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AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

5,344 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,344
Reviews: 1,458
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 799
Gots: 1,537 | FT: 141
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: 5,344 | Reviews: 1,458 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of LambicPentameter
4.21/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed out of a dark brown 750 mL bottle with no dating that I can find. It seems to have rubbed off in the trip it had to take from the Pacific NW to arrive at my doorstep. No matter, as the style should allow it to hold up well, even if it's a little older. Poured into a standard 16 oz tumbler.

Appearance - The body of this beer is where light goes to die. It's hard to tell if it's straight-up black or a brown so dark that it might as well be black. It seems slightly to my eyes as if it's the former rather than the latter. Atop the body sits a generous, creamy khaki head. Dissipates over about 2-3 minutes, leaving sparse lacing, but really nothing to speak of.

Smell - Knowing this is a coffee stout, I expected the aroma to be a little more fresh-ground espresso. Don't get me wrong, that distinctive strong coffee ground characteristic is there, but it's on a pretty level playing feel with the charred notes of roasted malt and the bittersweetness of cocoa nibs and raw cacao. I know that coffee is included in the drink, but I think semisweet chocolate is the more present element, at least in the smell.

Taste - Here, the coffee element becomes more dominant, with notes of a nice French roast percolating in amongst the bittersweet chocolate and charred malts. There is a a sweetness that blends nicely with the roasty bitter elements from the coffee and chocolate. There also seems to be a spiciness to it, as if it had chiles added or something. The esters from the huge ABV are noticeable, but don't overwhelm--this one is all roasted goodness and faint sweetness, like burnt caramel or overcooked molasses. Quite pleasant.

Mouthfeel - Heavy, in a good way, rich and decadent. Quite chewy, like you'd expect from a huge Imperial Stout like this one, reminiscent of a mocha latte. Carbonation is on the light side of medium, but more than I would have expected. Lingering and slight bitterness, but the finish is mostly dry.

Overall, a stellar beer. It's hard to compare to some of my other favorite coffee-based stouts because none of those even come close to the ABV on this one. That being said, this is quite an impressive imperial stout, coffee or no. The only thing I would change is to make the coffee a bit more pronounced. Given that I don't know the bottling date, I suppose it's possible that the coffee forwardness has simply faded a bit. Still makes for a delicious beer that I would gladly drink again (or share with friends).

Photo of jeffmonarch
4.21/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle in a snifter.

A - Is this beer or a thin mollasis? Damn is it dark. It has a medium brown head that disappears quickly.

S - Three things. Coffee, chocolate and alcohol.

T - Wow, you taste the sweeter chocolate while in your mouth and then the finish hits the back of your palate and the coffee flavor hits you really hard. After the finish you get a slight warming sensation in your throat from the alcohol, very light but there.

M - This disappointed me. I don't get much while in my mouth. It has a slight flavor then the knockout is the finish. I wish it had more initially.

D - I like it a lot. Stouts are my favorite and this is a great one. My only complaint is the initial flavor is weak. Don't get me wrong, it kicks your a$@ after that.

Great beer!

Photo of KFBR392
4.21/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: PItch black. Dark brown head which was more prominent then I expected. About half finger worth of head throughout drinking. Really exceptional.

Smell: Subdued but very pleasant. A sweet maltness in the aroma.

Taste: Again the sweet malt flavors come into play. The coffee presence that was advertised was much less prominent then I would have hoped. It was barely detectable in the undertones but could be found. A very easy drinker for being such a high ABV.

Mouthfeel: Smooth. Thick palette coverage makes this a memorable brew. Heavy but again such an easy drinker.

Overall: This brew had some high expectations going in. I was amped to find a few bottles of this at a local liquor store and they were certainly a treat.

Photo of yergermeister
4.21/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of dedbeer
4.21/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of utopiajane
4.21/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours black as night with the viscosity of motor oil. Mocha colored head of thick foam that dwindles to a small island of bubbles and a thin film. Laces like a champ. Nose is chocolate, roasted coffee, dark roasted malts and a touch of cherry. A little alcohol on the nose but it is 12% after all. Malt goes doughy and deep as it warms and there is bread in this. Taste is huge alright. Greets you with espresso and plenty of roasted coffee flavors, then smooth doughy malt mid palate with some faint floral from the hops, unsweetened cocoa and the dark fruit, then a hint of the molasses aspect of the malt and a grainy feeling on the tongue. It finishes dry and toasted with the chocolate coming in again only sweet this time and with a delectable oily hop bitter. Mouthfeel is thick and sticky with good carbonation. Some alcohol on the palate. It’s the coffee that makes this one stand out and it’s done to perfection. This is truly an impeccable stout.

Photo of trippytbta
4.21/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into tulip glass

A: pours black, with a small brown head that dissipates into a tiny head

S: coffee

T: strong coffee taste with big dark chocolate. Maybe a little caramel as it warms up

M: slick and smooth. Full bodies but still crisp. Very warm on the finish from the alcohol content. A little dry

Overall: very good imperial stout. One of my favorites now. About to try the barrel aged version. Huge flavor. Great.

Photo of BeerTruth
4.21/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Reed415 and genog for this dark beauty.

