AleSmith Speedway Stout | AleSmith Brewing Company

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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

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Reviews: 1,682 | Ratings: 6,774
Photo of PatronWizard
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is the third beer in my birthday trifecta. A lone tiger in the year of the rat. Poured a big ass 750ml into my glass, wife promised to help (yeah right)...

Man, I thought Stone Imperial Russian Stout was black. This bitch is black! Looks like 30wt after 10,000 miles. Not that I would know, I change my oil every 24 hours. Heh, heh. Shows a little dark brown hue around the edges in bright light, otherwise-black.

Smell: coffee beans, dark fruit, alcohol.

Taste: starts smooth, then the 12% says "hey, stupid, here I am." Whoo hoo! Also ... whoo hoo!

Uber rich, creamy, smooth, like I'm getting my chassis lubed. Heh, heh. Great stuff. It's possible that I may, might, maybe, prefer the Stone RIS but I just can't tell.

Overall: Happy birthday to ME!!!

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.48/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I got this bottle a year or so ago in California while I was there on business. I knew that this was a good beer, and I have been waiting for a while to drink seems like the perfect time.

Appearance: Pours black as night with a three finger head that looks like it is going to be around for a year or so. It is thick and mousy with a lot of bubbles rising to maintain the head, though it doesn't look like it needs much to stay alive. There is tons of tan lacing left on the glass after drinking.

Aroma: The aroma is super malty with a whole lot of roast and coffee aromatics as well as some chocolate and dry oat-like aromas. There is a whole lot of nuttiness to this beer, and it almost smells like Hazelnuts are part of the grist.

Taste: The flavor is really clean and well balanced without a whole lot of the aromas finding their way into the flavor profile. There is the dry roast and oats that I picked up in the aroma, but the alcohol plays a bigger role in the flavor than the initial aroma suggested. The hops are definitely there, but play a supporting role as a slightly floral and mostly grassy flavor to help balance the whole onslaught to your palate. The finish is definitely balanced toward the roast malts as well as the alcohol.

Opinion: This is a really nice beer, and it is too bad that we can't get it here in Texas. All of the Imp Stouts are so frickin' good that it is hard to pick one over the least for me. This is one of the best that I have had, no doubt. I don't know if I would take it over some others, like Yeti, or Stone's Russian Imperial, or a number of others. I think that a side-by-side comparison is in order, and I would love to participate in that. Either way, I like the nuttiness and the malt balance of this beer, and I would certainly drink it again...regularly if it were available.

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Photo of CrellMoset
4.48/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of gford217 - thanks! Poured into a 22 oz. Terrapin snifter.

Appearance: Pours out like thick, black motor oil, but a coffee-colored head slowly forms from the much. The operative word is indeed slowly, because this beer is so thick that it takes forever for the bubbles to rise to the top and form any kind of head-like structure. Once it gets there though, it stays. A long time. The head is great looking - not even or uneven, just a huge mass of tan, chocolate fluff on top of this fierce-looking brew.

Aroma: Lots of sweet, milky chocolate and full roast coffee - let this one warm, for real. I almost gave it a sub-4.0 score because it hadn't warmed yet and seemed really weak, but as it warmed, a few really intriguing, pleasant notes emerged.

Taste: Fantastic. To get this out of the way first - in discussing why a friend of mine preferred Peche Mortel to the Speedway Stout, he determined it was because the coffee in Peche is cleaner, and I would have to agree. This one has a lot of dirty overtones - but that makes it all the more endearing to me, in my opinion. It's an earthy, dirty, nutty, grassy coffee flavor, and all the notes that're imparted by that do wonders for the sweet chocolate and dark fruits notes imparted by the malts. So, yes, milky, creamy, chocolately coffee - a mocha latte, anyone? - with plenty of dirt and other malty notes - maple syrup, molasses, dark brown sugar - as well as some citrus and light herbalness (hops, perhaps), hints of anise, and Like coffee-flavored, alcoholic M&Ms. But the alcohol it's hardly there - only the faintest hint of its presence is felt in the finish. And it's so well melded with the warm, sweet, smoothness that it hardly registers.

Mouthfeel: Thick and syrupy - evidenced by the bubbles taking their sweet time to rise to the surface earlier - and incredibly milky and creamy. Fine-to-medium bubbled and even. Only the faintest hint of a warming alcohol - it's expertly concealed.

