AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

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AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

5,179 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,179
Reviews: 1,435
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 784
Gots: 1,449 | FT: 137
Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Jet Black, with an off-white head. Starts with a strong coffee and dark chocolate sensation, then fades to a multitude of toasty, roasty and caramel malt flavors. Clean and crisp, full- bodied. Warmth from the high alcohol content lightens up the feel. You won't fool your taste buds - this beer is HUGE!

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-09-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,179 | Reviews: 1,435 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hophead247
4.68/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black and opaque in appearance; moderately thick in viscosity. Head is minimal at first but quickly diminishes to an oily overlay. Bitterness jumps out of the gate first for aroma, along with unsweetened dark chocolate, mocha mousse and cafe o' lait. Coffee and roasted malts are definitely represented in this speed demon. Alcohol is discernable in flavor. Bitter chocolate and espresso flavors dominate. It's like sucking on a handful of greasy, dark roasted espresso beans. Body is oily and dense. Malts seem to favor flavor over viscosity. Definitely has its share of IBUs. Moderate carbonation is probably livelier on the palate than in actuality because of the dactylic touch of alcohol. Finish is warming, bitter and mouth watering. While I served it at about 55 degrees as recommended on the bottle, I liked it better as it got even warmer, say 60-65 degrees. At the higher temp, it seemed to thicken and improve its body.

Photo of tbeckett
4.68/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle split thanks to volcanicbeat IP. Thanks man! From notes.

A - Poured black with two fingers of brown head. Left spotty lace and a film of retention.

S - Aromas of coffee and roast. Smelled so original and smooth. Espresso, mocha, caramel sweetness. Lot's of lovely aromas. Good stuff.

T - No hint of alcohol in the flavour. Coffee, roast, licorice. So great. Chocolate was present as well. Heavenly.

M - Good mild carbonation, full body, and a good bitterness.

O/D - Beautiful stout. I was in shock as to how good this was. So many great flavours. Spot on. Could have it all day.

Photo of nerdrocker101
4.68/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle thanks to checkii, which I believe to be an 07'

Pours a rich black with a thin, lightly browned head.

Smells of chocolate and coffee.

The coffee notes are muted due to the aging. But there are huge flavors of molasses, chocolate, and light notes of espresso. Much like a chocolate covered espresso bean.

Thick, almost chewy. Certainly lingers on the palate. The alcohol is pretty well masked.

Photo of sharkboy
4.68/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a wine glass

A - Black as twilight, with a thin lacing of medium brown around the sides, unlike the prominent head of creamier stouts like Guinness.

S - Mysterious, alcohol is surprisingly absent, coffee is present but toned down, traces of dark fruit and milk chocolate.

T - Like the smell, the coffee and chocolate is present but not overpowering; not like syrupy Starbucks, but a IHOP roast. Alcohol is craftily scaled back for a strong stout, and hints of Pinot Noir are present.

M - Thinner than most Imperial Stouts, but not watery. Little to no alcohol burn while sitting in mouth or after swallowing. Big flavor, but a pleasant aftertaste.

O - Very drinkable for a Imperial Stout, carries the characteristics of its style, but slightly of the beaten path. Not a revelation, but elegantly crafted and tasty.

Photo of kmpitz2
4.68/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This pours a jet black, with a weak tan head. the nose is mostly coffee and roasted malts. The flavor starts chocolate, but quickly goes to a really nice bitter coffee flavor. I do love this beer. The feel is nicely thick and a bit creamy. This beer is way too drinkable for 12%ABV. What a great beer.

Photo of francisweizen
4.68/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml Capped Bottle. This beer pours an opaque black colour with a small beige head that is reminiscent of the infamous Expedition stout. The aromas are heavy and consist of coffee beans, alcohol, roasted malts, hops, yeast, and more. The taste is similar to the aromas and consists of coffee, alcohol, malts, hops and more. The mouthfeel is very thick and rich as well as creamy. The drinkability is excellent for a brew of this size (12%ABV) but this just isnt as well balanced or tasty as a Victory Storm King or Stone Imperial. This brew is "world-class" none-the-less though!

