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AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

4,806 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,806
Reviews: 1,401
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 755
Gots: 1,350 | FT: 130
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: 4,806 | Reviews: 1,401 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of angrybabboon
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed 5/31/12: Twas the night before ACBF 2012...

Appearance: Borderline jet black - very dark brown, even around the edges - starts off with a creamy, tan head, leaves a sheet of spotty lacing

Smell: Moderately intense, with a lot going on - dark, rich espresso, and tons of chocolate - Like, dark chocolate cookie dough splashed with coffee - dark chocolate, along with some cocoa - roasted and burnt malts - some dark fruits

Taste: Rich and robust - despite the fact that coffee is added to this, the coffee flavor isn't remarkably pronounced - there is definitely a lot of dark, roasted coffee, but the other flavors are so powerful that it doesn't take center stage - heavily roasted, rich, and slightly burnt malts - chewy - tons of chocolate - dark chocolate, with some hints of milk chocolate (still bitter) - moderately bitter overall - some dark fruit, dark caramel, and molasses -did I mention complex?

Mouthfeel: Heavy, silky smooth, nicely carbonated, nearly a perfect sipper (the alcohol could mellow a bit)

Overall: Masterful

This is such an interesting beer. Intensely flavorful, but not intense. There's a lot going on, and it works very well. I will be buying this whenever I can. This bottle was fresh. I bet it's even better aged.

angrybabboon, Jun 01, 2012
Photo of TBoneJones
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Just now posting from a June '13 tasting:
Deep dark black pour, perfectly fluffy tan head. Great lacing.
Smell: Chocolate, licorice, coffee, oak, alcohol.
Very big stout, balanced dark chocolate/ dark coffee flavor with a thick, somewhat chewy texture. Plenty of toasted caramel. Some burn. Surely the best imperial stout over 10% abv. I've had. Among the best period. A definite sipper. Thick, smooth drinking despite the high alcohol. Quite an achievement. At room temperature for this tasting due to a hotel without a keyless refrigerator. I wish i could take more on our cruise, but rules are rules. A superb bottle score while in Seattle. As a general rule, if you enjoy imperial stouts and can find this and havent yet tried it, buy it.

TBoneJones, Dec 20, 2013
Photo of CHickman
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black color with hints of brown near the top where the light hits the beer and a huge foamy 2 finger light brown head that faded slowly and left very good spotty lacing and a foamy ring around the top of the beer. Textbook imperial stout look, right on.

Wow, a strong initial blast of coffee, bourbon, chocolate and cocoa hits hard but then settles down and becomes really enjoyable; a lot going on, including molasses, anise, medicine, dark fruit like raisin, dark chocolate, roasted grains, booze like a really sweet rum, and some light herbs. The chocolate, bourbon/booze and coffee are rich and powerful and smell excellent, making the strong ABV/booze blend in and not seem intimidating.

Tastes hits hard at first like the nose, and damn does it assault the palate in a good way. Flavors include coffee, bourbon, chocolate, molasses, anise, cocoa, medicine, dark fruits, raisin, dark chocolate like bakers chocolate, roasted grains, charcoal, light vanilla, tea leaf, floral hops, mild booze and then some more chocolate; it almost seems the coffee used described on the bottle was chocolate dipped coffee beans, which almost completely hid the alcohol and made it dangerously smooth to drink. This is still a slow sipper, but not many 12% ABV beers taste like desert and only leave a minor burn. Masterfully done, this stout dances on too sweet and one dimensional, while still allowing a massive amount of complexities and variations of chocolates and roasted malts to slide over your tongue and improve as it warms up. The hops and yeast get lost in the chocolate sweetness, but it really didn’t matter because the taste was exceptional.

Mouthfeel is so creamy and almost milky smooth, with very light carbonation, a very heavy chewy body that is so thick it could make a straw stand up, and a minor alcohol burn followed by more chocolate and roasty coffee notes that are on the dry side and slightly bitter side. The aftertaste has burnt wood or charcoal lingering, but the sweetness mellows it out for a gradual fade to dark chocolate black.

