AleSmith Speedway Stout - Hammerhead | AleSmith Brewing Company

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AleSmith Speedway Stout - HammerheadAleSmith Speedway Stout - Hammerhead

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by BMMillsy on 11-09-2013

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Reviews: 49 | Ratings: 360
Photo of kitch
4.39/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.45/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.53/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

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Photo of yesterdayfaraway
4.64/5  rDev +5.2%
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

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.14/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

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Photo of bowzer4birdie
4.82/5  rDev +9.3%
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!

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Photo of Chico1985
4.48/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

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Photo of WesHowl
4.99/5  rDev +13.2%
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!

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Photo of FriedSlug
4.35/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

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Photo of FBarber
4.18/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours jet black, opaque and dark as night. Thin mocha colored head dissipates leaving spotty mocha colored foam and some minimal lacing.

Smell was rich toasty aromas of coffee beans, roasted coffee grounds, roasted malts, some bakers chocolate, and a subtle hint of booze.

Taste was a rich and deep array of roasted malts, tons and tons of coffee flavor both roasted coffee beans and ground espresso beans. Undertone flavors of chocolate, bakers chocolate and a creamy lactose like note.

Feel was thick, smooth, and velvety. Nice mild carbonation.

Overall a really stand out coffee stout.

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Photo of JLK7299
4.48/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I was lucky to stumble into this beer on tap when I was away for a wedding. Boy was it good! Heavy coffee flavor, which is obviously fine by me. Another great stout from the Alesmith Speedway series!

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap in a tulip, the beer is jet black and oily thick, with a halo of thin, tan head. Aromas of roasted coffee, milk chocolate, cream, and booze. Very balanced. Flavors of rich milk chocolate, heavy roasted coffee, and thick sweet cream. Smooth, creamy, layered body, with a bittersweet chocolate and roasted coffee aftertaste. Smooth, creamy finish. Awesome beer!

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Photo of clayrock81
4.18/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a black body with tan head that left little lace around the glass. Aroma is a mild coffee, which is surprising, and something akin to a hint of vanilla or chocolate sweetness. Heavy bodied beer that tastes like it smells with an abundance of coffee and an underlying sweetness. Real easy to drink as no roasted or harsh coffee taste at all, ABV well hind and beer has a lactic quality to it that keeps real smooth.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.58/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle. Black body. Smell is all coffee. It's a very nice coffee aroma. But it's all coffee. Tastes of all coffee as well. Rich coffee up front. Immediately very bitter. A little chocolatey. Medium heavy. Medium carbonation. It's not my favorite Speedway variant. It's all coffee.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.49/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this is absolutely tremendous, one of my favorite variants of speedway yet, and perhaps the best coffee beer i have ever had. wow this is really something special, not to be missed! on tap for me up at parrys pizza in northglenn, its just a stunning brew. matte black in color and luster with only a half inch of head, nearly white, great contrast, but as thick as they get and lasting quite well. the nose here is rich earthy coffee, dense and profoundly aromatic. chocolates and chars, tobacco and chicory, there is a lot of interesting low end notes to this from the espresso addition. seems suprisingly low on the coffee bite, not acid or anything perceptible. the flavor is really amplified over the base beer, the extra coffee makes a huge impact, and im not sure the normal speedway will taste the same after this. richer and thicker it seems, beautifully bitter, and the dark malts seem to take on even more of a role here, soil-like and hearty. dark chocolate comes right to the fore, but to me this is the beer equivalent of freshly pulled quality espresso, really artisinal and pungent. i absolutely love it. lots of body, creamy feeling, no acidity from the coffee beans at all, and somehow stays real dry in the finish. slight smoke at the very end, a suggestion of vanilla or even rum, but its all from the coffee. this is simply as good as it gets in the style, but be careful, easy to forget its 12% abv because its so smooth and silky and easy down. world class no doubt!

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Photo of thatche2
4.69/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 25 oz bottle into a snifter glass. Appearance is pitch black with one finger thick head and decent retention. Roasted malt/coffee and cold brew coffee are dominant on the nose. There are some cream, dark chocolate and floral notes as well. Taste follows the aroma with the roasted coffee flavors coming through the most with some delicate cold brew coffee and cream flavors also noticeable. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and creamy but I wouldn't mind a little more body. Carbonation is moderate and adds nicely to the beer. There is a bite at the end in which some alcohol is noticeable.

