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AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,502 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 1,502
Hads: 5,758
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 8.94%
Wants: 842
Gots: 1,738 | 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: 1,502 | Hads: 5,758
Photo of tewaris
4.11/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown and clear, viscous looking but not the thickest, Speedway poured with a medium dark brown head that fell to a ring and a disjoint sheet of tiny foam soon enough. Some lacing. Good enough for a 12% ABV Imperial Stout.

Aroma: Coffee, alcohol, and sweetness that could be from alcohol, but most probably comes from sweet malts. No hint of roast; and overwhelming booziness --- limited in merit and complexity.

Taste is smooth, bitter and flavorful with coffee. Ample amount of sweetness from rich malts and alcohol. Finishes with unexpected strength of roast and a kiss of alcohol with lingering coffee aftertaste. Feels silky with low carbonation against its body but is still not as coating; however, the finish is fairly clean too so no problems here.

Overall rather one dimensional but quite potent and well done. (828 characters)

Photo of mrandypandy
4.11/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle brought back by a co-worker from his trip to California. Thanks Miles!

A- Like pretty much all stouts it pours jet-black with some nice ruby hues at the edges. Pretty clean and clear for an Imperial Stout. Soapy tan head fades farely quickly and leaves little lacing. Better head would have pushed this one up to a 5.
S- Not a lot going on. Some subtle dark fruits (raisins), coffee, malty sweetness. Maybe I'll get more as the beer warms.
T- Pretty tasty. A nice burnt roasted malt character to compliment coffee grounds and faint lactose sweetness. Alcohol is well hidden.
M - Thick, creamy, luscious. Very smooth. It's not bitter or harsh or prickly. Couldn't ask for more.
D- For a 12% Imperial Stout this was really drinkable. The alcohol (and lack of food) caught up to me at the end of the bottle, but I'll take more any day.

Overall - An imperial stout that certainly lives up to it's accolades. Nice subdued cofee tones with all the standard impy stout qualities. Considering the price, this is probably the best bang-for-your-buck stout that can be easily obtained and doesn't require a 2+ hour wait in a line. Well done. (1,147 characters)

Photo of WeymouthMike
4.1/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a very dark beer pouring a dark black with an inch or so brownish/cream head. Smells of coffee and alcohol were the first thing I thought of. Tastes of coffee and roasted goodness made this beer live up to it's expectations. Mouthfeel was smooth and there was a good amount of warming as I sipped this one. I drank a 750 over the duration of the Patriots game and was happy I did so at home as the 12% will kick your butt. (430 characters)

Photo of OddNotion
4.1/5  rDev -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. (916 characters)

Photo of charlesw
4.1/5  rDev -6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice opaque black. No head. Consequently tiny aroma. Bummer on both counts.
But, golly, this tastes good. Like, well, like an imperial porter should. Sure, it's sweet, but there are other things going on to help balance that out (and it ain' carbonation). Chocolate milk made with that bitter Mexican chocolate powder. Some coffee. Butterscotch all over the middle of the mouth as you swallow. Then, immediately, a quick burst of light citrus all over the whole mouth. Lingering dark chocolates. Whoa.
The wife loves it but then, well, she is a big dark chocolate fan. Ha. (572 characters)

Photo of MarkJBurch
4.1/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Never made it to the cellar, taken from the fridge and left at room temperature for roughly thirty minutes prior to opening. Pours jet black with khaki head.

Raisin, coffee, and black licorice bombard the nose. Very slight soy passes through the nostrils on the exhale. Very powerful.

Sweet, booze laden, dark fruit flirts with the tongue soon to be pried away by a burnt, harsh black malt flavor that sticks around for awhile. My mouth is left very dry, eager to revisit the initial sweetness. Not picking up as much coffee as I would have expected apart from in the aroma, but it is present. Chocolate notes are noticeable throughout. The sweetness comes through more as it warms, providing more balance to the harsh bitterness.

Lush carbonation provides a pleasurable experience. I bet this would age rather well, perhaps mellowing the unforgiving harshness that lingers long into the aftertaste.

To me, the nose stole the show, really very nice. I'll go as far as to say that if you pick up a bottle of this for yourself, ultimately, you won't be disappointed. However, I'm not sure I'd seek it out if it wasn't in my market. A solid representation of the style. (1,170 characters)

Photo of buschbeer
4.1/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle
Served in a snifter

A - I'll just call this one black. There is no light getting through. A rather aggressive pour yielded very little mocha head.

