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AleSmith Speedway Stout - Vietnamese Coffee - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Speedway Stout - Vietnamese CoffeeAleSmith Speedway Stout - Vietnamese Coffee

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

111 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 111
Hads: 1,350
Avg: 4.44
pDev: 7.21%
Wants: 511
Gots: 227 | FT: 26
Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: brew3crew on 11-13-2011

Speedway Stout brewed with Vietnamese Coffee.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 111 | Hads: 1,350
Photo of Franziskaner
4.29/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Black in color and impenetrable to light. There's a fingernail of brown colored foam on top. The aroma is dark roasted barley and bitter coffee. The flavor is initially dark bitter roasted barley and then finishes with the deep coffee note. It honestly finishes slightly sweet. The mouth is creamy and viscous.

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Photo of RaulMondesi
4.29/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Cask at Blue Palms' 5th Anniversary in Hollywood, CA.

Raul was picturing rice fields; Raul was picturing himself getting lost in the beauty of Vietnam... Speedway Vietnam Coffee Stout though...not so much. Don't get Raul wrong, this is a great beer; but subtle, it's subtle like Miley Cyrus' brainwaves. Not much on the coffee here. Very good, but not the "yep!" status that Raul was hoping for.

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Photo of barczar
4.29/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Excellent integration of coffee into a beer. Stout still shines, with coffee countering the inherent boozy nature of a beer of this abv. Another winner from Alesmith.

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Photo of timc100
4.3/5  rDev -3.2%

Rich freshly ground medium roast coffee beans - a lot of lighter berry, toastier roast, bitter dry chocolate, slightly vegetal, sweet milk chocolate and vanilla. Taste is full and sweeter than expected, a lot of mocha, milk chocolate. Drier bitter chocolate finish.

Another great variant but I did prefer the JBM and Kopi to this.

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Photo of pmarlowe
4.3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at O'Brien's, leftover from 2011 Million Zillion. 10oz thin glass.

A: Pours viscous black, with a solid cover of head. Good retention and some lacing. Recedes to a ring and thin cap.

S: Dark roast coffee, cream and vanilla, and dark chocolate. smells good.

T: Rich dark roast coffee, lots of vanilla, dark chocolate, and cocoa. Dry and finishes with a light lingering bitterness. Rich and decadent.

M: Creamy, slightly sticky, light on carbonation and full body.

O: Wow, delicious. A richer version of regular Speedway. Really well balanced and showcases all the good flavors of a stout.

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Photo of neurobot01
4.31/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the Buzz Hive in Santa Barbara.

Look: super deep brown, with a light brown head that disappears but leaves good pacing.

Smell: pretty mild, but chocolate and fruit is evident.

Taste: initial taste is pretty harsh, to be honest. Almost burnt, and very bitter. But after that passes, considerable depth comes out. Tons of fruit, including more citrusy fruit. Also chocolate, nutmeg, roast. As it warms, cherry/raspberry really starts to assert.

Feel: thick, chewy, fairly dry.

Overall: the complexity that emerges as this warms is great. It's a sipper, but the alcohol is well masked. Not sure it quite lives up to its reputation, but definitely quite good.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.33/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A very interesting and different beer to the 'regular' speedway stout. You can tell the coffee is stronger and more bitter.

The look is a nice dark brown to black with some excellent lacing and a decent frothy ring of tan-off white head.

The smell is nice but thin in its complexity, plenty of bitter coffee grinds along with some vanilla bean and cocoa beans to round it out. The smell is a bit astringent which departs from the nice aromas. The taste follows suit in many ways, but it is filled in by a hefty malt bill and some deeper sweet and savory flavors that make the coffee tastes richer. A very complex palate that seems to open up as it warms and deepens with each taste.

The feel is a nice medium feel with little burn. It goes over smoothly, and caps off a very nice brew overall.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
4.34/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap @ Final Gravity in Roseville, CA. 12/13/14

Appearance - Served in an 8 ounce snifter with a broken layer of surface suds, this brew is black with cola brown edging. Streaks of lace down the sides as the brew is consumed and exhibit nice stick.

Smell - Lush chocolate notes along with lesser vanilla and molasses sweetness. Boozy. Hints of roast coffee sit beneath.

Taste - Follows the nose to an extent. Predominant chocolate flavor and a big, boozy bite. Vanilla, brown sugar and molasses notes hit mid-taste, adding to the layered complexity. Coffee roast hits in the finish along with a numbing anise quality.

Mouthfeel - Full-bodied with moderate carbonation. Silky texture with a touch of sticky syrup. Goes down nicely despite the big ABV.

