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AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

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1,526 Reviews
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Reviews: 1,526
Hads: 5,872
Avg: 4.37
pDev: 8.7%
Wants: 857
Gots: 1,789 | 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: 1,526 | Hads: 5,872
Photo of Ducksnbucks
3.25/5  rDev -25.6%

Started sober, choked down my first 12oz, sipped the next 5... Then finally enjoyed the last 5 with a decent buzz. Lots of roasted malt, alcohol, and coffee after taste. From here on out i'll spend a couple more bucks and get a BA narwhal, or few less and get a drakonic.

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Photo of SteveB24
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

Look- color is a black that is almost brown, pours a half finger of brown head.
Aroma- you can smell the beer as soon as you open it. TONS of rich, freshly brewed coffee, molasses in there too.
Taste- Coffee upfront, Followed by molasses and then a wallop of alcohol, quite bitter in the finish.
Feel- Medium body, mild carbonation, isn't creamy but not crisp either, very slightly oily on the tongue.
overall- a nice coffee stout, in my opinion it lacks sweetness and balance, but well worth trying.

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Photo of mikeg67
4.05/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle. Pours black with tall, long lasting, creamy, brown head, nice lacing and lovely carbonation. Aroma is of roasted malt, toast, dark fruit herbal hops. Body is full, creamy and slightly crisp. Taste is of nutty, toasted malt, coffee, chocolate, brown sugar, dark fruit and herbal hops. Finish is long and bitter. Great Imperial Stout.

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Photo of GinjaSlice
4.54/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Jet black, poured a pretty big tan head for a stout that faded rather quick but left good lacing throughout
S: Not as strong as the other top stouts. But very chocolate heavy with some malts and coffee behind it.
T: Where the stout shines. Delicious chocolate flavors with the malt backing and a slight coffee bitterness on the end. Not as intense and strong as some but really well balanced and easy to drink
M: One of the best again. Lower carbonation gives it a really nice almost creamy feeling and isn't sticky like others.

O: After having almost all the other very high rated stouts this is in my personal top 3.

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Photo of reebtaerG
4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Poured bottle dated 3/17/14 into Lost Abbey Teku

A-Pours a black with a tan 2 finger head. Great lacing.

S-Awesome aromas of roasted coffee, chocolate, and malt.

T-The taste is similar to the aromas but more of the coffee is present. Also notice a hint of fig.

M-Mouthfeel is well balanced a little on the dry on the tongue. Good carbonation.

O-Overall a great stout that lives up to the hype. Got the last one at the store which I'll have to get some more.
500th beer to review, it was well worth it!

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Photo of buzzedup
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

I really enjoyed this one . it is a very good Imperial stout but maybe I had higher expectations. I think this would be a little more up to what I expected if I sit on a bottle in my cellar for a year or even two .. glad I grabbed two bottles :), if you see this on the shelves buy it , very tasty , made with first class high ingredients, close to best in class coffee imperial stout . still prefer a fresh Founders Imperial stout or a Terrapin wake n bake but this is up there for sure. again, I think a few months or years in a cellar would improve

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

A - Pours a motor oil black with a one-finger tan head. The head fades quickly leaving lots of sticky lacing.

S - Aromas of dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, and alcohol.

T - The flavor is definetly on point. Lots of coffee, dark chocolate, and roasted malts. The finish has some bitter coffee and an alcohol burn.

M - Heavy body with low carbonation. Very smooth and creamy mouthfeel.

O - This is an incredible stout that lives up to all the hype.

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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 TheItalianStallion
4.96/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

25 oz. bottled on 2/24/14 and poured into a tulip

A: Pour is absolutely pitch black with an inch and a half of tan foam. After a minute or 2 the head settles to a thin collar that leaves a good amount of lacing behind.

S: The smell of this beer is MASSIVE. Huge (seriously f****** huge) aromas of rich chocolate and coffee meld seamlessly together. I'm also getting a lot of roasted malts and vanilla, with a bit of a caramel type sweetness that almost reminds me of molasses. There is also a faint aroma of citrusy hops in the background. This is the greatest nose of any imperial stout, and honestly any beer that I've had to date. This beer seriously smells like some kind of delicious chocolate candy bar.

T: Flavors are dominated by chocolate and espresso like coffee. The chocolate and coffee are the main players, and they work perfectly together without one overpowering the other. There is also a good amount of vanilla and caramel flavors. The roasted malts are there, but they definitely take a back seat to everything else, mainly the chocolate and coffee. A perfect sweetness on the finish that lingers on the palate for a little while.

