AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

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AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

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1,488 Reviews
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Reviews: 1,488
Hads: 5,686
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 4.59%
Wants: 836
Gots: 1,681 | FT: 153
Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

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

Availability: Year-round

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

Jet Black, with an off-white head. Starts with a strong coffee and dark chocolate sensation, then fades to a multitude of toasty, roasty and caramel malt flavors. Clean and crisp, full- bodied. Warmth from the high alcohol content lightens up the feel. You won't fool your taste buds - this beer is HUGE!
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,488 | Hads: 5,686
Photo of Jack_Malts
4.59/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I don't know how much I can say about this beer. Big, bold, full of coffee and boozy dark chocolate goodness. Perfect huge coffee stout. If alesmith made it to virginia this would always be in my fridge. Considering the high availability of this beer, there's no excuse for not having tried this. Highly recommended. (316 characters)

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

Poured into a snifter from a bomber.

Color is nearly black, with just a tinge of dark brown around the edges. Completely opaque with a one finger tan head that lingers for a while. Sticky viscous lacing. Aroma is dark cherries, dark chocolate, some anise and just a hint of coffee. Much less than I expected given that it is brewed with coffee. Still a very good nose. Flavor is dark fruit, dark chocolate, some coffee and anise - similar to the nose. I don't know where the coffee went to hide. Body is full with good carbonation leading to very creamy, drinkable texture.

Overall, it's an awesome beer, but not the coffee blast I expected. (651 characters)

Photo of silverblaze540
4.89/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A - Pitch black color with tan head

S - Strong coffee notes

T - Coffee and chocolate. Very sweet. Malty on the finish.

M - Very thick and smooth.

O - A high quality brew, with a taste that can be enjoyed both by hardcore beer snobs and causal beer drinkers. Definitely one of the best I have tried. (305 characters)

Photo of ZebraCakez
4.57/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

It pours a deep black color with a tan one finger head that lingers for a long time. It is very aromatic with a strong coffee and deep boozy scent. Taste is bold chocolate and high quality coffee beans. There is a slight spiciness on the finish. I keep waiting for the same blast of alcohol I got on the nose, but it never comes. It just finishes smooth as can be with no burn (surprising given the ABV). Feel is that also, smooth and velvety/creamy with an adequate level of carbonation. Overall, a super impressive brew. Wasn't sure I'd want the whole bottle to myself, but halfway through my first glass I'm already looking forward to the second. It's a bit pricey, but not out-of-this-world expensive, and certainly worth picking up now and then. (750 characters)

Photo of doremite
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Only critique here is the alcohol could be better hidden. Hits the back of the throat a tad hot but otherwise a fantastic coffee imp stout. Definitely worth trying but not something I would drink regularly. (206 characters)

Photo of Young_John
4.48/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite RIS. Very thick and strong. Pours and drinks like it was BBA. Reminded me a bit of Hoppin' Frog's BA BORIS and a bit more of Evil Twin's I Love You With My Stout. Wish it came in smaller bottles so I could enjoy it more often. (245 characters)

Photo of Jmitchell3
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle into Speigelau Stemmed Pilsner glass.

A: black as night with fantastic dark brown head that recedes quickly to light cover.
S: Roast, chocolate, slight coffee, some alcohol.
T: Solid roast, nice coffee undertones. Chocolate, some very slight dark fruit.
M: Smooth on the front, full bodied. Even at 8 months, still a good amount of alcohol astringency in the finish.
O: I can see where this is gonna age well, but a bit more rough than I was expecting. Overall, good stout. 4.2 on the face of it. (518 characters)

Photo of bfisher91
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the best beer I've ever had, period. At 12% I thought it'd be an overbearing Imperial that'd be delicious but hard to drink. This was not the case. Dark chocolate with strong coffee overtones, sticky and sweet but also deep and complex. The balance is perfect and I could drink this all day. Very enjoyable at a moderately chilled temperature, becomes more sticky and heavy as it warms up. Very hefty price tag but certainly worth trying at least once. (460 characters)

Photo of scotorum
4.31/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 7/22/13 and aged since purchase on 10/13/13 in my own personal cellar.

a: Opaque black with a huge two inch plus tan head which receded slowly to heavy thick surface foam and dense lacing. 4.75

s: Cold black coffee. Later mellows out to more of a dark chocolate. 4.25

t: More complex than the aroma, some black coffee, dark fruit and smoky malt. Good hop bite. Finish is slightly sweetish to dry. High ABV (12%!) is amazingly well hidden. 4.25

m: Medium to full, quite smooth, considerable carbonation tingle. 4.5

o: Haven't had this fresh to compare, but at a year and a half old it is a little fruitier than most stouts. Rich, flavorful and incredibly easy drinking for a 12% ABV. 4.25 (708 characters)

Photo of UrbanCaveman
4.37/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Bomber, poured into a snifter at room temperature.