Drinkability: Now, I can't taste it, but my typing's beginning to slip, which is usually the sign that I should knock half a point off drinkability. The alcohol's really expertly concealed on this one (perhaps easier on an Imperial Stout, but still, well done guys), but it's still definitely there. This beer comes highly recommended.

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

Pours a dark, opaque black color with a deep tan head. Great retention and lacing down the glass.

Smells like coffe, chocolate, dark malts.

Wow! Tastes increadible! Thick choclate and coffe, with heavy sweet malts - just as it smells. Goes down smoothly. Very well balanced with no alcohol burn.

As stated above, goes down smoothly with no alcohol burn. Heavy, but as any imperial stout should be.

I only wish I could afford more of these. Or that they were sold in Michigan. Wonderful session beer.

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

Poured out of the 750ml bottle a midnight black with a rich cafe au lait head that released brilliant notes of chocolate, coffee, raspberry and toffee. Taste is best compared to what chocolate silk would feel like- so smooth and sexy with a puckering bitterness that dissipates like the perfect one night stand. I can't put my glass down- this beer is so smooth, but where on earth is the alcohol?

My god. Fantastic stuff.

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Photo of willjschmidt
4.47/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Stone IRS glass.

A: Pours jet black with a tan head.

S: Espresso, roasted malt, dark chocolate, and some molasses.

T: A big and delicious stout. If I hadn't read the label I probably wouldn't have guessed that it was brewed with coffee. The coffee is definitely there but it's certainly not overwhelming. Lots of dark and bitter chocolate as well as some molasses. It's all very smooth and everything meshes extremely well together.

M: Excellent mouthfeel, smooth, creamy and viscous.

D: One of the best jobs at masking a high ABV beer that I have ever sampled. I would never have guessed that it is a 12% beer if it wasn't printed on the label. A great stout, worth seeking out.

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Photo of JasonA
4.48/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I got this in BIFIV, much props to the professional ninja who sent it my way. Needless to say, I am very excited about trying this.

No born on date, but I expect this to be a recent brew. I had considered letting this age, but per some recommendations ive decided not try it early.

Pours a dark as night pitch black. Solid 2 finger of thick dark mocho head. Very nice retention, even to the sides after a frew minutes.

Rich coffee, roated malt, more coffee. ABV is in there, but barely noticed. There is a nutty smell in here.

Cocoa coffee, deep roasted coffee, maybe some sort of nut, maybe almond. Deep, dark flavor. What a full bodied beer. There could be a more on the backend, but overall outstanding good. Some bitterness, maybe hops, at finish, though very subtle, not sure if it is purposeful. I think the best part of this brew is no ABV presense. Really ... n-o-n-e. Quite surprising for a 12 percent'er

Not syrupy at all. Some people dont like the Syrup, but depending on the brew Im a fan. This one has no syrup taste or consistency. Sits exceptionally well in the mouth.

Drinkability? Give me more, give me lots more. I really dont want this brew to finish.

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Photo of IBUnit63
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a licorice/espresso/spent motor oil body. While 1st pour has only a thin wispy head 2nd pour yields big and bountiful pumpernickel/banana nut bread colored head. Impressive.

Mild yet abundant scent of coffee beans backed by caramel/cinnamon sugar malt and oily alcohol. Smells nicely ominous.

((eyes rolling into back of head))
Wow. Lots and lots of coffee-Italian roast or darker. Loads of malt and piney piney hops. Warmth brings out more cinnamon sugar and molasses. $#!+ dog!

Literally melts on the mouth. First sip or 2 leaves a little tin on the back but this dissipates. Long, sweet sledgehammer of a finish.

Awesome stuff but here's a news flash...not quite sessionable. Drinks invitingly well for its weight class, though.

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Photo of TexIndy
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Hoss for shipping this one to me from San Diego. Poured from a 750ml painted bottle with cool graphics and back story into a pint glass. No dating info but he got this end of last year and I've been letting it age till now. Couldn't wait any longer. It was pitch black - no light getting through this one. It had a one finger brown head that settled into a collar with broken foam. No carb but good lacing.

