AleSmith Speedway Stout | AleSmith Brewing Company

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AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Double / 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!

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-09-2002

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Reviews: 1,686 | Ratings: 6,786
Photo of degueulasse
4.52/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours dark with a deep tan head. It smells like rich coffee and tastes like dark chocolate, managing to be both delectably sweet and powerfully bitter at the same time. Another paradox: it's both creamy and carbonated, the bubbles clashing with the smooth consistency in a surprising and impressive manner.

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Photo of Frudel
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle, aged 1 year and a half. The bottle serves a black liquid with a quite big brown head. Aromas are coffee, brown sugar, caramel, roasted malt, chocolate. Amazing taste, the complexity of this liquid is Wow! Medium sweetness, roasted malt , chocolate, with a nice coffee presence, it is very good, the alcohol content isn't a problem at all, we barely feel it. Creamy, full body. One of the best Imperial Stout you can find out there!

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Photo of BranfordBound
4.44/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a fairly fresh 16oz can bought at Coastal Wine in Branford. Super thick and inky black, small head. You can tell just by appearance this is one boozy brew. Illustrious aroma that has tons of malt, roast, coffee, chocolate, and toffee but somehow hides the ethanol burn that typically defines higher ABV beers. Flavor is a sledgehammer of dark malt, all the descriptions from the aroma come in over the tongue. Very espresso like but with a good amount of sweetness, too. Silky smooth feel and heavy body leaves you feeling quite satiated about 2/3s of the way through. It's definitely a sipping beer. Bought another can to hang onto for next winter. See you in 10 months!

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Photo of Isarnan
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Very dark beer with a minimal brown head. Aroma is weak for a bigger stout. Faint smells of coffee but, compared to other stouts not very provocative. Tastes fantastic. Low carbonation, a fully body, and smooth to a slight bitter finish.

Really tastes like I expect a great stout to taste. It doesn't mask flaws with strange flavors or overpower you with the flavor of the month. Just a quality beer with staying power.

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Photo of Antg8989
4.48/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Everything a stout should be. Pours dark brown/black with a medium brown head and some lacing towards the top of the glass. Aroma is the weakest part of this brew - dark chocolate with slight hints of espresso and dark fruits. Taste is more coffee than chocolate with vanilla and some dark fruits. I felt that the light carbonation worked perfect. A bit silkier and this would have gotten a solid 5. Overall, if the coffee aromas came through a bit more, this really would have been a knock out of the park for me. Still though, an excellent stout. I'd love to have this aged in bourbon barrels or with any sort of a twist Alesmith throws on this. Also would be interesting to age for a year or 2.

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Photo of alucard6679
4.56/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is just a fantastic beer and I'm having a hard time thinking of a better coffee Stout that isn't barrel aged.

Look: pitch black with a nice tan head that came up about two fingers and yielded some excellent lacing.

Smell: Very pungent roasted coffee and chocolate on the nose.

Taste: The ABV is just so well hidden, just lots of coffee, toasty chocolate, bit I'm vanilla and maybe fig(?) throughout, and what disntinctly reminds me if cold brew coffee in the finish.

Feel: creamy and full without ever feeling overbearing. Some heavy dark beers are very easy to take your time with because​ of how hefty they are but this one begs you to take that next sip.

Overall: If you see it and you like stouts, buy it. Hell, buy two!

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Photo of ml6005
4.59/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: dark black pour with a 1/4 inch light brown head. It was poured into an 8 oz sniffer.
Smell: sweet caramel/vanilla and a bitter coffee scent
Taste: vanilla, a rosary coffee flavor, as well as a slight boozy heat.
Mouth feel: full bodied beer, with light carbonation and a smooth taste despite the abv.
Overall: a very drinkable beer that is very delicious. Definitely a beer that I will seek out again.

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Photo of mkh012
3.57/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

16 oz. can poured at 50° into a tulip. Canned roughly 2.5 months ago.

Pitch black with a finger of rock solid reddish-brown head. I can see my reflection. Appears slightly viscous in the glass.

Nose is chocolate, coffee, maple syrup, earth, wood, vague barrel characteristics even though it's not BBA. Suggestions of peppermint and holiday spice.

The taste is where things take a left turn, unfortunately. Right from the jump there's an almost mouth-enveloping sweetness that borders on too much. Chocolate and coffee are there, but they're all but ruled out by caramel-y sugar, which caught me off guard. Oddly addicting to a point but not really my cup of tea. More red fruit and caramel than mocha.

Full-bodied, but ultimately not in a good way. It's like a sugar cube dissolving on your tongue.

Is it this particular can, or am I just not jivin' with this? Awesome look and smell, but a let down from there.