M: This beer is very full bodied and has an incredibly thick, silky mouthfeel, without being overly viscous or creamy. Carbonation is low, and the alcohol is masked very well for 12% abv.

O: Imperial stouts are my favorite, and this beer is the greatest imperial stout I have ever drank. This beer is unreal, it is like a liquid candy bar. The flavors of chocolate and coffee work so well together, and the big vanilla and caramel flavors add the perfect touch to make this such an outstanding beer. The alcohol is also masked dangerously well for 12%, with only a small hint of it on the finish. This beer is very, very complex. Definitely the best imperial stout, and one of the best beers I've ever had. In my opinion this is the PERFECT imperial stout, and i highly doubt it can be beat.

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Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%

Poured from the 750 into a large tulip.
Pours ink black with two fingers of caramel head that dissipates.
Smells of big roastiness and coffee.
First taste was a bit off, but I think it was just setting my palate. Subsequent sips got better and better. Huge roasted malt flavor, strong coffee flavor but certainly paying compliment to the malts.
Mouthfeel was perfection. Not too thin and not too viscous. just right.
Overall, I was expecting this to be a good beer. This was possibly the best non-BA stout Ive had.

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Photo of SerialTicker
4.64/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottled 10/16/13. Poured 11/16/14. I got this in Wisconsin in July. Finally cracked it open.

Appearance: Aggressive pour brought on a slow forming brown head that wound up being three fingers in height. This stout is pitch black with nothing getting through the glass. The lacing is really great -- plenty of it all over the glass.

Smell: Everything you'd want from an Imperial Stout: lots of chocolate and roasted malt. There's some coffee character in there, but that aroma accents more than anything. I don't get any kind of dark fruits on the aroma, but I do get a caramel quality and a plain cake doughnut sort of smell that I usually pick up in high ABV stouts -- especially BBA'd ones. I know, I'm weird.

Taste/feel: Absolutely delicious. The taste is almost exactly like the aroma, and I have zero problems with that. The mouth feel is fantastic... not super heavy, but pretty full-bodied, with a light carbonation. It feels like chocolate milk in beer form. Lots of smooth milk chocolate flavors coming through in this beer with caramel malts... the finish is some roasted malt and coffee with a little much needed bitterness that balances out the initial sweetness. I don't really get any dark fruit flavors to speak of... this reminds me of a more balanced Chocolate Manifesto. Speedway Stout still remains a somewhat sweet Imperial Stout overall, but then again it is 12% ABV.

Excellent, and the best I've had from the style (as of this review, of course). Worthy of every bit of the praise it receives.

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Photo of OrangeMen
4.6/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Aged 1 year, bought fresh and properly cellared at home

Appearance- Deep black, opaque. Gorgeous thick mocha/cinnamon, deep khaki head, frothy, hangs around awhile but settles down. Beautiful lacing on sides of glass. A truly beautiful beer.
Aroma- Decadent dark chocolate, some sweet chocolates, molasses, caramel as well. Rich espresso, wonderful dark fruits, some tartness created. Roasted malt rounds everything together.
Taste- Intense, rich dark chocolates, incredibly decadent, dessert like. Bitter roasted malts, rich mocha/espresso flavors as well. Slight fruity tartness, nice warming alcohol on finish.
Feel- Incredibly thick and even more creamy. Full bodied as they come, decent amount of carbonation as well.
Overall- Such a beautifully balanced beer, incredibly intense but calm and smooth at the same time. Tastes like a rich gourmet chocolate cake with a nice cup of coffee on the side. Dark chocolates are so rich and decadent, sweet caramel/vanilla/chocolate come through, then everything is balanced nicely with bitter roasted malts and rich espresso notes.

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Photo of PacNWDad
4.45/5  rDev +1.8%

This is truly superb on draft. Thick, almost pure black on the pour, with a light tan head that is barely there. Lace clings to the sides of the glass. Tons of chocolate, coffee and roasted malt. A bit winy from the high alcohol content - you can really sense it. A big beer, well-carbonated and surprisingly smooth. This beer is truly a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of avwrite
5/5  rDev +14.4%

The stuff of legends. Worth every amount of hype it gets, and is simply my favorite stout. Nice dark color, great bold taste, and a smooth ride going down. Sweetness with bitter, awesome in a bottle.

