AleSmith Speedway Stout | AleSmith Brewing Company

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AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States
alesmith.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,684
Ratings:
6,781
Avg:
4.37
pDev:
8.47%
 
 
Wants:
916
Gots:
2,176
For Trade:
150
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,684 | Ratings: 6,781
Photo of CHickman
4.59/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black color with hints of brown near the top where the light hits the beer and a huge foamy 2 finger light brown head that faded slowly and left very good spotty lacing and a foamy ring around the top of the beer. Textbook imperial stout look, right on.

Wow, a strong initial blast of coffee, bourbon, chocolate and cocoa hits hard but then settles down and becomes really enjoyable; a lot going on, including molasses, anise, medicine, dark fruit like raisin, dark chocolate, roasted grains, booze like a really sweet rum, and some light herbs. The chocolate, bourbon/booze and coffee are rich and powerful and smell excellent, making the strong ABV/booze blend in and not seem intimidating.

Tastes hits hard at first like the nose, and damn does it assault the palate in a good way. Flavors include coffee, bourbon, chocolate, molasses, anise, cocoa, medicine, dark fruits, raisin, dark chocolate like bakers chocolate, roasted grains, charcoal, light vanilla, tea leaf, floral hops, mild booze and then some more chocolate; it almost seems the coffee used described on the bottle was chocolate dipped coffee beans, which almost completely hid the alcohol and made it dangerously smooth to drink. This is still a slow sipper, but not many 12% ABV beers taste like desert and only leave a minor burn. Masterfully done, this stout dances on too sweet and one dimensional, while still allowing a massive amount of complexities and variations of chocolates and roasted malts to slide over your tongue and improve as it warms up. The hops and yeast get lost in the chocolate sweetness, but it really didn’t matter because the taste was exceptional.

Mouthfeel is so creamy and almost milky smooth, with very light carbonation, a very heavy chewy body that is so thick it could make a straw stand up, and a minor alcohol burn followed by more chocolate and roasty coffee notes that are on the dry side and slightly bitter side. The aftertaste has burnt wood or charcoal lingering, but the sweetness mellows it out for a gradual fade to dark chocolate.

I thought that this would be overhyped, but I am so glad that it lived up to its reputation as an outstanding imperial stout. It was pricy, and I only let it age for 2 months, but it was an excellent overall beer and one that I highly recommend trying. It is worthy of the hype and its ranking among the best in this style.

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Photo of ml6005
4.59/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: dark black pour with a 1/4 inch light brown head. It was poured into an 8 oz sniffer.
Smell: sweet caramel/vanilla and a bitter coffee scent
Taste: vanilla, a rosary coffee flavor, as well as a slight boozy heat.
Mouth feel: full bodied beer, with light carbonation and a smooth taste despite the abv.
Overall: a very drinkable beer that is very delicious. Definitely a beer that I will seek out again.

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Photo of dar482
4.59/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

It comes deep black with a nice big tan head.

The aroma is lovely with sweet chocolate and big roasted malt. There's some alcohol and coffee.

In the taste, it has a bittersweet chocolate and a chunky milk chocolate. A touch of alcohol, although that falls out with aging. The coffee is medium minus and not obvious as other coffee stouts. In general, there's huge huge molasses, savory umami, and palate covering roasted malt.

The beer drinks decently well for its ABV. It has a full mouthfeel. However, the savory and molasses on the back end interferes with the beer slightly.

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Photo of Mooslerfitness
4.59/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bod 1/26/15 left in my cellar till now
Pours black with 2 finger light brown head in my yeti sniffer smells Of a little chocolate and dark roast coffee not tons on the nose T chocolate, coffee,toffee,Carmel F thick rich with slight carbination O so good on this cool crisp day I need try one fresh and aged longer

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Photo of Jack_Malts
4.59/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I don't know how much I can say about this beer. Big, bold, full of coffee and boozy dark chocolate goodness. Perfect huge coffee stout. If alesmith made it to virginia this would always be in my fridge. Considering the high availability of this beer, there's no excuse for not having tried this. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Chaney
4.59/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this brew a while back on my first trade from MaxStout. Thanks John!

