AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

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AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

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1,525 Reviews
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Reviews: 1,525
Hads: 5,865
Avg: 4.37
pDev: 8.7%
Wants: 855
Gots: 1,785 | 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
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Reviews: 1,525 | Hads: 5,865
Photo of shroompod
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sitting in the cellar about a year.

Pours with an exceptional rocky chocolate head that lasts a glass full.

Smell has dark roasted coffee, some caramel. Faint hops.

I taste bittersweet chocolate, dark roasted coffee, good hop bittering.Very slight alcohol presence.

Mouthfeel is thick , very well carbonated.

Overall this beer is joy to drink, very drinkable with the high ABV .

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Photo of orfeu
4.87/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Profuse thanks to dmeadows for sending me this wonderful surprise in our last trade -- maximum respect, Denis! Poured at a chilly cellar temperature (it's fuckin' cold out tonight, man!) into an AleSmith 10th Anniversary commemorative tulip. Dense, ponderous ebony with a small but dense, oily, whipped mocha head. Intense chocolate aromas; coffee scents swirl in and out among mellow toffee wisps and cacao liqueur-doused cherry notes. Outstanding nose, tempting and provoctative. Massive alcohol-infused chocolate bitterness smacks the palate up front with burnt malt and coffee flavors fighting for distinction shortly thereafter. A blackened dark fruit puree, remeniscent of charred currants and plums, emerges somewhere in the middle, right before a nearly acrid coffee flavor washes over and finishes, all with a truly tongue-numbing buzz that lasts for several long minutes. Sweet cherry-chocolate memories in the aftertaste with a demure yet bright espresso kick. Oil-like viscousness on the palate; thicker than all but one other beer I've sampled (Goose Island Bourbon County Stout). Alcohol is certainly present with a noticeable slickness and pepperiness in the mouthfeel, but it is never intrusive, only ever adding to the complexity of this fascinating stout. Coffee flavors become more prominent as the beer warms, lending a fuller, more well-rounded experience. Really wonderful, persistent head retention, with frothy sheets of lacing. This is a perfect beer to share or to sip slowly over the course of two or three hours. I will without fail continue to seek this out again and again, hopefully bringing back several bottles from my upcoming trip to Arizona in March. Thank you, AleSmith for this phenomenal experience.

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Photo of badbeer
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 1.5 year aged bottle, IIRC.

Black in color, light tan head with some lacing. Smell is of cocoa, chocolate, roastiness and a little bit of cream. Much of the same in the taste, long, dry roasty finish. Full bodied, fairly low in carbonation. Overall this was a very good beer, but I think I'd like to try a non-aged bottle for comparison.

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Photo of Greenfloyd
4.77/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5 serving breakfast sans coffee....

This incredible beer poured an unforgiving, moonless midnight into my glass. The smells of dark chocolate, coffee, and roasted malt give way to a rich chestnut colored head. The taste matched the smells beautifully as nuances of chocolate, espresso, toffee, and incredibly subtle warming alcohol notes (surprisingly subtle for the 12 percent ABV that this huge stout carries) hit you in stages. The body was medium heavy, not to thick, but still a good representation of the heaviness of an American Double Stout. This beer went great with baked ham, but on it's own is definitely an option...Enjoy

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Photo of tattooedtolley
4.82/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: thick black pour, very dark tan/light brown head.

Smell: Coffee, hints of chocolate, a bit of a dark/slightly fruity smell, a little alcohol too.

Taste: Big roasted malt flavor with perfect coffee notes. The alcohol is apparent but not overpowering the taste. Eventhough they dont stand out too much, the hops are taming what could be a very sweet beer, which is appreciated.

Mouthfeel: Thick in body, very smooth however, silky.

Drinkability: This beer was perfect served at cellar temp and eventhough I enjoyed this beer over a couple hours, it never became too warm even with the fireplace going. A delicious stout and inspite of the alcohol, very drinkable.

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Photo of tonistruth
4.65/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2005 vintage, opened 1/24/07

A- pours black and looks thick, two finger thick & creamy tan head sporting excellent retent, and eventually settles to a nice ring, thin tan lacing.

S- coffee, burnt malts, sweet cream, slight alcohol

T- lost of malt, burnt & roasted. roasted coffee flavor, creamy sweetness as well, roasted coffee aftertaste. only hints of alcohol throughout

M- creamy full (and filling) body, slides over palate

D- wonderful malty flavor, complex and mellow. filling brew and very satisfying, dont really need another because this can be enjoyed for quite some time. alcohol is amazingly well hidden. I enjoyed mine over a two hour period, and is was an amzing experience.