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Photo of Ngntjp
3/5  rDev -31.4%

I was expecting a lot more from this one. The nose is yogurt and over-ripened strawberry and maybe a bit of hard boiled egg (?!?!). Taste is where I was the most let down. As an admitted non bourbon barrel-aged stout fan, I was surprised to find so many similar notes of BBA stouts in this. Slight milk chocolate note over vanilla-y yogurt covered raisins and then some alcohol. Note that I do not really enjoy a noticeable alcohol content. Just not enjoying this nearly as much as so many other RISs out there. Glad to have tried it, but not one I would recommend. Sorry Alesmith, maybe I just had much higher hopes. With such a vast number of Russian imperial stouts out there, I would gladly reach for a year-round RIS over this any day.

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Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A beautiful looking stout. Black as can be with a dense, thick head. Aroma of chocolate and dark fruits. Lots of roasted notes as well. Flavor was very heavy on the dark fruits I smelled- dates and black currants. A healthy dose of chocolate. IT really seemed to lack the intense coffee flavor I was hoping for. I am thinking that cellaring for over a year was probably a bad choice as the adjuncts have become somewhat subdued, resulting in a loss of balance. Lots of roasted bitterness.

Overall, pretty good. I suggest drinking fresh.

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Photo of UnionMade
4/5  rDev -8.5%

Opaque, deep black with a thin topping of beige. Despite the thin head, there's quite a lot of lacing on the glass.

Booze, molasses and coffee dominate the aroma. The coffee is somewhat sharp, way at the top end of the aroma, with the alcohol permeating throughout. A bit of american hop sharpness, but the smell is mainly malt driven with some pretty heavy alcohol overtones.

Very dense in texture and flavor. This one sits on your tongue pretty heavily, like a black brick. Laconic molasses and coffee, with a pronounced boozy bite in the finish. Quite a bit of bittersweet black malt. Some hop bitterness in the finish, but it's mostly alcoholic warmth and a trace of fine-toothed clove esters. Relatively clean, without the bevy of dark fruit esters that you'd commonly find in a stout of this size. The coffee is evident, but blends well with the heavy malt. I like that the coffee isn't screaming through the beer. It's sort of an added statement. Super dense body, with surprisingly vibrant carbonation that keeps it from getting sludgy. I bet I can taste this beer on the back of my tongue hours later. The hops are buried under the malt, but there's really quite a lot of bitterness here. The boozy finish starts to feel really hot after a 12oz glass, and I'd decline a refill in favor of something mellower. This is a well-made fancy bottle that I associate with mid-aughts west coast brewing. I think that the rest of the country has caught up with this style of brewing and offers a fresh new take, but this beer was good in 2005 and continues to be. It just isn't at the top of the heap with so much competition from around the world now. A bit one-dimensional and pretty heavy handed. It seems like criticism, but singularity has a place.

I've certainly had straight imperial stouts with more coffee present, despite the fact that no actual coffee was used in the brewing process. In this beer, the coffee was used judiciously as an accent to an already bold brew. I tend to avoid coffee beers, as they simultaneously make me lethargic and alert. I'm glad to have tried this, but I doubt I'd crave it again.

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Photo of Tele
4.31/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 3.27.14
Consumed: 10.18.14

A: 4.75 Pitch black and looks silky pouring into a snifter. The two-finger tan head is dense and lasts about three minutes.

S: 4.25 The aromas are actually a bit subtle for a coffee stout. Of course, there is some dark roasted coffee and dark malt in the forefront, but other aromas are subtler. There’s some vanilla, cinnamon, chocolate, and a tiny bit of blackberry. While very pleasant, it all seems sort of muted.

T: 4.25 Similar story as the nose, but the coffee and chocolate flavors come forward more. The balance between the bitterness of the coffee and roasted malt is very well done and the chocolately sweetness helps to smooth everything out. The coffee flavor is very fresh tasting and not at all harsh, although the finish is rather bitter, but in a nice way for a stout.

M: 4.5 The body is fairly thick, though not as rich as I was expecting based on the pour. The carbonation is just about perfect and the bitter finish is also a bit dry which helps balance out the sweetness you get at first.

O: 4.25 Speedway stout goes down as a classic coffee stout and deserves its recognition. The beer is made very well and is complimented by quality coffee flavors that don’t overpower the base beer. There are also some unexpected flavors that take this beer from just another coffee stout to something special.

