Speedway Stout
AleSmith Brewing Company

Speedway StoutSpeedway Stout
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AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States
Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #253
Ranked #590
4.38 | pDev: 8.22%
Yesterday at 04:55 AM
Nov 09, 2002
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!
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Ratings by BuckeyeNation:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
by BuckeyeNation from Iowa

Obsidian. Other than a mere sliver of pecan shell brown along the bottom edge of the glass, this beer is a complete black hole. The coffee-with-cream colored head looks nearly as thick and as meaty as the liquid on which it sits. Its moonscape surface contains multiple bubbles of various sizes that create pits and craters as they burst. Lace is in relatively short supply, but then I wasn't expecting much given the ABV.

The aroma was amazing as I poured and is no less amazing now that I'm concentrating on it for real. The three major components are ridicously roasted black malt, bittersweet chocolate and espresso. I can pick up the slightest hint of alcohol, though it's more than welcome in a beer as big as this one is.

AleSmith Speedway Stout is better than expected... and I expected no less than greatness. This is one of the hugest, most full-flavored, most mouthfilling ales of any style that I've ever had the pleasure to drink. Words fail me when attempting to describe the sheer massiveness of the malt backbone. Each sip explodes with the force of a daisy cutter, sending great gouts of melted, coffee bean-flecked chocolate fudge up, down and sideways until my mouth seems unable to contain it all.

SS tastes blacker, meaner, more menacing than most other American double stouts that I've run across. It's more along the lines of an RIS in that regard. It's as sweet and as chocolatey as any other ADS, but it's also impressively bitter and has a huge blackstrap molasses vibe goin' on. In fact, the flavor profile contains the entire gamut of stout flavors and still manages to combine them into a beautiful, seamless whole.

I don't like coffee and I'm not usually a fan of coffee-dominant beer. I had a few qualms about this one when I read the back label and found out that 'pounds and pounds of coffee beans' were added during the brewing. Surprisingly, the flavor isn't overwhelmingly java-like. The finish is freakishly long and leaves the mouth and tongue coated with a 'bitter hop cones (mixed with fire-roasted black malt)' layer of scum that one doesn't usually find outside the biggest IPAs/DIPAs.

That brings us to mouthfeel. Simply put, this beer has one of the three biggest mouthfeels in all of beerdom. It's easily the equal of Dark Lord (I'm leaving the third spot open because nothing else comes readily to mind). If you've ever drunk eggnog or heavy cream, you'll have some idea of what it feels like. It's velvety smooth and impossibly creamy. In other words, it's mouth candy for those of us whose attach more importance to mouthfeel than to anything other than flavor.

I've just realized that I haven't even commented on the ABV or the noticeable alchohol yet. That's because this is one of the most well-masked high alcohol beers in existence. Whether that has more to do with its age (an estimated 1 year) or to its brewer's skill, I couldn't say. As noted in the nose, the alcohol is an integral part of the whole and is a more than welcome contributor. Completely burying the beast just wouldn't be right; a little controlled snarl is just what this beer needs.

AleSmith Speedway Stout deserves every accolade ever thrown its way. I'd love to scratch off the 2nd place ribbon shown on the rear label since this behemoth takes a back seat to no stout. No how, no way. This is a truly special beer brewed by a truly special brewery and is not to be missed.

Mar 24, 2006
More User Ratings:
Photo of LeBron_James
4.83/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5
by LeBron_James from Canada (ON)

Look: Dark black with dark brown head. Left a small amount of lacing on the glass.
Smell: Huge roasted malt, bitter coffee, dark chocolate.
Taste: Follows the nose and is actually amazing. This is my new favourite non BA stout out there. The 12% abv is completely undetectable and the coffee is subtle and just adds to the flavour of the roasted malt. The malt profile is awesome and this is one of the most impressive beers I've had in a long time. Huge roasted malt, mild bitter coffee, and mild dark chocolate complement each other so well.
Feel: Thick and full. This is a chewing beer for sure. The 12% abv works wonders for the mouthfeel.

Overall: You have to try this at least once. People either like it or love it a lot, and I'm among the latter.

Yesterday at 04:55 AM
Photo of NevadaBill
4.48/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by NevadaBill

Wow, this is something special. I've been trying to get to Alesmith whenever I am in San Diego (for 10 years), and just found out they moved to Mirimar area. So I made the trip over. They have a dozen special so on tap this day and I am able to even try Bourbon Barrel Speedway Stout too! This is not a sweet beer. And I like them that way (Roasted, Toasted, and bitter). And now they have this at my local Total Wine as well. Stouts are my favorite variety, and this goes near the top. They have a taco truck that stays outside the brewpub on some days. I have no idea, but something in this beer knocks me on my a$$. Great stuff!