A: Pours a viscous black, forming a thick ecru head that leaves lacing even as it dies to a cap and thick ring. The iPhone flashlight test reveal no light at all getting through, save at the very top edge of the beer, where the color turns a murky dark brown at the very edge of the liquid. No complaints about lacing during consumption - there's plenty, and it's sticky.

S: Medium roast coffee strikes out of the glass straightaway, as fragrant as if it were freshly brewed. Beneath it, notes of a deep, dark roasted malt swirl about, alongside some hints of bitter dark chocolate and a vague nuttiness.

T: Coffee stout indeed, as those notes are again at the forefront, a medium roasted blend. The black-burned malts are there as well, a charred bitterness to them, with notes of scorched toffee and seared caramel alongside. Vague, ephemeral suggestions of dark cocoa and figgy fruit waft through the flavor profile here and there, and it finishes with a dark, deeply bitter, tongue-biting earth and ash bitterness that lingers long after the swallow.

M: As if drinking heavy whipping cream straight from the carton, this is a full, silky stout.

O: Not a bad coffee imperial stout at all. Definitely one of the better balanced versions I've had, if still a bit heavy-handed on the hop side for my personal taste. In a style-neutral comparison, I'd take the AleSmith Wee Heavy over this any day of the week and twice on any day ending with a Y, but this is far from a bad beer. (1,535 characters)

Photo of breadwinner
3.95/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Maybe I just keep getting old bottles, but I've never been as enamored with this brew as most folks, and I say that as someone who otherwise really enjoys and highly respects AleSmith brews. The coffee isn't direct enough for me, instead excessively intermingling with weird dark fruit flavors and other notes that detract from what, IMHO, should be a treatise on roasted barley and coffee. I'll have to give it another whirl @ the tasting room soon to confirm. (461 characters)

Photo of EveningCordial
4.8/5  rDev +10.1%

Bomber poured into snifter glass.

A- dark, black, and rich looking. Small brown head, little lacing. Not much noticeable carbonation present.

S- coffee bomb. Lots of roasted coffe, expresso and cappuccino notes up front. Some chocolate and mocha in there as well. Deep and dark roasted malts and grain. A little burnt bread and toffee.

T- again, this is a great specimen of a coffee forward stout. Tons of coffee and cappuccino flavor gives way to a chocolate and roasted backbone with a nice dry finish. Got hints of vanilla and a little smokiness as well.

M- full bodied. Thick and creamy with a very nice dry finish. Went down like velvet with very little carbonation. Definitely better served a little less than room temp to get all the flavors through.

O- such a prime example if a great coffee stout. Highly recommended and I wouldn't sit on it too long if you want the coffee to really come through. With that said, the coffee is so strong, this might be a good one to age a little while if you enjoy a little less coffee flavor, although I don't know what you're doing drinking coffee stouts then. Would love to try the coffee variants if this. (1,178 characters)

Photo of blankenhoney
3.87/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Fresh bottle from 11.19.14, enjoyed from a snifter

A: Deep, dark brown with an eggshell/khaki head. Looks pretty inviting.

S: Smells like raspberries covered with dark chocolate. Intense aromas of rich chocolate and dark berries, and only mild notes of sweet, creamy coffee.

T: More rich, rich chocolate, dark berries, chocolate fudge, and a bit of roasted coffee beans. Kind of a chocolate bomb, with some very faint espresso roastiness and bitterness on the finish.

