AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

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

5,618 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,618
Reviews: 1,510
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.66%
Wants: 830
Gots: 1,657 | FT: 152
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,618 | Reviews: 1,510
Photo of mmurphy525
4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

Photo of cwguy5
4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
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

Photo of KeefD
4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
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!

Photo of SupaCelt
4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

Photo of Estarrio
4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

Photo of Cisco619
4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

64 oz growler poured into Duvel tulip. Yet again, another staple in my fridge I felt was time to review.

A: Black with a bit of light that illuminates a sliver of the edge to a reddish brown. Mocha colored head that quickly disappears rapidly, leaving a thin halo to remain around the edge of the glass. Had a nice viscosity to it when I poured. What you expect a high abv stout to look like.

S: Coffee with a touch of roasted malt. A slight hint of chocolate. Almost completely hides the alcohol. Just a hint is present. 12% abv well hidden.

T: Coffee tempered by bakers chocolate with a slight roasted malt hint. Alcohol is more apparent than in the nose, but not overbearing.

M: Nice & robust that leaves a silky smooth lingering feeling. This is why I love the style. Big & bold yet flavorful & balanced.

O: One of my favorite stouts. I'm lucky i live close to the brewery & have the ability to have this in my fridge regularly. Nice blend of flavors that achieves great balance.

Photo of DosBeerigos
4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

C: Pitch black hard to tell how clear it is, but nice chocolate head
H: Black
N: At cold temp. nose is not there at all, warms to a coffee, roasty malt, slight boozie

The attack of the Speedway Stout is light on chocolate and heavy on coffee, it doesn't seem overly complex. Though pretty straight forward, the body feel of the beer is dead on, it is smooth and creamy. The carbonation is spot-on for a stout, and helps with the consistency of the body. I was impressed with this beer because of the hype it gets online, well it followed through just fine. Dare I say that it almost taste like chocolate milk (if you add a lot of chocolate syrup to your cup)???? I heard the availability of this beer is insane in San Diego, like you can go to 711 and pick up a bottle. If thats the case, I am thinking about relocating!

Photo of Gushue3
4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Philly for this beer.

A. Pours dark brown and has an enormous brown head. Great retention thats very foamy. Body is black and has a few carb bubbles sitting on the side of the glass

S. Big coffee bean roast and sweetness. Somewhat bitter.

T. Coffee bean roast with sone sweetness behind it. Chocolate interlaced with the coffee. Theres some sweet dark feuits comming through as it warms up. Finish is slightly bitter roast that lingers a bit.

M. Nice full bodied feel with minimal carbonation, the way i like my stouts.

O. Nice beer here. Didnt really floor me bit i may have had too high expectations but maybe they were a little too high?. But either way, nice beer that i could get more often.

Photo of jojox
4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a - Black Black. Pours Viscous. Thin head which holds on a while, then fades, but stays thin around the edges.

s - Raisin-y. Dark roast, lots of coffee.

t - WOW, huge flavor! Lots of coffee, huge roasted/burnt flavors. No noticeable alcohol. Almost over the top with roast/burnt flavor. Bitterness is a bit harsh, combined with the burnt aspect.

m - really nice. Viscous

d - I could drink 2.

Impressions - a great RIS which got better as it warmed up - it started quite cold. The roasted flavor boardered and really overflowed into "burnt" territory, I'm wondering how much black patent malt and total roasted malts there were to give it the more charcoal taste. Not sure how that flavor will age, but I can see combined with oak barrels that would be quite delicious! I will age 6+ months before I open the next.

Photo of Tupperwolf
4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Where to start?

In the San Diego area there seems to have been a shortage of Speedway Stout; I swung by the brewery to buy some and was informed by a friendly but chagrined employee (Mike? Matt?) that they were waiting on coffee from Ryan Bros. before they could get a new batch on the market and that they didn't have any left at the brewery at all. He recommended a couple of places, both of which didn't have it, and I stumbled upon the last bottle at BevMo. I intended to give the bottle away for Chanukah, but was determined to at least try it. At the time I didn't have a chance to review, and I stumbled across another couple of bottles at Dick's Liquor. I've been saving my bottle for some time now; It's been calling to me.