Overall - Yeah, this is nice. Amazing complexity packaged with a smooth, drinkable delivery. I'm not sure if it's better than the standard Speedway, but that's because it's amazing too. Well recommended.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.34/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I was given notice that a keg of this was coming so it was with anticipation of something great that I bought this. It did not disappoint.

It's black with a weak head and little fizz. The aroma is beautiful coffee and ashes but somewhat subtle.

The taste is a malty, bitter-sweet. Coffee dominates but it is joined by everything from hops and roasty malts and very faintly some yeast.

This is a great brew. It's balanced, in it's own over the top way, and very drinkable. The booze is not to be noticed, unlike the regular. I am sure I will feel it once I finish this half growler. It is a fairly civilized humongous brew - maybe a little harsh on the throat. It can overpower any food. I am eating a spicy sandwich with raw scallion on it and this cuts right through and goes well with it.

It is not a great value, but who cares! Recommended.

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Photo of zhanson88
4.34/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled August 2013.

Appearance: Pours a viscous looking black color,with a solid 3/4" tan head, which has good retention and lacing. Nice start.

Smell: Smells of dank coffee, semi sweet dark chocolate, and vanilla. Really not quite as much dank coffee on the nose as I had anticipated. More sweetness than I was expecting.

Taste: Like the smell, coffee bitterness up front, with more prevalent dark chocolate and vanilla sweetness. Warming alcohol bite on the end.

Mouthfeel/Overall: Mouthfeel is full, with a great level of fine carbonation. Excellent. It drinks right up to its ABV. Overall a nice stout. Was kind of expecting the coffee to be a bit danker and in my face, with a touch less sweetness. As it was though, still very nice and an improvement over the base beer.

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Photo of Stevem68
4.35/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a motor oil black color. Has a coffee and boozy aroma. Flavor is coffee a little boozy and super smooth. Has a really nice mouth feel. Delicious overall beer

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Photo of Dolphinsmarlins1
4.36/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at The Beer Belly, in Albany, New York. Glad I finally got to try this one. While it was certainly a delicious beer, I must admit, I thought it would be better. After letting it warm, the flavors one would expect to erupt, lay dormant. I didn't taste much coffee flavor at all. Still, it was medium bodied and went down smooth. I'd drink it again.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.36/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, vanilla, and a creamy coffee aroma. Taste is much the same with a slight fruit flavor and an alcohol kick on the finish. There is a medium 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 very good beer that is really tasty and one of the best coffee aromas in a beer I have ever smelled.

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Photo of kevanb
4.37/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle, generously shared by Colin, Mike and Chris, once again thanks guys! Poured into a 10oz snifter, reviewed from iPhone notes.

The beer pours a deep jet black color, super opaque, touches of cola brown when held to the light, with a thick, firm caramel head that has poor retention and leaves only a spot or two of lace behind. The aroma is of heavy coffee, one of the more beautiful beans at that, lightly roasted, loads of fruit character with nice toasted cocoa, vanilla and rich malted grain and just a trace of hot alcohol. The coffee is on full display here and it really comes across on the tongue, just a subtle roast with sweeter fruit and cocoa that is also lightly bitter, vanilla is really nice with a bit of creaminess and a lot of sweet, hearty rich grain. Alcohol is well hidden on the tongue, the beer is certainly sweet, but the earthiness of the coffee helps cut that down nicely. The bean is showcased so well against the backdrop of a big stout. The mouthfeel is fantastic, rich, silky and coats the mouth superbly well. The finish is super creamy and soft with a light warming sensation.

Verdict: A great coffee stout and a really great adaptation on the base stout. The fruitiness of the bean, along with some earthy qualities really shine and the subtle roast is wonderful. I still struggle with how sweet this beer is, but it's a joy to drink in smaller quantities.

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Photo of RAlmeida77
4.39/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Chomp in Warren, RI

A- Pour is a thick, viscous black, with a finger or so of frothy head that lasts about two minutes. It leaves behind a nice lacing.

S- Amazing!! The cocoa and coffee coming off this is fantastic!

T- Bitter cocoa melded with coffee. Simply delicious.

M- Medium bodied with good carb. Wanted this to drink like a milk shake but it didnt. That's really my only gripe.

O- Fantastic beer. Really glad I got to try this on tap prior to seeking out a bottle, which I will promptly do!

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Photo of rlee1390
4.39/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A-Black in the glass, one finger head that is brown and tries to leaves some lacing.

S-Coffee, chocolate, roasted malt and a tad vanilla.

T-Woah. Lots of coffee, yummy coffee. Rather roasty some chocolate, tad bit of vanilla. Really good balance and mild bitterness.

