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
Ratings:
6,808
Reviews:
1,691
Avg:
4.37
pDev:
8.47%
 
 
Wants:
918
Gots:
2,182
For Trade:
150
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 6,808 |  Reviews: 1,691
Photo of Steban
4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BB1313
4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 9/3/13. 750ml bottle poured into a snifter. Pours black with the slightest amount of light getting though; fluffy dark khaki head that sticks around and leaves great lacing and retention. The aromas are loaded with chocolate malts. Lots of malts. Lots of chocolate. Slightly roasty. Lots of dough. Hints of vanilla. Flavors are very bold. More roasted malts. Lots of dark chocolate. Lots of milk chocolate. That combination is of course going to equal out to being bittersweet. I'm picking up some caramel too. There's some dark fruits in the mix, especially hints of black cherry. There's not as much coffee/expresso notes as I was anticipating. Alcohol goes completely unnoticed. Mouthfeel is full-bodied and very smooth. It's fluffy and creamy with moderate carbonation, but isn't quite milkshake thick. Once again, there's no hints of alcohol at all. This is beer is dangerously drinkable. It's hard to believe this is 12% abv. It's fun to drink.

Great stout right here. It blows your mind in the beginning, and then just becomes really good. But that "really good" can hang with most Imperial Stouts on the market. The craftsmanship on this beer is top notch. Recommended.

 1,189 characters

Photo of BWood
4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

A - Pours dark brown which olive hued chocolate syrup highlights. Little brown head that quickly dissipates.

S - Chocolatey, dark coffee, little bit of soy sauce.

T - Really robust coffee, chocolate syrup, cocoa powder.

M - Velvety, low carbonation, medium bodied. My description cannot accurately capture it, but the mouthfeel on this one is pretty close to perfect.

Thanks to Scott from the CBX for tossing this one my way.

 431 characters

Photo of Gosox8787
4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Bomber bottle poured into a Portsmouth Brewery tulip. Enjoying this on a really snowy day at room temperature.

Appearance: Dark brown to black in color. A nice mocha colored head rises. About one and a half fingers in size with prettt good retention.

Aroma: Rich coffee beans, definitely good coffee. Some milk chocolate and a surprising bit of heat.

Taste: Rich coffee upfront. Balanced nicely with some milk chocolate. Not cloying or overly sweet at all. In fact, the coffee is really the star. Smooth, but a bit one dimensional.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, low carbonation, and a little thin near the end of each sip.

Drinkability: Very smooth for a 12% stout. I had no problem with finishing a bomber, but definitely a sipper.

Overall, I enjoyed this a great deal, but I was slightly underwhelmed. I have heard a ton about this beer and while the coffee notes were great, I can't help but feel this is slightly one dimensional.

 947 characters

Photo of FiremanChris
4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

This can be a difficult beer to find. Fortunately, I found it and I was looking forward to drinking it.

Served in an oversized wine glass at a relatively warm serving temp- about 55F. The color is very dark coffee- almost black. There are bubbles in the bottom of the beer, and the head seems to have some carbonation.

The aroma is strong cherry and coffee. I expected more coffee, but the predominant smell was cherry- and fruit in general.

The beer was a bit carbonated, almost unpleasantly so.

The finish was very alcoholic as expected. The coffee taste seems dwarfed by the alcoholic presence. Regardless, the finish is richly alcoholic with coffee overtones.

This is a sipper. Take your time on this beer. It's a contemplation beer- probably more suitable for the winter, but I wanted to try it, so I opened the bottle at the end of summer.

Overall, quite good- perhaps excellent. It's overwhelming. Worth experiencing.

 930 characters

Photo of ThriceJAB
4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of barczar
4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 vintage.

Big cocoa aroma, slightly sweet chocolate, and roast malt.

Flavor is lacking in malt depth. Roasty and malty in the finish. A very drinkable 12 percent. The cocoa comes out as it warms.

 201 characters

Photo of aewinte1
4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- pours pitch black with light brown head. 2" head from vigorous pour
S- Smell is extremely strong of coffee. Smells creamy as well
T- Huge creamy soffee flavor as can be expected from te nose. The coffee flavors fades to a woodey smokey flavor. Huge roasted malt flavor
M- Thick and medium carbonation give this a good mouthfeel. Good, but nothing spectacular worth mentioning about the mouthfeel
D- drinkability is so-so on this one. The flavors are great, but its really a sipper and due to the strength and viscosity, I don't think I would want more than one. One bomber is enough.

 586 characters

Photo of MarkGutz
4.11/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of zep9865
4.11/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to my buddy Al for another great, rare pickup for those of us from Indiana who don't have some of these great brews available to us.

