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AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,979 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3979
Reviews: 1371
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: 3,979 | Reviews: 1,371 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of JizackFH

New York

3.98/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer Review #610

A - This beer pours a very dark brown color, almost black. There is a little more than two fingers of dark tan head resting on top. The head has pretty good retention, and it leaves a decent amount of lace behind on the glass.

S - The nose has a strong dark roasted malt aroma. There are also some aromas of dark chocolate, coffee, and some booze. I am also getting some other scents of molasses, caramel, brown sugar, and some honey.

T - The taste follows the nose pretty well. It starts off with some dark roasted malt, as well as an almost charred malt flavor. There is some present alcohol flavor, as well as a nice amount of coffee and dark chocolate. There are also some flavors of molasses, some honey sweetness, mild hops, and some caramel. The finish leaves some bitter charred malt flavor, coffee, chocolate, and some booziness behind on the palate.

M - This has a medium body and good carbonation. It goes down easy and has a smooth feel to it. There is some initial sweetness and a good bold dark roasted bitterness. Some hop bitterness on the back end, as well as some boozy warmth.

O - This has good drinkability. It goes down smooth and easy, and it has nice flavor. Overall, I thought this was a good beer and a nice example of the style. I would just like the booze to mellow a little bit, and for it to be just a little more thick and rich. I recommend trying this one out, I enjoyed it, and i would buy it again.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2012 11:34:12 | More by JizackFH
Photo of socon67

New York

3.98/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Impressive black pour that is syrupy thick and adheres to the glass. Mild foam head shrinks and stays. No lacing; more of a sticky coating.

S - Dark and roasted malts come to the nose. Strong chocolate smell. There is a bit of roasted coffee.

T - Rich chocolate favor and some hearty doses of dark malts. Some brandy notes give this a cordial flavor. Finish has a slight bitterness.

M - Very heavy and thick. This one was thankfully a bottle share. Enjoyable but a heavy stout for dessert.

O - A stout for the big boys. Not anything on the barrel aged, or infused with coffee or maple; this is just a big rich stout that is enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2013 01:32:41 | More by socon67
Photo of gueuzedreg


3.98/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

'13 750ml into a CS snifter.

A- This stout is not black, it is more brown. Small amount of head than is stubborn to go away.

S- Malt, roasty, coffee. Bit of fig. Burnt wood.

T- Some coffee up front. Speedway is not as complex as I thought it would be having the BA version of it previous to to this.

M- Very thin for me. Not much for mouthfeel.

O- I was not too impressed with the regular version of Speedway. I have become a stout snob. If I would have had this early in my stout phase, I would have rated higher.

(edit, I brought up the mouthfeel 0.5 because the bottom 1/4 of the bottle was sooo much better. This shouldn't happen though. Looking for consistent stout throughout the bottle)

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2013 00:20:09 | More by gueuzedreg
Photo of minterro


3.98/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought at Colorado Liquor Mart. Bottle on 10/24/13, so cracking it now put the aging at 5 months. I little reward for my TAing my first class of the quarter. Poured into a oversized wine glass at about 54 deg and paired with popcorn & goat cheese and crackers.

A&S: Good looking beer even after a couple of months in the bottle. Jet black colored beer. Deep tan head that has really good retention and leaves stringy and speckled lacing on the glass. The pour leads me to believe this beer isn't super thick. Toffee and dark chocolate control the main elements of the aroma. Hints of bourbon. I'm not getting any dark fruit characteristics as described on the bottle.

T&M: Not incredibly complex. About what I expected: dark chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon. Similar to aroma, lack of dark fruits. I haven't tried this beer fresh so I don't know if it is due to aging or just the beer in general, but AleSmith does a great job of masking the high ABV without doing away with it completely. I may just be used to midwest porter and stouts, but this mouthfeel isn't really doing it for me. Odd mix of fizzy carbonation and smoothness. On the higher side of body just not in comparison to most stouts. On the contrary very drinkable.

Overall: I had pretty high expectations for this beer, and it didn't completely live up to my own hype, but not bad. Probably not something I will set aside to age again, but wouldn't necessary not buy it to drink right away again. I like to review before looking at the rating, I was incredibly surprised by 98 on this beer, I didn't think it was bad, but I'm confused by it's rating.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2014 03:46:21 | More by minterro
Photo of mjpolzin


3.96/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Waited to try this on Christmas Eve which is one of the nights each year I save some really stellar brews for. Part of me was disappointed by this beer but part of me appreciated the depth and complexity of Speedway and realizes that it is an excellent candidate for aging.