I'm dissappointed immediately by the utter lack of a head; The cap hissed when I opened it, so I assume the cap seal wasn't bad, but there's just no head at all other than a few bubbles I force with an aggressive pour that soon dissappear. I'm left with a murky brownish-black tulip full of what looks like a nightmare child of dark wine and the blackest of military coffees. I hate giving this beer a below average score for appearance but as far as I can tell there's nothing wrong with my particular bottle - the other sample I tried was similarly headless.

The smell punches you in the nose with coffee (duh) and bitter baker's chocolate. Little whiffs of raisin and sour-fruity-sweetness tie the two together, and the alcohol makes a slight appearance. Heady, heavy, alcoholic, the scent is somewhat intimidating. That's a good thing!

The taste is so full of coffee, toffee and chocolate notes it's like drinking a cool mocha (maybe even an Irish coffee, with the alcoholic notes on the back of the tongue). The taste is just like the smell, with slight variations in the acidity of the raisin-plum notes that are the background to the chocolate-coffee. Big, big flavors have been forced into this one alongside big abv.

Mouthfeel takes a big hit because this simply doesn't have any carbonation. This Imperial/Double Stout has the right consistency - chewy and sticky, with lingering sheets of carmally flavors coating the inside of the mouth that just won't go away - but I wish it had some froth to liven things up a bit more than they already are.

For a Big Beer, this one drinks like a champ. Go into the game expecting alcohol and coffee and you'll flip for this one.

It may seem obvious that something was wrong with my bottle and I should have had more carbonation; But I reviews 'em as I sees 'em. I'm more than willing to try another bottle of this to see if I get a better example! Until then, my review stands.

Photo of OldSock
4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – 750 ml bottle bought several months ago at Bev Mo and carried back to Mass with me on a plane. Not sure of the age, but the bottle has the old paper label with silver foil. In my tulip the beer is pitch black with a bubbly head with good retention and lacing.

Smell – Rich chocolate and coffee without a hint of alcohol. Sadly, I believe that this has a bit of oxidation resulting in a bit of cardboard in the aroma.

Taste – The perceived oxidation in the nose does not appear in the taste. At first it has a slight charcoal flavor, but that dies down quickly and the coffee flavor takes over. Slightly bitter aftertaste. As I drink more the sharp roastiness calms down and the full flavors off this beer come out. There is a solid amount of hop bitterness, but not much hop flavor. Alcohol is only mildly present, impressive for such a big beer.

Mouthfeel – Medium-full body for the style with subdued carbonation.

Drinkability & Notes – In an hour and a half or so I had no problem, aside from inebriation, polishing off the whole 750 by myself. Luckily this beer just became available near by, so I will give a fresh bottle a try to see how it compares to this abused bottle. Overall, I feel like without the addition of coffee this would be a stout lacking flavor, there just isn't much to the base beer. A solid coffee stout, but at least this bottle is not earth shattering.

Photo of kbutler1
4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received this beauty from fbm115 (thanks!)
Pours a deep, dark black with a HUGE froathy tan head. Smells just like the bottle says: Roasty, toasy, and coffee with a subtle sweetness in the nose.
Sweet up front with an aggressive bitterness in the back end. Very drinkable. Slight alcohol taste in the end, glad I have another in the cellar as it might mellow out with some age on it.

Photo of wknight167
4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Apearance - Pours jet black with a 2 finger light brown head that sticks around quite a while.

Nose- Just a hint of booze, but mainly coffee, vanilla, roast malt and milk chocolate.

Palate- Warming coffee, sweet vanilla and chocolate. Sweetness is very well balanced with the roast grains with the grains just winning out. Alcohol is very well hidden.

Mouthfeel- Full bodied, Med carb. I would not have guessed the alcohol percentage.

Drinkability- I would be happy to come home to a fridge full of these.

Photo of ChugginOil
4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beast pours a mad thick pitch black. Mocha head sits at less than an inch. Sticky lacing leaves little bubbles around the glass. The nose is chocolatey and roasty. There is a bit of coffee involved but at the nose I am almost convinced that I had held onto this beer for longer than I should have. Nontheless, the massive chocolate and roasty offerings create a nice aroma. The taste is straight Willy Wonka. Chocolate infused with some toffee and deeply roasted malt. Great stuff going on here but the moutjfeel is the kicker. Oily, viscious and bold, Speedway Stout packs a candied, sticky punch that lathers the palate. Overall, this was a trade worthy of making as I do not have access to Alesmith brews and the flavors are robust and beastly. But, now
im ready to try this stout fresh. Love it.

