AleSmith Speedway Stout | AleSmith Brewing Company

1,684 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,684 | Ratings: 6,780
Photo of nhindian
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into a tulip. Split with russwbeck.

A - Has a very thick, pitch black pour. Hard to see much through this at all. It has a slow-developing tan head, which eventually grows to about a finger and half. Good retention with very generous lacing.

S - Big coffee notes in this, vaguely similar to Beer Geek Weasel in the boldness. Bittersweet chocolates and malts, smells sweet and smooth.

T - As in the nose, the first rush is full of bitter coffee. It's a bit sweeter than I would've expected, but its still very nice. It's not incredibly complex, but the flavors here are solid. Lots of chocolate as well. Bitter finish with no alcohol taste.

M - Moderately heavy-bodied with pretty good carbonation. Thick and coats the palate, and leaves a long aftertaste.

D/O - Drinkability is moderately high. A very solid beer, not the most amazingly complex stout, but tasty and hides its alcohol well.

 915 characters

Photo of zeff80
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a ruby highlights. It had a small, caramel-colored head of bubbly foam that left minimal lace.

S - It smelled of chocolate, molasses and orange/citrusy hops.

T - Nice sweet stout with hints of molasses and toffee. Touches of caramel, too. There was a mild bitter hop bite with an orange peel kick.

M - It was soft, smooth and somewhat creamy. A medium to full-bodied beer with a slightly dry finish.

D - This is a great stout. I'm glad I finally got a chance to taste some Speedway.

 533 characters

Photo of jzeilinger
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pitch black with a thick caramel colored, creamy, sticky head, and sticks to the glass.

S - Coffee, vanilla, cream, dark roasted malt, alcohol, and some roasted toffee.

T - Flavor is even from start to finish with coffee, dark roasted malt, toffee, black anise, alcohol, and dark roasted chocolate. The alcohol warms the back of the throat on the way down and the dark roasted malt and coffee hang on for a lingering, dark chocolate bitter finish.

M - Full body and thick, sticky on the lips; coats the mouth with dark chocolate, light coffee, and some dark fruit.

O - Roasty, warm, and solid. If I would have any complaints it would be the significant alcohol presence in the flavor and mouthfeel and would rather have that intensity as a product of barrel aging.

 772 characters

Photo of 321jeff
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours almost jet black with plenty of mocha head at first that quickly withers away leaving nothing... no lingering bubbles, not really any lacing, just nothing.

Aroma is nice with some roast malt and coffee, nice, but not quite as strong as I was expecting.

In the taste, things start to take a turn in a positive direction... Mostly roast flavors and dark chocolate, some hints of dark fruits coming through as well.

The mouthfeel is just amazing, it enters smooth and goes down smooth. No excessive bitterness and it totally masks the 12% ABV. So smooth it's almost silky, might be the smoothest beer I've ever had. It definitely goes down way too easy, I'll be searching for some more of this one.

 704 characters

Photo of GStone899
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Much better served at nearly room temperature. While cold you get a bit of the alcohol bite but at room temp u taste the full complexity of the beer.

Smell is coffee along with an alcohol bite. Taste is coffee, rich malts, caramel, chocolate and a bit of smoke. After taste is pleasant and the coffee lingers. Looks beautiful when poured with a deep black color with moderate head. Overall a very enjoyable beer and lives up to the hype. The bottle is awesome too. It's thick, like almost two bottles in one. Have yet to be disappointed with an Ale Smith beer.

 562 characters

Photo of Urbancaver
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark dark brown with a decent amount of off-white head. Smells strongly of coffee as expected. A sweet coffee scent othe nose. Lots of malt on the nose. Tastes sweet and coffee heavy. The malt backbone is really sweet and cloying. The coffee is fairly prominent but isnt overpowering. Strong but a solid mouthfeel. Fairly drinkable for beng percent.

 357 characters

Photo of jwinship83
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750ml capped bottle that isnt as colorful as the one pictured courtesy of brokenleadedcask at DLD. poured into an over sized snifter. pretty excited about this one. no freshness dating, although the back says "age for 6-24 months."

A- black body with a finger of coffee colored head. the head is full of large bubbles and lasts a long time, leaving large rings of sticky lacing on the sides of my glass.