Apr 14, 2022
4.34 by not2quick from Missouri on Mar 31, 2022
Photo of Christianriveraaa
4.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
by Christianriveraaa

Look: Poured from a pint can - Black nova pour with light foaming. A bit of lacing on the side of this as it's glued to the glass. Can't see anything inside if it has carbonation rising to the top.
Smell: Instantly after pouring I got hints of rich chocolate, banana's, a hint of coffee, big malts. BIG.
Taste: Wow! I felt I got hints of a chocolatey banana mix along with a coffee after taste. I'm still not over how they managed to make this taste chocolatey and banana-ey at the same time.
Feel: Medium bodied - not to much carbonation. Easy sipper to drink.
Overall: I loved it! I wasn't expecting it to be as smooth as it was as usually coffee stouts are medium to coffee dominant. This one doesn't seem to be the case. It seems to be the opposite bringing out the flavors of chocolate, banana (even though not listed on the bottle), malts and then the after taste of the coffee. Good job! Two thumbs way high.

Mar 18, 2022
Photo of EmperorBevis
4.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by EmperorBevis from England

Bottled in a big bomber and purchased from Cafe Beermoth
Pours a jet black body with big thick tan head
Aroma is good filter mocha’d up
Flavour is coffee can irished up

Mar 14, 2022
4.28 by Taenim from New Jersey on Mar 13, 2022
Photo of LunchMoney
4.08/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by LunchMoney from Minnesota

The smell is good, coffee and chocolate as expected, but not as strong as I would like.
The flavor is kind of sharp, as in one or two notes overpower a little and you can’t pick up what else is going on. Taste is okay, but definitely a little bitter for me, especially the finish. The aftertaste, after the bitterness leaves, is good, with the chocolate malts and coffee coming through.
It’s a fine beer, but I was kind of expecting it to be a little better.

Mar 11, 2022
Photo of NeilSilber1
4.51/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
by NeilSilber1 from California

Pours dark chocolate with khaki head and deep notes of dark chocolate and coffee. Amazing imperial stout at 12% ABV.

Feb 12, 2022
4 by n2492004 from Michigan on Jan 30, 2022
Photo of Denverbeerman21
4.89/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
by Denverbeerman21

Pours black with tan brown head. Smell chocolate, coffee, roast. Not too bitter, thick, creamy, chocolate, caramel. Well balanced, fills your mouth with flavor, more as it warms. Can't taste 12%. Well done.

Jan 20, 2022
Photo of wadamslll
4.31/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by wadamslll

Holy banana. I swear they use bananas in the brewing process. It’s a super odd beer. I prefer just the flat Guinness. I doubt I would buy this stout, it was a gift. Still, the 12% abv is great. Good sipping stout after a dinner.

Jan 17, 2022
Photo of KT3418
4.03/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by KT3418 from Colorado

I will have this again at the temp I prefer, right now I'm forced into having it colder than it should be. Head was huge, canned in 2019, site says it ages well...I think it does actually but I really need to try at the recommended temp. Coffee and roasted malt are still pretty present though

Jan 09, 2022
5 by Resistance88 from California on Jan 08, 2022
4.14 by QuintusHorace from California on Jan 06, 2022
4.68 by NateHarburg from Michigan on Jan 03, 2022
4.08 by sisterofba from Maryland on Dec 05, 2021
Photo of turfy
4.41/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
by turfy from Texas

Black body with a tan head. Decent lacing. Aroma of roasted malts, chocolate, coffee and some vanilla. Taste is slightly sweet , consisting of bitter chocolate , coffee and malts up front. Slight lingering burn on the tongue. Mouthfeel is creamy smooth with just the right amount of oiliness and weight. Just about perfect. An excellent stout!

Dec 05, 2021
4.45 by NodakEric from Minnesota on Dec 04, 2021
4.44 by Jsalz21 from New Jersey on Nov 25, 2021
4.36 by emiliobaratta from Venezuela on Nov 25, 2021
4.73 by irishevans from California on Nov 23, 2021
4.44 by LesDewitt4beer from Minnesota on Nov 18, 2021
3.78 by slimntubbs from Pennsylvania on Oct 31, 2021
4.36 by santig0nzalez from Paraguay on Oct 20, 2021
4.16 by cheefdaddy1 from Texas on Oct 17, 2021
4.07 by BLPasch from Michigan on Oct 10, 2021
Photo of leaddog
4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by leaddog from Canada (AB)

Appearance - Pours a dark jet cola brown with two fingers of bubbly mocha tan head.

Smell - earthy and leafy hops, bitter coffee bean, cocoa, milk and dark chocolate, toffee, plum, raisin, caramel, roasted malts, alcohol warmth, and earthy yeast.