A: How could anyone possibly say that this brew is anything other than black, black, and even more black? The slight mocha head (maybe 1 finger +?) made it even more worthwhile!

S: Deep, dark coffee (more mild than I would have thought), molasses, and tons of dark fruit. The chocolate additive was quite interesting.

T: Full, full, bodied and them some more! The balance between the coffee, chocolate elements, and the malt was astounding! Some dates in there for balance, and I've gotta say that this was not an out and out "coffee beer" which I appreciated!

M: Very thick, creamy, with pretty good carbonation, ABV not detected. Honestly, I could not give a person a better example of this style in terms of mouthfeel.

D: I've had this one on my shelf for months and have been staring at it for quite a while. Finally, after I've tried it, I'm totally impressed!

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Photo of CharlatanSin
4.59/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Had a couple of times before, just getting around to reviewing now. Poured from a bottle into a tulip.

A- Pours black with a nice tan head, which lingers. A little lacing.

S- Delicious dark chocolate and coffee. Dark fruit as it warms, with a little alcohol. Definite coffee liqueur character.

T/M- Coffee is the main flavor. Very roasty. Dark chocolate, dark fruit. A little bit of wine-like sweet booziness, but with no burn. That dark fruit is more pronounced as it warms. All of these flavors are powerful and delicious. Definitely let this one warm up, folks. One of the most flavorful non-BA stouts I've enjoyed. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy with low carbonation.

O- Outstanding. Go get some.

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Photo of egajdzis
4.59/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2003: Poured an opaque black color with a nice tan head and lacing as well. Rather mild chocolate, but a HUGE coffee aroma. Dark fruits were also noticed in the aroma. Taste of roasted malt, chewy hops, lots of coffee and some alcohol. Full mouthfeel, but I feel this might be a little young.

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Photo of celticfutblclub
4.59/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into a snifter

A - a nice jet black body poured heavily gives an ok finger thick brown head. the head was mildly disappointing but it does lace brilliantly.

S - strong aroma of sweet chocolate coffee molasses and a tiny bit of alcohol in the back. this nose is gorgeous.

T - the taste is no let down from the smell. strong tastes of coffee and chocolate hit up front. there is a pretty good bitter bite on the back end to compliment. this is one world class tasting stout.

M - full bodied with a good amount of carbonation on the tongue. the bitterness leads to some puckering and there is definitely a note of alcohol felt on the throat.

O - wow this is probably the best imperial stout i've had to date. its amazingly in just about every way. just can't seem to put it down (which may be a problem at 12%).

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Photo of Redsunsx01x
4.59/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottled 1/22/16, tasted 7/15/16

Very delicious, thick, dark, sweet with chocolate and caramel notes, very smooth with light carbonation and a boozy after taste.

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Photo of merlin48
4.6/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Shared a bomber of this nice impy stout with mtnlover over the weekend. Pours a dark and opaque body, with a longlasting, one finger light brown head. Garnet fringes lurk around the edges of the glass and sheet lacing gives way to attractive patch lace as the contents are drained.
Aroma has cocoa, medium chocolate, and roasted coffee beans in the background.
Mouthfeel is robust and full bodied. Good carbonation and a zing of hops on the tongue.
Taste is nicely complex, with chalky cocoa, milk chocolate, and chewy roasted coffee beans for bitterness. Some alcohol warming is noted. Bitter, burnt roasted coffee notes at the finish.
Complex, and very well put together. Hard to believe this is 12% abv, as a pleasant warming sensation was the only clue. Definitely, a world class Imperial Stout here.

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Photo of zimm421
4.6/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured very aggressively from a bomber into a tulip glass. Appears a solid dark-brown to black color with a thick, frothy, two-finger head that is brown and leaves great lacing. The head never actually dissipates and leaves a nice remainder on the surface.