I thought that this would be overhyped, but I am so glad that it lived up to its reputation as an outstanding imperial stout. It was pricy, and I only let it age for 2 months, but it was an excellent overall beer and one that I highly recommend trying. It is worthy of the hype and its ranking among the best in this style.

CHickman, Jan 25, 2013
Photo of cosmicevan
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-poured a silky black with a nice creamy tan head into an oversized snifter. a swirl of the glass left a bit of a lacing trail. has a bit of a coffee glow to it.

S-a frappuccino all the way. creamy coffee vanilla deliciousness. it really is amazing what a beer can be and the smell on this beer (considering the ABV which is super well hidden) is a great example.

T-deep chocolate roasted malts and coffee.

M/D-hint of a bitter aftertaste. the acl tingle seems to balance it out. unbelievably smooth and easy to drink and surprisingly not heavy at all. a real pleasure to drink.

cosmicevan, Dec 11, 2010
Photo of br3wmeister
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Beautiful brown one inch and a half inch head that sticks to everything. Looks like mountains and valleys as the head drops and clumps together. The beer is pitch black, no light can make its way through it. Awesome head retention and great lacing.

S- The first thing I can detect in this beer is dark chocolate and heavily roasted barley. Some coffee aromas sneak through then a little citrus hoppyness and hints of plum and other dark fruits.

T- Waves of flavor come through on this beer, it starts our kinda bitter but then there is some malty and dark chocolate sweetness. Once again it returns to a bitter piny flavor and then drops into a deep rich fruity sweetness, lots of raisins and plum. Some hints of coffee throughout this flavorful ride also some alcohol warmth towards the end.

M- This is a thick, mouth coating beer with some hoppy bite and nice carbonation. The flavors hold onto the taste buds for quite some time.

Overall- This is a very good complex beer, I loved all the flavors and aromas it has going on. I did not realize it was 12% ABV, the alcohol does not make a big presence so it is very drinkable for such a big beer. I do recommend sharing this with a friend though.

br3wmeister, Jan 25, 2009
Photo of MisterClean
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 from tustin total wine.

A - Pours black with 2 fingers of dark chocolate head, leaves beautiful lacing.

S/T - Dark roast coffee, chocolate, some roast caramel flowery hops, and light bittering hops. So dreamy and lucious.

M - Full-bodied, slightly malt dominated, so good.

D - More please! Notice no alcohol in notes, and this is a 12% beer. Very dangerous to session.

MisterClean, Feb 12, 2010
Photo of JEdmund
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance
Pours out thick and black, with only a small tan head forming; film resides throughout

Smell
Robust coffee and dark fruit

Ttaste
Maybe my favorite RIS from the get-go. LOVE the coffee component of this beer as it really shines and tastes great. It absolutely adds to the profile. Next comes some chocolate syrup-like flavors that wrap around all that coffee and bitter hops to help balance it all out--yum! Some heat in the finish, but it's not overwhelming. Extremely drinkable for such a big beer.

Mouthfeel
Luscious body; tight carbonation (much like Old Rasputin) yields a wonderful airy and silky texture; so smooth while still being full.

Overall
Wonderfully complex, balanced, and flavorful. I had no trouble drinking this big bottle all by myself. This lives up to the hype!

JEdmund, Dec 29, 2008
Photo of hb812
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Pours dark as a cave with a frothy tan head that leaves some nice lacing as it dissipitates.

Nose is strong of a roasted coffee with some hints of dark chocolate ,and alcohol.

Mouth is very smooth, and full. It seemed a bit light for so much flavor. I was some what taken back by this (was kinda waiting for a thick heavy stout slick on the palate).

Drinkability the sky is the limit on this one. I can see this stout as one that will become a staple throughout the next chilling months that are upon us.

All in all this is one truly great stout. I tip my hat to you Alesmith sirs!

hb812, Nov 12, 2010
Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$14.20 at Downtown Wines in Boston.