Speedway Stout advertises that it is brewed with coffee. Unfortunately I get hardly any coffee in the smell or the taste. The pour and mouthfeel are somewhat thin. Once I started drinking the beer though, I got a huge roasty taste with an incredibly complex background of chocolate, dark fruits and other malts.

Although I was let down a little bit by this beer, I would be interested in picking up another bomber to age to see what flavors come through after the roasted flavors smooth out a bit.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2013 04:49:49 | More by mjpolzin
Photo of avaulteriam


3.95/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A fat beer with an obvious booze factor. Not near as good as I would have expected, but decent enough. The coffee is there but muted, sweet and thick. Ain't no dark lord, though. Deep Black with burgundy on the edges and think dark head. Nose is some coffee and sweetness.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2008 22:38:28 | More by avaulteriam
Photo of Aimstatus


3.95/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this was the first of my alesmith beers and what an amazing one it was.
Appearance: it was a good pour with dark with a light browm frothy head that maintained long after pour.
Smell: it smelt of a great balance of coffee and dark chocolate, which masked the smell of alcohol contant.
Mouthfeel:thinner then one might expect from a stout but overall pleasing.
Taste: you get what you smell first with roasted coffee then a nice finish of a good bitter dark chocolate.
Drinkability: its definitely a beer i could have often because it does in fact go down smooth with no weird or displeasing after taste.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2008 05:53:16 | More by Aimstatus
Photo of callmescraps


3.95/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Been hanging on to this one for awhile. I've been enjoying stouts more recently, but I'm a little nervous since I don't like coffee, and I feel like this may be too coffee-ish for me. Still, I love Alesmith, so wanted to give it a bid.

Appearance - Black. Doesn't seem to have any head, and then it shows up late to the party. An inch or so of tan, soapiness.

Smell - Definitely the dark roast. Some coffee. Also some chocolate and raisins. Maybe a little candied fruit. Cafe au lait? Maybe some molasses.

Taste - Up front it's got the sweet raisin taste. Very nice. But the follow is pure coffee. It's not terribly bitter, and nicely balanced, but I just don't like coffee beers. That's pretty simple. It really is sweet on the lips. That roast coffee just lingers, unfortunately. I can't hate on it because it's nicely balanced, and I think it'd be great if I liked coffee, I just don't, so I can't love it too much either. Definitely balancing the coffee bitterness with sweet fruit tanginess.

Mouthfeel - Nice and creamy. Not too terribly heavy, but a good solid body.

Drinkability - With all the booze and coffee I'm only having the one. That said, it's more drinkable than that combo usually would be.

This is a very nice RIS, and probably excellent if you like that roast coffee bitterness. I don't particularly, and so this isn't the one for me. I'll take Goose Island Bourbon County any day of the week, but that may say as much about me as the beers.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2009 04:31:27 | More by callmescraps
Photo of kels


3.95/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thank you, thank you, thank you bamadog for being such a great friend and BA, and, of course, for sharing your Speedway Stout with me. Poured from the bomber into pint glasses.

Appearance: Dark and thick black with a 1 1/2 finger thick tan head. Really great head retention, filled with bubbles, leaving behind tremendous lacing.

Smell: Mouthwatering smell full of roasted mocha, dry coffee beans, chewy caramel malts and a surprising slight floral hoppiness.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Wow - definitely not what I expected, but that's what's great and sets this stout apart. An overwhelming bright hop presence dominates the palate initially, giving way to a slightly bitter, dry coffee ground presence with some dark, syrupy, chewy malts and fruitiness. A little hint of iron flavor comes through, like what you taste when you bite your lip and it bleeds. Big alcohol in the aftertaste is quite hot and warming.

Drinkability: Not too high, pretty unbalanced and big. I think I'd like it with 3-5 years age on it.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2009 21:46:15 | More by kels
Photo of jwhawkins81


3.95/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma - A level of sweet sugar with the expected roasted malts and a hint of alcohol.

Appearance - Dark dark with a brown head that thinned out to a collar.

Taste - Wow not what I expected from the aroma. A lot of smooth coffee flavors. Definitely a sipper. Some goos smoke notes too. A big beer but not a revelation. Coffee and roasty goodness but not greatness.

Notes - A very good beer just not a great one.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2010 21:23:29 | More by jwhawkins81
Photo of thetomG


3.95/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage...