Cheers to JCalabre for giving me this chance to finally try this marvellous brew!

F

Photo of malcontent
4.68/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Just Perfect. Jet black body with a towering three fingers of head. The cocoa-colored head almost appears to be a solid material and the lacing is flat out sinister. Just goddamned perfect!

Coffee, bittersweet chocolate, rye bread, fading vanilla, wisps of smoke, soft fusel alcohol to the finish...I could spend another hour detecting aromas from this beer and it wouldn't be hard to do from a full four feet away.

A stunning rush of dark, bittersweet chocolate with a perfect foil of finishing hops. Really little to no coffee on the tongue although charred qualities push through with a fair amount of discernible malt sweetness. Long, lingering burnt chocolate finish. Love it, love it, love it.

Smooth, creamy, lush and biting on the finish. Luxurious and bold yet never out of bounds. Despite the fact the ABV is firmly over the 10% line, when judging against style this one is a stunner. Just for a decadent edge I paired this with some premium coffee ice cream. Fucking ridiculous.

Kryptic, you've outdone yourself.

Photo of BMan1113VR
4.68/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Many bottles and draughts over time. Old bottle from notes (2006). Wow! Pours with a small, ultra creamy, light brown head with some great lacing. Pitch black body. Amazing aroma of coffee and chocolate. Tastes of morning fresh french roast. Perfect mouthfeel, ultra creamy and so easy to drink (even at 12%), just amazing, nice alcohol warming. Nice and sweet mocha plays with your taste buds.

Photo of dnichols
4.68/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured a 750 ml capped and foil wrapped bottle into a pint glass.

A: It poured an inky black body that looked chunky when it came from the bottle. It presented a nearly 2 finger head that was dark brown and receded slowly to a nice cover over the liquid. It laced nicely clinging even curtains to the side of the glass.

S: It hit the nose with a shot of straight black espresso then offered bakers chocolate and hints of smoky nuts and dark fruits.

T: The roasted malts had a smokey and nutty flavor that came from the nearly burnt malts. The coffee flavors were distinct and more pronounced early. After sitting the chocolate and dark fruits came more into play.

M: IT is full bodied with a thick presence on the tongue and a very warm and clean finish. Nearly no carbonation.

D: It is a bit heavy and has a touch too high an ABV to be a session brew...but it is a great RIS...one worth having....and even more so one worth drinking.

Photo of everetends
4.68/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Review number 300 and I figured I would hit up the Speedway for this one. Been saving this one for a while and I have to thank Reino for sending me the bottle a while back. 750ml bottle served up in my Terrapin snifter. Lets get this party started.

A: This brew pours slowly and thick from the bottle. This beer is black, letting no light through and is completely opaque. A semi-vigorous pour yields a finger of thick, bubbly dark brown head that has some decent retention. Really tight bubbles on top that are really frothy. Lacing sticks to the glass very nicely. Very nice and the start I was looking for.

S: This one smells greatly of some nice, big time chocolate. So much chocolate in this nose. The coffee is there but does not over power the chocolate. The crazy thing is that you can actually get bit of the grain through the chocolate, coffee and nicely roasted malt characters. There is also a touch of bourbon coming out from the alcohol notes. Smells good.

T: Taste is awesome. The chocolate is rich and creamy, not unlike an awesome milkshake. Stupid rich. Coffee is nicely roasted with just a touch of bitterness that cuts the sweetness a touch. Roasted malts round off the heavy flavors with some sweet, roasted goodness. There is also a nuttiness that reminds me of some good hazelnut. Also a touch of nougat. This is stupid good.

M: This is a major, full bodied brew that means business. This beer is chewy and may be the thickest, creamiest beer I have ever enjoyed. Just an incredibly beautiful creaminess. Carbonation is light but there. Aftertastes are of some malt and coffee. ABV is present with a wonderful, slow warming from the stomach, but really no heat on the throat or palate. Amazing.

