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: 55 | Ratings: 376
Photo of Lochnessmonster
4.67/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

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Photo of gcamparone
4.22/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.38/5  rDev -0.5%
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

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Photo of Absolut
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%
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

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Photo of Hyptochrons
4.62/5  rDev +5%
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.

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Photo of kitch
4.39/5  rDev -0.2%
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 +1.1%
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 +3%
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 +5.5%
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 -5.9%
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 +9.5%
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 TheManiacalOne
4.24/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

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Photo of Chico1985
4.48/5  rDev +1.8%
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 +13.4%
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 -1.1%
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%
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 +1.8%
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 +2.3%
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%
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 -18.6%
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 +2%
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
4.64/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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%
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 -3.6%
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%
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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AleSmith Speedway Stout - Hammerhead from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.4 out of 5 based on 376 ratings.
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