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AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,547 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,547
Hads: 5,976
Avg: 4.37
pDev: 16.93%
Wants: 865
Gots: 1,832 | FT: 154
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: 1,547 | Hads: 5,976
Photo of flyerduke
4.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought a few of these at the Alesmith brewery several months ago and thought it was time to brake one out. Pours a black color. Big initial tan head that slowly faded but lasted to the end. Nice lacing on the way down. Aroma is light coffee, roasted malt, and a tad bit of alcohol. Flavor is COFFEE and CHOCOLATE. Nice bitterness balance. Slight alcohol warming. Very smooth, full bodied beer. Best beer I’ve ever had.

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Photo of laintringulis
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a wide mouth goblet. Pours a dark black with large tan frothy head that lasts throughout drinking. Moderate yeast sediment. Moderate lacing. No opaqueness.

Smells of dark fruit (raisins, figs), soy. Charred, smoky coffee. Butterscotch/caramel malts. Faint lemon peel.

taste: WOW. Brief initial roasted, charred coffee taste with a smooth creamy, buttery maltiness. Finishes with a hot spicy, alcohol finish. Excellent coffee and almost nutty flavor throughout drinking without tasting overroasted or burnt. Nice earthy tones.

Full- bodied, chewy and creamy. Slight hot alcohol and dry coffee finish. Your mouth will be happy!

I would like to drink more than one of these at a time, but the price is slightly too much for that, as is the alcohol content, but the taste is so good, I might try it.

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

An "Imperial stout brewed with Ryan Bros. coffee beans"... dear lord... this will be good...

Into a tulip glass, an agressive pour yields a whopping dark tan head, massive frothy creamy cloud, bubbly underneath. Comes out thick and dark as motor oil. Color is black, pitch black, one of those few that are a completely opaque darkness, with sploches of ameoba-like lacing sticking to the side of the glass.

Aroma in and of itself is intoxicating. Molasses, roasted and black malts, licorice wrap around bourbon-like alcohol, while the coffee espresso quality adds a little tingle toward the back of the nose, or is that the alcohol, maybe both tinglin the schnoz. Truly, deeply delicious, one of the few (imo) that could stand alone on aroma alone. "Please, sir, may I smell your stout" "Why yes indeed, you rogue." "Yhar."

Note: now about 10 minutes into this beer, the head has finally subsided to a thick (ie not thin) foam. Of course, every time I refill the glass, it explodes to an inch or so yet again.

Now, as I drink this thing, I struggle between wanting to share with my drinkin bro down the street, and wanting to keep it all to myself. A formidable beast, yet remarkably well refined and conceived, like a sasquatch in a tux. And this is where I realize, its 12% ABV. Looks like I should've called the bro. This just may be the most formidable impy stout I've had yet.

Anywho, now that its warmed up a bit, everything is coming out. Indeed, rides the line between big and overwhelming. Black, roasted, toasted malts float around a column of warm alcohol. Coffee seems to be everywhere, providing a good backdrop, backbone as it were, to other characters as big molasses up front, bitter chocolate floating around like a drunken pixie, and brown sugar to round things out. Much is made of the fresh ingredients on the bottle, and it shows up in the beer.

And as if it couldn't possibly get better, the mouth is truly ... f'in sweet Goddamn holy Moses... Barbra Streisnad!!! Ah, ya, really, its really good. Among the thickest, baddest, sludge-like bodies I've seen, almost like a thick creamy malt. And yes, very creamy, smooth, just envelopes the tongue, providing the slightest carbonation to keep it just lively enough. Fantastic.

Simply put, this is a beer that will make me quit my job, order several dozen cases, and sit around with a hand down my pants, sipping myself into oblivion. It wasn't even the most anticipated beer in this trade, and I didn't even realize how high it was rated till just now after I scored it. Now that I have though, well worth all the praise, truly a man among boys in the halls of stout-dom.

Big, huge, monsterous thanks to fitzIPAtrick for this one.

