AleSmith Speedway Stout - Kopi Luwak - AleSmith Brewing Company

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AleSmith Speedway Stout - Kopi Luwak
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BA SCORE
97
world-class

496 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 496
Reviews: 78
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 8.92%
Wants: 402
Gots: 76 | FT: 7
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 496 | Reviews: 78
Photo of magictrokini
4.89/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

Photo of WillCarrera
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of BarrytheBear
3.96/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Kopi provides nice rich berry notes and it's stunning how much coffee is here given the passage of time. But, like most speedway variants, it's harsh on the finish and the alcohol is very prominent.

Photo of jmarsh123
4.52/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Photo of newbeeraday
3.25/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

(outliner detected) Burnt coffee taste. Roasted malt. Nothing special.

Photo of Vonerichs
4.42/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

Photo of kawilliams81
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of tmoneyba
4.5/5  rDev +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.

Photo of craytonic
4.44/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks to SpencerDB for sharing this with the Dirty South Tasting Krew; awesome rarity

Appearance: Jet back pour, smallish tan head

Smell: Smells like a great cup of coffee with a bit of cream and sugar. Probably the best coffee-smelling beer I have encountered.

Taste: I was slightly less impressed with the taste as compared to the smell, though if I want a cup of coffee I should probably have that and not a beer. Nice coffee, molasses, brown sugar and vanilla notes with a touch of slightly bitter roasted malts and chocolate

Mouthfeel: Very full body, carbonation was a bit light/low

Overall: Very tasty beer, although a good one to share as it might be difficult to drink alone.

Photo of magictacosinus
4.24/5  rDev -3%
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.

Photo of zac16125
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

750mL bottle into a snifter
No born on date, but I believe this is the latest vintage
I had regular Speedway just a couple of days ago, so its fresh in my mind for comparison.

A big thanks to BMart for sending this one over in a trade.

A: Pours pitch black, almost no lightening on the edges even when held to light, with a dense mocha colored head thats just under 2 fingers width in height. Head dissipates at a moderate rate down to a thin film, and leaves tons of really cool honeycomb lacing.

S: Strong black coffee but not at all harsh. Really a delicious, fresh, bold coffee aroma. Behind the coffee there are some milk chocolate and bakers chocolate notes. I also get roasted malt, heavy cream, cinnamon, and even a bit of oaky-vanilla barrel like characters (even though this is not BA). The aroma is just simply incredible.

T: Equally delicious on the tongue. Gourmet coffee, milk and bakers chocolate, roasted malt. Theres the phenolic/medicinal character thats present in the regular speedway but more muted in this variant. There is a bitterness on the finish from the coffee and semi-sweet cocoa notes that lingers for a long time in the aftertaste. Excellent.

M/D: Very smooth, moderate carbonation which is a touch too heavy for my preference, full bodied but not necessarily thick. ABV is very well masked and drinkability is above average.

O: Incredible beer. Compared to the regular Speedway I had 2 days ago, this one takes an already great beer and kicks it up a notch. The coffee characters are so much more prevalant, smoother, and bolder in this one. It also masks the somewhat astrigent medicinal character that is the only downside of the regular Speedway. Really a world class beer, one of the best non-BA stouts Ive ever had.

Photo of jeonseh
4.07/5  rDev -6.9%
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

Photo of seaoflament
4.74/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm glad AleSmith did this brew again. I have been kicking myself for missing this one the first time around last summer. As Shane said before me, this version is the full on shit, 100% Kopi Luwak coffee. Last year's version was a 50/50 blend.

Honestly I didn't know what to expect. I had my doubts that just changing the coffee would impact the beer so much; moreover that Speedway Stout could actually be improved!

The only way to properly review this one was to have it side-by-side with the "regular" version of Speedway Stout, so I ordered one to go along with my Kopi Luwak version. Both beers had the same dark roasted color but regular Speedway had a nice, creamy, head on top throughout the entirety of the beer, while the Kopi Luwak only had a thin, mocha-colored-island-of-a-head near the center.

Wow! Damn good coffee presence! Smelling this one side-by-side with the regular version, the Kopi Luwak has a distinctly sharp roastiness with layers of chocolate and coco, but this one seems to be a little more earthy and fruity (with black currants). Hints of vanilla start to show up with an almost oak woodiness in the back. This beer almost has an espresso-like aroma on the nose, very rich coffee. I have to say that this smells amazing.

Very coffee forward, nice roast and coffee flavor, again with some earthiness and dark fruity currant flavors in the finish. Wood notes in the aftertaste. A bit of alcohol in the end but barely noticeable and better hidden that regular Speedway. Bitter roastiness in the end from roasted barley. Dark fruits like raisins and semi-tart black cherries covered in dark chocolate.

Low carbonation, slick on the palate. Just a bit of sharpness on the tongue.

Honestly, it's a step above regular Speedway, even the taste is significantly different. Regular Speedway seems thin and less roasted by comparison, lacking the initial burst of dark fruit flavors. This Kopi Luwak version had a slightly more complex roast profile. Very drinkable. I went up to get a 3rd sample but unfortunately I took too long taking notes and the beer was gone by then :o(

Photo of spicelab
4.42/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

Photo of rhinos00
3.77/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Much thanks to Scott for giving me the opportunity to try this one. Poured from a flip-top hand bottle into a snifter.

A- Pours a dark brown color with almost zero head. As the beer was consumed it left a thin brown film on the sides of the glass.

S- Very coffee forward. The aroma of roasted coffee grinds is almost overwhelming. Underneath it all, you can just make out enough chocolate malts to bring some balance into the smell.

T- A little more balanced than the aroma. A pleasant mixture of roasted coffee beans and chocolate malts. Upfront coffee dominates leading the way to a slightly sweet chocolate finish.

M- Very little carbonation. Also fell on the thin side when it comes to stouts. Just wished it had some more viscosity to the body.

D- The coffee can wear on the senses a bit. Almost desensitizes the taste buds, making the beer almost one dimensional.

Overall, very glad I received the opportunity to try this one. Coffee may be a little too much for me, but for those that enjoy them, seek this one out.

Photo of Sarlacc83
4.31/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

Photo of Desp59
2.43/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Definitely the worst of the variants I have had so far.

Photo of trappistlover
4.88/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

Photo of timc100
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

Photo of bret27
4.9/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of Kaiser81
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

Photo of BMan1113VR
4.88/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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!

Photo of paytoplay
4.9/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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!

Photo of Pipelovejoy
3.39/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Too much bitter coffee flavor and harsh alcohol bite for my taste.

Photo of HOPSareKey
1.21/5  rDev -72.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

To be fair, it was quite old when I drank it. Very metallic and green peppery. Thinnest of the line.

AleSmith Speedway Stout - Kopi Luwak from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 496 ratings.