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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: 511
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

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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 75 | Hads: 511
Photo of EgadBananas
4.58/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

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Photo of jmarsh123
4.52/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

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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 homebrew311
3.81/5  rDev -13.4%
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.

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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 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 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 TMoney2591
3.77/5  rDev -14.3%
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.)

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Photo of Florida9
3.92/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.51/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

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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 barleywinefiend
4.62/5  rDev +5%
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!

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Photo of jvillefan
4.62/5  rDev +5%
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.

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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 Phelps
4.54/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Counter-pressure filled 12oz bottle filled from a keg. Served in a Glunz taster glass.

A - Nice tan foam rises late before settling to a thick collar and some splotches of lace. Black body with a glint of brown at the edge.

S - Lots of chocolate, mellow earthy coffee, touch of smoked meats, and a mildly vegetal note. The coffee is quite smooth rather than nostril shredding.

T - Taste is a little more bitter and earthy, with some roasted malts and mild char. The malt character has a mixture of chocolate and marshmallow. Coffee seems to have faded a bit since this was bottled.

M - Roasty and dry texture, medium-full body, some mild stickiness, lower carbonation, and some light alcohol warmth.

D - Didn't realize this was 12%, which improves my opinion a tad. I'd love to try a fresh sample on-tap at some point, but this was pretty enjoyable. Just not the mind-blowing experience I was expecting based on the other reviews.

EDIT: Had the official bottled release of this and was quite impressed. Aroma has significantly more earthy and fruity coffee, and flavor displays a nice blend of coffee, chocolate, vanilla, roasted malts, and light char. Texture is a bit silkier too. Bumping this up to straight 4.5s.

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Photo of Enish266
4.62/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the tasting room, I had a couple samples.

A - black, ravenesque and inviting. Head is minimal and mocha in color.

S - a few swirls produce the most wonderful fresh-roasted coffee aroma. Sometimes I wish my coffee would smell like this.

T - starts off similar to regular Speedway in terms of coffee and chocolate. This is when it takes a turn toward amazing. I'm not sure the method of coffee extraction but it reminds me of cold press coffee that I've brewed myself. Miniscule acidity and bitterness. Dark chocolate and roast appears mid-palate transitioning into a coffee heavy finish.

M - perhaps a touch too much carbonation for my taste. Tongue is well coated with medium viscosity.

O - Hands down my favorite coffee stout. I think this is my favorite version of Speedway as well, with the coconut and vanilla version a close second.

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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 notchucknorris
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Alesmith

A: Black with a big reddish dark brown head. Nice.

S: Tons of freshly roasted dark roast coffee, dark chocolate and cocoa powder. Full and intense.

T: Big dark roasted coffee, dark chocolate and some roasted malt and a touch of wet earth in the background. The mouthfeel is creamy and super smooth. Tasty tasty stuff.

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Photo of bobjonesSD
4.85/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

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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 DarthKostrizer
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at O'Briens night of a million zillion speedways

Look: Pours a a midnight black color and totally opaque with a 1/4 inch tan head that stays around for sometime

Smell: The nose is a tad bit sweeter than the regular version of speedway. The Kopi Luwak really stands out

Taste: Same as the nose the Kopi Luwak has made this version a tad bit sweeter but keeps the same roasted bitterness that the regular version has. Very nice

Mouthfeel: Full body with low carbonation and a creamy feel

Overall: Just an outstanding example how different types of coffee can change the overall beer. Very nice very taste and very drinkable

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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 tmoneyba
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured black color with an average frothy light brown head that lasted with good lacing. Aroma was a heavy toasted malt, strong coffee and dark chocolate. Full body with a smooth texture and flat carbonation. Heavy complex toasted malt, vanilla and chocolate flavor and a heavy complex dark chocolate finish of long duration. This is a standout beer.

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Photo of trappistlover
4.88/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

(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.

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