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AleSmith Speedway Stout - Kopi Luwak - AleSmith Brewing Company

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AleSmith Speedway Stout - Kopi Luwak
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75 Reviews
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Reviews: 75
Hads: 510
Avg: 4.4
pDev: 22.95%
Wants: 424
Gots: 76 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

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

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: HopHead84 on 11-11-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 75 | Hads: 510
Photo of stakem
4.03/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Large format bottle into a mini taster glass. The brew pours black in color with a khaki colored head that is similar to the base brew as expected. A little bit of spotty lacing sticks to the glass.

The aroma is quite earthen with more focus on chocolate than I am use to smelling in speedway. The roasted coffee appeal has that familiar aspect of kopi but honestly it doesnt have that much of an impact to make it prominent.

The flavor is quite tasty with roasty coffee flavors that blend into more of an earthen flavor. A bit of chocolate emerges from the roast and a touch of fruity alcohol esters.

This is a modestly carbonated offering with a medium body. It is easy drinking with the alcohol being masked much better than normal speedway. Kopi Luwak coffee's most noticeable aspect is how rich and smooth it is with a unique earthen aroma and flavor. I felt lots of the kopi specific traits were lost here but it still made for an enjoyable experience.

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Photo of jeonseh
4.07/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Drank at super bowl NWI tasting

A - Dark chocolate brown with a mocha colored head

S - Slight fudgy chocolate up front with light vanilla and coffee

T - Sweet vanilla and cream up front. Nice coffee presence with fudgy chocolate. The coffee has a good presence but not much bitterness to it. Finish is sweet caramel with light coffee

MF - Big thick and fudgy beer with light carbonation to it. Light carbonation and slight bitter astringency from the coffee in the finish.

O - It reminds me of a sweeter, less bitter speedway stout. Has a nice coffee presence to it with lots of chocolate

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Photo of oline73
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tasting snifter.

The beer pours black with a half finger of tan head. As the head fades it leaves some lacing. The nose of full of sweet roast and dark fruit. I didn't get much coffee even though everyone else said they thought it was there. Coffee shows up a lot more in the flavor. There is also a sweet dark chocolate note with a slight bitterness in the finish. This beer got better as it sat. The body is thick with lots of really smooth carbonation and a dry finish. I would say this was very good, but not quite what I expected. That being said I would be happy to have more in the future.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.15/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at AleSmith Brewing Company in San Diego, CA.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small streaks and dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, coffee, and an earthy cinnamon-like aroma. Taste is much the same without any cinnamon-like flavor and an alcohol kick on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a fantastic smell but the taste doesn't match up in my opinion.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.17/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 10/28/11 notes. BIG thanks to nimbleprop for sharing this one. Poured from a flip-top hand bottle into a tulip. Tried side by side with a 2011 Normal Speedway Stout and a 2009 Barrel Aged Speedway Stout.

a - Pours a pitch black color with one inch of dark tan head and low carbonation evident. Looks like the others, slightly less cabronated due to being hand bottled.

s - Smells of coffee, bready malts, chocolate, roasted malts, and light cream/vanilla. Definite coffee here but not as much as I expected, and more bready malts than I expected. Either way, it works and was pretty nice.

t - Tastes of coffee, roasted malts, sweet and bitter chocolate, light fruit and vanilla. Again, pretty nice.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Super smooth body and very easy to drink; a tiny bit more carbonation and could be perfect.

o - Overall this is a good beer, but I wouldn't say it is an improvement on the already existing great base beer (like the BA version is). Trying three versions I felt like I could see notes of the normal Speedway in the BA version, but not quite as much in the Kopi Luwak version. This was my least favorite of the three, though I'd still like to try it on tap sometime, and it's still a good beer.

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Photo of pmarlowe
4.17/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at AleSmith tasting room during 2012 CBC/WBC week.

A: Pours an impenetrable brown, with a darkish film of brown head which recedes to a ring and some swirls layered on the surface of the beer. Less frothy than regular Speedway, with only so-so retention but some nice lattice of lacing.

S: Huge earthy and roasty coffee notes. Like regular Speedway but on steroids; the nose on regular is faint in comparison.

T: Very strong, dark roast coffee, with a modest espresso-like char, a bit of fruit, some dry, woody notes, and a little bright acidity which lends some structure. Exquisitely long coffee finish.

