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 | website

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:
1,632
Ratings:
6,487
Avg:
4.37
pDev:
16.93%
 
 
Wants:
905
Gots:
2,084
For Trade:
156
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,632 | Ratings: 6,487
Photo of daythree16
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. Jet black with a tan, one-finger head that leaves some lace as it fades into a thin ring around the edges.

Aroma is mainly a combo of dark chocolate and a lighter, sweeter milk chocolate. I don't really smell any coffee at all. Taste, however is different. Very rich and chocolaty with a finish like a cup of coffee but not as bitter. Very little alcohol presence. This is absolutely delicious.

Mouthfeel is creamy and has the consistency of what I imagine motor oil to have. Drinkability is fantastic for such a high ABV. The lack of a strong alcohol presence plus the creamy chocolate sweetness are probably the reason I'm bogarting the whole 750ml. Hopefully my wife won't be too mad.

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Photo of zoso1967
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black as a starless night with a thickness that is evident in the pour. It is capped with a fluffy mocha head that slowly melts into the viscous black liquid. The aroma is full of roasted coffee and the darkest coca, as well as a dark malty sweetness and a hint of licorice. The flavor is wonderful. Roasted coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malt, burnt marshmallow sweetness, licorice, molassas and a touch of chalkiness. All the flavors are well incorporated and the alcohol is well hidden, though it warms nicely as it settles in my stomach. Also, as this beer warms I realize just how bitter it is. Strangely, this bitterness is not overwhelming and works with, and not against the roastyness. The mouthfeel is also wondrous and is full, chewy and smooth. The finish is both sticky and slick at the same time, but just right for style. Very drinkable and just delicious. So far Alesmith is 2-2 and I will definitely be picking some of this up for friends to sample.

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Photo of Luk13
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle via trade with Blankboy. This beer is huge. Jet black pour with brown head. Aroma is super rich, coffee with also lots of licorice, molasses and also something vanilla about it too. Taste is just awesome rich coffee flavors, with some vanilla smoothness great bitter/sweet mix. Palate is perfectly creamy with just enough carbonation, one of the best I've had.

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Photo of flexabull
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ok, I have had this before, but it was a 4 year old bottle, this bottle is a fresh new arrival at my local store. Happy to see Alesmith again!

Pours a deep flat black color with a huge tan head. Looks wonderful.

Nose is of dark heavily roasted malts, a fresh cup of coffee, and some dark chocolate.

First sip, wow... This is full flavored! Lots of coffee, more so than a lot of coffee beers I have had before, but it's not overly strong. I taste what reminds me of those chocolate covered coffee beans, some dark sugar, cream, and some bitterness on the finish. No hints of heat from the alcohol at all.

Mouthfeel is quite good, this is a bit viscous, but not to thick. It's actually quite smooth too.

Overall, an outstanding beer. I think it's much better than the aged one I had a few years ago. I think this is a beer best consumed fresh. I'm impressed, but that is something that Alesmith does often to me while drinking their brews.

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Photo of Freethyhops
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750ml bottle split between two. served in my sweetwater pint.

Thanks Ryan011235 for the bottle

A- pours jet black with 1/2 finger of fluffy tan head. no light penetrating this one.

S- the aroma isn't the most overwhelming ever, but it has some very nice roasted/coffee notes. with some sweet cocoa floating in the backround. some molasses/licorice possibly in there as well.

T- the first sip is absolutely awesome. same as the aroma, the roasted malts/coffee flavors lead the charge but the chocolate is quite heavy as well. more bitter than your average stout, even a coffee stout. the aftertaste is pure espresso, making this one all around fantastic. The beer is very well balanced as well.

M/D- not the creamiest of Impy stouts but it's definitely not thin by any means. a nice subtle carbonation blends in perfectly with the beer. 12%??? this beer drinks as smooth as any imperial stout out there. with that extra couple percentage points it scores some points as a dangerously easy drinking stout.

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Photo of urwithdave
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml silver foiled wrapped bottle poured into a oversized wine glass. Big thanks to Gtreid for bringing this one over.

A- solid black. No light can pass through this thing. 1 1/2 of head. Pretty good retention and lacing.

S- roasted malts, chocolate, sweetness maybe molasses?? Not as much coffee smell as I wouldve expected, however, there is a hint of coffee beans.