S - I'm getting anise and molasses. I get a little coffee. This is a cellared bottle.

T - The taste is similar to the aroma. Anise seems to be the theme here. Although I get plenty of roasted malt flavors. The coffee has seemed to have faded.

M - Viscous as tar.

O - I'm thinking I should have had this beer fresh and not messed with aging it. (508 characters)

Photo of Gfunk720
4.1/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Have had this bottle for a year and a half, and finally opened it. Consumed from my Trappist Rochefort goblet.

A- Pours almost pure black, very dark, no light passes through. Nice healthy tannish head, good retention too.

S- Coffee predominantly, with some notes of caramel. Also smell some dark fruit and some booziness.

T- Tastes mostly of dark coffee and caramel. Nice malty backbone swoops in for a second, and then fades to a nice coffee aftertaste.

M- Very nice mouthfeel. It is more carbonated than most beers of this style, but it works. Gets better as it warms...

D- Pretty heavy but the mouthfeel keeps drawing me back. The initial flavor was good, but the coffee aftertaste got to be a little much after a while.

A tasty coffee stout, and always a safe bet. It has a touch too much coffee in it for it to be perfect for me, but I'd buy it again. The Barrel Aged version is perfect, as the barrel aging mellowed out the coffee. (943 characters)

Photo of BB1313
4.1/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 9/3/13. 750ml bottle poured into a snifter. Pours black with the slightest amount of light getting though; fluffy dark khaki head that sticks around and leaves great lacing and retention. The aromas are loaded with chocolate malts. Lots of malts. Lots of chocolate. Slightly roasty. Lots of dough. Hints of vanilla. Flavors are very bold. More roasted malts. Lots of dark chocolate. Lots of milk chocolate. That combination is of course going to equal out to being bittersweet. I'm picking up some caramel too. There's some dark fruits in the mix, especially hints of black cherry. There's not as much coffee/expresso notes as I was anticipating. Alcohol goes completely unnoticed. Mouthfeel is full-bodied and very smooth. It's fluffy and creamy with moderate carbonation, but isn't quite milkshake thick. Once again, there's no hints of alcohol at all. This is beer is dangerously drinkable. It's hard to believe this is 12% abv. It's fun to drink.

Great stout right here. It blows your mind in the beginning, and then just becomes really good. But that "really good" can hang with most Imperial Stouts on the market. The craftsmanship on this beer is top notch. Recommended. (1,189 characters)

Photo of HeyItsChili
4.1/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Pours dark brown which olive hued chocolate syrup highlights. Little brown head that quickly dissipates.

S - Chocolatey, dark coffee, little bit of soy sauce.

T - Really robust coffee, chocolate syrup, cocoa powder.

M - Velvety, low carbonation, medium bodied. My description cannot accurately capture it, but the mouthfeel on this one is pretty close to perfect.

Thanks to Scott from the CBX for tossing this one my way. (431 characters)

Photo of Gosox8787
4.1/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Bomber bottle poured into a Portsmouth Brewery tulip. Enjoying this on a really snowy day at room temperature.

Appearance: Dark brown to black in color. A nice mocha colored head rises. About one and a half fingers in size with prettt good retention.

Aroma: Rich coffee beans, definitely good coffee. Some milk chocolate and a surprising bit of heat.

Taste: Rich coffee upfront. Balanced nicely with some milk chocolate. Not cloying or overly sweet at all. In fact, the coffee is really the star. Smooth, but a bit one dimensional.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, low carbonation, and a little thin near the end of each sip.

Drinkability: Very smooth for a 12% stout. I had no problem with finishing a bomber, but definitely a sipper.

Overall, I enjoyed this a great deal, but I was slightly underwhelmed. I have heard a ton about this beer and while the coffee notes were great, I can't help but feel this is slightly one dimensional. (947 characters)

Photo of israel
4.1/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - pitch black with a nice cappuccino colored head that didn't hang around too long.

S - the beans are in the foreground along with a nice roastiness from the malts.

T - this beer IMO is superbly balanced; nothing in the flavors are overly dominate and everything works well with one another.

M - again I think this is a really nice feature of this beer as its not overly syrupy or too heavy. Carbonation is there but the beer is just silky smooth and a pleasure to drink.

