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AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,547 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,547
Hads: 5,982
Avg: 4.37
pDev: 8.7%
Wants: 866
Gots: 1,838 | FT: 155
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: 1,547 | Hads: 5,982
Photo of Aethien
4.67/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

It pours black with a formidable caramel coloured head, it leaves plenty of lacing around the glass.

Right up front there's already a strong smell of pure chocolate and coffee goodness, definitely a very powerful smell, bittersweet, lovely roasted malts, toffee and caramel, some hints of dark fruits and just the right amount of booziness to let you know there's alcohol in there. Big and bold on the nose, absolutely delicious even before the first sip.

Again it's the bittersweet cacao and strong coffee flavours that run the show with roasted and charred malts, dark fruits and toffee playing a great supporting role. More bitter than the nose but still enough sweetness in there to keep it balanced. There's a nice touch of warming alcohol in the back as well.

The mouthfeel that accompanies it all is just perfect, super smooth and creamy, it almost feels like whipped cream or molten ice cream at times. Medium bodied and some subtle carbonation that allows you to just enjoy the flavours and the lovely creamy feeling.

In short, this is a really, really good imperial stout. Not crazy or weird or experimental or otherwise especially fancy, nothing unexpected but just executed really damn well. It paired brilliantly with some Belgian chocolates as well.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.67/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle, pours opaque black with a huge, frothy, milk chocolatey colored head, with awesome retention and leaves chunky lacing on the glass. Aromas are sweet dark chocolate, creamed coffee, roasted malt. Tastes are bold, rich and well balanced with dark chocolate, coffee, booze, roasted barley, faint fruity esters, some bitter hops ride out the lingering dark chocolate. For 12% the booze is minimally noticeable and excellently concealed. Full bodied, super creamy and rich. Wow. Not a whole lot of complexity here, but it's brilliantly crafted. One of the best Imperial Stouts I've had.

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Photo of mondegreen
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml into a Founders Balloon tulip at 50F. Purchased at Belmont Party Supply in Dayton, OH in May 2010.

Pours black as night. No light escapes this beer, holding it in the bright Georgia sun, I see nothing but a dark void. A fluffy tan head rises from the blackness, hanging onto the side of my glass as it slowly receeds back into the abyss.

Nose is spectacular. Rich dark flavors of coffee, chocolate, and hints of dark fruits mingle with a welcoming warm alcohol aroma. The nose shows just how well crafted this brew is.

Taste is no less spectacular. The roasted flavors shine through, with the mellow coffee flavors holding it all together. The 12% is present, but not the centerpiece. Just a lovely stout.

Mouth is full-bodied, perfect for carrying the substantial, complex flavors of this brew.

Drinkability is through the roof for the style. I will enjoy sipping this one for a couple hours, and I hope to pick up another whenever I can. Bravo, Alesmith!

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Photo of Immortale25
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a Due South Brewing Co. snifter. No freshness date.

A- Pours a jet black color with a 1/2 inch dark tan head that retains beautifully before eventually becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a thin coat of surface foam. Full, sticky sheet of lacing slides slowly down the glass.

S- Big rush of mocha, vanilla, coffee and a bit of booze. Yep, you sure can smell the alcohol in this, although it plays off the dark chocolate and other aromas listed well. Smells slightly nutty as well.

T- Dear lord, that's delicious. Magnificently balanced flavors of peanut butter, dark chocolate, molasses and dark roasted coffee. It's easy to drink but the booze catches up after a while yet still only adds to the complexity. The heavy roasted malt, alcohol and bitterness from the hops become more apparent as it warms, leaving some of the sweetness behind.

M- Very creamy and soft. Medium carbonation and a deeply robust body.

O- All the flavors I look for in a stout as well as the optimal viscosity. I guess the hype exists for a reason because I was blown away by this. Wish I had one to put down for a year or so.

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Photo of scottyshades
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to mrmiles!
A: Pours a viscous looking pitch black color. The head is massive and chocolate color, retention is excellent.

S: Coffee, chocolate, raisin, fig, slight lactose, roasted and toasted malts. Hops are also apparent. Awesome.

T: Tastes better than it smells...big bittersweet chocolate, caramel, toffee, coffee, raisin, fig, and just awesomeness. Really one of the best stouts I've tried. Alcohol is completely masked, and only adds body and a little warming feeling.