The aroma was really good. Strong coffee but also good amount of toasted chocolate malts and caramel. The taste is awesome as well. I'm usually not a big fan of this style but damn this is tasty. Has a good bite to it at first and then finishes smooth. I'm not a coffee drinker so was concerned before I drank it that it would be too coffeeish but it's not. Despite the high ABV, the alcohol doesn't really appear in the smell or taste. But you definitely feel it halfway thru. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy.

Overall, an excellent beer that has earned the high ranking and praise. I wouldn't want to drink it too often as it's not my favorite style but I'd love to try at least once a year. Highly recommend.

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Photo of Onslow
4.67/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I thought, seeing as Tropical Storm (Hurricane) Eduardo is hitting Houston tomorrow, I might be washed out to sea, and it would be a shame not to enjoy some really outstanding and rare beers tonight... First off is a beer that I have wanted for years... Pours a jet black midnight colour, dark as the night when you were a kid sneaking out at 2am....Lacing is really good, spots and dots, lower than expected head, but for 12% good... light alcohol, fresh coffee beans, chocolate from a century old swiss chocolate shop.... wonderful in the mouth, oily and chewy- smooth as silk but bold like a new magnum 500 sharpie ... I don't get it, the points (score) doesn't seem to match up on how much I am loving this beer, its not the most wow'ing beer i have had, but its just fuckin good!.. 'shit yeah, man!' ..'i am the walrus'..'are you a Lebowski achiever' ... I really like this beer, fuck that stuffed animal you hug at night,i want to spoon this beer when I go to bed...

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Photo of dedrinker
2.91/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A very glassy, shiny black color with little head and the thinnest dark brown hue when held to the light. Quite attractive despite the lack of head. Faint aroma of coffee, vanilla, and roasted malts. Flavor and mouth feel are disappointingly thin with a sharp, acidic black coffee bitterness that carries through to the finish. A little oak and rum creep out at the end to try and redeem itself, but I can't sign on to this one. The trouble with some coffee stouts is that they taste like they could really use some cream and sugar. I'm glad I didn't pay money for this, but on the brighter side I think this would be a great beer to braise some skirt steak with.

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Photo of johnd513
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks go to klewis for this one!
This beer pours a dark black with a nice two finger head with nice lacing. Nice aroma of coffee and chocolate. The mouthfeel is creamy and the taste is complex flavors of coffee and chocolate. Not my favorite coffee stout. (I enjoyed Péché Mortel and Jahva more). Still a very solid RIS. It doesn't live up to the hype in my opinion but a great beer none the less.

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Photo of jamiejohnson
4.03/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Respect this black masterpiece. If you like your beers tough, this one's for you. I've been riding bareback having had a difficult week with a family medical emergency. I felt it was finally time to break out this 6 month-aged ammo. At 12% it'll take you away from your troubles, guaranteed. Like the bottle states, this one's roasty and toasty and filled with copious amounts of the good stuff that make up an exceptional beer. Ain't nobody skimp'en on this San Diego treat. Give'em an A for attitude.

Life can sting,
Oh so true.
A tasty brew
Helps us through.

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Photo of jojox
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a - Black Black. Pours Viscous. Thin head which holds on a while, then fades, but stays thin around the edges.

s - Raisin-y. Dark roast, lots of coffee.

t - WOW, huge flavor! Lots of coffee, huge roasted/burnt flavors. No noticeable alcohol. Almost over the top with roast/burnt flavor. Bitterness is a bit harsh, combined with the burnt aspect.

m - really nice. Viscous

d - I could drink 2.

Impressions - a great RIS which got better as it warmed up - it started quite cold. The roasted flavor boardered and really overflowed into "burnt" territory, I'm wondering how much black patent malt and total roasted malts there were to give it the more charcoal taste. Not sure how that flavor will age, but I can see combined with oak barrels that would be quite delicious! I will age 6+ months before I open the next.

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

As far as I know this was the 2005 vintage.
Nightmare black pour with a dense head of mocha froth that fluffs up nicely and holds. Delicate coats of dried lace adorn my goblet.

Aroma is surprisingly dark; uber-smooth malts of the darkest kind, heavily caramelized chocolate, dark sweet coffee and some unexpected dark pit fruit notes.