T- FANTASTIC!!! Creamy chocolate. Roasted malts and a vanilla coffee blend that is just freaking awesome. I wouldve never guessed that the abv is so high because of the wonderful balance of all the flavors. They mask the alcohol and I barely know it's even there.

M- Simply perfect. This is one of the smoothest, creamiest stouts I have drank.
D- I wish I could have this brew everyday. I would drink this all night if I could. The only problem would be the high abv. I def will be seeking this one out again without a doubt.

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Photo of nycwinter
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750ml bottle and split between a pint glass and a chalice. I have been aging this bottle in the back of my pantry for 4 months, and couldn't wait any longer.

A= Black as night. Deep ruby red along the edges. Orange-brown thick foamy head. Pint glass had a three finger head, and the chalice had a four finger head. I don't know if that had to do with the order I poured them or not. The head slowly dissipated and became chunky and rocky. A thin orange blanket stuck around throughout the experience.

S= There's a great balance of aromas here. At first dried cherries and raisins hit the nose. A lot of earthy/mossy and espresso coffee notes fill nose when whiffed.

T= Strong bitter espresso hits the tongue initially. This is balanced by very tart dried fruits in the aftertaste. As it warms, you get mouthfuls of bittersweet chocolate. Very delightful.

M= Medium-heavy body. Coats and cools, yet the high ABV leaves your palate warm.

D= This one is a sipper. Savor it. It is excellent as soon as you pour it, but it gets even better as it warms. The high ABV it not for the faint at heart. I recommend sharing it with fellow advocate.

Side Note: I hope this doesn't negate my review...Try a splash of it over vanilla ice cream. Goodbye Hershey's syrup!

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The bottle I'm about to consume has been in my possession for about one year. The price tag is still attached to it: $8.99. I have a long trip ahead with a beer of this volume (750 ml) and strength (12% ABV). On to the beer:

Poured into a Delirium Tremens tulip, this beer is darker than black, the body being very thick, and an initial tan colored head on top, which fades to a lightly tinted cap. Some smoke in the nose, and a strong alcohol note. Molasses and chocolate makes a presence in the aroma as well.

Exceptionally smooth in the mouth, and viscous, but not too viscous. There's a little booze in the body, but not as boozy as the nose. Plenty of roasted coffee with a sweet touch of baker's chocolate. Like coffee liquer. Smoke and peat are mixed in.

Now it's becoming easier to drink. After a few ounces, this beer becomes easier to approach. The flavors meld together better, there's little interruption from the alcohol and coffee...this is becoming a favorite of mine. I can taste fudge brownies in here. Is this exceptional as far as drinkability goes, or merely very good?

Is it healthy to mix a high ABV stout with coffee? If it isn't, I'm in trouble, as it is one of my favorite kinds of beer, and this offering is one of the most accessable. Another world class offering from AleSmith, and the best beer I've had since....well, since I had Pliny the Younger 27 hours ago.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Pours an all-encompasing dark color. No light penetrates the edges of this brew. The darker tan head sits atop the brew and slowly fades. There is some lacing as well. Looks frightening.

S-Unbelievable dark roasty malted flavor. Big, big chocolate and coffee. Smells like a gigantic booze-coffee mutant. Alcohol is present but is not a detractor seeing as the beer is so big.

T-Super assertive. Quite like the nose with the roastiness, chocolate, coffee/espressso attack. The taste lingers and lingers forever. An absolute monster. Speedway Stout has one of the most in your face tastes I have come across. Tastes like Kahlua but way more awesome.

M-Sludgy and viscous. Light carbonation. Slick. Just how a big boy stout should feel.

D-Can't stop sipping. Especially at %12. I am shocked by its drinkability.

I find the Founders makes some hardcore stouts but this one plants itself right next to the top for me.