Photo of OhSoHoppy
4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a Bottle to a Glass.
This Beer pours like a black hole. no light passes through. Coffee brownish tint around the edges. The Head Looks like a dark latte color, larger bubbles than anticipated
Smell is sweet coffee and a little chocolaty
Taste is Coffee Coffee Coffee, very smooth, chocolaty but not as much as the smell would make you think. Love the aftertaste - alcohol at first but then smooth creamy coffee.
Mouth feel is Heavy body with warm feel, very good carbonation for this beer.
Overall this beer is great, I am tempted to add some coffee creamer to this bee.r I would buy it again, it's a slow drink, sip the whole thing. no way could i drink this fast. Recommend to dark heavy beer lovers

Photo of beercollector
4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer was a dark black with a frothy head that quickly diminished. It had some lacing but did not stay. The first hit to my nose was molasses. There was no hop odor.

It tasted warm and roasty. Moderately sweet a slight bitterness and the toasted coffee flavor. It has a creamy mouthfeel and very soft carbonation.

I like this beer but not as much as other stouts in my collection. I got two bottles so I'll put one down and try it in a year or so. I think this may mellow and blend together to be a bit richer. As this beer warmed up to room temp. It got fuller and richer. The bottle was not refrigerated. I took it form the cellar and poured. Digital temp is 71 degrees. I'll have to try a bottle at the 55 degrees they recommend.

Photo of TonyBrew
4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A friend of mine was holding onto this bottle for a little while and it was beautiful. A thick dark appearance with a great chocolaty aroma. The taste, well - creamy goodness. I only wish it was the first beer of the night instead of the last (third) so my sense of smeall and taste were a bit more refreshed. I highly recommend this to anyone who likes American Stouts!

Photo of PatronWizard
4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is the third beer in my birthday trifecta. A lone tiger in the year of the rat. Poured a big ass 750ml into my glass, wife promised to help (yeah right)...

Man, I thought Stone Imperial Russian Stout was black. This bitch is black! Looks like 30wt after 10,000 miles. Not that I would know, I change my oil every 24 hours. Heh, heh. Shows a little dark brown hue around the edges in bright light, otherwise-black.

Smell: coffee beans, dark fruit, alcohol.

Taste: starts smooth, then the 12% says "hey, stupid, here I am." Whoo hoo! Also ... whoo hoo!

Uber rich, creamy, smooth, like I'm getting my chassis lubed. Heh, heh. Great stuff. It's possible that I may, might, maybe, prefer the Stone RIS but I just can't tell.

Overall: Happy birthday to ME!!!

Photo of tr4nc3d
4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into my tulip

Opaque black with a huge dense two and half inch brown colored head. Long lasting head that slowly fades away and leaves good amounts of lacing.

Aroma consist of chocolate and lots of it. Milk chocolate dominates the aroma with bits of dark chocolate as well. Some dark cherries, brownies, espresso, vanilla, and roasted malts.

Taste upfront is of dark chocolate with a bit of espresso. Mild milk chocolate midway with a touch of vanilla. Some barley and bit of coffee bitterness in the finish.

Full bodied with minimal carbonation. Sweet aftertaste.

Good stout that I would recommend for others to try.

Photo of n2185
4.07/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours black with two fingers of dark brown head that recedes into a thin brown cap with a little lacing.

S: Roasted malts at first followed by some sweet, creamy chocolate. Big, roasted, robust coffee aromas bring up the finish. Smells quite nice.

T: Roasted malts with semi-sweet chocolate flavors at first. Big, robust coffee flavors follow with a fairly strong bitter, char flavor that lingers a bit. Slight alcohol burn.

M: Thick body with medium carbonation, this beer has quite a bit of carbonation for the style which accents the bitter flavors.

O: Definitely a good coffee stout, though a bit strong on the char/bitter flavors for my tastes. I'd also like it to be a bit creamier. Still, I could drink this on a regular basis.

