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AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,988 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3988
Reviews: 1372
rAvg: 4.4
pDev: 8.86%

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: 3,988 | Reviews: 1,372 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of scifan

North Carolina

4.03/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured pours almost black with a nice mocha colored head into my tulip glass. Quickly fades to a small wispy ring and leaves some nice lacing.
Smells nice. Not as quite as much coffee as I expected with this. It's there but its there as kind of an afterthought. I'm getting mostly dark roasted malts, with hints of dark bitter chocolate, and some fruity notes as well.
The first sip reveals sweet dark fruit flavors, plum, and fig come to mind. Then there's some nice roasted flavors, and a touch of coffee at the end for some bitter balance for all that sweetness. Also the alcohol provides a nice warming sensation at the end.
A little thick and chewy but not in bad way. A beer this big is gonna be. But the alcohol is well hidden and it goes down nice and easy. To be honest I'm a little disappointed in this one, it's still a great beer but I was hoping for more coffee. Like founder's BS

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2009 02:30:12 | More by scifan
Photo of koopa

New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev -8.4%
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 :)

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2009 00:17:32 | More by koopa
Photo of Anthony1


4.03/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2009 01:21:29 | More by Anthony1
Photo of Lunch


4.03/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 750ml bottle acquired in a trade with davidsk (Thanks man!) into my Cigar City snifter at the appropriate temperature (01/30/10).

A: Pours an extremely dark and mildly thick motor oil black with a lighter than expected two-finger head with nice retention leaving some sticky lace.

S: Potent aroma of coffee and roasted malt with just a faint hint of dark, bitter chocolate. A one dimensional, but very solid.

T: Coffee is certainly the dominating force with this Imperial Stout and it does so in a very effective way. Seems quite fresh with some espresso-like qualities with a great degree of roasted malt and some hints of chocolate in a dark and bitter form.

M: I must say that the mouthfeel was a bit thin at times with slightly hire than expected carbonation. Medium-bodied, but lacked some thickness and viscosity.

D: Quite easy to drink especially for a 12% Imperial Stout.

To be honest, I felt a bit let donw from this beer, but it was still quite enjoyable just not nearly what I expected from an Imperial Stout with such a high ranking. Solid beer, just did not live up to the hype for me. Thanks again David!

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2010 17:29:34 | More by Lunch
Photo of snaotheus


4.03/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle split up into pint glasses.

Pours dark black with a big fluffy long lasting light brown head, impressive lacing. Smells a little sweet, with some cherry and maybe a little grapefruit.

Taste is a little sweet with a sudden coffee bitterness, coffe really comes out in the flavor, but there's still some noticeable cherry.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly light, with a nice gritty texture. Nice flavor and mouthfeel make for a nice drinkable imperial stout.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2010 23:51:44 | More by snaotheus
Photo of trbergman


4.03/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a tulip.

A - Pours jet black with three fingers of dense cinnamon-colored foam. The head reduces to about half a finger but leaves behind solid rings of lace.

S - Earthy coffee/burnt/anise aroma with dark fruits. Some chocolate and nuts come through as the head falls. Rather light on the nose.

T - More of a rich espresso flavor than drip coffee. Low and earthy with chocolate, dark fruit, and mineral notes. Roasty bitterness lasts from the middle through a lengthy finish. Hops contribute a somewhat leafy flavor and a gentle bitterness. No sign of the 12% abv. Tasty and enjoyable, but I've had better coffee/imperial stouts.

M - Slick and viscous, with a rich, full body. Very nice.

D - Maybe it's just suffering by comparison to my recent bottle of Bourbon County Coffee, but I'm a little disappointed in Speedway. It's good, but I'm not sure it's worthy of the hype. I'd definitely have it again, but in the future I'll know not to expect to be wowed.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2010 04:19:36 | More by trbergman
Photo of Arenbeer


4.03/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into a Tulip glass. Thanks a lot to BillyBoKnowsBeer
for sending me this bottle.

2009 Vintage at fridge temp

A- Pours solid black with a huge 2 finger frothy light brown head that isn't going anywhere. Solid lacing and some nice alcohol feet when the head finally dissipates.

S- Strong roasted darker malts up front with TONS of high quality smelling coffee notes. Some slight dark chocolate in there as well and some alcohol notes in the background as well as a slight metallic smell but fades as it warms.

T- Up front you get faint coffee but mostly hit by a strong roasted malt flavor. After it goes down the fancy bitter coffee dominates the palate pretty much taking over. Not sure if it's the coffee or the malts they used but the finish kind of has a lager like finish. Maybe just me haha. Definitely some slight chocolate flavors in there and suprisingly for the high ABV you don't taste any alcohol at all.

M- Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a nice bitter finish.

Overall this is a great imperial stout that is definitely worth trying. Really smooth and full of a unique coffee flavor I haven't found anywhere else.


Serving type: bottle

04-03-2011 23:42:25 | More by Arenbeer
Photo of Knapp85


4.03/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The mighty Speedway Stout, managed to finally get a bottle from my local shop in Bethlehem. I knew that it's said to be better with age but I was very excited to try it and didn't bother waiting more than a week or two to open it up. The pour was pitch black and gave off a nice brown colored head on it. The smell was deeply roasted and had elements of coffee and chocolate. The flavor of the beer seemed to me like it was lacking something. The flavors were pretty good but not something that I was expecting. I guess I was missing the WOW factor of it all. The flavors were the same as what was picked up on the nose with a subtle hoppiness to it. The mouthfeel was pretty good, not overly thick but still had enough body to keep it intact with the style. Overall I wasn't extremely impressed with this, I've picked up another bottle since and I plan on aging it for a while. I plan on revising this review when that time comes.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2011 18:47:32 | More by Knapp85
Photo of ditmier


4.03/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 Bottle 750mL - Beautiful black pour with a healthy tan head. On the first sip, lots more malt than I remembered, but a well rounded overall finish of bitter chocolate, coffee and sweet brown sugar. Had to share it or risk sleeping on a friends couch, but as fine of an Imperial Stout as you are going to find. I can’t wait to see how this one turns out after a few years on the rack.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2011 23:21:07 | More by ditmier
Photo of JayQue


4.03/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I let this one sit for a good few years, obtained from South Bay in San Diego. Pours a dense dark brown color with no light getting through. Small tan head with average retention. Good lacing. Smells good. Vinuous (Port Wine), semi sweet chocolate and roasted malts.

Taste is similar. Primarily malty and port wine with some chocolate highlights. Didnt notice the coffee that much. Really good flavor. Mouthfeel is rich and smooth. Even after 3 or more years of aging, there is still a warming alcohol presence. Overall a really good Imperial Stout. If I have it again, I would like to try it a bit fresher.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2011 21:56:21 | More by JayQue
Photo of Retsinis


4.03/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Living in Southern California, this beer is not hard to find, and I have had it a number of times, but finally got around to taking the time to review it properly a few weeks back. Split the bottle with my wife.

Review from notes.

A: Poured from the 750 ml bottle into a tulip glass. Wisp of bubbles, like a port wine, razor thin ring of bubbles, black as oil in color, and some film rises to the oily surface if swirled.

S: Potent, high grade, finely roasted fresh ground coffee, and dark fruits, slight plum & rasin.

T: Flavors of fresh cofee, medium roasted malt, plum, hint of rasin, faint vanilla, dry bitter chocolate. Thin on the finish.

M: Light carbonation, medium mouth, a bit sticky.

O: A solid RIS, and a good to beer when I'm in the mood. Though since it has a long shelf life, and there is always so much to try, I don't drinnk this often, but when I do, it's like visiting an old friend.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2011 23:27:42 | More by Retsinis
Photo of pmlondrigan

New York

4.03/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 bottle. Jet black, mocha tan head, not much in the way of retention. Lovely aroma of coffee, mocha, hazelnut, dark chocolate and alcohol. Lots of flavor, strongest being bitter-sweet chocolate with a long bitter aftertaste. Plenty of dark roasted coffee notes with a distinct raisin quality. Pretty straigth forward big flavors well carried out. Alcohol very well masked for its strength. Thick, very full bodied, and rich. Long aftertaste. Its good, but time always tells how good a beer is, in whether you crave it or not.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2011 02:07:50 | More by pmlondrigan
Photo of blakelive784


4.03/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1 pt 9.4 fl oz bottle served in an Orval oversized wine glass, reviewed from notes:

A - Pours a jet black color with a chocolate brown head of half a finger. The head's a bit thin and retention is awful, but excusable considering the ABV.

S - Full roasted malt and bold coffee. Heavy dark fruit on the nose balance the roast. The ABV comes through a bit. It's a little more but nice all together.

T - Strong roasted barley, caramel, and toffee form the foundation. Bold roasted coffee plays throughout. The abv is present, but welcome. Dark fruit and raisin notes come through on the climax. Bold, assertive flavors.

M - Full bodied, and silky smooth throughout. Tailored perfectly.

D - I'll definitely have this one again when I can. Extremely high quality and drinkable to boot, even with the abv.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2012 00:55:02 | More by blakelive784
Photo of camil1mj


4.03/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at cellar temp.

A: Dark brown like a dark chocolate Hershey bar. Tan colored creamy head.