S- very intense. lots of dark roasted malt. loads of coffee. some darker fruits in here as well. figs, plums, raisins/tobacco, and maybe some cherry. wow lots of coffee. milk and dark chocolate as well.

T- the taste is equally intense. the coffee is out of control. very dark and roasted tasting. the dark fruits i could smell are very diminished in the taste. small amounts of raisins/tobacco and figs. strong chocolate element in here too.

M- this is the worst aspect of this beer. its a huge beer, but the mouthfeel isnt as thick as i would like or expect. good levels of carbonation, and they did a great job of hiding the alcohol. the only way i can tell its in there is the warming sensation as it enters my belly.

D- very easy to finish, and im left wanting more after my bottle is empty. it probably wouldnt be a good idea being as strong as it is. probably my favorite coffee infused beer, and ive tried a bunch. check this one out if you get a chance, i wish i had easy access to it.

 1,406 characters

Photo of blindtiger24
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber served in a tulip glass.

A: Opaque with an interesting creamy, cappuccino like head that sticks in spots on the side of the glass.

S: Toffee sweetness and roasted malts on the nose.

T: Chocolate and malt flavor up front, then some caramel sweetness balanced with bitterness from the coffee. Hints of nutmeg and spice become more noticeable as the taste lingers on your tongue.

M: Great carbonation. Super smooth and creamy body. Wonderful warming sensation on the throat.

O: At 12%, it's a very approachable and drinkable stout. It's mellow (ironic since it's a coffee stout) in a good way, with the sum of the parts being stronger than the individual components.

I'll be interested to try the same bottle in a year, as I imagine this beer will age nicely.

 780 characters

Photo of ADZA
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is one brew im glad ive tucked away for a dull winters day like today and it pours the darkest jet kola hue with decent carbonation that leaves behind a two finger coffee laced head and lacing everywhere,the smell is what you would expect of a stout with aromas of chocolate,milky coffee,aniseed and dark fruity hops,it has a nice full bodied well carbonated silky smooth mouthfeel and has tastes of dark milky coffee firstly followed by some dark cocoa nibs,dark fruity hops and is finished off with a distinct mocha bitterness and overall this is a nice ADIS but to be honest after all of the rave reviews from mates i was expecting a little more and probably prefer the Expresso Yeti cheers.

 699 characters

Photo of regspeir
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got to try this thanks to a trade with Snojerk321. 750 ml bottle poured into a snifter. Poured a dark brown to black with a one-finger black head that settled into a spotty large-bubbled coating. Lacing is pretty heavy and lasting. Nose is coffee, vanilla, roasted malt and bourbon. Taste is roasted coffee, chocolate and bourbon up front, with notes of vanilla and dark fruit. Finish is both dry and sweet. Mouthfeel is medium to thick, creamy with good carbonation. Not much that would give away the ABV. It's not difficult to understand why this is universally considered a great coffee stout and I would love another!

 621 characters

Photo of cpmichael
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared at Dark Lord Day, poured into a 8 oz. Chimay goblet.

A: Pours a jet black, with a mocha colored foam that has good retention.

S: Smells of prebrewed, ground coffee with hints of chocolate and roasted malts. A little booze in the nose.

T: ground coffee, that high quality shit, with bitter chocolate, roasted malts and a touch of hops.

M/D: Thick and creamy, with good carbonation. This thing is very tasty. Pretty well balanced and very smooth for 12%. Not sure if ours was an older bottle or not, but it wasn't hot at all.

 534 characters

Photo of jaasen64
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 bomber, bottled 2012

*100th review!

A- Pours an opaque jet black with a little over a finger of creamy mocha head with good retention. When brought up to the light can see tiny carbonation bubbles quickly rising along the side of the glass, definitely a little bit more carbonation then your average stout. Slight lacing.

S- Distinct smell of fresh espresso beans mixed with dark chocolate and some malts and booze hiding in the background.

T- Creamy espresso mixed with notes of dark chocolate nibs and a little bit of booze in the background. Nice sweet chocolate aftertaste.