M: Full bodied and medium-light carbonation. A little sticky on the mouth. Pleasantly warming, and with alcohol completely hidden under the big coffee flavors.

O: Basically an amped up, coffee-forward version of the regular Speedway, bordering on drinking straight up coffee. Strong, but not particularly rich or sweet, which is what I think I liked about the Vietnamese. Overall, it's pretty good, but lacks the nuance and drinkability of the standard version.

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Photo of magictacosinus
4.24/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at the January tasting at the Taproom. Thanks to whoever brought the bottle! Poured out of a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours pretty much the same exact appearance as regular Speedway, despite the head being a little less remarkable in this case. Blackened, opaque, with light ruby-like tinges, as well as a firm yet fleeting mocha head. Definitely viscous, with lots of residual sugars and alcohol legs clinging to the glass with each swirl. It doesn't look any different otherwise, but I do wonder how the use of specific coffee offerings affects the appearance.

Smells terrific, and very much like regular Speedway, this is a coffee explosion in certain respects, combined with its unique hearty malt profile. Notes of extremely earthy roasted coffee beans (reminds me very much of peaberries), with green pepper, white peppercorns, and mushrooms. Afterwards, there's a blast of dark chocolate (maybe even of the baker's variety) followed with notes of dark fruits, such as raisins and figs, with some vanilla, tobacco, and light leather following soon after. I still have no clue how these non-barrel aged stouts impart notes usually found with oak, but I'm fairly certain it's due to the colossal malt profile used to make this beer. Really fascinating and refreshing - a true treasure for coffee connoisseurs.

Tastes a little less rich - but still a strong effort over all, as I'd come to expect. The best way to describe the roasted coffee/chocolate profile between the regular and this variant is the emphasis on the earthy notes. Indeed, other than an intensely earthy roasted coffee expression, there's a good amount of spice from peppery notes no doubt imparted by the coffee, as well as an increasingly strong tobacco/leather combo at the finish. Otherwise, everything else feels the same - dark fruit (cherries pits and raisins), light licorice, decadent chocolate, vanilla, and caramel. Far less vinous than the regular Speedway, which is a little disappointing. A little thinner in body as well, for whatever reason, but the carbonation is still pretty decent. It's tasty, but definitely not as mind-blowing as the year-round offering.

This is a playful, fun take on a world-class beer that really shows that varying a key ingredient within makes all the difference. The coffee changes are far less subtle than I expected, but otherwise, for all the trouble that it takes to get a bottle, perhaps not entirely worth it. It's not my favorite Kopi Luwak infused stout to date, but it's definitely a solid beer for coffee beer fanatics such as myself.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.25/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had side by side with the BB version, which I did like a lot better, though obviously this one was no without its charm. Solid black pour--or at least it seemed that way in the dim light--with a tan collar of bubbles on top. Aroma of dark chocolate, roasty malts, brown sugar, smooth coffee. Unsurprising yet still decadent. Nice hit of earthy coffee in the taste, roasty dark malts, semi-sweet chocolate, burnt caramel. Smooth mouthfeel, lower carbonation, might as well call it full-bodied. Rich and enjoyable, very good overall.

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Photo of Rutager
4.26/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to mrbubbler for this big want. Consumed after breakfast and followed by tubing in the river while camping last weekend. Perfect morning.

Appearance. Pours a deep dark brown, black in the glass with two fingers of creamy brown head.

Smell. Sweet coffee, dark malts, and a bit of molasses and vanilla.

Taste. Strong (but smooth) sweet coffee, dark malts and molasses, and a bit of vanilla.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body, low carbonation.

Overall. Great coffee stout. Big, smooth, and very drinkable.

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Photo of KYGunner
4.28/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jet black in color there was a frothy tight knit head that collared relatively quickly but the froth stayed at the edges.

The scent is dry with pronounced cocoa powder and a nice caramel sweetness.

The taste and feel is very dry with a robust coffee flavor. This coffee has a fresh roasted taste and is very prominent on the palate. The tastes of caramel and chocolate are quite creamy and blend well with the coffee prominence.

12 pct ABV, no way! It's completely hidden in a dry yet creamy feel.

