AleSmith Speedway Stout | AleSmith Brewing Company

1,682 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: 1,682 | Ratings: 6,776
Photo of paco1029384756
4.67/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with no head and little carbonation.

Scent of huge roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, molasses and dark fruits; great stuff.

Taste is similar with huge roasted malts, coffee, sweet molasses, dark fruits, and dry faint hops. Finishes dry with strong roasted malts filling the mouth.

Mouthfeel is heavy and very smooth, I love it.

I will get more of this in the future and will continue to be a customer to AleSmith as long as I can to contribute to their line of marvelous beers.

 493 characters

Photo of KarlHungus
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Greggy for this one. This beer pours a thick used motor oil black color. The head is huge, dark tan in color, and lasts until the beer is gone without receding. The aroma is large and vibrant. It is full of roasted malt, chocolate, and had hints of coffee. It is a very well rounded aroma. The taste has the same profile as the aroma, but it isn't as vibrant. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a velvety texture, and appropriately low carbonation. Overall, this is a very nice RIS. I could easily drink this again, but it isn't quite one of my favorites.

 564 characters

Photo of Greggy
4.6/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Great thick fluffy 2 finger head, great head retention, nice black body, and great lacing. The head really doesn't recede much during the pint.

S- Nice deep choc, dark fruits (raisin), coffee, a tiny hint of alcohol. Nice balance. Definitely isn't green.

T- Nice dark fruits and balanced hopiness. Excellent dark fruits, coffee, chocolate, cream. The finish seems never ending, but eventually turns dry.

M- Great smooth feel and great balance.

D- This was an incredible beer. The 12% is well hidden. It's not sessionable, but I will drink it again.

 557 characters

Photo of rabsten
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very, very good beer.

From a 750ml bottle to an Imperial pint. Black as noir, thin, brown head but amazing retention. Sticky lacing. Higher than expected carbonation. Bourbon notes in nose, some coffee, some other smoky hints. Alcohol is present too.

Flavor: Very good. Hickory-tinged roasted malt, whisky, nice cereal flavors. Alcohol makes its presence known, especially as it approaches room temperature. No real hoppiness, but that's fine for this style.

Good, round mouthfeel. Takes advantage of the whole mouth. Pretty drinkable, considering the style and alcohol content.

Bottom line: well worth seeking out.

 622 characters

Photo of maximum12
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to milwaukeeclassic & moose 3285 for a couple bottles of this brew, one of which I cracked open to celebrate my lovely wife passing her nursing ICU test today!! Woohoo!

This beer is like falling into a fiery pit of chocolate with a rich, dark base. At 12% the alcohol is probably unavoidable, but it arrives only at the end of the party & brings nice presents. Did I mention the creamy, happy-mouth feel? For such a big beer it's nicely balanced & an excellent drinker. Keeping my nose in the pint glass while inhaling makes it even better. I'm going let it warm & hope things change again.

Yummy. Best American Double I've had to date.

 646 characters

Photo of Goliath
4.46/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black and completely opaque with a large inch and a half brown head. Awesome retention and some nice lacing as well.

The aroma is nice, but not as complex as I had hoped. Big chocolate notes are unavoidable in this beer. I get a bit of grain as well, but not much beyond that.

The taste is phenomenal. Huge chocolate notes, like a milk shake! Some really lovely roasty coffee notes accompany the chocolate, but are second to it which is a pleasant suprise. So often the coffee dominates a big stout, so it's refreshing to see a chocolate dominant Impy Stout. Though the alcohol warmth is very apparent on the swallow, it is very well hidden in the taste of this beer.

The mouthfeel is awesome. It's thick, full bodied, and really creamy. The carbonation isn't too subdued (though I don't mind when it is), but isn't so high that it doesn't feel like a stout. I think they basically nailed it.

Drinkability on this beer is high. It is just plain awesome. Although this isn't a large hype item, it should be. It is really a phenomenal example and a real treat to consume. Awesome mouthfeel, great flavor, just a whole package beer. Can't go wrong with this one.

 1,169 characters

Photo of nickd717
4.52/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Jet black with a brown head. Noticeably oily consistency.

S: Coffee, and lots of it. Slightly smoky.