D: This beer is truly amazing. IMO, it lives up to the hype surrounding it and I can only imagine how good the barrel aged offerings are. This beer is just crazy in the flavor and feel categories and better than solid in every other category. Another amazing thing about this beer is how easy it is to drink for a 12% Imperial Stout. I will be enjoying the rest of this bottle with true gluttony and raise my glass to Reino for providing this gem.

Photo of Philousa
4.68/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Inky black, impenetrable by light with a wispy dark tan head. Glad I chose the etched bottom NB goblet, as it keeps the drink bubbly. Very chocolaty, very roasty up front, coffee is strong as well. Some heavy caramel, but not a hint of alcohol. Even some vanilla comes out with a swirl as it warms up. Strong dark chocolate and coffee flavors start things out. Light up front, fading slowly to bitter, like 80% cacao chocolate. I get some nuttiness and caramel in there as well. Usually caramel is thick and in the way, but this is just an accent. This is surprisingly light on the palate. I would normally attribute this to the ABV level, but I've had beers with this much alcohol in them and still be heavy. Dry aftertaste to be expected with all the attributes I've mentioned above.

This is one awesome beer. It's a sipper for a cold night, when you've let it warm up a bit. Complex and rewarding, this makes me wonder what the barrel aged version tastes like...

Photo of williamjbauer
4.66/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottled served in a conical pint glass on 5/1/12 drank with the old man

A - Obsidian black with a healthy 2.5 finger tan head with excellent retention, fluffy, with great lacing.

S - Molasses, dark fruit, espresso bean, dark chocolate, touch of smoke, alcohol, perfection.

T - Follows the nose so complex, sweet, and tasting. It is satisfying from beginning to end, smooth throughout with a touch of alcohol, with a heavy molasses and dark fruits flavor, with a slightly bitter finish.

M - Full body, moderate carbonation, chewy finish.

O - One of my favorite beers and a really delightfully complex imperial stout. Yummy molasses!

Photo of Yesac
4.66/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2013 bottle.

A- Jet black opaque in color, desert sand tan head colored head. Nice even fine lacing on the glass.

S- Powerful dark roasted malt, hints of chocolate and espresso.

T- Along with smell, nose is dark delicious roasted malt, roasted coffee bean, dark bitter (and very delicious) chocolate with an espresso type bitter finish. The finish is outstanding. Even more rewarding as it warms.

M- Very well balanced here, a perfect weight body for this style (medium/heavy) and it lingers well and covers the palate without being too dry. The carbonation level is medium and dialed in to perfection. It leaves you wanting to frequently pick up the glass for another sip.

O- One of the best stout's I've ever had. This has it all. The mouthfeel and aftertaste are the highlights for me. Such a delicious and well rounded beer overall. Complex and flavorful without being too heavy and too big, it's just right. And the ABV is very well hidden at 12%. Wow.

Photo of dank203
4.66/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

this thing pours black with some fluffy head. the aromas have a lot of stouty notes and some coffee. the flavor gives an abundance of dark chocolate, like chocolate milk, with coffee. its a really outstanding thing and its beyond comparison, like a chocolate coffee milkshake

Photo of jbertsch
4.66/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle aged almost 1 year old, I am assuming.

Appeared jet black with a caramel colored head one finger in size, poured into a snifter.

Big aroma of roasted coffee beans, chocolate, and notes of vanilla.

Its taste offers coffee up front. I then notice dark chocolate cake... Amost like a booze-soaked cake, though the beer isn't overly boozey. A touch of toffee comes to mind. Mocha lingers on the finish.

Full mouthfeel. Chewy. Not very slick...more so dry, which i love.

Overall this is decadent and beautiful. Hard to find a fault here. Its coffee and chcolate flavors are in nice balance,unlike some other coffee stouts. A real treat.