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Photo of lupercmda
4.28/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This beer poured very dark black with a nice head. Large coffee smell predominates. Taste mainly dark roasted coffee with little of the base beer coming through to me. Very bitter and a fairly thick creamy mouth feel.

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Photo of tectactoe
4.3/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed the toddy cat poop beer version alongside the regular and barrel-aged versions of Speedway, thanks to Kevin for sharing. The Kopi version pours an extremely deep shade of brown, appearing pitch black when it finally gets to the glass. This one seems just a slight touch lighter than the regular and BA Speedways, with a light tan head that perches itself on the beer and shows the best retention of the three.

To my surprise, the aroma is actually a little more muzzled and quiet than I would like. I was expecting a huge explosion and was just a bit let down. The aromas that I am picking up, however, are full of coffee big-time. And it's an extremely different and almost strange coffee aroma. I've never smelled Kopi Luwak coffee beans for myself, but if they smell anything like this beer, then they are very unique.

There is also a borderline acidic sweetness on the nose, much akin to apple skins or grapes. Not sure if this is a characteristic of the special coffee beans or not. One thing is certain - the aroma on this beer is undeniably unlike anything else out there. I think it would benefit if it were less acrid, but the underlying malt sweetness helps keep things in check.

The taste starts off with an almost harsh, bitter roastiness. I get the feeling that I'm drinking burnt, used coffee grounds, minus the grit and smashed beans. Very roasty and ashy, coming through with that Kopi Luwak uniqueness. The sweetness comes through on the palate as well, with that light apple skin flavor that quickly transitions into a deeper, darker licorice - much more suitable for this style of beer.

There is a nice balance of sweetness to offset the initial surge of bitterness, but in the end, the heavy roast comes back for seconds. The aftertaste is full of bitter and burnt coffee beans with a light ash and charcoal that scrapes the mouth. Some cocoa notes pop out here and there, but are nothing compared to the Kopi coffee flavors. Heavy body, creamy on the palate with the highest amount of carbonation between the three Speedways.

Wow, this beer was certainly different. Definitely tasty, unique, and roasted to hell, big-time. There really is nothing quite like it. But in the end, I think I'd have to go with the regular Speedway as my favorite. The balance on this one is a bit lopsided, but it's still a very delicious beer. In my honest opinion, maybe a touch overrated.

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Photo of claspada
4.31/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a super dark dark brown, let's just call it black, with a hershey's chocolate brown head that slowly recedes to leave some spotty/sticky lacing.

Aromas begin with the Kopi coffee to the max, there is some dark chocolate as well and some fruity esters as well but dark cocoa powder and dark roasted coffee are the main attributes here.

The tastes directly follow the nose with a little bready, nutty, toasted maltiness mixed in. The rich roasted, chocolate and coffee flavors are intertwined with one another; as it warms there is a little more malt sweetness that comes out to balance the roast.

The mouthfeel is on the light side of heavy bodied but is not syrupy thanks to ample carbonation. Finish is roasty and coffee forward but avoids being acrid or overly bitter as many coffee-infused beers can be.

Overall this is another winner from Alesmith, I like this slightly more than regular Speedway but not sure enough to justify the increased price. Would be highly recommended if not for that fact.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.31/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

After going a year or two without even drinking an Alesmith beer, it's nice to be able to review a few new (to me) ones in the span of a couple of months. Thanks, Shane. Served in my oversized brandy snifter at cellar temperature.

Speedway has always been a beautiful beer in a glass, and this variant is no exception. Pouring black with a dense, dark brown head with excellent retention and very nice lacing, this looks gorgeous. The nose is an intense fruity coffee aroma, that's complex - pungent, mildly acidic (unripe fruit acidity), mildly phenolic (raw tropical fruit phenols), and with a touch of cranberry, this is a very deep coffee character here. The base stout is excellent as well. Roasty, creamy, chocolate, a little bit of an English hop character that pairs quite well with the coffee and some lactose, this is great. Alcohol is well-hidden.

