Speedway Stout
AleSmith Brewing Company

Speedway StoutSpeedway Stout
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #102
Ranked #351
4.4 | pDev: 8.41%
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States
Speedway StoutSpeedway Stout
Notes: 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!
Reviews: 1,786 | Ratings: 7,157 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of sjrider
sjrider from California

4.43/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle that's been in the fridge for a couple of years - dark as night with short khaki head leaving minimal lacing . Nose is roasty malt, whiffs of coffee ,cocoa and earth. Taste follows with hints of sweetness and a bit of bite. Finish is smooth, almost creamy. Outstanding.

Oct 08, 2020
Photo of Brutaltruth
Brutaltruth from Ohio

4.53/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the can (though we are used to the bottle) in a snifter.
This BEAST of a legend pours a coal black with a nice head
of brown foam that settles to a thick ring, thin clumping pool,
and shows nice lacing. Nose of rich coffee, char, roast, brulee,
dark fruit, and strong astringent booze. Flavors nail the
note I look for in an imperial stout; strong coffee, rich char,
brulee, tobacco, vinous notes, medium to medium strong
herbal hop elements, dark fruit notes of black and blueberry,
and medium booze notes. Excellent mouth feel; full body, smooth,
rich as can be, warming, coating, light carbonation with just
enough lift, and a warming boozy finish.

Overall, a LEGEND in brewing from a fantastic brewery!


Sep 13, 2020
Photo of DokiDokiLitFam
DokiDokiLitFam from New Jersey

4.49/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown with two fingers of khaki head. Tightly compacted bubbles, nice retention and lacing.

Nose is roasted malt, dark chocolate, caramel, and mild coffee. Standard, typical scents that you would get from a bigger stout.

Taste has stronger coffee flavor. Roasty malt, bakers chocolate, subtle caramel, and of course the coffee. This comes together extremely well. All of the flavors getting their fair share of show time. Nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel to die for. Dense, silky, smooth. But not heavy or sticky or cloying. Its full but somehow also light. It makes a statement and leaves cleanly. Wonderful. Truly one of the best stouts I've ever had when it comes to its sheer drinkability.

Overall, I knew this was going to be at least solid. But its just one of those brews that shines due to its simplicity and near perfect execution. Just stout with coffee. Easy right? Not always. This goes to show the importance of being able to take something simplistic and mastering it to bring it to the highest level. And when you throw anything in front of this rock solid foundation, like barrel aging, I have no doubt that its capable of being one of the best brews in the world.

Sep 05, 2020
Photo of gatornation
gatornation from Minnesota

4.13/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours dark black with a tan head.Smell is milk chocolate,coffee and roasted malts. Taste has a darker chocolate and coffe. Mouth feel is smooth and delicious ABV well hidden.

Jul 21, 2020
Photo of tradershmulie
tradershmulie from Connecticut

3.96/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Picked this up on sale - would not want to overpay!

Nice dark color, very little carbonation.
Smells good - like there is some depth.
Very smooth very tasty. Did not really taste any coffee.

Overall very good, but not world class.

Jul 05, 2020
Photo of StJamesGate
StJamesGate from New York

4.32/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Solid sepia carpet of a head over thick jet black; raisin, dark chocolate, a bit of soy, stale espresso, Marmite on the nose; fig rolls, ash, licorice, dried black currants, but then shifts into some dark toffee, strong latte, cacao nibs, walnut oil, with a chewy rugelach end and a touch of grounds; medium-full, warming, dead smooth.

4 4.5 4.25 4.5 4.25

Been sitting on this for a year or three. On first taste, I was worried it was past its best: a lot of black notes like treacle, with specks of savoury like soy that suggest the start of autolysis.
But as it opens, it mellows into more refined richness: biscotti, moccachino, nutella. Coffee is down in the mix compared to what I’d expect - is that age?
On the up, little bits like vanilla poke their head up when you least expect. But the real trick here, though, is that the 12% is buried like a secret.
A rabbit hole of flavors. Not so much layered - I doubt it’s a complex malt bill - as a solid slab of obsidian that looks different as you hold it up to the light.

I’ve chased this one for a while and I’m not disappointed. Deserves its place in the pantheon of American imperial stouts.

Jun 27, 2020
Photo of just1cho
just1cho from California

3.99/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

*Poured into a Teku glass from a 16oz can*

This stout poured a pitch black color with a tan colored head. It had an impressive two finger thick head with nice rocky bubbles and a moderate amount of retention.

