Dismiss Notice
Hello, is it beer you're looking for?

Learn more about beer. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for as low as 68% off the single issue price.

Subscribe now →

AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,526 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,526
Hads: 5,872
Avg: 4.37
pDev: 16.93%
Wants: 857
Gots: 1,790 | FT: 156
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,526 | Hads: 5,872
Photo of pwoods
4.52/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml brown bottled purchased from Dilly Deli poured into a pint and a snifter. No dating but it was recently received about a month ago.

A: Pours a pure black with much viscosity. In both vessels, I get a very weak head even after an above average pour. Head is a deep mocha color with a bit of staying power before it disappears completely. I get thin wisps of lacing after each sip in the pint but next to none in the snifter.

S: I originally poured this into just a pint but the smell was a bit too subtle. After pouring the rest into my large snifter, I get the full powered goodness. Big coffee notes, just as deep as Founders BS but not as pungent or abrasive. Nice background of bitter chocolates and a nice hidden sweetness. Smells like the dark cherry(and chocolate) juice into those little chocolate.. things, lol. Very good and complex. Glad I poured the rest into my snifter.

T/M: Taste is spot on the smell. The sweetness is a bit darker and rawer than the smell.. more of a molasses. Quick change from strong coffee notes, to subtle sweetness and back with a perfectly controlled raw coffee bitterness at the end. Body is very full and creamy. Alcohol is 100% completely hidden, even after warming past 65 with ease.

D: Everything just seems right with this brew. Before I knew it, the 750 was gone. Only draw back is $13 a beer. This is something that I would bring to any and all occassions(like my expedition stout, even though it's pretty expensive, yet in singles) but the price makes it a rare treat.

 1,525 characters

Photo of NJpadreFan
4.03/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

AleSmith- Speedway Stout

Big thanks to Pimpp for this 1.

A- Thick viscous black with a thick creamy tan head.
S- Immediately got hit with fresh roasted coffee with hints of cocoa and alcohol.
T- Strong dark roast black coffee with ccoa powder mixed in. A slight cream flavor pronounced in the end. Boozy alc. shines through in the end also.
M- Very very smooth up front, mild bitterness makes way for a very creamy body. Alc kicks you in the nd.

Overall- An excellent stout for a long cold evening. Surprisingly smooth for a 12% alc beer!?! 1 bomber is plenty for the night.

 577 characters

Photo of Trueant1
4.62/5  rDev +5.7%
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.


 708 characters

Photo of SilentSabre
3.82/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received this in a trade with Enola back over the Summer. 750mL bottle with silver foil around the top. Label looks similar to the one in the photgraph here, only it's black and white. Poured extremely dark; black crude oil body with only a sliver of dark reddish light around the edges when held up to the lamp on my computer desk.
This simply smells rich. Old coffee, damp, black earth, dark roasted cereals, and perhaps, some mushrooms. A splendid combination of aromas. Taste, I'm afraid to say, while certainly good, wasn't what I thought it would be. This is yet again another example of a really good beer not being the "Ale of the Gods" all the hype and excitement would suggest one prepare for. I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea. This is a great stout and I wish I had 3 or 4 more downstairs to enjoy in the winter to come. However, the way folks go crazy over this thing simply doesn't match its performance, IMO.
Many of the profiles present in the smell were present in the flavour, as well, especially the coffee and burnt cereal grains. Again, this is a *good* stout, but certainly not what others would have one believe. Honestly, in the way of stouts, I'd take a Weyerbacher Heresy over this.
Mouthfeel in this one is very nice, but could be a bit more oil-like. *Almost* where it needs to be in a stout like this for my tastes.
While the 12%abv is terrifically well concealed with alcohol difficult to detect, the flavours are still very rich indeed warranting a 3,5 at best for drinkability.
Overall, a nice stout with wonderful aromas and a delightful combination of flavour profiles married to a heavy, but smooth mouthfeel. It does not, however, hold up to the near fanaticism one sees so regularly on this site.

 1,742 characters

Photo of k3n
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 Vintage.

A: Jet jet black. Black Black. Heart of Gold Black. Really black. Foamy tan bubbles.

S: Dark chocolate. Coffee (also dark). Soy sauce?

T: aahhh.. Rich chocolate and coffee flavors. This is one of those beers you absolutely cannot drink right out of the fridge. It just does not do it justice. Let it warm up, and you're rewarded by a richness you just can't taste when it's too cold. A bit of hop astringency at the end. Almost no bitterness. Certainly can't taste the alcohol!

M: Creamy, with just a spike of carbonation. Oily on the tongue, just helps coat all the good flavors around.

D: I could just sit here and sip on this forever...

[Aside: Also tried this tonight with a blop of Hagendaaz Coffee ice cream in it...instant dessert!]