MF/D: Very viscous, but I have seen thicker. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel from the lactose. Carbonation is right on the money. Amazingly drinkable for 12%

Notes: This is absolutely deserving of the rating. I got too excited to try this, so I'll be ISO for another one to cellar. Thanks Miles, this made my interest in stouts come alive again!

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Photo of Cresant
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured this 750 mL brown bottle into a Duvel glass. No date but I have cellared this one since 6/07. The body was completely opaque and intensely brown. The deep tan head was huge and fine.

Smell was espresso puck grounds. Malted milk balls. Chocolate and creamy malt. Faint cocoa powder. Incredibly well hidden alcohol.

Taste was rich creamy coffee. Lightly brandy-like. All aspects of this beer work wonderfully together. Very drinkable, well hidden alcohol. Not too sweet, wonderfully balanced and gone way too quickly.

Mouthfeel was full and dense (without being too thick). There was a subtle carbonation and alcohol sizzle.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle obtained via trade with oggg. Thanks for the opportunity... Capped and foiled.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" of dark brown head over the totally dark brown/black brew. Head holds steady for most of the drinking experience, and exhibits excellent foamy lacing. Aroma is dark malts, coffee, and alcohol. Taste is creamy coffee with dark fruit tinges and the slightest alcohol notes. Funny, the booze is hidden over the tongue, because my chapped lips are stinging, and my throat is warm as all get out, so I know it's in there... For the style, mouthfeel and drinkability are great. Smoothness and not over the top alcohol presence (at least perceived), make this one a great one.

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Photo of Barnoloid
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is an imperial stout that blew me away. Perfectly black in color, with a rich depth and tan head. The overwhelming initial flavor of mocha comes in with an english toffee note kicking into gear as this warms up. Some dried fruit comes through but overall this is a dessert in a glass. Luxurious and delicious.

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Photo of iamnitrox
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Darkest brew I've ever looked at. It truly is a sight to behold. Barely made a head at all, even with a sloppy pour. head theat arose was dark brown in color. It's an intimidating looking brew to say the least.

S- I detect alot of fruit flavor and coffe and carmel. It smells like wine almost, a funny thing to say about a beer, but it really does remind me of a merlot. It smells alot stronger than it tastes

T- Bitter, with alot of coffee and carmel flavoring. Reminds me of raisins almost. The taste and texture remind me of stone russian imperial stout. The beer goes down almost syrupy. It's beautiful in texture. It has a wine-like aftertaste, most likely from the 12.0% ABV, but nonetheless, very pleasant.

M- Definitely powerful, not recommended for big brew drinkers! Sits strongly on the tongue, but is much less offensive than the smell would let on.

D- Lovely going down. It's a great drinking beer. It would be great with red meat or even a dessert like carrot cake or some kind of cheesecake. I recommend it to anyone for any reason. A definite must-have beer!

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Photo of Ellbert
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: A deep black color with a couple finger tan head that fades into a nice layer on top of the beer that stays throughout the entire bottle. There is some nice spiderweb lacing that adds to the appearance.

Smell: Alcohol and sweet black raspberries hit the nose. Aroma is very sweet with a little bitter hops coming across.

Tatste: Roasted coffee and alcohol are very present in the flavor. Sweet berries and raisins are in the aftertaste. Very complex with many flavors that meld together nicely.

Mouthfeel: Prefect mouthfeel for an imperial stout. Rich and creamy with just the right amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: This is unbelieavably drinkable. I finished the entire 750 ml bottle by myself. Whoa, maybe I shouldn't have done that.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - pours deep, rich, and luscious. A two finger mocha crust up top. Melts down with pillars of sticky lace.

Aroma - heavy roasted coffee and alcohol. Dark fruit, nuts, raisin and rum.

Taste - big, roasted malt, charred and then a little more. Oh this is tasty. A load of earthy coffee beans at mid-palate. Still picking up a touch of greenness from them. Chalky bitterness on the swallow, some malty roasted sweetness, and a fair portion of alcohol warming. Very rich finish, bittersweet chocolate and dark roasted coffee beans really go out in style. Green, somewhat grassy element pops up now and then and is then only thing that I would prefer toned down. The abv comes out more as it warms and may be sufficient at 10% instead of 12. Still, an outstanding brew.

Mouthfeel - that first sip is so very smooth, silky and thick. The carbonation is kicking, trying to keep up with the intense play of flavors, and does an admirable job. Very coating, the flavor stays around longer than I care to wait for the next sip.

