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AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

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

1,502 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,502
Hads: 5,762
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 8.94%
Wants: 843
Gots: 1,741 | FT: 157
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: 1,502 | Hads: 5,762
Photo of SethB2
4.18/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a coffee color with a huge deep tan head that last several minutes before settling, leaving a web like lacing in it's aftermath. Smells of sweet malty fruit and some coffee. Something else a little bitter in there too, but I can't put my finger on it. Maybe some hops. Tastes is of strong, bitter malts, coffee and some hops. High alcohol content is well hidden, but you know it's there. It's a warming beer, for sure. Mouthfeel is the very definition of full and thick. It has a nice aftertaste too, something that I don't normally associate with Stouts. Drinkability is somewhat hindered by the high alcohol content and the fact that is is such a dominating, stong flavor. More that one at a time might leave your pallet in shambles.

Very nice beer. Many thanks to westsidethreat. (835 characters)

Photo of klewis
4.28/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours midnight black with a big foamy tan head. Broad rings of thick lacing are left on the tulip.

S: Despite the "pounds and pounds of coffee beans added to the brew" (as the bottle advertises), I don't detect any coffee aroma. Plenty of roasted malt and chocolate instead.

T: A smooth taste with flavors of burnt chocolate, carmael, and alcohol. Very long taste duration.

M: Heavy and viscous as motor oil and just as sticky. The carbonation is mroe active than expected for a beer like this.

D: A very good double stout. The price tag makes this seem a bit pricey, but when I compare it to a bottle of wine of the same quality, it becomes well worth what it cost. Don't be a hero - drink this one with a friend. (729 characters)

Photo of timtheenchanta
4.78/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful black beer with thick tan head. Thick sticky lacing coats the glass after each sip.

Huge nose of alcohol, roasted coffee beans (as the bottle warns) and some bitter chocolate.

WHOA! This beer hits the tongue with LOADS of flavor. Roasted coffee exlodes on the tongue. Lots of bitter chocolate and slight hop presence balance out the sweetness. Alcohol warming follows as this one finishes dry. The huge creamy thick feel makes this one overly pleasant to sit down with.

If only I could come across this one more often. Many thanks to Jetsbeer for this one. (575 characters)

Photo of scottoale
4.7/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Whoa ! Served in the 12oz. plastic cup at the source, this is a dark black...maybe brown (it's hard to tell it's so dark) with a light brown frothy head. Good lacing that sticks.

Smells of dark, rich roasted espresso , bitter-sweet chocolate and some alcohol, oh my!!

First taste wakes the tastebuds, post-haste! Strong powerful, bitter, eye-opening coffee fills the mouth, goes down easily, then lingers and lures you to please, have some more ! Don't have to twist my arm, this stuff is delicious and very potent ! At 12.0% ABV, I think this is a one-of-a-kind, definitely the strongest stout I have ever tasted.

A full-bodied beer that hits hard at first, subtly mellows and lingers in a most pleasant way...what a stout ! Creamy, smooth mouthfeel...nice !

The best stout I've ever had on tap, highly recommended...try it ! (838 characters)

Photo of Chadbrew
4.52/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This ones almost black with very little carbonation, almost none at all really until it sits for a few minutes or is swirled in the glass. A very roasty aroma burnt smelling with licorice.
The taste has plenty of alcohol and a chocolate flavor, bitter chocolate not sweet. There is some sweetness but it is a syrupy sweet laced with ass-loads of alcohol, kinda like cough syrup.
The mouthfeel is full and slick with a touch of oily.
I like this alot but frankly I don't know what to do with this huge bottle. (512 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

You don't get darker or opaquer as this demonstrative stout races out to the gripping taste of supported roast.

Speedways masculine color is matched with a viscous appearance or motor oil as a blanked of heavy whipping cream seems to stand in for its head character. The foam will eventually give way to the beast of a beer underneath and leave moderate lace to start, but oily legging to finish.

A focused scent of espresso and cocoa-rich chocolates are backed with the scent of burnt caramel, malted milk, and slight coffeeish sourness.

Deliciously dedicated to the espresso and bittersweet chocolates as well. The simplified palate is supported by complementary malted milk candies, slightly scorched caramel, and a berry-like acidic twang that signals closure to the beer. Without much complexity, the beer relies heavily on roasted malt to carry the session.