 759 characters

Photo of chefscott79
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was awesome

poured on tap at hollingshead in orange, ca

appearances...nice and dark with a great head and lots of lace left behind

smelled great lots of roasted malt smells with coffee...yumm

tastes....wow so fucking good....my new favorite stout...great dark malt flavors and balanced with a great coffee and hoppiness bitterness....sooo good

drinkable....sooo drinkable...you don't even know that this is 12% soooo drinkable...I was sad I could only get one of these there...

 488 characters

Photo of tendermorsel
4.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

This a real sipping beer. Nice strong jet black color. Aroma of coffee. Very malty and a bit more hops than I expected. A remarkably smooth beer that became sweeter and smother as it warmed. Although I couldn't taste the booze I could definitely feel it. I am glad I shared this with a friend.

Overall a good beer. Not my all time favorite coffee stout but definitely up there.

 403 characters

Photo of likestoswallow
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle from the brewer. Pours opaque motor oil black that no light will shine through. Accompanied by a dirt brown head that dissipates slowly and has moderate lacing. Aromas of sweet anise, espresso and coffee. Taste is pure bliss, bitter hops and coffee dominate with some black licorice and dark chocolate in the background. Mouthfeel is perfect--full, creamy and smooth. The finish was long and showcased bitter chocolate hops. Recommended.

 450 characters

Photo of bradford
4.57/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle purchased at Hi-Time in Costa Mesa
Looks good. Dark brown, black in appearance, very little light penetrating through the glass. Thin, oil spill head fades quickly, even in Duvel chalice
Smelled very strong of coffee and chocolate. Many coffee beers go overboard and the coffee aspect tends to smell like burnt grounds. Speedway pulls it off quite well. Probably the best smellin coffee stout I have had.
Taste is almost perfect. Very rich chocolate, coffee and alcohol.
Mouthfeel is strong as well. Well rounded, thick, tasty brew that, despite it's high alcohol content, doesn't lose any drinkability for it.
Highly recommended.

 637 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Hollingshead's Delicatessen in Orange, CA,

A: Pours black, an oily sludge black, with a brown head, small out of the tap, but leaves abundant lacing in a Chimay chalice, and good retention all the way through the drink.

S: Coffee, dark, roasted malts, some dark chocolate there as well.

T: A truly delicious beer in every sense of the word. Huge coffee flavours bombard the palate, baker's chocolate, and roasted malts just add to the delight. There is a slight alcohol burn at the end, but it is hardly noticable, since the big flavours make you concentrate on them and not the ethanol, the ethyl alcohol is very well hidden.

M: Smooth, silky smooth, creamy, robust, full-bodied, this is a beer that demands your attention. And for a beer so high in alcohol, you'll never notice it, so be careful.

D: The most drinkable big beer I have ever had probably, another of the two truly outstanding offerings I have had from Alesmith, along with Yulesmith. On-tap or in a bottle, any SoCal beer fan should find this beer and try it at least once.

 1,055 characters

Photo of wcudwight
4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Received in a trade.
Black in color with a light brown head that holds it's shape well. This beer looks big.
Roasted aromas. Coffee. Hint of chocolate. Not as chocolately as I was expecting.
More bitter than other RIS that I've had in a good way. Roasted malts. Burnt rye bread. Coffee, rich and dark. Chocolate and a hint of tobacco. Very complex and deep yet smooth. Lasting acidic bitterness in the aftertaste. The 12%abv is nowhere to be found.
Thick rich and creamy mouthfeel. For such a rich and big beer it is remarkably smooth.
If my liver would take it I'd drink another.
I've been holding on to this one for a year waiting for the urge to strike. The urge struck and now I'll be searching for another.

 711 characters

Photo of Absumaster
4.05/5  rDev -7.3%
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 drseamus
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served on draft at the Toronado. An amazing beer all around. It has the typical jet black body with a thin mocha head. The aroma is filled with strong chocolate and coffee. The feel of the beer is incredibly creamy and chocolaty with a sweet finish. As I said, this is a damn good beer all around. Heavy body with great drinkability.

 333 characters

Photo of brewcrew76
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Solid black with a thick creamy brown head and a ring of lace staying behind.

S - Coffee, roasted malt, sweet chocolate, vanilla & some bitter hops.

T - Roasted grains and black raosted coffee beans with some bittersweet chocolate, touch of bitter hops and a hint of alcohol.

M - Thick chewey and creamy all at the same time. Dry finish. Smooth at 1 year old but not as smooth as I remember a fresh bottle.

D - One of my favorites but I remember a fresher bottle being a touch better. This one is 1 yr old and is a touch less complex and smooth than I remember the fresher bottle I tried. Highly recommended.