Poured into New Belgium snifter. Pours jet black with 4 fingers of mocha foam that leave a significant amount of lacing.

You can't taste the 12% in this beer, but you can certainly smell it. The booze aroma actually overrides the dark chocolate, smoke and molasses that you can slightly smell

Drinking this beer is like eating 85% cocoa chocolate with some carbonation. It's fantastic

Carbonation is surprising in this beer but not overwhelming. Beer transitions from sweet into a nice bitterness.

I've been lucky enough to try some really good stouts and this one is right up there

 727 characters

Photo of Slim_720
4.11/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Mahlik
4.11/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml bottle into a tulip glass.

A - Poured a deep black color with it a beautiful 1.5" thick and frothy brown head. The head retention was great. When it did finally start to dissipate, it left behind good lacing. I also noticed some carbonation making its way up the glass.

S - The chocolate hit my nose first. It's followed by sweetness from the dark fruits and vanilla. Some roasted malts are mixed in too. I found the coffee aroma to be very subtle. I guess I was expecting more coffee on the nose. For 12% abv, I really couldn't sense the alcohol's presence. The aroma is overall pleasant but nothing complex.

T - The coffee comes through more in the taste. Still, I feel the chocolate notes come out more here. I get dark chocolate up front with some bittersweet chocolate on the back side. I was a bit surprise by the bitterness of these beer. The alcohol makes its presence know but it's not overbearing.

M - This beer is very smooth and drinkable. I would never guess this beer is 12% abv. This is a full-bodied beer with a slightly creamy feel and solid carbonation. The booziness adds warmth to the overall taste/mouthfell.

O - I would have probably enjoyed this beer more if I hadn't hear so much hype about this beer. However, I'm glad I was able to find this beer at a local bottle shop. This is a great imperial stout. It's incredibly smooth for the style/ABV and I really enjoyed the chocolate notes in the taste. I just wish the smell and taste was a bit more complex.

 1,505 characters

Photo of claspada
4.11/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle I purchased around a year ago. Let's see how it's held up.

Pours midnight black with no escaping light, little-to-zero head. I tried to arouse some via a quaff with no success; small soapy cap with light spotty lacing. I question the quality of this immediately because this is really still for a non-barrel aged beer.

Aromas begin with very rich and full of roasted malts and baker's cocoa. As it warms the strong ground coffee notes intensify and become dominant. Really smells like a nice freshly brewed cup of black iced coffee.

The tastes begin with dark roasted maltiness coupled with full flavors of dark chocolate. Lightly bitter coffee mixed with black strap molasses and even more robust coffee. Flavors never reach dark espresso levels of darker coffee which I really enjoy. A flickering of sweet dark caramel in amongst the heavier flavors. Not a drop of alcohol is detectable which is stupid considering this is 12% ABV.

Mouthfeel is medium to heavy bodied with way lower than I expected carbonation, which I usually dislike, but works with the overall big body and coffee flavor profile. Finish is fairly dry and roasty thanks to the coffee additions, but still definitely full and slick on the palate and lingers thanks to the massive flavor profile. Once again I question the quality of this particular bottle because this is really still for a non-barrel aged beer, luckily it doesnt detract from the taste.

Overall, this is the definition of how a coffee beer should be made. No other coffee beers rival this... period! You can really taste how the recipe for this beer was tweaked numerous times (back when it was being formulated) to create this well made beast of a stout brewed with coffee. Not a beer just blended with coffee, but a highly crafted example of amazing American craft brewing ingenuity. A must try for any fan of coffee beers or Imperial Stouts.

 1,895 characters

Photo of DrinkThemAll
4.11/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of TMoney2591
4.11/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Honestly, this is how imperial stouts ought to look following a pour: damn jet black with a healthy finger of tan bubbly head that does not malinger. A decent amount of lacing is left behind. The nose drops off a bit, being dominated by coffee and chocolate, though some dark malts and some kind of wood are also detectable. The tongue finds itself agreeing heartily with the nose, as coffee and bitter dark chocolate spark off the proceedings here. Again, some dark malts and a vague woodiness are also there, but the coffee and chocolate are the real stories here. Not that all of this is necessarily bad, but not very complex at all and, as things progress, somewhat boring. But still pretty tasty nonetheless. Ironically (maybe), it's complicated. The body is rightfully heavy, with a light smattering of carbonation and an extremely smooth feel. Overall, for such a husky little man, the drinkability is relatively high, but he's just not as impressive as others have made out. Again, tasty nonetheless; it's complicated...

 1,063 characters

Photo of sitarist
4.11/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a deep, all most black color. One finger of a caramel colored head falls to a ring. Pretty heavy amount of lacing.

