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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: 5,972
Avg: 4.37
pDev: 16.93%
Wants: 865
Gots: 1,832 | FT: 155
Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-09-2002

Jet Black, with an off-white head. Starts with a strong coffee and dark chocolate sensation, then fades to a multitude of toasty, roasty and caramel malt flavors. Clean and crisp, full- bodied. Warmth from the high alcohol content lightens up the feel. You won't fool your taste buds - this beer is HUGE!
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,547 | Hads: 5,972
Photo of bennetj17
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Local Dough in Tucson, AZ. The beer arrived at my table with a nice dark tan head of about a half-inch, with solid retention. The color is a deep black although a bit of amber around the edges presents in the light. Rich, chocolatey, mocha aroma present. Very roasty and strong. The taste is has a moderate coffee flavor, yet not as powerful as I expected. There is alot of semi-sweet chocolate flavor in the mix to really balance out the roasted coffee. Because of this it doesn't come across as very bitter for a stout. The alcohol taste creeps out a bit, but considering it's 12% I would say it's well disguised. The mouthfeel was very enjoyable. It's quite thick, but has an ultimate, silky smoothness to it. Perfect and subtle carbonation.

This is a truly great stout, but a bit strong so you must take it a bit slow. I'm anxious to try the bottled version now and compare...

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Photo of MSchae1017
4.44/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was tasted in a snifter glass from the 750mL bottle.

This beer pours jet black with a nice tan-brown head that doesn't hold fantastically well but leaves a little bit of lace as it is dissipating. The smell hits you at first with a sweet roasted and chocolate like aroma but is complimented with a wonderful coffee like aroma. The taste is very much like the smell. Chocolate up front follows by coffee and then you are hit with the bitterness. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with a full body up front. The carbonation is smooth at first and then sharp along with some burning from the alchohol. Overall, its a highly drinkable, fantastic stout.

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Photo of BlindPig
3.93/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer poured black. Little head that faded quickly. Smell had a bit of coffee with other aromas I couldn't pin point. Couldn't smell to much alcohol if any though. Taste was quite good. Wasn't in your face of coffee but the aftertaste was. It was quite bitter at the same time (which is a big plus in my book). Chocolate came through quite a bit also. The mouthfeel was smooth and oily. It was very thick and low carbonation. I'm not a big fan of stouts due to the coffee flavor. I could easily drink it though but no more than half a bottle.

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Photo of Toddv29424
4.46/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark, dark brown color through which almost no light can pass. The head retention is probably the best that I have seen of any beer, ever. It's been poured for about 10 minutes and is still just as big as when it was poured. The smell must be teased out, but the most dominant is alcohol. There is also a bit of burnt malt and hops to it. The taste is wonderful, and probably one of the most balanced beers that I have had ever. Its so well balanced that its almost impossible to discern the different tastes that go into it... all my drinking buddies agree that’s its hard to get a handle on the taste. I would say this is an almost perfect combination of hops and malts, definitely something to be sought out if you've never had it.

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Photo of jdoolin
3.6/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 750 mL bottle, poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: Extremely dark brown, with a red tint at the very edges, one finger tan head that didn't last very long.

Aroma: Roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, vanilla and alcohol.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Roasted malts and chocolate up front, but the alcohol kicks in quickly. Too much malt sweetness. Definite, very pleasant coffee in the finish. Moutheel is very creamy and thick. Most excellent. But the alcohol keeps this from being a very drinkable beer.

Notes: It tasted to me like a barleywine mixed with an imperial stout, apparently because of the high alcohol. It makes for a very interesting and delicious beer, but it didn't meet my expectations. At $13 per bottle, I will most likely not be revisiting this.

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

A - Pours a nice black color, nice carbonation, nice brown/tan frothy head, tons of lacing afterwards.

S - Scents of roasted malts, and coffee/chocolate.

T - The taste is kinda sweet, malty, with some nice coffee/chocolate taste, kinda dry finish.

M - Medium, a nice complex brew.

D - Very drinkable for a big brew (12% ABV). Highly recommended.

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Photo of Pegasus
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep mahogony brown, with a small tan head, which soon collapses to a thin tan collar, with scattered patches of thick, chunky foam.

Aroma: Deep chocolate and coffee aroma, quite pleasing. The bitter chocolate notes seem to linger on and on. A sweet alcohol note appears as the beer warms.

Taste: Bitter chocolate notes dominate from start to finish, at the close of the taste there is a slight herbal hop note and a bit of stale coffee, these seem to linger on forever.

Mouth feel: Smooth, very full, a bit syrupy, very pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: Unwaveringly superb, well worth the effort to obtain.

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Photo of scott
3.44/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2006-My shop just got this is in today, so it's straight off the boat, and I am looking very forward to my introductory taste of this Alesmith SS.