M: Very oily, but still not nearly as much so as Three Floyds Dark Lord, which I drank side-by-side with this.

T: Coffee, chocolate, roasted malts, smoky with slight nuttiness, and hints of HEAVEN. Damn this is good.

D: After maybe 12oz of this, it's hard to take much more. But those 12oz are VERY drinkable.

Most comparable beer is Deschutes The Abyss, but SPEEDWAY IS BETTER, hands down. It's unfathomable to me that anyone could give this beer less than an A.

 573 characters

Photo of Beerzebub
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cellared for 6 months, served in a big wine glass at 59 F/ 15 C.

Black with thick tan head. Finely textured lace in wide solid rings and thin tendrils.

Smells rich and complex, changing in the glass, with rich coffee, caramel, chocolate cake, Oreos, peanut butter, black cherry, and concord grape. Even some salami and roast chicken skin reveal themselves fleetingly. Characterful, cohesive, and great.

Tastes rich, sweet, smooth. Gobs of dark caramel and chocolate, with deep underlying coffee. Mild alcohol. Balancing bitterness develops: roasty burnt sugar and then a suggestion of candied orange peel. Long bittersweet roasty finish. Exceptionally tasty.

Wonderfully viscous, but bordering on overly fizzy despite some swirling. Quite drinkable.

Great beer.

 766 characters

Photo of athensbeermaster
3.95/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I just got a new job so I could afford this expensive brew. This stout didn't pour much of a head and almost no lacing? The nose had some expresso and chocolate peeking out with a huge alcohol presence. The taste was full of dark roasted malts and rich chocolate and coffee flavors. The mouthfeel was smooth and went very well with my CAO mx-2 cigar. The drinkability scores as good as you can get for being so high in alcohol. This beer is very complex I picked up more flavors on the last glass and tasted some fig notes and smoky caramel. The finish is nice & clean with a dry coffee aftertaste.

 598 characters

Photo of mtstatebeer
4.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml. bottle. Pours a dark black color with a creamy brown head, fair lacing. Aroma is dark chocolate, lots of coffee, a touch of bitterness, and a touch boozy. Flavor is good, sweet, I get a ton of coffee from this, roasted malts, some chocolate, and a slightly bitter finish. Smooth on the palate, slightly alcoholic.

 321 characters

Photo of whoneeds8
3.85/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Mauerhan for the bottle.

Pours out Jet Black with very little tan head. Leaves nice lacing for such lack of head.

Smells like roasted coffee. If you've ever roasted your own coffee, it's like that only very faint.

Taste is complex between roasted malts over powered by coffee. I was scepticle reading the label about their use of coffee because I hate "cold" coffee drinks. There's a reason why coffee is served hot, because it tastes bad cold. LOL. But this coffee flavor doesn't taste anything like cold coffee. I'm very suprised.

Overall: I'm not a stout fan. This is a very drinkable stout, however I would have to have a special reason to drink it again. Much like my reason to drink it tonight, the Cowboys on Monday Night Football.

 756 characters

Photo of Mauerhan
4.89/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this beauty on tap at alesmith this weekend. the batch i had was the first that alesmith had roasted its own coffee for the brew.

amazingly rich, roasted coffee flavors with hints of chocolate. this beer is so close to perfect its not even funny. i had to go back for seconds, the majority of my last review stands. this beer is incredibly rich and full flavored has amazing lacing and it answers a big question ive had for a while. wwjd, what would jesus drink? well im guessing speedway.

 497 characters

Photo of dnichols
4.65/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured a 750 ml capped and foil wrapped bottle into a pint glass.

A: It poured an inky black body that looked chunky when it came from the bottle. It presented a nearly 2 finger head that was dark brown and receded slowly to a nice cover over the liquid. It laced nicely clinging even curtains to the side of the glass.

S: It hit the nose with a shot of straight black espresso then offered bakers chocolate and hints of smoky nuts and dark fruits.

T: The roasted malts had a smokey and nutty flavor that came from the nearly burnt malts. The coffee flavors were distinct and more pronounced early. After sitting the chocolate and dark fruits came more into play.

M: IT is full bodied with a thick presence on the tongue and a very warm and clean finish. Nearly no carbonation.