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Photo of lordofstarside
4.06/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 3/27/14

Pours black with a finger of foam that's receded pretty quickly. No retention or visibility. Lacing is okay, leaves a nice frothy ring around the glass

Smells of dark fruit, cherry, dark chocolate, coffee, and notes of vanilla. Finishes with some alcohol, really fruity

Taste is also pretty fruity. Upfront cherry and raspberry, followed by dark chocolate and some espresso. Alcohol ensues

Feel is pretty thick and creamy. Alcohol is pretty noticeable, sips okay

Overall okay, didn't live up to the hype for me, though. Coffee for the most part was pretty absent, what's up with that

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Photo of beerbully
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Poured into HF stemware

A-Black as midnight.....3/4 inch toffee colored head, decent retention, thick lacing that slides down the side of the glass (4.25)

S-Chocolate, coffee, anise, (4.25)

T- Lots of dark chocolate out of the gate..........slight anise, coffee, brown sugar, molasses, dark fruits, some booze but not 12% worth, very sweet, booze is more like rum than whiskey.......finish is like dark chocolate covered coffee beans soaked in rum (4.5)

M-Thick full bodied beer, 12% ABV is noticeable but not dominant.....just enough to provide some warmth......lots of flavors, well balanced (4.5)

O-Good full bodied beer to be sippin on a cold, damp afternoon. (4.5)

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Photo of BenwayPHD
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Pours pitch black with two finger mocha head. The nose is rich with mocha, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, booze, roast malt. Delicious. The flavor is very nice. Big and roasty. Toffee. The coffee seems a bit mellow, could be the age of the bottle. Thick, creamy mouthfeel. Great stout.

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Photo of Motleydrunk56
4.31/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle.Pours a very dark brown to black.Very nice smells of chocolate,coffee,and a hint of vanilla.The taste is excellent. This is a very nice stout with a ABV of around 12.0.The taste is chocolate and coffee and I can even taste a hint of licorice in there.This is well worth buying and I would drink this again.Give it a try.

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Photo of Sludgeman
4.48/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 4/12/13. Drank on 10/3/14. 1.5 years old. Shared with my son William as we celebrated my 52nd birthday with my family at our home. Poured into a chalice.

Super complex aroma. Agree with the label. Though coffee is added it is in the background to everything else. The warmer it gets the hotter it gets. Drink a bit colder than the suggested temperature. 4.5

A – Pours a blackish brown with a reddish tint. Opaque with a two-finger dense mousey light brown head with a rocky top. I would describe the head as frothy. Decent carbonation. Excellent lacing. 4.75

S – Dark fruit, coffee, roasted malts, licorice, faint dark chocolate, faint alcohol. 4.75

T – Dark chocolate, licorice, some sweetness, molasses, alcohol is very evident but not solventy or hot, chocolate in a bitter sweet finish. 4.25

MF – Smooth and warming, medium-heavy body, semi-dry finish. 4.5

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Photo of dcmchew
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%

Pours pitch black, even in the light, with a two finger mocha head, pretty fast to some floating spots and a sticky lace.
Smells awesome, salty roasted malts, rich dark chocolate, rich coffee bean, rich strong Italian espresso, some vanilla and raisin/plum, dark spices and the faintest warm alcohol (really cool).
Coffee and caramel up front, bit of toffee and some nice dark chocolate, something like a stronger cappuccino. Still sweet for a few seconds with a sprinkle of vanilla, licorice and cinnamon and some juicy plum, dark cherry and fig, subtle. Gets roastier, with rich dark malts, some nut peel and some more robust coffee bean, plus cocoa powder. It's also woody, a weird (nice weird) kind of whisky barrel feel (placebo, maybe?), probably from the greatly handled alcohol and the rich malts. Roast and some mild bitter hops close this up.
But tons of choco-coffee richness gets through to the aftertaste, tempting you to renew the flavors with another sip, and then another, and so on. The beautifully hidden alcohol also helps, but it will hit eventually. Medium body, smooth and easily drinkable.
LE: Gets a bit boozier later on. I guess it's normal, tho.
This deserves to be a classic, especially for the rich flavors and the stealthiness it has. Not a very complex beer, but it excels at what it advertises. Very tasty stuff.

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Photo of kkleu357
4.41/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

From notes on 5/12/14

Deep dark body. Poured with a one inch head. Very sweet cocoa smell. Very sweet chocolate coffee taste. Very good. Would love to try the ba version.

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