Upfront on the nose, I strangely got a ton of black licorice. I'm not sure why, since I expected to get more notes of coffee considering that this was brewed using it. But I actually found that there were more earthy, spice, and herbal notes than rich roasty, dark chocolate, and coffee notes. Despite this, I found that when the initial notes of black licorice subsided, I found that there were subtle notes of dark chocolate, pipe tobacco, sweet roasted malts, and star anise.

The taste more or less followed the nose. I again got big notes of black licorice, but it was more balanced out with notes of espresso, dark chocolate, sweet roasted malts, and star anise. The espresso flavors were more prominent in the middle and back-end of the flavor profiles coupled with a burnt caramel-like taste in the back-end.

This stout was satisfyingly full bodied and had a moderate amount of carbonation to it. This had a dry start and a finish making this very smooth and highly drinkable. The ABV was also hidden very well in this beer making it really easy to forget to not guzzle this down.

I'm not sure if I got a weird can or if my nose and palate are off, since not a lot of people on here seem to get the same black licorice aroma and taste that I was getting. I was expecting more of a chocolaty and coffee-like taste and aroma, but I found that they were very faint compared to what other people were describing. Although I don't like black licorice too much, I thought that this stout was decent tasting overall and had a nice feel to it. I would definitely drink/buy this again since it's pretty cheap and accessible.

May 27, 2020
Photo of Rschis16
Rschis16 from Maryland

4.66/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

DARK rich deep brown head. Deeply black in color. Vanilla on the nose, mixed with chocolate. Milk chocolate nose, dark chocolate taste? The nose on this is intoxicating even though there is no booze on it, and despite clocking in at 12 abv. Same for taste. Rich taste, dark chocolate, little bit of coffee. Dark Chocolate in the aftertaste. Lingers very pleasantly especially as it warms it opens up further. Bit more booze on the palate but it's warming, not overwhelming, rich chocolatey coffee as it warms. One of the best stouts I've ever had.

May 09, 2020
Photo of CraigDeMoss
CraigDeMoss from Kansas

4.43/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black roasted coffee, chocolatey goodness. Full bodied, creamy and smooth. A true classic. Caramel brownie with a balanced bitter coffee and hop bite. Very good

Apr 18, 2020
Photo of NYNorseman
NYNorseman from New York

4.79/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I am a big fan of Speedway Stout but surprisingly I don't watch NASCAR! This stout is an absolute classic-perfectly proportioned and beautifully styled to hide what is under the hood - 12% ABV! It is jet black and sinfully delicious, all that with a reasonable price tag. When weighing all that this brew has to offer, it comes out as one of my favorites! Skol AleSmith!

Apr 03, 2020
Photo of firesidewithphil
firesidewithphil from Illinois

4.15/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Speedway Stout is a perfect introduction beer for any non-imperial stout drinkers. The beer is bold, dark and not too boozy. The main flavor coming through is dark chocolate and it is a very easy drinker. The barrel aged version is definitely better but I like the availability of this beer. You can find it almost anywhere (even at Whole Foods now).


Mar 15, 2020
Photo of Stooven
Stooven from Illinois

4.66/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Maybe the best RIS I've ever had. Drinks like Left Hand Nitro, but has a great balance of coffee, chocolate and heat without being hot. Drank from a pint can on a cold night.

Nov 09, 2019
Photo of GuyFawkes
GuyFawkes from Illinois

4.34/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Unknown vintage; drank 9/13/15 @ the Palace.

Black/brown appearance.

Tan head; a curtain of lace.

Coffee, milk chocolate & banana notes in the nose.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Fresh roasted coffee bean & milk chocolate flavors up front; banana notes on the finish. No booze heat.

A balanced, delicious dessert treat.

Oct 07, 2019
Photo of TooManyGlasses
TooManyGlasses from Canada

4.43/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16 oz can - from San Diego trip in late winter - split two ways. Pours a deep black with creamy tan head.
Aroma dark chocolate, coffee, roasty malt, vanilla.
Taste follows chocolate, vanilla note, touch of licorice, and just a bit of coffee/espresso bitterness to offset the sweetness.
Amazingly smooth, silky mouthfeel - 12% ABV shows but does not scream at you; carbonation perfect - finishes with a kiss of bittersweet. Great.

Tried several varietals in tap room - exceptional base beer with wonderful enhancements.

Aug 21, 2019
Photo of WebbFlyer
WebbFlyer from Minnesota

4.32/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Jet Black In Color. Charred roasty malts on the nose followed by some hints of Vanilla. Semi- Sweet at the front. roasted malts and sweet dark chocolate on the palate. Finishes warm with a creamy mouthfeel.

