AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

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AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

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1,525 Reviews
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Reviews: 1,525
Hads: 5,865
Avg: 4.37
pDev: 16.93%
Wants: 855
Gots: 1,786 | FT: 157
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,525 | Hads: 5,865
Photo of HardTarget
4.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle Inspection: Green champagne bottle with the label silk screened on and foil topped. Only after we were done did we note the 12% abv. I never would have believed it.

Aroma: Stunning. Rich chocolates, hot chocolate, sweet milk chocolate, dark bitter chocolate. I wish to bathe in this. A fair alcohol waft comes along late in the bottle.

Appearance: Dark tan head of multi-sized bubbles faded to a trace cover and firm collar. Pitch black glass. Very odd head, the collar lasted throughout each pour leaving chunky lace, and even seemed to grow as the beer was agitated with each drink.

Flavor: All the smells with a sharp brace of hops. Alcohol comes out a bit heavy but not bad and not at a 12% level. Bitter coffee is deep in the finish, otherwise it’s just the best rich chocolate stout my lips have ever touched.

Mouthfeel: Velvety, great low level carbonation and thick texture allow you to savor each sip. Finishes dry.

Overall Impression: Just wonderful. Rich, smooth, complex; Winston Marsalis in a bottle. Chocolate hops. Alcohol is there but masterfully hidden. The coffee adds a great layer to a fantastic beer. Crack like addictive, I need to figure out how to get a case.
Weedchugger, I don’t know whether to thank or curse you. Like a taste of heaven only to be cast back to earth.

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Photo of Oxymoron
4.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have had this beer a couple of times, not sure why it took me so long to rate it. The pour is a rich midnight color that has a very nice viscous quality to it. Nice to see the glass change colors as you drink it. The head is a darker tan color that remains around the edges of the glass but limited lace. More viscous then lace.

The nose is malty but limited for being as big as it is. Mostly darker malt notes such as chocolate, roast and a touches of coffee. Some lactic quality that blends nicely with the alcohol/solvent esters. Some coca cola smells as well. There is a touch of tropical fruits, figs and raisins mostly, but some feint woody characteristics as well, vanilla comes to mind.

The taste is rich and full flavored. The initial tastes come out nicely with an expensive dark chocolate taste. This is followed up with a more roast like flavor that isn't as astringent as would have expected, rather smooth and silky. Some sugary notes, molasses and alcoholic warmth to it. There is a smooth finish that isn't quite like a milk stout but has the feel to it. Some bonus flavors of vanilla and mocha finish off a great taste.

The body is noticeably big and chewy. The rich flavor adds to the silkiness almost like a oatmeal stout. Some oily textures that are a bit of a deterrent but overall a great beer to race to get.

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Photo of atsprings
4.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Talisker for the trade! Poured a completely opaque black with a very frothy tan head that was lasting and left great lacing. The aroma was dominated by coffee and roasted malts. The taste was a great roasty blend of coffee, malts, and a touch of very bitter dark chocolate. The beer was certainly heavy and the alcohol was mostly present, but not overbearing. This is a very special beer that should be sipped and enjoyed for everything that it is.

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this one up a few months ago. Poured a gorgeous engine oil black with a thick 2 inch, frothy, espresso colored head. Strong coffee smell with very sweet chocolate notes and roasted nuts. WOW! This tastes sooo good! Very well balanced...the coffee, chocolate and booze align almost perfectly. Can't imagine what the other two I have will taste like after years of cellaring. With initial sip, the booze is not present, but the warming sensation follows soon after. Nice dark chocolate aftertaste left on the palate. This is a wonderful imperial stout that is meant to be savored...not chugged.

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Photo of Tilley4
4.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big shoutout to Overlord for the chance to try this brew via our trade.

Absolute midnight black... Thick, thick, thick with a small tan head...

Aroma of dark bitter chocolate and strong coffee with the faintest aromas of some sweet fruit in the background..