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Photo of Bierliebhaber3
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This stout pours a pitch black color with a medium foamy off white head. The smell is very malt heavy with roasted grains, coffee, dark chocolate, and burnt sugar notes. The taste is similar with all the flavors coming out in abundance, but the coffee and roasted grains are especially prominent. The body is very heavy. The finish is extremely smooth and there is really no trace of alcohol, which is a bit surprising in a 12% beer. This is a dangerously drinkable imperial stout for sure. This isn’t that complex, but the flavors are amazingly on point and it’s just a really well done example of the style. A classic imperial stout in my opinion.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4.31/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Tasted in snifter from draft at O'Toole's on April 7, 2017. Look is black with a thick dark tan head and little lacing. Smell and taste is coffee and dark chocolate with roasted and caramel malt flavors. Feel is full in body with a clean, crisp finish.

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Photo of Bum4ever
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From a can dated 1/27/17

L: Pitch black with a good amount of creamy light tan head that lasts awhile.
S: Coffee and lots of it. Followed with some caramel and malt smell.
T: Coffee but with something sweet, no bitter aftertaste like other coffee stouts.
F: Medium bodied feel with light carbonation, very smooth.
O: Really solid coffee stout, like this one a lot. Guess I am going to have to pony up for the big bottle to see the difference between the 2.

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Photo of WickedBeer
4.87/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Picked up from Total Wine & More in Woodland Hills, CA. Poured from a 1 Pint can into a Smuttynose Stout glass.

Look: Pours a jet black with a small head of tan foam. Consistent lacing that dissipates slowly.
Smell: Very evident coffee notes that fades and is replaced with an awesome bitter but sweet chocolate balance. Even getting initial hints of black cherry.
Taste: Bitter cacao nibs, coffee, toasty malts in the finish. Slight breadiness throughout that really enhances the strong chocolate malt and coffee.
Feel: Awesome mouthfeel, and with a smooth but heavy body, really the only indicator of the fact that this beer rings in at 12% ABV. Sticky, very low carbonation, incredibly smooth.

Overall, this beer is incredible. I'd heard nothing but good things and I knew it was a must have. For me this stands tall with North Coast's Old Rasputin but with that more prevalent chocolate that I feel was the only thing I could critique about Rasputin. I'd be curious to see if there were any profile differences when poured from Alesmith's bottled Speedway Stout.

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Photo of nuggetlover
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 1 pint can (!!!)
Slick jet black motor oil with lingering coffee tan head
I'm getting the coffee and the 12% abv is barely noticeable, but it's not the same nose I've gotten out of bombers in the past. The can tho... yo! I love it in the can!
Taste is great. All of the expected layered chocolate, coffee but SO smooth.
Did I mention so smooth?
It's an all timer, a gold standard for big coffee stouts.

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Photo of Holderness
4.54/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Despite what is stated on the packaging, I strongly suggest drinking this at ~62 degrees.

L -- This is the darkest beer I have ever had the pleasure of consuming. 1,000 lumens (roughly the power of a car headlamp) passed through the glass reveals... nothing. Nada. Absolutely no light passed through the pitch blackness that is this brew. 2-finger tan head produced with moderate pour. Great retention and moderate lacing.
S -- Coffee, well-roasted barley malts, bittersweet chocolate, fruity yeast esters, caramel, toffee, and vanilla
T -- A perfect balance between a molasses/caramel/toffee sweetness and intense flavors of espresso, dark chocolate, and a rich earthiness. Tastes like a well-made coffee ice cream that's been melted and turned into a 12% ABV beer.
F -- Thick and chewy, yet immensely drinkable thanks to the perfect levels of carbonation and sweetness.
O -- From start to finish, this is hands down the best stout I've had. Blows Breakfast Stout, Old Rasputin, etc. out of the water. In Massachusetts, though, it's pretty damn pricey at ~$9 for a 16 oz. can.

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Photo of mike22ne
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle, sometime 2015.

The smell is not as strong as I remember in a fresher one I've had, and the coffee flavor has definitely faded somewhat. It's more dominated by dark bitter cocoa and roasted chocolate, with some dark caramelized fruits. The feel is sweet, boozy, slick and full, but without being too dense - it has a somewhat dry bitter finish.

Overall a great beer! Noticeably different with age, it's worth keeping a bottle or two for a while. Now I've got to go find a fresh one to compare again!

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Photo of dbl_delta
4.56/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Can dated 02-01-17 into pint glass. Pours a thick, viscous, inky black with a minuscule medium-tan head. Initial impression is sweetened coffee, molasses, dark chocolate, caramel, and roasted malts. Mouthfeel is thick and chewy. Carbonation is very light. Finish is more of the same, with a noticeable alcohol afterburn.
This could easily be a recipe for a sticky, cloying, syrupy mess, but it never approaches that. Alesmith has somehow produced an almost perfect balance of complementary flavors that play extremely well together.
I have a second can that's going to be cellared for a year or so. Looking forward to sampling that one!