Wonderful stout balancing sweet chocolate notes and booze. One of my favorite Non- BAs out there.

Aug 16, 2019
Photo of RaulMondesi
RaulMondesi from California

3.98/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well slap me on the ass and call me Wilbur. Raul finally tries regular Speedway? Let’s go.

Right off the bat, well, it’s a bleeder back to the mound. I don’t really get much out of the aroma - and that’s more disappointing than than a Demi Moore nudie scene. Next.

Taste is pretty big. Like, that damn Randy’s donut ‘big.’ Damn sucker slaps you harder on the face with rich Stout and coffee notes like Oprah attacking her morning porridge.

Body is nice. Bridget Bardot for you geezers. But for the young bucks (like Raul) think Margot Robbie pouring you a cup of joe in her best dainties - yeah, I like dat.

Not the best Stout. Pretty damn good for being year round, but I don’t really see myself craving it like my baby mama in her Sunday best.


Aug 15, 2019
Photo of VoodooBear
VoodooBear from Puerto Rico

4.19/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Presentation: 16 oz. can with the canning date printed on the bottom. Served in a pint glass.

Appearance: The thin, tan colored, sliver of a head stays around until the end and leaves behind a lot of patchy lacing. It's a deep, pure black color.

Smell: There's some sweet, brown sugar and vanilla at first. That transitions into darker aromas of coffee, cocoa and charred oak. A faint pure alcohol sweetness comes through in the background as well.

Taste: It's sweet at the beginning, with notes of milk chocolate, vanilla and molasses. The dark, bitter flavors of roasted malt, coffee and cocoa come through sharply and quickly in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: It's thick and creamy but not overwhelmingly so. It stays light enough to be manageable. Carbonation is medium-low.

Overall: The well balanced texture and a milder flavor profile that skews more towards the sweet side, make this surprisingly easy to drink. Which is not something that's often said about beers clocking in at 12% ABV.

Jul 15, 2019
Photo of Livyatan1996
Livyatan1996 from Missouri

4.45/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bought two cans, bit under a year old to have with my mom. special beer here. dumped into a pint glass a pitch black with a pretty impressive tan head. HUGE coffee and chocolate on the nose with hints of roasted malts and earth. excells expectations there, with a great balance of malty goodness and booziness. flavor follows, initial notes of an espresso shot followed by a bitterness and sweetness that sits between dark chocolate and that beer flavor we all know. as it warmed the coffee and a sweet note came flying to the front more, eliminating that 12% and making this seem like more than a sippable beer. hot at first but in the end just leaving a black coffee mouthfeel, this is the first beer my mother has ever liked! wish i could find it more often. fantastic and smooth for its weight

May 26, 2019
Photo of CaptainHate
CaptainHate from Ohio

4.49/5  rDev +2%
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.

May 01, 2019
Photo of macrosmatic
macrosmatic from Florida

4.31/5  rDev -2%
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.

Mar 21, 2019
Photo of MercInc
MercInc from Wisconsin

4.37/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Feb 14, 2019
Photo of pants678
pants678 from California

4.42/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Feb 02, 2019
Photo of AlFergie
AlFergie from Nevada

4.9/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

Jan 17, 2019
Photo of CDBeerDisappear
CDBeerDisappear from Ohio

4.75/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Black, opaque black. Tan foamy head, decent retention for a high alcohol beer.
Aroma: Dark roasted malt.
Taste: Slight sweetness combines with coffee-like bitterness in a delightfully balanced sensation.
Flavor: Definitely coffee flavored roasted malt in the forefront. Chocolate, vanilla, molasses, prunes, figs and other dark fruits. It is sweet in the way that sweet stouts used to be sweet, before pastry stouts became a thing.
Feel: Nice full mouthfeel, boozy, soft and smooth carbonation (but not flat). Surprisingly clean finish.
Overall: I was so happy to find this in my local beer store. This is one of the best classic sweet stouts that exists. What an enjoyable brew. I will drink it any time I can. This is sooo drinkable. You'll notice the alcohol, but it isn't a distraction. This goes down easy.

I have been revising a lot of my older ratings down as I go through them again and I thought I would have to with this as well. BUt, I am perfectly content with a 4.75.

Dec 29, 2018
Photo of LampertLand
LampertLand from Canada

4.04/5  rDev -8.2%
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

Dec 21, 2018
Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 7157 ratings