Photo of BostonHops
4.07/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle served in a tulip.

pours a silky, deep black-brown with a thin mocha/tan toned head that quickly disspiates into a collar around the glass.

smell is alive with roasted malt, coffee, chocolatey goodness - wow! smells decadent... taste follows the nose, but less so than i had presumed; a bit disappointing considering the promise of the aroma. there's a ramped up bitterness to it that is not entirely pleasant... strong coffee flavors from the nose pull through; molasses; dark chocolate. 12% ABV very well hidden.

smooth mouthfeel, surprisingly a bit thin, with low carbonation. i would definitely have another, and a finely crafted brew this is, though in the final analysis i'd put it a step behind my favorite imperial stouts... IMO not sure it lives up to the substantial hype that it garners.

original review on: 07-25-2010

Photo of eclipse54
4.07/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 750 mL bottle sent by FluffyMcTingles; thank you for this want! Opened as part of a small stout tasting, and poured into a 5 oz. snifter. Reviewed from notes taken 01/03/2012.

Typical black body with a good amount of brown head; moderate retention and a small amount of lacing to round it out.

The aroma places an emphasis on the coffee, with caramel, chocolate, brown sugar, and vanilla to round it out. Very well balanced and inviting. I have "Very nice!" written down in the margin, so I think I liked it.

Taste is of coffee, a nice mocha essence from the chocolate, vanilla, cacao, caramel, and faint alcohol. I had been warned of the ethanol presence in this fresh bottle, but decided to crack it open anyway; not disappointed in the choice, but would love to revisit a slightly older bottle.

Mouthfeel is rich and thick, with a bit of a syrupy texture that coats the mouth. A slight ethanol burn on the finish.

Overall, a great integration of the coffee into a solid stout. As I mentioned, I'd love to try this again with a bit of age on it to hopefully let some of the alcohol mellow, but I really enjoyed this one fresh as well.

Photo of perrymarcus
4.07/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle served in a tulip.

pours a silky, deep blackish brown with a thin mocha/tan toned head that quickly disspiates into a collar around the glass.

smell is alive with roasted malt, coffee, chocolatey goodness - wow! smells decadent... taste follows the nose, but less so than i had presumed; a bit disappointing considering the promise of the aroma. there's a bitterness to it that is not entirely pleasant... strong coffee flavors from the nose pull through; molasses; dark chocolate. 12% ABV very well hidden.

has a silky mouthfeel, a bit thin, with low carbonation. i would definitely have another, and a finely crafted brew this is, though in the final analysis i'd put it a step behind my favorite imperial stouts... IMO not sure it lives up to the substantial hype.

Photo of Brez07
4.07/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle split into Maine Beer Company glasses. Consumed about 2 months ago

A: The beer is dark brown. Pours with a 1 finger mocha colored head. Average retention but no lacing

S: Interesting nose, but not quite what I was expecting. Mix of roasted malt and creamed coffee. Definitely more roast then coffee. Some bitter chocolate

T: Ah, there is the coffee I was hoping for. Coffee presence is much larger, but still has the accompanying roasted malt and bitter chocolate. Small alcohol presence

M: Medium bodied, bordering on full. Super smooth with light carbonation. Roasted coffee aftertaste

D: A good beer that just didn't quite live up to my expectations. Nice coffee beer but not much also stood out. Worth trying if you happen upon it

Photo of bobhits
4.07/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Black as night, what little head forms is crushed by alcohol.

Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, lightly burnt malts, espresso, and heavy cream.

Dark malts, dark roasted coffee grinds, bakers chocolate, and a surprising amount of hops really show through in this. This is NOT a coffee stout, simply a stout that coffee was added to add a layer of complexity.

This is a big beer, but lets be honest in the world of barrel aged beers like bourbon county stout, this beer seems rather small. The alcohol however is NOT small and it adds a warning with every drink as it warms the whole body.

This is a really really nice stout, but given beers like Narwal, founders breakfast stout, founders imperial stout....I just don't think this lives up to the hype. Most likely that's just a sign of the times and how brewers are more and more able to improve on the past. Still a worthy beer even at the 12.99 price tag I paid.

AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 5,618 ratings.