Full bodied and robust throughout, the malty oily early palate is rounded by the richer malt texture of heavy cream and bread. A slow fade to firm alcohol warmth and roast bitterness finishes the beer with a long linger of roast and chocolate.

I like the fact that the beer isn't muddled with tertiary flavors just for the sake of complexity. This beer is complex because of it's sheer bigness and not because of it's variety of conflicting taste. (1,316 characters)

Photo of Graham21
4.27/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Very thick pou,r with a coffee color. very dark. two finger head. good retention, good lacing.
nose was a sour chocolate with a hint of smoke and coffee beans. smelled very good.
Taste; bitter, alcoholic, chocolate, dark chocolate, bitter baking chocolate, lots of coffee, and roasted malts
Great stout
too much alchol;got me drunk (336 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Obsidian. Other than a mere sliver of pecan shell brown along the bottom edge of the glass, this beer is a complete black hole. The coffee-with-cream colored head looks nearly as thick and as meaty as the liquid on which it sits. Its moonscape surface contains multiple bubbles of various sizes that create pits and craters as they burst. Lace is in relatively short supply, but then I wasn't expecting much given the ABV.

The aroma was amazing as I poured and is no less amazing now that I'm concentrating on it for real. The three major components are ridicously roasted black malt, bittersweet chocolate and espresso. I can pick up the slightest hint of alcohol, though it's more than welcome in a beer as big as this one is.

AleSmith Speedway Stout is better than expected... and I expected no less than greatness. This is one of the hugest, most full-flavored, most mouthfilling ales of any style that I've ever had the pleasure to drink. Words fail me when attempting to describe the sheer massiveness of the malt backbone. Each sip explodes with the force of a daisy cutter, sending great gouts of melted, coffee bean-flecked chocolate fudge up, down and sideways until my mouth seems unable to contain it all.

SS tastes blacker, meaner, more menacing than most other American double stouts that I've run across. It's more along the lines of an RIS in that regard. It's as sweet and as chocolatey as any other ADS, but it's also impressively bitter and has a huge blackstrap molasses vibe goin' on. In fact, the flavor profile contains the entire gamut of stout flavors and still manages to combine them into a beautiful, seamless whole.

I don't like coffee and I'm not usually a fan of coffee-dominant beer. I had a few qualms about this one when I read the back label and found out that 'pounds and pounds of coffee beans' were added during the brewing. Surprisingly, the flavor isn't overwhelmingly java-like. The finish is freakishly long and leaves the mouth and tongue coated with a 'bitter hop cones (mixed with fire-roasted black malt)' layer of scum that one doesn't usually find outside the biggest IPAs/DIPAs.

That brings us to mouthfeel. Simply put, this beer has one of the three biggest mouthfeels in all of beerdom. It's easily the equal of Dark Lord (I'm leaving the third spot open because nothing else comes readily to mind). If you've ever drunk eggnog or heavy cream, you'll have some idea of what it feels like. It's velvety smooth and impossibly creamy. In other words, it's mouth candy for those of us whose attach more importance to mouthfeel than to anything other than flavor.

I've just realized that I haven't even commented on the ABV or the noticeable alchohol yet. That's because this is one of the most well-masked high alcohol beers in existence. Whether that has more to do with its age (an estimated 1 year) or to its brewer's skill, I couldn't say. As noted in the nose, the alcohol is an integral part of the whole and is a more than welcome contributor. Completely burying the beast just wouldn't be right; a little controlled snarl is just what this beer needs.

AleSmith Speedway Stout deserves every accolade ever thrown its way. I'd love to scratch off the 2nd place ribbon shown on the rear label since this behemoth takes a back seat to no stout. No how, no way. This is a truly special beer brewed by a truly special brewery and is not to be missed. (3,408 characters)

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.05/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I first tried this over a year ago and couldn't stand it. I think the problem was that I drank it after four (or so) lighter beers during a poker game, and all I needed was to finish with more session beers. It was so thick and heavy...

Now I tried it again and found it to be really good. The appearance was nice, pitch black with a decent tan foam on top. It smelled appetizing too, coffee and malt and a little chocolate. The taste was mostly the same, very good but not my favorite coffeed stout (I like Two Brothers Imperial Stout and Founders Breakfast Stout more).

