89/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a big "bomber" bottle into a wine goblet. Relatively fresh bottle.
Very dark, motor oil/pitch black in color, with a very short head of foam.
Aroma-Strong coffee, dark roasted malt.
Taste-Dark baker's chocolate,dark roasted almost burnt malt, cold shot of espresso, charred dark fruit. Very dry, astringent finish.
Overall, I love coffee, but to me this was like putting a spoonfull of coffee grounds on your tongue and washing it down with an imperial coffee stout. Definitely could use some cellar time with this brew to mellow it out. Will have to age a bottle and try at a later date.

Photo of Pellinore1
4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to both CaptinRedBeard and brees6221 for sending bottles of this fine brew.

Pours nearly black, and produces about a finger of light brown head. The fine foam slowly fades, and leaves lacing down the side of the glass.

Deep, dark malts define the smell, with nice chocolate and coffee notes.

The coffee comes through a little more clearly in the flavor, along with big, roasty malt and subtle chocolate.

Full bodied and smooth on the tongue, this beer goes down quite nicely. Very little noticeable alcohol.

Photo of Jesse13713
3.87/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - A very dark stout. Pitch black liquid with a frothy brown head. Not a large head on this at all; less than half an inch. Looks very chocolaty.

Smell - Strong oats presence and extremely noticeable alcohol in the scent. Slight chocolate in the nose. The coffee is present but not overpowering.

Taste - Definitely a slight bourbon burn. The bourbon is accompanied with chocolate and coffee heavily. As with the smell, oats are a huge part of the taste as well.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability - An exceptionally smooth snout. Silk-like and enjoyable to sip. The vanilla-bourbon makes itself present without being overpowering. Well balanced and quite simple. The 12% is hidden quite well.

Photo of scottfrie
4.41/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into 25oz snifter.

A: Pours black with a billowing creamy dark brown head that faded into a melted ice-cream like layer that left a thick wall of lacing down the glass.
S: Big notes of coffee with lighter notes of creamy chocolate ice-cream.
T: Exceptionally smooth and well integrated notes of creamy chocolate and coffee flavors. This tastes like liquid mocha ice-cream. Very delicious. There is almost no acidity from the coffee beans, nor is there hardly any bitterness from the hops. Finish is lightly sweet with a touch of caramel and burnt marshmallow. Aftertaste is roasted and smooth.
M: Full bodied with a thick and creamy mouthfeel. Carbonation is soft and creamy. This beer feels great! For 12% the alcohol is hidden masterfully.
O: Wonderful full-bodied stout that doesn't disappoint. Coffee is very well integrated and doesn't dominate the flavor at all. Thick and rich, this one is well worth seeking out.

Photo of jampics2
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into a snifter. This was purchased for around $12.99 at Whole Foods Cedar in University Heights the day it arrived at the store.

The beer looks good enough in the glass. It's cretainly one of the darkest beers I've ever had, with no real variation in the jet black body even around the edges when held to the light. The head is pretty dark too, a solid mocah brown color that hangs around for a bit then descends to the abyss, leaving no lace or record of its existence.

The smell is good, but I must say this batch is not the coffee bomb some have been in the past. To be fair, I've had this beer at least 20 times and just never got around to reviewing it. I was hoping a batch that literally just hit the store would be the freshest to review, but the coffee seems a touch subdued here. Some roasted malt notes give chocolate impressions and there is some chicory bitterness, but the roasted coffee is lost in the roasted malt. A touch of sweet caramelized malt gives depth and helps balance the hint of booze that's present. At 12%, this is complex and expressive but could be a bit more coffee-focused.

The taste almost makes up for what seemed to be missing in the nose. The roasted malt is the star of the show here, giving huge notes of semi-sweet chocolate and coffee. The added coffee is a touch subdued but still provides a nice, fresh French Roast quality. There's some sweetness and bitterness from the hops, but this is a dark malt driven beer. All the flavors are expressive and very complimentary. Very, very nice taste!

The mouthfeel of this beer is very solid for the style. There's a nice viscosity going on - not too thick, but perfect when the flavors and ABV are taken into account. The beer's carbonation makes it seem creamy and it never crosses over into chocolate syrup territory. The beer is very drinkable and enjoyable. There's great flavor and Alemsmith has done a great job masking the booze. The taste doesn't have quite the punch I remember, but it's very pleasant and all the required elements are in their place. This is a great beer. Years ago, it was one of the top 5 in the world. Now, it's still worthy of a mention but there have been some recent entries that do a better job. Still a great beer!