Pours beautifully, with black as pitch body, and 1/4 inch tan head at the rim. Literally georgeous in a tulip. Art. Very nice under light.

Strong coffee upfront, which I love for my stouts. Chocolate syrup not far behind in the nose. Burnt and almost powerful.

Taste is average, at best. I want to love this beer. It's not simple enough to be perfect, not complex enough to make think another glass will drive me to insanity. Think Black Hole meets LH Milk Stout. Drinkable, yes. Outstanding?! 92 points?! Big beers are my thing, and this just doesn't justify the hoopla, nor the $12.99 tag.

Syrupy, with minimal tang. Not very expressive.
Yet, everytime I look at it, I want another pull. I wish it could deliver.

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Photo of dbalsock
4.06/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours pitch black with a hint of blue (I love that in stouts) and loads of vanilla head... more head than I've seen in months. It is already brewtiful, but upon drinking I notice the lacing is incredible!

Smell: Flowery hops, carramel and coffee combine with a smokey sensation to make this a pleasant aroma. It all mixes well in the nose, but nothing stands out or makes it fantastic.

Taste: The alcohol mix with molasses, chocolate, grapefruit and other fruit (maybe banana or plum... but I'm having a hard time picking it out). It is complex and very well done, but again, nothing overly striking.

Mouthfeel: Thick, creamy and with a bitter balance, this is a fantastic mouthfeel for a stout. I find the alcoholic aftertaste goes well with the dense body to create a sensational feel. I only wish there was a little more bitterness at the end.

Drinkability: Although this has a high abv, I believe I could go through a few pints of it in a sitting... it's that dangerous.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the finest there is. For being such a huge beer, it's very drinkable. Being a coffee stout lover, this is what it's all about. Everything in this stout is brought together so nicely. All the flavors compliment each other and work well together.
Pours a nice black color with a slight tan froth for a head. The smell is great. You can spend some time enjoying this beer even before the first taste. The taste is unbelievable for a beer this complex and huge. The coffee, chocolate and flavors are brought together and can be noticed quite easily. It is incredibly smooth on the palate. Honestly, this stout was closer to a five ranking for me. Still an incredible stout, and readily available in my home state. There's got to be a benefit to living in Ohio, right?

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Photo of Brian700
4.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours dark black with a brown head.

The aroma is of chocolate, coffee, vanilla, roasted malt.

The flavor follows the nose. There is huge amounts of chocolate and coffee, roasted malt, vanilla bean. It has some alcohol warming which in my opinion is needed in a beer like this.

The mouthfeel is full bodied with medium carbonation. It coats the mouth nicely leaving a complexity of flavors to linger in the mouth.

This is a pretty drinkable beer for being a big stout. Definately a must-try.

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

A: Sludge, pure and simple. Pours thick like oil, inky black. The head is fine mesh of toffee colored bubbles a finger thick.

S: Fresh ground coffee, triple chocolate ice cream, anise, molasses and some vanilla bean.

T: Begins like fine melted Belgian chocolate. The head makes the consistency feel like its mixed with real cream. From their a friggin superb balanced roasted coffee and malt profile gently come into play...and I mean gently. This are not harsh tastes. These are not aggresive flavors. These fit perfectly in the moment. The coffee notes curve in the mouth to more bitter chocolate then hints of mascarpone. The alcohol is there but not foreboding...as it warms it makes its way to the sinuses reminding the drinker that this beer is 12%.

M: Thick, chewy, full bodied and creamy. Almost like this beer is made out of half and half.

D: Now that's a beer. Once your mouth gets acclimated...this beer becomes a legendary experience. There is no better stout on the market.

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Photo of Estarrio
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a black chocolate thick mysterious color with a coffee ground colored head. The head gave way to thick, intricate and full lacings.

Big malt aroma with some floral and hoppy suggestions.

Thick, and foamy consistency...this is a big beer!

Sweet malt base flavor mixes with a complex grouping of coffee, roasted malts, caramel, chocolate molasses and hops. The sweetness and warmth suggest the presence of the high alcohol percentage but the alcohol taste is lost amidst the other flavors. I found the sweetness to linger slightly too much in the aftertaste, but aside from that the flavors are excellent.

I'm looking forward to aging a few of these before I review again.

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the gems of the Madison Big Stout session. We were bruised and battered, yet not quite beaten by the time we got to this bad boy.

Pour: BLACK, all black, no light to be seen under an inch of capuccino cream and a bit of spotty lacing.

Nose: fresh roasted coffee (courtesy of Ryan Bros. apparently) caramel/vanilla cream, oatmeal malt and a bite of booze in the finish.

Taste: roasted gourmet coffee bitterness, baking chocolate, dark sweet fruit and grainy oatmeal malt with a vanilla liquor finish.

