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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: 8.7%
Wants: 865
Gots: 1,831 | FT: 154
Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

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

Availability: Year-round

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

Jet Black, with an off-white head. Starts with a strong coffee and dark chocolate sensation, then fades to a multitude of toasty, roasty and caramel malt flavors. Clean and crisp, full- bodied. Warmth from the high alcohol content lightens up the feel. You won't fool your taste buds - this beer is HUGE!
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,547 | Hads: 5,972
Photo of TrickKnee
3.9/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

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Photo of TheosTheories
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A- jet black with a nice finger of tan brown head, which leaves a nice lacing along the sides as it goes down

S- big roasted character I'm getting in this one, a lot of alcohol also, not much coffee as I was expecting though, bitter sweet chocolate, vanilla, I'm getting a little bourbon characteristics in this one, its probably because the big alcohol and roasted malt

T- again not much coffee for being a "coffe stout", I'm getting a lot of roasted malt in this one, dark fruits, which I didn't get really in the nose, dates and plumbs, I'm getting a nice vanilla with some chocolate, I am getting coffee in the after taste though but again not much, and that 12% is differently there, but it's nice.

M- thick, coats the whole mouth as it goes down, pretty sticky, but it is surprisingly smooth
O- overall a nice brew, alittle disappointed in the lack of coffee presences but still solid, gets better as it warms, it is really a complex brew and very well made, just wish they would of had more coffee in this one.

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Photo of RomanW70
4.56/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Really excited about this one. Pours jet black with a thick, dark tan head that quickly disappears. Aroma of roasted coffee, chocolate, and alcohol. Taste of coffee, toffee, chocolate, and... coffee. Like everything else from Alesmith, gets better with each sip. Big bitter finish. Velvety mouth feel. Warming finish. I'm seriously considering moving to San Diego for the beer.

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Photo of Cmack15
4.42/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried a bottle of this at Toronado. The beer pours thick and black like used motor oil(this is a good sign from an imperial stout).
The smell is super sweet, some chocolate and dark grain notes. Mouthfeel is a thick and chewy just the way I like my imperial stouts. I really liked this beer and think it could give Darklord a run for its money if it was aged in bourbon barrels.

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Photo of petacutlasaurus
3.92/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice stout, got it at a brutal markup, though, coming in at $19.99. I was very curious about this flagship beer from AleSmith, though, so I went ahead with it. I think to do it/my wallet justice I should have been a little more patient before drinking.

A really nice coffee stout that lost points for a somewhat hollow body. I wanted a little bit more gravity here, but really enjoyed the notes that were represented. I also think that even though the body is light for my tastes, it complements the coffee notes really well. This would be a fantastic beer at $12/bottle.

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Photo of schroederm
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

In a tulip:

One and a half fingers of chocolaty head form over a dark brown body and settle quickly into a thin blanket. Sheets of lacing are left on the glass. Substantial alcohol in the nose, with some coffee, dark chocolate, and umami. An absolutely wonderful maltiness persists from the moment it touches the tongue all the way through to the aftertaste. Umami flavors complement bourbon, dark fruit, and vanilla. The bitter is entirely coffee based and balances the beer quite well. Unfortunately, I found the body to be a little thin. Good balance of carbonation, however. It's high ABV reduces drinkability, but excellent maltiness makes this brew highly desirable. Mouthfeel thinness actually helps drinkability along as well.

Overall: This is a fantastic beer, but I believe it may be a bit overrated. The Goose Island remains my favorite in the style to date.. but don't get me wrong, this is an amazing brew and a standard among the Best of BA.

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Photo of johnnydicfore
4.31/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

First review... Here it's goes

Poured in to a pint glass

A: pours thick, pitch black, one finger head

S: roasted coffee beans hit the nose first, followed by dark chocolate, and roasted malts

T: bitter dark chocolate up front fades to coffee/espresso and finishes with the malt and a hint of alcohol at the end

M: thick, creamy, heavy, very smooth, warm alcohol feel as you swallow

O: very enjoyable and balanced. gets better as it warms up, that's when the complexities shine.

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


I haven't written a review in a while, but for this I'll make an exception.

Speedway pours the expected opaque deep chocolate brown, bordering on black. A caramel colored head forms but dissipates rather quick. As you go, it leaves quite a bit of sticky lacing on the sides of your glass.

The smell is top-notch. Notes of roasted chocolate, caramel, coffee and molasses are all here.

Taste is bliss. Smoothly comingled flavors of chocolate, roasted malts and coffee play out on the palate. Only slightly hoppy, with plenty of malt to smooth things out, this comes in somewhere between a Russian Imperial and an American Double stout: a really tasty place.