Photo of magictacosinus
4.66/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 750ml bottle into a wine glass. Purchased this bottle 6 weeks ago, but believe the coffee flavor should still be fresh by now.

Pours an extremely blackened, opaque, oil-slick color. There's some brown streaks that glow towards the bottom of the glass, but otherwise, no light is going through this thing, and it fits straight into whatever theme this was going for. There was a surprisingly large mocha-colored head considering the ABV, and yet it was more surprising that the head never seemed to vanish throughout consumption. Lacing was plentiful the whole way, with thickened frothiness coating the edges of the glass unlike any imperial stout I've seen before. This is extremely viscous and thickened overall, and is truly eye candy in some ways. I honestly have no complaints here.

The aroma is quite what I expected, filled with a sweetened coffee extract aroma, but still retains unique aspects such as darkened fruit flavors and spices that I haven't quite gotten in a coffee stout before. Raisins, blackcurrant, and vinous proprieties abound, but they are coated with warm vanilla, chocolate maltiness, and amazingly fresh ground coffee flavors - exactly the kind of aroma that you get immediately after grounding some beans. As someone who worked at a coffee shop once, it's uncanny. As this warms up, it gets nuttier, and the fruit flavors become more forward, but it also reveals the booze quite clearly. At that point, it almost resembles a deep Malbec or Cabernet blend. Very, very complex, a tad overwhelming, and yet pleasing to the senses.

The flavor really takes things up a notch, but instead of exaggerating one of the many flavors this has, it instead melds them altogether. The coffee extract flavor remains obvious, but it is quickly coated by a dark chocolate fudge texture combined with vanilla, brown sugar, caramel, and dark fruits. The bitterness produced by the coffee and malts prevent this from becoming too sweet, and whatever hops are there (no clue myself), they're doing a strong job. In some ways, this seriously reminds me of Rochefort 10 with coffee, which is most likely due to the bottle conditioning. This is a nearly perfect drinking experience in many respects - creamy, silky, hearty, and yet wonderfully easy to drink. While the alcohol makes itself known in the aroma, it never, ever becomes present in the flavor. No heat or sting or anything. My only complaint is that it's a bit dry overall, in the same way big wines can be. However, it's perhaps the price to pay for it's full bodied character.

Truly something this decadent and filling couldn't be this easy to drink. And yet it is! This transcends the coffee stout as I know it. It's very complex and filled with all kinds of flavors that make it resemble chocolate coffee cake in liquid form. I believe it's worth tracking down, as it really is a big beer that never seems like a chore to drink in any respect. I could drink a whole bottle myself if I wanted to, but I'm glad I split it. Can't recommend it enough!

Photo of NWer
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this near black into a 21st Amendment tulip. Decent with adequate head very nice lace.
The initial taste was burnt dark chocolate. Mouth fills with rich creamy flavors of chocolate and coffee. Burning alcohol in the mouthfeel and aftertaste. Delicious. A real sipper full of complexity.

Photo of magictrokini
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Easily one of the best beers I've ever had. Dark as night, very thick, and a wall of a brown head. Powerful aroma of strong coffee and dark chocolate. Flavor is excellent, strong coffee, slight sweetness brought about by the bakers and dark chocolate flavors, then bittersweet finish. Alcohol is masked by the coffee, but you feel the 12% after finishing a bottle. It is really like no other stout.

Photo of yodaseo
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

the unfortunately over the top appearance of the bottle does not do justice to the rich and pleasing brew within. hardly a pitstop quickfix by any means. poured a thick black as night syrup but disappointingly small and dissipating head (which is expected with a whopping 12% abv but still...). smell was intoxicating coffee aroma but little malt to accompany it. the taste brought out the incredible maltiness that combined perfectly with the roasted coffee, and it warmed up to an even more cohesive ensemble of taste. hard to imagine that this is indeed 12% abv, and served at near room temperature, still a heavenly explosion of taste in my mouth.

Photo of tanarm
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I’ve had this one cellaring for a few months now and decided I couldn’t wait any longer.