Feel: on the light side for the style, but silky smooth with velvety/tickling carbonation.

Drinkability/Overall: Hot Damn. This is a tasty ADS. Freshest coffee taste/nose I've witnessed, very refined and balanced with everything else going on. Parallels with the now defunct Heavyweight's Perkuno's Hammer Imp Porter. A top notch big stout. You SoCal mofos are lucky if you haven't figured that out yet.

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

Another amazing contribution to a Madison style session from dirtylou. Many thanks.

Appearance: Black with a nice 1/2 inch head that lingers, leaving nice light lacing on the glass. Medium viscosity.

Aroma: Chocolate malts, roasted espresso and a little cream in the finish. Cocoa nibs and some faint raisins in the development.

Taste: This is one phenomenal beer - dark roasted coffee notes that most closely resemble the experience of eating coffee beans fresh from the roaster. Flashes of bitterness overlay chocolate, toffee and a little fruit and brown sugar in the finish. A truly amazing use of coffee - provides smokiness and a little spice. Only a little coffee acidity, which is balanced by thick but not oppressive sweetness. The alcohol is wonderfully masked - not at all noticable in the finish.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is surprisingly smooth as all the bitterness is contained in the coffee. Smooth, velvety with low carbonation.

Drinkability: This is a real pleasure to drink (thanks again, Lou). Not only a great rendition of the style, but also the best rendering of a coffee finish I've ever tasted.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
3.8/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought this about 5 months ago and had it downstairs since then before deciding to crack it open tonight. Pours the color of liquid dark chocolate. Thick and frothy head that just cakes the glass in lace. All layered up to the top and never quite going away. Nose is Nestle cocoa powder and very toasted malts.

Flavor is a little out of whack with the alcohol kind of dominant and very much in the forefront. Some choclate and burnt biscuit tones. Hop bitterness is at a level where it balances off the burnt grains but the alcohol rises above it all. Little bits of vanilla but like the vanilla in cheap vanilla ice cream and not the type with actual vanilla beans. Not particularly heavy, oddly enough. Medium body and the alcohol lightens it all up a bit with a noce burn form the heat. Nice enough but not sure I would pick this up again.

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

Silver foil, black and silver painted lable. 1 Pt. 9.4 Fl oz. Poured (twice) into a Goblet.

Deep Dark Brown, almost black. 2" thick frothy coffee-ice creamish head, good retention, minimal to no lacing.

Smells>Chocolate> sweet caramel> mocha coffee w/ hints of hops and a nice oaty-ness.

Taste is that of the more bitter and rich Dark chocolate> nutty> oaty and a nice hop undertone. Deep roasty flavors very abundant.

Medium body, heavy look and feel on the palate. Chewy and substantial, roasty, bitter aftertaste.

The 12% ABV is well hidden, you feel it more than taste it.

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Photo of joecast
3.97/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

mmm...speedway stout. silver foil 2005 edition. had this at stuffed sandwich and have not forgotten it. picked up a 750ml bottle and have had it sitting in the cellar waiting for a special occasion. well, its thusday, and aint it special!

chilled for about an hour in the fridge. nope, too cold. cellar temp would have been fine. i coulda been drinking this an hour ago!! only a slight psst, as the cap is popped.

pours, well more like it falls out of the glass its so thick. a definite viscosity about it. struggles to form a head. a bit of brown lace floats across the top and hugs the rim of the glass.
despite all the gloom and doom, its not completely black. a hint of redness glows around the top and bottom rim. but that is certainly not a sign of weakness. there is no mistaking this brews seriousness of purpose.

burnt sugar syrup, rum soaked raisins, vanilla essence, prunes.
ok, time out.

just letting you know im now on my third pour into my infamous short k-mart mug. to get a bit of head i poured this one a bit rough and from a height. i think its eating through the table. and the head is a gorgeour dark brown, thin, and frothy.

back to the smell. its really like something i would expect for dessert. chocolate and bit of alcohol too. surprisingly, i dont pick up the coffee as much as i did on tap way back when. doesnt hurt though. there is so much else going on that any coffee would be a bonus.

lightly sweet up front, with a warmness that spreads from the mouth back and down the throat. the alcohol dries things up for a contrasting finish between it and the sweetness.
velvety smooth, milk chocolate, getting lots more chocolate than coffee. the heat in the finish may be masking some hop bitterness.

to wrap this up, maybe my memory is fading. in a small paper cup paired with stone irs and north coast old raspy, this was bliss. however, on closer inspection, it would seem to be on a level below those two. still pretty fantastic, but better in small doses.