Pours pitch black, no light penetrates even the extremities. A smallish tan cap quickly recedes to a ring and leaves lots of lace on the glass. A heady mix of dark, astringent malts, milk chocolate and cappucino fill my nostrils on first sniff. Chocolate gets bigger as the beer warms, and some alcohol heat becomes evident. The taste is an intense combination of concentrated Roasted barley, fresh ground coffee, dark and milk chocolate, toffee and overripe berries. A bit of alcohol lies in the back, quite modest for the high ABV. Some citric hoppiness emerges with warmth.

The mouthfeel is extremely full bodied with a silky almost oily texture. Carbonation is light. The finish is roasty and bitter. Very satisfying stuff.

CAMRAhardliner, Feb 04, 2008
Photo of armock
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Poured a pitch black color with a tan head that leaves lacing

S - Is of sweet chocolate malt goodness

T - Is a lot like the smell but even better with some coffee taste and a touch of alcohol

M - This beer is creamy smooth with light carbonation to it

D - I loved this beer I wish I was able to have here in Texas its definitely worth hunting down to have sometime

armock, Sep 03, 2008
Photo of ncvbc
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First thing's first, this beer lives up to all of its hype. Yes, I'm typing on a new keyboard because of it, but damn it was worth it. Poured into a snifter as well as a standard pint glass, the former spilling onto my keyboard and everything around it. Though I only consumed half or so, I can grasp the fact that this was amazing.

The bottle itself is worthy of a good appearance score. It poured a pitch black with hardly any light to show through. Thick, creamy tan head that sits upon the dark stillness. Close to a 5, though not quite.

Smell is heavily of roasted dark coffee. Slight bit of alcohol in the nose which plays well. Also some chocolate malts and dark, roasted malts.

Taste is perfection. Again, heavy on the coffee, roasted malts. Alcohol again is noticeable, though barely so and in a way that compliments the rest of the beer. Nothing overwhelming, just pure balance and excellent flavor.

Mouthfeel is creamy, full, and a little chewy. I had it lingering for hours, along with the smell on the floor and keyboard.

Drinkability also near exceptional. While I would enjoy this one for the duration of drinking it, there is definitely a limit.

This is about as close as I've been to giving perfect 5's all the way through, though the overall might not indicate it. I think this is in my top 5 favorites with ease and a contender for the top spot. I know for a fact that I will be seeking much more of this out in the future.

Big thanks to Phawk for the trade, it was well worth it!

ncvbc, Jul 16, 2007
Photo of squaremile
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at the AleSmith taproom in San Diego. Pours a smooth dark black with a brown head that stays for half of the pour. Smell is wonderful: coffee, cocoa, and hints of vanilla. Taste is more of the same and very well blended. The bottle can be a bit over coffeed, but this is not. Great smooth mouthfeel, no harshness at all. Beautiful.

squaremile, Jun 13, 2010
Photo of BeerResearcher
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

25.9oz Dark green bottle. No freshness date.
Inky, oily black, with a smallish tan head on top, along with some sticky lacing.
Rich, potent aromas of coffee, bitter chocolate, dark malt and piney hops are released upon first pour. A whiff of dark rum lingers in the background throughout.
A strong earthy dark malty body lays a solid foundation for a variety of complex and distinct flavors. Espresso, dark chocolate, buttered biscuits, cherries, white grapefruit, spruce, burnt caramel, vanilla, cream, and rum all mingle quite separately, then, as it warms, blends into a wowingly balanced Imperial Stout extravaganza.
Almost anyone can make an extreme beer. Many brewers lose sight of the purpose of their extreme creations by concocting a sea of over-the-top flavors and aromas with no clear direction in mind. AleSmith Owner/Brewer, Peter Zien understands the complex art of brewing beers that are full flavored and highly drinkable while maintaining high-quality beer-related foundations. Simply put; He gets it! And when a brewer "Gets it" we all get it. Get it?

BeerResearcher, Jun 20, 2006
Photo of falcon1
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A truly outstanding Imperial Stout to say the least. The aroma and taste of AleSmith Speedway Stout is really amazing to experience. One of the finest examples of a great and well crafted infusion of coffee (Ryan Brothers - Espresso Gold) and the Imperial Stout style.

falcon1, May 15, 2008
Photo of Callenak
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A beer I've had many a time and will always enjoy...