Drinkability - this is one big ass beer in every sense. What a fine evening this sipper created!

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Photo of HopHead29
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

served in a tulip at recommended temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pours pitch black, lets no light through, with a dark tan head with a great deal of lacing and excellent retention.

Smell is of dark Belgian chocolate and whipping cream. Expresso beans as well.

Taste is of same, but also very much like a cafe mocha latte. Alcohol is there as well, but is very tolerable.

Mouthfeel is a bit on the rough side with a little bit of harshness.

Very easy to drink this intensely flavored beer.

Definitely one of the best out there. Incredible taste and appearance. Absolutely love this beer.

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Photo of FFreak
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured a 10-month old bottle into glasses and shared with a friend. Dark, dark brown, almost black, with a substantial dark tan head that lingers. Coffee, chocolate and roast in the nose. Taste is absolutely delicious. Nicely balanced roasted malt with great coffee notes and hints of chocolate. Mouth is just about perfect for an imperial stout. Overall, this is one of my favorite stouts so far, right up there with KBS.

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Photo of Brad007
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

You know, I could have traded for this but picked some up in MA. Turns out, it's sold in VT now. Lucky break. I can buy more if I like it.

Pours the perfect shade of black with a thin brown head into my glass. Can't see for shit, which tells you that they value quality.

Very roasty with a awe-inspiring dose of cocoa. Very desirable. Sweet on the nose.

Lots of roasted coffee that mingles with cocoa, booze and a bit of cream. Despite the strength, the alcohol is a supporting player here. This bodes very well for the style. In the case of an imperial stout, drinkability is key and you sometimes have to wait years to get that.

Lingering cocoa and cream notes here. Very nonchalant. It's not trying to hit you over the head here. If anything, it's comparable to DFH Worldwide Stout in the drinkability department.

Go for it! As for the naysayers that complain about it lingering on shelves? At 12%, is that a bad thing? This is the kind of beer that is only supposed to get better with age!

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Photo of sholland119
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a deep dark brown with a thin tan head. My mouth is watering.

S-Roasted coffee notes, caramel, rich milk chocolate, a little hops underneath. Excellent.

T-It's all that. Balanced and complex all the way through. Sweet in the front, then finishes with a surprising, delicious bitterness. Great hops finish is unexpected, and awesome.

M-Creamy, somewhat thick. Very nice.

D-Dangerously drinkable for a 12% ABV. Don't know where the alcohol is hidden but I could not taste it.

Lives up to the hype and ranking, I think. Rich, complex, delicious.


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Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a snifter. Pours black with a half inch head that leaves decent lacing behind. The smell is a bit light under the alcohol (right out front.). I get chocolate and coffee and...wait, alcohol. (Did I mention that?)
The taste is roasted malts, chocolate and a buttload of amazing coffee. There is a slight alcohol heat (not as bad as the nose) and a bit of earthy and citrus hops, just a touch. Very smooth and thick going down, taste doesn't stick around long though.
Overall this is easily one of the top coffee based Imperial Stouts I've had, easily worth a try. DO IT TO IT!

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Photo of nerdrocker101
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle thanks to checkii, which I believe to be an 07'

Pours a rich black with a thin, lightly browned head.

Smells of chocolate and coffee.

The coffee notes are muted due to the aging. But there are huge flavors of molasses, chocolate, and light notes of espresso. Much like a chocolate covered espresso bean.

Thick, almost chewy. Certainly lingers on the palate. The alcohol is pretty well masked.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Served in a snifter glass.

Appearance: Pours like the night, incredibly dark and completely opaque. The best way I could describe it is used motor oil. Brownish-black with an awfully dark tan head that rose to just above a finger's length.

Smell: Strong alcohol scent with strong malts and chocolate.

Taste: What a roasted feel of chocolate and alcohol. Strong and a little heavy, just drinking it you can tell this bottle isn't mean to be shared. Strong alcohol feel, bitter and very bitter but the alcohol and roasted chocolate is what offsets this beast of a beer.

Mouth: What you feel most is the bitter chocolate, coming off like toasted chocolate cake. A little dry, with medium and f'n ridiculous stickiness to it.

Overall: The worst part about this is finishing the bottle and trying to get every drop out of it. I have seen this in the store numerous times and till head out and grab a bottle again and again. At the time of this writing i haven't had many AleSmith (this might be my first) beers drinking this one in particular is the gateway to others. Salud!