Flavor melts into your palatte with layers of silky dark chocolate, sweet espresso, Tiramisu, leather, dry wood, and dark stewed fruits. The coffee not as pronounced as when fresh but maddeningly complex and no trace ot the 12% ABV.

Body big, creamy, slippery, and dense. Carbonation steady with pinpoint bubbles and the mouthfeel is like a melted Jamocha shake. Unfortunately we chose this beer as a nightcap and didn't make it to the end of the bottle. I hear that my friend who shared this finished it with his thoughts exactly.

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Photo of khiasmus
4.34/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, opaque black with ample head and excellent retention, especially for the ABV. Leaves minimal lacing on the glass.
The aroma is excellent. rich chocolate, coffee, dark grains, oil, soy sauce, and much more that I can't readily pick out. Complex, but so dense it's almost overwhelming.
Flavour is a bit lacking compared to the aroma, but still damn good. The coffee comes out a lot in the finish, and the beer overall is a heavy, sweet stout rampant with roasted grain bitterness. Balance is perfect, but is lacking in more complexity... ends up being a strong, sweet stout with harsh coffee that overrides the chocolate and other elusive flavours.
Mouthfeel is a bit thin for the immense density of flavours and aromas, but certainly not bad. Medium-full with a bit of dryness and warming in the finish.
Excellent beer. this is my third time enjoying this particular brew, and I enjoyed this time more than ever. Highly recommended.

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

Flows heavily from the bottle a deep dark black with a dark tan head that barely amounts to more than lacing. The scent is mostly milk chocolate and coffee with creamer. A faint whiff of sharp hops and something cedar-like. The flavor is much the same, opening with the cup-a-joe, immediately transitioning into a melted dove bar, then splits off into that cedar or maybe cherry wood taste and prune. Coffee comes back with a vengence to wrap it all up in a neat, bitter bow - accompanied with well managed alco-heat.

I'd had this before and I again vascilate about the aftertaste. Initially I love the caffeinated intensity but it just grows too astringent for my liking, like they dumped too many beans in. Seems unbalanced to me.

The mouthfeel on this hefty beast is probably appropriate, but I do find it a bit too viscous at times, especially given how it makes the bitterness cling to the taste buds. Just a touch too syrupy. Overall, a nice sipper in the heavier end of imperial stouts. Pretty tasty - reminds me a lot of Ten Fidy with a shot of espresso.

Thanks to bbothen for the chance to give this one another go.

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Photo of Wetpaperbag
4/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at a nice 60°f temp.

A- Very dark with a two finger tan head. Nice looking lacing in the glass.

S- The smell is very potent from a two foot distance. I can smell a bourbon smell from that distance. Upon closer sniffing, I can smell toffee, bourbon, coffee, chocolate, anise, and the plethora of other good smells one would find when smelling a great Imperial Stout.

T- Coffee taste is very friendly, not too over powering and not too bittering like some stouts with coffee. The abv gives quite the tingle on the tongue when the brew escapes down your throat. A very warming feel. Some of the other smells that are listed above are very subtle when it comes to the tasting. It is nice and pleasant.

M- The feeling I get is sort of oily, but a thin oily feel, not a thick one like motor oil.

D- I feel this is a good drinking beer. Goes down smooth and feels good.

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Photo of drumrboy22
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a couple of these in the cellar. This one came from AdamB84. Not sure how the vintages work for Alesmith. This one was in a green bottle and I've had it for almost a year. Anyway, poured from 750mL bottle into a snifter. Beer poured an inky black color with a small, dark tan head. Very soft carbonation and very little lacing left on the glass. Beautiful looking beer.

Aroma was coffee, chocolate and mild licorice.

Taste was coffee, chocolate, dark fruits (cherries) and vanilla. Fantastic tasting beer that only got better as it warmed. I could easily drink this at room temperature.

A fantastic sipper and one that I've been wanting to try for a long time. I'm glad I still have another bottle from Overlord in the cellar. Seek this one out!