The smell is dominated by dark chocolate, roasted malts and coffee. Those three scents really overpower everything else, but there is a slight hint of alcohol in each sniff. The taste is extremely complex, and beautiful. The roasted malts and chocolate come through first, and the coffee acts as a bittering agent which settles in fairly quickly. The alcohol flavor settles in later, but it is very well hidden. The complex flavors here are very appealing and make you think through each sip.

The mouthfeel is thick, smooth and creamy. This is full-bodied, very complex but very enjoyable. It is also very drinkable for a 12% brew. Overall, an absolutely amazing brew. Definitely an enjoyable stout - one of the best I've had. Glad I finally picked this up, will definitely be looking for more

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Photo of philbe311
4.6/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Just shy of two fingers worth of dense creamy batter-like head that is medium to dark khaki to color... Minimal retention gives way to a thick slightly uneven lacing... An absolutely opaque standard black color... A slight bit of lacing clings to the glass...

S - Chocolate and coffee... Coffee and chocolate... Roasted malts... Minor notes of licorice... A very subtle booziness... Very straightforward and very effective...

T - Cocoa... Roasted malts... Coffee... A touch of gooey caramel... The coffee really emerges and the finish and remains through the after taste along with a very faint alcoholic warmth lingers in the back of the throat...

M - Medium to full bodied... Slightly thinner than expected, but not "thin" by any means... A roasted chalkiness permeates... Slightly intensifies from start to finish, but otherwise very even and consistent...

D - Some big stouts are just too overbearing and detract from the overall enjoyability of otherwise terrific brews... That's not the case with Alesmith Speedway, this is a seriously big stout, but it fairly easy going and easy to workthrough... A truly world class offering...

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.6/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my first epic stouts - had to revisit and update my initial review because it had been so long since I've had one of these.

A: black hole black - makes the room darker. Thick dark tan head dissipates as you drink but adorns the glass with lace as it goes...

S: deep, dark espresso - snaps you to attention

T: espresso w/ notes of cocoa, mellow roasted malt; the perfect balance between sweet and dry; classic flavors: bitter clingy espresso, and roasted, smooth chocolate malt. Doesn't have the anise/licorice you get with some stouts like this

M: creamy, silky, very palatable; abv just faintly hovers behind the dry, bitter espresso... black, chewy, bitter aftertaste

O: Great stout. No wonder its a top-rated stout. The sweet-to-dry balance is what does it. Beer me.

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Photo of TBoneJones
4.6/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Just now posting from a June '13 tasting:
Deep dark black pour, perfectly fluffy tan head. Great lacing.
Smell: Chocolate, licorice, coffee, oak, alcohol.
Very big stout, balanced dark chocolate/ dark coffee flavor with a thick, somewhat chewy texture. Plenty of toasted caramel. Some burn. Surely the best imperial stout over 10% abv. I've had. Among the best period. A definite sipper. Thick, smooth drinking despite the high alcohol. Quite an achievement. At room temperature for this tasting due to a hotel without a keyless refrigerator. I wish i could take more on our cruise, but rules are rules. A superb bottle score while in Seattle. As a general rule, if you enjoy imperial stouts and can find this and havent yet tried it, buy it.

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Photo of DoctorZombies
4.6/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black pour with thick tan head; thick lacing; foam turns reddish tan as it reduces-nice. Chocolate and roasted malt nose;whisper of coffee bean as liquid warms. Flavors of toasted cocoa nibs, dark chocolate, bittersweet baker's chocolate, and a plum finish with a little coffee on the back end. Medium, smooth creamy mouthfeel; warming and a little alcohol bite on the tongue. Overall, this is very good. Alcohol is very well hidden and yet present in each savory sip. Haazaa!

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

Dessert in a glass. Pours pitch black, with a dark brown, foamy head. Intense coffee/chocolate aromas along with a hint of alcohol. Very roasty, rich, full and sweet. Amazing after dinner drink. $10/bottle at the brewery is worth every penny. Probably my favourite imp stout.