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Photo of Floydster
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pint at the Tap Room in Pacific Beach

I was stoked to find these for 4 bucks a pop, considering they are about 10 dollars for a 750ml bottle in the stores

This beer was pitch black with a thick tan head and was the best stout I have ever had

Too much flavor to even describe, the coffee bite really tops it off

If I was not so full from dinner, I probably could have drank more, will definitely be drinking more of these in the future

Great beer with a dessert

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Photo of rkuhnel
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I waited a long time to my lay a hand on this one and finally found in on a trip to So. California. This poured BLACK. Not dark brown but black with no light at all even on the edges and threw up a very fat tan head that lasted a long time. Nose is very powerful and of coffee and chocolate. Very thick mouthfeel. Flavor is rich roasted malts with the chocolate and coffee in abundance. Finish is dry and bitter. Simply amazing stuff. Maybe my best stout ever. I loved this stuff.

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Photo of everetends
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Review number 300 and I figured I would hit up the Speedway for this one. Been saving this one for a while and I have to thank Reino for sending me the bottle a while back. 750ml bottle served up in my Terrapin snifter. Lets get this party started.

A: This brew pours slowly and thick from the bottle. This beer is black, letting no light through and is completely opaque. A semi-vigorous pour yields a finger of thick, bubbly dark brown head that has some decent retention. Really tight bubbles on top that are really frothy. Lacing sticks to the glass very nicely. Very nice and the start I was looking for.

S: This one smells greatly of some nice, big time chocolate. So much chocolate in this nose. The coffee is there but does not over power the chocolate. The crazy thing is that you can actually get bit of the grain through the chocolate, coffee and nicely roasted malt characters. There is also a touch of bourbon coming out from the alcohol notes. Smells good.

T: Taste is awesome. The chocolate is rich and creamy, not unlike an awesome milkshake. Stupid rich. Coffee is nicely roasted with just a touch of bitterness that cuts the sweetness a touch. Roasted malts round off the heavy flavors with some sweet, roasted goodness. There is also a nuttiness that reminds me of some good hazelnut. Also a touch of nougat. This is stupid good.

M: This is a major, full bodied brew that means business. This beer is chewy and may be the thickest, creamiest beer I have ever enjoyed. Just an incredibly beautiful creaminess. Carbonation is light but there. Aftertastes are of some malt and coffee. ABV is present with a wonderful, slow warming from the stomach, but really no heat on the throat or palate. Amazing.

D: This beer is truly amazing. IMO, it lives up to the hype surrounding it and I can only imagine how good the barrel aged offerings are. This beer is just crazy in the flavor and feel categories and better than solid in every other category. Another amazing thing about this beer is how easy it is to drink for a 12% Imperial Stout. I will be enjoying the rest of this bottle with true gluttony and raise my glass to Reino for providing this gem.

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Photo of Beervis
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 750ml bottle a dark black with a very attractive thick, lasting tan head. In just the glass, this brew is amazing.

Smell is incredible, chocolate, caramel, and a boatload of coffee. Taste follows right along with chocolate and strong espresso up front, followed by a very creamy coffee taste, almost like a coffee with cream was poured into a strong stout. Full body with amazingly complex flavor notes. Hops are perfectly balanced, and a wonderful alcohol spice finishes it off perfectly. This beer is all about balance, and with every sip, I taste something new. As it warms, it's magical, every sip delving deeper into the already complex.

As for drinkability, I think that kinda goes without saying. I drank this bottle without any problem at all, and could have gone on to another, if not for the alcohol. It's more of a sipping beer, and one to savor.

Absolutely incredible!!

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Photo of timtim
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

jet black with a dark tan head that held amazingly well and left tons of lace. this is what i want my stouts to look like. just a wonderful beer all around. coffee, followed by chocolate and earthy roasty malt in the nose. taste is superbly balanced and has a little hop kick in the finish followed by a nice warmth that ensues post finish. full bodied. insanely drinkable for being as high abv as it is. one of my favorite breweries of all time. beyond good.

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Photo of warrenout330
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750ml bottle

A- pours a pitch black color... big tan head... stays for minutes.... very sticky lacing to the glass

S- bitter sweet chocolate front, roasty coffee grains...charcoal in the back... hint of anise with a little black liquorice funk

T- sweet bitter chocolate... coffee domincace... as I drink this the 12% presents itself...and quite a bit it does... lingering coffee roastyness

M- thick full body... creamy feel... oily on the tongue... prickly carbonation... bitter balance

O- one of the best imperial stouts out there... very rare in my area so when it's here... you better grab it....

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Photo of Yesac
4.64/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2013 bottle.

A- Jet black opaque in color, desert sand tan head colored head. Nice even fine lacing on the glass.

