AleSmith Speedway Stout - Kopi Luwak - AleSmith Brewing Company
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Ratings: 425 | Reviews: 73 | Display Reviews Only:
4.98/5 rDev +13.4%
Reviewing the Kopi Luwak Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company out of San Diego, California.
January 2013 vintage bottle served in a Perennial and enjoyed during the All-Star Game on 07/16/13.
Appearance: Pours an inky black color with two fingers of dark khaki head that settles to a thin layer atop the glass. This beer has the best lacing and craziest cling/retention of any stout I have ever seen. A thick layer of frothy head sticks to the side of the glass for well beyond two minutes (at which point I stopped counting). This is a truly gorgeous stout. 5/5
Smell: Tons of delicious-smelling roasted coffee notes upfront. Then milk chocolate, molasses, and cocoa. Hint of vanilla a la Stone's Vanilla Porter too. There's also a faint whiff of dark fruit detectable when it gets on the warmer side. 5/5
Taste: Super smooth coffee and roastiness. Absolutely no acidity in tandem with the bitterness. Minimal bitterness off the coffee flavor, which is to be expected from the use of Kopi coffee. Milk chocolate, bakers chocolate and a faint dark fruit character a la Kuhnhenn American Imperial Stout or the original batch of De Struise Black Albert. No vanilla. Finishes with a mildly bitter, raw dark chocolate flavor and a faint hint of coffee. Truly delectable; quite balanced. 5/5
Mouthfeel: Medium-plus bodied, spot on carbonation. Super creamy, slightly dry on the finish. The bitterness quality is really excellent here -- it is not acidic at all, and very smooth and lingering. It pairs perfectly with the chocolate notes on the palate. 4.75/5
Overall: This beer is beyond ridiculous. It is the best non-barrel aged coffee stout that I have had to date, and easily one of the best stouts I have ever had (and I drink quite a lot of stouts). Smooth, flavorful and perfectly balanced, there is little more you could ask for here. This beer is infinitely better than its barrel aged counterpart, and it is arguably AleSmith's best beer (the Vietnamese coffee version is almost as good, and I have not had the vanilla coconut version yet). I sincerely hope that AleSmith bottles this again. If so, I will be buying by the case next time around.
Cost: $18 for a 750 ml bottle.
05-02-2013 03:48:08 | More by jegross2
4.9/5 rDev +11.6%
Made time to get this one at O'Briens. Worth the wait. Poured jet black with a thin brown ring of bubbles. Lacing was hard to judge as it was in a 5 oz. glass. Mmmm, the aroma is outstanding. Deep, rich roasted kopi coffee. Bittersweet, chocolately, and earthy, all at once. Some sweeter vanilla and cocoa notes as well. It draws you in. Creamy, yet kind of thin mouthfeel. I expected more given the pedigree of the Speedway. Still, more than other Imperials. The taste is unreal. I can only compare it to a cross between the original and Mikkeler's Beer Geek Brunch, except this crushed both. The kopi pushed this over the top. The same coffee, dark chocolate, bitter earth, and cream are here as in the nose. But it is indescribably smooth. Throw in the mellow oak and vanilla from the barrel and you can't ask for anything more. Even flavors like currants, cocoa powder, and red wine tannins swirl. In comparison to the original, the coffee is there, but mellowed in bitterness and replaced with earth and vanilla. In regards to the Mikkeler, the kopi is in much larger supply and better utilized in the barrelling and base beer. Easily, EASILY one of the best beers I have and possibly will ever have.
11-20-2009 18:43:09 | More by magictrokini
4.9/5 rDev +11.6%
(on draught at RBWG 2011-Phoenix!). Many, many thanks to Dak and Joe for hooking this up. Pour black with tan head. Coffee aroma is noticeable from a foot or so away. Aroma has loads of coffee and chocolate. Taste is roasty coffee bitterness, but its balanced by the sweet malts. Medium bodied with a creamy texture. Finish has a roasted coffee bitterness. The alcohol is well hidden. This is one awesome brew and lived up to the hype for me.
06-25-2011 16:49:25 | More by trappistlover
4.9/5 rDev +11.6%
Two 5oz tasters poured into a Chimay glass (against the rules, I know) juxtaposed alongside regular speedway on 11/10/2009 at O'Brien's. This is pure Kopi Luwak Speedway Stout. I was told by the brewer that the previous incarnation that appeared on another site was a blend of normal Speedway and Kopi Luwak . This instance is pure blooded Civet excrement. It was fantastic that Peter walked around with a plastic glove on holding Civet excrement in his hand the entire night. The beer is black with a small creamy light brown head and good retention.