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This pours a jet black, with a weak tan head. the nose is mostly coffee and roasted malts. The flavor starts chocolate, but quickly goes to a really nice bitter coffee flavor. I do love this beer. The feel is nicely thick and a bit creamy. This beer is way too drinkable for 12%ABV. What a great beer.

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Photo of malcontent
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Just Perfect. Jet black body with a towering three fingers of head. The cocoa-colored head almost appears to be a solid material and the lacing is flat out sinister. Just goddamned perfect!

Coffee, bittersweet chocolate, rye bread, fading vanilla, wisps of smoke, soft fusel alcohol to the finish...I could spend another hour detecting aromas from this beer and it wouldn't be hard to do from a full four feet away.

A stunning rush of dark, bittersweet chocolate with a perfect foil of finishing hops. Really little to no coffee on the tongue although charred qualities push through with a fair amount of discernible malt sweetness. Long, lingering burnt chocolate finish. Love it, love it, love it.

Smooth, creamy, lush and biting on the finish. Luxurious and bold yet never out of bounds. Despite the fact the ABV is firmly over the 10% line, when judging against style this one is a stunner. Just for a decadent edge I paired this with some premium coffee ice cream. Fucking ridiculous.

Kryptic, you've outdone yourself.

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Photo of BMan1113VR
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Many bottles and draughts over time. Old bottle from notes (2006). Wow! Pours with a small, ultra creamy, light brown head with some great lacing. Pitch black body. Amazing aroma of coffee and chocolate. Tastes of morning fresh french roast. Perfect mouthfeel, ultra creamy and so easy to drink (even at 12%), just amazing, nice alcohol warming. Nice and sweet mocha plays with your taste buds.

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Photo of Biggness
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This beer pours very dark with a two fingered head and tons of lacing. The smell is nice of chocolate coffee and nutty malts. The flavor is big and in your face a wonderful chocolate and coffee flavor with wonderful malt flavors. Nicely drinkable but couldn't all night it and a very nice and smooth mouthfeel

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Photo of SaxmanRick
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On cask at the taproom. Beautiful solid tan lacing, pitch black ale. Coffee/chocolate combo is deliciious! Great balance is neither bitter nor sweet. The mouthfell on cask and at a milder temperature was remarkable - creamy, but certainly not highly carbonated.

This was one of those one sip and WOW, another sip and WOW. Everything from the aroma to the follow-through taste was special. Somewhat better than my previous review from bottle (although previously highly pleasing).

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Photo of Philousa
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Inky black, impenetrable by light with a wispy dark tan head. Glad I chose the etched bottom NB goblet, as it keeps the drink bubbly. Very chocolaty, very roasty up front, coffee is strong as well. Some heavy caramel, but not a hint of alcohol. Even some vanilla comes out with a swirl as it warms up. Strong dark chocolate and coffee flavors start things out. Light up front, fading slowly to bitter, like 80% cacao chocolate. I get some nuttiness and caramel in there as well. Usually caramel is thick and in the way, but this is just an accent. This is surprisingly light on the palate. I would normally attribute this to the ABV level, but I've had beers with this much alcohol in them and still be heavy. Dry aftertaste to be expected with all the attributes I've mentioned above.

This is one awesome beer. It's a sipper for a cold night, when you've let it warm up a bit. Complex and rewarding, this makes me wonder what the barrel aged version tastes like...

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Photo of stouts_mageezax
4.69/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

AleSmith needs to be told firmly about this beer. The first time I tried this beer it was divine. Super creamy mouth feel with milk chocolate and lightly roasted malt flavor with smooth coffee undertones. I was telling every one of my stout loving buddies about this beer after I tried it. However, when I took the foil off the top, I saw rust around the bottle cap. I had read the reviews about this beer where people have noticed an oxidized taste, so much so that people have given this beer a rating as low as a 2. But luckily when I tried it the first time I got the pleasure of all AleSmith has to offer with this beer.
The second time I had the speedway stout it was awful! I made the mistake of not sealing these when I got them. The second one I had 2 months after the first. It tasted foul with a strong acid flavor that completely ruined the beer. AleSmith needs to change the way they bottle this beer or whatever is causing this to happen. I have already left them messages with no response. This is an amazing beer that does not deserve to not be tried because of this. Anyone who lives close to aleSmith or someone who can talk with them needs to

My rating represents that of the first time I had speedway stout

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,547 ratings.