Speedway Stout | AleSmith Brewing Company

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Speedway StoutSpeedway Stout
Speedway StoutSpeedway Stout

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Jet Black, with an off-white head. Starts with a strong coffee and dark chocolate sensation, then fades to a multitude of toasty, roasty and caramel malt flavors. Clean and crisp, full- bodied. Warmth from the high alcohol content lightens up the feel. You won't fool your taste buds - this beer is HUGE!

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,767 | Ratings: 7,090
Photo of CaptainHate
4.49/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split a 1 pint 9.4 ounce bottle with a friend (am I a great guy or what?). Started off great after being stored at 50 degrees and just got better as it warmed. Incredibly smooth and balanced with the alcohol well hid. I don't know if I can find variants but more of this would work too.

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.31/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed from long-standing notes. Poured from the 750mL bottle into an El Catador Barrel-Aged glass. 2016 vintage bottle, consumed 8/23/17.

A: Dark - essentially black - and opaque. Forms a small tan head, and has minimal if any visible carbonation.

S: Coffee, roasted malts, the darkest of cacao. Notes of caramel, vanilla, and leather. A mild char to the malt roastiness. Very nice.

T: Coffee, dark chocolate, mocha. Dark, dark roasted malts, dry tobacco and still the mild char. Notes of vanilla and caramel, and the caramel increases as the beer warms through the drink. A modest hop and roast bitterness at the swallow, but ultimately outlasted by chocolate-sweet malts.

M: A good heft to the body for an Imperial stout. Low but as-expected carbonation, and the alcohol is very, very well-hidden.

O: Wow. Very nice and complex flavors, of which most (other than the coffee) are not additive-derived. A very solid beer that lived up to the years of accolades.

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Photo of MercInc
4.37/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Allowed to attain a temp of 55 to 60 Degrees. Poured with a thick dark tan head. no light from my 500 lumen E2D Surefire could penetrate the Stout goblet. Pronounced coffee notes, roasted malts. not boozy. Smooth body. Great flavors.

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Photo of pants678
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Black with tan foam.

Easy, earthy coffee.

Real balance between malt and coffee. Slight fruit, milk chocolate as opposed to dark -- lower percentage cacao. Cake. Not much in the way of alcohol.

Not cartoonish viscous but fine carbonation.

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Photo of AlFergie
4.9/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Still one of my favorites since I first had it at the original brewery off Miramar. The taste and feel remain exceptional. It's my birthday beer, that I treat myself to every year with NEVER a disappointment.

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Photo of LampertLand
4.04/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

AleSmith Brewing 'Speedway Stout' @ 12.0% , served from a 750 ml bottle
A-pour is a cola brown from the bottle to almost black in the glass with a small dissipating tan head leaving a minimal lace ring
S-chocolate , coffee
T-smooth & creamy chocolate start , coffee takes over especially on the bitter finish
MF-mild carbonation , feels full bodied
Ov-good beer , great no
prost LampertLand

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Photo of Riff
4.22/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a rich black color with a creamy, light tan head. Smell is coffee, chocolate, and roasted malts. Taste is coffee, rich dark chocolate, roasted malts, and a hint of pine hoppy bitterness throughout. Creamy body almost chewy. Delicious beer, nice sipper for a cold day. Hides the booze well, good, blended layered flavors.

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Photo of Vidblain
4.16/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Speedway Stout is one of the very finest non-barrel aged stouts being made. It's rich, has wonderful coffee and chocolate notes, and it has a surprisingly thick body. It's a fantastic base and is one of my go-to stouts if I have the option.

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Photo of ShortStoutMan
4.73/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This is a great, big beer. I first tried the 2016 about a year ago, and while I liked it, I thought it was a little over hyped. Since then I have experimented with many beers, always tending toward stouts and porters. I don't know if this bottle has cellared better or if my pallet is more refined, but this beer goes right to the top. I'm no beer snob, but drinking this makes me feel like I am better than everyone else.