Maybe not worth the price for me, but it was nice anyway. (635 characters)

Photo of Sephiroth
4.73/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to KingG for the bottle. My bottle has a different label than the one shown here on BA, so I'll assume it's kinda fresh, not that it would matter with this beer. Pours with a huge head, I've seen blacker stouts. On the third pour, I finally get some globs of lacing. Smells of chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, and alcohol.

Taste is fu#king amazing! Initial semisweet roasted malt, which quickly turns to burnt malt, coffee, milk chocolate for a tenth of a second, then dark, very dark chocolate. Even the foam tastes good, burnt to a crisp would be an accurate description. Mouthfeel is less oily than some imperial stouts, but as thick and chewy as any. Silky, smooth, and vinous. Incredibly drinkable, albeit very heavy and filling.

I have enjoyed this as much as any imperial stout, save for maybe Rogue Imperial Stout 01, and even then it's a tie. (867 characters)

Photo of HimerMan
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Absolutely delicious. This, to me, is an Imperial Cream Stout (and more speciffically, a burnt coffee, chocolate and cream stout with a nice/appropiate alcohol kick). Poured black as night with dark brown head. Mouthful is not for the faint of stout, especially due to its high alcohol content. Highly suggest having with cheesecake or after diner to relax. (357 characters)

Photo of TheBungyo
4.57/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

If you need a stout in a serious way, this is the beer for you. After pouring, it looked as if some wiseguy had filled my pint glass with a melted tire. It's every bit as black as anything goodyear would slap around your rims. The head was a very thin blanket of fuzzy brown foam. The appearance would be perfect were it a little bigger.
As for the smell, well remember that Folger's comercial? The one where they throw the pot of coffee on and the entire family ends up coming down the stairs because they smell the coffee? I could see that happening with this one. The coffee wafts upward to your nose while you're trying to take in the sight of this beer. Try as you might to focus on the eye candy aspect, you WILL notice the aroma. Lots of cocoa, followed by the unmistakable coffee smell. The taste is chock full of bitter chocolate, that's followed by more chocolate but more reminiscent of Hershey's syrup. The back trails out with coffee. For as strong as this one is, I found myself jolted with energy, probably from the actual coffee beans added to this brew. Mouthfeel was thick and viscous, spot on for a stout.
For me I couldn't see drinking more than a glass or so of this, not because of the ABV but because the taste is so immense that no thoughts of another could be entertained. Its beers like this that put the craft into craft beers. (1,358 characters)

Photo of Blakaeris
4.52/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours absolute black with a surprisingly thick head that hangs around.

Smell is thick with chocolate, coffee, dark malt and bourbon aroma.

Taste is creamy chocolate up front, then a blast of coffee and hop bitterness. Mollasses, slight dark fruit notes, dark grain and burnt malt. Finish is dry and lingering with definite woody bourbon notes. Wonderfully large and complex without overpowering.

Mouthfeel is medium full. Quite smooth and a little lighter than expected. Very nice.

Overall I'm impressed. Alcohol flavor is present but I'm surprised that it is 12%. Mouthfeel is so smooth that it is easy to drink this 750ml in one sitting (I've pretty much finished mine off while writing this short review). Flavor is large but not obnoxius. This is a great stout.

Thanks Bashiba for passing this one along. I owe you one. (839 characters)

Photo of connecticutpoet
4.52/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased at Julio's Liquors for $13.99, and damn was I glad to get one locally rather than having to trade for it. Consumed with my father while watching the extended version of "The Two Towers"... it sure made the movie somewhat more surreal.

This one poured out an extremely dark brown, almost black, with a tan two-finger head that persisted for quite a while. Quite a stout.

Aroma was a complex blend of roasted malt, toasted barley, coffee, and dark fruits, with alcohol pervading the whole nose underneath it all.

Flavor was of intense bittersweet chocolate and roasted malt, almost burned barley, and coffee, with a definite alcohol presence making itself known. This was a rather bitter stout, and quite welcome.