M- Nice and creamy and smooth, not too syrupy. Medium bodied to a little bit heavy. Can definitely tell the alcohol is there, but goes down incredibly smooth for a beer of this abv. Very little alcohol burn. Not too much carbonation.

O- This was a great imperial stout, definitely one of my favorites. Everything about this beer was great- great espresso smell, nice sweet espresso/chocolate taste without being overly sweet, and an awesome creamy mouthfeel without getting too much of syrupy feel or alcohol burn. Great job by Alesmith. Would love to try the BA versions. At $17/bomber, this beer was a little bit pricey but definitely worth it.

 1,234 characters

Photo of instrumentality
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First off, I didn't follow the instructions and wait 6 to 24 months before opening this. I waited less than a week (although it may have sat at the store for awhile beforehand). If it even has potential, I'll buy more and treat it the way it wants to be treated.

This one looked like thick red wine as it glumped its way out of the bottle and into my pint glass (beer foul #2: supposed to be a tulip glass, but I don't have one). Once in the glass, half of it was a frothy brown head, the other very dark brown (almost black) opaque body. It smelled like coffee and chocolate with a hint of fruit. This reminded me of the Samuel Smith Imperial Stout I had last night, only the head wasn't as intense.

Then I took my first sip. It no longer reminded me of the Sam Smith, which I loved. It was much better. Less of the red wine taste, more of the chocolate and coffee, very rich, very heavy, just a fantastic flavor. The aftertaste was a bit like red wine only more fruity and less bitter, and it didn't leave any bitterness caked on the roof of my mouth, which was my main criticism of Sammy. The finish was a resurfacing of the coffee flavor.

Mouthfeel is a bit sharp/bitter, but only for a moment. The carbonation is mellow, and the alcohol doesn't burn too much, although I can definitely taste it. The aftertaste, again, is pretty tasty, mainly of coffee beans, and while it sits on the palate long after taking a sip, it's very subtle and non-intrusive.

Apparently, this beer is brewed with "Ryan Bros. Coffee Beans," which would explain the coffee taste. This is the most coffee-intense beer I've had since the Red Hook Double Black Stout, which, if I recall correctly, was brewed with Starbucks beans. AleSmith is WAY better. And I don't even really like coffee.

This is a pretty strong beer. The alcohol is well hidden considering the ABV, but that's not saying much at 12%; it still packs a punch. The heavy coffee flavor isn't something you can exactly chug either, but I don't think that's what Alesmith intended. This is a beer best consumed slowly, so it might make sense to bring it down to more like 45 degrees instead of the 50 to 55 they recommend, and then allow it to evolve as it warms without getting too, too warm.

Or maybe I'm just a wuss and you guys would take this down much faster.

Definitely one I'll try again. This is way beyond simply having "potential." If it's this good now, I'm ready to rise to the challenge of waiting 6-24 months to try another. Better yet, I'll buy 4 or 5 of them and have one every 6 months, assuming they can survive in my oven of an apartment.

 2,621 characters

Photo of danh53
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Smooth cold brew coffee and vanilla, dark fruit, smooth tobacco, chocolate cake, and roasted malts on the finish. Medium mouth feel with a slight toffee flavor as it warms. Classic imperial coffee stout.

 203 characters

Photo of jampics2
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into a snifter. This was purchased for around $12.99 at Whole Foods Cedar in University Heights the day it arrived at the store.

The beer looks good enough in the glass. It's cretainly one of the darkest beers I've ever had, with no real variation in the jet black body even around the edges when held to the light. The head is pretty dark too, a solid mocah brown color that hangs around for a bit then descends to the abyss, leaving no lace or record of its existence.

The smell is good, but I must say this batch is not the coffee bomb some have been in the past. To be fair, I've had this beer at least 20 times and just never got around to reviewing it. I was hoping a batch that literally just hit the store would be the freshest to review, but the coffee seems a touch subdued here. Some roasted malt notes give chocolate impressions and there is some chicory bitterness, but the roasted coffee is lost in the roasted malt. A touch of sweet caramelized malt gives depth and helps balance the hint of booze that's present. At 12%, this is complex and expressive but could be a bit more coffee-focused.