Man, this is heavenly... Loads of chocolate and coffee mixed with a strong booziness that I am in love with.. A bit too strong for the wifey which means more for me... I'm loving it...

Top 5 all time stouts here... Absolutely delicious brew...

Thanks, Overlord!!!

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Photo of Birdiebeagle
4.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle thanks to Brandon Pours a good deep black with a creamy brown head. The head lasts well. The lacing is perfect. Has a wonderful aroma of good alcohol, roast, coofee, chocolate, and some spices. Has a light carbonation. A tewrrific mouthfeel. The flavor is real good. Alcohol is well hidden. The balance is real good. The flavor is wonderful. Not too heavy and very smooth. Has a thick texture. Has a full body. The finish is nothing short of super. A great lasting aftertaste. This is a flat out awesome beer. I would drink this anytime any place.

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Photo of SteveTheDog
4.84/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I am admittedly more a fan of dark beers and had the fortune to be introduced to this one by a friend who cellars stouts (it was also upsold to me as being amazing before I ever tasted it so that's my only bias).

While pouring it, I felt like I was in that syrup-chugging scene from Super Troopers - I don't really know how to explain it more. It was so dark it was like looking into Ray Liotta's soul. The aroma oozed out of the snifter - chocolate, dark roast coffee, caramel, maybe a little vanilla. In contrast to my opening remark, the mouthfeel was not that of syrup or caramel but I'd more liken it to a dark chocolate covered espresso bean. This is just a fantastic beer. I saved this one for a night when I could just chill out and enjoy a sunset and a beer.

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Photo of beergeek279
4.84/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served in the green 750 mL bottle into a pint glass. The color is black, with a film of tan head. The smell is a rich chocolate and coffee mix. The taste is very chocolatey and coffeeish, with only a slight alcohol noticable in the finish. Mouthfeel is a bit undercarbonated. As for drinkability, for a 12% beer this drinks simply amazingly.

Wow, another fantastic beer from Alesmith! I love Imperial stouts, and this is amongst the best out there, with a deep rich coffee and chocolate taste that's a dessert in and of itself. I really hope to get this one again...hopefully Alesmith will increase their distribution area!

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.83/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

(Served in tulip glass)

A- This beer pours an inky jet black opaque body that floats a thick creamy head of deep tan. The head last and last sticking to the sides with each sip and slowly sliding down the glass. This beer is to dense for any signs of carbonation even at the base of the glass.

S- This beer has strong aromas of roasted coffee beans and dark roasted black malt that is rich and fresh. There are nice chocolate malt and black roasted malt notes in the background with a note of cream and cola.

T- This beer has a dark black earthy malt flavor with a deep roasted coffee flavor that has a hint of chalk taste to it. The coffee has some good depth like a Sumatra blend or Cafe Verona roast. There are notes of chocolate malt and chocolate hints in the coffee that have notes or lighter roasted malt flavors. There are some notes of prunes and white raisins along with some lighter fruit notes. The finish is a nice iced coffee bitterness and flavor. At the beginning of the bottle there are some fusel alcohol notes but they taste more like bourbon notes as the beer warms.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a warm alcohol finish that cleans the thick complex malt flavors from the palate.

D- This is a serious stout,and a seriously exceptional stout. The malt and coffee flavors are fresh and well balanced with many layers of flavor that I couldn't capture in my review. The alcohol content was nice and played an important part of the finish. I didn't taste any oxidized coffee notes like old coffee grounds or stale coffee which is a big turn off in coffee beers. After a sip the beer just begged me to take another sip.

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Photo of jhoban19
4.83/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml poured into a chalice, 10oz at a time. Nibbling on some gouda and a dark chocolate hazelnut toffee candy bar.

A: thick and dark, like an Oreo cookie milkshake made with chocolate ice cream and chocolate milk, with a thick brown rocky foam, a solid 2 fingers. The foam settles into a good ring with full surface coverage. Strong lacing forms with each sip that slides back into the foam, but yet enough clings to the glass.