I have to take a little away from its drinkability, both because of its power and its cost. Cost is prohibitive, and it made me reeeally sleepy. Although that could have been the movie, too. But not the pizza, had this before pizza. (966 characters)

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

This beer was unbelieveable. It poured pitch black. The head: light tan in size with a mostly diminishing head that left some lacing. Nice nose. Molasses and lots of toffee and coffee but mostly a sweet milk chocolate covered pot leaf that I loved. Starts out with vanilla, toffee and tons of cocoa. The mid-palate was full of chocolate but not the usual chocolate but more of a melted milk chocolate. The finish was amazing and hard to put into words. It was a tobacco laden coffee bean dripping with chocolate and it was very lingering. The coffee beans served there purpose, molding all the flavors together and eliminating a lot of the alcohol flavors. This was a 12% beer and I could barely taste any alcohol and I think it was the coffee beans than eliminated it. This beer was amazing and the past few days I have been sitting in the middle of class and I could swear that I tasted the tobacco laden coffee bean dripping with chocolate finish. Rerate: I’ve had several bottles since my first review above and each bottle still blows me away. One of the best Imperial Stouts in the world. (1,095 characters)

Photo of PatandDavid
3.8/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

David and I shared a bottle of the 2006 version at Redbones. My review is all over the map, I think one of the reasons as this one would most likely benefit with some ageing (it's actually recommended to do so on the bottle). Initial impression after the bottle was opened was that it was a boozy monster with a syupy mouthfeel. I was actually a little nervous and thought, I hope some of our fellow bar patrons can help us finish the bottle if we aren't able to. Well, guess what, we had no problems finiishing the bottle, so let's see what we had. Poured into tulip glasses, it had a nice coal black color with mahogany highlights in the light. I loved the deep rich coffee crema head, but it dissipated and only left me with some small skim coat on the sides. The aroma was initially boozy, but as we became accostomed to it, the coffee came to the fore, and some depth was provided by some stone fruit notes as well. Mouthfeel was initially syrupy, however as we made our way through the bottle, it became rougher, with fine prominent carbonation. Tastewise, there's a ton of coffee, milk chocolate, roasted notes from both. I enjoyed it, and it did become easier to drink as we made our way through the bottle. Actually did not feel intoxicated at the end, but that's where a big meal, and tons of water help out. Would love to try again in six months. (1,357 characters)

Photo of imblane
4.37/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2006 Release in a 750ml bottle, brewery fresh. This is listed as an American Double Stout, but I feel the coffee overtones overpowered this beer. I love this beer, but IMHO it is not a double or IRS beer. It is in a class by itself. Black as the Ace of Spades with a big coffee kick upfront, a malty backbone and a smooth alcohol finish. The acidity was moderate and this beer was un-believably enjoyable and relaxing. Another huge effort from Ale Smith, I have a few of these in the cellar for a cool winter day! (513 characters)

Photo of Lnedrive14
4.09/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had to write this one the morning after because I got a bit too drunk from that big bottle!

A: One heck of a dark beer - straight up opaque black. A bit disappointed that it poured with no head - maybe this was one of those issues AleSmith had been having with the beers sent to the east coast. In any case, the lack of head really detracted from the beer's appearance.

N/P: This really is a coffee stout. I think I started drinking this one a bit too cold so a lot of the flavors didn't come out very well. When it warmed up the coffee and roasted malts hit the palate hard. To be honest, I had a hard time pulling anything else out of this one - the coffee really dominates.

M/D: The alcohol I felt was a bit too much. I guess I should have expected it at 12%, but it was a definitely a bit stinging throughout the session. Other than that, the beer was fairly creamy and had a pretty good texture. Drinkability is fairly low, although I did manage to kill the bottle myself :)

All in all a good beer, but certainly it did not live up to my expectations. Perhaps this is a different beast on the west coast, but unfortunately, this is the only one I had to review. (1,180 characters)

Photo of hero27
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml green bottle with a silver foil wrapped over the neck & cap. 12% abv.

I could have sworn the bottle was brown (or black) before I poured it out...but when I noticed the bottle was actually green, I realized how damn dark this beer really was. The head was chocolate brown and left thick tan lacing down the side of the glass. The aroma was rich chocolate, espresso, and roasted malts. The bittersweet taste of coffee beans mixed with chocolate kept the alcohol pretty well hidden, and it's truly hard to believe this is 12%..
The mouthfeel is very thick and the carbonation is fairly low..creamy and rich to the end.. drinkability is ok, but there's no way I'd be able to have more than one 750ml of this...I had some help from a couple friends and it still took us quite a while.