D: It is a bit heavy and has a touch too high an ABV to be a session brew...but it is a great worth having....and even more so one worth drinking.

 945 characters

Photo of hreb
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle poured into an Ommegang bulging flute glass. Beer pours deep, rich brown, but becomes an opaque black form in the glass, yielding a much lighter chestnut-brown foam. Very sexy. Aroma is of deep, roasted nuts, toast, and coffee. Caramel.

First sip is big and rich, and slightly sweet. The flavor is dominating, but I don't get a heavy or creamy feeling, more syrupy. The carbonation is just right. The beer is bitter and sweet, like good coffee.

The aftertaste is on the bitter side, and reveals just enough heat to get a hint of the ridiculous strength of this beer: 12%. Heady. As the glass warms it only gets sweeter: Bright and grapey, like a barleywine.

This particular bottle sat in my fridge for around 6 months, but there's no date on the bottle. It seems appropriately matured.

 801 characters

Photo of bbothen
4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours pitch ink black with a thick espresso colored 1 finger head.

Huge roasted coffee aroma, some chocolate, malted milk, and roasted/toasted malts. Oh yeah.

Huge. Roasted coffee, sweet chocolate, sweet maltiness, burnt caramel, toasted grains, deliciousness, slight booze. Oh mama.

The mouthfeel is awesome. Smooth, check. Creamy, check. Velvety, check. Full bodied, check. Can't imagine better.

I finished a bottle while watching the 9/14/2008 Vikings/Colts game. Okay I finished it in a half. No problems.

This is quite the delicous, complex, huge imperial stout. You should seek this out. One of the 3 best in the style, at least that I've had.

 655 characters

Photo of BretSikkink
4.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Super dark black, viscous and oily from the pour. The head is bigger than the average stout by quite a bit, and it seems to be lasting a while. This is a coffee-tinted tan color, darker than most. Edit: super-sticky, super-potent, with extensive and impressive lacing.

The aroma has all of the requisite power and complexity to fit right in for style. Beautiful notes of very dark roast and patent malts, with coffee and chocolate battling hard for superiority. My hat tips to the coffee.

This is a pervasive, powerful, complex, and brutal ale. Definitely a sipper, as the flavors just blast throughout the mouth, assault the palate, and leaves a tingling sensation everywhere that it touches.

While there is enough sweetness to balance and be interesting, the bitter, roasted character of the malt is just amazing. Lots and lots of espresso and coffee notes. The hops are present and definitely assist with the length and tongue-coating aspects of the finish.

The mouthfeel is not only big but pleasantly creamy and silky, which helps to move the incredible amount of ingredients cohesively to the palate and beyond. Simply put, this could be a horrible, awful mess if the mouthfeel wasn't so rich and full. This is absolutely one of the richest and most impressively attenuated ales I've ever had. The balancing act here is precarious: you certainly want creamy and rich, but you also want to whisk the more bitter flavors off the palate as much as possible. The huge head and retention was a great indication to me that there was a lot going on here, and that this is one meticulously crafted Imperial Stout.

The finish, as mentioned, is super-long, plenty bitter but nothing outrageous, especially given the amount of flavors. Nothing cloying or overbearing, and the alcohol, while noticeable in the brain area, is well-buried in the mouth.

Well, I held on to it as long as I could. I was at work for twelve hours today so I'm glad I could recoup each hour with one percent ABV in such an attractive, potent, complex package. Kudos are to be issued in large quantities to the Alesmith crew.

 2,106 characters

Photo of chrisafari
4.83/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Stone Brewing World Bistro And Gardens. Pours dark black w/ a brown creamy small head. Aroma of coffee and chocolate w/ a hint of alcohol. Flavor begins intense and alcoholy on the tip of the tongue, but ends smooth and chocolaty sweet. The intense malts create a complex flavor, that is spicy, chocolate, coffee and alcohol. The alcohol is enjoyable and tastes almost like a red wine. Palate is nice and smooth, really great. Easily my favorite beer, ever! (so far)

 476 characters

Photo of paytoplay
4.6/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From paper label 750ml, silk screen would be minus 0.3 probably. Bigger richer, more intense, still bring acidity alc and balance keeping it high toned with a seemless lengthy finish. Enjoyed with dinner and friends, needed about 20 minutes to wake up. An outstanding brew. I look forward to my 1 other paper label and barrel aged ones. Also enjoyed this the same night from keg. Keg was a bit softer and more femenin. Different batches and years apart. I'd take the paper label for special occasions, the keg and new bottle versions are outstanding "everyday" type beers.