S: as it pours I get a waft of bourbony alcohol, but only for a fleeting moment. As I dive into the chalice for a big whiff, I detect sweet milk chocolate combined with bitter coffee, well balanced on the nose. Also catching subtle notes of vanilla and something else I can't quite put my finger on, maybe maple syrup, but not quite. Now that I've poured glass #2, I believe what I'm sensing is the rich caramel malt with a hint of butterscotch.

T: Many of the stouts I've enjoyed recently have been heavy on the bitter coffee flavor with accents of chocolate. Not Speedway, this baby has dominant chocolate flavors with well-balanced hints of strong dark coffee, caramel and hazelnut. As it warms, the sweet chocolate gives way to a bitter flavor, with that sweet chocolate taste still present. Part of that bitterness seems akin to an Imperial IPA the way it coats the tongue, suggesting a hops presence I normally don't detect in these big stouts. The alcohol is well masked for such a big brew, but by glass #3 I'm definitely feeling it even if I can't really taste it.

M: full bodied and rich, smooth and creamy, as I would expect given the appearance and style. A perfect amount of carbonation dances on the tongue as the flavors of chocolate, coffee, and caramel fill the mouth. Bit of a dry kick on the back end along with a pleasantly bitter aftertaste.

D: Speedway Stout is an unbelievably drinkable brew- dangerously so at 12% ABV! I am enjoying the hell out of this beer. I think this is the longest review I've written, which I attribute to the wonderful complexity of this brew. Heaven in a bottle, a best-in-show caliber beer. I bought 2 bottles with the intention of drinking 1 and putting the other in the cellar for at least a year. After drinking this one, the challenge will be to wait 12 months to drink the other.

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Photo of Scorpious
4.83/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is VERY good, of course I am biased towards the dark beers. It has very good appearance and is VERY drinkable but as with most high alcohol beers it can be cellared and will only get better with age.

Starts with a strong coffee and dark chocolate sensation, then fades to a multitude of toasty, roasty and caramel malt flavors.

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Photo of bobjonesSD
4.83/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ah, old friend. Time to give it a review. Poured from a fresh growler into a Maredsous chalice (slightly random, but a nice glass nonetheless). The pour even from the growler produces a delightful 2cm head on the 30cl of thick black liquid. The head is a lovely espresso cream color that lines the glass as consumed. Aroma begins with pure coffee, but as it warms it moves more towards burnt coffee (in a good way) with roasted malts coming through and I still detect very little in the way of alcohol. The taste leads with sweet black coffee with a malt undertone but not too bitter nor too sweet, perfectly balanced. The finish leaves a nice slightly bitter coffee taste on the palate. This might be the most dangerously easy to drink 12% abv stout I've ever enjoyed.

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Photo of jaxon53
4.83/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served slightly chilled in a tulip glass. Poured a beautiful shiny solid black. Came with about two fingers of thick, coffee colored creamy head. Good retention with plenty of sticky lace. The nose was of chocolate, tons of roasted coffee. The taste was the same as the smell, oly better. Chocolate, coffee , hints of charred wood and some well hidden alcohol. Twelve percent!? Wow! Very full , complex , thick mouthfeel. Drinkability ranked high because it left me wanting more. Best stout i've had hands down.

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Photo of Jackofallbrews
4.83/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Aroma: Milk chocolate with a malty sweetness. Roasted dark grains and mild fresh coffee aroma. No hop aroma. Minimal esters.

Appearance: Poured into a snifter glass (as suggested by the bottle), at 50 degrees F. Pitch black! Huge fine head that is nearly auburn in color. Head is persistent.

Flavor: A burst of expensive dark chocolate up front with a slow fade to a professional coffee shop Mocha, with coffee and chocolate finish. There is a slight roast bitterness, but this is balanced much more to the sweet side without being cloying. Alcohol is mild and not distracting. Mouthfeel is incredibly creamy and smooth.

Overall: This beer has wonderful balance and drinkability despite its high alcohol content. The coffee is mellow and not the star of this beer, but does add complexity to the beer. The mouthfeel on this is without peer.