Very similar to Dark Lord..but the Lord takes the crown, in my opinion. Speedway Stout is a gigantic beer and an Imperial Stout that's well worth trying if you get the chance.

Bottle courtesy of Jetsbeer. (1,001 characters)

Photo of rajendra82
4.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another one of the beers I recently picked up at Hi-Time Wine in Costa Mesa, and curiously one of several Imperial Stouts with coffee I seem to have run into lately. Out of the green 750 ml. bomber, and into the goblet, the beer came out deep reddish black with a one finger thick light brown head. The body was opaque when held up to the light with some brown highlights at the extreme edge. Aroma was chocolate malt and leafy hops mingling together. The first taste was about as intense as I have ever had in a beer. The acrid roastiness of the malts provided the backbone of the flavor profile, while the green bitterness and acidity of the hop oils provided the muscular heft. Together they had quite a tug of war on my tongue. I believe the hops won out in the end. They claim to have poured in pounds and pounds of coffee beans in the brew, but the other flavors were so strong, the coffee was barely detectable as a distinct taste. There was a lingering note of chocolate in the aftertaste. The body was thick and smooth, providing an excellent feel on the palette, which was spoiled only a little by the peppery spiciness of the alcohol. The strength was well covered by the abundance of the flavor while the beer was in the mouth, but since there are no taste buds in the stomach, the warmth spreading to the extremities from there was dead giveaway. This is a beer best suited for a nightcap duty, although the large bomber size gets in the way of that a bit. I would love to see what some age can bring out, as at this fresh stage the hops dominated everything else. Maybe I can get my hands on some more to set it aside for a while. (1,644 characters)

Photo of goodbyeohio
4.65/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

got this pimped out 750 in a trade a ways back.. want to say its courtesy of ejquin but hard to remember exactly. either way...

majestically noir into a brandy snifter. no light is penetrating. tan furry layer of thin cream rests atop.. trippy arms of lacing. very espresso-like in appearance, thanks to the microbrew coffee used in the brew process undoubtedly.

nose is unequivocally boozy, reminiscent in its malt/yeast profile of dogfish head big beers, wws most noticeably. chocolate malts release a really dry cocoa aroma mixed with some tree bark and wild, pungent hops. coffee isn't so much fresh brewed as it is oily, roasting beans. huge fucking beer to be respected.

slick, oily.. with a real snakebite in the finish. a sipper for sure, and that evens out the abrasive elements that throw off the body. when sipped, this is an invigorating experience. silky carbonation, dense, rich syrupy body and great hop levels keep each tag off the glass interesting and equally powerful. there are few beers that don't diminish in strength as you drink more.. and this is certainly one of them.

flavors i pick up here include burnt vanilla bean, coffee grounds, pumpkin pie filling, plummy/cherry yeast fruitiness and essential bittersweet chocolate syrup. a full, enriching beer experience.

dangerously drinkable. i had no problem throwing back a 750 of this over the course of an evening.. well, no problems until the next morning. 12% seems more like.. 9?

awesome beer, for a RIS (double? bah!).. no dark lord, but what is, besides dark lord. still, considering the availability of this beer and its dominance to other locals like stone.. an american classic through and through. (1,700 characters)

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

Appearance: Jet Black, with a toast-brown head Flavor: Starts with a strong coffee and dark chocolate sensation, then fades to a multitude of toasty, roasty and caramelly flavors. Finishes with a nice fullness but dry enough not to be cloying.
Aroma: COFFEE!
Mouthfeel Velvety smooth texture. Clean and crisp, full-bodied. Warmth from the high alcohol content lightens up the feel just a bit. Still, you won't fool your taste buds -- this beer is freaking Huge (463 characters)

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

OK I am new so I am reviewing the beers I had last night and they happen to be my favorites so thats why the high scores...as I taste more and sample the scores will be more reasonable. Anyways this beer poured thick with a nice tall tan head that lasted for ever. I could have balanced a semi truck on this head. The amlty aroma I could have smelled for hours. Nice subdued hops in the nose not to overpower the lovely malts. The taste is incredible very complex with anise, raisin, roast, slight smoke and hung around on the palate for ever. the mouthfeel was equally incredible without being too thick. Very drinkable. a sligh alcohol edge that soothed with time. I felt I was drinking some expensive bottle of wine the way I judged it (Screaming Eagle like). I got this at Holiday Wine Cellar in Escondido. I have heard this is hard to come by. try it if you find it...you will not be disapointed (900 characters)

Photo of Tupperwolf
4.08/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Where to start?