M-Medium to heavy in body, well carbonated and a tad creamy as well.

O-Amazing how just changing the coffee can change the beer. This is a clear step up from the regular Speedway.

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Photo of rypkr
4.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

A - growler from vintage estate in Boardman Ohio poured into a snifter. Thick and geletanous looking very, very dark brown with thin mocha head. The head is frothy but not perculating and fizzing like most beers, this may have something to do with it coming from a growler. Lacing is thick and very uniform. No "sags" in it.

S - a ton of coffee and a ton of alcohol on the nose. Very, very roasty smelling. Slight charred notes. Overall smells very sweet and milky.

T - excellent beer. But immediately not congruent with the hype to me. Taste like the nose. Maybe more like burnt coffee than just coffee though (which I'm actually a fan of with beer). Heavy, heavy alcohol comes through. Finally it finishes more bitter than expected. I'm not sure of the ibus but this one seems >50 which is just about my cutoff of where I enjoy high abv beers.

M - they knocked it out of the park here. This beer is creamier than heavy whipping creme and thicker than a girl locked in with a freezer full of hagen dazs. If I could rate this beer 5.5/5 here I would.

Overall - quite good... but JC why the hype? It has some great attributes to it but us this really better than a regular founders breakfast stout? For some it may be and I respect their taste. However for me, this is not world class beer and seems more a product of limited supply that has produced over zealous appreciation.

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Photo of DrunkinYogi
4.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a jet-black with just a trace of head that dissapates to a faint cap and lacing. Strong, sweet coffee aroma and taste. Full-bodied and satisfying.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.42/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

32 oz. growler poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Inky black. Good dark khaki head. Settles to a collar.

Smell - Intense coffee. Initially seems to be the same a regular Speedway, but it has a lighter almost fruity characteristic to the coffee.

Taste - The coffee has a much lighter and intense flavor than the other variants that I've had. This one is less earthy and more fruity. Roasty malts and bitterness at the end. Light, but present, caramel malt flavor.

Mouthfeel - Roasty and bitter. Well carbonated. Medium -heavy body. As heavy as it should be.

Overall - The coffee is interesting and a surprisingly unique flavor. I figured this would taste the same as regular Speedway. The perceived delicacy of the coffee flavor means the depth of the coffee and malt flavor suffers a skosh, but I enjoy it just as much as regular Speedway.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.42/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yum....growler shared by yourefragile. Thanks! Loved it.

Beer is black with a brown head, some lacing, moderate carbonation. Looks great.

Beer smells like coffee, roast, a little sweetness.

Beer is roasty and bitter on the finish, big bodied, especially compared to the regular Speedway stout served side by side to it. Beer has a great finish and a medium body. I would love to have this again on draft, maybe one day I will go to the O Briens event. A boy can dream.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.42/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Big bottle from trade dated 8/5/13. Huge thanks for a big want of mine. Pours pitch black with a big brown creamy head on top. Aroma of roasted grains, sweet dark fruits, some chocolate and fudge, and nearly no coffee on the nose. Flavor is big fudgy chocolate and some lightly spicy coffee, some vanilla and smooth espresso, roasty and lots of milk chocolate. This is extremely creamy bodied with low medium carbonation. I have not had Vietnamese coffee before, but this blend comes off with more smooth and creamy sweet sugars--almost like a lactose addition, though I know it has been confirmed there is not lactose added here--and vanilla than big bold spicy coffee notes. I assume this is due to the different coffee variant. I don't know if maybe the coffee faded already in the nose and elsewhere, but altogether a beautifully smooth stout that I find different from the other variants I have had. Everything about this is extremely well done, I just wish there were more to the aroma.

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Photo of KYGunner
4.44/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This gives off a robust and delicious coffee flavor with a creamy milk chocolate and light lactose. The feel is velvety and thick as this really does live up to the hype.

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Photo of jeff1973
4.44/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Maudite tulip. Bottled on 8/5/13, so about a month old.

A - Pitch black, not even a ruby hue on the edge (like a good stout should be). Mocha head leaves good lacing.

S - Milk chocolate, a very dark, acidic coffee scent, dried cherries.

T - I read that they added lactose to it to mimic the sweetened condensed milk in normal vietnamese coffee. I can definitely taste it. Blends nicely with the dark, strong coffee, and dark chocolate and dried cherry flavors. Very rich, not much alcohol burn.

M - Rich, full, and creamy. Low carbonation.

O - Awesome beer. Had at the tasting room when I picked up my bottles and instantly regretted not by buying as much as I could have.