D - really the only draw back to this beers drinkabilty would have to be the alc%. (561 characters)

Photo of brureview
4.1/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This can be a difficult beer to find. Fortunately, I found it and I was looking forward to drinking it.

Served in an oversized wine glass at a relatively warm serving temp- about 55F. The color is very dark coffee- almost black. There are bubbles in the bottom of the beer, and the head seems to have some carbonation.

The aroma is strong cherry and coffee. I expected more coffee, but the predominant smell was cherry- and fruit in general.

The beer was a bit carbonated, almost unpleasantly so.

The finish was very alcoholic as expected. The coffee taste seems dwarfed by the alcoholic presence. Regardless, the finish is richly alcoholic with coffee overtones.

This is a sipper. Take your time on this beer. It's a contemplation beer- probably more suitable for the winter, but I wanted to try it, so I opened the bottle at the end of summer.

Overall, quite good- perhaps excellent. It's overwhelming. Worth experiencing. (930 characters)

Photo of barczar
4.1/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 vintage.

Big cocoa aroma, slightly sweet chocolate, and roast malt.

Flavor is lacking in malt depth. Roasty and malty in the finish. A very drinkable 12 percent. The cocoa comes out as it warms. (201 characters)

Photo of aewinte1
4.1/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- pours pitch black with light brown head. 2" head from vigorous pour
S- Smell is extremely strong of coffee. Smells creamy as well
T- Huge creamy soffee flavor as can be expected from te nose. The coffee flavors fades to a woodey smokey flavor. Huge roasted malt flavor
M- Thick and medium carbonation give this a good mouthfeel. Good, but nothing spectacular worth mentioning about the mouthfeel
D- drinkability is so-so on this one. The flavors are great, but its really a sipper and due to the strength and viscosity, I don't think I would want more than one. One bomber is enough. (586 characters)

Photo of Lnedrive14
4.09/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had to write this one the morning after because I got a bit too drunk from that big bottle!

A: One heck of a dark beer - straight up opaque black. A bit disappointed that it poured with no head - maybe this was one of those issues AleSmith had been having with the beers sent to the east coast. In any case, the lack of head really detracted from the beer's appearance.

N/P: This really is a coffee stout. I think I started drinking this one a bit too cold so a lot of the flavors didn't come out very well. When it warmed up the coffee and roasted malts hit the palate hard. To be honest, I had a hard time pulling anything else out of this one - the coffee really dominates.

M/D: The alcohol I felt was a bit too much. I guess I should have expected it at 12%, but it was a definitely a bit stinging throughout the session. Other than that, the beer was fairly creamy and had a pretty good texture. Drinkability is fairly low, although I did manage to kill the bottle myself :)

All in all a good beer, but certainly it did not live up to my expectations. Perhaps this is a different beast on the west coast, but unfortunately, this is the only one I had to review. (1,180 characters)

Photo of core42
4.09/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle is unknown year.
Poured pitch black with a 2 finger tan head into a Modern Times Snifter.
Nose is not heavy on the coffee but more cocoa.
Taste is also more cocoa than coffee with some slight bitterness with coffee undertones on the backend & in the finish
Feel is smooth
Overall less coffee than I expected but still a great tasting beer (346 characters)

Photo of Holland
4.09/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: beautiful pour with excellent head and retention. Very viscous looking, but still nice brown head.

S: pretty standard for a hoppy stout, and I get very little hint of coffee or anything excellent.

T: great blend of hoppy bitterness, coffee, roasted malt, and sweet caramel. Excellent.

M: doesn't get better than this for mouthfeel. This is a huge stout, but with medium carbonation it comes alive.

O: solid beer, though disappointing in smell. Still awesome, but maybe not worth the price tag. (504 characters)

Photo of Mdog
4.09/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black, good head for a strong beer.

Smell: Good coffee aroma.

Taste: Moderately sweet chocolate, pretty strong coffee flavors, some hot-boozy alcohol.

Overall: Alesmith is in Wiscoland so I picked up a bottle to try. This is pretty good, but could maybe use a little cellaring to better integrate the alcohol. Sometimes a 12% beer will show the alcohol and sometimes it hides it--I prefer the ones that can hide it better. (437 characters)

Photo of TexIndy
4.08/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Hoss for shipping this one to me from San Diego. Poured from a 750ml painted bottle with cool graphics and back story into a pint glass. No dating info but he got this end of last year and I've been letting it age till now. Couldn't wait any longer. It was pitch black - no light getting through this one. It had a one finger brown head that settled into a collar with broken foam. No carb but good lacing.