Mouthfeel is perfect. Smooth, not resinous or viscous but just thick enough to warn you of its potency. The alcohol is there, but never overwhelms as it provides a nice warming tone going down.

Drinkability. Send me more, much more. Keep it coming. Thank heaven I had two friends help me with the bottle or I might not have remembered much of the evening.

Having tried their IPA and Yulesmith previously, Speedway has put Alesmith firmly on the top of my favorite brewers list. A trip to San Diego is in order.

UPDATE: Had a second bottle of this about 6 months after the first. Every bit as good as the first. And, after some consideration, I've decided to get it over with and make it the first beer I 5-out. I love this stuff.


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Photo of BuckyFresh
4.54/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to zoso1967 for supplying this tasty brew. Also among the blessed were TCHopCraver and TCgoalie.

Appearance: Pours a jet black color, with a one-finger head. Retention is not amazing, but the lacing is good. The head is a dark tan in color and remains as a film on top after receding.

Smell: My first thought after inhaling was that this beer smelled like a hair salon that had a pot of coffee on and also happened to be across the street from a chocolate factory. Also vying for attention are dark fruit, brown sugar, molasses, and lots of malty sweetness.

Taste: Lost of nutty dark bitterness. Roasted malt and coffee with a creamy texture and an almost sweet/sour finish. Bitterness is up front in the taste and the sweetness subtly makes its way in at the end.

Mouthfeel: Creamy texture and lots of bitterness, but it seemed just a tad thin.

Drinkability: Very complex with lots of delicious, subtle nuance. A very dynamic tasting experience that evolves from start to finish.

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Photo of mjyoung
4.37/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank 6/20/11.

A: Very dark pour, with almost NO head. It's so viscous that it sounds like pouring motor oil.

S: A nicely balanced combination of chocolate, coffee, and caramel. The base is a delightfully robust undercurrent of malt.

T: The taste is remarkably close to the nose, but with some additional hints of booze. Exceptionally tasty.

M: A little weak and watery, at least not what I was expecting from a beer this strong and robust. Definitely low on the carb side.

O: Great taste counters the weak feel. Very drinkable and I'll be looking for this one again.

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Photo of Jables
4.77/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Special Thanks to Gusler for this one, the positive beer karma around that guy is probably swirling like a cloud of fresh hops!

Poured absolutely pitch black with very, very little carbonation and an oily like pattern of film residing on the top of the glass.

Aroma is heavily roasted with chocolate malts and definite java notes. Also some distinctly rich notes of nuts, so rich in fact its like peanut butter. Slightly peppery leather also.

Flavor starts off heavy with roasted flavors which subside for a time to rich chocolate notes. That rich nutty tone that I detected on the nose also comes into play in the middle part of the experience. It's a really intriguing nutty flavor too, something like a warm unsalted almond. The finish is distinctly dark roast coffee grounds.

Mouthfeel is maybe a touch thin but is cool with a slick, oily sensation which I enjoyed.

Overall feeling is that this is a tremendous brew worthy of much praise. I am thankful to have received it, and will be looking forward to the next time I have an opportunity to hoist one of these, Thanks Joe!

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Photo of BuccoFan
4.14/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Lacing is tremendous. Body is medium but solid. Coffee is prominent on both ends, with a bitter finish. Sweetness is a little more detectable than roast is. It's a very good coffee stout.

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Photo of bradford
4.57/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle purchased at Hi-Time in Costa Mesa
Looks good. Dark brown, black in appearance, very little light penetrating through the glass. Thin, oil spill head fades quickly, even in Duvel chalice
Smelled very strong of coffee and chocolate. Many coffee beers go overboard and the coffee aspect tends to smell like burnt grounds. Speedway pulls it off quite well. Probably the best smellin coffee stout I have had.
Taste is almost perfect. Very rich chocolate, coffee and alcohol.
Mouthfeel is strong as well. Well rounded, thick, tasty brew that, despite it's high alcohol content, doesn't lose any drinkability for it.
Highly recommended.

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

Cool looking bottle with silver foil.
Undated 750ml bottle, no freshness date.
Poured into a snifter glass.

Inky black in color. Absolutely no light could pass through. A nice two finger thick, tan colored head forms. Some spotty lacing is left behind. Big aromas of dark fruits, mostly prunes, dark chocolate and alcohol. Coffee smell is not present. Taste starts with big roasted malts and dark, bitter chocolate. Finishes with a slight hoppy bitterness combined with the warm alcohol feeling. This stout does have a great coffee aftertaste. Super enjoyable, for such a big beer. Rich, smooth and creamy descibe the mouthfeel. This beer is going down way too good and way too fast. I cannot believe how easy this beer is too drink. I knocked down the drinkability due to the 12% abv. Other than that, this is near perfect. My second offering from AleSmith and another fine example. A must try!