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Photo of drdiesel9483
4.28/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look - Black thin syrup with a slight disappearing head
Smell - Rich caramel vanilla coffee licorice
Taste - Rich caramel roastiness with some coffee chocolate taste, very strong
Feel - full body almost like syrup with a pretty light carbonation
Overall - pretty tasty

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.44/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pitch black color with a finger width foamy head. Head retention is good. Lacing is very good. Nice roasted chocolate aroma. Slight java. Smooth and creamy taste. Roasted with chocolate and stronger java bitterness at the end. Heavy bodied with mild to moderate carbonation.

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Photo of flipper2gv
4.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A: Pours pitch black with a cappuccino colored head. Retention is pretty good and the lacing too.

S: Smell is pretty faint with espresso, vanilla, mineral and licorice. Exactly what you'd expect for a coffee imperial stout.

T: Tastes like a coffee imperial stout should. There is strong espresso notes, dark cocoa, licorice, vanilla, mineral and even some dark toffee. Really solid flavors and very coherent. Absolutely no alcohol notes too, which is mighty impressive at 12% ABV.

M: Round and smooth with a little bit of carbonation that livens the beer a bit. I would have slightly preferred a smoother carbonation to give the beer a really luscious feel but this is really good too.

O: This is a really really good beer. It's nothing really groundbreaking, but it does everything perfectly. I would have loved a more fragrant smell though. What I didn't expect about this beer is how crazy drinkable it is. It's a 12% coffee imperial stout, it has no right to be as drinkable as this is.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.28/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16oz can poured into a snifter

A- pours a thick jet black color with a two-finger creamy khaki colored head that has great retention and leaves plenty of lacing behind

S- chocolate and roasted malt mix with herbal and earthy espresso notes, followed by caramel, dark fruits & malted milk

T- charred malt and dark chocolate notes up front, immediately followed by rich herbal espresso notes & mocha cream. Mid-palate gives some dark fruit notes, as well as molasses and more charred malt. The finish gives more coffee that gives a long linger

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel that continues into a slightly warming finish

O- a classic stout that has stood the test of time, big, bold and roasty

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Photo of Nass
4.53/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This stout pours thick & viscous in the snifter. Big maltiness lingering on the palate with some big notes of dark baker's chocolate amalgamate with some faint coffee notes although there are no adjuncts in the version that I am drinking. Nothing hits the spots during the cold winter time better than a well made Imperial Stout & the 12% alcohol is hidden well. This is a well made stout. I highly recommend this beer although it is a little pricey. This is a World Class beer. Cheers! A

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Photo of warrenc
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours inky black with a finger height of brown head. Aroma of smoke, oak ,cherries and chocolate. Taste is very much in line with the smell, liquorice and espresso, alcohol is there but intertwined and melded with so much body and flavors. Nice work here.

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Photo of pmoersch
3.51/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

For those who love stouts this is an easy choice. Not too aggressive but with a rich smoothness and excellent flavor. Head is good and creamy bitter notes highlight this stout.

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Photo of beersampler6
4.35/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Delicious, impressive beer that lived up to its high expectations. Jet-black, oily color with a little lingering tan head and spotty lingering lacing. Smells of dark roast coffee and dark chocolate. Tastes similarly, along with caramel, vanilla, molasses, plum and malt. Very smooth, moderately creamy mouthfeel, not too much bitterness at all. High ABV is quite well-hidden. Good mild carbonation. An outstanding beer and I am trying to get my hands on others from this amazing brewery!

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Photo of samuelp23
4.32/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank with my buddy Shom in Chicago. Aged for 5 y ars in basement (60-70F). Very smooth for a big stout. The booziness that is usually present with this beer is gone and replaced with a sourness and stone fruit. . Chocolate. big coffee flavor that lingers. Orange peel. Get more grain smell as it warms. A little thin in texture which is not typical for this beer.

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Photo of SHODriver
4.4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from 2014

A: Poured into a snifter to a deep black beer topped by a dense two finger light tan head which retains well and leaves decent lacing
S: Smells of intense roasted malts, dark chocolate and espresso
T: Taste is nice roasty malts with some bittersweet dark chocolate, italian roasted coffee, slight oxidation, hints of charred wood. Swallow is more roasted malts, charred wood, espresso, and dark chocolate.
M: This beer has a thick and silky body that's a little chewy. Carbonation is light but adequate for the style which contributes to a creamy mouthfeel while the beer has a drying finish.
O: Overall this one is rock solid. It represents the style well and has great flavors. It drinks really well and has some nice complexity going for it. It's definitely worth a try if you can find it.

