AleSmith Speedway Stout - Kopi Luwak - AleSmith Brewing Company

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AleSmith Speedway Stout - Kopi Luwak
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BA SCORE
96
world-class

75 Reviews
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Reviews: 75
Hads: 499
rAvg: 4.41
pDev: 7.71%
Wants: 408
Gots: 75 | FT: 6
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

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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 75 | Hads: 499
Photo of kawilliams81
4.35/5  rDev -1.4%
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. (449 characters)

Photo of Vonerichs
4.42/5  rDev +0.2%
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. (808 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.4/5  rDev -0.2%
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. (622 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.78/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

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. (1,296 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%
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. (531 characters)

Photo of orangesol
4.45/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle served right before the bourbon version.

A - Pours pitch black with a nice one finger tall tan head, dissipating down to a light film, leaving spotty trails of lace down the glass.

S - Smells of rich fresh brewed coffee, chocolate, dark roasted malt and not much else. This one is all about the coffee obviously so very little else comes through that dark veil.

T - Starts off with the strong fresh brewed espresso coffee kick that never really fades away. Hints of chocolate, vanilla, bit of smokiness and some dark roasted malt try and keep the coffee in check but they can only do so much. Finish is really roasted with a bit of dryness, lingering long after the finish.

M - Full feel with moderate carbonation. Big, roasty feel goes down surprisingly easy. Very little of the 12% is noticeable. It just wore me down quickly with all that coffee and not much else.

O - I love speedway and I have always wanted to try this. It is exactly what I imagined it would be with tons of in your face coffee flavor. I loved how it smelled and tasted but it did wear on me quickly, I could drink a glass at a time tops. (1,123 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.71/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Long time want. I'm a big fan of Alesmith Speedway Stout and I thoroughly enjoy my morning cup of quality coffee. I'm in a happy place right now.

The beer is near black with a thin beige head. The aroma brings a grandiose coffee presence. Roast and dark chocolate with fresh coffee beans. The flavor is just beautiful. Hype = justified. Beautiful coffee presence, which I expected. However, it doesn't stop there. Many big coffee imperial stouts possess the prominent coffee scents, but lack balance and qualities typical of an imperial stout. Not so here. Lovely malt body and roast character with coffee fitting itself elegantly into an already delicious beer. Lovely. (672 characters)

Photo of claspada
4.31/5  rDev -2.3%
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. (1,012 characters)

Photo of WillCarrera
4.35/5  rDev -1.4%
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. (564 characters)

Photo of timc100
4.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Just as beautiful as the regular speedway. Pitch black with a foamy, pillowy, creamy espresso head. Thick lacing and substantial retention throughout.

S: Very different than the regular speedway. Earth, slight acidity, properly burnt. The kopi brings out and emphasizes different aspects - more bitter dark chocolate than smooth milk chocolate, heavier roasted malts. Very rich and incising, but mellower.

T: Incredibly smooth and rich, less sweet than the regular speedway. The kopi balances very well and is less aggressive than the coffee in the regular speedway. Bitter dark chocolate, cocoa powder covered mousse, big roasted malts. Very earth and mellow. Outstanding.

P: Big, velvety smooth. Wonderful.

O: Very appreciative I was able to get a bottle. Substantially different than the regular speedway, which surprised me a bit. It's not a matter of better or worse, just different options. Would be great if this could be on the shelf next to the regular all the time to continue exploring the differences. Really outstanding beer, speedway's are the king of coffee beers. (1,086 characters)

Photo of EgadBananas
4.58/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: black, dark brown head, 2 fingers, lots of lace.

Aroma: light coffee, roast, chocolate, mild dark fruits, toffee.

Taste: intense coffee and chocolate, roasted malts, slight burnt notes, bittersweet finish.

***Taste wise, it's still epic, but its not as aromatic as a fresh speedway. In the end, it's trivial as this is still a phenomenal coffee stout. (367 characters)

Photo of jmarsh123
4.52/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Pours very dark brown, not quite opaque. Light tan head with a nice cap of retention all the way through the glass.

Not quite the plethora of coffee I was expecting on the nose. It's there, but probably a bit restrained compared to regular speedway. There is a very earthy bitterness about these beans used to go along with roasty malts.

A lot more coffee in the flavor. Rich dark roasted coffee immediately greets the palate. Very bitter and a touch acidic. These aren't flaws as the words usually sound though as this really does taste quite a bit like fresh coffee. A little bit of smoke, roasted malts and a bit of dark chocolate are also present. After the mid-palate maltiness though comes another rush of deep roasted coffee to the point where it tastes like the sludge I make when I have to get up at 5 am. Delicious for any true coffee lover. Roasty almost to the point of burnt with a little smokiness. Finishes somewhat dry.

Smooth creamy mouthfeel and carbonation perhaps a touch higher than regular speedway.