 617 characters

Photo of Stoneman78
4.52/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Getting in the mood for tomorrow's barrel-aged releases from Alesmith!
A- Pours the deepest of browns with highlights of dark tan, very opaque in clarity, the head is thick, vivacious, and creamy with a brown/tan color, big thick lacing sticks on the glass
S- As billed, the aroma is big on coffee, toasty, and roasty, as well as a good offering of chocolate, molasses, and toffee, some dark rich malts in there as well and a subtle alcohol presence
T- Initial taste is dominated by a huge coffee taste backed by dark chocolate, I am also catching some molasses and dark fruits in there as well as a hint of vanilla and slight hop character, finishes with that hop bitterness and a warming alcohol presence
M- Very full-bodied stout that is thick and creamy on the palate, bordering on syrupy, carbonation is lively and balanced
D- The alcohol presence is surprisingly subtle for a whopping 12%abv, but I still wouldn't push my luck with this one, this big stout is well-known and respected throughout the land and I cast my review in the midst of the majority: a top quality coffee-forward Imperial Stout that is in the top tier of the genre (along with Old Rasputin and Stone IRS), I can't wait to tap into my barrel-aged version at some point in the future!

 1,260 characters

Photo of franksnbeans
3.91/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black with a dark brown head that dies to a ring. Smells of coffee grinds, chalk, caramel and some tinfoil. Tastes of roasted coffee, molasses, chocolate and chalkey. Medium in the mouth. A sipper. Must admit I was dissapointed compared to all the hype.

 269 characters

Photo of genog
3.91/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, rich, dark black color with a light brown colored head that dies down to leave very little left. Smell is some coffee, molases, and I also smell some tinfoil, and a kind of chalky aroma. Taste is a little better than the smell with coffee, some dark cacao, and again a little more chalky taste. Mouthfeeling is creamy and watery with a medium feeling.

 365 characters

Photo of BigJTrucker
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased this 750ml bottle from the Market of Choice, 29th & Willamette, Eugene, OR. Had the pleasure of consuming it with a buddy after the Ducks' amazing victory today.

Poured a very deep dark coffee black color. Thick, foamy, creamy head, excellent head retention.

Heavy coffee, dark chocolate, and roasted malty aroma. Very nice indeed!

OMG! Tastes very heavy of dark bakers chocolate, roasted coffee beans. This beer is heaven, in a glass!

Mouthfeel is very heavy, thick and syrupy. In times past, i wouldn't have been worthy of a beer with this amount of mouthfeel and would've came away overwhelmed, but praise be to Ninkasi, I'm greatly joyed that i can enjoy a beer of this magnitude.

Drinkability is very high. So much flavor and mouthfeel make this beer a joy to behold. 12%abv though makes it a bit much to drink more than a bomber of this, but it's truly an honor to be able to share this 750ml bottle with a close friend.

 943 characters

Photo of kajerm
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750mL-- was saving it for a special occasion, but opening the beer is a special occasion in and of itself.

Pours dark, garnet-hued brown and opaque. I mean seriously opaque-- nothing passes the event horizon of this beer. The head dissipates quickly to a thin ring around the edge of the glass, which is a shame, since it's a great shade of brown. In spite of this, it laces like crazy.

The aroma is perfect for a stout-- lots of coffee, chocolate, some molasses, and just a little vanilla (which is weird for beer that hasn't lived in a barrel.) Sweet dark malts are present throughout.

Opens up with sweet malts, blending mid-palate into dark malts. The finish is heavy on the coffee, with just a hint of west coast hops. Malty sweetness lingers, along with the coffee flavor. Alesmith has managed to do something that almost no other brewery has managed to do with their big stout-- to make black malt coffee flavor a major presence without being disgustingly astringent (I'm thinking of Nogne Ø here.)

The mouthfeel is heavy and creamy but not overwhelming. Alcohol is present only as warmth in the chest. This is an especially huge achievement, since there's a lot of it.

Considering the style and the ABV, this is pretty drinkable too.

This is an awesome, awesome Imperial-- oh sorry, "American Double"--Stout.

 1,324 characters

Photo of illidurit
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've had a couple bad experiences with Speedway in the bottle due to the infamous bottling problem AleSmith had a couple years ago, so when I went down to the brewery this past weekend, I just had to try it on tap. Unspoiled Speedway in the bottle is amazing, and on tap it's just divine. Great cocoa head that sticks all over the glass, powerful coffee and dark chocolate aromas, and the perfect balance of sweet and roasty malt that materialize as bittersweet chocolate and coffee. The perfect stout.

 502 characters

Photo of jarspag04
4.78/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is the brew that stared the obsession. What once was an imposing force on the palate, one which was taken down with sheer pain and struggle - now becomes the go to beer for any occasion which warrants a heavy sipper. Most notably a cold snowy night during a friendly ski trip...ah yes, perfection. Let one mature for at least two years and you'll see why this brew is nothing but world-class.