The aroma was really good. Strong coffee but also good amount of toasted chocolate malts and caramel. The taste is awesome as well. I'm usually not a big fan of this style but damn this is tasty. Has a good bite to it at first and then finishes smooth. I'm not a coffee drinker so was concerned before I drank it that it would be too coffeeish but it's not. Despite the high ABV, the alcohol doesn't really appear in the smell or taste. But you definitely feel it halfway thru. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy.

Overall, an excellent beer that has earned the high ranking and praise. I wouldn't want to drink it too often as it's not my favorite style but I'd love to try at least once a year. Highly recommend. (1,129 characters)

Photo of mmurphy525
4.08/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

Pours a nice black with a thin tan head (akin to a good espresso head) that lasts throughout

Smells of sweet chocolate, and little coffee

Lots of roasted malts and coffee notes with a nice sweetness balance. In the finish there is a slight alcohol burn in the back of the throat mixed with a hoppy bitterness.

Mouth feel is very full and creamy

Overall maybe a little understated, or at least less then what I was expecting. Yet still a very good stout. (499 characters)

Photo of cwguy5
4.08/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

- thick, creamy; bit syrupy without the sweetness; heavy but drinkable for stout (421 characters)

Photo of KeefD
4.08/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally getting around to trying this one. I've been looking forward to it for quite sometime, as I love me some coffee beers. Thanks goes out to drgonzo3705 for hooking me up with this bottle. Pours a nice dark brown color, almost completely black in the glass with just a hint of light coming through the edges. A nice two finger, creamed coffee head forms, excellent retention, and surprisingly nice lacing on the glass for the high ABV. Smell has nice chocolate presence but I'm not getting a lot of coffee notes, which is a bit disappointing, but it smells awfully nice, with lots of roastiness, some brown sugar and caramel. Flavor is right on with the nose, loads of chocolate and caramel, very sweet at first, lots of brown sugar encrusted chocolate bars, a touch of vanilla and graham cracker, with a nice hit of darkly roasted coffee beans on the finish. Possibly a bit of dark fruit flavors and raisins show up as it warms. Mouthfeel is thick and chewy, creamy and viscous. Nicely textured. Drinkability is on the higher side for an IS, as I can barely notice the alcohol at 12%. Overall this is a pretty great tasting imperial coffee stout, but it's no Peche Mortel in my book. But I was glad to have had the chance to try it! (1,238 characters)

Photo of SupaCelt
4.08/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Brown. Real brown. Like black brown. Dessert style head of chocolate milk colour. Looks like a treat on its own. Of course there is also some lace to add visual appeal.

Smell: Heaps of chocolate. Chocolate syrup. A bit of a grainy base. Mild alcoholic whiffs slide through here and there. Low profile hop character is barely noticeable with all of this dark malty chocolate activity.

Taste: Chocolate would be a good guess. Yes, it has a chocolate syrup feel going on. This even seems to be a bit dairy influenced. There is an undertone of malty raw grain character that keeps this from feeling completely like a dessert drink. This and also a vague bitterness gently cut the sweetness to keep things palatable. Rich is the word here. Tightrope hijinx.

Mouthfeel: Thick and smooth. No chunks. Dreamy.

Drinkability: Good considering. This is going to require some insulin. It also has the potential to smack your noggin. It doesn't put up a fight, so be thee wary. Solid. Overpriced too. (1,014 characters)

Photo of Estarrio
4.08/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a black chocolate thick mysterious color with a coffee ground colored head. The head gave way to thick, intricate and full lacings.

Big malt aroma with some floral and hoppy suggestions.

Thick, and foamy consistency...this is a big beer!

Sweet malt base flavor mixes with a complex grouping of coffee, roasted malts, caramel, chocolate molasses and hops. The sweetness and warmth suggest the presence of the high alcohol percentage but the alcohol taste is lost amidst the other flavors. I found the sweetness to linger slightly too much in the aftertaste, but aside from that the flavors are excellent.

I'm looking forward to aging a few of these before I review again. (693 characters)

AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,502 ratings.