S- Powerful dark roasted malt, hints of chocolate and espresso.

T- Along with smell, nose is dark delicious roasted malt, roasted coffee bean, dark bitter (and very delicious) chocolate with an espresso type bitter finish. The finish is outstanding. Even more rewarding as it warms.

M- Very well balanced here, a perfect weight body for this style (medium/heavy) and it lingers well and covers the palate without being too dry. The carbonation level is medium and dialed in to perfection. It leaves you wanting to frequently pick up the glass for another sip.

O- One of the best stout's I've ever had. This has it all. The mouthfeel and aftertaste are the highlights for me. Such a delicious and well rounded beer overall. Complex and flavorful without being too heavy and too big, it's just right. And the ABV is very well hidden at 12%. Wow.

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Photo of TheSarge
4.64/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Speedway Stout pours great for a three finger dark tan head, and a jet black opaque body.

Fragrance is roasty coffee, semisweet chocolate and metallic characteristics.

In the taste, semisweet chocolate is the dominate trait. The coffee doesn't really kick in until the very end. Even then, the coffee addition is kick ass, and goes for a great finish.

This feels very creamy, and has a mild slickness. Alcohol warmness is slightly notable, and is kind of masked; however, this is still a warming beer.

What with all the complexity, how can this beer be wrong? It's a desert in a bottle!

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Photo of wanker
4.64/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wonderful thick, creamy mouthfeel. Almost feels like cream has been added. Among my favorite mouthfeels ever.

Delicious coffee flavor. The coffee is really out front and provides all the bitterness in the beer. I couldn't taste any hops - but that is ok. Because of the coffee bitterness the beer was adequately balanced between sweet and bitter flavors. No alcohol taste, even though the ABV is 12%.

Super drinkable, until you pass out from the ABV.

Just a few negatives:

I couldn't get any head out of this beer, even with a fairly aggressive pour. I'd like to see a bit of head. Thus the 3.0 appearance rating.

Even though there is no alcohol in the taste, the alcohol hits you pretty hard in the nose. So I took off a point for smell.

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Photo of infi
4.64/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle, shared with BAs johnjae, NYManc and r0nyn. 10/29 notes.

Poured into a Duvel tulip.

A dark void in the glass: dark, rich, opaque and concentrated. A thin tan head emerged from the pour but quickly melted away in a matter of seconds. Little to no lacing on the glass as well. The aromas was seriously a freshly opened bag of coffee grounds. Those Ryan Brothers' coffee beans declare a mammoth presence onto you once you get your nose into the glass. Especially considering I was holding onto this bottle for about a year, the coffee is still readily there and in a big way. Although this is not as roasted and bold as the Ithaca Eleven, which was actually really overwhelming for me.

Taste was like drinking a cold cup of black, dark-roasted coffee with melted dark chocolate squares thrown in. Definitely world class tasting. The roasted character starts you off then moves into a nice sweet malt and chocolate sweetness and ends on a striking - but not conquering - astringency. It even leaves that familiar sour/tart aftertaste that you get after drinking coffee. And for 12%, the taste didn't have any alcoholic tastes. Too ninja. Every flavored aspect was superbly well-balanced in this stout- a feat that's always a plus for me. /standing ovation.

Mouthfeel was the only thing that surprised me- a bit thin-bodied, with the carbonation being pretty evident like an ale. This is still a total beer, but just one that I'd like to have been a bit more thicker. Drinkability is definitely high, especially if you love coffee like I do. Everything was on-point for this beer, especially for its price. HEHE ;) Speedway is now my favorite coffee-oriented stout.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.64/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a snifter.

A: Black with a brown head. Beautiful.

S: Nose is full of chocolate and coffee.

T: Mocha, espresso, coffee goodness, roasted malt and dark chocolate. A bit bitter,but not overly bitter. Delicious.

M: Full bodied and smoooth.

O: One of the best coffee stouts out there. Possibly the best I've had thus far. It might be too bitter for non-coffee-drinkers, as my friend found it to be undrinkably bitter. I suggest trying it on tap if you can before investing in such a large bottle.

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Photo of SerialTicker
4.64/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottled 10/16/13. Poured 11/16/14. I got this in Wisconsin in July. Finally cracked it open.