Pours a jet black with a nice beautiful mocha head.

Smell is nice and roasted. Roasted barley, coffee, etc. Everything a big boys stout should be. Hint of alcohol and chocolate.

What can be said about the taste that hasn't been already. A nice sweetness to it followed but roasted barley and you guessed it coffee. In my opinion coffee and big stouts go together like bullets and guns. Just meant to pair. Coffee is much more subdued than say Founders breakfast stout, but a great balance with the grain bill.

Mouthfeel is nice and thick with a mild carbonation. Chewy and delicious.

If ever had on tap it's even better. Even had it on nitro a couple times at Naja's but really didn't notice a big difference than just plain co2 dispensed. God bless AleSmith for adding to California's already great line up of amazing beers.

Callenak, Dec 13, 2006
Photo of jera1350
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jesse (arniepnminne) for this trade offering. No bottle date, but I've had this in the cellar for about 8 months.

A rich, deep and dark black with a cocoa colored head that is dense and creamy. The head leaves lots of sticky lace all over the glass. Nice head retention as well.

Rich chocolate smell. Chocolate ganache, chocolate mousse, milk chocolate, chocolate milk, okay, I think we get the picture. Some noticeable roast and hops in there as well. The nose is dominated though by an outstanding rich chocolate dessert smell.

Dark and complex tasting. Roasty malts mix with the coffee beans, which are now subdued, but still quite apparent. Notes of charred wood and dark chocolate with vanilla bean and some light alcohol. Getting some solid hopping towards the end. Very rich and tasty.

Creamy soft and smooth. Full bodied and actually quite dry after the initial stickiness. Some warm feeling from the alcohol.

This is a top notch imperial stout for sure. Very luxurious in about every aspect. If you have yet to have it, get one ASAP. I would like to try this one fresh next time for comparison.

jera1350, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of diomz88
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Coffee, right away smells good coffee, with chocolates, vanilla, toasty, roasty, smells great! Black, black and black. With minimal brownish head. Lacing is present too. So much going on with this beer. So smooth, compared to some other imperial stouts i've tasted before. Coffee, dark chocolate flavors, with some other flavors in it like hints of vanilla, and a little sweetness to it. I don't mind the bitterness because it is very appropriate for this kind of beer. Full bodied, very slick and smooth and clean, especially at the finish. This is a very enjoyable beer, great beer! Can't wait for the next one!

diomz88, Jan 02, 2011
Photo of bassmantin
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've been waiting to try this one for a while, and iconoklaztor just opened one and was generous enough to give me a taste.

Pours a very dark brown, slightly transparent but still very dark. Head is dark tan and robust with very fine lacing that clings to the glass for quite some time.

Smell is amazing, so deep, thick, and rich. Everything I was hoping for. Taste invades the palate. A strong chocolate taste, with an immense alcohol flavor that persists long after the mouthful is swallowed.

This is my first Speedway Stout, an '06, so I can't comment on how well it ages, but it seems like it has done quite well in the bottle.

Great beer. Try it if you can get one. A classic.

bassmantin, Feb 14, 2008
Photo of billab914
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into my Dogfish snifter glass. pours black with a thin tan colored bubbly foam on top. The head settled out and stuck to the sides of the glass but left good lacing on the sides as I drank it.

Not surprisingly coffee is the first thing that hits you in the aroma, but it also gives off some bitter chocolate and roasty flavors. Taste, much like the nose is coffee dominant but is also somewhat balanced out with the chocolate and roasted flavors.

Mouthfeel is on the thicker side and slightly creamy. Carbonation is moderate. It's very drinkable for being 12% abv, I didn't even think it was that high until I checked the bottle for the review. It's a very smooth and easy drinking coffee beer.

Overall one of the best stouts I have had, the coffee flavor is very present but not overdone. It's very surprising that it can be over 12% and have virtually no alcohol bite. It really drinks like it could be a 6% stout. I will be buying this one again as long as Southbay keeps shipping them to me.

billab914, Jan 30, 2010
Photo of Trueant1
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a bomber with a black and white lable. Paid 11.99 USD.