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Shared this one with the roommate in celebration after he won the championship game in his softball league.

This one pours a complete opaque onyx black with a nice two finger fluffy brown head that sloooowly dies down to a nice lacing. Stickiness is probably the best I've seen for any beer, let alone the style. First whiff I take is alcohol actually, a bit surprised, but for 12% what do you expect. After that initial smell there seems to be sweet espresso mixed in with lucious milk and dark chocolate. Toasted nut seems to tingle in the nose as well. First sip is so creamy and thick, almost like a coffee milkshake. Boozey burn on the tounge and within the mouth, but I could care less. Sweet black coffee flavor mid-way with a sweet caramel aftertaste with some dryness. Powerfull, full-flavored Stout. I can't imagine drinking an entire bottle myself, but I'm sure others have. A benchmark for this style for sure.

Photo of codewarrior
4.21/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Capped 750mL poured into a Snifter

Been looking forward to this for a while, my friend T was nice enough to bring one to a late night tasting last weekend (I was nice enough to help him finish it).

L: Pours motor-oil thick, with ridiculous head ... unreal retention ... seriously there is a high water mark, and at one point the dimpling resembled a nuclear mushroom cloud. Jet black body, deep, layered dark break head ... looks like a chocolate pillow.

S: Hugely booze-forward, lots of malts shortly behind. Coffee is light and in the back, touch of lingering burnt coffee in the finish. Pretty straight-forward and huge coffee stout.

T: Front is a good boozy start into a watery-coffee middle. From there it develops into a chocolate, coffee, mealy affair with huge depth and great balance. 50/50 for me here, up front it's not great, second half is world class.

F: Smooth, thick and rich. Everything a stout should be.

D: Pretty damn drinkable at 12% ... all-around enjoyable

Photo of dowen17
4.22/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a pitch black with a nice two finger milk chocolate head. Great retention. Leaves patchy lacing down the glass.

On the nose is rich roasted coffee. Big dark malts. Bittersweet chocolate. The coffee smells very very fresh here.

Taste is very coffee heavy. Roast dark coffee and bitter chocolate. Alcohol is present on the aftertaste.

Big chewy mouthfeel as you would expect from a stout. Good carbonation as well.

Photo of alleykatking
4.22/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle. Had this one many times and finally going to review it.

A- Pours a dark black color. No light getting through this one. One finger mocha colored head fades rather quickly. No lacing as it just falls back into the glass.

S- Big time coffee smell. Light baker's chocolate (bitter) in the background. A light roasted malt backbone to this. Alcohol tingles the nose as you sniff. Hint of vanilla with this as well.

T- Chocolate malts come off first in bitter start. This is interesting as I expected the coffee to start this. The coffee kicks it into high gear though and that is all you can taste in a espresso like middle. The alcohol shines for a minute as it transends into a light roasted malt mixed with chocolate again. The ending has more alcohol but it is hidden throughout the beer so well.

M- Heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the stlye. Very chewy and slick as it cover the palate. Coffee flavors left on the palate and chocolate covered coffee beans make up the aftertaste with a kiss of alcohol. Medium drying on the palate from the alcohol. Flavors are so well blended it's kind of crazy.

D- This is a fantastic beer that really is drinkable. Although, having more than a couple pints of this could be bad news. The high ABV lmits the drinkability on this to be honest.

Photo of bunnyhustle
4.22/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into snifter from bottle. Pours black as night and thick as can be. Disappointed in the head, found it to be thin and very bubbly, some retention and lacing but not a ton. Smell is of coffee, chocolate, molasses and a bit of alcohol. Taste is on par. A brilliant mix of coffee, caramel, chocolate, and cream. A warming sensation as it goes down with a little alcohol. Very thick and full bodied, creamy and smooth. Overall a great beer and a slow sipper. Was a great choice to enjoy on Christmas.

Photo of Aenema
4.22/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pitch black, deep tan head.
Smell - Coffee, cocoa, vanilla, oak. Tremendous aromatic combination.
Taste - Cocoa, coffee, some bitterness towards the end.
Mouthfeel - Silky smooth with low-medium carbonation.
Drinkability - Very enjoyable and although it is a very filling, strong beer, it manages to remain easy to continue drinking. The biggest problem I ran into was a bit more bitterness than I would like on the end of this one.
Overall - A tremendous nose and great drinkability really set this one apart. I'm looking forward to trying this one again.

Photo of rodemey2
4.22/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

IMO could use a little more body. I prefer stouts of this ABV to be a tad more viscous, i might be alone here. other than that, its pretty much perfect. dried fruit on the nose, and you’d never know they hit 12% on it. paired with some bleu cheese, blissful.

Photo of afksports
4.22/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The AleSmith Speedway was one of my first goals in a trade and one of the highest rated on my Top100 (from this Summer). When I finally landed a bottle - and then when it hit shelves in NYC - there was tons of excitement. So I opened it with a buddy of mine Alex when he and his girlfriend Maria were visiting.

But it didn't deliver.