Very unique delicious beer. The drinkability on this one is through the roof. Split this bottle and took our time drinking it. Every temp changed produced a different balance of flavors that were all good. It was good cold. It was good at proper temp and it was good once hitting room temp. Not sure if it's leaps and bounds above regular Speedway, but that says more for the awesomeness of the base than any demerit on this. Superb. (1,459 characters)

Photo of tectactoe
4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
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. (2,406 characters)

Photo of homebrew311
3.81/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

The appearance on this beast is a thick opaque black with heavy visual weight. Dark tan head forms and leaves plenty of lacing. The nose features huge earthy coffee notes. The Kopi Luwak coffee is forward and stands above everything else. Bitter notes are present on the nose with plenty of cacao. The only issue I have is that the Kopi Luwak coffee actually takes away from a delicious brew. It takes the nose on a bitter earthy ride that just doesn't smell great. The taste is similar to the nose. The earthy character dominates the profile and overshadows a delicious base beer. Mouthfeel is thick and has moderate carbonation. OVerall, I was so excited for this since I really liked the regular Speedway. Given the hype surrounding this, I thought that it would be as good or better. For me, it wasn't even close. Maybe Kopi Luwak coffee just isn't for me, but it seems to make for a bitter and earthy taste that comes off with a bit of astringency. (953 characters)

Photo of oline73
4.08/5  rDev -7.5%
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. (611 characters)

Photo of jeonseh
4.07/5  rDev -7.7%
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 (596 characters)

Photo of Sarlacc83
4.31/5  rDev -2.3%
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. (843 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.77/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served in a snifter.

So much talk of weasel poop... Anyway, this stuff pours a straight obsidian topped by a finger of sandstone foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, booze, a twinge of bourbon somewhere in the background (hm, and without the barrel...fair enough...), and plenty of earthy and fruity coffee. The taste is a full-on assault of coffee and roasted malts that spares no tastebud in its path. Game over, little flavor receptors! The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry finish. Overall, a good coffee stout, but thoroughly one-note and certainly not worth the strangely loud praise it's been getting lately. (Such is my opinion, anyway.) (691 characters)

Photo of Florida9
3.92/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Black in color, Forms a tan-gray colored head. Good retention. nice lacing. Aroma is unexciting. Coffee, dark malts, and carbonation. Taste is much better. Dark roasted malts, coffee, slightly acidic coffee, slightly metallic, but little else. Medium bodied, very thin for the style, Moderate bitterness.
A sort of decent beer. Certainly not worth the hype or what this beer seems to be fetching. (398 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
4.51/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Dave Hack on this one too.

This poured out as a rich black color with an oil-like appearance. The head what creamy looking and tan in color. The retention and lacing were pretty good,
Definitely left some sticky bubbles on the glass. The smell of the beer is very big, lots of coffee on the nose, there is some dark chocolate also. The taste of the beer is rich, roasted, chocolate and coffee flavored. The mouthfeel is smooth, very nice oily body with a subtle carbonation. Overall this beer is very impressive. I feel it sets the bar much higher than the regular Speedway Stout. Very good stuff here. (614 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
4.31/5  rDev -2.3%
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. (1,848 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.62/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Poured black with brown hues providing a nice brown cap with some moderate lacing

S: The nose is big coffee, wow, I mean big. A good dose of chocolate as well

T: Immediate coffee shot on top of very mice blanket of cocoa and roasted malt. The coffee is not overpowering despite its dominance. It is rather smooth and creamy.

M; Full bodied, well carbonated, creamy, decadent. No astringeny like I get in many coffee stouts.

O: Very well done, extremely tasty and beats Bourbon County Coffee in my opinion. Bravo! (521 characters)

Photo of jvillefan
4.62/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Jet black body with a one finger mocha head that lasts for a while.

S: An amazing coffee dominate aroma with dark roast malts.

T: Coffe is definitely dominate here. There are chocolate, toffee, and dark malt flavors throughout the entire beer.

M: Excellent carbonation and very heavy and smooth body.

O: Amazing stout. Get it if you can. (344 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.15/5  rDev -5.9%
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. (634 characters)

Photo of Phelps
4.54/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler into a tulip.

Space-black, with a thin, cocoa-colored head that becomes a long-lasting ring.

The nose: Perfectly roasted coffee, smooth oats, toasted walnut. Mocha, vanilla, touch of milk chocolate. For a coffee stout, perfect.

Smooth coffee up front in the flavor, with the same blend of espresso, mocha and toasted nuts. Incredibly well-blended, impossible to separate the flavors. A touch of chocolate sweetness at the swallow.

Regular Speedway has always seemed like poor-quality coffee to me. The bean apparently makes all the difference, because this is so much better than the regular Speedway. The coffee is so pronounced. It's a completely different beer. (677 characters)

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