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: 1,654 | Ratings: 6,651
Photo of DaBears1985
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

dark black licorice in color. pours with little brown head. seems to leave little to none lacing residue, good taste, hint of coffee at end, good damn beer if you're into stouts..not as tangy as i would like with a stout, however i prefer more of a tang in the mid-taste range myself. overall smooth drinking stout with lots of flavor. a little pricey at $12 a pint, however you're getting what u pay for

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Photo of Armand
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a red wine glass. A little cooler than room temp. Poured dark in color. Strong hints of chocolate and coffee. You can taste the alcohol. Rich chocolate malt that just goes down like a shake. Paired with chocolate cake. 12%abv is present, and just a great beer to pair with the perfect dessert.

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Photo of cheers2beers
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Special thanks to Boolshot, for a trade gone well.

Appearance: This magnificant brew cascades a solid black hue with a light brown head in the center, yet the edges of the head are slightly darker.With the carbonation being relatively high,the head stacked up an outstanding three fingers high. This beer produces lots a laceing with huge slick alcohol induced legs. Simply irresistable, I must taste it!

Smell: Seems complex, and yet I can almost easily describe each aroma with ease. Has some dark chocolates and/or fudge brownies, coffee, woody and nutty, brown sugars with a touch of maple syrup, a slightly sweet and roasty maltiness that makes this beer to die for. This would be awesome on a scratch and sniff card.

Taste: Wow! I am almost at a loss for words. This beauty of a stout is big and expressive in all aspects. Dark chocolate and vanilla are right up front. Coffee, wood, brown sugar and some leafy hop edges mid palate. The finish see's a bit more of that bitter chocolate coming back. Nice hopp bitterness and an alcohol punch that bring up the back in a wonderful and long lingering finish.

Mouthfeel: This is just soo lucious and slick. Its leaving a thick film behind, even with the 12% abv this bad dude is meaty! Good carbonation for a beer of this size and magnitude.

Drinkability: Even at 12% abv and being huge in all other aspects this beer was not cloying at any point. I find myself sad now that its gone, thats how good it is. In my opinion this edges out Stone IRS by a hair. Its soo easy to drink and absolutley stunning. Obtain this beer at any and all costs!


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Photo of Gusler
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ah, what a site the paradigmatic deep and dark brooding monster of a beer sitting in it’s chalice, the perfectly sized head lovely in its chocolate brown coat with a creamy rich texture. As the head slowly and painfully dissolves, it leaves a sensuous covering of fine lace to caress the glass. Aromatic is the nose with its aromas of Starbucks coffee, sweet chocolate, roasted grain, and a most exquisite nose it is. Fully malt sweet at the start, the top thick and chewy, the finish perfectly hopped, pleasingly acidic, sweet chocolate dry after taste that is also alcohol bitter as the 12 percent ABV makes it’s presence felt on your palate and as it warms “Tummy” in a quite pleasing manner. Personally I class this “Stout” as “World Class", and another "Magnificent Beer" from a “World Class Brewery”, which much to my delectation will be available here quite soon, hopefully by Christmas as my stash is gone.

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Photo of OutlawJoseyWales
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

the best stout i've ever had. thanks to bennetj17 for this wonderful west coast beer!

appearance: black, with a gorgeous 2 finger tan head.

smell: chocolate and roasted coffee as is expected.

taste: rich chocolate, but not too sweet! balanced BEAUTIFULLY with the coffee beans. one sip you will get deep dark luscious chocolate, the next you will get a more roasted coffee flavor. some stouts, one flavor or the other dominates, this double stout, is meshed perfectly.

mouthfeel: thick and chewy, you can really sink your teeth into this one so to speak. a joy to savor each sip.

drinkability: i could finish a whole big bottle of this stuff on my own no qualms. this is very high ABV, but drinks like an 5% oatmeal stout. great dessert beer, or have it anyway you like, just give it your full attention and respect one of the best beers in existence!

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Photo of jtheheist
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Can't figure out any reasons to lower this from a perfect score.

The appearance is a gorgeous black with a monstrous toffee colored head.

