Speedway Stout - Hammerhead
AleSmith Brewing Company

Speedway Stout - HammerheadSpeedway Stout - Hammerhead
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Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #141
Ranked #530
4.39 | pDev: 5.69%
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States
Speedway Stout - HammerheadSpeedway Stout - Hammerhead
Notes: Some would argue that Speedway Stout, easily one of the finest coffee-infused imperial stouts in the world, needs no embellishment, that this burly yet beguilingly smooth and easy-drinking beer is perfect on its own. We’re not ones to disagree, but a thirst for experimentation leads us to tinker with our recipes—even those of the highest order. In the case of Hammerhead Speedway Stout, we endeavored to maximize java intensity as baristas do with the classic coffee-house offering, the “hammerhead,” in which a shot of espresso is added to a cup of coffee. For this beer, we take our already coffee-rich Speedway Stout and add a plentiful dose of crushed Ethiopian and espresso beans. The result is a sultry, velveteen beer with eye-opening bite.
Reviews: 66 | Ratings: 416 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

4.62/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a large dark brown foamy head with good retention and some good amount of lacing. Aroma of super nice floral coffee notes with some black chocolate and roasted malt notes is quite enticing. Taste is also dominated by one of the best floral coffee notes that I have tasted with some great notes of roasted malt and black cholate notes with no discernible bitterness. Body is full with great carbonation. This brewery keep exceeding my expectations.

Dec 23, 2019
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

4/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Unknown vintage; drank 5/5/16 on draft @ Fischman's.

Brown/black appearance.

Tan head; nice lace.

Milk chocolate, light roast coffee bean & cream notes in the nose.

Medium thick, creamy mouthfeel.

Light roast coffee bean & milk chocolate flavors up front; faint hop bite on the finish. No booze heat.

Very smooth & tasty; not transcendent but I'd never turn it down.

Oct 07, 2019
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zeff80 from Missouri

4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Republic. Poured an opaque, jet-black hue with a small, light brown head of foam. It smelled of rich mocha, chocolate, roasty coffee and toffee. Strong coffee flavor with chocolate, molasses and toffee.

Jan 04, 2019
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TheSixthRing from California

4.24/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

From tasting notes 10/16/18
Had on-tap at Final Gravity in Roseville, CA

Appearance - Served up in a 11.5oz snifter, black with a broken layer of suds, thickening up at the edge and reaching up onto the glass to create a wall of lacing with small spots where it breaks up.

Smell - The aroma is simple but strong; coffee, dark chocolate and a hint of booze.

Taste - Follows the nose. Deep coffee character that's complimented by sultry dark chocolate bittersweetness. Aftertaste rings with light coffee ground earthiness and the dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel - Full-bodied with low-to-fair carbonation. Silky, creamy texture that goes down smooth as hell before a slightly dry finish.

Overall - Kind of a two-note beer, but those two notes run deep, and damn is it smooth and creamy. I don't know if I like it more than OG Speedway, but its certainly different.

Nov 23, 2018
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rudzud from Massachusetts

4.61/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Received in a trade and shared with JLindros.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice dark black hue with a fat mocha head that fades to leave nice lacing and super thick blanket and legs.

S - Big aromas of fudgy chocolate and super intense coffee notes. Nutty, earthy coffee, very nice roast. Not really acrid or bitter. Super aromatic.

T - Taste is similar to the nose with big bright fudgy notes. Huge dark chocolate and bakers chocolate. Almost coconut like. The coffee is excellent, nutty, earthy, rich. Light caramel, little bit of vanilla on the finish.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, creamy, silky, alcohol hidden shockingly well.

O - Overall this was a very solid coffee stout. Just excellent beer with stupendous coffee notes.

Serving Type: bottle

Jul 20, 2018
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jlindros from Massachusetts

4.61/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to rudzud, 2018
Pours a giant pillowy off-white thick frothy head that never seems to fade, great retention and lacing too, pitch black beer, no light getting through that, super dense legs too

Nose is great from a couple feet back, nose is loads and loads of fudge and coffee, freshly roasted coffee and espresso, earthy nutty coffee, some caramel and nougat sweetness mixed with loads of dark chocolate and fudge, flash of vanilla, earthy baker's chocolate, roasted coffee and roasted malts but not burnt acrid roast, a nice balance, sweet smelling

Taste starts a bit sweet, with loads more fudge, some coffee although not as much as the nose had, freshly roasted coffee beans and some brewed coffee out front, good roast flavor without burnt or acrid again, thick dark chocolate, earthy baker's chocolate and heavy heavy fudge, raw cocoa bean fruity and earthy notes, smooth rich creamy malt base, very little alcohol with a touch of tingle later, some espresso later with earthy nutty coffee notes, a flash of raw vanilla again as well, mild bitterness mostly from roasted coffee and some roast, raw chestnuts on the back of the tongue

Mouth is med to fuller bod, thick rich velvety creamy with decent carb and only a touch of tingly booze, maybe not quite as heavy as something like original Chocolate Rain, maybe the only thing preventing a 5

Overall this was incredible, only a few points away from being phenomenal

Jul 20, 2018
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eppie82 from Illinois

4.19/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft. Two different experiences. Once it was a good bit of coffee with some cinnamon and gingerbread man at the end. The other time was loads more coffee (no gingerbread/cinnamon thing) and the end tasted like burnt coffee, which was unpleasant.