The palate opens with a lot of coffee, fruity, roasty and more rounded than the nose would suggest. Mild in the roast department, most of the flavor is in the form of fruit (dried berries, though I'd be hard pressed to identify them) with minimal bitterness and moderate acidity. A little bit of smoke, a little bit of leather even, this tastes great. Earthy and moderately bitter, the coffee character pairs well with the earthy hops. The mid-palate brings forward the stout characteristics - roast, chocolate, some cream and a little molasses. A little bit of caramel too. The finish is long with a brilliant blend of coffee bitterness and roasted malt character. This is where the coffee *really* lingers. Medium-full in body with a supple, creamy carbonation, this beer is uber-smooth on the palate. Highly recommended. FWIW, this beer is incredibly rich and filling, so I wouldn't recommend doing what I'm doing - drinking it solo at 10 PM. This just might give you a caffeine buzz.

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Photo of Sarlacc83
4.31/5  rDev -2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750mL courtesy of Shane. Awesome. Split 2 ways on Fat Tuesday.

A: Viscous pour yields cirrus fluffy cappuccino head. Black like it's afraid of the light. Glass coating legs.

N: Fudge, chocolate, and espresso bean. Vanilla edges. Berries round out the profile nicely. Has the deep lushness of the Kopi Luwak. Slightly nutty. Biscuit and some smoke/char.

T: Sweet and somewhat savory. Very nutty - walnuts and pecans and loads of dark chocolate edged by smoke and leather. Coffee penetrates the soul of this beer as does the clean finish that Kopi Luwak is so famous for having. Hint s of crystallized honey and freshly tilled dirt.

M: Viscous and coating. Alcohol is moderate, but does not burn. Can get slightly overbearing after too much.

O: A deep experience worth having. Layered with depth, this is worthy of the accolades. Don't age.

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Photo of Kaiser81
4.32/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this at O'brien's on Tuesday night for their Alesmith special during San Diego Beer Week

A - Pours jet black with absolutely no head, and no lacing on the glass. It looks thick, like tar.

S - It smells like a very rich and robust roasted coffee. If I liked coffee in the mornings, this is what I'd want my coffee to smell like.

T - I was having this side by side with regular Speedway. If regular speedway was the instant coffee you make at home in the morning, this is top of the line Starbucks or cafe on a french side walk. But, in my opinion, you have to LOVE coffee, as this DOMINATES the taste. I get no other notes from the stout.

M - Light carbonation, and thick body like a stout should have

D - Not bad, but again, you have to be a big coffee fan. The 5 oz pour was more than enough for the evening for me.

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Photo of corby112
4.32/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Huge thanks to sideshowe for sharing.

Pours jet black and opaque with a 2.5 finger, frothy beige head that very slowly settles into a thick, lasting ring.  Very good retention for the style and ABV.  Large chunks of of soapy lacing coat the glass on the way down.  Looks incredible.  

Deeply roasted dark malt aroma with a perfectly roasted coffee bean presence integrated into the other dark malt notes.  Really nutty with hints of hazelnut roast, burnt toast, powdery dark chocolate and espresso bean.  There's also some subtle lactic cream that adds another dimension to the nose.  Great roasted coffee presence but it doesn't completely dominate or overpower the other elements.  Very inviting.

Chewy full body with a prominent roasted gourmet coffee beam flavor that lingers troughout.  Really coffee forward/dominant with lots of dry, bitter roast but it never becomes overly bitter or acrid.  The silky chocolate malt notes come in along with lactic cream and roasted nuts in the back end to round things out.  Heavy bittersweet dark chocolate flavor that tastes like a 75%+ cacoa chocolate bar with burnt toast and  fresh gourmet coffee bean followed by caramel sweetness, toffee, lighter, silky chocolate notes and lactic cream.  Really roasty but nicely balanced considering how strong the coffee flavor is.  The high ABV is excellently masked with surprisingly no heat at all.  The prominent coffee flavor makes a little strong on the roast but this is a really flavorful, well made beer that I enjoyed drinking.  

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Photo of ehammond1
4.33/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Night of a Million Zillion Speedways
O'Brien's Pub
San Diego, CA

Dark as night black with brown edges, thin head but the body of this beer is just spectacular. It's thick and oily and leaves the glass absolutely covered in sticky lace. Thick as can be and dark as night. Spectacular.

A huge, overpowering blast of roasted coffee beans and chocolate make up the aroma of this beer. While somewhat simple, it's powerful and incredible. In this case, simple, and strong, is a very good thing.

The roasted malt and freshly roasted coffee beans dominate the flavor of this beer. It's slightly more bitter than the typical Speedway Stout because of the huge roasted coffee element, but everything comes together quite nicely.