Tastes initially of a slight sweetness then gives way to a pronounced coffee flavor. This eventually fades away leaving a wonderful roasty and chocolaty taste.

This beer has the mouthfeel of a regular type stout not a high ABV % stout. I feel like I could drink this all night.

What a wonderful beer. Wish I had easier access to it but I will surely buy it every time I come across it. I highly recommend it to anyone, one of the best stouts I have had.

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Photo of wyllder
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5


I haven't written a review in a while, but for this I'll make an exception.

Speedway pours the expected opaque deep chocolate brown, bordering on black. A caramel colored head forms but dissipates rather quick. As you go, it leaves quite a bit of sticky lacing on the sides of your glass.

The smell is top-notch. Notes of roasted chocolate, caramel, coffee and molasses are all here.

Taste is bliss. Smoothly comingled flavors of chocolate, roasted malts and coffee play out on the palate. Only slightly hoppy, with plenty of malt to smooth things out, this comes in somewhere between a Russian Imperial and an American Double stout: a really tasty place.

Mouthfeel is perfect. Smooth, not resinous or viscous but just thick enough to warn you of its potency. The alcohol is there, but never overwhelms as it provides a nice warming tone going down.

Drinkability. Send me more, much more. Keep it coming. Thank heaven I had two friends help me with the bottle or I might not have remembered much of the evening.

Having tried their IPA and Yulesmith previously, Speedway has put Alesmith firmly on the top of my favorite brewers list. A trip to San Diego is in order.

UPDATE: Had a second bottle of this about 6 months after the first. Every bit as good as the first. And, after some consideration, I've decided to get it over with and make it the first beer I 5-out. I love this stuff.


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Photo of JoeOfParma
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am a Clevelander, and an unabashed Great Lakes Brewing Company fanboy. Their year-round selection and varying seasonal brews are enough to satisfy my love of beer. We don't have a tremendous number of retailers with a big microbrew selection, so I am lucky that I can stop at any supermarket in the area, buy a sixer of Great Lakes, and enjoy a good craft brew.

All that said, the AleSmith Speedway Stout is the second beer experience I have ever had that has given the lie to my delusion that GLBC can be the sole provider of my craft beer. (The first was Stone Double Bastard Ale.)

Speedway Stout tastes better than the best coffee or espresso I have ever had. This beer's refinement is absolutely immediate: it doesn't require any kind of contemplation, its lovely, balanced bitterness comes so naturally that it hardly tastes like the result of brewing science: it FEELS like coffee, like the synthesis of pure water and the most sublime flavor that nature has to offer.

It is bittersweet, deep, nuanced, and drinkable. I cannot come up with a single flaw, and I am a profoundly pessimistic individual. This brew is truly one of the most outstanding craft brew offerings I've ever had the pleasure of experiencing.

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Photo of SSS
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-Black color with a thick beautifully velvet like moka head that lingers
S-Sweet alcohol with coffee chocolate toffee caramel and dark roasted malt
M-Full bodied mouthfeel with ample carbonation to cut through and release the flavours of the beer
T-Dark and burnt bouquet with a floral note as well. Sweet malt upfront with a mellow bitter balance that just eases the palate
O-An incredible beer that should be savoured like a fine scotch

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Photo of charlzm
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

CO2 Draft pour at Boneyard Bistro in Studio City, CA on 08/11/07.

The glass must have had a black hole in it, as no light escaped from this jet black beer. The minimal tan head was appropriate for a CO2 pour (not on nitro, as I would have preferred). Coffee and a very subtle sour cherry aroma greet the nose. The beer crosses the threshold into the mouth with a luxurious velvety smooth texture.

Coffee! Sour cherries lurk furtively in the huge, agreeable coffee bitterness. Mild astringency and a predictably bitter finish last well into the next day. Even though the flavors are huge, they are in balance and agreeable.

The best example of an imperial stout I have ever had.

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Photo of pnkRed
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Alesmith brewed a winner with this beer. It poured jet black with a small, creamy head. Smell of robust coffee and chocolate fills the nose. Taste was phenomenal. Tons of cocoa, tons of coffee, tobacco, and molasses. This beer was heavy yet, very easy to drink despite the 12% that could not be tasted.

