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AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,990 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3990
Reviews: 1372
rAvg: 4.4
pDev: 8.86%

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: 3,990 | Reviews: 1,372 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of WheelsPSU

New York

4.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce pour on tap at St Gambrinus in Boerum Hill.

Jet black pour with an average khaki colored head with extremely good lacing for a such a high alcohol beer.

Smell produced a massive amount of the locally roasted coffee beans as well as both dark and milk chocolate, or something that gives it a touch of sweetness. There is also a bit of caramel and plum. This beer has an overall hefty and dense smelling quality to it suggesting you might need a fork and knife to consume it.

Dark chocolate, lots of coffee, and a bit of caramel sum up the initial taste. As the beer warmed, it started to release a sweet vanilla flavor that reminded me of a butterscotch/creme brulee type dessert. Burnt sugar and bittersweet chocolate round out the finish. This beer is thick but not cloying or syrupy. Extremely well done.

Very easy drinking 12% beer that uses coffee to highlight its other great smells and tastes instead of disguise them. Well done Alesmith.

Serving type: on-tap

04-05-2014 14:29:46 | More by WheelsPSU
Photo of Dave2010


3.83/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is a good beer, there are chocolate and coffee flavors, but I felt the sourness was a more than a normal imperial stout. I could almost feel something of an apple taste due to the sweetness and sourness. Don't get me wrong, this isn't bad, just unique and not expected. I didn't notice a strong smell, but the flavors and complexity make up for it. Priced very well, and well worth a try.

Serving type: on-tap

12-21-2013 06:01:17 | More by Dave2010
Photo of Omnium


4/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served on tap at House of 1000 Beers on 9-29-13

A - Poured out a rich creamy black color, two fingers of tan colored head, thick lacing.
S - Aroma has a lot of dark roasted chocolates, some smoky traits, it seems like there might be some hops in here, and definitely a little boozy.
T - Big bitter dark chocolate, roasted malt, has a really nice hop character throughout the mouth, and there's a really neat flavor of smoked hickory chips that compliment it well.
M - Least favorite part of the beer, very dry, not a whole lot of those good complex flavors in the aftertaste, but for 12% there's not a lot of burn.
O - Great stout with how complex it is, the hops and smokiness really bring this to a new level. Would definitely have again.

Serving type: on-tap

10-05-2013 02:40:49 | More by Omnium
Photo of garuda


4.33/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Black body, deep brown head that has some retention and lace.

Coffee-forward stout. Rich, thick, roasted, creamed coffee. Dark chocolate, baker's chocolate comes through in the finish with not much bitterness. Full, very smooth, rich, creamy mouthfeel. Not terribly complex, but sure is delicious. Well done coffee flavors.

Serving type: on-tap

05-22-2013 19:38:03 | More by garuda
Photo of Murrhey


4.1/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured in a 10oz glass at Neighborhood in San Diego, Calif. Reviewed from notes.

A- Finger and a half light brown-orange head. Several minute long retention. Black as night. No light breaks through. Lord have mercy.

S- Mocha, chocolate and heavy coffee scents. Scents and earthy smells.

T- Dark, heavy and sweet at first, but finishes bitter. Vinous taste as the alcohol pokes out. The mocha flavoring hides the 12 % quite well.

M- Vinous and wet, a product of the booze.

O- Wow. The hype wasn't far off. This is a powerful example of a delicious beer.

Serving type: on-tap

11-15-2012 03:40:59 | More by Murrhey
Photo of Mounty4Life


4.55/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at house of a 1000, super dark and opaque small resinous head that is brownish. Smells of coffee, roasted malts and a hint of the 12%....tasted all kinds of stuff and it made me keep swallowing with all the flavors resonating in my mouth....coffee,robust malts and smokeyness real deal if looking for smoother heavy hitter. M/f is all over place and will have you tasting speedway for a while after. Overall really freaking good, and a pleasant night cap per!

Serving type: on-tap

07-01-2012 13:01:49 | More by Mounty4Life
Photo of johnmichaelsen


4.43/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The tap version of this excellent beer has started to show up in the SEPA area, which is a pleasure to see.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is attractive, as I get considerable coffee, vanilla, light leather and chocolate. The flavor profile replicates the nose in this excellent beer, with the vanilla, coffee and chocolate flavors dominating. The is moderately sweet, but with a hint of coffee grounds and light bitterness in the finish (that helps to balance the sweetness). Mouthfeel is medium bodied to full, with a long, slightly gritty finish.

I think I prefer the bottled version, but regardless, this is still a delicious beer.