 572 characters

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.13/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black with a tan head. In the aroma, small hops, roasty coffee, and hints of chocolate. In the taste, big coffee and chocolate maltiness and a nice small hoppy presence of hops. A smooth and medium mouthfeel, with a clean coffee and chocolate aftertaste. Body a bit lighter, but big flavor, quite nice and easy to drink.

 330 characters

Photo of Aimstatus
3.95/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this was the first of my alesmith beers and what an amazing one it was.
Appearance: it was a good pour with dark with a light browm frothy head that maintained long after pour.
Smell: it smelt of a great balance of coffee and dark chocolate, which masked the smell of alcohol contant.
Mouthfeel:thinner then one might expect from a stout but overall pleasing.
Taste: you get what you smell first with roasted coffee then a nice finish of a good bitter dark chocolate.
Drinkability: its definitely a beer i could have often because it does in fact go down smooth with no weird or displeasing after taste.

 603 characters

Photo of armock
4.6/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Poured a pitch black color with a tan head that leaves lacing

S - Is of sweet chocolate malt goodness

T - Is a lot like the smell but even better with some coffee taste and a touch of alcohol

M - This beer is creamy smooth with light carbonation to it

D - I loved this beer I wish I was able to have here in Texas its definitely worth hunting down to have sometime

 372 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, I've had the bottle at least a year and a half but I'm not exactly sure how much older than that it is. Served in a snifter, the beer pours black with about a half inch brown head. Head retention and lacing is decent. It smells like coffee, roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, caramel and molasses. The taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also some dark fruit (cherries) and vanilla noticable too. Although the bitter coffee comes out the most in this brew, there's also a good amount of sweetness. Mouthfeel/body is full, it's creamy, rich, slick and velvety smooth. Drinkability is pretty good, the alcohol is well hidden but after finishing a bottle of it you know it's there. This is definitely an excellent brew. I think it's worth the money, and I would recommend this to others.

 808 characters

Photo of barefootbrewer
4.79/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: This beer poured like a big black oily nightmare. Only flaw was the lack of substantial head.

S: The smell is excellent - malty and sweet with coffee and molasses very noticeable.

T: The taste is bitter, coffee and chocolate notes It is predominately sweet.

M: The mouthfeel is creamy and velvet like - excellent.

D: This beer is so good I almost can't stand drinking it.

 378 characters

Photo of israel
4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - pitch black with a nice cappuccino colored head that didn't hang around too long.

S - the beans are in the foreground along with a nice roastiness from the malts.

T - this beer IMO is superbly balanced; nothing in the flavors are overly dominate and everything works well with one another.

M - again I think this is a really nice feature of this beer as its not overly syrupy or too heavy. Carbonation is there but the beer is just silky smooth and a pleasure to drink.

D - really the only draw back to this beers drinkabilty would have to be the alc%.

 561 characters

Photo of waltonc
4.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up this bottle last November in Orange County. This is a delicious stout. Though very strong, I didn't find it excessive in sludge-like qualities.

Appearance: Pitch black with appealing milk chocolate lacing around the rim of my glass.

Taste: The label says it's brewed with coffee. I can see that, but thankfully it's not out of control like, for example, Bells Java Stout. It's just plays the role of the typical complementary coffee note that I love in a good imperial stout. Drinking this, I would not have guessed it's 12% alcohol. More like 9 or so.

Mouthfeel: At warmer temperatures, this has a very nice creamy quality that went great with the coffee and chocolate flavors.

Drinkability: When I first started sipping this, I had every expectation of putting away the whole bottle (minus the small portion my wife wanted to try). However, I was defeated by the 12% ABV, and left a couple fluid oz. in my glass before going to bed.

Smell: smells good.

 970 characters

AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.37 out of 5 based on 6,776 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.