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Photo of kojevergas
4.44/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Was really excited to see this on the draught board at Alesmith, but I was driving so I had to review from a sampler. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a beautiful one finger rich tan colour head of amazing thickness and retention. Excellent cream. Body colour is a solid jet black. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Rich java/coffee, heavy refined dark chocolate, roast, dark malts, caramel, vanilla, and delightful malty sweetness. Roast emerges both from the coffee roast and from roasted barley.

T: Amazing. Perfectly balanced chocolate and smooth roasty coffee notes. Excellent caramel and cream. Perfect dark malt foundation. Complex and subtle. Divine. No yeast character or alcohol comes through. I actually prefer this to Barrel Aged Speedway.

Mf: Smooth, wet, rich, and of perfect thickness and carbonation. Feels custom tailored to the flavours, complementing them excellently.

Dr: Obscenely drinkable at this high an ABV. A damn near perfect example of the style. I'll definitely hope to revisit this for a more in-depth review. Simply delicious.

High A

---
12/24/13 bottle review. I'm excited to revisit my current 10th highest rated beer; I only got to try a sampler at Alesmith's tasting room. I'm curious how it holds up after almost a year of age. 12% ABV. Reviewed as an imperial stout. Served cold and allowed to warm. 750ml brown glass bottle with grey-black foil side-poured into an EKU 28 stem-snifter.

Bottled: 08/05/13.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a one finger wide head of gorgeous rich khaki/light tan colour. Nice creaminess an thickness. Lovely even smooth consistency and soft complexion. Head retention is good - about 6-7 minutes. Even lacing clings to the sides of the glass initially but fizzles out.

Body colour is an opaque solid jet black. No floating yeast particles are visible.

Overall, it looks like an imperial stout should. I'm craving it.

Sm: Abundant coffee/java notes - roast, earthiness, bitterness, cream, and even some espresso/cappuccino notes too. Dark malts. Dark chocolate. Milk chocolate. Caramel. Cream. Hints of roasted barley. Coffee dominates, as it should, but the aroma has definitely receded with age, to its detriment. It's a great aroma for an imperial stout - just a bit timid. Below average strength for the style.

It's quite clean - no yeast character or boozy alcohol presence is noticeable.

T: Multidimensional coffee character - earthiness, bitterness, roast, java, cappuccino, espresso, etc. All the coffee elements are well integrated and balanced, and coffee is allowed to dominate over the dark chocolate, milk chocolate, cream, dark malts, chocolate malts, and caramel. As it warms, I'm also getting hints of cocoa powder. Some fudge. A kiss of mocha. Very pleasant but restrained lactose - a bit milk stout-esque. I don't really find the condensed milk of Brazilian coffee. I'm not finding the vanilla other reviewers have noted; maybe they're confusing it with the complex malty sweetness? A damn tasty brew across the board.

The subtlety is incredible; this is not a heavy-handed or overwhelming imperial stout by any means. I do pick up light traces of a burnt/ashy character, which lends it still more complexity. Certainly a nuanced and intricate build for an imperial stout; I'd even call it gestalt.

Great depth of flavour. Above average duration of flavour. Below average intensity of flavour; it's bold, but not overwhelming.

Mf: The creaminess is fantastic, and lends the mouthfeel an amazing comforting softness which really takes the edge off the strength and boldness of the flavours. Smooth and wet. Perfect thickness and body. It's not too filling or heavy, but is rather silky and fleeting. Chewy. I'm amazed that at 12% it's not hot or boozy. Perfect carbonation. It does have a hint of acidity which suits the coffee but isn't ideal.

Not oily or gushed.

The texture is a near-perfect marriage to the taste, and feels custom-tailored specifically to it.

Dr: Obscenely drinkable for the ABV and style. I'll easily kill this bottle alone. I'm glad I got to revisit this brew. I'd definitely buy it again in spite of the high price point. It's an incredible beer every beer enthusiast should try. Perhaps Alesmith's best beer, and that's saying something. I don't know that it's as tasty now as it was fresh, but it holds up to age a lot better than regular Speedway. I stand by my A rating, but I don't know that it's quite worthy of being in my top 10. It lacks the delicacy and fragility of the absolute best beers I've ever had, but it comes damn close. They executed the premise of this beer almost perfectly. I'm impressed.

A (4.45)

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Photo of Zonk
4.44/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Cooper's Chelsea.

Pours thick and black, small oatmeal head.

Rich bourbon barrel aromas with lots of vanilla sweetness on the nose. Coffee is noticeable but understated.

On palate more of the same pronounced coffee but not overpowering, rich sweetness from the barrels, Rich and roasty but hoppy for a stout which balances the sweetness.

Really plush smooth mouthfeel.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout - Vietnamese Coffee from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 111 ratings.