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Photo of titty_mcbitty
4.47/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 12/15/15.

Poured straight down into the glass there's almost no head. Almost pitch black with the exception of the dark brown tinge near the top when held to light.

Smells like coffee and malt mostly.

Given that this bottle is over a year old, the taste is definitely different, but only in a subtle way. The strong coffee flavor from the original fresh Speedway is more subdued in this older bottle, and the roasted malt comes out more. As it warms there's a lot of sweet chocolate and brown sugar, among other similar flavors.

On the palate it seems the same as the fresh bottle: thick and chewy, but not completely syrupy.

Overall, I like the year-old bottle, but surprisingly not as much as the fresh. The coffee and chocolate have slightly faded (not much, though). Despite this, it's still a wonderful beer that's well worth buying and experimenting with aging.

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Photo of JRed
3.87/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Black body with coffee head. Aroma of coffee, cocoa, booze, grass. Tastes of cocoa, coffee, booze, hazelnut, grass, earth. Thick body with medium carbonation.

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Photo of Erikshegda1994
3.51/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very dark thick looking much like dirty motor oil with a nice smell of coffee and dark fruits and a hint of booze. Tastes like coffee and raisons with a very boozy finish almost like a world wide stout but with less abv which brought this down for me as I was expecting a more predominantly coffee flavor as opposed to a strong alcoholic malt flavor. Has a heavy full bodied mouth feel and very smooth with slight carbonation. Overall this is still a decent stout but very boozy.

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Photo of kitch
4.54/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A 750ml foiled bottle with no clear bottled on or best before date. Poured into a snifter glass.

Appearance: Black in colour with a just over one finger tanned head that had good retention and left great lacing.

Aroma: Roasty malts, dark chocolate, coffee, caramel with hints of vanilla and dark fruit.

Taste: Follows the aroma with roasted malts, dark chocolate, caramel, toffee, vanilla, coffee and dark fruits.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, velvety and smooth. Full bodied with light carbonation and light warming alcohol booze.

Overall: A very nice classic Imperial Stout. Very easy to drink with its nice coffee and chocolate flavours.

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Photo of BeantownBrews
4.51/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours like motor oil, light khaki head that dissipates quickly
Smells strongly of dark fruit, cherry, coffee
Lovely coffee forward taste that tames the sweetness
Near perfect mouthfeel
As a disclaimer, I started with BAVSS -might have set the bar at the moon

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Photo of Gajo74
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque dark color, pretty much motor oil black, but with a shade of brown. Nice mocha head rises quickly in a billowing creamy foam. It retains decently and leaves some lacing.
In the nose there are some characteristic imperial stout aromas such as roasted malts, cofee, cocoa and burnt dark caramel. There are also hints of dark fruit and cherry. Being that there is such a high ABV, the presence of bourbon is unsurprising, neither understated, nor boozy.
In the mouth it is rich, robust and full of complexity. The creamy and smooth mouthfeel brings about a fudge like and caramel sweetness. Yet there is so much more. There are alcohol soaked dark fruit, blackberry and cherries that add a note of tartness. As I drink on, the sweetness gives way to an increasingly roasty, bitter espresso roast, and charred malt that lingers. The finish also becomes increasingly dry and bitter. A mixture of bourbon sweetness and spice adds yet another element. The alcohol warms but doesn't overwhelm.
Big bodied and vinuous, definitely a sipper, yet easy to drink at the same time. Delightful and decadent. A real treat!

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Photo of Wiffler27
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bottled in January of 2016
it's been sitting in my fridge forever

pours oil black with a dark creamy head, looks amazing actually

smell is sexy as hell. tons of coffee, smells super fresh tbh

taste is strong, not boozy strong but coffee and heavy malt strong. big flavor and feel here. yet the body is velvety and smooth

pretty damn good. clearly a BIG beer at 12% but also the bottle is fucking massive. i'm only a few beers in (2 Nugget Nectars) and this beer might be my night ender

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Photo of Red5StandingBy
4.6/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 16oz into Spiegelau Stout glass. Canned on January 24th 2017.

L: Deep dark black. Finger width tan head with good retention. Spotted lacing.

S: Rich coffee, wood smoke, sherry, booze.

T: Wow. I was expecting an overwhelming alcohol bite as this is very fresh but its very smooth. Lots of coffee and chocolate, hints of wood smoke and sherry, very tasty.

F: Medium-Full body, decent carbonation. Super super smooth.

O: This is an absolutely delicious beer.

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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
4.23/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bought at Total Wine, Fredericksburg. Pours super dark brown, probably black from the growler. Small brownish head. Chocolate, malt and coffee in the nose. The mouth is assaulted by the roasted malt, toffee, etc. Killer!

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.37 out of 5 based on 6,786 ratings.
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