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

This is a very good beer. I don't know if I'll call it one of the best I've ever had (i.e. #12 like on the Best of BA), but its damn good. Pitch black with a tan head for starters. Big chocolate and sweet coffee aromas. Flavor kicks off with chocolate and then slides right into coffee beans and espresso. Ends with a kicks of more dry coffee. Drinkable, but I couldn't take down a 750ml alone. Find a good friend or three and share this great beer.

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Photo of drinknewbelgium
4.23/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle pours dark very nice head smells of dark chocolate roasted barley and hints of alcohol but the prevailing smell is that of chocolate waiting for head to subside tastes of chocolate with a faint smoked woodiness and finishes smooth with hints of alcohol but leaves a smooth chocolated taste in your mouth feel is right for this style the only thing to say is a tiny bit too thin but that is over looked i could definitely drink a few glasses

i recommend this beer to any one that can obtain it and it is definitely worth for even a trade you cant go wrong with alesmith

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

A great looking stout to say the least. Monster mocha head retains itself incredibly. Upon fading a chunky thick lace engulfs the sides of the glass.

One of those beers that you just don't want to take your nose away from. My buddy commented from accross the room "man that beer smells great". Powerful dark chocolate, and freshly ground coffee. Thick with dark fruity esters. Just an enormous complex smelling stout. Bits of flowery esters float around as well. Nice & roasty.

Big thick full mouth leaves a long lingering finish that tried to outdo our friend the energizer bunny. A thick bitter chocolatey fudge devours the from and mid palate transgressin into resemblances of a Boston Stoker machiato. Huge amounts of coffee is what I'm getting at. Stand out dark fruitiness of plum and black currant as well as others. Alcohol is well hidden but is there.

Not a beer for the faint of hear. Would be difficult for me to drink more than a bomber.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
4.17/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A friend brought this back for me from a west coast trip. Pours a hazy very dark brown/black with a dark layer of foam that seems to lighten slightly as it sits there. Head retention is excellent.

Odor is of coffee and malt, and is very strong yet appetizing.

Flavor is also of dark malt ("burned pizza crust") and coffee. Very good. Flavor seems to sweeten slightly as it warms. I'm not in the mood for a stout all the time, but this is a great Imperial Stout to satisfy you when you feel the need for a darker beer.

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is one of the best Imperial Stouts I've tasted. Rich and silky smooth. Pours to an inky black color with a huge chocolate colored head. Decent lacing. Looks great.

The smell is incredible. Sweet with a nice dry roast. Hints of berries and coffee. A subtle alcohol aroma actually accentuates the other aromas like a spice.

The taste is quite sweet, but it still has the taste of roasted barley. Some nice berry esters. Great coffee finish. The body is thick and incredibly chewey. Definitely a worthwhile stout. I'm glad I was able to try it. Thanks to dogfooddog for this, among other West Coast gems.

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

A 750 mL bottle obtained from Boolshot.

A: The ale is a black oily color. Absolutely nothing cuts through the darkness of the ale. There is a small ring of cappucino colored head in the glass. A pour generates a 1.5 finger sized head.

S: The stout has a deep roasted malty aroma that has a vinous depth. The alcohol is evident but not overpowering. Some hops add a floral florish without detracting from the malts.

T: The stout has a big bold taste. The first flavors to hit the tongue are heavily roasted, almost burnt malts. The intensely roasted flavors border on a very dry chocolate flavor. As the beer warms in the moith, a distinct, intense alcohol flavor emerges that is astringent. Back to the malts, this beer has a fairly subtle acidity that belies the coffee beans. Finally, the stout ends with a sweet flavor that finishes long and brings back hints of the roasted malts and coffee.

M: This big stout has a great deal going on at any one time. The malts and coffee combine nicely and are well-balanced. My only complaint is the alcohol burn.

D: The drinkability is limited by the 12% abv, but there malts are flavorful and the coffee is a great addition. I am very impressed that the ale has such a balanced flavor.