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Photo of Matthew
4.05/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml green bottle. Pours out a dark black, no light can get though this one. Nice big thick dirty tan head sits atop the inky black beer.
First big aroma I noticed with this beer is unsweetened dark chocolate, with some faint coffee undertones and big whiffs of alcohol. As the beer warmed the coffee character in the nose become more apparant along with the chocolate aromas and the big alcohol element began to fade a bit.
Nice big chocolatley, bitter coffee tastes up front with some nice dark roasted malt flavors that really pull through with warmer drinking temperatures. Alcohol is very present but doesnt hurt the flavor of the beer, just its drinkability.
The mouthfeel is not as big and viscous as I had initially had expected but is not too thin by any means for a big stout like this one. Definatley a sipping brew. I'd think that this beer will get better with a year in the cellar. We shall see.

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Photo of kirok1999
4.48/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

How over the top can you get? Here's the answer. Dogfishhead WWS is fantastic but totally different. No date on the bottle but judging from the age of the Wee Heavy next to it, it's at least 04. It's the 4th of July so I decided to break open the only bottle I have of this.

Appearance- Very dark and thick, dark tan head that is minimal and leaves little lacing.

Smell- Dark and sweet, coffee blasts through, caramel, coffee, nice hop presence, coffee, and coffee too.

Taste- Started at around 45 degrees for the first sip and was bowled over. Almost no carbonation, which is fine as it would only distract from the huge taste. Sweet coffee dominates till the finish, which is a decent hop note and more coffee. As it warms the sweetness and coffee become even more dominant. This is one sweet mother of a brew, not for the timid. Very close to Dark Lord, not in taste but in quality. I'm going on a buying spree soon and getting as much of this liquid gold as I can. I'm expecting a caffeine buzz pretty soon, not to mention the 12% ABV buzz which is soon to follow.

Drinkability- Absolutely love it. So over the top, but it's so smooth it just flows down with no effort at all. One of my top 5.

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Photo of Px2GrafX
4.27/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a deep black with a nice tight brown head that drops quickly, but laces pretty well throughout. i like my impy stouts in a snifter, and this one is a ton of coffee, chocolate and alcohol with a touch of earthy hops in the nose. flavor is much of the same. mostly roasted espresso flavor, but also some strong chocolate as well. nice hoppy and coffee bitterness lingers long after the swallow. mouthfeel was the only thing disappointing in this beer. too thin for my liking in this style, and very resinous. it's just too flavorful for the alcohol to hinder much, but you will feel it by the end of the 750. overall, a top notch impy/coffee stout, but not at the echelon of my list. two more bottles will get some age and more reviews in the future. good fresh, but i'm betting this one will age well.

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Photo of Damian
4/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Amazing tan head.

Smelled strongly of coffee.

Tasted coffee-like as well with hints of chocolate and soy sauce. Alcohol was noticeable but well masked by the intense flavors.

Unlike most imperial stouts, this beer was rather sweet and went down relatively easily, despite its super thick body.

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

Oh, wow. Now THIS is a stout. This is the kick-ya-in-the-balls kinda stout that I've been dreaming of. TONS of flavor, and some nice hop bitters. Very smokey, chocolatey and coffee. Deep and powerful flavors mask the high alcohol content, although alcohol is certainly present in the nose, if not that aftertaste. Great w/ bbq. Tried this on tap at Redbones several times. One of the top 5 best stout I've ever tasted. Well balanced, but it also kinda knocks you out of your seat. However, the mouthfeel is light enough to make it very drinkable (despite the abv). A wonderful stout that packs a whallop.

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

Silver foil top so this is the 2005 vintage.

This is a beer I have traded several times but just never got around to trying it myself. Sort of like living in Anaheim California and never going to Disneyland.

As the beer is poured in to the glass this is a jet black colored beer with a short brown head. This is in fact very slightly transparent to light at the very edges but for all practical purposes this is black as coal soot.

Smell is strong coffee liqueur with some fig and prune aromas. The aroma is only what I can describe as super Kahlua. After you warm this with your hands chocolate and pepper aroma fully develop along with some fainter brandy aromas.

Taste is sweeter than expected with a good strong coffee bite from the very start. Strong chocolate flavors are the equal of the coffee here and are not overwhelmed. Despite the power of this beer it stays completely away from harshness. The more subtle flavors here hide in the after taste in the shadow of the coffee and chocolate. Vanilla and walnuts are the major sub flavors here. I tried to find the "Licorice" flavor in this one and it just isn't there for me.

Mouthfeel is not as full as I would have expected for such a big beer.

Drinkability is very good but this isn't any easy to chug lager on a hot day. This is like Turkish coffee, strong and powerful and best consumed in small cups. Definitely a beer to share with someone, a great substitute for after dinner coffee.

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Photo of bignick
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ The Linwood.

Lovely appearance: pitch black with a nice head in the glass. There is a very nice smell of dark malt, very much like dark chocolate. The carbonation and body are just about right. This is a rich brew, and the abv is very well-hidden, but it is overbearing. It is very enjoyable to sip.

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