Medium to thick bodied with low carbonation.

Another wonderful variation of a truly terrific base beer.

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Photo of WillCarrera
4.35/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, generously shared at the Peg's tasting on 3/8/13.

A- Pours black with a thin tan head.

S- Delicious coffee aroma, has a mellow earthiness to it, also some nice aromas of dark chocolate, roasted grain and cocoa.

T- Bitter, roasty, earthy coffee and grain, dark chocolate, the coffee has a really nice earthy and lightly acidic flavor. The chocolate and roast flavors are nice but the coffee dominates.

M- Full-bodied, smooth with a roasty, dry feel.

O- A really nice variation of the regular Speedway, the flavor of Kopi Luwak is just delicious.

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Photo of kawilliams81
4.35/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750 ml into a GI snifter.

A- pours black with a 2 finger dark tan head. Huge blotches and trails of lacing cover the glass.

S- maple syrup, roast, coffee, molasses, light pine

T- roasted malts, chocolate, maple syrup, molasses, bitter coffee, and some pine.

M- full body and medium carbonation. Nice velvety, creamy feel.

O- very good coffee stout. Better than regular Speedway and I think it's close with Beer Geek Brunch Weasel.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.35/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml, 2013
The Lost Abbey

A: Pours a deep dark color black. Pitch black as night. Motor oil. Medium tan color head. Sticky lacing. Seems nicely carbed. I like what I see.

S: Huge bitter roast coffee. Dark chocolate hints. Vanilla. Some creamy notes.

T: Big rich dark roast coffee and chocolate up front. It's a mouth coater. Really creamy. I do get hints of vanilla in there even without barrel aging. Finish is long and inviting.

M: Full bodied. Thick and creamy.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Jet black with a nice khaki head. Great retention. Chunky bubbles on the surface. A little bit leggy on the swirl.

Smell - Intense coffee. Reminds me of Vietnamese Speedway, which shouldn't surprise me. Slightly fruity coffee notes. Deep chocolate.

Taste - Maybe the coffee is too strong. Very intense coffee, same slight fruity character. Nice chocolate and deep roast. Delicious, but very coffee-centric.

Mouthfeel - Chewy. Nice body. Intense bitterness, as much from the coffee as anything.

Overall - Delicious, but not significantly better than regular Speedway.

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Photo of rye726
4.4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Oh just had to get the tick on this one. Thanks buddy!

Pours a nice dark chocolate color. Thin head, but to be expected from a hand bottle.

Nose has note of coffee, roasty malts, hops, cocoa and dark pitted fruits.

Taste is quite nice. Not sure it's any better than the regular Speedway.

Nice full body, carbonation a bit low, but again note the hand bottle.

Always a great stout. Too bad they skip us on the way to the eas coast.

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Photo of Vonerichs
4.42/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Black and thick as hell. It had a surprisingly aggressive head from a rather gentle pour. It also left quite a bit of cascading brown lace.

The nose is all coffee. Earthy with some light berry. I also pick up a little root beer and chocolate.

The coffee dominates the flavor to the point if barely picking up any other subtle flavors. Some may consider it a downside, but I enjoy it very much. Is a fresh coffee flavor that's earthy, slightly acidic, with some subtle chocolate in the tail end.

Mouthfeel is thick and heavy. The carbonation it just a bit too high as I would have liked it a but more creamy, but I'm knit picking at this point.

I loved this stout and, while I don't have the opportunity if a side by side comparison, found it every bit as enjoyable than regular speedway, if not more.

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Photo of spicelab
4.42/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle generously shared by MrKennedy. Reviewed from notes.

Dark chocolate, non-intimidating for a RIS, with a resilient saffron head. Eventually retreats to an immovable film with some spotty lacing.

Nose is intensely busy with plenty of ethereal components. Tar, liquorice, redskins, green apple, blackberries, musty vegetal notes, burnt toast, choc fudge. Awesome.

Roastier and drier initially before meshing with loads of gritty dark chocolate, dried apple and subtle dark fruits.

Crazy light for 12.2%. Silky with demure carbonation. Dangerously easy down the gullet.

Incredible balance. So much at play but impressively reigned in.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout - Kopi Luwak from AleSmith Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 75 ratings.