AleSmith Speedway Stout | AleSmith Brewing Company

1,591 Reviews
no score
Send samples
For Trade:
AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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!

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-09-2002

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,591 | Ratings: 6,318
Photo of MHurley
4.46/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black as night with great tan head. Smell of bourbon, rasins and carmel. Thick lacing that stays. Tastes of bourbon gets better with every sip. Ill definitely be looking for more of these

 187 characters

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

Pours an opqaue jet black color with khaki colored head. Coffee, roasted malt, and sweet chocolate on the nose; follows onto the palate. Full bodied. Finishes with coffee and cocoa, like a chocolate espresso.

 208 characters

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

: Two fingers of a brown head. Black as the night.

S: dark roasted coffe. Molasses amd licorice.

Molasses licorice. The coffe is baely therer. There is some sweetness

Poured from a 750mL bottle,

 198 characters

Photo of TruePerception
3.61/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

AleSmith's Speedway Stout, imperial stout brewed with coffee. 12% ABV.

A: Three fingers (!) of chocolate milk brown head. Pure black in the glass. Dark brown in the dimple. Some slight lacing and sheeting.

S: Big char and very dark roasted coffee dominate. A touch of licorice. Smells almost like oil, interestingly enough. The is a burnt oat note in the background. I almost missed it, entirely.

T/MF: Even more char on the palate. Ash, licorice. The coffee is almost completely lost in darker flavors. There is some sweetness on the front of the tongue. A bit dark for my tastes. Could definitely use some sort of barrel aging.

Poured from a 750mL bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

 689 characters

Photo of IronLover
4.21/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Deep black in color with dark brown and ruby hues on the edges. Poured with thick, dense, dark beige foam that quickly reduces to a thick cap with good retention. Mellow, medium high, roasted malt and milk chocolate aromas. Medium light dark fruity esters of sweet fig and raisin. No hop aromas. Light, pleasant, boozy notes in the background as this warms. Full bodied with a creamy smooth, thick, viscous feel and light carbonation. Medium high flavors of sweet milk chocolate up front followed by dark roasted malts into the middle. Medium high hop bitterness through the middle along with dark fruity esters and a definitive, pleasant, boozy, warmth that slowly intensifies to the end. Finished dryly with a lingering, mellow hoppy and roasty bitterness. Incredibly drinkable considering the high abv. No hot boozy, solvent flavors or feel. Generally mellow flavors and aromas (for the style) that may be a result of a year of cellaring. Also, bo coffee characters were noted, flavor or aroma. Not sure if this was also a result of aging or si ply perceptikn. Fabulous balance between the sweet and roasty malts and hop bitterness. Pleasant, mellow, warm, booziness, despite the higher abv.

 1,195 characters

Photo of cjgiant
4.11/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The pour looks awesome. Color is pretty much black - can't see much light even through the edges. The tan head builds and sticks around. Lacing is pretty significant.

The nose is deep roasted notes, and most predominantly coffee, which is not a surprise given it is brewed with coffee. It's fairly straightforward with very little other scents punching through the roasted/coffee curtain.

The taste starts like the nose, by hitting you smack up front with dark roasted coffee. The other thing it hits with, however, is the burn of alcohol. In its straightforward nature, it is in line with what I expect in a highly rated coffee stout, as we tend to like bold flavors here. Letting the beer warm a bit smooths the edges some, but the main taste continues to be dark, mildly astringent coffee. The edges start to add in some milk-chocolate cocoa, but the coffee and alcohol erase these notes before mid-taste.

Especially early, this beer is a little rough on the tongue with alcohol (and some carbonation early, which fades before I finish the glass). The suggested temp is towards the higher end at 50-55, and by the time the beer smooths out considerably, it seems almost room temp (emphasis on seems).

So, this beer more or less delivers on its promise. It has bold flavors that are in line with what a coffee stout should probably be. The feel gets better and better with warmth, but never loses its alcohol/astringent bite.

 1,444 characters

Photo of Mooslerfitness
4.59/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bod 1/26/15 left in my cellar till now
Pours black with 2 finger light brown head in my yeti sniffer smells Of a little chocolate and dark roast coffee not tons on the nose T chocolate, coffee,toffee,Carmel F thick rich with slight carbination O so good on this cool crisp day I need try one fresh and aged longer

 313 characters

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

Pours a pitch black with copious tan head. Smells of roasted malts, cocoa, leather, coffee, a hint of barn yard. Tastes sweet, roasted malts forward, molasses, cocoa, hint of coffee. Midnote there is a pleasant acidic, piney twang mid note culminating in a very clean palate . Not syrupy despite its sweetness, medium bodied, smooth almost milky profile.
Overall very well balanced, silky smooth, imperial stout with just a hint of coffee, easily one of the best imperial stouts I’ve had – thoroughly enjoyable – hopefully it will be produced in a 4 pack (maybe even. . . dare I say. . . a can?).