S- The smell is very complex with chocolate and coffee leading the way, along with hints of fruit, and whoppers, but there is a liquid smoke scent that doesn't belong.

T- Nothing wrong with the taste. There is a lot of chocolate(both sweet and bittersweet), malt balls, and coffee. Almost taste like a mocha. The smokiness from the nose does not come into play with the taste.

M- Medium body, sticky, with light carbonation. The mouthfeel and flavors go well together.

D- Who cares if this is 12% alcohol? Pour me another!

Notes- Other than the smokey scent; I cant think of anything bad about this beer.

 734 characters

Photo of ccg
4.11/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Typical oily, jet black look of a big stout. Got over an inch of tan-colored head when poured into a snifter. Large bubbles in the foam, not quite as dense as the foam on something like To Øl's Goliat. Above-average retention and lacing for a stout.
You can smell the coffee, but it's not dominant or bitter. Definitely also getting chocolate notes and something earthy or almost piney, probably the hops.
I can taste coffee, malt, and hops, but all well balanced. Slight smokiness too. The first few sips had a bitter, metallic finish, but as it warmed, that completely smoothed out. I think next time I'll have this one almost at room temperature.
Overall, one of the top non-barrel-aged coffee stouts I've had. Update: as it warms to room temperature, it definitely has more malty sweetness but without overwhelming the coffee character. Quite nice.

 853 characters

Photo of stephens101
4.11/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Near impenetrable blackness fills the glass and rests foreboding beneath a thick and bubbly dark tan head. Retention is excellent, and takes a good two to three minutes to retreat into a nice-sized layer above the brew. A thick, sightly broken lace rings the glass. Aroma consists of sweet malts, burnt oak, earthy hops, black licorice, roasted almonds and toffee, all of which are in near perfect harmony. Taste is sweet and a little vinegary up front, but a huge hit of hops, more roasted nuts and coffee swoop in quickly, adding an almost intimidating boldness to the overall taste. Behind all of that is a welcomed layer of alcohol heat mixed in with some dark chocolates. A good amount of carbonation keeps the brew from being too heavy going down. Mouth-feel is medium-to full bodied and isn't as creamy as expected. Not for the faint of heart.

 850 characters

Photo of BigPlay1824
4.11/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in a snifter

A: pours a deep deep black that is impenetrable, pours with two fingers of fine milk chocolate head that lingers a bit and leaves a nice amount of very thin lacing
S: coffee, dark chcolate and slight berry scent
T: deep and intense coffee and chcolate malts, very smooth and tastey
M: pretty thick, smooth and creamy, leaves the mouth feeling like its got some thick chocolate on it
O: loved it

 417 characters

Photo of Eddiehop
4.11/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of tewaris
4.11/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown and clear, viscous looking but not the thickest, Speedway poured with a medium dark brown head that fell to a ring and a disjoint sheet of tiny foam soon enough. Some lacing. Good enough for a 12% ABV Imperial Stout.

Aroma: Coffee, alcohol, and sweetness that could be from alcohol, but most probably comes from sweet malts. No hint of roast; and overwhelming booziness --- limited in merit and complexity.

Taste is smooth, bitter and flavorful with coffee. Ample amount of sweetness from rich malts and alcohol. Finishes with unexpected strength of roast and a kiss of alcohol with lingering coffee aftertaste. Feels silky with low carbonation against its body but is still not as coating; however, the finish is fairly clean too so no problems here.

Overall rather one dimensional but quite potent and well done.

 828 characters

Photo of mrandypandy
4.11/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle brought back by a co-worker from his trip to California. Thanks Miles!

A- Like pretty much all stouts it pours jet-black with some nice ruby hues at the edges. Pretty clean and clear for an Imperial Stout. Soapy tan head fades farely quickly and leaves little lacing. Better head would have pushed this one up to a 5.
S- Not a lot going on. Some subtle dark fruits (raisins), coffee, malty sweetness. Maybe I'll get more as the beer warms.
T- Pretty tasty. A nice burnt roasted malt character to compliment coffee grounds and faint lactose sweetness. Alcohol is well hidden.
M - Thick, creamy, luscious. Very smooth. It's not bitter or harsh or prickly. Couldn't ask for more.
D- For a 12% Imperial Stout this was really drinkable. The alcohol (and lack of food) caught up to me at the end of the bottle, but I'll take more any day.

Overall - An imperial stout that certainly lives up to it's accolades. Nice subdued cofee tones with all the standard impy stout qualities. Considering the price, this is probably the best bang-for-your-buck stout that can be easily obtained and doesn't require a 2+ hour wait in a line. Well done.

 1,147 characters

AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.37 out of 5 based on 6,808 ratings.
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