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AleSmith Speedway Stout - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

4,896 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,896
Reviews: 1,407
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 772
Gots: 1,375 | FT: 133
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:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-09-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of AleSmith Speedway Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,896 | Reviews: 1,407 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mdfb79
4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 2/6/10 notes. Had at SC Day from a 750 ML bottle thanks to nimbleprop.

a - Poured a dark brown with a small amount of brown head. Not as dark as the barrel aged Speedway but still very dark.

s - Smells of coffee, but the coffee smells somewhat faded to me. Still very nice with hints of roasted malts and chocolate as well.

t - Tastes of coffee and roasted malts. Again, I thought the coffee was fading, but it had a great taste that was sweeter than I was expecting.

m - Smooth and creamy, full bodied, little carbonation.

d - Overall I really liked this one. We sampled this followed by an 06 Barrel Aged Speedway and while this was not as good as that beer, this was still very good. I have a bottle of 09 Speedway that I think I'll be holding onto for a year or so in hopes it taste like this.

mdfb79, Feb 23, 2010
Photo of MarkyMOD
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

MarkyMOD, Apr 08, 2012
Photo of beernads
4/5  rDev -8.9%

beernads, Jan 25, 2013
Photo of Mora2000
4.72/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up in a trade with Kaiser81.

Beer pours black with a tan head. The aroma is strong chocolate with a little bit of coffee and roasted malt. The flavor has more coffee than the aroma but the beer finishes with a nice chocolate flavor, which gets stronger as it warms. There is also a bitter chocolate note that really works well with this beer. You get a little alcohol in the flavor as well. The mouthfeel is very creamy and makes this beer absolutely delicious. This is one of the best stouts I have ever had and I will definitely try it again.

Mora2000, Dec 28, 2009
Photo of jwc215
4.58/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into tulip glass (as per instructions on the bottle):

Pours black with a huge tan head that slowly descends to a lasting cover, leaving webs of lacing. Awesome retention for the abv/style, or for any beer in general.

The smell is of coffee, chocolate, dark fruit and licorice. Dark breadiness is there that fades to the background as it progresses.

The taste is of coffee (very fresh - no burnt or overdone "bitter" edges"), chocolate, dark fruit and a liqueurish sweetness. The sweetness is balanced by a hint of roast and a piney/resiny bittering touch. Peppery alcohol is warming but not hot. It has a semi-drying, long finish.

This is truly full-bodied - velvety and silky with a thickness that is hefty without being too syprupy because there is just enough carbonation to let it glide over the palate. Perfect for the style, IMO.

This is dangerously drinkable, indeed! Coffee-accented, and wonderfully so (would like to get a hold of the coffee used in this one!) but with other "dark" complexities going on in wonderful harmony. A thrill to drink!

jwc215, Nov 17, 2008
Photo of DrunkinYogi
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

DrunkinYogi, Dec 26, 2012
Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.72/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is very lightly carbonated, it forms a wispy brown head. Deep black in color. Aromas of chocolate, coffee, alcohol, and burnt grain waft from my glass. It is quite thick, this is definitely a sipping brew. Luckily, despite its thickness, this beer is not syrupy, which I don't really like in a beer. Definitely tastes of coffee, with chocolate and alcohol in the finish. Reminds me of a good creamy dark chocolate bar. A definite malty sweetness is here, it is controlled by the roast flavors though. A certain restrained fruitiness is here, the closest analogy would be burnt raisin. This is quite good, and though I was disappointed at first, the carbonation is just about perfect for this heavy beer. The roasted - coffee notes of this beer just linger in your mouth, it is quite wonderful. This is a dark, black beast that is thoroughly enjoyable.

Gueuzedude, Dec 14, 2003
Photo of kojevergas
4.18/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed twice, with a 3rd set of notes from an 18 month old bottle. The score posted reflects an average of both reviews.

1

Brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a trappist Westvleteren goblet in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live.

A: Pours a half finger head of nice tan colour, lovely cream, great thickness, and okay retention. Colour is a solid black.

Sm: Heavy caramel, cocoa nibs, cream, chocolate, and toffee. A layered moderately strong aroma.

T: Complex, with all the notes of the nose layered in a brilliant balance. Not too rich, and nicely subtle. The cream undertones on both the finish and open are fantastic. A bit too much caramel, but it does fit into the build nicely.

Mf: Incredibly delicate and smooth. Just wet enough. Near perfect for the flavours.

