AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,489 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,489
Hads: 5,693
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 8.94%
Wants: 836
Gots: 1,682 | FT: 153
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: 1,489 | Hads: 5,693
Photo of aaronh
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A well aged bottle of this was shared with my brother-in-law. Pours pitch black with a nice dark brown head. Aroma has great dark chocolate, coffee, and alcohol sweetness. Flavor is that of everythigng black - roasted malts, dark roasted coffee, rich dark chocolates, and a hint of black cherry fruit. Truly an experience. Mouthfeel is also thick and rich. coats the tongue but doesn;t destroy the urge to drink more. If anything. the lingering flavors draw me to drink more. Can't wait for my next trip to SoCal. (513 characters)

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.94/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

There’s a running theme with Speedway Stout and my attempts to review it. I open a bottle with the full intent on writing a review. Half way through that bottle, I am overcome by the amazing wonderment that is Speedway. Soon after a desperate craving to drink more and more Speedway develops and doesn’t subside until I have filled my gullet with every stout and coffee beer in my house. By the time I recover, I have usually forgotten half of what I had intended to write about the beer. Still, all themes change and alas, it is time for me to finally review Speedway Stout.

This particular bottle was a touch over 3 years old, well cellared, and was given to me in San Francisco some time ago. Compared to younger vintages, I found that the aging mellowed the body, dramatically reduced the coffee flavor, and brought out more dark fruit character.

Appearance: Jet black with a thick head the color of antique, old growth Douglas Fir. Head retreats rapidly to a skim. Ample carbonation.

Aroma: Espresso beans, 85% cocoa chocolate bars, fermented cherries, blackberry, date, and plum and molasses.

Taste: Cocoa and dark roasted coffee beans. Lots of dark fruit alcohol. Toast and a touch of molasses.

Mouthfeel: Thick, chewy, full bodied. Alcohol does not overwhelm lending only a pleasing warmth throughout. Balanced coffee acidity, chocolate bitterness, and fruity/alcohol sweetness.

Drinkability: Flawless. As I said, Speedway turns me into a fiend for more every time I let it touch my lips.

I love this. Again, the big difference I see with aging is that the coffee aroma and flavor are really reduced. The beer as a whole seems better balanced, more mellow, and drinkable. (1,690 characters)

Photo of NoLiberty
3.85/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours from a nicely designed bottle/label into my glass a dark black color. Low lacing and small but persistent toffee colored head. It's thick and rich. The aroma is big roasty, malty, toasted coffee, bitter caramel, molasses and licorice. The taste is big, rich, sweet, nutty, brown, toasty, burnt, bitter, coffee, espresso with chocolate late in the story followed by late dryness and an aftertaste of all that lingers on for a long time. Mouthfeel is nice and round, full, good small bubbled carbonation and pretty thick. Pretty drinkable too for a 12%er. (559 characters)

Photo of Brewfan
4.82/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ok, sitting here on Christmas eve with a long night of cooking ahead of me. And I decided that it's been too long since I've had a Speedway, and for some reason or other, never reviewed it. So here we go...

'06 Vintage. Poured into my large DFH snifter.
It's hard to imagine a beer getting much darker. Baking chocolate dark, with a pinch of coal thrown in for good measure. Impenetrable to light. 1 1/2 finger head of fluffy, chocolate colored head with minimal retention. Lot's of full, multi-sized bubbles, eroding to a thin ring that stayed throughout the beer. Very little lacing to speak of.
Immediate coffee on the nose. Strong, like a triple espresso, hold the cream. Powerful roasted malt, pruny, with almost an oily aroma. Also getting a strong whiff of chocolate. This is like one big 12% mocha.
This one, even so big, tends to be gulped rather than sipped. Maybe it's the long day, maybe it's the creamy, luscious mouthfeel, or maybe it's the HUGE coffee and dark chocolate whollup that explodes in my mouth with every sip. Bitter and sweet in every mouthful. The two tastes play back and forth with each other. It's coffee, no it's chocolate. It's playfully sweet, no it's a man's drink. Either way, it's a big beer with a big bite. Getting some slight fruitness in the backbone. A dry, hoppy bitterness (or is it the bitter coffee) rounds out the glassful. But don't worry, there's still over 1/2 a bottle to go.
Medium carbonation with a very big body. Thick and viscious. This may be where Old(er) Viscosity got it's inspiration.
This is one of my favorite beers of all times. It doesn't get much better than this.
Merry Christmas everyone. (1,662 characters)

Photo of oakbluff
4.6/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottled shared with fisherman34 on a bright and cold saturday morning. Pours out dark espresso with a nose of espresso and dark chocolate. Thick body on this but not cloying in the slightest. Someow seems dry and viscous at the same time. Little ash in the taste, but also nicely balanced with the chocolate malts. Drinkability is very high given the potency of this brew. Excellent stuff. (389 characters)

Photo of jeffmonarch
4.21/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle in a snifter.

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

S - Three things. Coffee, chocolate and alcohol.