The nose is immediately pungent coffee with a decided earthiness and a sharp roasted character. Side by side with speedway the quality of coffee is obviously better in the Kopi Luwak. It's the best coffee character that I've ever experienced in a stout. I detect light notes of baker's chocolate and alcohol is well hidden. The coffee is more aromatic than that in regular Speedway.
The taste is pungent coffee with a moderate roast and a distinct earthy quality. The coffee overwhelms my palate without imparting much bitterness or astringency, which I find unique for such a strong coffee flavor. The finish is dry with a slight roast. The mouthfeel is silky and creamy. I'm not a big fan of coffee stouts, but this is utter quality and it truly is the shit. This is the best coffee stout I've ever tried. I would drink this for breakfast, lunch, and...you get the point.
11-11-2009 08:13:32 | More by HopHead84
4.9/5 rDev +11.6%
On tap @Woodshop, limited notes.
Basically similar to speedway stout, but w/better coffee. Thick and roasty. The thing about this amazing version of an already amazing beer is that coffee completely dominates, even more than regular speedway, which I didn't know was possible. Boozy and roasty presence is cut down by coffee and stout perfection. Maybe the best stout I've ever had, it's tough.
Now I know that when they refer to this beer as "The Shit" it's not just referring to the source of the coffee beans.
02-28-2010 08:23:51 | More by bret27
4.9/5 rDev +11.6%
Very difficult to tell this is actually beer. Like nectar of espresso with a dark rich earthy huge blast of coffee aroma and flavor. Sticky but not sweet on the palate. Sampled in a Duvel glass that was perfect as the aroma was outstanding. Much different from the regular Speedway. There is no other coffee stout with more coffee flavor. I'm not a coffee drinker, didn't matter here. This beer is outstanding. Somewhat similar to the oaked speedway with its creamy texture. In 1 word...Luxurious!
11-11-2009 18:50:44 | More by paytoplay
4.9/5 rDev +11.6%
I don't drink regular speedway all that often, but when I do it is subtly impressive. There is nothing subtle about this version. IT ROCKS! Pours inky black with a large tan head over a opaque black hole of a body. CRAP [no pun intended]! There is a TON OF COFFEE in the aroma! Grassy nearly. A bit of creamer. Damn, it is so strong. By far the most complex coffee I have ever put my nose too. It is more coffee like than coffee (sounds corny, but wait until you try it!). Wow, flavor is all rich nuances on the coffee theme. Absolutely stunning. What is really shocking is how drinkable it is. I could have this stuff all night. Absolutely no hint of 12.2% whatsoever! Creamy carbonation. Reading over my notes, I count the word "awesome" 11 times if that gives you any hint of how much I like this stuff. The funny thing is that I don't really drink all that much coffee (as I don't like hot beverages). This stuff is awesome! Heck of a beer!
09-10-2010 00:15:27 | More by BMan1113VR
4.88/5 rDev +11.2%
On cask at O'briens. Went the day after million zillion speedways and got 2x10 oz pours. Dark black with a thin creamy brown head. The most remarkable thing was the smoothness of this version of speedway - no harsh edges and a strong coffee flavor without being bitter. Truly delightful and worth the hype - I wasn't sure the different coffee flavor would come through but it was very different.
11-17-2011 22:20:19 | More by bobjonesSD
4.83/5 rDev +10%
Huge thanks to Mike for this one. 750ml capped bottle into a Founders snifter. Shared with schen9303.
Pours a massive, frothy 3 finger mocha colored head with good retention. Beer is pitch black. Lacing is thick, web-like and layered with excellent stick. Quite the looker!
Nose is unmistakable kopi. Chocolate, fudge, cocoa powder, light sweetness and copious amounts of coffee. A nice creaminess from lactose and vanilla round out the experience. Excellent.
Opens chocolate, cocoa, fudge, and coffee. Some molasses, leather and a light smoked malt in the middle. Dark chocolate and coffee dominate the experience. End is sweet and sticky black strap molasses and more coffee. Aftertaste is the same. Straight, to the point, and very very good.
Full bodied with low carbonation. Oily, slick, and rich in the mouth and goes down boozy, sweet, and sticky. Finishes messy with a lingering aftertaste that coats the mouth. Spot on.
This beer is proof that not every beer needs to be barrel aged or super-duper limited to be good. Alesmith knocks it out of the park with this one and I really hope they choose to remake this one in the future. This is actually better than the barrel-aged version of the same beer. Simply out-of-this-world
07-04-2013 01:18:10 | More by SpeedwayJim
4.83/5 rDev +10%
This was a special San Diego Beer Week tapping of this rare Alesmith treat @ O'Briens Pub (San Diego, CA) on 11/10/09. Served in a smallish tumbler. I enjoyed this next to a glass of regular Speedway Stout on draft for comparative purposes.
