AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,483 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 1,483
Hads: 5,678
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 8.94%
Wants: 836
Gots: 1,682 | FT: 154
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: 1,483 | Hads: 5,678
Photo of BostonHops
4.07/5  rDev -6.7%
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 (847 characters)

Photo of eclipse54
4.07/5  rDev -6.7%
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. (1,143 characters)

Photo of perrymarcus
4.07/5  rDev -6.7%
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. (785 characters)

Photo of Brez07
4.07/5  rDev -6.7%
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 (752 characters)

Photo of bobhits
4.07/5  rDev -6.7%
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. (920 characters)

Photo of baconsausage
4.06/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black wit a nice tan halo that laces nicely down the glass. Aromas of coffee and chocolate in a sea of booze. Taste follows nose with a bit of vanilla sweetness to round it all out. Nice thick mouth coats the tounge. This is a sipper, and opens as it warms to fill the senses with awesomeness. (299 characters)

Photo of dbalsock
4.06/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours pitch black with a hint of blue (I love that in stouts) and loads of vanilla head... more head than I've seen in months. It is already brewtiful, but upon drinking I notice the lacing is incredible!

Smell: Flowery hops, carramel and coffee combine with a smokey sensation to make this a pleasant aroma. It all mixes well in the nose, but nothing stands out or makes it fantastic.

Taste: The alcohol mix with molasses, chocolate, grapefruit and other fruit (maybe banana or plum... but I'm having a hard time picking it out). It is complex and very well done, but again, nothing overly striking.

Mouthfeel: Thick, creamy and with a bitter balance, this is a fantastic mouthfeel for a stout. I find the alcoholic aftertaste goes well with the dense body to create a sensational feel. I only wish there was a little more bitterness at the end.

Drinkability: Although this has a high abv, I believe I could go through a few pints of it in a sitting... it's that dangerous. (998 characters)

Photo of tarheels86
4.06/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL 2008 ed. into snifter. Pours an opaque black with a small, dark tan head that disappears after awhile. Spotty lacing. Aroma of sour black cherries, chocolate covered strawberries, and fresh granny smith apples. Taste is sour with black cherries, strawberry tart, semisweet chocolate. Very oily, velvety mouthfeel that is coating on the palate. Reminds me of an imperial Bell’s Cherry Stout. Could actually be an RIS and Sour Ale combined. 12% is barely noticeable. As this drink warms, I start to get some espresso and vanilla ice cream as well as heavy whipping cream. Maybe this needs to be aged more but the overall impression I had was that this was very sour. 7/4/8/5/15=3.9

Tap at Hamilton’s SD. Pours near jet black with a fluffy, super rocky grayish head that has excellent retention and big, sheety lace. Aroma and taste are 100% coffee. Not much complexity. Thin to creamy mouthfeel. Pretty yummy but overall like iced coffee.

750mL 2009 ed. Pours near jet black with a towering deep brown to almost red mocha red with excellent retention and very good sheety lace. Excellent fresh, green coffee, tropical notes, bitter dark chocolate in the aroma. Taste is extremely bitter cacao and dark chocolate. Very hoppy but not distracting from the coffee. No residual sugars, no cloying sweetness. The 12% is perfectly hidden. Very good. 8/5/8/4/15=4.0 (1,368 characters)

Photo of 4000qtrap
4.06/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Source/Serving: Draft

Smell: Lightly roasted coffee and chocolate in equal measures with creamy and caramel overtones. A hint of smoky/wood notes and some raisins and ripe fruit as it warms.

Taste: Higher carbonation than most stouts and some extra bitter roast coffee notes. Definite smokiness, but its soft and rounded not in your face. While it has good flavor it's a little one dimensional with no real changes in the flavor profile throughout the sip. (458 characters)

Photo of chicagobeerriot
4.06/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted blind as part of Blind Beer BIF #3 with much thanks to sholland119.

Pours flat black with only the slightest amount of ruby light at the extreme edge of the glass. Cappuccino-colored foam sticks around for awhile and creates some nice latticework as it slowly dissipates.

The nose is heavily hit with dark toast and coffee. There's a bit of molasses and vanilla in the background, but overall I'm expecting the char to outweigh the sweet.

Mouthfeel is full but not overly syrupy. A bit of carbonation keeps this from being too much of a beer-shake.

As I suspected, when administered internally, the coffee and char take an unquestionable lead. There's a bit of chocolate sweetness in there too, but, in general, this is a coffee bomb. Not as much complexity as a Peche Mortel or Founder's Breakfast Stout, but as a coffee geek, this does the trick. The finish has a little alcohol heat which might mellow with age, but the heat is moderated nicely by a prolonged hop and baker's chocolate bitterness (plus I wouldn't want to age it and lose the coffee). (1,066 characters)

Photo of westweasel
4.06/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured out a beautiful jet black liquid with a tall over one-inch frothy tan head. It looks like a root beer float. Tons of lacing were left on the glass. The aromas were a strong roastyness, coffee, and dark chocolate.

The taste is dominated by coffee and roasted grains. There is a nice bitter bite at the end of the swallow. The mouthfeel is medium to full.