The head is a light brown and the body pure black. It smells of chocolate and coffee. It is the coffee taste that hits you right away, too. Hints of roasted barley and molasses, maybe even a little nutty flavor in there somewhere, but it is all lost to the coffee and chocolate overtones. The finish is pure dark chocolate goodness that continues to linger on the tip of the tongue for at least ten seconds.

As it warms, the bitterness extends to the back of the tongue and even the roof of the mouth and gets stronger on the finish. You can definitely taste the alcohol in the aftertaste more as it warms, but it never overpowers, as the other tastes become more profound as well. Mouthfeel is almost like carbonated melted chocolate, very creamy. It coats the palate completely.

This is a delicious beer, and I must say one of my favorites. I have another bottle that is cellaring and I am interested in how the tastes will age, but I think this can't get much better. For the style, it is hard to beat.

Photo of Goodwire80
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of Dukeofearl
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Split a 750 ml bottle with a couple of friends.

Pours a dark, thick, oily (seriously, motor-oil like) into pint glasses, with a brown, and I mean BROWN head that is moderate in size, and quickly collapses to brown oil spill cap over the beer. There is no way to see through this beer- not with sunlight, flourescent, flashlight, or even cell-phone glow (he-he-he). A gorgeous stout that tells other stouts what they should look like.

Aroma is rich, powerful, and oh so good. I am a big coffee-espresso fan, and this brings out the bitter aromatics of a fine expresso, with a dark bitter chocolate overlay.

Flavor follows through from the aroma. If I didn't know better, I could convince myself I was drinking coffee, not beer (ok, not really, but you get the idea). And yes, there is a strong alcohol presence sitting behind it all.

Mouthfeel is also wonderful- rich and creamy and just lingers oh so well.

Where this beer really falls down for me (in terms of scoring, but only slightly so) is in drinkability. We split the 750, so that was 250 ml each. I think that's more than enough of this beer. It's incredible, and I love it, but it should be in small quantities to be best appreciated. Much like you don't get a huge mug of espresso, I don't want to drink this as anything more than a small nightcap at the end of a day.

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Black Raven imperial pint glass. Pours pitch black with a one finger medium brown, persistant head with lacing. Aroma of roasted malt, chocolate and coffee. Taste follows with dark fruit, roasted malt, vanilla, coffee and a pleasant coffee and light hop finish. Creamy and medium bodied. Very nicely integrated and pleasant to drink. Complex and well made. The high ABV sneaks up on you because the taste is so mellow.

Photo of Wreckoncile
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750ml bottle into snifer

A - Pours with a slight viscosity, although lower than some in the style, and forms an inch of creamy tan head that slowly retreats leaving good lacing. Black and opaque.

S - Initial aroma is strong with a medley of roastiness, chocolate/cocoa, and a slightly sweet booziness almost reminiscent of some bourbon (eventhough I'm pretty certain no such ingredient is in this). A slight coffee bitterness rounds out the scent.

T - The initial flavor is strongly coffee like, with a bitter and roasty character that is immediately present. As it reaches goes down, the creamy mouthfeel imparts an almost milky chocolate malt flavoring that finally yields at the very end to a slightly boozy and bittersweet flavoring.

M - The mouthfeel on this beer is superb. Among my favorites for the style and a clinic in appealing mouthfeel. A rich and creamy mouthfeel that gives it an almost milkshake like quality, and yet it has an appropriate level of carbonation to just add that extra element and bring the aromatics to the nose.

O - The appearance and taste of this are solid for the style, while the scent and mouthfeel are exceptionally well crafted. The taste does cause me a slight schizophrenia as it was at times harshly bitter and at times cloyingly sweet. Usually those two balance eachother out well, but I think the creaminess of the mouthfeel (which was unquestionably my favorite aspect of this beer) allows the residual beer to sit on the tongue just a bit longer and confuse you with it's progressions. Nonetheless, a must have in the cellar for any die hard stout fan.

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 5,179 ratings.