M: Thicker than medium-bodied, nice and creamy

O: I don't know. I see a label saying imperial stout with coffee, and I'm hoping for a lot more coffee flavor and aroma than I found here. Speedway is a chocolate bomb, but a very well done chocolate bomb at that. Rich and luscious, but too sweet and chocolatey for me. (789 characters)

Photo of Ducksnbucks
3.25/5  rDev -25.5%

Started sober, choked down my first 12oz, sipped the next 5... Then finally enjoyed the last 5 with a decent buzz. Lots of roasted malt, alcohol, and coffee after taste. From here on out i'll spend a couple more bucks and get a BA narwhal, or few less and get a drakonic. (271 characters)

Photo of SteveB24
3.75/5  rDev -14%

Look- color is a black that is almost brown, pours a half finger of brown head.
Aroma- you can smell the beer as soon as you open it. TONS of rich, freshly brewed coffee, molasses in there too.
Taste- Coffee upfront, Followed by molasses and then a wallop of alcohol, quite bitter in the finish.
Feel- Medium body, mild carbonation, isn't creamy but not crisp either, very slightly oily on the tongue.
overall- a nice coffee stout, in my opinion it lacks sweetness and balance, but well worth trying. (500 characters)

Photo of mikeg67
4.05/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle. Pours black with tall, long lasting, creamy, brown head, nice lacing and lovely carbonation. Aroma is of roasted malt, toast, dark fruit herbal hops. Body is full, creamy and slightly crisp. Taste is of nutty, toasted malt, coffee, chocolate, brown sugar, dark fruit and herbal hops. Finish is long and bitter. Great Imperial Stout. (352 characters)

Photo of GinjaSlice
4.54/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Jet black, poured a pretty big tan head for a stout that faded rather quick but left good lacing throughout
S: Not as strong as the other top stouts. But very chocolate heavy with some malts and coffee behind it.
T: Where the stout shines. Delicious chocolate flavors with the malt backing and a slight coffee bitterness on the end. Not as intense and strong as some but really well balanced and easy to drink
M: One of the best again. Lower carbonation gives it a really nice almost creamy feeling and isn't sticky like others.

O: After having almost all the other very high rated stouts this is in my personal top 3. (623 characters)

Photo of reebtaerG
4.72/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Poured bottle dated 3/17/14 into Lost Abbey Teku

A-Pours a black with a tan 2 finger head. Great lacing.

S-Awesome aromas of roasted coffee, chocolate, and malt.

T-The taste is similar to the aromas but more of the coffee is present. Also notice a hint of fig.

M-Mouthfeel is well balanced a little on the dry on the tongue. Good carbonation.

O-Overall a great stout that lives up to the hype. Got the last one at the store which I'll have to get some more.
500th beer to review, it was well worth it! (507 characters)

Photo of buzzedup
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

I really enjoyed this one . it is a very good Imperial stout but maybe I had higher expectations. I think this would be a little more up to what I expected if I sit on a bottle in my cellar for a year or even two .. glad I grabbed two bottles :), if you see this on the shelves buy it , very tasty , made with first class high ingredients, close to best in class coffee imperial stout . still prefer a fresh Founders Imperial stout or a Terrapin wake n bake but this is up there for sure. again, I think a few months or years in a cellar would improve (554 characters)

Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.38/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a motor oil black with a one-finger tan head. The head fades quickly leaving lots of sticky lacing.

S - Aromas of dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, and alcohol.

T - The flavor is definetly on point. Lots of coffee, dark chocolate, and roasted malts. The finish has some bitter coffee and an alcohol burn.

M - Heavy body with low carbonation. Very smooth and creamy mouthfeel.

O - This is an incredible stout that lives up to all the hype. (457 characters)

Photo of FFreak
4.68/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured a 10-month old bottle into glasses and shared with a friend. Dark, dark brown, almost black, with a substantial dark tan head that lingers. Coffee, chocolate and roast in the nose. Taste is absolutely delicious. Nicely balanced roasted malt with great coffee notes and hints of chocolate. Mouth is just about perfect for an imperial stout. Overall, this is one of my favorite stouts so far, right up there with KBS. (428 characters)

Photo of TheItalianStallion
4.96/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

25 oz. bottled on 2/24/14 and poured into a tulip

A: Pour is absolutely pitch black with an inch and a half of tan foam. After a minute or 2 the head settles to a thin collar that leaves a good amount of lacing behind.

S: The smell of this beer is MASSIVE. Huge (seriously f****** huge) aromas of rich chocolate and coffee meld seamlessly together. I'm also getting a lot of roasted malts and vanilla, with a bit of a caramel type sweetness that almost reminds me of molasses. There is also a faint aroma of citrusy hops in the background. This is the greatest nose of any imperial stout, and honestly any beer that I've had to date. This beer seriously smells like some kind of delicious chocolate candy bar.