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

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

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

Great beer! (777 characters)

Photo of rye726
4.53/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

'07 vinatge 750ml bottle poured at 45F into a snifter glass

Dark black color with a nice cedar tint. Thick espresso brown head that settles to a light foam around the glass.

The nose is strong of coffee and chocolate malts. There is also a nice mixture of roasted black malts with vanilla, ripe fruits, caramel and molasses/toffee. Finally, a light floral hop character keeps the sweetnes in balance.

The taste has a big coffee presence surrounded by dark chocolate and black malts. Complimenting these fine flavors are blackstrap molasses, vanilla, cherries, raisins, earthy nuts and a warming alcohol. Like the nose, it finishes with a nice bitter citrus hop flavor.

Creamy medium to full body and well carbonated. Passes very smoothly over the tounge.

Deliciously well balance and very complex. A huge beer that can be enjoyed any time. (846 characters)

Photo of sfoley333
4.85/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured at Pizza Port ontap into a pint glass (12-03-07). Poured a midnight jet black with a nice thick tan head. Smell is of fresh roasted coffee and roasted malt. Taste is rich coffee, chocolate, and a slight carmel malt hidden in there. The alcohol is well hidden but at 12% you still get that warmth. The mouth feel is full body but still retains a creamy feel with a help of moderate carbonation level. For the alcohol this is a very drinkable beer. I have had this beer both in bottle and tap for the last five years and have to say it is one of my favorite beers in the world and I am so happy to live so close to the source. (631 characters)

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.72/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to fartingdog for this bottle in a trade. Cheers!

The kids are in bed, the wife is out, and Speedway Stout is in my liver. Life is good. Poured right from my cellar. Very black in appearance. Big smell & taste of coffee and chocolate with a hint of booze. Mouthfeel is smooth and the drinkability is a bit affected by the ABV. This is a great beer. At PopeDx's house last year, we did a blind Speedway vs DL tasting & I preferred the Speedway. Nough said.

Highly recommended. (484 characters)

Photo of wanker
4.64/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wonderful thick, creamy mouthfeel. Almost feels like cream has been added. Among my favorite mouthfeels ever.

Delicious coffee flavor. The coffee is really out front and provides all the bitterness in the beer. I couldn't taste any hops - but that is ok. Because of the coffee bitterness the beer was adequately balanced between sweet and bitter flavors. No alcohol taste, even though the ABV is 12%.

Super drinkable, until you pass out from the ABV.

Just a few negatives:

I couldn't get any head out of this beer, even with a fairly aggressive pour. I'd like to see a bit of head. Thus the 3.0 appearance rating.

Even though there is no alcohol in the taste, the alcohol hits you pretty hard in the nose. So I took off a point for smell. (743 characters)

Photo of NewSc2
4.3/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap at beachwood (writing this as I drink)

I've had this stout a few times here, all have been great. Not a big fan of imperial stouts, but love coffee, which this beer exudes. Great roasted coffee flavor throughout, not really chocolatey at all. As the beer warms the alcohol comes through, which is not what I'm used to in stouts.

Would never have guessed 12% abv at all. Might be psychological, but the stout tasted less balanced than ideal after I found put the alcohol content. (488 characters)

Photo of Kudashov
3.73/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On a trip to Marty's I told Dan ~ Le Beer Man ~ that I was on the hunt for Stouts and Doppel Bocks . He gave me a bottle of Speedway Stout and said that it is one of his favs . Marty's is by far my favorite place for beer hunting . Yes some will say that the beers are tad but pricey but that old line " you get what you pay for " holds true . When poured in my Galway seidel mug the head was thin . The brew looks sooo thick . Coffee - espresso - flavor . Has a dark chocolate bitterness to it . On the tongue it is thick for a short while but there is no burn on the finish . Which I though would happen seeing that this is 12 % . I enjoy the warmth that this is giving me as I watch the LSU / Ole Miss football . LSU is killing my parlay right now . This is a good beer , not great . It has put the "red heat " in my cheeks but at $16 a bottle I would rather buy packs of Brooklyn Black Chocolate Founders Breakfast Stout , or my fav as of right now Kentucky Breakfast Stout . (979 characters)

Photo of PhxHorn
3.23/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours almost black, with very little head. Smells of intensely of coffee and dark chocolate. Tastes the same, except very sweet. Actually, too sweet and too much coffee for me; quite lopsided. Needs more bitter flavor to balance out the sweetness. Took me quite awhile to finish the glass. This is a very rich, sweet and coffee-tasting beer, more than I care for. I'm sure it's just the beer for someone who love coffee, but it's just not the right one for me. (460 characters)

Photo of pwoods
4.52/5  rDev +3.7%
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 -7.6%
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 +6%
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.

Yum! (708 characters)

Photo of SilentSabre
3.82/5  rDev -12.4%
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 +0.5%
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 +7.8%
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 -1.8%
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 +4.4%
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 +4.8%
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 +4.4%
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 -0.7%
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 -7.1%
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)

AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,489 ratings.