Dr: Incredibly drinkable for the ABV. A very high quality beer. Abv comes through, but not as much as I'd expect.

2

750ml brown glass bottle with foiled over pressure cap served cold and allowed to warm during consumption. Served into a pilsner glass in me gaff in Los Feliz. Acquired at the brewery for $10.99 5 days ago. Expectations are high; I loved this before and I'm a huge fan of the brewery.

Poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 5 finger beautiful dark tan chocolate colour head of dazzling frothy cream, smooth rolling complexion, fantastic lacing, amazing thickness, and incredible retention considering the high ABV. It just sits there for 3 minutes, hardly reducing at all. Colour is a solid nontransparent jet black. Remarkable appearance. Near perfect for a stout. Could only be better with a bubble show. I can't wait to try it.

Sm: Refined aroma of chocolate, chocolate malts, rich java/coffee, roasted barley, dark malts, caramel, a bit of nut, and toasted malts. Subtle, evocative, and welcoming. Could use a bit more boldness, but its subtlety is quite alluring. Moderate strength aroma.

T: Delightfully subtle rich coffee and java roast, with hints of mocha and cream. Creamy throughout, greeting you on the open. Dark malt foundation, with chocolate malts as well. Chocolate is subtle throughout, and not particularly dominant. Less cacao nibby and more dark brick chocolatey. Caramel. Near perfectly balanced, with each note coalescing in an intentional meaningful way. There's so much going on here, yet each flavour is so subtle. If anything, coffee dominates - but really nothing does. Rather, the beer balances all of its notes without losing focus. The whole experience is the emphasis, not one particular flavour. No yeast or alcohol comes through. The roast is wonderful.

Mf: Incredibly light and delicate for the style. Creamy throughout without feeling washed out. Fragile and supportive of the bold flavours. Masterfully tailored to the flavours. Excellent brewing here. Smooth and wet. Thin but not weak. Delightful. I don't know how they accomplished it. That said, I will say that I do personally prefer more coarseness and dryness in a stout. I'm nitpicking. Alcohol warmth is minimal but pleasant; very little booziness or heat.

Dr: Hides its ABV absurdly well. Drinks very easily for its high ABV. I could down this all night. The coffee should help keep you upright while you quaff it too. Very well priced; the quality is unmatched at this price point - only $10.99? I'd take this over a 4 pack of Old Raspy 6 days out of the week. This is a solid go-to imperial stout for us locals. Bravo, Alesmith. Probably their finest mainstay. Lives up to the hype. I'd definitely have this again, especially on nitro (if its offered). I can't wait to try the barrel aged variants.

Small criticisms. It could use more complexity. This style definitely has high expectations. I like that this is so widely available in SoCal, but it doesn't match the complexity of something like The Abyss or Black Tuesday.

An excellent candidate for aging. I've got a few in my cellar as we speak.

Would pair well with chocolate and unsalted plain nuts.

A-

---

Truncated notes (18 month aged 2011 vintage):

A: Gorgeous 3 finger tan colour head. Good cream and thickness. Solid opaque jet black body. Head retains for easily 8+ minutes. Spotty lacing.

Sm: Coffee has faded, but there is some faint roast and earthy bitterness. Dark & chocolate malts. Not as seamless and balanced an aroma as I remember from fresh bottles. It hasn't developed with age. Moderate in strength.

T/Mf: Luscious silky texture is still a highlight here. Dark & chocolate malts. Coffee has really faded here, to its detriment. I can't recommend this beer for aging. Creamy. Certainly balanced and cohesive, but it's a shadow of its former self and has lost complexity. Smooth, wet, well carbonated. Good body and thickness.

Dr: Drinkability is as good or better than I remember, but the beer hasn't developed. Don't age this; drink fresh. I'm disappointed, but it's still easily a "B" at 18 months.

B

kojevergas, Jan 04, 2012
Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev -8.9%

XmnwildX12, Nov 22, 2013
Photo of oriolesfan4
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

oriolesfan4, Mar 03, 2013
Photo of Halcyondays
4.55/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Hollingshead's Delicatessen in Orange, CA,

A: Pours black, an oily sludge black, with a brown head, small out of the tap, but leaves abundant lacing in a Chimay chalice, and good retention all the way through the drink.

S: Coffee, dark, roasted malts, some dark chocolate there as well.

T: A truly delicious beer in every sense of the word. Huge coffee flavours bombard the palate, baker's chocolate, and roasted malts just add to the delight. There is a slight alcohol burn at the end, but it is hardly noticable, since the big flavours make you concentrate on them and not the ethanol, the ethyl alcohol is very well hidden.