 397 characters

Photo of Floydster
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pint at the Tap Room in Pacific Beach

I was stoked to find these for 4 bucks a pop, considering they are about 10 dollars for a 750ml bottle in the stores

This beer was pitch black with a thick tan head and was the best stout I have ever had

Too much flavor to even describe, the coffee bite really tops it off

If I was not so full from dinner, I probably could have drank more, will definitely be drinking more of these in the future

Great beer with a dessert

 465 characters

Photo of westweasel
4.06/5  rDev -7.1%
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 tpd975
4.58/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A couple of these bad boys came from genog. Thanks I am blessed to have this beer. Now on to the review.

After a long vacation back home in Indiana I returned to Florida only to drive 11 hours to the race in Bristol I saw some good racing both Busch and Cup, sweated my ass off, and drank tons of beer that is not worthy of mentioning.

Now that I am back home I am craving some good beer, Craft beer. As I stood in my garage and looked over my beer fridge which is packed with the world's best brews one and only one was screaming my name. There it was sitting in the outside of row three. A green bottle that looked black due to the wonderful contents. This baby was wrapped on top with foil, silver in color blazing like an eternal flame. I knew what the bottle was, hell who wouldn't.

It was AleSmith Speedway Stout. The only brew worthy of a review after 22 hours of driving and 500 laps on the fastest 1/2 mile in the world. Bristol Baby.

A: Dark black....Oil Black, the color of the black flag which I wish was displayed to the Busch brothers each and every race. The track is loud... so loud. It has been called the thunder dome, and trust me when 43 cars circle the oval; it is louder than any thunder ever known to man. Speaking of thunder the head on this baby is thunderous. Big and rushing. Millions of tiny bubbles band together like the Jr nation and rise to the top. They stay and stay trying to hold on like Dale Jr. to the chase for the championship. It does die down, but fear not. Like Dale Jr. It will hang around until the very end.

Aroma: Next to rubber on concrete, this is one of the best aromas on earth. Coffee...check, Chocolate....check, Toffee...check, wonderfully roasted malt....check... Tighten your belts boys cause boogity boogity boogity were going racing.

T: Man if the gods of NASCAR were to band together to create a brew for the man... Dale Jr. to savor in victory lane this would be it. There is a wonderful marriage of coffee and chocolate. There is milk and sugar, malt and hops. When you're drinking this bad boy its checkers or wreckers baby... and as you can see on the front of the bottle its nothing but checkers.

M: There is no need for wedge or a tire pressure change this baby is perfect. Full bodied and thick. Like the oil in the engine of the man himself Dale Jr. It flows down the throat and thru the chambers like purified oil the life blood of a DEI (soon to be Hendrick engine). The alcohol warms you without overheating or breaking down the critical parts of your system.

D: Very. One of the best Stouts in the World.

Overall: If you ever find yourself between the mountains of northeast Tennessee in a little place known as Thunder Valley... Bristol... the fastest half mile in the world, you may want to have a bottle or two of Speedway Stout on hand. No matter if your driver wins or loses you will be happy. Even if you end up with wreckers, you still have the checkers as you look at the bottle.

The Saturday night shootout ended up with Jr in 5th, not a bad night for a guy driving a Budweiser car. I forgive him; it's only for a few more months. To Dale Jr. I salute you, and to all of those who like to drink the best brews grab a speedway stout. It's killer man. If you can't get it give genog a holler. He came thru for me 2 times... Oh wait we can't mention 2. That's the other beer car which is driven by that big eared cry baby known as Kurt Busch. There are still 2 races to go until the chase. Hopefully it's wreckers for the 2 car and checkers for the 8.

No matter what may victory come to Dale Jr. God love Bristol Motor Speedway...and all hail AleSmith the makers of Speedway Stout. Go Driver 8!

 3,704 characters

Photo of beermanbrian
4.47/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 foil wrapped crimped cap bottle.

Pours pitch black. Some ruby notes can be noted as it comes out of the bottle but once in the glass it is completely black. Frothy whipped cocoa looking head that clings to the glass and slowly drops to a thick 1/8 cap. Smell of dark fruits, cherries, plums, followed by roasted coffee and chocolate. Everything you could want out of a stout. ABV starts to show through as it warms. Taste of burnt and roasted malts. Taste is actually a little bit of a drop off from the smell but is still way above average. Finishes with a little bit of an alcohol warming that lets you know this one is a big hitter. Overall an excellent brew that lives up to the hype. Due to lack of availablility I doubt I'll get my hands on this one very ofter but I certainly would never pass it up.

 813 characters

AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,526 ratings.