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Photo of jaxon53
4.83/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served slightly chilled in a tulip glass. Poured a beautiful shiny solid black. Came with about two fingers of thick, coffee colored creamy head. Good retention with plenty of sticky lace. The nose was of chocolate, tons of roasted coffee. The taste was the same as the smell, oly better. Chocolate, coffee , hints of charred wood and some well hidden alcohol. Twelve percent!? Wow! Very full , complex , thick mouthfeel. Drinkability ranked high because it left me wanting more. Best stout i've had hands down.

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

Been aging this one for about a year. Poured into a Duvel tulip. Thick black. No reddish hue against the light, nothing else, just black. Girnormous rocky chocolate-milk colored head that resembles root beer more than a beer.

Rich coffee bean aroma (not surprising considering it was brewed with actual coffee beans) are prevalent through the behemoth head. Rich malt notes all around; caramel, chocolate, and roasted. Slight alcohol scent as well.

Strong dark chocolate and coffee helps to mask the high 12% alcohol content. Slightly bitter hops as well, but overwhelmed by the impressive malt variety. Excellent beer, but not quite as complex as some RISs I've tried, in particular the Stone. The dark chocolate aftertaste is also unpleasant, but that may be just because I absolutely hate dark chocolate.

Thick on the palate. Very thick, and full-bodied. Despite this it goes down very smooth. The ABV is almost undetectable as well. Overall this is an awesome brew, the only weak point being the aftertaste, which may even be an upside to some. Plus, unfortunately, I fear this thing will give me horrid gas tomorrow, but such is the price to pay for enjoying a good stout. I'll still take the Stone over this, but I doubt I'd ever turn this down either.

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Photo of Hibernator
4.88/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Alesmith Speedway Stout
750 ML hunter-green colored bottle
Served in an Allagash tulip glass

Pours a marvelous and extremely black with a head that demonstrates great sustain. A khaki-colored head formulates instantly and provides amazing patterns of sticky lace as I swish back and forth in the tulip glassware. This beer is purely an aesthetic masterpiece.

The nose is ripe as can be. Strong whiffs of roasted coffee beans, chocolate and floral hops.

Dark, rich chocolate and a sugary-sweet molasses punch lay down the base. Spicy, black pepper hop punch that validates my initial concern that I should have cellared this beauty for a few months and then reviewed. Nevertheless, great complexities are prevalent with every sip. Hints of dairy, chocolate syrup, chalk and raisins.

In many ways, the flavors of this beer remind me of the Rogue Imperial Stout, which is unquestionably one of my favorites. The drinkability level is ridiculously favorable and quite deceiving at 12.0% ABV.

One of my favorite styles of beer and easily one of the best I’ve yet to enjoy. Highly recommended.

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Photo of jmz62565
4.73/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a jet black with a giant tan foamy head. A very impressive looking beer with great head retention and lacing. The smell is chocolate,dark fruit and coffee. A pungent brew,but not as much as other imperials. The taste is a creamy rich chocolate,coffee, and dark fruit masterpiece. An outstanding beer and at 12% alcohol it's very drinkable. The m/f is heavy with all the flavors mixing extremely well. I never thought I would give a beer a "5" in taste, but this beer is incredible. Run out and get this now. Cheers.

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Photo of dblinkhorn
4.23/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a foil-wrapped 750ml capped bottle into a snifter.

Appearance - Pours with a dark tan half-finger head that is very creamy but has a large number of larger soapy bubbles, too. This quickly dissipates to a very thin layer of patchy lace. Good lacing is left sticking to the sides of the glass as you drink it. The beer is opaque black.

Smell - Fresh extremely oily-smelling wet hops. Roasted malt character is definitely there, but it seems like the character isn't quite as dark roasted as some. Some alcohol-like over-ripe dark fruit character, mainly fig and raisin. Notes of milky chocolate are also present with a touch of coffee aroma. Moderate alcohol aroma, but it is not a harsh sensation.