Pours a black oil like consistancy. Leaves a thin head that is dirty brown. Some brown around the edges in the beer are noted.

Exceptioanl smells.
Smells up front of dark chocolates, raisons, grapes, espresso. Other smells are chocolate mousses, yiesty smells, peppery spice, and dark molassis.

Tastes just like the smells. The surprise is the unexpected bitterness in the aftertaste. ( not a bad thing at all) Also reminds me of chocolate covered espresso beans.

Mouthfeel is oil coating like. With fine carbonation.

This stout lives up to it's reputation. What a great smell it omits every time you put your sniffer in the snifter.

Yum!

Trueant1, Nov 11, 2007
Photo of oakbluff
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottled shared with fisherman34 on a bright and cold saturday morning. Pours out dark espresso with a nose of espresso and dark chocolate. Thick body on this but not cloying in the slightest. Someow seems dry and viscous at the same time. Little ash in the taste, but also nicely balanced with the chocolate malts. Drinkability is very high given the potency of this brew. Excellent stuff.

oakbluff, Dec 19, 2007
Photo of pdoran10
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out pure black into a pint glass. Bottle split three ways. One finger of brown head that leaves nice lacing.

Smell is crisp dark malt with bitter earthy hop and slight coffee presence.

Taste is dry roasted bitter chocolate with light bitter coffee. I love dry thick stouts with coffee. This beer covers all my bases and then some. Roast and coffee meld well together.

Big substantial and dry with moderate carbonation. Lots of win here. I love me some dry, thick stout!

One glass was not enough.
Must
Have
More

pdoran10, Mar 14, 2011
Photo of jordanmiller
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

My first indepth review. Since turning 21, I've been trying many beers of many different varieties.

Appearance: Well, there is no way in hell that anyone who is into beer can't tell this is a stout. With a slightly vigorous pour, it gave off a good two finger, lightly chocolately malted head. I found the appareance very appropriate for a stout of this magnitude (from what I've heard before tasting)

Smell: Instantly, you know you're in for something big. Something pretty complex. The aroma is quite beautiful, but I almost want to give the word "dangerous" to it as well, because it smells almost gorgeously, but with a harsh note of darkness that I can't quite attribute to it.

Taste: Pretty much what I gathered from the nose. It comes in with a very dark, but very inviting taste, it almost clings to your tongue as it wants your whole pallette to just absorb all of the intricate flavors. In the very finish, I honestly just feel a great coffee stout.

Overall: This is a beer to sip lightly on throughout the night. Those harsh hints of chocolate and coffee are fantastic on the tongue, but if you try to take too much of it, you're going to miss what this beer is about. Grab it for a nice evening that you can afford sipping on a larger bottle for over a period of time, or save this for a sharing with friends. Amazing beer,

jordanmiller, Jun 10, 2013
Photo of hrking
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Bottle aged 2 years. Coffee seems to fall more to the background after aging letting the flavors blend together for a smoother chocolate roasted malt flavor. I have not tried the new version of this but I guess they tweaked it a little. The vintage stuff is still damn tasty.

hrking, Dec 29, 2009
Photo of SLeffler27
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The black beer and two-inch, dark walnut, rocky-to-creamy head cascades within a Dogfish Head snifter before quickly dropping to a dense, quarter inch after leaving a thick coating of lace.

Mellow, dark roasted malt with dark chocolate forms a backbone to the aroma profile. Warmth brings out malted milk, coffee ice cream, and alcohol fumes.

The flavor profile follows the nose, however focuses on coffee ice cream. Mellow, roasted bitterness makes this an exquisite sipping beer that unfolds with warmth, adding hints of cigar smoke and leather. The long, pleasant finish returns light bitterness.

This is a full, almost dense, bodied beer with warm, yet controlled, alcohol, soft carbonation, and a velvety texture. The finish brings out a hint of astringency.

Speedway Stout is a superb compliment to reading on a warm Saturday afternoon in January.

SLeffler27, Apr 21, 2013
AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 4,806 ratings.