The drinkability is very good. It's hard to tell that this is a high-alcohol beer. (454 characters)

Photo of Spica66
4.06/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Received this one from BigTomZ. Thanks, Tom!

750ml black glass champagne bottle with all silver/grey printed-on graphics and a silver foil on the top. Very sharp appearance to this bottle.

Poured into tulip

A: Black as night. Excellent head formation and retention. This is exactly how a stout should look in the glass.

S: Even when pouring, chocolate aromas were wafting up from the glasses. The labeling talks about the pounds and pounds of coffee used the beer, but neither Fr. Ian nor I smelled anything special about the coffee notes and they were hard to find under the bitter chocolate smell.

T: Very dark roast taste. Coffee and dark chocolate notes as one would expect from a beer this dark. The 12% does not show up until well down the esophagus.

M: Way too thin for this big of a beer. I was really surprised by how light it was and the lack of creaminess or roundness in the mouth.

D: This is easily one of the easiest to drink high-ABV stouts I have ever had. (983 characters)

Photo of lordofstarside
4.06/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 3/27/14

Pours black with a finger of foam that's receded pretty quickly. No retention or visibility. Lacing is okay, leaves a nice frothy ring around the glass

Smells of dark fruit, cherry, dark chocolate, coffee, and notes of vanilla. Finishes with some alcohol, really fruity

Taste is also pretty fruity. Upfront cherry and raspberry, followed by dark chocolate and some espresso. Alcohol ensues

Feel is pretty thick and creamy. Alcohol is pretty noticeable, sips okay

Overall okay, didn't live up to the hype for me, though. Coffee for the most part was pretty absent, what's up with that (604 characters)

Photo of Gmann
4.05/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch black color, total darkness. The head is tight and creamy looking and settles into a sparse cap.

The aroma is of a mild chocolate, caramel and coffee. There are some ash notes perhaps some burnt wood. Its a nice aroma just not very strong.

The taste is of a strong roasted malt and expresso roast. There is some caramel sweetness and a sour berry thing. Some bitter chocolate, licorice and vanilla notes finish the flavor profile. A very roast dominated stout.

The feel is well-bodied with semi-soft carbonation which gives the beer a silky feel. Starts off sweet but ends bitter with a subtle sour twang. ABV is well hidden.

A very roasty stout with bitter coffee flavors. Quite substantial. I prefer to see some other flavors equalize the heavy roast so I scored lower but heavy roast fans will love it. (823 characters)

Photo of oline73
4.05/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown, almost black, with no light coming through at all. There is a half finger of tan head that fades to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Very sweet and roasty with lots of coffee and roasted malt dominating. There is some dark fruit, chocolate, and alcohol in there as well.

Taste: Very smooth but very roasty. The coffee and roast make this one pretty bitter, but there is a ton of sweetness to balance it out. Some chocolate and dark fruit. Roasty alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Very thick body, sticks to your mouth. Tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: Very well balanced other than the bitterness in the finish. I would have liked the finish to be a little bit smoother, but still a wonderful beer. I'd love to have it again. (834 characters)

Photo of Absumaster
4.05/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is a black, non transparant beer with a small off-white head.

Smell is strong roasted that is predominantly black malt. There is some smoke and the coffee beans are in here, but not as upfront as I expected. You would have to know it to smell it.

Taste is roasted and burned, I get goose bums on my back at the first sip. This stuff is bitter! Now I get the coffee sensation, but still it is not strong and does not smell like fresh ground coffee or like fresh coffee. You could have fooled me and say that the burned/ roasted notes came from the dark malts. Bitterness is high and dominated by US hops, which means piney and citric aggressive bold bitterness and full of cohumulone.
The body is medium and drinkability is good, for a 12%ABV beer they have hidden the alcohol remarkably well, there is not even a warming sensation. Aftertaste is dry and lingering bitter and roasted.

I got this bottle from dogfooddog, thanks again! (949 characters)

Photo of mikeg67
4.05/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle. Pours black with tall, long lasting, creamy, brown head, nice lacing and lovely carbonation. Aroma is of roasted malt, toast, dark fruit herbal hops. Body is full, creamy and slightly crisp. Taste is of nutty, toasted malt, coffee, chocolate, brown sugar, dark fruit and herbal hops. Finish is long and bitter. Great Imperial Stout. (352 characters)

Photo of Frozensoul327
4.05/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Wow. Amazing stout. From the recommended tulip glass. Pours out to a jet black color with a small head of brown foam. Lower carbonation. Aromas of dark chocolate, coffee, rich toasted malts and cocoa are present, blending well and hinting at the richness that this beer offers. Flavors of rich full bodied roasted malt, smooth java, a touch of dark fruits, cocoa, and a dryness likely from the hops. Nice. Mouthfeel is smooth, creamy and dense. Magnificent. Drinkability is only average, as this is one once in awhile brew, not intended for or enjoyable on a regular basis. Special thanks to Himerman for the sample. (616 characters)

Photo of Matthew
4.05/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml green bottle. Pours out a dark black, no light can get though this one. Nice big thick dirty tan head sits atop the inky black beer.
First big aroma I noticed with this beer is unsweetened dark chocolate, with some faint coffee undertones and big whiffs of alcohol. As the beer warmed the coffee character in the nose become more apparant along with the chocolate aromas and the big alcohol element began to fade a bit.
Nice big chocolatley, bitter coffee tastes up front with some nice dark roasted malt flavors that really pull through with warmer drinking temperatures. Alcohol is very present but doesnt hurt the flavor of the beer, just its drinkability.
The mouthfeel is not as big and viscous as I had initially had expected but is not too thin by any means for a big stout like this one. Definatley a sipping brew. I'd think that this beer will get better with a year in the cellar. We shall see. (916 characters)

Photo of AwYeh
4.05/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bomber into a 16oz. snifter.