Appearance: Aggressive pour brought on a slow forming brown head that wound up being three fingers in height. This stout is pitch black with nothing getting through the glass. The lacing is really great -- plenty of it all over the glass.

Smell: Everything you'd want from an Imperial Stout: lots of chocolate and roasted malt. There's some coffee character in there, but that aroma accents more than anything. I don't get any kind of dark fruits on the aroma, but I do get a caramel quality and a plain cake doughnut sort of smell that I usually pick up in high ABV stouts -- especially BBA'd ones. I know, I'm weird.

Taste/feel: Absolutely delicious. The taste is almost exactly like the aroma, and I have zero problems with that. The mouth feel is fantastic... not super heavy, but pretty full-bodied, with a light carbonation. It feels like chocolate milk in beer form. Lots of smooth milk chocolate flavors coming through in this beer with caramel malts... the finish is some roasted malt and coffee with a little much needed bitterness that balances out the initial sweetness. I don't really get any dark fruit flavors to speak of... this reminds me of a more balanced Chocolate Manifesto. Speedway Stout still remains a somewhat sweet Imperial Stout overall, but then again it is 12% ABV.

Excellent, and the best I've had from the style (as of this review, of course). Worthy of every bit of the praise it receives.

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Photo of Crosling
4.64/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was unbelieveable. It poured pitch black. The head: light tan in size with a mostly diminishing head that left some lacing. Nice nose. Molasses and lots of toffee and coffee but mostly a sweet milk chocolate covered pot leaf that I loved. Starts out with vanilla, toffee and tons of cocoa. The mid-palate was full of chocolate but not the usual chocolate but more of a melted milk chocolate. The finish was amazing and hard to put into words. It was a tobacco laden coffee bean dripping with chocolate and it was very lingering. The coffee beans served there purpose, molding all the flavors together and eliminating a lot of the alcohol flavors. This was a 12% beer and I could barely taste any alcohol and I think it was the coffee beans than eliminated it. This beer was amazing and the past few days I have been sitting in the middle of class and I could swear that I tasted the tobacco laden coffee bean dripping with chocolate finish. Rerate: I’ve had several bottles since my first review above and each bottle still blows me away. One of the best Imperial Stouts in the world.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.65/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this several years ago at a beer fest, and was blown away. Fast forward to the present, and Alesmith has arrived in Maine.
Very dark brown with a rim of red. Small tan head.
Beautiful aroma of coffee, chocolate, and charcoal.
The taste only improved on the aroma. Espresso coffee, bittersweet chocolate, and char.
Smooth, easy to drink. The 12% ABV is well-hidden.
Fantastic beer!

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Photo of funkyspunk87
4.65/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

AleSmith Speedway Stout
AleSmith Brewing Company
Style: American Double / Imperial Stout
ABV: 12.00 %

Presentation: 750ml bottle

BOOM! This beer took over my night once I finished it. At 12%, I definitely felt it after finishing this. Choco-coffee taste with a medium body. A great beer to have after dinner or winding down the night - put me to bed.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
4.65/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Split a 750 ml bottle with a couple of friends.

Pours a dark, thick, oily (seriously, motor-oil like) into pint glasses, with a brown, and I mean BROWN head that is moderate in size, and quickly collapses to brown oil spill cap over the beer. There is no way to see through this beer- not with sunlight, flourescent, flashlight, or even cell-phone glow (he-he-he). A gorgeous stout that tells other stouts what they should look like.

Aroma is rich, powerful, and oh so good. I am a big coffee-espresso fan, and this brings out the bitter aromatics of a fine expresso, with a dark bitter chocolate overlay.

Flavor follows through from the aroma. If I didn't know better, I could convince myself I was drinking coffee, not beer (ok, not really, but you get the idea). And yes, there is a strong alcohol presence sitting behind it all.

Mouthfeel is also wonderful- rich and creamy and just lingers oh so well.

Where this beer really falls down for me (in terms of scoring, but only slightly so) is in drinkability. We split the 750, so that was 250 ml each. I think that's more than enough of this beer. It's incredible, and I love it, but it should be in small quantities to be best appreciated. Much like you don't get a huge mug of espresso, I don't want to drink this as anything more than a small nightcap at the end of a day.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,632 ratings.
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