Serving type: on-tap

06-18-2012 15:03:12 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of CaptDavyJones

New York

4.55/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap at The Neighborhood in San Diego and was served in a tulip.
Jet black color with no light penetration whatsoever. Thin film for a head which was dark mocha colored. Visually this is a very appealing stout.
Aroma is predominantly of coffee; lots of espresso and roasted coffee. Hints of licorice, molasses, chocolate malt come through.
Taste likewise is predominantly of coffee with hints of sweetness upfront and some licorice and ends with hints of bitterness.
This is a BIG stout with lots of flavor and a lot going it's way.
Very impressed by this imperial stout and was lucky to get it at a decent price on-tap.
Very highly recommended and if you like imperial stouts this is a 'must-try'.

Serving type: on-tap

05-29-2012 20:00:13 | More by CaptDavyJones
Photo of Rifugium


4.4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

First had: ?
Not sure when or where I first had this. This review is from a recent tasting on tap at TJ's, Paoli, PA.

Great to see this on tap. Served in a snifter, a dark brown-black pour with a creamy cap of mocha-colored head that receded to a dense ringlet, leaving some attractive lacing on the glass throughout the session. Aroma is pretty much straight-up dark chocolate and booze. Taste is heavy with creamy dark chocolate (one of the biggest dark chocolate profiles I've ever had in a beer actually), dark malts, moderately roasty, booze that's not at all timid, and minor notes of espresso, grass, and cherry cordial. Full bodied and delicious, probably just short of a "5" on mouthfeel due to the heat, but let it come down to a warmer temperature and the smoothness will improve. Very tasty and a great brew overall; one of the better non-BA stouts out there.

Serving type: on-tap

04-27-2012 17:03:31 | More by Rifugium
Photo of BARFLYB


4.3/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

10oz pour at the 2nd Street Brew House in Philly.

Alesmith Speedway Stout pours in the glass a pretty thick coat of dark black with just a touch of dark brow foam up top that leaves some gunk. Some swirls bring out some more life, a lot of activity for a 12% stout. Smell is all about the roasted malt with roasted coffee mixed in. It's bold and smells like the pure Columbian kind. Some faint chocolate and earthy hops, but this is all about the COFFEE. Taste is extremely roasty and some bitterness comes with the coffee. The main ingredient delivers. Small traces of vanilla and a small hop bite at the end. This must be a fresh keg. Pretty creamy and a nice full feel, carb is light, just like the bottles that I have had, but it works for this type of beer. Not a lot of alcohol or heat as well. I drank this quicker than most huge stouts which speaks for it's ease of drink. Not the most impressive stout in terms of balance, but one of the more impressive ones that's main ingredient is coffee.

Serving type: on-tap

04-15-2012 01:14:13 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of bvdubn


4.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So I drank this on tap at Al’s of Hampen right after KBS and Habanero Sculpin. I didn’t need this beer but I just had to try is since it was available. I am glad I did. This beer absolutely lives up to its rating on BA. It was so tasty that I bought 4 bombers for my cellar. It certainly isn’t as good as KBS but I think it is a well-blended stout. I get lots of roasted malts and coffee. It is smooth and yet bitter… I thought this would be a let down after the KBS but it wasn’t at all. Its masks the booze well but there is a hint of the booze in the finish as it warms. I plan on cellaring the 4 bottles that I bought and breaking them out over the next few years. I will report back with my findings.

Serving type: on-tap

04-13-2012 02:36:15 | More by bvdubn
Photo of pmarlowe

District of Columbia

4.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at AleSmith tasting room.

A: Impenetrable brown, darkish film of brown head which recedes to a ring and some swirls layered on the surface of the beer. The head is exceptionally fine and persists for the entire glass. The lacing coats the entire wall of the glass. Exceptional appearance for the style.

S: Big coffee with a little sweetness, blending beautifully with some smoke and dark chocolate undertones. Phenomenal.

T: Decadent coffee, again some dark chocolate and roasted notes underneath, with a mild espresso finish which peters out slowly. Slightly off dry.

M: Medium carbonation and full body. The carbonation adds a velvet smooth mouthfeel to the full body. Leaves a little sticky residue on your lips.

O: Glorious, decadent, and delicious. Coffee forward without crossing the line into oblivion. Not a whiff of alcohol is evident. Gorgeous.

Serving type: on-tap

02-07-2012 03:51:15 | More by pmarlowe
Photo of tobelerone


4.43/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A top notch Imperial stout to be sure. Had on tap at the brewery but glad to see this is all over NYC now as well. Opaque, black, with a brown head that settles fairly quickly, leaving strong lacing up and down the glass. Aroma is full of freshly roasted coffee, bitter chocolate, and deep dark malt.

Super tasty. All the coffee, chocolate, and malt from the nose are there in the taste in spades. Big, delicious flavor hits all the right notes for the style to be sure. Slight booziness but overall pretty well hidden underneath everything else. Coffee is dominant, moderate sweetness adds to the overall tastiness. A hint of fruitiness as well.