Taste - Super oily bitterness up front from hops and ultra-bitter dark chocolate flavors. Again, and old-ale like alcohol character with raisin and fig fruitiness. Also a more milk-chocolate flavor with some bitter coffee tastes in the middle. Some peppery spiciness is also present, along with notes of molasses, caramel, and brown sugar behind the strongest set of flavors. I am tasting some dry grainy character, as well. The malt character tastes much darker than it smelled here, and definitely seems fully-roasted. The aftertaste has some earthy tones with a background bitterness of dark chocolate and hops, on a background flavor from the malt.

Mouthfeel - Perfect. The carbonation has absolutely no bite and holds its structure throughout the entire taste. This is a very heavy-bodied beer and it is extremely smooth.

Drinkability - Extremely bitterness of chocolate/coffee/oily hops character. Strong and rich (almost filling) malt presence. I probably won't be able to finish this bottle by myself, even though it's very good.

An excellent and powerfully flavored stout from Alesmith. Having this really perks my interest in the oak-aged version of this brew. If you like strong-flavored stouts with a super wet and oily mouthfeel and hops, this is for you. Highly recommended (as a sipper!).

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Photo of weeare138
4.52/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to grassrootsvt for sharing this bottle...
Appears a pitch black with a dark tan head that slowly fades out. Plenty rings of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is roasty, with caramel, coffee, cocoa, and vanilla.
Taste is of the same aromas maybe toned down slightly in a nicely contained mix that is addictive.
Mouthfeel is sweet, full bodied, with coffee bitterness and sugary complexities.
I really enjoyed this. The only problem was that the 12% abv was well noticable, which makes this more of a sipper.

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Photo of Iguana
4.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally I am getting around to trying this beer. Poured into my NB globe glass it is pitch black with a beautiful 1 inch beige head that didnt go down. Smell is phenomenal, dark chocolate, hints of roast coffee, just perfect for a stout. Taste is the same, dark chocolate, followed by coffee roastyness. Truely amazing. I felt mouthfeel could be a bit thicker, but still it was better than most. Drinkability is only hindered by the price, which this is definitly worth. Probably the greatest stout I have ever had thus far, if you can find this, get it, you wont be disappointed.

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Photo of SwillinBrew
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Hollingshead. Actually, until this one, i've never seen nitro used at the Head.

Well, this poured a beautiful black as midnight color that was like an expresso without any cream. No light shined thru and the head had a chocolate chip cookie color to it. My head was actually 4 inches high and i was going to ding for that, but actually, i attribute this to the Head having the wrong mix of nitro.
The aromatics were pure "roasting on an open fire" roastiness, burnt toast and coffee. The tidal wave of scented goodness really slaps you like a pimp.
The flavors are just immaculate. A tidal wave of cocoa, coffee, caramel and crisp toast bread flood your palate then divide and conquer. While i detected the alcohol, it was nicely woven in with the flavors. There's no doubt you just had some speedway stout... you wont forget it.
Quite heavy on the tongue and a bit chewey. I like the carbonation because you'd think it would lean towards being flat, but it's not. My advise, get some of this and drink it! Then drink more! This is the best stout i've ever had.

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Photo of TrickKnee
3.9/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wow, what a stout. The ratings and reviews speak for this beer alone and let me tell you the taste goes right along with it. Not being a huge stout fan i was delighted to see an amazing taste. Poured a deep dark color, (duh, its a stout) with a small amount of head. Rich chocolate , coffee and roasted flavors that linger in your mouth. Cant wait to try it again.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Received in BIF Across America on April 11th from Zorro. Huge thanks to Zorro. Bottle is green glass (who knew? it looked almost like black painted glass in the bottle.)
Appearance: Poured into a Duvel tulip, the head is gigantic and firm, very slow fading. The body is about as black and foreboding as you could exepct. Very nice.

Smell: Chocolate frosting and a whole pile of espresso. Vanilla, alcohol, round out the nose, excellent.