S: Roasty and semi-sweet chocolate.

T: Big chocolate, caramel and roasted toffe notes that give way to hints of coffee.

M: Heavy bodied. Medium carbonation.

I: Great non-barrel aged stout. One of my favorite standards stouts. I wish it was distributed to MI.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2012 22:08:04 | More by camil1mj
Photo of Tucquan


4.03/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on 2012-05-17 in Columbia, PA

A - Opaque dark brown-black with a 2-finger light brown head and rich lacing.

S - Rich chocolate, espresso, molasses, dried black currant and dark roasted grain. Very nice smell even when initially served a bit to cool.

T - Sweet dark roasted grain, bitter chocolate, coffee, earthy spice, metallic, chalky, alcohol. The very long-lasting aftertaste is leafy, sweet/sour, dark-roasty and with significant bitterness.

M - Medium body and light carbonation. Creamy, rich but not as thick as I'd like. Some alcohol heat.

O - It's a good Imperial Stout but for my tastes, not in the same top-tier as Parabola, CBS, King Henry or Marshall Zhukov's.

Serving type: growler

05-17-2012 22:09:43 | More by Tucquan
Photo of DocJitsu


4.03/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into my Samuel Smith tulip glass. I figure one Smith is well-suited for another. The beer presents itself as an opaque, nearly black with a huge, frothy, long-lasting mocha head. Aromas are characterized by milk chocolate, malted milk balls, brewed coffee, brown spirits, and perhaps some raisin. Silky, viscous, warm (not from alcohol, but like a parka for the palate), creamy, pleasant mouthfeel. Initial coffee acidity, yielding sweet roasted marshmallows, tons of lactose, and finally, cherry. Finishes with mild, but lingering bitterness. Nearly no alcohol warmth or flavor.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2012 03:33:47 | More by DocJitsu
Photo of Rutager

British Columbia (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance. Pours black with 3 fingers of creamy tan head that rises fro the depths, lasts a good while, and leaves some great lace.

Smell. Dark malts with molasses and burnt sugar. Some licorice, bitter chocolate, coffee and booze. Slighty metalic smelling.

Taste. Dark roasted malts an dark bitter coffee, molten semi-sweet chocolate and just a bit of black licorice. Lightly acidic, like a cup of dark black coffee. Light booze is there.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body with smooth below-medium carbonation. Just a little booze warmth.

Overall. A very nice coffee stout. A bit on the dry side with some nice smooth roasty and bitter dark chocolte flavours.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2012 23:11:17 | More by Rutager
Photo of DubbelTrubbel


4.01/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into Chimay chalice. Bought off the shelf and in the cellar about two months.

A- Black with an ultra-creamy tan head. Looked like a well-made latte, complete with swirls.

S- The most exceptional component of this for a stout is the nice fruitiness. This combines with milk chocolate and a little coffee. Very malty

T- Roast, bitter, dark chocolate, dark coffee. Fairly crisp

M- Not very thick for the style and abv, but very smooth and pleasant.

O- A very solid imperial stout. It didn't quite "wow" me, but it is a good take on the style.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2013 04:08:34 | More by DubbelTrubbel
Photo of Damian


4/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Amazing tan head.

Smelled strongly of coffee.

Tasted coffee-like as well with hints of chocolate and soy sauce. Alcohol was noticeable but well masked by the intense flavors.

Unlike most imperial stouts, this beer was rather sweet and went down relatively easily, despite its super thick body.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2006 02:52:22 | More by Damian
Photo of jcdiflorio

West Virginia

4/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Split a 750ml bottle with a few friends had a foil wrapped crimped cap poured into my SA glass.

Opaque,black with a foamy head on top and creamy below, mocha head,the head was light toward the top and had good retention.

Dark fruit nose,vinious,sweet roasty with chocolate,fruity notes of dates/figs.

Very roasty taste with dark sweet fruits,lots of date-like tastes,boozy,chocolate,molasses. Good balance with a heavy,sharp hop bite and a bittersweet chocolate fade.

Very full mouthfeel,juicy,tangy,booziness that still smooth and very creamy. The drinkability was suprizing,still a sipper yet goes down easy. one to be carefull with.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2007 23:39:12 | More by jcdiflorio
Photo of joe1510


4/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml Bottle

Received this from Taynor a couple months back, thanks Dana! Speedway Stout is black as night when poured into my snifter letting no light pass through whatsoever. A short but dense one finger beige head formed on the pour, quickly falling to a skimming with a thick ring around the glass. Leaves respectable lacing after each tip of the glass.