Typical dark brown/black appearance. Very little head with minimal lacing left behind.

Aroma is (surprisingly, and somewhat disappointingly) pretty standard - roasty malts, little bit of coffee. Flavor is a bit more interesting, but still underwhelming - I was expecting more. Not bad by any means, but just sort of a standard flavor profile in my opinion.

Mouthfeel was a bit thin but this is a very drinkable beer and something I would try again - perhaps it improves with more age on it...

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2011 23:34:12 | More by thetomG
Photo of Verecund


3.95/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Opened on April 18, 2011. The last day of classes for the year.

Black, with a large four finger tan head. Recedes to a finger of froth. Thick lacing.

EDIT: PZ generously sent me a replacement bottle, which was more in line with my expectations. A very solid coffee stout. Thanks!

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2011 01:48:00 | More by Verecund
Photo of scottyg354


3.95/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Black, Opaque with nice thick head that holds up pretty well.

S: Coffee, Malt, Slight Alcohol, Burnt

T: Two different flavors stood Chocolate Burnt Coffee and a prune raisiny taste. Burnt yet slightly malty and sweet. Some light hopping.

MF: Smooth, Fairly thick, light carbonation typical of an American Stout.

O: Good brew. I would recommend it to friends.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2011 15:26:26 | More by scottyg354
Photo of beerandcycling88


3.95/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a snifter

A Pours black topped off with a tan head that left pretty good lacing when it receded.

S Lots of coffee with a bit of roastiness and some chocolate. But the coffee definitely takes center stage here.

T Starts off with with lots of slightly bitter earthy coffee followed by hints of chocolate, especially as it warms. There are hints of alcohol and dark fruit however the coffee is still the dominant factor here.

M fairly full bodied but nothing special.

Overall this is a pretty good coffee stout, nothing out of this world but still worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2012 00:33:28 | More by beerandcycling88
Photo of KYGunner


3.95/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Absolutely gorgeous in the pour this stout had a glowing opal darkness and a stiff, thick cap of bottle cap floating foam.

The scent had mostly coffee in the nose with a light chocolate malt but a phenolic duct tape aroma keeps invading my senses.

This needs to be served in the 60F area as if it's too cold the alcohol is overwhelming. When it warmed the roasted coffee flavor really came out. There is then a dark chocolate flavor before it ends in a marshmallow cream.

The feel is very full and creamy with substantial alcohol warmth. The warmth in many beers is a deterrent but hear it's an all over warmth that actually makes this experience all the more gratifying.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2013 14:07:45 | More by KYGunner
Photo of ChimRichels


3.95/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - What can I say? Black. That's about it. It sports quite a solid head for being a 12%, I still have a good finger worth of light brown head as I'm typing this, about 1 minute and a half after pouring.

S - Not quite as bold as I was expecting. Subtle cold coffee, some dark chocolate and a bit of hazelnut.

T - Sweet dried dark fruits, followed by some sweet chocolate and iced coffee. The coffee comes through subtly, but is very dominant on the finish.

M - Light on carbonation,thick, viscous and rich, as to be expected from a beer of this gravity.

O - Pretty solid stout, would probably buy again if it were cheaper.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2013 02:10:28 | More by ChimRichels
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.94/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2009 release poured from a 750ml bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark black color, with a short light brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, chocolate, coffee and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a hearty roasted malt character up front followed by mildly sweet flavors of chocolate and coffee. There are touches of dark fruit and smokiness in the background. The hop presence is very mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Viscous and smooth, heavy body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, very strong kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a long time, but there are several other big stouts that I would choose first.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2013 03:46:22 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of BlindPig


3.93/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer poured black. Little head that faded quickly. Smell had a bit of coffee with other aromas I couldn't pin point. Couldn't smell to much alcohol if any though. Taste was quite good. Wasn't in your face of coffee but the aftertaste was. It was quite bitter at the same time (which is a big plus in my book). Chocolate came through quite a bit also. The mouthfeel was smooth and oily. It was very thick and low carbonation. I'm not a big fan of stouts due to the coffee flavor. I could easily drink it though but no more than half a bottle.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2006 19:26:36 | More by BlindPig
Photo of gotbeer


3.93/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I sampled a bomber of this from the 06 vintage.

The appearance was like a great stout- dark, opaque, and with a mocha colored head.

The smell was very nice. Hints of chocolate.

