Speedway Stout
AleSmith Brewing Company

Speedway StoutSpeedway Stout
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Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #109
Ranked #359
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: 1,798 | Ratings: 7,180 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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DavetotheB from Pennsylvania

4.23/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From an undated 16oz can into a large tulip glass.

Pours black with about four fingers of dark tan head. /great retention and lacing.

Smells predominantly of coffee with a bit of dark chocolate. More chocolate is noticeable on warming.

Coffee dominates the taste but it nicely tempered by bitter dark chocolate and light roasty smokiness. Alcohol taste is there but not dominating and nearly disappears on warming.

Very smooth thick full-bodied mouthfeel. Bitter baker's chocolate aftertaste. Low carbonation. Very smooth drinking which increases on warming.

Overall, there's a reason this stout is rated so high-it's awesome!

Thursday at 01:19 AM
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atlascedar from Scotland

4.69/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Was lucky enough to have my first taste of this at the brewery itself (in fact at both the brewery and the tasting room, which was still in the process of opening at the time) and it was amazing. Since then, I've had a few bottles at home, but it is hard to find/ultra expensive here in the UK.

Rich and lush flavours and a very smooth 'mouthfeel', ideal for sharing as a full bottle is a bit on the heavy side! For 12% ABV, it is supremely drinkable.

Feb 24, 2021
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JohnniEMc from Pennsylvania

4.48/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A handcrafted pour of a pint can into a clear Imperial pint glass quickly showed some positive characteristics. Not surprisingly, the ale is the color of black coffee. Its head may be more of a light brown than a tan. It was pretty, but not long lasting. A very pleasant aroma of roasted malt and coffee fills the air. Plenty of lacing trails the head and liquid down the glass. The taste starts rich and semisweet and transforms to rich and bittersweet at the finish. Not one of the contributors dominants this wonderful combination of roasted malt, coffee, hops and even alcohol. Of which, there's just enough at both ends to compliment the others. This drinks nowhere near its ABV. More evidence this is a leading brewery.

Feb 12, 2021
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unlikelyspiderperson from California

4.05/5  rDev -8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I've had this brew and its variants a number of times in the past but somehow never reviewed it. This can is just about 13 months old.

Overall this is a great coffee stout. At a year its coffee punch has lost a step but it's still a wonderfully bitter coffee stout balanced nicely by a dark dried fruit character.
Still the deepest black with a mocha head that is really impressive for the style.
Coffee is still strong and lovely on the nose.
Taste shows the first hints of staling but is still quite lovely with coffee and dark fruits and a sharp leather note.
Mouthfeel is excellent. Full without being syrupy

Jan 20, 2021
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Gdabeast from California

4.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just an exceptional beer, we opened up an old one bottled in 2016, currently it is January 17, 2021 at the time of this post, and the complexity rivaled some whiskeys. Describing this as a big beer would be accurate, one guy I shared this with described it as, "A Cabernet of beers". One negative was there was a lot of particulates that had settled and amassed at the bottom, but this is common for older stouts.

Jan 17, 2021
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stuffandthings from California

4.29/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Can't believe it took me so long to get around to trying this bad boy. What a delightful coffee stout! Great flavor, great smell. One of the best coffee brews I've ever had.

Jan 02, 2021
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BillAfromSoCal from California

4.41/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

canned 9/22/20, poured into a tall tulip glass 12/18/20 after being refrigerated then let to warm up a bit. Pours ebony black, with about 1 finger head that is not long lasting, not much lacing. Dark roasted malts and coffee on nose and taste. Nice mouthfeel....sort of boarderline sudsy but smooth and almost creamy. One of my favorites that are not bourbon barrel aged.

Dec 19, 2020
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ChristopherCurtis from New York

4.37/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Black as black can get. Mocha colored head with some spotty lacing.
Smell: It has that umami smell to it like soy sauce or hoisin. Coffee is there but it's not as strong as I was expecting. Loads of roasted malt, cocoa powder and a hint of sour milk.
Taste: Delicious. Chocolate liqueur, prune, tons of molasses, not as much coffee as I was expecting. Some burnt sugar, charcoal and sweet warming booze on the finish.
Feel: Light for a 12% stout, well carbonated and fairly dry.
Overall: Good stuff.

Dec 12, 2020
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highdesertdrinker from Arizona

4.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Uh yeah, Speedway Stout. It pours dark brown with medium head and decent carbonation. Smells like roasty coffee, dark malt, alcohol. Tastes like roasty coffee, dark malt, char, smoke, chocolate, a little hoppy and a little alcohol but not harsh in the least. A very tasty Imperial Stout, love these black pint cans, and reminds me a lot of another beer I love, RIS by Founders. Cheers!

Dec 05, 2020
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daliandragon from Maryland

4.27/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is one that has been on my radar since I was a baby advocate. It was nine bucks for a pint can at Total Wine, and still a no brainer. Gigantic, crushing, immovable head. Big, creamy roasted malt flavors in the nose and obsidian black body.

Definitely takes a minute to register the many stations of the taste. The first is the obvious roasted malt nots of coffee and baker's chocolate, delivered with a potent but brief blast of alcohol before smoothing out to give a finish of dark berries, cocoa, resin and light smoke.

Not the kind of beer for regular occasions, but definitely worth it if you have not given it a go.

Nov 15, 2020
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Limazulu from Idaho

4.54/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A-Black, except for at the rim of the glass through light you can see deep dark brown. Dirty khaki head that hung around longer than expected for the high ABV.
S-bittersweet chocolate, espresso, vanilla, and just a hint of dank
T-Espresso, char, bittersweet chocolate. If I didn't know better, I might have guessed that this spent a little bit of time in barrel aging. Average sweet, but really clean not cloying.
M-Full and creamy, perfect carbonation. Dry finish
O-One of the two best NON-BA stouts I've ever had. It is bittersweet (the flavor, and the fact that I waited this long before hunting this one down)

Nov 08, 2020
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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TooManyGlasses from Canada (AB)

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
Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 7180 ratings