In the San Diego area there seems to have been a shortage of Speedway Stout; I swung by the brewery to buy some and was informed by a friendly but chagrined employee (Mike? Matt?) that they were waiting on coffee from Ryan Bros. before they could get a new batch on the market and that they didn't have any left at the brewery at all. He recommended a couple of places, both of which didn't have it, and I stumbled upon the last bottle at BevMo. I intended to give the bottle away for Chanukah, but was determined to at least try it. At the time I didn't have a chance to review, and I stumbled across another couple of bottles at Dick's Liquor. I've been saving my bottle for some time now; It's been calling to me.

I'm dissappointed immediately by the utter lack of a head; The cap hissed when I opened it, so I assume the cap seal wasn't bad, but there's just no head at all other than a few bubbles I force with an aggressive pour that soon dissappear. I'm left with a murky brownish-black tulip full of what looks like a nightmare child of dark wine and the blackest of military coffees. I hate giving this beer a below average score for appearance but as far as I can tell there's nothing wrong with my particular bottle - the other sample I tried was similarly headless.

The smell punches you in the nose with coffee (duh) and bitter baker's chocolate. Little whiffs of raisin and sour-fruity-sweetness tie the two together, and the alcohol makes a slight appearance. Heady, heavy, alcoholic, the scent is somewhat intimidating. That's a good thing!

The taste is so full of coffee, toffee and chocolate notes it's like drinking a cool mocha (maybe even an Irish coffee, with the alcoholic notes on the back of the tongue). The taste is just like the smell, with slight variations in the acidity of the raisin-plum notes that are the background to the chocolate-coffee. Big, big flavors have been forced into this one alongside big abv.

Mouthfeel takes a big hit because this simply doesn't have any carbonation. This Imperial/Double Stout has the right consistency - chewy and sticky, with lingering sheets of carmally flavors coating the inside of the mouth that just won't go away - but I wish it had some froth to liven things up a bit more than they already are.

For a Big Beer, this one drinks like a champ. Go into the game expecting alcohol and coffee and you'll flip for this one.

It may seem obvious that something was wrong with my bottle and I should have had more carbonation; But I reviews 'em as I sees 'em. I'm more than willing to try another bottle of this to see if I get a better example! Until then, my review stands. (2,681 characters)

Photo of bruachan
3.31/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

from hudson acme

i bought myself some new beerware to accomodate 750s, and frankly, this thing's too big. it's a 160 oz brandy snifter. that's right...it can accomodate FIVE 750s. anyway, i figured this was an appropriate brew to christen my BIG glass (i call it...the grrrail)

big chocolate aroma out of the bottle (which, now that it is empty, i see is green and not black). pours a reddish brown, but black in the glass. chocolatemilkshake head that sticks to the glass when it sloshes around (looks almost like changing tides in this glass). when i stick my face in the snifter's port (literally; when i sip my hairline is in the cavernous glass. i should wear a hairnet) i get alot of ethanol in my nose, along with the expected black malt aromas and some deep dark fruitiness

a fair amount of bitterness from the highly kilned malts, but it could be a much smoother drink. vanilla, rum, raisin. the hop bitterness seems to mesh with the ethanol flavor, so the alcohol appears more prevalent than it really is. in any case, i should be expecting some alcohol to come through (though it's a little strong in the aroma)

coffee doesn't seem to have as much of an impact compared to peché mortel, but i don't drink the stuff so i might be missing some of the nuances that i might pick up otherwise

in conclusion, i'm disappointed. i don't like the bitterness at all, i get too much ethanol aroma and, though complex, the flavors just aren't enjoyable. their wee heavy is much better (1,499 characters)

AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,502 ratings.