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Photo of trygelski1
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

25.4oz bomber poured into a snifter:

Look: Pours an amazing jet black in color with about an inch of a nice dark tan head. Lacing is present and retention is great.

Smell: Rich chocolate, roasted malts, bitter coffee, and hints of some dark fruit but not as much as a RIS.

Taste: Chocolate, roasted malts, hints of dark fruit, small notes of coffee, surprisingly very smooth for a 12% ABV. Only minor technicality is I wish there was more coffee coming through but not enough to take away from my score.

Feel: Very creamy, rich, and thick! Surprisingly no alcohol burn for this clocking in at 12%.

Overall: This is one amazing imperial stout! This beer is soo smooth for coming in at 12%. I hope that some of the other versions of this beer make its way to the Pittsburgh PA market once AleSmith gets a foothold here as they are still relatively new to this market. I will be seeking out another bomber of this and I highly recommend purchasing this brew if you haven't tried it yet!

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Photo of mzwolinski
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A big-ass beer brewed with some big-ass coffee (Ryan Brothers, a local San Diego brand, makes some coffee that stands up pretty well on its own. I was anxious to see how it worked when paired with an Alesmith brew!)

Pours black, black black, with a thin dark tan head (the head comes out much more thickly on tap).

Roasty, malty, coffee aromas; a dark, plum-like fruitiness emerges as the beer warms along with a noticeable alcohol scent. But mostly it's just chocolate-coffee heaven.

The coffee also plays a leading role in the flavor, lending a nice roastiness to the whole sip. Bitter chocolate notes emerge mid-palate, merging gently into a (relatively!) gentle hop finish. A mild alcohol burn kicks in as the beer warms, adding a pleasant sensation the throat to the fullness of the beer in the mouth.

My favorite beer, and absolutely to-die-for on tap. Alesmith rocks.

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Photo of billzav
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This full-bodied stout is nothing less than superlative. Pours a jet black color, with big notes of coffee in the nose and taste. The latter is balanced by milk chocolate, dark fruit, and roasted malt with a hint of caramel at the finish. Quite smooth from start to finish, and the alcohol content is fairly well hidden for a beer of its potency.

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Photo of JamisonM
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2010 vintage

A: black black black no light getting through creamy looking head and its thick too! brown head, great looking beer.

S: sweet coffee and chocolate with a creamy quality to the smell.

T: Nice coffee and rich sweetness up front very drinkable I do not taste any of that 12% are you kidding me? some chocolate in the taste as well. The finish is slightly dry.

Overall: The best coffee beer on the planet, don't mess with the best.

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Photo of blackdiamond
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best beers i have ever drank! This beer has a big taste but yet it is easy to drink! The color is very dark and has tastes of coffee. Probably should be in the top 5 beers of all time!! If you are in the San diego area I would recomend try it. Very good shit!!

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Photo of gleemonger
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pitch black with thick, tan, creamy head with good retention and lacing. Super tasty looking.

Big roasty chocolate and coffee malts. Just begs to be sipped.

Follows the nose with rich, deep roasted chocolate and coffee. Surprised at how well the alcohol is masked given the ABV - almost not detectable. Bitterness is just right too, Seems like it's going to be intense at first, but never quite goes there, then doesn't leave you with much of an aftertaste. Just a slight hop presence backing it up. Such an amazingly (and dangerously) drinkable beer.

Thick, but not too thick or sticky. Moderate carbonation. Another winner in this dept too.

Loved this one - this is the epitome of what I love about big, bold stouts. Right up there near the top of my list, behind only a couple. Definitely want to seek out and try the various barrel aged versions too, but I can't imagine much of an improvement over the original here.

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Photo of Mike_Aguirre
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Looks black, no light goes through. Head foam is consistent and wide. Taste is amazing and complex, coffee, chocolate, sherry, dark fruits, no acidity. Incredible Imperial Stout to enjoy, it´s a shame it´s hard to get in Mexico.