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Photo of Osiris9588
4.31/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, capped and wrapped in silver foil. Pours a motor oil black, opaque with a creamy 4-finger head; it eventually receds into a foamy, firm cap in the center of the glass. Beautiful.

The smell is of sweet chocolate and cocoa, along with toasted malt and oats. The flavor follows, very chocolatey, with some coffee, roasted nuts, and smoky wood.

The mouth is full-bodied and complex, yet still maintains a delighful creaminess. Very drinkable--a wonderful stout.

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Photo of hopsaplenty
3.3/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml green (why?) bottle. No date info, but it is silkscreened and came topped with silver foil. Picked-up via trade in November 2005, and has sat in the cellar ever since.

Deep black with mud brown edges. Towering, crackling head of jumbled espresso colored bubbles topped with a fine layer of crema. Pock marks slowly develop as the head drifts down to a pillowy cover. Slow rising carbonation. The aroma is noticeable at a distance, sweetened coffee, chocolate milkshake, smoked caramel, roasted pine cone, and a bit of alcohol. The taste is hot with alcohol and a coffee roastiness is set firmly in the background. Dry pine carries into the finish along with a bit of smokiness. A dry, baker’s chocolate flavor becomes apparent, but is covered by the alcohol. The body feels thin, and the mouthfeel light with fine carbonation. This has a dry, dusty feeling. The alcohol starts to dominate and detract from the overall flavor. I am left wondering where the body went and what happened to the complexity. The bottle indicates that it can be cellared for 6-24 months, and this was only down there for 15 months, so it should have held up better.

Meh. I was expecting more.

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Photo of Tyrawlings
4.27/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. Champagne bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A: Pitch black. Not a shimmer of light passes through the tulip glass. Hazel brown two finger head lingers for a spell then breaks down into a spider web like lacing.

S: Rich roasted coffee. Bitter baker's chocolate. Some dark fruit presense and warming alcohol.

T: Fine and rich roasted coffee are followed by a dark chocolate creaminess. Dark fruit or black currants and malts smooth the tasting experiance. Warm alcohol finishes prickly and dry.

M: Luxurious and rich. Minimal carbination. Warm alcohol is very drying.

D: The high alcohol content limits the amount imbibed in one evening but the beer is addicting. Each sip leaves you wanting more. I enjoyed this beer with a nice steak dinner and then with a piece of chocolate cake for dessert. A must try!

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Photo of UncleJimbo
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750-mL bottle. Bottled 1/20/06, consumed 3/10/06.

This coffee stout poured black as night with tal, brown foam that persisted and clung to the glass. The smell was malty with notes of oatmeal(?), a hint of sweetness, and some hops underneath all the malt. The taste was dominated bby coffee (not surprisingly). It was sweet and rich and malty with chocolate flavors coming through more as the beer warmed. There was also a light taste of alcohol. The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy with full body and moderate carbonation feel. It was a tad warming. This was a very nice, rich stout.

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.16/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Speedway Stout pours an ink black into the glass with a thick, tan rocky head on top. The foam dissolves slowly leaving behind a lot of netted lace on the glass. The aroma was a bit more mild than I thought it would be. It's mainly roasted malt, coffee and nuts with a bit of alcohol mixed in.

Each sip of this full bodied beer is smooth and slightly chewy with a dry finish. The flavor has a lot of roasted malt with notes of coffee, chocolate and nuts. Towards the end some bitter hoppy notes move it to help balance out all the malt. Once gone some coffee and nut flavors linger on the palate.

For 12% alcohol this beer hides its strength rather well. It's very flavorful, fairly balanced and easy to drink. I'd give it a higher score if the aroma was a bit stronger.

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Photo of largadeer
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Visual: Black and opaque like espresso, quarter inch head that coats the walls of the glass and remains until the beer is gone.

Smell: Quite a nose on this one. Burnt sugar/molasses in the forefront, undertones of dark roasted coffee. A bit of alcohol in there as well. Reminds me ever so slightly of dark, aged rum.

Taste: Coffee and dark chocolate come through pretty strongly in the flavor, like an alcoholic mocha. Molasses and just a touch of hops give it a lingering, bitter finish that lasts until the next sip. This is surprisingly smooth and sweet for such a robust beer. It looks intimidating, but it's actually pretty drinkable.

Mouth: To call this "full-bodied" is an understatement. Thick and syrupy, minimal carbonation. It coats the mouth in the way that only an imperial stout can.