M: Smooth, silky smooth, creamy, robust, full-bodied, this is a beer that demands your attention. And for a beer so high in alcohol, you'll never notice it, so be careful.

D: The most drinkable big beer I have ever had probably, another of the two truly outstanding offerings I have had from Alesmith, along with Yulesmith. On-tap or in a bottle, any SoCal beer fan should find this beer and try it at least once.

Halcyondays, Oct 23, 2007
Photo of BlackHaddock
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Early on 31st Dec 13, usual 0.75 litre bottle poured into a pint pot and the remainder into a Gordon’s badged thistle shaped glass. One of two bought for me by a brother on my 60th Birthday earlier in December.

Jet black with a thick coffee like foaming head on both glasses. You can’t miss the coffee and dark chocolate in the nose or taste but below those two powerhouses there are more subtle flavours and aromas to find. A strong vanilla flavour arrives and then leaves: but a pod or two stay behind to dance with some hedgerow berries and a bag of toffees.

This gets more complex as it warms too: each malty molasse playing with your taste buds and nasal senses.

Rich, smooth and very drinkable: most enjoyable, pity I had to share it with my son and son-in-law (the wife insisted).

BlackHaddock, Dec 31, 2013
Photo of Gavage
4.68/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: black in color with a short 1/4" milk chocolate colored head. Some big bubbles stick to the sides of the glass.

Smell: roasted malt, big chocolate tones, and a hint of alcohol is picked up by the nose.

Taste: roasted malt, dark bitter chocolate, prunes, some hint of grapefruit and pine. Bitterness is strong but not overpowering. Alcohol is noticeable and warming.

Mouthfeel : heavy in body. Light crispness to start, smooth and velvety at the finish. Warming aftertaste.

Overall: a great example in the style. Smooth and tasty, very easy to drink despite the very high alcohol levels. Superb beer.

Gavage, Nov 06, 2011
Photo of GClarkage
4.85/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

10/01/05- Purchased at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA

Presentation- 750ml bottle poured into my Corsendonk Christmas Ale tulip. No date on the bottle.

Appearance- One of the most black colored pours I have seen. No light getting though this one. 3/4 inch ultra dirty brown head. Lacing could have been a bit better.

Smell- More coffee than anything. A touch of dark chocolate and some sweet roasted malt in the nose. Definitely some alcohol presence as well.

Taste- The nose does not lie my friend. Nice ground coffee flavor to go with a darn sweet average toasted malt background. About perfect...not to weak, not to over the top. A touch of bittersweet chocolate rounds the taste out. Some hops lingering in the finish.

Mouthfeel- After nursing this one over about 3 hours, at the finish it's semi creamy, low carbonation and nicely warming.

Drinkability- Had no idea this was 12% until I looked at the label. Drained the last 2oz and dregs right out of the bottle into my mouth and thought maybe about 9% at first, then looked at the label! Very deceiving alcohol. Didn't hit me that hard. Quite delicious.

GClarkage, Oct 02, 2005
Photo of imperialking
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

imperialking, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of InspectorBob
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

InspectorBob, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of drewone
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

drewone, Jun 11, 2013
Photo of yourefragile
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle, silver foil over cap, split with a friend to celebrate our birthdays. Purchased last May, so let's say it's about a year old.

Dark, near opaque black liquid with a massive, dense coffee colored head. Amazing retention and lacing, very impressive looking beer. Aroma is also also exceptional, heavy on roasted malt, bitter dark chocolate and light coffee notes. One of the first things we noticed was that we didn't notice any alcohol presence whatsoever. Full bodied, extremely creamy, luscious mouthfeel. Body is sweet, chocolately and molasses like, with roasted malt and finishes with a strong, but not overly bitter coffee taste. One of the most impressive stouts I've had, incredibly well balanced (sometimes with coffee stouts I feel like the coffee is a little overdone, as much as I love coffee).

yourefragile, Mar 09, 2009
Photo of corby112
4.44/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Draft at AleSmith. March, 2013.

Pitch black and opaque with a two finger, frothy beige head that has great retention, only slowly fading into a thick, lasting ring.  The glass is left coated with streaks of soapy lace.  

Robust roasted coffee bean and dark malt aroma.  Very inviting with gourmet roast, dark chocolate, toast, burnt sugar and subtle lactic cream.  Underneath, there is some sweetness with bakers chocolate, caramel and toffee.