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Photo of numenor1
4.83/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a beautifully crafted stout.

2006 bottling

This pours black with thick towering brown colored head that leaves great lacing. Huge roasty nose, along with deep caramel, molasses, coffee, chocolate and dark fruit esters. Initially starts off a touch sweet with mild, almost milk chocolate. This quickly fleshes into full blown stout glory with deep roasted malts, raspberry syrup, figs, molasses, dark chocolate and more than a touch of hops. Coffee is omnipresent and delicious, but really takes off through the finish, intermixing with hops and bittering the massive malt of this beautifully. Mouthfeel is terrific, very full (though less so than i anticipated) yet with lots of very fine bubbled soft carbonation giving a very creamy impression. Drinkability is very very good considering the weight of this beer (no hint of 12% whatsoever). Quite probably the best american double stout i've had yet.

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Photo of chrisafari
4.83/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Stone Brewing World Bistro And Gardens. Pours dark black w/ a brown creamy small head. Aroma of coffee and chocolate w/ a hint of alcohol. Flavor begins intense and alcoholy on the tip of the tongue, but ends smooth and chocolaty sweet. The intense malts create a complex flavor, that is spicy, chocolate, coffee and alcohol. The alcohol is enjoyable and tastes almost like a red wine. Palate is nice and smooth, really great. Easily my favorite beer, ever! (so far)

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Photo of mynie
4.83/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Imstillthegman for the trade.

Pours completely, absolutely, utterly opaque with a teeny weeny brown head.

Smells of coffee, brown sugar, and BURNT malt. Offsweet. A little burny, a little bit like red wine. Much more like a Russian Imperial than a double stout.

Tastes, once again, like an RIS. Very big, burnt, and syrupy malt giving way to a middle of solid coffee and dark licorice and and a slightly sweet ending with big nodes of black chocolate. Its hard to throw so much complexity out there and not have one flavor overwhelm the others--this one succeeds.

A wonderful beer, to say the least.

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Photo of Franchise
4.82/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've waited a long time to try this beer because I've heard some great things about it. It pours a ominous black with no light penetration through the body that leaves a dark tan head that is frothy but disappears quickly. The aroma is chocolate, malted milk, light coffee, reminds me of the smell when I use to walk by this chocolate factory in Cambridge, MA. The taste is top-notch starts sweet like melted chocolate, then moves to a vanilla rich coffee bean bitterness, airy and light is the feel on the palate low in carbonation. The chocolate/coffee feel is prominate and delicious roasted beans deliciousness abound. This is truely a top 5 stout.

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Photo of tattooedtolley
4.82/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: thick black pour, very dark tan/light brown head.

Smell: Coffee, hints of chocolate, a bit of a dark/slightly fruity smell, a little alcohol too.

Taste: Big roasted malt flavor with perfect coffee notes. The alcohol is apparent but not overpowering the taste. Eventhough they dont stand out too much, the hops are taming what could be a very sweet beer, which is appreciated.

Mouthfeel: Thick in body, very smooth however, silky.

Drinkability: This beer was perfect served at cellar temp and eventhough I enjoyed this beer over a couple hours, it never became too warm even with the fireplace going. A delicious stout and inspite of the alcohol, very drinkable.

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Photo of Brewfan
4.82/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ok, sitting here on Christmas eve with a long night of cooking ahead of me. And I decided that it's been too long since I've had a Speedway, and for some reason or other, never reviewed it. So here we go...