Full bodied stopping just short of thick and chewy. Creamy, sticky, with low-medium carbonation giving it just enough life without getting fizzy or prickly. A bit dry in the finish. I’d actually prefer a little fuller body but I’m nitpicking here. Powerful sipping stout.

Serving type: on-tap

01-26-2012 16:00:55 | More by tobelerone
Photo of Merkur


3.9/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap in a regular pint glass at Downtown Johnny Brown's in San Diego.

Beer pours very dark with about a half finger of dark brown head.

Beer smells very roasty but not strongly of anything else.

The beer tastes roasty and malty with slight hints of dark chocolate, followed by a very boozy finish with some slight espresso taste. A bit too boozy for me.

Mouthfeel was fairly thick.

Overall a good stout.

Serving type: on-tap

01-21-2012 15:39:41 | More by Merkur
Photo of fernz18


4.38/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ordered at Hamilton's Tavern for 2nd saturday w/ Alesmith. 2011.

A - 10 oz pour with a small dark brown head. Doesn't look as thick as I expect it.

S - Definite roasted malts, strong coffee, and a good hint of booze. Nice little hint of chocolate.

T - Everything I mentioned above is also in the taste, BUT the booze is too into your face. Heavy on the roasted malts, good hit of coffee and a small dose of chocolate.

M - Typical imperial stout thick and rich coating, but I still wish there could have been more thick oily-ness to it.

At 7 dollars a pop I could have expected a bit more, but to be fair this was probably a very young batch because I've had this before and its met all my expectations and leaving little doubt that it's one of the best California-brewed imperial stouts. Oh, and since I had the BA-version before this one just happened to pale in comparison. I would definitely recommend this beer to anyone getting into the American Imperial Stout craze.

Serving type: on-tap

12-20-2011 09:24:37 | More by fernz18
Photo of corby112


4.44/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Draft at AleSmith. March, 2013.

Pitch black and opaque with a two finger, frothy beige head that has great retention, only slowly fading into a thick, lasting ring.  The glass is left coated with streaks of soapy lace.  

Robust roasted coffee bean and dark malt aroma.  Very inviting with gourmet roast, dark chocolate, toast, burnt sugar and subtle lactic cream.  Underneath, there is some sweetness with bakers chocolate, caramel and toffee.

Full bodied and slightly viscous with a blast of deeply roasted coffee bean flavor.  Somewhat dry and bitter but pretty smooth and not acrid at all considering how much coffee flavor it has.  Some burnt toast along with gourmet coffee bean followed by oatmeal, strong dark chocolate flavor, fudge, sweeter bakers chocolate, caramel and toffee.  The robust coffee, dark malt and sweeter dessert-like flavors are very well balanced and the high ABV is excellently masked, making this beer deceptively drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

11-21-2011 09:51:31 | More by corby112
Photo of srandycarter


4.15/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Black - not much on top at all. No head, no lace, to speak of.

S - Cup of friggin Joe! Huge coffee aspcect, burnt malt present.

T - Coffee times three, vanilla, bitter chocolate.

M - For such a harsh flavor balance nicely done. Good carb.

D - Palate killer.

Serving type: on-tap

10-20-2011 04:58:04 | More by srandycarter
Photo of AdamBear


4.47/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-black with a stable tan head. great lacing

S-dark coffee beans. chocolate with a hint of ginger, good strength

T-this comes in super strong of coffee and some chocolate. a very strong taste that is slightly bitter. its such a high quality taste that lasts as a strong after-taste. this is awesome.

M-medium carbonation with a dry finish

O-well this was very good. its a very full flavored stout. it went down very easily and very enjoyable. i was very sad when my draft pour was gone!

Serving type: on-tap

08-20-2011 17:21:25 | More by AdamBear
Photo of BeerAmbassador


4.6/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on draft at the Pizza Port in Ocean Beach. I have had this beer a few times before but it has been a long while and I have never reviewed it. Pours a jet black with a decent tan head. As others have said, decent amount of carbonation for an Imperial Stout. Aromas of coffee, chocolate, molasses and raisins. This beer is huge on the palate, the coffee comes through but so does a serious amount of sweetness and a bit of booze as well. However, the alcohol level, while present (as it should be in a 12% abv beer) is kept in check by the sweetness and intensity of the other flavors present. Overall this is as well balanced as a huge over the top Imperial Stout can be. One of the first "extreme" beers I had when I was really starting to get into craft beer 5 or 6 years ago and it still holds up well.

Serving type: on-tap

07-28-2011 04:01:26 | More by BeerAmbassador
Photo of Cmack15


4.43/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried a bottle of this at Toronado. The beer pours thick and black like used motor oil(this is a good sign from an imperial stout).
The smell is super sweet, some chocolate and dark grain notes. Mouthfeel is a thick and chewy just the way I like my imperial stouts. I really liked this beer and think it could give Darklord a run for its money if it was aged in bourbon barrels.