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Photo of Strike00
4.01/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours pure black with a coffee brown head. The smell is deep dark roast with a hint of brightness. Flavor comes across as coffee and roasted malts without an extreme acidic taste you sometimes get with imperial stout. Alcohol is hidden pretty well.

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Photo of Ahypercube
3.63/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

For one of the big famous Imperial Stouts in the world of craft beer, I don't think this guy is a serious competitor. As with Dragon's Milk, this is fairly bland for a RIS, but it's widely distributed and available year round, which I believe heavily contributes to its fame and fandom.

L: Very boring pour: even with a heavy hand, it barely produces a half-centimeter film of pale mocha brown head, and dissipates rapidly enough to evoke a nostalgic twinge of disappointment.

S: Smells tasty, but closer to a barleywine than a RIS. Milk Chocolate is the main player and he has his dudes, vanilla and coffee, backing him up. Some sour prunes and dried cherries try to make themselves known, but they get buried in toffee/caramel sweetness and roast. Licorice and a touch of perfumey leather lend a dryness to the finish.

T: Personally, I've never had an RIS that I couldn't taste alcohol in, but I agree some of them hide it better than others. This is one of those, without a doubt. Unfortunately, that's about the only great aspect of this beer, flavorwise. Very sugary, very forgettable. There's a bit of a cantaloupe melon aspect to the sweetness, but it needs more roast, and really lacks complexity overall. Perfect salt level though, with a lovely pretzel note for the finish.

F: Even among imperial stouts, this has a syrupy texture and a cloying finish. It has a bit of dryness that helps, but it's not enough to balance with the sugar.

O: A very nice RIS, but I absolutely would not rank it as one of the world's 10 greatest stouts, nor even the world's 100 greatest. It's better than Dragon's Milk, at least.

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Photo of beergoot
4.35/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Inky black body; dense, creamy, light tan head; curtains of foam along the glass. Roasted grain aroma infused with a mildly fruity component; dates; cocoa. Milk chocolate and charred grain flavors; muted booziness; dates; a bit of coffee. Heavy body; mostly smooth but also delivering a low-key crisp and dry abrasiveness in the background; alcohol warmth.

A big, powerhouse stout, that does an excellent job of blending dense, dark grain sweetness with an edgy alcohol note.

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Photo of TH28
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2016 vintage. Appearance: deep dark brown/Black, opaque, with a low lying khaki head and nice lacing
Aroma: All malt, with rich dark chocolate, toffee, caramel, and light roast
Taste: Rich dark chocolate with a light toffee and roast. Beautifully balanced with just enough bitterness to balance
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a light creaminess and a light carbonation
Finish: Roasted malt and bitterness lingers on the finish with a touch of dark chocolate
Overall: Beautifully balanced for an imperial story with coffee. Profile is insanely smooth throughout, from aroma thru the finish. Dark chocolate and toffee are most prevalent, but a lightly roasted coffee note balances while remaining smooth. A light creaminess tonthe body helps blend the flavors together. This beer has 2 years of age, and stands upbas a top notch imperial stout

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Photo of AllOfTheCats
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My favorite non-BA beer in San Diego. Glad to see this made it to cans and the brewery has pretty good pricing on growlers (~$12/32oz). Also glad to see wide distribution of this beer outside of CA, although I was sad to see it cheaper in WI than CA. AleSmith is my favorite tap room in San Diego. They always have some sort of BA variation of this beer on tap.

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Photo of matcris
4.69/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

LOOKS: Jet black with a couple fingers of tan foam that sticks around. Retains some lacing down the glass.
AROMA: Dark roasted malt, dark roast coffee, dark chocolate, cocoa, toffee, and it's a bit earthy. Wee bit of alcohol, and a little leather and tobacco, as well.
TASTE: All of the above, with a very mild, but, lingering bitterness. Actually, well balanced between sweet and bitter.
FEEL: Full body, average carbonation level, a little sticky, and dries up on the finish, a bit.
OVERALL: Damn nice stout.

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Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.38 out of 5 with 7,090 ratings