'06 Vintage. Poured into my large DFH snifter.
It's hard to imagine a beer getting much darker. Baking chocolate dark, with a pinch of coal thrown in for good measure. Impenetrable to light. 1 1/2 finger head of fluffy, chocolate colored head with minimal retention. Lot's of full, multi-sized bubbles, eroding to a thin ring that stayed throughout the beer. Very little lacing to speak of.
Immediate coffee on the nose. Strong, like a triple espresso, hold the cream. Powerful roasted malt, pruny, with almost an oily aroma. Also getting a strong whiff of chocolate. This is like one big 12% mocha.
This one, even so big, tends to be gulped rather than sipped. Maybe it's the long day, maybe it's the creamy, luscious mouthfeel, or maybe it's the HUGE coffee and dark chocolate whollup that explodes in my mouth with every sip. Bitter and sweet in every mouthful. The two tastes play back and forth with each other. It's coffee, no it's chocolate. It's playfully sweet, no it's a man's drink. Either way, it's a big beer with a big bite. Getting some slight fruitness in the backbone. A dry, hoppy bitterness (or is it the bitter coffee) rounds out the glassful. But don't worry, there's still over 1/2 a bottle to go.
Medium carbonation with a very big body. Thick and viscious. This may be where Old(er) Viscosity got it's inspiration.
This is one of my favorite beers of all times. It doesn't get much better than this.
Merry Christmas everyone.

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Photo of biggied
4.82/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-purs dark black as night with a slight tan head

S- chocolate coffee toffee heaven

T- great a little alcohol burn but almost just the right amount

M- nice! But a little -OH on the end

D- great would be better with out the -OH on the end but well hidden. One of my go tos and it's perfect with vanillia ice cream.

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Photo of warbird07
4.82/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Having this stout in my usual manner..into my new belgium globe..51 deg according to my thermometer..

appearence is black with a nice kahki head after an aggressive pour, substantial lacing for a beer of this type, albeit quickly fading...nice appearence..

the smell, oh man, up front coffee,chocolate,malt sweetness...extrememly pleasing, especially for a black coffee lover like myself...

Bitter chocolate, coffee, sweet back end, overall very smooth, where 12% apv is hiding, who knows..nary a hint of booziness, very smooth..impressive..

The smoothness of this beer lends a good mouthfeel, not really heavy on the tounge,velvety..this a highly drinkable impy stout

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Photo of GClarkage
4.82/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

10/01/05- Purchased at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA

Presentation- 750ml bottle poured into my Corsendonk Christmas Ale tulip. No date on the bottle.

Appearance- One of the most black colored pours I have seen. No light getting though this one. 3/4 inch ultra dirty brown head. Lacing could have been a bit better.

Smell- More coffee than anything. A touch of dark chocolate and some sweet roasted malt in the nose. Definitely some alcohol presence as well.

Taste- The nose does not lie my friend. Nice ground coffee flavor to go with a darn sweet average toasted malt background. About perfect...not to weak, not to over the top. A touch of bittersweet chocolate rounds the taste out. Some hops lingering in the finish.

Mouthfeel- After nursing this one over about 3 hours, at the finish it's semi creamy, low carbonation and nicely warming.

Drinkability- Had no idea this was 12% until I looked at the label. Drained the last 2oz and dregs right out of the bottle into my mouth and thought maybe about 9% at first, then looked at the label! Very deceiving alcohol. Didn't hit me that hard. Quite delicious.

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Photo of BeerBuilder
4.82/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After many opportunities I have finally had one which really stood out to be worthy of review #500

This one pours to a deep brown with a creamy light-brown head. It leaves a bit of lacing when sipped down. The aroma is heavenly; deep roasted malts and fresh black coffee. The flavor is very roasty, with expresso-like flavors throughout. It finishes with a roasted malt bitterness. It is silky and creamy in the mouthfeel....very easy drinking for its strength. Beer and coffee....the perfect combo!

I have to thank the person who has been most anticipating what #500 would be for sharing this with me...Thank you fantome.

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Photo of rowingbrewer
4.82/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

had this beer at a recent dark beer tasting. this beer pours black with a decent amount of head that dissipated fairly quickly. the smell is coffee up front and toasted malts and a little alcohol as well. the flavor follows the smell fairly closely with a wonderful ccoffee flavor and the alcohol is a little more apparent in the flavor than the smell. good carbonation and very drinkable at 12%

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,525 ratings.