Speedway Stout | AleSmith Brewing Company

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Speedway StoutSpeedway Stout
7,000 Ratings
Speedway StoutSpeedway 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,000 |  Reviews: 1,738
Photo of s_mart
1/5  rDev -77.2%

Photo of billdurnell
1/5  rDev -77.2%

Photo of Arbitrator
1.5/5  rDev -65.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Chilled bottle into a glass. Purchased in early 2009 at K&L. I purposely aged it (admittedly at room temp) to tone down the coffee flavor, as I'm not a huge fan of coffee stouts.

A: Pours a pitch black body with a finger or so of mocha colored head. It retains poorly, retreating into a thin collar with no lacing in a matter of seconds.

S: Chocolate, prunes, cherries, some coffee. I expected more coffee since I'm told this is a coffee-brewed imperial stout, but aging apparently did the job. However, I'm not a fan of the dark fruit presence, which is too strong for my preference. I really can't get over the feeling that this is infected.

T: Definitely dark-fruit dominated here. Again, I'd put money on it being infected if I hadn't picked up similar flavors (though not as strong) in 07 BA Speedway, and if the head hadn't been so weak. Tart dark plums and cherries drive the taste, with a secondary chocolate component. The coffee is noticeable, but I'd argue it has mostly faded out -- which is fine. My complaint is that the beer tastes far fruitier and more tart than a coffee stout should be. Overall, an interesting flavor for the style, but nothing I'm thrilled to revisit.

M: Chewy, semi-dry for the style. A tart flavor and aftertaste that, again, suggests infection. However, the carbonation is low, which contradicts that. Who knows.

D: $12 for this thing? Really? This is a generally agreed-upon example of a good imperial stout? I don't get it. It's disappointing and sad, at best.

I contacted the brewery and sent them my tasting notes, asking if they thought I got an infected bottle. They ignored me. *shrug* The review stands.

EDIT: They got back to me after some pestering. They did have a bad batch around the time I bought it, but they told me no bottles made it to my area. I suspect K&L transported it internally between their stores, and that's how I came into this one. Since they are insistent that the beer is fine, I'm leaving my review.

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Photo of crnipeter
1.52/5  rDev -65.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I'm repeatedly surprised how poorly American craft brewers mask alcohol in their high-ABV beers when compared to European brewmasters, and Speedway Stout only confirms the rule.

Apparently thin dark brown body with a short foamy head that instantly dissipates.

Good dosage of coffee and some red wine underlain by roasted malt qualities - chocolate in particular - are completely overwhelmed by fusel alcohol.

This sludge tastes like a week old coffee sediment washed down with cheap vodka + there's unexpected cherry-like tartness fuelling my fears the bottle might be infected, which is not - it's simply a bad beer. Finish is medium dry.

Rather thin for the style and burning hot on the palate.

Sadly even adding loads of advertised coffee couldn't mask the shittiness of the base beer. Can't believe this drainpour found it's way into top 6 on the Ratebeer. (Bottled on 02/14/13, into a snifter.)

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Photo of zoolzoo
1.77/5  rDev -59.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Received as a trade extra, thanks to the generous Adamdc. I am unsure of the vintage.

A: Pours "stout black", a weak mocha head develops and diminishes into a bubbly ring around the glass.

S: Strong dark fruit presence, soy sauce, burnt coffee, alcohol. Getting some chocolate, as well.

T: Wow, getting alot of strange tartness out of this one. Dark fruits yah, but also a weird semi-sour cherry thing. I wanna say this is infected, but I have no other sample to compare it to. Coffee presence is weak, chocolate presents itself as an under lying sweetness. Finish is again... a bit fruity!

M/D: Thick enough, carbonation is low which contradicts my infection theory. I don't understand how this beer is so well regarded. I may have a bad bottle, maybe not. As it stands I will never know, I wont be hunting this one down again.

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Photo of Jeffo
1.93/5  rDev -55.9%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Originally reviewed this a 4.43 back in 2010. We recently had a newer bottle and I felt it was time for a re-review of this one.

From a 75cl into a snifter
Bottled 12 April 2013

APPEARANCE: Pours black but clear yielding a two finger, medium looking dark tan head with very good retention. Black body, clear, with no real carbonation evident. Head fades to a wisp that sticks to the sides of the glass. A splotchy wisp remains leaving some bits of lacing down the glass. Still looks good.

SMELL: Roasted notes with band aid and rotten cabbage. Light cream notes but the coffee addition has come out like band aids and vegetables. Pretty rotten.

TASTE: Better than the nose, but still lousy. Cabbage and perfume with some roasted grain and coffee up front. Bolder finish of roasted coffee, sweet cream and lots of band aid and cabbage again. This is also rotten, though not as rotten as I'd expected from the nose.

PALATE: Medium-fully body, heavy on the palate, with medium to lower end carbonation. Heavy and creamy on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly mouth-coating. A slight prickly punch at the back after the swallow. Great mouthfeel for the style; big and mean.

OVERALL: The only saving grace of this is that I didn't have to drink my full share. The drain was in a good mood that day. The feel is still a menace and the look is good, but something went horribly wrong with this batch. Rotten vegetables and band aids all over the place. Nasty. The Kopi was a touch better and BA Kopi was the best, though that's not saying much.