The taste almost makes up for what seemed to be missing in the nose. The roasted malt is the star of the show here, giving huge notes of semi-sweet chocolate and coffee. The added coffee is a touch subdued but still provides a nice, fresh French Roast quality. There's some sweetness and bitterness from the hops, but this is a dark malt driven beer. All the flavors are expressive and very complimentary. Very, very nice taste!

The mouthfeel of this beer is very solid for the style. There's a nice viscosity going on - not too thick, but perfect when the flavors and ABV are taken into account. The beer's carbonation makes it seem creamy and it never crosses over into chocolate syrup territory. The beer is very drinkable and enjoyable. There's great flavor and Alemsmith has done a great job masking the booze. The taste doesn't have quite the punch I remember, but it's very pleasant and all the required elements are in their place. This is a great beer. Years ago, it was one of the top 5 in the world. Now, it's still worthy of a mention but there have been some recent entries that do a better job. Still a great beer!

 2,253 characters

Photo of inlimbo77
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into DFH Signature glass. No bottle date, but think this was a May/June release (?). 12% ABV.

A: Pours a DEEP black color. Awesome 2 finger head on this! Mocho in color with tight tiny bubbles. Carbonation is out of this world for this high an ABV. Alcohol legs and good lacing.

S: Lots of coffee and dark chocolate from the initial nose. Supremely roasted malts. Deeply complex for such a young beer.

T: Tasts of bitter chocolate. Huge coffee notes. This is a big beer, but it's still smooth. A little boozy in the back of the throat, but totally drinkable. Gets better with warmth.

M: FULL bodied brew. Definitely chewy deep beer.

O: Amazing RIS here. Drinks great now, but I bet this will just get better with age. Maybe some of that booze will die a little bit. Good job AleSmith!

 810 characters

Photo of seaoflament
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This review is from a bottle I purchased at SouthBay Drugs and Liquor back in the Spring of 2007. Opened this one at La Bella Pizza tonight with Joey and Danny.

Dark and dense color with a small head, some lacing on the glass.

Chocolate, coffee with milk, vanilla, raisins, and black cherry dominate the nose. Some roastiness comes through as it opens up.

Wow, chocolate milkshake all the way! Espresso finish. A bit woodsy, dry roasted barley in the finish. There's also a touch of alcohol in the back but it's very well reserved. Two years has really blended the flavors well. Very low oxidation level.
Bitter chocolate and roasted bitterness that lasts long in the aftertaste.

Super smooth on the palate, well carbonated after 2 years, not syrupy or thick.

I would definitely age some more of this if I wanted a smoother, more chocolate forward Speedway.

 862 characters

Photo of bkilpatr
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a Chimay glass. 11/15/08

Pours very deep brownish-black color with almost a finger of chocolaty brown head. The head slowly dropped to a thin layer, leaving some lacing. Aroma is strong with roasted malt, milk chocolate, and roasted coffee. There's also some dark fruit and cherry in the aroma.

Taste is very similar to the aroma. Lots of sweet milk chocolate up front and plenty of roasted malt. That is followed by bitter dark chocolate and dark roasted coffee. There's also a surprising amount of dark fruit in the taste. Raisin, fig, and a bit of date. There's not as much coffee in the taste as I expected. Slight alcohol taste as well.

Feel is very smooth and silky. Probably the highlight of this beer. Medium-full body with ample carbonation. Very smooth and very nice body. Drinkability is pretty good. The high ABV is well-hidden and the taste is good.

Overall, a very good beer. Not as much coffee, and a bit fruitier than I was expecting. But still very tasty and very easy to drink.

 1,032 characters

Photo of ShogoKawada
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review number 200. Props to augustgarage for the bottle, this one has been sitting for a while. Poured into a wide snifter.

A- Jet-black, incredibly dark, not much in the way of head, but that's the ABV/glassware combo. Still, incredible, rich coloration.

S- Chocolate, smoky malts, coffee (as in freshly-brewed dark roast)... very nice. A bit of an astringent quality, not sure if it's the high ABV or the extreme dark roast aromas. Either way, not offputting.

T- Very good. I've been on a coffee stout kick recently. This one takes the cake... I'd digging through my mind to name a stout that does more or does it better and can't find one. Tastier, truer to a stout, and richer than any I've had before. I'm really impressed. I've heard great things about this beer, and am glad to confirm them to be true, for the most part. A bit of alcohol, but it's overpowered by the rich chocolate-chip-brownie batter and robusto supremo Columbian coffee kick. Fantastic! Really grows on you as you sip.