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Photo of raoulduke37
4.65/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Being a Californian, I thought I'd be able to get this easily, but that hasn't been the case. I've been looking forward to trying this one for a long time now. It is no disappointment.

A - Turbid black, giving no secrets out - like a black hole sucking in all light, planets, dark matter, etc. Head is very fluffy, tan, with large bubbles, and good retention. Lacing is mighty and attractive.

S - Up front phenols, with brownies, chocolate-covered espresso beans, and raisins.

T - Definitely the highlight here. Starts out tasting like raspberries and chambord, Turkish coffee, dark chocolate. Oh man, this is the stuff dreams are made of, gents. More chocolatey than a chocolate stout.

M - Velvety, creamy, nice and thick and chewy on the way in and down. Foam is like some kind of divine cotton candy.

D - High abv, but almost undetectable. Hides it very well, unlike other stouts I've tried with high abv's. This is a fantastic beer, and I've got it available for trade!

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Photo of ZebraCakez
4.57/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

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Photo of TheViolator666
4.62/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle (with a huge cap) poured into pint glass.

A: Very slight creamy brown head. Pours black as all hell. Leaves faint lacing behind.

S: Smell is more present than most stouts. Definitely smells of chocolate and roasted malt.

T: Tastes more and more of coffee as it warms up. This one's hot! HUGE warming alcohol sensation after every sip... some don't like this, but I love it! I would also like to try this one with a few years on it for sure. This one would be ideal for a cold winter's night. I get an almost plum-like sweetness as well as slight chocolate in the aftertaste.

M/D: This one's got a very full body, definitely one of the thicker stouts I've had, but goes down well if you don't mind the boozeyness.

Overall, this is an exceptional stout... as it should be for the price!

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

Thanks to Imstillthegman for this.

Consumed (mostly) during the 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500.

First pour went into a small brandy snifter (hey, it's 10 AM, I'm not ready to go full throttle just yet!). Perhaps a tad too cold; virtually no head and scant lacing.

Second pour went into the recomended tulip glass and yielded a full two-finger tan head atop an STP-colored pour. (engine additive reference for Indy tie-in only, for all I know STP is golden. This stuff is friggin black, okay??)

This review is based on the second pour. When you pour yours, go with the recommended glassware & temperature.

Okay...black, with a big, fluffy tan head that pretty much stayed put, and left a solid wall of lacework down the glass.

Aroma of dark chocolate, espresso, malted grains, prune, anise. Flavor is all that and then some. Add fig & molasses to the mix.

Mouthfeel is smooth but with a little bite, from the very active carbonation and probably augmented by the alcohol warmth--though I must say this doesn't strike me as overly boozey. Thick, but not what I would call syrupy.

Not sure how old this bottle is but I'm told it's likely very recent, and while there's a lot of complexity to this beer and it's very well balanced, it tastes like it could improve greatly with some age for mellowing.

Excellent brew. Next one I get sits for a couple of years.

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Photo of airohead2001
3.81/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter from a 750ml bottle. Split with glazeman.

A - Beautiful looking stout. Pitch black with a nice tan one finger head that eventually fades to thick bubbles around the edge. Great lacing that coats the rims of my snifter for the remainder of the drink.

S - Pretty good - bitter coffee, alcohol, some light malts, and some dark fruits.

T - This one is pretty interesting. When it was cold out of the bottle, it was really sweet up front with some harsh bitter roasts at the end. Closer to room temperature, things are a bit more complex, but not necessarily more tasty - after some warming, this one has bitter roasts through out with an interesting sweet and sour taste in the beginning. There is also some nuttiness in the finish.

M - Average mouthfeel. Not too thin, but I would have definitely liked it to be a bit thicker and chewier.

D - Very drinkable. A tasty stout indeed and very well balanced. The high ABV is well hidden.

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Photo of Brewfan
4.82/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ok, sitting here on Christmas eve with a long night of cooking ahead of me. And I decided that it's been too long since I've had a Speedway, and for some reason or other, never reviewed it. So here we go...