Mar 27, 2018
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Treyliff from West Virginia

4.33/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours jet black in color with a creamy khaki colored head that reduces to a ring around there edge of the glass

S- bold aromas of espresso with some earthy notes, along with dark mocha cream & charred malt. Undertones of vanilla and a bit of floral notes popping out of the coffee

T- dark roasted malt up front mixes with bold notes of espresso, that adds both earthy and floral elements. Mid-palate brings out some notes of chocolate & vanilla cream. The finish brings out more bitter espresso and chocolate

M- heavy viscous body with moderate carbonation leads to a thick and creamy mouthfeel that continued into a silky, velvety, warming finish, perfect mouthfeel

O- another solid Speedway variant, only downside is that it seems a bit more dimensional compared to some of the other variants.

Dec 20, 2017
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chitownfanatic21 from Nebraska

4.42/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Overall, I thought this was a spectacular coffee stout, probably in my top 5. Surpringly enough, it is not the best Ethiopian coffee stout I've had, but top 2. I think Would stray towards the Ethiopian coffee stouts. I think the coffee bean adds to the flavor well in most stouts, but also this the bean adds to the body and mouth feel of the beer!

Jul 02, 2017
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BillRoth from Maryland

4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle at new brewpub during Beer safari with my son when visiting SD. Yet another outstanding Speedway variant. Enjoyed the slightly more jagged coffee bite accompanied by the Ethiopean beans deep coffee flavor. Nice job! ...again :)

Jun 29, 2017
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Lochnessmonster from Florida

4.67/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wonderful Speedway variant that'll really open your eyes. The caffeine that's in this must be off the charts - I wish my boss was cool enough that I could drink this in the morning instead of coffee.

Apr 28, 2017
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gcamparone from Rhode Island

4.22/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750mL bottle into an Alesmith glass. Acquired in a trade.

Pours a deep brown body with a light coffee colored head that reduces to a ring of foam and leggy lacing.

Aromas of coffee and espresso, roasted malt and a lightly metallic aroma that I get in all speedway variants. Light booze on the nose. Aromas stay the same as it warms up.

On the tongue is a good amount of freshly ground coffee, milk chocolate, finishing with bittersweet chocolate and leaving a roasty coffee flavor on the tongue. Mouthfeel is medium-heavy with a nice silkyness, medium low carbonation.

Overall my favorite non-barrel aged speedway stout variant. Good coffee flavor.

Apr 25, 2017
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BucannonXC5 from California

4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Type: 750-ml. bottle
Glass: AleSmith Barrel-Aged Reserve snifter
From: AleSmith Brewing Company in San Diego, Calif.
Price: $26.00
Purchased: March 8, 2016
Consumed: April 8, 2017
Reviewed as: American Double / Imperial Stout
Misc.: Bottled in Feb. 2016

Bought this way back in March of 2016 for a trading partner in Colorado. We weren’t going to be able to meet up, however, and I got to have it all to myself. Gave it a 4.50 and called it “marvelous” back in March of 2016 with a 4-oz. taster. Hopefully this review follows that lead.

Poured a pitch black color with two fingers of frothy tan head. No bubbles underneath, a very serene setting. Excellent spotty foamy lacing. Outstanding retention. (Sight - 4.25)

Smelled dark milk chocolate, roasted coffee beans, espresso, anise, chocolate syrup, vanilla and hints of bourbon (even though I know there isn’t any in it). (Smell - 4.25)

Tasted better in all aspects than the nose. Got espresso, dark milk chocolate, roasted coffee beans, woody anise, semi-char wood, chocolate syrup, cocoa, vanilla, plum, tobacco, raisins, figs and hints of toasted toffee. Warming overall, but smooth for 12 percent ABV. (Taste - 4.50)

Full body. Sticky texture. Average carbonation. Long, roasty finish. (Feel - 4.50)

This was very good. Maybe not quite as good as the last time I had it on draft, but still delicious. (Overall - 4.25)

4.38 | 97 | A

Apr 11, 2017
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Absolut from California

4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at wades wine

Poured into a 5 ounce tasted

Smell and taste is bitter black coffee, malt and espresso bitter coffee mocha.