Full bodied and slightly viscous with a blast of deeply roasted coffee bean flavor.  Somewhat dry and bitter but pretty smooth and not acrid at all considering how much coffee flavor it has.  Some burnt toast along with gourmet coffee bean followed by oatmeal, strong dark chocolate flavor, fudge, sweeter bakers chocolate, caramel and toffee.  The robust coffee, dark malt and sweeter dessert-like flavors are very well balanced and the high ABV is excellently masked, making this beer deceptively drinkable.

corby112, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of orangesol
4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A - Pours dark as night black with a nice one and a half finger tall tan head, dissipating down to a light film, leaving webs of lacing down the glass.

S - Smells of chocolate malt, rich espresso, molasses, dark fruits, and a faint hint of booze. Very complex yet enjoyable nose.

T - Plenty of rich coffee right off the bat slowly giving way to a sweet mix of chocolate and molasses. The feel is very creamy, how all stouts should be in my opinion. The finish is a mix of sweetness and dark roast. This is one awesome beer.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Smooth feel with a rich, bold, body. The finish is all sweet roast, lingering for some time.

O - I love this beer. It is complex yet easy to drink. I can only imagine what the BA version tastes like. Someday I will get one!!

orangesol, May 12, 2011
Photo of weeare138
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to grassrootsvt for sharing this bottle...
Appears a pitch black with a dark tan head that slowly fades out. Plenty rings of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is roasty, with caramel, coffee, cocoa, and vanilla.
Taste is of the same aromas maybe toned down slightly in a nicely contained mix that is addictive.
Mouthfeel is sweet, full bodied, with coffee bitterness and sugary complexities.
I really enjoyed this. The only problem was that the 12% abv was well noticable, which makes this more of a sipper.

weeare138, Oct 09, 2006
Photo of stakem
4.22/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to wishuwerebeer for sharing. Poured into a snifter, this brew appears black in color with a thin rim around the edge that shows some lighter brown and redness when held to the light. A brown cap of froth is composed of large bubbles. A film of lace forms across the top of the brew once the head has dissolved. A light swirl revives the cap and leaves light patches of lace on the glass.

The smell of this brew is roasty with chocolate malt that is roasty yet sweet smelling all at the same time. Plenty of fresh roasted coffee character fills the nose accenting the roasty quality of the malt and adding a bit if citrus element to it as well that really works with the hops. There is a bit of solvent alcohol comin through the back which is understandable considering the abv.

The taste of this brew is roasty and bitter with the level of roast to the grain. There are citrus hops included in the flavor that mixes with a citrus offer element. The aftertaste includes chocolate that is semisweet. Some residual grainy sweetness is pleasant and keeps the roasted bitter quality to this brew in check.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. It is easy drinking and very roasty. The abv is very well incorporated, I could seemingly drink this all night but end up with quite a buzz in no time (either from the coffee or bold abv.)

stakem, May 06, 2011
Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.68/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Cracked open with @LaitueGonflable and @thescotdownunder to celebrate my 800th beer review on BA. Purchased at City Beer Store in San Francisco and carted back in my luggage to Sydney.

Pours with an amazing cascade effect -- the head forms backwards from what I expect, leaving some liquid darkness running down the inside of the glass, while the head forms downwards into the body of the beer. Quite spectacular to watch. It's a deep, heavy and opaque black colour, and the head, once it has formed, is a pleasant mocha brown. Lacing is very decent. Looks every bit the American Imperial Stout. Just wonderful.

Very dark on the nose, with huge roasted notes, but also a very distinct and spicy capsaicin note like freshly crushed chilli. Big oaky and roasted coffee notes as well -- I expect nothing less from the best Impy Stouts. Little coconut or vanilla, as I've had from many other examples, but the spicy notes give this its own edge, and its own unique character. Very, very good indeed.

Very smooth and slick profile on the palate; it's the first thing noticeable. It then delivers big roasted notes, but subtly leavened by good vanilla characters that almost evoke melted ice cream. Quite noticeable oak on the back, and it finishes surprisingly dry; that slight spice aroma gets revived in the dying moments. It's a lovely brew.

Oh yes, oh yes... this is an exceptionally good beer. Rich, full of character, dark and seductive, boisterous and aggressive in places. So much going on and so excitingly craft. I love it to bits.

lacqueredmouse, Sep 04, 2010
Photo of wrightst
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

wrightst, Jun 01, 2014
AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 4,896 ratings.