 606 characters

Photo of alienlifeforcecube
4.13/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

i didn't get much on the nose. it's dark and thick. lots of coffee and molasses. low on the carbonation. i can't taste the 12%abv. it's masked very well. overall a wonderful stout.

 187 characters

Photo of Viaduck
4.36/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Very dark & not much of a head. Smells like chocolate & coffee & molasses. Salty & sweet & complex flavors hide any alcohol flavor. It's low carbonation doesn't detract from the enjoyment of this excellent beer.

 211 characters

Photo of tillmac62
4.16/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

BOD 3/23/15. Pours as dark as pitch black on a starless night. World class head volume, lacing and retention.

Almost world class nose of dark chocolate, molasses, hints of dark fruit (plum, raisin), vanilla, caramel and coffee.

Full bodied with a rich creamy texture. Below normal carbonation with no effervescence in the middle and a nice burst in the somewhat prickly finish.

The flavor profile is outstanding. It is intense, complex and reasonably balanced. However, the alcohol is not well hidden and produces an astringent alcohol flavor that prevents this exceptional stout from being world class. It begins with slightly bitter dark bakers chocolate, cocoa, that hints at sweetness. This flows into a rich sweet molasses with strong caramel notes. The middle is slightly bitter with roast and hop characteristics. Underneath are subtle notes of dark fruit, although not as pronounced as suggested by the nose. They are subdued by the arrival of the grain alcohol astringent flavor, which stays and lingers after the finish. The finish is a slow fade of rich chocolate and molasses that competes with grain alcohol astringency and finally succumbs to it. This is a world class stout that failed to make the grade due to the 12% alcohol content.

 1,265 characters

Photo of bsp77
4.04/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Almost jet black with thick tan head and light lacing.

Smell: Molasses, coffee, chocolate and cream.

Taste: Not as nuanced as the aroma. There is some chocolate, caramel and spicy hops, but it is overshadowed by molasses and coffee. Mostly molasses actually, with the aftertaste mostly burnt molasses.

Feel: Full bodied, low carbonation, exceedingly smooth and creamy. Almost a 5, but that aftertaste screws up the finish for me.

Overall: While still very good, it isn't a top echelon Imperial Stout for me due to the burnt molasses.

 599 characters

Photo of mnj21655
4.42/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours completely opaque, jet black with a large coffee colored head. Aroma is coffee, chocolate, dark malts, dry fruits. Taste is dark chocolate and coffee, more dried fruits and a solid hop bitterness to even it out a bit. Full body, moderate carbonation, some alcohol warmth. Overall this is a damn good beer, if you like coffee and chocolate then this a beer for you.

 370 characters

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

Great coffee flavor, sweet, just enough carbonation, a little chocolate too. Really a solid 4.4-4.5 rating. One of the best non-barrel aged coffee stouts.

 154 characters

Photo of SayBoom
4.87/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Was drunk in comparison with Mikkeller Beer Geek Vanilla Shake.
A: Black with a small creamy head, some viscosity in the pour.
S: Nose is not heavy on the coffee but many cognac notes. Chocolate, toffee, dry fruits.
T: Dark malt, cocoa, cream, caramel. Some hop bitterness.
F: Heavy weight and so smooth and creamy on the palate. 12% is nowhere to be found.
A very well done chocolate/coffee imperial stout.

 410 characters

Photo of Cannibalgasm
4.39/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22oz. bottle.

A: Pours completely opaque black allowing absolutely no light to penetrate it's darkness. Resembles used motor oil like a great stout should. Head is two inches of magnificent foamy mocha color that retains for an insanely long time and leaves behind lots of beautiful lacing. This is a great looking beer.

S: Aromas of chocolate, coffee, dark roasted malts, and caramel make themselves know immediately. Then you get some notes of dark fruits, toffee, raisins, cinnamon, tobacco, some noticeable alcohol, and a subtle earthy wood like scent. While the aromas aren't bombastic they are very pleasant, complex, and inviting and it opens up as it warms.

T: Wow. That was a great initial taste. Dark chocolate, roasted coffee, and caramel up front, then roasted malts, sweet bread, dark fruit, raisins, molasses, and toffee flavors appear in the middle. Finishes with flavors of oak, tobacco, some subtle earthy hops and a pleasant alcohol note. They really nailed it with this one. Like the nose it opens up with warmth.

M: Full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Slick, smooth, creamy, thick feel with a nice alcohol warmth and oily after feel . A very pleasant and drinkable sipper.

O: An absolutely phenomenal brew. AleSmith has definitely been impressing me. This is a very complex yet well balanced stout, the flavor profile is fantastic. A great sipper that gets better with every sip. I will be buying some more to enjoy and a few to set aside for a couple years. I would recommend those of you with access to do the same. I can't wait to see what a couple years of growth does to this brew.