Serving type: on-tap

07-13-2011 23:47:33 | More by Cmack15
Photo of flexabull


4.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ok, I have had this before, but it was a 4 year old bottle, this bottle is a fresh new arrival at my local store. Happy to see Alesmith again!

Pours a deep flat black color with a huge tan head. Looks wonderful.

Nose is of dark heavily roasted malts, a fresh cup of coffee, and some dark chocolate.

First sip, wow... This is full flavored! Lots of coffee, more so than a lot of coffee beers I have had before, but it's not overly strong. I taste what reminds me of those chocolate covered coffee beans, some dark sugar, cream, and some bitterness on the finish. No hints of heat from the alcohol at all.

Mouthfeel is quite good, this is a bit viscous, but not to thick. It's actually quite smooth too.

Overall, an outstanding beer. I think it's much better than the aged one I had a few years ago. I think this is a beer best consumed fresh. I'm impressed, but that is something that Alesmith does often to me while drinking their brews.

Serving type: on-tap

06-12-2011 01:50:04 | More by flexabull
Photo of Dreadnaught33

District of Columbia

4.43/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Let me preface my review by saying you must have this on tap if you can find it as it is a million times more vibrant than when I've had it in bottles. Just saying.

Had this at Toronado (San Diego) during my honeymoon last week!

A: Black body with GREAT looking mocha head of a pinky that never goes away and leaves mountains of lacing in its wake. Awesome.

S: Lots of fresh coffee mixes with toffee, hazelnut, plenty of charred malts, espresso sweetness, and chocolate ice cream/gelato like in the ice cream/gelato shops.

T: Excellent balanced coffee stout on tap, very awesome. Mocha flavor thats a nice level of sweetness to balance to bitter hops hitting at the back of the palate. Almost like eating a rich chocolate bar at times with other notes of licorice, charred dark barley and malt, with a dash of coca powder on top.

M: A little overly bitter in the back for me, almost a little astringent later in the serving, but still has a nice body and is smooth other than the bitters.

Overall a very nice beer that shows it's true colors on tap.

Serving type: on-tap

06-08-2011 22:05:40 | More by Dreadnaught33
Photo of ChanChan


4.78/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From notes:
I had this on tap at the Blue Palms Brewhouse in Hollywood Califas!!

Appearance: Black as any stout. The head is mocha colored and sticks around for a good while

Aroma: Coffee, some bakers chocolate, I also detect a little hop as well. The aroma in this stout is not as pronounced as many of the big RIS’

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and almost creamy. Great mouth-feel

Taste: This beer has a rich premium coffee taste there are some malts in it as well. The coffee does wonders in hiding the heat in the alcohol

Drinkability: This is by far the most drinkable RIS that I have ever had. This beer has an ABV of 12% yet I feel like I can easily quaff this goblet down!

Overall: This is a definite go to IRS, the drinkability will make you forget that it is a huge stout. Easily one of my favorite beers of all!!

Serving type: on-tap

06-06-2011 18:07:28 | More by ChanChan
Photo of ehammond1

4.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Dark as night black with brown edges, thin head but the body of this beer is just spectacular. It's thick and oily and leaves the glass absolutely covered in sticky lace. Thick as can be and dark as night. Spectacular.

Deep, dark aromas of coffee and espresso beans, rich chocolate, some biting hop presence. It's all here. Very nice.

Incredible flavors. Rich, melting, decadent luscious combination of coffees and chocolates, definite hop bitterness, roasty, sweet, bitter; nearly perfect. No alcohol burn whatsoever. I was shocked to come home, look this beer up online, and learn that it was 12% ABV; great beer!

Thick, oily, luscious, decadent, divine, full, melting mouthfeel.

A nearly perfect big stout. Certainly a sipper, but it's so delicious I can hardly help but gulp it. Delicious beer!

Serving type: on-tap

05-19-2011 03:59:51 | More by ehammond1
Photo of iSrALE


4.9/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this at Labellas Pizza in Chula Vista 25oz mug for $8.

Appearance: Looks like motor oil, dark coffee, coca cola, seems thick.

Smell: Fresh coffee, biscuity, like a very well crafted brew, very good.

Taste: Wow! This is the best part, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, molases, cocoa, licorice all combined in an artisanal way, my taste buds are having a party right know! Very drinkable for an Impy Stout, and the 12% is very well masked on this puppy, I could sip this all night long especially on a cold one.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, it gets better as it warms up.

Overall. This beer is fantastic I remember the first time I had it and the last time and everything in between including a 2003 barrel aged versioh. This is my favorite Imperial Stout, I will put this over the Abyss, but that's just my humble opinion. An overall Excellent Beer from a local brewery. Thank's Alesmith.

Serving type: on-tap

05-14-2011 22:50:05 | More by iSrALE
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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 3,990 ratings.