The aroma hits hard with big doses of roasty malt and anise. I didn't expect so much anise in a coffee stout. There's more creaminess than coffee in this particular bottle and some dark berriness wafts through the more pronounced aromas. All this makes for an inviting stout but I was hoping to get a little more coffee. A mild boozy spiciness brings up the backend creating a bit more depth in the aroma.

Now this is a tasty stout! Roasty malts are quickly followed by mild bittersweet coffee, anise, and a pleasant spicy alcohol that brings some of that peppery berriness. There's still not a great deal of coffee involved but this is a top shelf stout without it. The finish is a perfect combination of bitter coffee, dark berries, and roasty malts creating a bit more bitterness. I love my stouts with a bitter finish and this one brings it.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side of the spectrum. This is just my picky side but it could use a touch more creaminess. Leaves some residue, without being sticky, that helps the flavor linger.

As big as this stout is the drinkability is up toward the top of the ladder. The lack of creaminess actually helps the drinkability.

This is, without a doubt, an excellent stout! I just don't think it's a World beater! I would like to get my paws on another bottle for more extensive testing but as it stands I feel there's better examples out there.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2008 04:11:58 | More by joe1510
Photo of ccrida


4/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml poured into my Deschutes snifter, Speedway Stout is a pitch brownish black with a large tan head that is creamy and slow to subside, leaving heavy lace. Served at cellar temp, I put the rest of the bottle into the fridge as it smelled pretty thick. In spite of this, I had to let the first glass warm to room temp while I walked the dog, and found it to be more enjoyable when I returned.

Smell is very rich, sweet caramel and malt, with this sharp, tangy, almost almond like malty aroma that I really don't care for, like a tripel milk stout or something. Colder (and perhaps once acclimated), it's mostly chocolate and alcohol, and more enjoyable then my initial, warmer pour.

Taste is very similar to the nose, this drinks more like a 12% milk stout then coffee stout to me. Perhaps my palate is skewed since I just had a Péché Mortel yesterday, which tasted as not if not more like coffee then beer. I'm not even sure if I would have called the coffee had it not been on the label! In fact, it's more along the lines of an über export stout then an RIS. Stylistic quibblings aside, it's a good stout that steadily won me over as I worked through the bottle, although it's strength only became more apparent on the palate.

Mouthfeel is still but not as thick and heavy as one might fear from such a big stout.

Drinkability started out rather slow, I'm not sure if it was because I served the first glass a bit warm or I just needed to warm up to it. The bottom line is I went from not in the mood / disappointed to really enjoying this sucker by the time I was facing the last few gulps. I think it's better served a bit colder, rather then warmed then room temp, but is pretty good for a big stout. I'll admit it's not my favorite style, and I much prefer their barleywine and IPA. A pretty decent big stout, as a big coffee stout, not so much, um...coffee!

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2008 05:01:14 | More by ccrida
Photo of Wetpaperbag


4/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at a nice 60°f temp.

A- Very dark with a two finger tan head. Nice looking lacing in the glass.

S- The smell is very potent from a two foot distance. I can smell a bourbon smell from that distance. Upon closer sniffing, I can smell toffee, bourbon, coffee, chocolate, anise, and the plethora of other good smells one would find when smelling a great Imperial Stout.

T- Coffee taste is very friendly, not too over powering and not too bittering like some stouts with coffee. The abv gives quite the tingle on the tongue when the brew escapes down your throat. A very warming feel. Some of the other smells that are listed above are very subtle when it comes to the tasting. It is nice and pleasant.

M- The feeling I get is sort of oily, but a thin oily feel, not a thick one like motor oil.

D- I feel this is a good drinking beer. Goes down smooth and feels good.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2008 02:19:09 | More by Wetpaperbag
Photo of athensbeermaster


4/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I just got a new job so I could afford this expensive brew. This stout didn't pour much of a head and almost no lacing? The nose had some expresso and chocolate peeking out with a huge alcohol presence. The taste was full of dark roasted malts and rich chocolate and coffee flavors. The mouthfeel was smooth and went very well with my CAO mx-2 cigar. The drinkability scores as good as you can get for being so high in alcohol. This beer is very complex I picked up more flavors on the last glass and tasted some fig notes and smoky caramel. The finish is nice & clean with a dry coffee aftertaste.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2008 18:21:26 | More by athensbeermaster
Photo of alovesupreme


4/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Portsmouth snifter this beer had an off white head that sat on top of a black body which allowed light to penetrate the corners.
Smells of anise, chocolate, and coffee with some alcohol.
An astringent beer with an unidentifiable flavor. Coffee and chocolate are obvious with a lingering bitterness, and noticeable alcohol.
A good body but no where near where I like my RIS.
A good beer, but I do not think it is worthy of its rating.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2009 02:21:16 | More by alovesupreme
AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 3,988 ratings.