Taste: Rich and strong, the vanilla and coffee flavors are boisterous and delicious. The alcohol adds a burn, but is also adds more strength and flavor. This is one great beer, easily holding it's own versus any double stouts in the world.

Drinkability: Every sip starts smooth (due to the flavor and the great mouthfeel) and different flavors slowly work their way into the forefront. If you have the means, get a bottle, it is wonderful.

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

Appearance – This thick, dark liquid was basic black with a modest head on a lame pour that showed great persistence. The ale itself though it so dark and formidable-looking.

Smell – The big black coffee takes charge of the nose. The dark fruits are here but very light. There’s a rough, boozy character that I remember from the bottled version that smells maybe like wood or barrel-aging, although this is not the barrel-aged sample.

Taste – The roasty malts come out more at the taste. The coffee is now more in the background of the flavor profile. Everything else from the nose makes its way to the tongue with a little added chocolate to boot.

Mouthfeel – This is nearly full-bodied with some roasty bitterness throughout.

Drinkability – I’ll have to say, two nights of solid IPA drinking at O’Brien’s and this was one of the highlights for me. It’s not a rare beer in SoCal by any means, but boy is this tasty on-tap.

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

Rich coffee, chocolate, and roasted flavors and smells throughout. Amazing and strong. Looks great. Lacing for days. Smells amazing. Tastes even better. Creamy and enjoyable. Easy to drink for a huge stout like this. Alcohol sneaks through a bit in the scent and the taste, but not bad for a 12%er. Great young. Need to get a few to put away and age.

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opaque black. Very nice. Not much head though, but to be expected due to high ABV.

Nose is coffee, espresso, dark chocolate, and brown bread.

On the palate is a pleasant syrupy roasted malt character with balancing hops. Amazingly balanced, and the high alcohol is more subdued than I expected. Amazing beer.

Finish never ends.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to SkinnyElvis for this one.

This beer pours a very dark black with just a few burgundy highlights. The head consisted of a creamy film of copper tan that left some great lace behind.

Smells of dark caramel and milk chocolate with a well paired aromatic hop with some nectarines and a light pine. There’s also a light alcohol that creeps in and compliments the existing aromas by bringing out some dry dark chocolate and a hop dryness. I must say that this is a textbook blend of malt and hops here, IMO.

Tastes of woody dark barley, a lighter dark chocolate, some raisin sweetness with some sweet cream and a pinch of nutmeg. There’s also an light oak that fades to coffee but then falls all the way to roasted espresso in the finish.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation that’s a little sticky and coats my mouth.

This one’s delicious and a stellar example for the style. I’m really on the fence with the taste rating. It seems spot on, but the coffee in the finish is too obviously actual coffee. As good as it was, it also didn’t have that wholesome glow of perfection. I’d really like to give it a 4.75.

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Photo of BillyB
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Incredibly strong coffee and chocolate and (not as much)alcohol aromas.

Pours jet black with a brown, foamy head that sticks to the inside of the glass.

Mouthfeel is sticky, oily, chewy, with strong alcohol warmth.

I taste molasses, coffee, alcohol and chocolate. Brewed with tons of coffee beans.

Also taste espresso, dark fruit.

Such a BIG beer but without an overwhelming alcohol presence. Nice balance.

This beer is a project to drink (albeit a very enjoyable one). Set aside some time, find a comfy chair and settle into this one. Just fantastic!

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Photo of Morris729
4.97/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was quite surprised after peeling away all of the silver foil on the top of the bottle to find only a plain gold cap rather than a cork! Pours a black ruby color with a thick tan head that fades into a creamy lace. Nose is roasted coffee beans along with chocolaty cocoa and some fainter notes of dark fruit. Lots of sweet roasted chocolaty malts are in the tasting along with some espresso and a touch of molasses followed by just the right amount of hop bitterness. The flavors continue to develop in complexity and perfection as the beer warms. The alcohol is noticeable, but extremely well hidden for such a strong brew. Truly magnificent.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,547 ratings.