M- Heavy, but not cloyingly sweet or drifting too far away from its beer roots... damn near perfect. Alcohol is there, but is not a nusance, and blends well with the bitter coffee. Very impressive.

D- For what it is, high. Had no problem drinking a 750 to my face.... Yes, it's a celebration, and I'm glad I saved this one to drink!

Thanks again, augustgarage!

 1,363 characters

Photo of hero27
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml green bottle with a silver foil wrapped over the neck & cap. 12% abv.

I could have sworn the bottle was brown (or black) before I poured it out...but when I noticed the bottle was actually green, I realized how damn dark this beer really was. The head was chocolate brown and left thick tan lacing down the side of the glass. The aroma was rich chocolate, espresso, and roasted malts. The bittersweet taste of coffee beans mixed with chocolate kept the alcohol pretty well hidden, and it's truly hard to believe this is 12%..
The mouthfeel is very thick and the carbonation is fairly low..creamy and rich to the end.. drinkability is ok, but there's no way I'd be able to have more than one 750ml of this...I had some help from a couple friends and it still took us quite a while.

Very similar to Dark Lord..but the Lord takes the crown, in my opinion. Speedway Stout is a gigantic beer and an Imperial Stout that's well worth trying if you get the chance.

Bottle courtesy of Jetsbeer.

 1,001 characters

Photo of MOVERTON1284
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2015 Vintage, pours dark black and thick like motor oil. Balanced for a big stout and not hot or boozy at all. First time to try and this and it was very good.

 159 characters

Photo of cabsandking
4.24/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a thick, creamy, large bubbled cappuccino head. The aromas promise a dandy; juicy dark fruit ester, roasted coffee, pineapple, chocolate powder and molasses, and hints of bubble gum. A silky mouthfeel, slightly oily, and a sharp carbonation that doesn't bite too hard is quite enjoyable. Dark fruits, plum, sweet tobacco notes and some coffee and cocoa but not like the nose indicated. A heavy dose of fruity, piney, citric hops is little off balance and lingers in the aftertaste. Alcohol starts hot but softens as it warms allowing for easy drinking.

 569 characters

Photo of rlee1390
4.24/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-Black almost motor oil, two finger brown head.

S-Chocolate, some coffee, good deal of roasted malt.

T-Roasted malt, good deal of coffee, chocolate, slight bitterness, more coffee in the finish.

M-Medium to heavy bodied, thick and creamy.

O-A solid stout, not sure on the freshness as the lack of a bottle date. Or maybe it was that I had it beside the BA Speedway. Would gladly try again though.

 401 characters

Photo of gopens44
4.24/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark, milk chocolate colored head and your standard stout colored liquid. Lacing is sticky and sparse.

Smells of chocolate, coffee, toastiness and lightly like coconut.

Taste is immediately strong with some nearly overwhelming alcohol but it fades in time to allow the dark bitter chocolate to shine along with a bit of coffee and some nuttiness before the astringency circles back around.

Finishes sticky and just a touch sweet

 435 characters

Photo of meathookjones
4.24/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ML bottle, with notes on the label about being brewed with ryan bros coffee. This is as dark as it gets, definatly has the old motor oil look to it. Not much carbonation or head to be seen, even with an aggresive pour that was trying to wake it up. The aroma coming of this beer is nice with coffee, chocolate and dark fruits being at that front and notes of slight sweetness and alcohol are present as well. The taste starts with a strong coffee and alcohol flavor that gives way to smooth chocolate and nutty tones. Very rich and complex in flavor with more flavors standing out as it warms. At 12% it hides mopst the alcohol well, you can definatly taste it but it adds to the overall flavor. The mouthfeel is a medium body, definatly thinner than I would expect from such a large imperial stout. Very drinkable considering the alcohol the is present. A excellent all around brew that has a great complex taste. I will lay my other bottle down for atleast a year before trying it to see what other flavors may emerge.

 1,023 characters

AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.37 out of 5 based on 6,780 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.