Photo of pdoran10
4.55/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out pure black into a pint glass. Bottle split three ways. One finger of brown head that leaves nice lacing.

Smell is crisp dark malt with bitter earthy hop and slight coffee presence.

Taste is dry roasted bitter chocolate with light bitter coffee. I love dry thick stouts with coffee. This beer covers all my bases and then some. Roast and coffee meld well together.

Big substantial and dry with moderate carbonation. Lots of win here. I love me some dry, thick stout!

One glass was not enough.

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

A- Pours dark black. Extremely thick. Good carbonation and gorgeous lacing. Maintained a decent head for the duration of the drink.

S- Booze and coffee. Little bits of bitterness. Hints of molasses.

T- Leaning to chocolate. Extremely rich malt profile. Reminded me a bit of storm king on steroids. The chocolate was extremely rich. There wasn't as much coffee as I expected out of this. It was definitely there, but it was subtle at the same time. The chocolate came out on top of it. Comparable to espresso chocolates. I'm happy that the coffee they used was quite rich, but it didn't get the focus as much as the chocolate flavors did.

M- Medium full. Extremely creamy. Carbonation was just right. Slightly dry, very sticky finish.

D- Quite drinkable for 12%. I was expecting more coffee from the description but it didn't disappoint. A superb stout and something that I wouldn't pass up.

Photo of Gmann
4.05/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch black color, total darkness. The head is tight and creamy looking and settles into a sparse cap.

The aroma is of a mild chocolate, caramel and coffee. There are some ash notes perhaps some burnt wood. Its a nice aroma just not very strong.

The taste is of a strong roasted malt and expresso roast. There is some caramel sweetness and a sour berry thing. Some bitter chocolate, licorice and vanilla notes finish the flavor profile. A very roast dominated stout.

The feel is well-bodied with semi-soft carbonation which gives the beer a silky feel. Starts off sweet but ends bitter with a subtle sour twang. ABV is well hidden.

A very roasty stout with bitter coffee flavors. Quite substantial. I prefer to see some other flavors equalize the heavy roast so I scored lower but heavy roast fans will love it.

Photo of zoolzoo
1.77/5  rDev -59.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Received as a trade extra, thanks to the generous Adamdc. I am unsure of the vintage.

A: Pours "stout black", a weak mocha head develops and diminishes into a bubbly ring around the glass.

S: Strong dark fruit presence, soy sauce, burnt coffee, alcohol. Getting some chocolate, as well.

T: Wow, getting alot of strange tartness out of this one. Dark fruits yah, but also a weird semi-sour cherry thing. I wanna say this is infected, but I have no other sample to compare it to. Coffee presence is weak, chocolate presents itself as an under lying sweetness. Finish is again... a bit fruity!

M/D: Thick enough, carbonation is low which contradicts my infection theory. I don't understand how this beer is so well regarded. I may have a bad bottle, maybe not. As it stands I will never know, I wont be hunting this one down again.

Photo of dbossman
4.58/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with a fantastic head and lacing--I've never seen a stout this big with this good of lacing and head

S: Lots of roasted coffee and lots of alcohol and booze; a nice chocolate undertone with a wonderful roasted malt backbone; also faint dark fruits

T: So smooth with so much coffee; good god, that is a good coffee stout; roasted and malty; some boozy notes but not too bad

F: So creamy with absolutely perfect mouth feel

D: This is such a great beer--so much coffee and although its a bit boozy at times it is so drinkable

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

Its been over a year and a half... figured I should finally review my namesake beer. 2010 vintage only because I remember when I bought it. Poured from a foiled and capped 750ml. bottle into a Southampton oversize snifter.

A: Standard pour yields a 1 finger frothy mocha colored head with good retention. Beer is an opaque black though it looks a bit on the thin side. Lacing is stringy and layered with very good cling. Nice legs too. A pretty beer overall though it lacks a certain viscosity.

S: Nose is a sharp espresso bean first and foremost. Chocolate, liquorice, and roasted malt plays around in the background hidden by the coffee and slight booziness. Aromatic and pungent overall but I've smelt better. A bit one-dimensional.