A: Pours a very dark brown, almost black, with less than a finger of brown head.

S: Aroma is of strong coffee and chocolate, with a good deal of ethanol.

T: Taste follows aroma; AleSmith has got the flavor balance (and quality, especially on the coffee) down pretty well. Hints of vanilla show up too. A bit more ethanol than I would like holds this back from being rated higher. Lingering bittersweet finish, with coffee and dark chocolate holding strong.

M: Medium bodied with soft carbonation; very smooth for such a big stout.

D: In my first bottle of Speedway the 12% ABV was well hidden, but on the second it was quite noticeable (perhaps the first one was older than I expected). Goes down easily if you're feeling something sweet, but it was a bit hard to finish my half of a bomber split with Jesse13713 (thanks!) due to the sweetness this time. (908 characters)

Photo of MrDanno96
4.05/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark pour with about a finger of tan head. Just a little spotty lace coats the sides of the glass.

S: Tons of roasted malt and coffee - like sticking my nose into a cup of iced dark roast coffee. Some dark chocolate and smokiness are also detectable around the coffee aroma.

T: Similar to the nose in most respects - very coffee dominant. Strong espresso and dark patent malt dominate the flavor with dark chocolate in the background. Fairly distinct burnt coffee aftertaste.

M: Nice full body with a moderate amount of carbonation. Nice and smooth going down. Alcohol very well hidden!

D: All around this is a very solid Imperial Stout. I think I could do with a little less coffee being added in order to bring out some of the brew's other flavors. In the end, I like this beer, but I don't think it's one of the top 20 beers in the world. (851 characters)

Photo of dogfooddog
4.05/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml, pours with a small dark tan head. nose is slightly sweet, very chocolate-like, not really much in the way of roasted or burnt odors here at this point. served 50f.

some alcohol gets through into the taste, at 12% not that surprising. once again, semi-sweet chocolate is the major feature. beyond that, there is a slightly sour bitterness into the aftertaste/finish. maybe I am missing something, but this is not a terribly complex drink. I am surprised by its relatively high ratings.

very pleasant 12% american stout, very nicely balanced taste, worth trying, along with alesmith's other products.

I will note that I believe the size and abv of this beer are too much, combined. I understand this is a 'premium-priced' alesmith product, but some smaller alternative (like a 375ml corked bottle) would be nice if one were to wish to drink this without either dumping half the bottle or being mildly inebriated upon finishing it. (945 characters)

Photo of Vdubb86
4.05/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter

Thanks to Axic10 for this want

This beer pours a decent blackness into the glass topped by a deep brown foam on the surface. The aromatics are solid. They remind of lots of coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, and leather. The taste is holy crap a lot of coffee. It was more of a punch in the face with the amount of bitterness that came up front. The coffee flavor took over the taste of this beer with mostly dark roast. The more this beer was drank the more it grew on me, but initially it was hard to swallow. This beer was consumed at the appropriate temperature and my coffee loving participant in this experience with me agreed this is a lot of delicious coffee flavor. The mouthfeel is still acidic and astringent, but with that kinda being the point I remain lenient to them. Overall this was a damn good coffee imperial stout, it's odd that they don't advertise it at that. Still it's tasty as heck and I wouldn't mind sharing it with friends again. (977 characters)

Photo of koopa
4.05/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours black as the devil's soul while sunbathing on a beach during a total solar eclipse. Staring into the glass is like staring into a murderers pupils. Mocha 2 finger crown shows little retention and a few swirls of lace.

Smell: A nice display of coffee and dark chocolate over extremely roasty malt over the tiniest hint of alcohol.

Taste: Loads of coffee, dark roasted malt, a bit of alcohol warmth, and a long finish that is slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel: Rich and full bodied with minimal carbonation and a slickness.

Drinkability: heavy mouthfeel, low carbonation, and a double digit abv is making this 750ml a challenge for me to finish alone :) (668 characters)

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.05/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I first tried this over a year ago and couldn't stand it. I think the problem was that I drank it after four (or so) lighter beers during a poker game, and all I needed was to finish with more session beers. It was so thick and heavy...

Now I tried it again and found it to be really good. The appearance was nice, pitch black with a decent tan foam on top. It smelled appetizing too, coffee and malt and a little chocolate. The taste was mostly the same, very good but not my favorite coffeed stout (I like Two Brothers Imperial Stout and Founders Breakfast Stout more).

Maybe not worth the price for me, but it was nice anyway. (635 characters)

AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,483 ratings.