The taste was big. Chocolate, coffee, and some noticable alcohol. It's a big imperial stout with some mocha notes to it.

The mouthfeel is thick and chewy.

Drinkability is good for the style. I don't know if the drinkability is good for the price around New England. Storm King, BBCS, and Stone IRS are also readily available for far less money, and all are delicious. Not to say Speedway was dissapointing- it is great. Worth a try on a special occasion.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2007 03:11:03 | More by gotbeer
Photo of genog


3.93/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, rich, dark black color with a light brown colored head that dies down to leave very little left. Smell is some coffee, molases, and I also smell some tinfoil, and a kind of chalky aroma. Taste is a little better than the smell with coffee, some dark cacao, and again a little more chalky taste. Mouthfeeling is creamy and watery with a medium feeling.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2007 19:35:25 | More by genog
Photo of franksnbeans


3.93/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black with a dark brown head that dies to a ring. Smells of coffee grinds, chalk, caramel and some tinfoil. Tastes of roasted coffee, molasses, chocolate and chalkey. Medium in the mouth. A sipper. Must admit I was dissapointed compared to all the hype.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2007 03:52:12 | More by franksnbeans
Photo of cswhitehorse


3.93/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Speedway Stout poured a viscous Texas tea with a wicked solid 2-3 finger foam head. I wanted to take a quick nap on the pillow like head. It left dotted slow like lacing.

The aroma was coffee filled with deep roasted malt smell. You could smell the 12% abv in the nose right away. Not strong enough to cause you to cry but close. I also got a muted dark chocolate smell.

The taste was real money if you are a coffee lover. If you don't like coffee very much you might want to stay away. Straight up roasted malt taste as it enters your mouth. It finished with a coffee bite and bitterness.

In the mouth the high alcohol burns the back of the throat but leaves a lovely coffee flavor that stays with you for some time. It is very chewy and thick.

Overall a wonderful example of a really good stout flavored with my other favorite drink, coffee. If I only lived in San Diego when the rain rarely comes. I would buy this again but the price will leave me to once a year.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2008 01:53:43 | More by cswhitehorse
Photo of HalfFull


3.93/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Stop 2 on my Big Stout Hunt, following The Abyss. Poured on tap into a pint glass, Speedway flows a rich black with a thin tan head. Head doesn't linger too long and offers little lacing on the glass.

Smell is pretty robust with hops, chocolate, carob, coffee and vanilla. A bit smoky at times, yet always interesting.

Flavor is of rich roasted malts and coffee, bit of chocolate. Somewhat complex yet not overly exciting. Feel is decent but one-sided. Lots of coffee on the finish and a good light carbonation, perhaps too light towards the end yielding a somewhat viscous feel. Drink is good as the alcohol isn't too obvious. A bit present on the nose but otherwise hidden well.

In the end, two big stouts and nobody really wins.

Serving type: on-tap

01-06-2009 04:47:45 | More by HalfFull
Photo of Lerxst


3.93/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Jet black, pours like used motor oil. Thin mocha head from a somewhat gentle pour faded quickly and left just a bit of lacing.

S-Coffee hits the nose first, some roasty malts and chocolate.

T-Coffee is up front with some chocolate, cola and some hotness from the alcohol.

M-Much thinner than I expected, but still medium bodied with very low carb level.

D-Its a sipper for sure and the coffee being so prominent would make it one and done for me. Don't get me wrong, I like my coffee in the morning and like it strong, but this one is a bit much for more than one.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2009 00:11:20 | More by Lerxst
Photo of stoutfiend27

North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

bottle sent by the very generous genghis22 big thanks to james for making our house warming truly special

a-pitch black..no head..espresso colored collar..decent lacing..no highlights when held up to light...

s-alcohol hits first and foremost..then some coffee residuals and a roasty character...a hint of sweetness in the nose..

t-again alcohol does not hide itself...followed subtly by coffee and roasted grains...sweet but overbearing...almost a fruity character there maybe from the choice of hops??..finishes hot and semi bitter

m-oily and thick...almost chewy...clings the mouth well and stays sip after sip..

d-due to the booziness of this brew a 750 would be too much for one sitting glad i had a friend to share this with..but it was enjoyable

overall a very good stout...the alcohol distracted me a little but i wish i could get more to age and see what that does to it...thanks again go out to james who truly outdid himself in our last trade..

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2009 01:19:33 | More by stoutfiend27
AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 3,979 ratings.