T: Opens milk and dark chocolate sweetness which is quickly complemented by coffee bean bitterness along with a smoothing roasted malt character. Very robust throughout. Coffee tingles in the background towards the middle while a hint of liquorice appears. Coffee powers forward towards the finish, ending with a nice crescendo of spiciness, slight coffee bean tartness, and a touch of dark fruit. Cocoa powder and coffee beans in the finish. Like the aroma, a bit one sided, but that side is done very very well.

M: Medium bodied with low carbonation. This one drinks much better than it looks. Silky and smooth in the mouth with a touch of spiciness going down. Sticky and viscous throughout. Finish is messy with a lingering aftertaste.

D: I've had this beer fresh before and I can say that with a year on it, there's no comparison. The aged version is far better. More balanced and not so intensely coffee forward. I'm not a huge fan of imperial stouts with a heavy coffee persuasion, but this is a very solid offering from alesmith. Definitely worth a try.

Photo of alpineclimber
4.26/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Trucked this one back from San Francisco. It's been sitting in the cellar staring at me for months so I finally decided to crack it.

Poured into my St. Bernardus chalice, a huge frothy tan head on black brew. The head recedes to leave some nice lacing.

Not much for the nose, chocolate and cola and even that is light.

A nice big gulp reveals a huge stout with that is strongly infused with coffee. Chocolate, all sorts of roasted flavors from the malt and a nice bitterness that seems to come from the coffee.

A really thick mouthfeel, thicker then most stouts that I have tasted lately.

This is a pretty amazing coffee infused stout. It would be great to try all the variations that I presume are brewed using this beer.

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

The first noticeable characteristic is the black color of the beer and the thick creamy head that finishes the pour. The smell is roasted chocolate coffee. For a stout, it is easy to drink without the uncomfortable taste from such a high alcohol content.

Photo of brew3crew
4.16/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- dark black with maroon around the edges. No head whatsoever
S-roasty and toasty malts- not much else
T-smooth roasted mzlt. Slight bit of chocolate. Some alcohol present throughout
M-medium bodied and really smooth
D-oh so drinkable. This is a great brew

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

Pours a dark dark brown with a decent amount of off-white head. Smells strongly of coffee as expected. A sweet coffee scent othe nose. Lots of malt on the nose. Tastes sweet and coffee heavy. The malt backbone is really sweet and cloying. The coffee is fairly prominent but isnt overpowering. Strong but a solid mouthfeel. Fairly drinkable for beng percent.

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

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Duck Rabbit snifter...not sure on the vintage, but this bottle has been in my cooler for about a year...

A thin razor thin layer of dark (hot cocoa colored) head formed on top of the body which is black as night. The bubbles dissipated almost instantly, leaving behind no sign of their inhabitance.

The nose has tons of roasted malts, black coffee, cocoa and molasses.

Hmmm...the taste is similar to the nose, but in reverse order. The molasses flavor dominates the palate while the chocolate and coffee do not pop up until well into the aftertaste. The finish is boozy, but not 12% boozy.

Thick, chewy and mildly carbonated with a surprisingly dry finish.

There is a reason why this is a top rated stout. Everything is top notch. I managed to finish the entire bottle, save for the tiny taster I gave my wife. Highly recommended...

Photo of Chaney
4.59/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this brew a while back on my first trade from MaxStout. Thanks John!

A: How could anyone possibly say that this brew is anything other than black, black, and even more black? The slight mocha head (maybe 1 finger +?) made it even more worthwhile!

S: Deep, dark coffee (more mild than I would have thought), molasses, and tons of dark fruit. The chocolate additive was quite interesting.

T: Full, full, bodied and them some more! The balance between the coffee, chocolate elements, and the malt was astounding! Some dates in there for balance, and I've gotta say that this was not an out and out "coffee beer" which I appreciated!

M: Very thick, creamy, with pretty good carbonation, ABV not detected. Honestly, I could not give a person a better example of this style in terms of mouthfeel.

D: I've had this one on my shelf for months and have been staring at it for quite a while. Finally, after I've tried it, I'm totally impressed!

Photo of jarryd
4.74/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Easily one of the best stouts i've ever had.

A Black beer with a short tan/brown head less than a quarter inch.

Definitely used roasted barley and maybe even a high crystal malt for this brew. A definite coffee flavor as well as chocolate which hides the alcohol very well. This is truly an awesome brew by yet another awesome San Diego brewery.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 5,411 ratings.