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

A -- dark like a black velvet black light poster fine bubbles on a good head that leaves plenty of lacing

S-- chocolate coffee hops and patent malt

T-- Wow - this is a huge beer -- hold I have to stop and enjoy this beer... Chocolate and Coffee wrestle each other sligtly hot at first but, it doesn't stay.. Strong hop close

M- full bodied huge mouth fell that isn't syrupy and cleans out/ doesnt linger

Drinkability is high on this one, the 12% ABV is nearly imperceptable after the first taste

this is an awesome stout I really love it. Im looking forward to leaving another bottle in the cellar for a long time

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours from a 750 mL bottle, wrapped in silver foil, into a pint glass. "Imperial Stout brewed with Ryan Bros. Coffee Beans". Warmed about 20 minutes outside the fridge before serving.

A: An impenetrable blackness, capped with a densely woven creamy/bubbly fingers-worth of mocha-tan head. As it slowly ebbs, the head reveals large pock-marks and some deeper craters. Eventually dies to a lumpy film and leaves jagged sticky lacing.

S: Huge coffee aroma with abundant malt sweetness, a little oat-like.

T: Gigantic dark/charred malt and roasted coffee beans come through immediately. Latent sugar sweetness balances a heavy bittering: reduced caramel, earthy berries and a waning vanilla combat the burnt darkness. More pit fruit enters as it warms.

M: Creamy, velvety mouthfeel, full of chocolate and coffee bittering that lingers. Blended well to hide the 12% alcohol beautifully.

D: Among the best imperial stouts I've enjoyed. Huge, rich flavor and gorgeous look; it's ashame some late astrigency cuts the drinkability score just a little. Not quite a perfect balance, but pretty close. An outstanding stout that I'll get again and to which I give a high recommendation.

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Photo of Derek
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Black with a tan head, some retention & lace.

S: Big aroma of chocolate, coffee & a little hop spicing.

T: Coffee, chocolate, molasses & a light fruitiness & spice. Very warming alcohol, but surprisingly not harsh.

M: Moderate body & carbonation, slightly chalky with a touch of roasted acidity. Incredibly well-attenuated for it's strength (to the point that it's almost not stout-like).

D: Insanely drinkable for its strength, but definitely a sipper.

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Photo of RedChrome
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Glass is filled with a thick black liquid. Over two inches of a creamy light brown head, which faded over a few minutes. To dark to notice any rising carbonation. Thick foamy lacing clumps.

Coffee and malt fight to overpower the nose. Just a great burst that pleases the sense of smell. Ends with a very subtle hint of toffee and alcohol.

A nice bitter coffee flavor rolls all over the tongue. There is a presence of chocolate flavor but it fades back behind a combination of the coffee tastes and a touch of alcohol.

A super clingy beverage that hangs for minutes on the tongue. Carbonation tingles the edges of the tongue, but fades quickly.

Wonderful beer. This is great as a pairing with a nice chocolate dessert. A fantastic example of the style. Search it out if it is in your area.

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Photo of beerlassie
4.42/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Let me just start out by saying that AleSmith's Speedway Stout is a monster of a beer.

That said, the beer is black in appearance, with a very dark brown head that dissipates in a couple of minutes.

The aroma is sweet and slightly nutty. The taste is malty in flavor, with hints of dark chocolate and coffee undertones. An alcohol taste is definitely noticeable, but does not detract from the beer in any way.

The beer is fairly low in carbonation. This combined with a somewhat thick texture produces a very pleasant mouthfeel.

This is a very drinkable beer. At an ABV of 12%, Speedway Stout is not a beer that should be chugged, but instead slowly savored and best shared with friends. It packs a punch and after one pint you'll definitely feel the 12%. As you let the beer sit longer, the alcohol flavor comes through even more.

In my opinion, one of the better stouts available today.

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Photo of
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, 2008 vintage

Deep, dark, black in color. Looks clear as it poured, but who knows? Medium sized, cocoa colored head. Minimal lacing, good legs.

Aroma gave me chocolate, coffee and a whiff of alcohol.

Taste was coffee out of the gate, quickly followed by dark chocolate and roast flavors. Some dark fruits floated around in there, maybe really ripe dark cherries. Coffee was not as strong as I expected, and while clearly present, didn't dominate. Finished with a nice little hop bite.

Mouthfeel was exceptional, only comparitor for me would be Dark Lord. Full bodied, smooth and creamy. Carbonation was medium at best. Not drying.

Excellent stout, well deserving of it's spot in our rankings. Maybe some day I'll be lucky enough to try the BA version.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.37 out of 5 based on 6,774 ratings.
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