Drinkability: Good for the style, but it's still so heavy that a glass or two should be enough for most people.

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Photo of Erdinger2003
4.37/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a head that falls right away and has almost no head and an ok lacing. The smell is very flavorful and full of molasses and other great flavors that come together really well. The taste is great, has a bunch of great flavors to include: molasses, roasted coffee and a slight smooth vanilla that takes out the super bitter flavors. It still has some big pepper flavors. The mouthfeel is pretty peppery and carbonated, but still kinda ok. Overall I'd like to age the next one a few years, but great!

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Photo of geexploitation
4.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours thick, silky and dark, with a dark tan head that leaves a collar and dusting in spite of the high ABV. Fittingly, it looks a lot like newly poured coffee. The aroma is rather subdued compared to what I had expected given the hype this beer gets. Still, it's a rich aroma of yeasty, creamy coffee notes with hints of dark chocolate and a bit of neutral alcohol. No hop aromas that I can make out.

On the palate the creamy chocolate and coffee notes expand immediately, practically overwhelming the senses. Some bitterness flashes through next, before things settle into a very complex finish that contains dextrine sweetness and coffee bitterness. The finish is powerful and dries out gradually as it lasts and lasts. Mouthfeel is very thick and slick. Drinkability is impacted negatively by the richness of this beer, but the flavors nevertheless hook into you and make you crave another sip, which makes for better-than-average drinkability.

Overall, this is excellent. It's not the most complex beer, which leads me to rank it lower than its BA ranking would dictate, but the flavors it does have are pulled off with panache and with depth. Very satisfying. No doubt a beer for a special occasion, or a beer that makes itself a special occasion.

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Photo of Scorpious
4.83/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is VERY good, of course I am biased towards the dark beers. It has very good appearance and is VERY drinkable but as with most high alcohol beers it can be cellared and will only get better with age.

Starts with a strong coffee and dark chocolate sensation, then fades to a multitude of toasty, roasty and caramel malt flavors.

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Photo of goschool
4.73/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I drank this out of a little shrimp cocktail bowl at a New Year's Eve bash. It was a pretty decent substitution for a snifter. I came a bit early and there weren't too many people around, so I was able to take notes without looking like the biggest geek on the planet.

Appearance: The pour is black as night with a brown head- one of the darkest heads that I ever did see.

Smell: The aroma is intense. Coffee, a Central American, roasted beyond any logical limits by some Pacific Northwest roaster, meets chocolate and alcohol in the nose.

Taste: The massive flavor profile has dark, city plus roast coffee verging a on short shot of espresso with plenty of crema, semi-sweet chocolate, molasses, bourbon vanilla, and warming alcohol. Fuck me! This one isn't so bad.

Mouthfeel: The oozing full-body is slightly creamy with a bit of carbonation.

Drinkability: It's 12% and it definitely becomes apparent by the halfway point, but you would have to pry it out of my semi-intoxicated hands before I'd give up one drop of the 750 milliliters of brilliance that is Speedway Stout.

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Photo of sleazo
4.27/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I have been meaning to review this one for awhile. I have had Speedway many times since i moved to San Diego. This review comes from my sampling tonight at the Liars Club after the Anvil ESB left me a little flat. The beer arrived in a 10oz fluted glass with minimal head. It was a rich deep dark chocolaty black. The aromas that hit you are of roasted malt, caramel and French roast coffee. These are what hit you when you drink it too, followed by a warmness fromt he high alcohol content. You definitely taste the alcohol here, but you shoudlin an Imperial stout. This thick creamy treat is one that everyone should try given the opportunity, a fine very well crafted beer.

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Photo of numenor1
4.83/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a beautifully crafted stout.

2006 bottling

This pours black with thick towering brown colored head that leaves great lacing. Huge roasty nose, along with deep caramel, molasses, coffee, chocolate and dark fruit esters. Initially starts off a touch sweet with mild, almost milk chocolate. This quickly fleshes into full blown stout glory with deep roasted malts, raspberry syrup, figs, molasses, dark chocolate and more than a touch of hops. Coffee is omnipresent and delicious, but really takes off through the finish, intermixing with hops and bittering the massive malt of this beautifully. Mouthfeel is terrific, very full (though less so than i anticipated) yet with lots of very fine bubbled soft carbonation giving a very creamy impression. Drinkability is very very good considering the weight of this beer (no hint of 12% whatsoever). Quite probably the best american double stout i've had yet.