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

this beer rivals the abyss (my favorite beer) on both look and smell. nothing shines through this black beauty, not even on the fringe when held to light. a milk chocolate head about a finger deep that graces the surface of what must seem to it an abyss below. the smell is out of this fucking world. huge chocolate presence along with a nice, roasted coffee scent and some sweet dark fruits. incredible.

the flavor is fruity sweet and very hot up front. lots of alcohol all the way through, accompanied by chocolate in the middle. a bitter roasted coffee finish that lingers on the palate with "parasitic tenacity" (Woolf) well after a sip has been taken. very dry throughout. overall, coffee and alcohol are dominant, though after the initial shock other flavors begin to appear, especially that dark fruit sweetness characteristic of so many great imperial stouts. im almost inclined to give this a 5, but the roasted coffee bitterness at the end is perhaps a little too intense.

mouthfeel is extraordinary. thick and chewy, like it should be, and perfectly carbonated. drinkability reflects the 12%, and the ass-kicking my palate is taking.

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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.

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

750 from tustin total wine.

A - Pours black with 2 fingers of dark chocolate head, leaves beautiful lacing.

S/T - Dark roast coffee, chocolate, some roast caramel flowery hops, and light bittering hops. So dreamy and lucious.

M - Full-bodied, slightly malt dominated, so good.

D - More please! Notice no alcohol in notes, and this is a 12% beer. Very dangerous to session.

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Photo of JonathanL7890
4.6/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Nov 2007, Thanks Miguel!
Poured kind of cold into my New Belgium snifter.
No apparent head. Just a small ring of foam around the perimeter of the glass.
Smell was of chocolate , coffee. I sat enjoying the aroma until the beer warmed up to a suitable temperature, i.e. it didn't give my fingers frostbite.
Taste: Strong coffee taste, lots of roastiness.
Kind of sweet. It tastes just like an iced coffee that you would get at Starbucks.
As the beer warms there's more complexity coming out. I get some dried fruit, fig, raisins, etc. No alcohol burn 12% you say? Hah!
Mouthfeel: spot on for a stout. Not as thick as one would expect, despite there being quite a bit of sludge at the bottom of the bottle.
Drinkability: Yes it is. Very drinkable. I would be able to put a bottle of this away by myself, although it would take an entire evening.

One of the best stouts out there and aging it fo r a year or two definitely helps.

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

Appearance
Pours out thick and black, with only a small tan head forming; film resides throughout

Smell
Robust coffee and dark fruit

Ttaste
Maybe my favorite RIS from the get-go. LOVE the coffee component of this beer as it really shines and tastes great. It absolutely adds to the profile. Next comes some chocolate syrup-like flavors that wrap around all that coffee and bitter hops to help balance it all out--yum! Some heat in the finish, but it's not overwhelming. Extremely drinkable for such a big beer.

Mouthfeel
Luscious body; tight carbonation (much like Old Rasputin) yields a wonderful airy and silky texture; so smooth while still being full.

Overall
Wonderfully complex, balanced, and flavorful. I had no trouble drinking this big bottle all by myself. This lives up to the hype!

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Photo of Scott17Taylor
4.6/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Look black with two finger khaki head.
Smell coffee overpowers slight chocolate and dark fruit with it.
Taste sweet up front finishes with toasty coffee flavored. Not too boozy but there is definitely some alcohol heat.
Mouth feel thick chewy stout but is surprisingly drinkable for style and abv.
Overall great beer pick it up l. Very thick chewy flavorful stout would buy it by the case if I could. Great beer.

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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.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.6/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a pitch black color with 3 fingers of tan head that eventually fades to a thin cap that leaves great lacing

S: Roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, anise, and a hint of dark fruits. Very deep and complex

T: Follows the nose. Very roasty, with big notes of chocolate and coffee, with some nice anise and vanilla notes in the background. Alcohol provides a slight estery kick but goes great with the roasted malts and packs almost no heat or booziness

M: Full bodied with low-moderate carbonation. Creamy and smooth

O: One of the best coffee stouts out there, hands down. It's also dangerously drinkable at 12%. I'd recommend splitting this one because this is one HUGE beer. Definitely worth the price

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.37 out of 5 based on 6,781 ratings.
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