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Photo of illidurit
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've had a couple bad experiences with Speedway in the bottle due to the infamous bottling problem AleSmith had a couple years ago, so when I went down to the brewery this past weekend, I just had to try it on tap. Unspoiled Speedway in the bottle is amazing, and on tap it's just divine. Great cocoa head that sticks all over the glass, powerful coffee and dark chocolate aromas, and the perfect balance of sweet and roasty malt that materialize as bittersweet chocolate and coffee. The perfect stout.

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Photo of ryrust5301
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Stop, take a picture, and just take it in. This is easily a perfect score in this category. A midnight black looking abyss of a beer. A coco powder brown head of a gentle 1/4 inch in thickness adorns the top. Bubbles are some of the smallest I have seen. They are no bigger than the tip of a pin, and number in the millions, creating an intricate ocean of lacing around the glass.

Smell - Huge nose, almost gonzo sized. Bitter with coffee notes, but just as sweet with chocolate flavor. A roasty warm alcochol is just what I was looking for on this bitterly cold winter night.

Taste & Mouthfeel - This is one big ass SOBitching beer. As deep as the ocean and with more flavor than a box of jelly bellies. Where to begin? The mouthfeel is so full and rich, that its awash in coffee and chocolate. I've never had a stout that balances the two so well, while blasting your taste buds with each one. This is a titanic stout, and one that I can't rave enough about. The way they blend the powerhouse flavors is surreal. A coffee bomb and a chocolate explosion fighting for dominance in such a beautiful way. The mouthfeel is just as big as the taste, simply incredible. Smooth and creamy all the way down the throat. The most mind boggling thing is that you know this beer packs a roundhouse of a punch in the alcohol category, but it's so well disguised it's disgusting.

Drinkability - Alesmith only brews top notch beer, but this is their opus. The crowning jewel in the empire is so breathtaking that I will kneel down and pray towards San Diego at sun up and sun down everyday. I just need to get my hands on a barrell aged speedway to find anything that could ever top this.

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Photo of bman13
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

If I could give this better than a 5, I would. This is a PERFECT DOUBLE STOUT. I mean PERFECT on every level. There's nothing off or wrong with it at all. I'm a Ten Fidy fan as well, and this even beats that. Everything in this beer is tremendously perfectly balanced, the coffee, chocolate, malts, and hops all work in perfect harmony of one another. So happy that I was able to find this.

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Photo of muchos
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L. Black and opaque but not "motor oil" thick on the pour. 1 cm head reduces to a thin layer which stays and leaves a healthy lacing.

S. Roasted malt, chocolate malt, rich dark chocolate, very subtle dark fruit, rich mocha.

T. Bitter cocoa, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, cappuccino, chocolate malt, graham crackers, vanilla, a little bit of booziness. Caramel and chocolate aftertaste. The coffee flavor doesn't stand out, but compliments the other flavors so well.

F. Rich and creamy without being thick and heavy. Pretty well carbonated.

O. A masterpiece. My first 5/5. Cheers!

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Photo of elNopalero
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This pours the color of spent oil, capped with a cocoa tinged layer of creamy foam. The aroma is amazing, full of an intense roast with hints of dark chocolate, raisins and dates. Intensely smooth flavor, with a great dark roast, chocolate and dried fruit character. The ABV isn’t noticeable on the palate, although it gives a kick at the end. Delicious.

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Photo of bfisher91
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the best beer I've ever had, period. At 12% I thought it'd be an overbearing Imperial that'd be delicious but hard to drink. This was not the case. Dark chocolate with strong coffee overtones, sticky and sweet but also deep and complex. The balance is perfect and I could drink this all day. Very enjoyable at a moderately chilled temperature, becomes more sticky and heavy as it warms up. Very hefty price tag but certainly worth trying at least once.

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Photo of avwrite
5/5  rDev +14.4%

The stuff of legends. Worth every amount of hype it gets, and is simply my favorite stout. Nice dark color, great bold taste, and a smooth ride going down. Sweetness with bitter, awesome in a bottle.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.37 out of 5 based on 6,651 ratings.
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