Maybe it was frozen at some point. Maybe it was too hot at some point. Maybe it wasn't aged enough. But regardless the taste was off. Extremely tangy, with dark fruits and grapefruit predominating. And water. Chocolate notes and malt notes were there, so was coffee, but it just wasn't that American Double that I've gotten to know and love.

The appearance was great - pitch black. Smell was amazing, coffee, toffee, bitter chocolate, sugar, fruit. Mouthfeel was excellent as well, although it didn't seem properly composed, it's like all those elements were floating in alcohol and water (hence the freezing guess). But since I just don't know, and it's a hard bottle to come by, I have to make this review now and then tag it for later to come back to.

AleSmith Speedway... we will meet again.

UPDATE: Enjoyed a better taken care-of bottle and better aged. Had side by side with the BA version. Yep. It's better. Upgraded taste from 2.5 to 4.0, and Overall from 2.5 to 4.0

Photo of BierReise
4.22/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

After lifting the cap off of this green 750ml bottle, vigorous pouring yielded a dense tan frothy head the width of my pinky finger. This deep ebony brew settled nicely into its stylish looking Alesmith pint glass sporting an etched logo on clear glass. The aroma wafting upwards was of an intense roasted malt, heavy with notes of coffee and alcohol. The texture of this stout is incredibly smooth, possibly the smoothest, creamiest stout I've had. The flavor is deep, dark, and delicious. Coffee, bitter chocolate and a warming alcohol sensation leaves the finish only slightly dry with a hint of bitterness. This is one hell of a big stout. Full of flavor and strong, yet remarkably easy to drink. This stout will not dissapoint. Kick back with some soothing sounds and enjoy the ride. I plan on putting one of these away for next winter to see how it improves.

Photo of thecheapies
4.22/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Long time want. Speedway Stout. Purchased in March of '12. Refrigerated mostly up to now.

Looks black as dark chocolate with a heavily dark mocha-colored head. High booze percentage did a number on the overall foam retention. However, beautiful greasy brown alcohol legs.

Fruit and coffee notes are bigger than anything, and much bigger than anything, except the roast. Dark roast coffee, dark fruits, mild milk chocolate, booze, hearty roasted malts, wild cherry, and lactic acidity. Smells sweet and roasty in a great way.

Espresso bitterness and flavor with loads of extra fruity sweetness. Very roasty with a smidge of date and black licorice and milkiness. Finishing bitterness in the back of the throat from the black patent malts. Super malty, in that, there are no isolated hops to pick up on. Smooth wave of alcohol, but it doesn't scream huge beer--even though the m'fer is 12%. Truly more of an Imperial Stout than a coffee stout at this point.

Medium-to-thick body and a whisked-up carbonation. The alcohol is well-maintained. Feels pretty darn good, better than a sipper.

One damn tasty stout. Wish I had a fresh bottle to compare it to. Tastes nothing like Founders Breakfast Stout or Terrapin Wake-N-Bake. An excellent imperial on its own.

Photo of PuckIt
4.22/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of newk340
4.23/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in a Duvel tulip and bottle split with hu5om.

A: thick black pour, voluptuous tan 2-finger head that left excellent lacing.

S: a pleasing blend of chocolate and coffee.

T: a blast of coffee that sizzles for a few seconds before fading to a bitter chocolate with the swallow, oddly still leaves a coffee aftertaste with hints of caramel and malts.

MF/D: a brief sizzle of carbonation with a nice smooth swallow.

Photo of chickenm
4.23/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of tastybeer
4.23/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Super dark brown opaque liquid with a large light brown, bubbly topping. It fades in reasonable time leaving fine stringy webbing all over the glass. Sticky sticky... Aroma is about a pound of chocolate and roast coffee beans, caramel glazed, with soft vanilla, berries and nuts, musky wood, and a little bit of something wine-like. Very fun dark sniffings with a bright fruity edge... And time for a sip. Thick dark chocolate, roasty malt, blackstrap molasses, tobacco, meat seasonings, leather, smoke, all smooth and heavy with a sharp and elongated bitterness that works its way in at the end of each sip, then holds on until the next. Pretty big guns here... This is not meant to be consumed quickly. A lot of flavor to behold and very aromatic. Slight alcohol warming, otherwise its strength is not conveyed by the taste or sense of alcohol. This however does feel like an extra strong beer due to the intensity of all its flavors. Definitely worth having, perhaps not regularly or in large amounts. Nicely done.

Photo of MiScusi
4.23/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

4.5 / 4 / 4.5 / 4 / 4
From a bottle. Chocolate, roast, coffee blend in aroma. Cocholate in the very end of the sip, and then sweet coffee after that in the aftertaste. Aftertaste is a pretty amazing blend of coffee and chocolate.

4.5 / 4 / 4.5 / 4.5 / 4
Served in a goblet at the Stone Bistro. Appearance was a midnight brown with a caramel colored head that had great retention. Smell was chocolate and coffee. Taste was of strong chocolate and lots of coffee for the most part with a nice mellow roasted character as well. Alcohol was well hidden. Moutfeel was thick and full, carbonation very low for a nice smooth drink.

Photo of mbmiche
4.23/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of TreeBear
4.23/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of lloydboss
4.23/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 5,344 ratings.