The pour is similar to the regular Speedway, with a jet black look in the glass, topped with a layer of rich dark mocha foam. Retains with some light trimming but this flares up very nicely into a robust cascade on the sides, leaving some decent looking spotty lacing and brown oils behind. The Kopi Luwak in the aroma is just unbelievable smelling, with the coffee being extremely more pronounced than in the regular version. I'd overall call it less fierce but much more robust, with the thick tang and intense roasted activity taking a back seat this time, while the mellow, earthy, and green texture of the coffee takes hold, mingling in with extra softer accents of cocoa and vanilla. Just very easy and more gentle here but this is still packed with delicious coffee flavor. Amazing nose here.
The Speedway standbys of chocolate, molasses, and roast are present here in the taste, giving this a sticky and bitter feel but these remain in the background for the most part. Much like the aroma, the coffee here just so much more mellow and smooth feeling, lacking the massive sharp java bite of the regular Speedway and replacing it with more of an earthy and citric character that actually floods across the palate, sticks in the finish, and for the most part, pretty much just controls the entire profile. An overall luscious coffee presence here, that just sits at the forefront of this. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with a pleasant mouth filling creaminess that allows the flavors to properly coat the mouth. The smoothness also allows for a very easy drinking experience with this, despite a 12% ABV. I still can't believe that number, based on my experience with it. These two 5 oz samples of this delicious nectar were not nearly enough.
Well I have to say that this Kopi Luwak is the real deal, as I've never had a coffee (much less a Coffee Stout) that was so rich and flavorful, yet mellow, as this was. Just really unique and tremendous stuff here, that took an already out-of-this-world Stout into the stratosphere.
12-04-2009 15:43:48 | More by Kegatron
4.8/5 rDev +9.3%
Good brown pour, looks just like the regular Speedway Stout. Firm 1/2" beige head on it, good retention.
Aroma didn't jump out at me, pretty similar to regular Speedway, which is still pretty awesome. Lots of coffee first, roasted malt second, alcohol, you'd have to look for it despite its presence.
Taste, mmmm. So good. A little bitter, but still substantially the awesome Speedway I love. Alcohol nowhere to be found as usual, very easy drinking. Creamy and bitter at the same time. Complex yet straightforward. Possibly the slightest tinge of sweeter coffee used here, maybe even a little more bitter. Do I think I could pick this out side by side with regular speedway? Probably not. A little vanilla always helps things. Chocolate is like it is in the regular. Good.
Despite the fact that many are railing against Kopi Luwak because they are causeheads (PCU reference), it isn't because of the quality of the coffee (they will argue that side by side with the ethical considerations, because they know all that matters to 90% of consumers is taste, not any save the planet garbage). The coffee is legit. Sorry, not gonna make me feel bad for enjoying this.
Opened during the Marquette v. Davidson game. Before David Hurley began spewing his disingenuous lies at the El Dorado Casino.
03-28-2013 18:28:40 | More by Beerandraiderfan
4.79/5 rDev +9.1%
Shared with JLindros.
A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a super dark brown almost black hue with a thick and creamy mocha head that left sticky side lacing and very nice head retention.
S - Aromas of nice chocolate and definitely rich expensive coffee beans. Not my first kopi luwak stout but may be my favorite noise of them all.
T - Taste is dark bakers chocolate, roasted malts, and delicious expensive coffee beans that just assault the pallet. Just assaults the pallet with smooth creamy earthy rich coffee. Just very complimentary to each flavour.
M - Mouthfeel is wonderfully creamy and rich, silky smooth like fine velvet.
O - Overall I very much loved this beer. Such a wonderful transition of flavours here. Just love this beer, in my opinion this is better than the bourbon barrel edition.
05-30-2013 01:21:09 | More by rudzud
4.78/5 rDev +8.9%
I am one of the lucky ones who had this at O'Brien's Alesmith event for SDBW.
A - Dark Brown/black. Very thick, absolutely no head.
S - Nose of wonderfully roasted coffee beans, with a hint of dark chocolate.
T - Well balanced, incredibly smooth. Mild roast, hint of dark chocolate on the finish. There always seems to be a hint of bitterness in a coffee stout, but this was too smooth. Beautiful.
M - Full-bodied, light carbonation. Textbook stout.
D - I think this is worthy for anyone, but doubly so for coffee lovers. This is one of the greats.
11-14-2009 19:28:18 | More by DavidInSanDiego
AleSmith Speedway Stout - Kopi Luwak from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 425 ratings.