Could drink this everyday and be happy

Mar 12, 2017
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Hyptochrons from Massachusetts

4.62/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

had this on tap. great looking stout. notes of milk and dark chocolate, smooth vanilla, creamy marshmallow like thing, immense roast, coffee notes, dark malt, subtly bitter espresso. sharp roasty booze on the finish but it comes through smooth and round due to the sludge like texture.

Jan 26, 2017
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kitch from Hong Kong

4.39/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Mikkeller & Friends (Stefansgade), Copenhagen, into a Mikkeller tasting glass.

Appearance: It was a nice dark black colour with a one finger beige head with moderate retention and great lacing.

Aroma: Dark chocolate, oak, vanilla, coffee and a touch of alcohol.

Taste: Espresso, chocolate, vanilla, oak and dark fruit.

Mouthfeel: Rich, full bodied with light carbonation.

Overall: A very nice Imperial Stout and a great variant of the Speedway Stout.

Sep 05, 2016
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Stevedore from Oregon

4.45/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle. Served in a snifter glass.

Pours huge, thick and oily. Dark black body, opaque with a one finger offwhite head, good retention, even bits of lacing. Smells of huge espresso, dark fruit, raisin, milk chocolate, black coffee roast. Massive, with minimal boozy heat. Regular Speedway on espresso steroids. Flavour is even better, with a perfect balance of big espresso aggression and roasted coffee bean, dark chocolate, bit of lactose, dark fruits, light char and lots of roast. Big complexity even amidst the massive depth charge of espresso on top of the base coffee. Mouthfeel is full bodied, substantial, thick yet smooth without much boozy heat to it despite it being a 12% beer. Big coffee presence, one of the best non-barrel aged coffee imperial stouts out there with a great mouthfeel on it.

Sep 04, 2016
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

4.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

You ever write a real good review and have it just disappear? Always seems to be the CA highly rated beers on this website, but I digress, take 2. Had this gem on tap at Lupulo in Santa Cruz right before the Wheeler Walker Jr. show next door. Man that girl at Lupulo Kayla/Caleb, so fine, so cute, so helpful.

Anyways, this pours black, tan/brown head on the top, about 1" I imagine if you had a full 12oz pour. Aroma dropped a massive amount of coffee. Even more than the base version.

The taste is decadent. Waves of coffee, roasted black and chocolate malt, yet so smooth. An amazing job of bringing the goods in terms of roast, coffee and alcohol, yet so easy to drink without acrid bitterness of alcohol burn. Caffeine is in there, this got me amped.

Aug 04, 2016
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yesterdayfaraway from Missouri

4.64/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L: pours dark brown with 2 fingers of brown head. It didn't pour thick, but haven't had a speedway do that yet.
S: huge coffee, big bold coffee and doesn't smell bitter either.
T: Like the nose, great coffee. Big bold coffee but smooth too. Not bitter at all. Love my coffee stouts just like this.
F: I wish it was thicker and more coating, but decent for sure
O: a great coffee stout, I rank only behind sump

Jul 23, 2016
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johnnnniee from New Hampshire

4.14/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Half a pour at Small City Taphouse
Solid black color with a stingy tan head. Rich chocolate and roast with huge sweetened coffee. Beautifully smooth beer.

Jul 19, 2016
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bowzer4birdie from Illinois

4.82/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Local Option in Chicago. Huge espresso notes off the base beer at immensely drinkable at 12% as is every Speedway stout offering in my opinion. World Class!

Jul 16, 2016
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TheManiacalOne from Rhode Island

4.24/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On-tap 6/25/2016 at Julian’s in Providence, RI, served in a nonic pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a large brown head that fades very slowly and leaves a very thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains very espresso, roasted malts, some chocolate and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste likewise starts out with a strong espresso/black coffee flavor followed by a mild alcohol sting. Then some milk chocolate and smoky flavors come into the background. The hops presence is very mild but complementary and brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, very strong kick, good representation of style, this is a very good beer to sip on for a long time if you’re in the mood for the intense espresso flavor.

Jun 25, 2016
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Chico1985 from Massachusetts

4.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

8oz pour at Julian's, Providence RI. I love the regular Speedway, but this took the coffee to whole other level of great methinks. Less roasty and just consumed in uber-intense and wonderful coffee. Pretty rich but a surprisingly light feel and extremely well-hidden alcohol made it a pretty easy drinker.

Jun 25, 2016
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WesHowl from North Carolina

4.99/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured dark black with dark tan head. Nice aromas of espresso, chocolate, vanilla. Strong espresso flavor on the front end. Overall surprised that the espresso/coffee flavor was not overpowering and complemented nicely. Overall a strong variant on an already great stout!

Jun 24, 2016
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FriedSlug from North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Jet black with tan head. Amazing roasted coffee nose with sweet malt and char. The taste is coffee, char, molasses and sweet malt. There is a nice char bitter finish. Overall this is an amazing beer.

Jun 17, 2016
Speedway Stout - Hammerhead from AleSmith Brewing Company
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 416 ratings