T: Flavors are dominated by chocolate and espresso like coffee. The chocolate and coffee are the main players, and they work perfectly together without one overpowering the other. There is also a good amount of vanilla and caramel flavors. The roasted malts are there, but they definitely take a back seat to everything else, mainly the chocolate and coffee. A perfect sweetness on the finish that lingers on the palate for a little while.

M: This beer is very full bodied and has an incredibly thick, silky mouthfeel, without being overly viscous or creamy. Carbonation is low, and the alcohol is masked very well for 12% abv.

O: Imperial stouts are my favorite, and this beer is the greatest imperial stout I have ever drank. This beer is unreal, it is like a liquid candy bar. The flavors of chocolate and coffee work so well together, and the big vanilla and caramel flavors add the perfect touch to make this such an outstanding beer. The alcohol is also masked dangerously well for 12%, with only a small hint of it on the finish. This beer is very, very complex. Definitely the best imperial stout, and one of the best beers I've ever had. In my opinion this is the PERFECT imperial stout, and i highly doubt it can be beat. (1,951 characters)

Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.4/5  rDev +0.9%

Poured from the 750 into a large tulip.
Pours ink black with two fingers of caramel head that dissipates.
Smells of big roastiness and coffee.
First taste was a bit off, but I think it was just setting my palate. Subsequent sips got better and better. Huge roasted malt flavor, strong coffee flavor but certainly paying compliment to the malts.
Mouthfeel was perfection. Not too thin and not too viscous. just right.
Overall, I was expecting this to be a good beer. This was possibly the best non-BA stout Ive had. (519 characters)

Photo of SerialTicker
4.64/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottled 10/16/13. Poured 11/16/14. I got this in Wisconsin in July. Finally cracked it open.

Appearance: Aggressive pour brought on a slow forming brown head that wound up being three fingers in height. This stout is pitch black with nothing getting through the glass. The lacing is really great -- plenty of it all over the glass.

Smell: Everything you'd want from an Imperial Stout: lots of chocolate and roasted malt. There's some coffee character in there, but that aroma accents more than anything. I don't get any kind of dark fruits on the aroma, but I do get a caramel quality and a plain cake doughnut sort of smell that I usually pick up in high ABV stouts -- especially BBA'd ones. I know, I'm weird.

Taste/feel: Absolutely delicious. The taste is almost exactly like the aroma, and I have zero problems with that. The mouth feel is fantastic... not super heavy, but pretty full-bodied, with a light carbonation. It feels like chocolate milk in beer form. Lots of smooth milk chocolate flavors coming through in this beer with caramel malts... the finish is some roasted malt and coffee with a little much needed bitterness that balances out the initial sweetness. I don't really get any dark fruit flavors to speak of... this reminds me of a more balanced Chocolate Manifesto. Speedway Stout still remains a somewhat sweet Imperial Stout overall, but then again it is 12% ABV.

Excellent, and the best I've had from the style (as of this review, of course). Worthy of every bit of the praise it receives. (1,520 characters)

Photo of OrangeMen
4.6/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Aged 1 year, bought fresh and properly cellared at home

Appearance- Deep black, opaque. Gorgeous thick mocha/cinnamon, deep khaki head, frothy, hangs around awhile but settles down. Beautiful lacing on sides of glass. A truly beautiful beer.
Aroma- Decadent dark chocolate, some sweet chocolates, molasses, caramel as well. Rich espresso, wonderful dark fruits, some tartness created. Roasted malt rounds everything together.
Taste- Intense, rich dark chocolates, incredibly decadent, dessert like. Bitter roasted malts, rich mocha/espresso flavors as well. Slight fruity tartness, nice warming alcohol on finish.
Feel- Incredibly thick and even more creamy. Full bodied as they come, decent amount of carbonation as well.
Overall- Such a beautifully balanced beer, incredibly intense but calm and smooth at the same time. Tastes like a rich gourmet chocolate cake with a nice cup of coffee on the side. Dark chocolates are so rich and decadent, sweet caramel/vanilla/chocolate come through, then everything is balanced nicely with bitter roasted malts and rich espresso notes. (1,078 characters)

AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,488 ratings.