Overall, this is an excellent coffee stout in which the coffee flavors are unequivocally the focus. This beer was made with both espresso and roasted coffee flavors, which adds nice complexity. I highly recommend this variant from AleSmith and would gladly purchase again.

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Photo of drdiesel9483
4.31/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark as normal with a good slight head and some good lacing. Dark chocolate and espresso scent. Dark cocoa taste with some espresso and good toastyness. Creamy medium body with medium light carbonation. Fantastic stout.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.24/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

15cL pour at The Surly Goat in West Hollywood.

Smells like Speedway Stout. Coffee and vanilla. A sweet and milky spice aroma faintly shows. Chai? Cinnamon?

Okay, so much sweeter and less bitter than regular Speedway. Creamier too. From the coffee, toffee, nuttiness and dark fruit show. Maybe it's the base beer. Who knows? Good either way.

Smooth and creamy with a faint solvent note but no heat. Light bitterness on the finish but nothing like the regular.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pitch black pour with a sloppy, bubbly lacing ring.

S - Rich mocha, vanilla, Espresso, boozy.

T - Espresso, vanilla, mocha, some cocoa, and boozy. Bitter baker's chocolate finish.

M - Big medium body, velvety smooth body.

O - Amazing beer.

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Photo of John_M
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at 16 tons the other day.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with the customary excellent head retention and lacing you expect from Speedway. On the nose, I get a considerable amount of coffee and espresso of course, which is nice, but it seemed to drown out some of the other aromas I typically get from Speedway. There was no more than a hint of vanilla, and no bourbon aroma whatsoever. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely, with the coffee and espresso once again taking center stage. The coffee actually seemed to dry out some of the richness I normally get in this beer, and I thought the mouthfeel wasn't quite as soft and full as I normally expect from Speedway. Alcohol is well integrated into the flavor profile, and there's no doubt this is a very fine beer, but at least for me, this one of my least favorite speedway variations I've had the pleasure of trying so far.

Still good though!

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Photo of mothman
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown color. Light tan head.

Tons of roast and huge coffee. Massive espresso flavors with vanilla and chocolate.

Mouthfeel: a tad roasty for my liking.

Solid, but not as good as some of the other variants.

On tap it isn't nearly as roasted and much more enjoyable. Coffee and fudge.

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Photo of wowthatbeerisgood
4.49/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Found on draft at a whole foods in Chicago. Smells rich and sweet. Consistency is more like soda than motor oil. Goes down smooth with mild coffee flavor and milky. Wish I had more than 9oz to enjoy!

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Photo of kik
4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

sweet, chocolatey aroma, almost pastry like as if you walked into an ice cream shop. On the more carbonated side with a weird taste I can't quite put my finger on. It's definitely different. I can't taste the alcohol at all, but I enjoy the creamy aftertaste.

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Photo of DJChaseTheBase
4.58/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had this in a 8oz tulip on draft at Pub Royale in Chicago. This bad boy packs a serious punch of bite for a stout with definite popping coffee flavors and a great creamy splash to the palate. It is big, delicious and has you craving for more. I would love to find this in bottle form!

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Photo of maximum12
4.28/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to rawfish, again, for this beautiful Speedway variant, which I want to get to fresh. 750ML bottle split with my wife, who’d likely brain me if I drank it without her.

The pour is Speedway black. The smell is potent coffee, even from arm’s length; nothing coy going on here. Roast, if that’s not redumnant, & chocolate. Fancy? No. Inviting? Yeah.

Speedway Stout - Hammerhead should have some kind of Keurig endorsement on the label. The coffee is more about depth & breadth than naked aggression. Roast & broad strokes of espresso are wound right into the fabric of the beer, feeding the chocolatey sweetness of the base beer, with a shiver of cocoa powder bitterness at the end. Alcohol is attendant but polite. Big, thick, & against all odds, a beer I need a full gulp of to get the full happy. This ain’t no sippin’ stout.

Speedway on espresso crack. As a non-coffee drinker, I was a bit afraid this was going to go into roast-shock territory. Instead, the fine folks at Alesmith worked their usual magic & just went bigger & badder - not bigger & more frightening. Excellent beer.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout - Hammerhead from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.41 out of 5 based on 360 ratings.
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