Taste - earthy and leafy hops upfront then quickly goes into the bitter coffee bean, cocoa, milk and dark chocolate. The toffee, plum, raisin, and caramel follow suit. The roasted malts, and earthy yeast round out the brew. The alcohol is there but is disguised within the complexity of flavours.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full bodied with moderate to full carbonation. Finishes velvety smooth with the bold coffee, and chocolate notes lingering.

Overall - A well executed and complex imperial stout from AleSmith. This has been on my radar for quite some time now. All flavours blend cohesively and would appease to any fan of the style.

Oct 10, 2021
4.49 by Teion from Canada (AB) on Oct 07, 2021
3.75 by blackcloud from Alaska on Sep 16, 2021
Photo of dano213
4.31/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by dano213 from Pennsylvania

16oz can purchased from the fridge as a single for $5.99. No canned on date.

Look: Jet black, opaque color with a dark tan compact two-finger head that slowly receded to a half of a pinky finger. This beer looks like it has very nice body - think and viscous.

Smell: Lots of soy sauce/umami notes initially. Some fruity notes as well, along with some sweet licorice and roasted malts. I can pick out some dark fruit aromas like bing cherries, raisins, prunes, and figs. Surprisingly, I am not getting a lot of coffee on the aroma. Baker's chocolate, amaretto, and a touch of acidity. There's this nice perfumy note on the back end, which may be from the hops.

Taste: This is certainly a big beer, yet it tastes incredibly smooth. Coffee certainly comes through in the taste up front. There is a bit of acidity up front that works well overall. The mouthfeel is nice - very smooth. The finish is decadent unsweetened chocolate. The flavors linger long and leave a rich feeling on the palate, even though the beer is very dry. There is also a sharp bitterness on the finish that leads me to think that the bitterness is coming from hops more than it is coming from roasted malts or coffee. The 12% ABV is hidden very well. And it's interesting that while the coffee flavor is pronounced, the coffee does not overpower the other flavors in the beer.

Feel: The mouthfeel is lovely - very smooth. I was expecting the mouthfeel to be a bit thicker based on others' reviews. Nonetheless, it has a very nice mouthfeel.

Overall: I haven't had this beer in a long time. I was expecting the beer to have a bit more of a coffee aroma, but it certainly tastes like coffee and I don't know when it was canned so I'm not really holding that against it. One thing that I really like about it is that to me it tastes like an imperial stout first, and a coffee stout second. To me, this has the character of an imperial stout, which then had coffee added to it as the label says "Imperial Stout with Coffee"...not "Imperial Coffee Stout." Normally I would recommend not aging a beer with coffee, but I would be curious to see if age may allow this beer to become more rounded and showcase more of those lovely dark fruit notes.

From the can:
Chocolate and roasted malts dominate the flavor, supported by notes of dark fruit, toffee, and caramel. A health dose of locally roasted coffee added to each batch further brings out the brew's chocolate notes and enhances the drinkability. This beer will continue to age for many years to come.

Glassware: Goblet | Serving Tem: 50-55 degrees F | Pairs Well With: Creamy Blue Cheeses | Origin: Est. 1995 SD / CA

Aug 17, 2021
4.9 by Birdsack from Georgia on Aug 05, 2021
Photo of HopHunterCL
4.13/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by HopHunterCL from Ohio

Pours thick and jet black with two fingers of rocky tan head.
Aroma of sweet coffee and dark chocolate.
Nicely bitter roasted flavor. The coffee definitely comes through. Moderate alcohol burn.
Full mouthfeel with some carbonation.
This is a solid imperial stout with all the roasty chocolate and coffee flavors you would expect. My biggest problem is the container. Why would anyone want a 16 oz. serving of 12% imperial stout unless you’re sharing with three other people. I would be more likely to purchase this again if it came in smaller cans.

Jul 14, 2021
Photo of blazerkor
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by blazerkor from Nevada

I smell the alcohol out front but it's followed by coffee and malts.

The first thing that I taste is sweet alcohol but it's followed quickly with bold coffee.

It's a thick stout with just enough carbonation to feel it. It feels really smooth. The finish is long and bitter. This beer really sticks in my mouth.

Overall it's a great coffee forward imperial stout. I give it a 5.4 out of 6.

Jul 01, 2021
4.5 by Quarantinehobby from Massachusetts on Jun 30, 2021
Photo of cjeep
4.34/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by cjeep from Pennsylvania

97? really? well, actually, I think I agree. no born on or best by date but seems to be just fine, thank you very much.
L: drinking from the can. it's a bit boring but what can you do?
S: bit subdued but has the promise. getting a bit of coffee and dark chocolate that pays off in the taste.
T: lots of coffee. dark chocolate. folks talking coconut but I got nothing from that. but who cares? this is tasty stuff no matter how you play it.
F: Smooth and rich. Light carbonation.
O: Good stuff, man. Seek it out!

Jun 29, 2021
4.27 by Coronaeus from Canada (ON) on Jun 19, 2021
Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 7235 ratings