 1,563 characters

Photo of BGsWo22
2/5  rDev -54.3%

Photo of bastu
2/5  rDev -54.3%

Photo of Ndflyfan8
2/5  rDev -54.3%

Photo of cope0021
2.06/5  rDev -53%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a dark color, but not quite black. Decent carbonation with a full, persistant head.

Strong alcohol smell. Chocolate notes.

Taste is bitter. Verry bitter. Burnt coffee and bitter chocolate. This is too bitter of a stout for me.

Very thin on the tongue.

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Photo of Thickfreakness
2.17/5  rDev -50.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

A- I've never seen an RIS that poured like this! HUGE, fluffy, vibrant, kahki head that hangs on forever and leaves a ton of sticky, spiderweb lacing!!! Pitch black pour into my Bruery tulip! This RIS has legs!

S- Alcohol, bitter black coffee, subtle hints of chocolate and vanilla. Mostly just booze and bitter coffee. Not impressed!

T- Huge notes of alcohol, bitter black coffee, 90% cocoa and some subtle hints of dark cherry, raisins and bitter hops. This is... uhm... I can't believe I'm saying this... this sucks!!!

M- Rediculously thin and whimpy. Nothing but bitter coffee and alcohol!

O- What a waste of $14!!! Bitter, thin, rancid old coffee... no depth, no oily RIS goodness. How is this P.O.S. rated so highly?

 727 characters

Photo of 24garcia
2.2/5  rDev -49.8%

Photo of kosstamojan
2.36/5  rDev -46.1%

Photo of guz925
2.36/5  rDev -46.1%

Photo of Markk1483
2.4/5  rDev -45.2%

Photo of Gambyt20
2.42/5  rDev -44.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Photo of whitekiboko
2.5/5  rDev -42.9%

Photo of miggy96
2.5/5  rDev -42.9%

Photo of StoutGuy29
2.51/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 2.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.75

Photo of mrgnwlkr
2.6/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm kind of conflicted about whether to post this review at all, especially seeing as it's only my second review. But I'll give my review, and let others decide whether its a valid reflection on the quality of Speedway Stout.

From a bottle purchased at the AleSmith brewery in San Diego.

Very small, light brown, diminishing head. Muddy, very dark brown with ruby on the edges.

Coffee scent with a strong aroma of alcohol/sherry. In addition there's a strong, almost overwhelming, scent of soy sauce/umami.

Very soft carbonation, almost entirely flat. The body is very light, especially for a stout. It has a oily mouthfeel, much like AleSmith's IPA (which I love). Finish is very long and bitter.

Overall, this is a completely different beer than the one I tasted at the brewery tasting room. That beer was extraordinarily well balanced, like everything good about coffee and everything good about beer in a single brew. This bottle was rather strange, with a distinctly different aroma. I'm new at the review thing, but from consulting some resources I wonder if this bottle was a bit autolysed?

 1,102 characters

Photo of zaraspook
2.63/5  rDev -40%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

Photo of Coji
2.7/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

It is quite possible that this beer was, dare i say it, overhyped? I was very excited to try this beer because of the very good things I had heard about it. The mouthfeel was very, very smooth. It was barely carbonated, which no doubt was the contributor to this category. Prior to the mouthfeel, the smell made me even more excited to be engulfed by euphoria. The smell of a legitimate stout, with a very strong coffee scent was very appeasing. The taste however, did not live up to my the olfactory and mouthfeel. It was too strong for my palate which is disheartening for me to say because I do enjoy very dark, flavorful beverages.

The tastes were good at best, but it was far too strong for my expectations. This is why the drinkability category took a hit. Mouthfeel combined with the strength of the drink resulted in a less-than-stellar drinkability. I must say that if I had enjoyed the drinkability, I think it would have been too filling to consume the entire bottle (in one sitting. I know not to waste beer!).

On a positive and commending note, the beer was very complex and well constructed. I am sad to give this review because I think it may have been due to my incorrect and presumptive expectations. I tried the beer a little later at a slightly warmer temperature, but I am afraid my initial thoughts and review still stands.

 1,346 characters

Photo of Onenote81
2.71/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Bottle received in a trade with fatboyjim1 in a trade long ago. Thanks, Jim!

Have had this one cellared for about a half a year. Poured into a snifter. Not sure the vintage of this as there is no stamp on the bottle.

Pours a jet black; allows no light to penetrate. Starts off with a huge creamy mocha head on top. Good retention; left some nice lace on the glass. Scents of roasted malts and chocolate. A bit of drying scent in there, not sure what that is specifically.

Decent body on this beer. A tad crisp, but it still retains some creamy smoothness that I like in this style. Alcohol is pretty well hidden in this beer. It's not noticeable in the flavor at all. Doesn't taste "hot." This is a really bland Imp. Stout. Flavors of some mild cocoa, and finishes really charred and burnt. There is no sweet balance in this beer at all. There's some hops there, but this is too roasted and grating. Unbalanced and unpleasant. Sorry, Jim, but this beer fell short for me.

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Photo of rugyrl04
2.73/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of Funkwich
2.75/5  rDev -37.2%

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Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.38 out of 5 with 7,000 ratings