 1,638 characters

Photo of -Rick
4.12/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: Jet oil black, huge brown head that retained for quite a bit
S: coffee, chocolate, a slight vanilla hint
T: like the nose,coffee, chocolate, raisins, some sweet caramel in there also
F: this is a creamy silky drinking brew!
O: this was quite nice. at first sip, I found it to be lacking in its blending of all its flavors (poured it at room temperature) but as it sat around (took about 45 mins to drink a 12oz pour) it came together quite nicely. Solid brew!

 464 characters

Photo of JMUbrewz
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent imperial stout. Big chocolate and coffee notes without being too bitter or too sweet. It's well balanced, and the mouthfeel is impeccable. There's also very little heat, which made this one almost too drinkable.

 221 characters

Photo of elNopalero
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This pours the color of spent oil, capped with a cocoa tinged layer of creamy foam. The aroma is amazing, full of an intense roast with hints of dark chocolate, raisins and dates. Intensely smooth flavor, with a great dark roast, chocolate and dried fruit character. The ABV isn’t noticeable on the palate, although it gives a kick at the end. Delicious.

 356 characters

Photo of teromous
3.52/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Black body with a very large foamy dark brown head.

Aroma: I pick up some roasted grain aroma and a bit of charred wood with a small trace of alcohol on the nose.

Taste: It has a lot of "dark" flavor to the beer. There's a pretty strong roasted grain bitterness which is paired with a bit of black coffee laced with some alcohol. There is a bit of an earthy quality to the beer as well, a bit like cigar tobacco.

Mouthfeel: It has a nice smooth mouthfeel supporting a full body and a good amount of bitterness. The alcohol presence reduces drinkability a bit but it has a very nice thickness.

Overall: The beer mentions that it is brewed with coffee and while I did get some coffee qualities in the beer it really took a back seat to the roasted grain flavor and bitterness. I wouldn't recommend it as a coffee stout per se but it is a very robust dark stout. It didn't have a wide breadth of flavor or aroma which was a bit disappointing. For a big showcase beer like this I would have liked more. The label says "chocolate and roasted malts dominate the flavor, supported by notes of dark fruit, toffee, and caramel." Unfortunately I didn't pick up any of these flavors aside from the roasted malts. The flavors I did pick up were very nice, but the beer really didn't deliver anything special. I enjoyed the beer but I won't be buying it again.

 1,363 characters

Photo of oldn00b
4.44/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap in a bulbed pint (!) glass.

Pours black. Nice dark khaki head lingers for a minute before fading.

Nose is dark malt and really not much more but deep rich dark malt.

Flavor is typical stout, but just incredibly smooth and balanced. Would be surprised being served this to learn it's 12%. Very rich, notes of chocolate and burned caramel. Carbonation is perfect for this beer. Finish is a rich and sweet but not syrupy.

 440 characters

Photo of FriedSlug
4.53/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Bottle date 12/5/14. Poured into tulip glass. Super dark with a nice head that lingers a bit. Smells like booze, coffee, chocolate and dark fruits. The taste is pure chocolate and coffee with some malt and plum/raisin/fig tastes. A nice bitter chocolate and hops finish with a bit of residual heat from the alcohol. You can feel the alcohol but do not really taste it much. Really well done stout.

 397 characters

Photo of ClavisAurea
4.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

11/2014 vintage served in a tulip glass.

Appearance: jet black with a massive coffee colored head. Nice lacing and legs.

Nose: coffee, chocolate, malty sweetness, prunes, raisins, dark fruits, boozy alcohols (even after 9 months.)

Taste: sweet malty backbone, coffee, rich and thick, boozy, chocolate, Malt heavy, dark fruits, complex

Fantastic. One of if not the best Imperial Stouts I've ever had.

 403 characters

Photo of uvachief
4.27/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 ml Bottle at 55 degrees into a snifter glass. 3 full fingers of fluffy tan head that lingered. Nice lacing throughout. Oily residue on the surface. Pitch coffee grounds black. Smells of black coffee, not espresso, and bitter Sweet chocolate. Little else. First taste is a rush of coffee, not espresso, and dark chocolate followed by roasted malts with a hint of toffee. Not sweet. Thinner than I would have imagined. Abv is buried in the taste. Very smooth. Traditional Russian Imperial coffee stout. 12.0% ABV is barely noticeable. Smooth. Little dry and bitter for my liking but good. Very good.

 617 characters

Photo of clayrock81
4.21/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured a black body with one finger creamy khaki head that left a little bit of lace ring around glass. Aroma is balanced between roasted coffee and dark chocolate along with hints of caramel, toffee and figs. While at first the beer seems more coffee than anything else, as this slow, full-bodied sipper warms it release more chocolate notes, so at end of beer I find myself drinking a chocolaty, slightly caramelized/toffees coffee beer with some figs and possible raisins stashed away. A little bit sticky with no discernible ABV, not even in finish, this beer blends all elements seamlessly together and lives up to the hype.

S: There are moderately strong aromas of chocolate in the nose.
T: The taste has strong flavors of bittersweet chocolate and coffee beans along with notes of dark roasted malts. A light amount of bitterness is present.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and quite smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.

 959 characters

AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,591 ratings.