'06 Vintage. Poured into my large DFH snifter.
It's hard to imagine a beer getting much darker. Baking chocolate dark, with a pinch of coal thrown in for good measure. Impenetrable to light. 1 1/2 finger head of fluffy, chocolate colored head with minimal retention. Lot's of full, multi-sized bubbles, eroding to a thin ring that stayed throughout the beer. Very little lacing to speak of.
Immediate coffee on the nose. Strong, like a triple espresso, hold the cream. Powerful roasted malt, pruny, with almost an oily aroma. Also getting a strong whiff of chocolate. This is like one big 12% mocha.
This one, even so big, tends to be gulped rather than sipped. Maybe it's the long day, maybe it's the creamy, luscious mouthfeel, or maybe it's the HUGE coffee and dark chocolate whollup that explodes in my mouth with every sip. Bitter and sweet in every mouthful. The two tastes play back and forth with each other. It's coffee, no it's chocolate. It's playfully sweet, no it's a man's drink. Either way, it's a big beer with a big bite. Getting some slight fruitness in the backbone. A dry, hoppy bitterness (or is it the bitter coffee) rounds out the glassful. But don't worry, there's still over 1/2 a bottle to go.
Medium carbonation with a very big body. Thick and viscious. This may be where Old(er) Viscosity got it's inspiration.
This is one of my favorite beers of all times. It doesn't get much better than this.
Merry Christmas everyone.

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

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

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Photo of CaptainTripps
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750ml bottle poured in a Duvel Tulip.

A: Pure Sexiness. Oily black body that you couldn't even pierce with the energy of the sun. The beer at pour produced a dark, DARK mocha head, a full three fingers worth that left a art work of lacing. Probably produced the largest head i have seen come out of a imperial stout ever.

S: A perfect blend of vanilla, coffee, milk and dark chocolates. Some what of a bready malt comes about, but ever so slightly. The chocolates really prevails in the smell. Spectacular smelling beer if i might say so.

T: Following the nose, again a blend of vanilla, milk and dark chocolates, and of course coffee. I really cannot say which of the flavors really stand out for they all co-exist magically together to produce a smooth tasting beer. No lingering after taste. Kind of sweet on the finish that just makes you come back asking for more. And alcohol? Is there any in there? For a 12% brew, its not existent. Felt as if i were drinking a really creamy milkshake. Very, VERY smooth beer.

M: This is the one thing i find lacking in the beer. Compared to most Imperial Stouts i have had, the body seems to be pretty small. I was expecting that with such excellent flavors and aromas this beer would be, i don't know, thicker. I will give it credit (and thus the 4/5) for how well the alcohol is hidden.

D: Usually on big Imperial Stouts that are boasting above the 10% ABV line (with this being at 12%abv), they become sippers. A bottle of beer lasting a while. Not this one. I found myself onto the next glass before i finished reviewing! Incredibly smooth drinking beer thats hard to put down. Readily available in my area making this one of my "go to" imperial stouts year round. Great job Alesmith, you impress me every time.

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Photo of Grabbin2nd
4.57/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From Notes: 3/29/09
Alesmith Brewing Co.
Speedway Imperial Stout
12% Abv.
750ml bottle into Allagash Snifter

Appearance= Initial pour into snifter yields a mild 2 finger brown head. Good clinginess on the sides of the glass as the beer goes down.

Smell= Wow, instantly after I pop the cap, coffee, choco awesomeness! The smell almost floats to your nose!

Taste= Really good. Coffee and a fat red fruit of some kind?? Chocolate

Mouthfeel= Awesome Mouthfeel. Thick and delicious.

Drinkability= Abc @ 12% is really not noticeable. Taste is awesome. I could drink this all day. In fact, it was my breakfast. Don't judge me.

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Photo of Pabs311
3.93/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- beer pors a deep dark black color with a nice tan head.

S- aroma is mostly of chcolaty roasted malts. there's also some coffee notes coming through but muted at best.

T- very similar to the nose, mostly choclaty roasted malts, with a hint off coffee to it. the lack of coffee surprised me considering that coffee beans are added to this beer.

M/D- full bodied, thick with low carbonation. good mouthfeel and the drinkability on this is very easy. no alcohol detected at any point. good beer but dissapointed with the lack of coffee characteristics though.

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Photo of cpmichael
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared at Dark Lord Day, poured into a 8 oz. Chimay goblet.

A: Pours a jet black, with a mocha colored foam that has good retention.

S: Smells of prebrewed, ground coffee with hints of chocolate and roasted malts. A little booze in the nose.

T: ground coffee, that high quality shit, with bitter chocolate, roasted malts and a touch of hops.

M/D: Thick and creamy, with good carbonation. This thing is very tasty. Pretty well balanced and very smooth for 12%. Not sure if ours was an older bottle or not, but it wasn't hot at all.

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