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

Pours black with a amber to dark tan massive head that cascades while pouring and then slowly recedes. Twangy like acidic roastiness, chocolate and a little bourbon booziness in the aroma. Taste at room temp is a soft and silky mixture of coffee and chocolate, very nice. There is also some cola flavor in the taste and some acidity in the finish as the roast flavor grows stronger and mixes with a decently dry finish. There is a small peppery bite and alcohol warmth in the finish as well. Body is medium to heavy, not overly syrupy but very rich and smooth feeling. I especially enjoyed the chocolate and roast mix of flavors that worked quite well with the body.

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Photo of jeffjfindley
4.53/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ebony body, and the darkest head I've ever seen. Way beyond the parchment color of many micro stouts, this is BROWN. The smell is nice, and suggestive of the intense amounts of coffee beans they threw into this thing.

The taste is wonderful, and beyond smooth. It is even throughout, packing incredibly rich chocolate maltiness, mocha, and a healthy blast of alcohol at the end. The feel is perfect, and the most outstanding feature of this most outstanding brew. Almost too drinkable, considering it's ABV. Exercise restraint, or you may wind up pantsless in the gutter.

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

A beer I've had many a time and will always enjoy...

Pours a jet black with a nice beautiful mocha head.

Smell is nice and roasted. Roasted barley, coffee, etc. Everything a big boys stout should be. Hint of alcohol and chocolate.

What can be said about the taste that hasn't been already. A nice sweetness to it followed but roasted barley and you guessed it coffee. In my opinion coffee and big stouts go together like bullets and guns. Just meant to pair. Coffee is much more subdued than say Founders breakfast stout, but a great balance with the grain bill.

Mouthfeel is nice and thick with a mild carbonation. Chewy and delicious.

If ever had on tap it's even better. Even had it on nitro a couple times at Naja's but really didn't notice a big difference than just plain co2 dispensed. God bless AleSmith for adding to California's already great line up of amazing beers.

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Photo of Backer2004
4.9/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Really f--ing amazing is the only way I can describe it. Held out for 6 months before bringing it to our Homebrewers Christmas party. Without a doubt, one of the best five beers I've ever experienced. tons and tons of fanastic coffee beans are involved in making this brew. Lots of chocolate and rich malts balance out the slight hoppiness. Cannot tell it's high ABV. Worth every bit of the $12.99 I got it for . . . and will get again and again, mainly for special occassions.

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Photo of Franchise
4.82/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've waited a long time to try this beer because I've heard some great things about it. It pours a ominous black with no light penetration through the body that leaves a dark tan head that is frothy but disappears quickly. The aroma is chocolate, malted milk, light coffee, reminds me of the smell when I use to walk by this chocolate factory in Cambridge, MA. The taste is top-notch starts sweet like melted chocolate, then moves to a vanilla rich coffee bean bitterness, airy and light is the feel on the palate low in carbonation. The chocolate/coffee feel is prominate and delicious roasted beans deliciousness abound. This is truely a top 5 stout.

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Photo of PhiloPsych
4.87/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer makes remember why I like stouts. Rather than inadequately analyzing it, I'll just say this beer has great character. Everything about it is good. The aroma may be the best aspect of it! It smells wonderful. Contrary to what several other raters here have experienced, my bottle poured a thick, rich head.

The high alcohol doesn't come out in the taste, so it sneaks up on you. Plan to share a bottle, not to drink it all on your own. I am not sure how I should characterize the drinkability. On the one hand it is perfectly smooth and balanced. On the other hand, it doesn't take much at all to start you buzzing, so it is definitely to be appreciated in moderation. This is a problem, though, because it tastes so damn good and goes down so smooth it is hard to stop drinking it!

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Photo of dogfooddog
4.05/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml, pours with a small dark tan head. nose is slightly sweet, very chocolate-like, not really much in the way of roasted or burnt odors here at this point. served 50f.

some alcohol gets through into the taste, at 12% not that surprising. once again, semi-sweet chocolate is the major feature. beyond that, there is a slightly sour bitterness into the aftertaste/finish. maybe I am missing something, but this is not a terribly complex drink. I am surprised by its relatively high ratings.

very pleasant 12% american stout, very nicely balanced taste, worth trying, along with alesmith's other products.

I will note that I believe the size and abv of this beer are too much, combined. I understand this is a 'premium-priced' alesmith product, but some smaller alternative (like a 375ml corked bottle) would be nice if one were to wish to drink this without either dumping half the bottle or being mildly inebriated upon finishing it.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,525 ratings.