AleSmith Speedway Stout | AleSmith Brewing Company

1,669 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,669 | Ratings: 6,727
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.

 821 characters

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.

 886 characters

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.

 945 characters

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.

 1,128 characters

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.

 876 characters

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!

 753 characters

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

 618 characters

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.

 1,178 characters

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.

 460 characters

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.

 793 characters

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.

 894 characters

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.

 769 characters

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

Pours deep, deep brown almost black with a 1/8 caramel tan head. Aroma of coffee, chocolate, roasted malt. Smells a lot like Dark Lord. First sip: is rich, creamy, and complex with a great balance with all that is going on. Coffee dominates as the lead, with everything else performing great in a supportive role. Not as thick or syrupy as a Dark Lord, but the body is strong thanks to a great malt backbone. It finishes with a wonderful bitterness that is much appreciated. This is no doubt a World Class RIS!

 510 characters

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

Poured thick and pitch black. The head on this particular pour was very lackluster but I attribute that to lack of properly cleaned glassware (my fault). Previous pours always yielded big frothy tan colored heads. No light escapes this beast.

It's bursting with wonderful scents. Roasted barley & chocolate malts. Toasty and bready malts with whiffs of alcohol. Mild hop aroma. Coffee and some dark fruit.

Taste, wow. It's incredible. The aforementioned malts run rampant as the flavors of toffee & caramel join in the fray. Coffee slightly floats about the taste buds as well as the previously noted dark fruit (cant put my finger on which). Nice little hop bite in the end. A flavorful beast of a brew!

Full bodied and borderline syrupy mouthfeel. Decent levels of carbonation (not too much) and it feels great as it finishes.

12% ABV. One pint will do A heavy duty beer that's a joy to drink, albeit a dangerous one.

 923 characters

Photo of msgraves
4.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle thick and pitch-black generated a creamy light-brown head that clung to the glass.

The aroma was heavy on big roasted malts with plenty of espresso. The presence of sweet chocolate gave this a mocha smell. You could also pick up some of the alcohol and hints of caramel.

Tasted heavily of dark roasted coffee and dark chocolate. There was a great balance between the coffee and chocolate flavors. There was a little bit of caramel sweetness as well as a little alcohol bite. I also noticed some plum in the finish.

This beer was nice and full-bodied with a slightly oily character that coated the mouth.

Pretty easy drinking as imperial stouts go.

 674 characters

Photo of sholland119
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a deep dark brown with a thin tan head. My mouth is watering.

S-Roasted coffee notes, caramel, rich milk chocolate, a little hops underneath. Excellent.

T-It's all that. Balanced and complex all the way through. Sweet in the front, then finishes with a surprising, delicious bitterness. Great hops finish is unexpected, and awesome.

M-Creamy, somewhat thick. Very nice.

D-Dangerously drinkable for a 12% ABV. Don't know where the alcohol is hidden but I could not taste it.

Lives up to the hype and ranking, I think. Rich, complex, delicious.


 559 characters

Photo of demitriustown
4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big Bottle: From a trade with pantanap (A big Thanks!) Aroma coffee, Chocolate cake, big on malts, roasty, a light hop backing and raisins. Appearance is pitch black with a medium sized brown head tht diminishes into a thin tan film. Taste starts out with and upfront malt and chocolate note. Somewhat grainy at first. Then transforms into something totally different. (I love it when beers do this) Many phases to the taste and palate of this brew including a slight alcohol twinge in the middle, but smooths out with a roasted malt and caramel taste. Nicely complex.

 568 characters

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

Poured from 750ml, shared with three others, used Guiness pint glass.

Pour is thick, heavy and opaque black, with a creamy chocolate brown head yielding thick lacing. Aroma is coffee, chocolate and toffee. This is a big, strong beer, and you can taste the alcohol in each drink, which does sit in the mouth a bit. I'm not a huge fan of stouts, but this is one I would order any time I saw it on a menu.

 403 characters

Photo of cswhitehorse
3.91/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Speedway Stout poured a viscous Texas tea with a wicked solid 2-3 finger foam head. I wanted to take a quick nap on the pillow like head. It left dotted slow like lacing.

The aroma was coffee filled with deep roasted malt smell. You could smell the 12% abv in the nose right away. Not strong enough to cause you to cry but close. I also got a muted dark chocolate smell.

The taste was real money if you are a coffee lover. If you don't like coffee very much you might want to stay away. Straight up roasted malt taste as it enters your mouth. It finished with a coffee bite and bitterness.

In the mouth the high alcohol burns the back of the throat but leaves a lovely coffee flavor that stays with you for some time. It is very chewy and thick.

Overall a wonderful example of a really good stout flavored with my other favorite drink, coffee. If I only lived in San Diego when the rain rarely comes. I would buy this again but the price will leave me to once a year.

 977 characters

Photo of mhewes
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A : Pours a thick dark black with creamy tan 2 finger head. Leaves some great lacing behind.

S : Roasted malts with a strong espresso smell and hints of dark chocolate

T : Dark roasted malts heavy on the espresso. Some hints of chocolate on the end. You can taste the alcohol a little bit but not as much as I would expect.

M : Full-bodied, real creamy

D : Easy to drink but the high alcohol means it's not sessionable.

 424 characters

Photo of younger35
4.78/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Received this brew from both nvsblman (for winning the survivor pool) and 0110x011. Love AleSmith and have been wanting to break one of these bad boys open for quite some time now. Drank from my Stone India Pale Ale tulip.

Appearance- Black as hell with an almost tri-colored head. Two finger light sand head that gets about 1/8 inch off the top of the beer before it turns into a darker cardboard like hue. The head is big and soft and fluffy for quite some time before it dissipates into a very appealing cap and collar that leaves more lacing than I knew could be left.
Smell- Very pungent and very appealing this is exactly what I was hoping for. The coffee is O so delightful and as rich as espresso. A dark bakers chocolate bitterness is oozing out of the glass along with plenty of roasted malty goodness. Some light almost caramel sweetness is present too but the coffee and chocolate are what really stand out.
Taste- Much like the nose it starts with a rush of coffee that seems to engulf my entire mouth until a bitter flash of pure baker's chocolate moves in. The chocolate in this brew is much more pronounced than I was expecting but it's not the Choklat like chocolate. It's not near as sweet and is bitter, malty and gritty. A bit of sweetness is present with an almost molasses like flavor. There is a bit of a light fruit aspect to this as well that is almost lightly grape-y (think under ripened raisons). The alcohol is hidden very well until toward the end it's lightly warming. The best part of the beer is the finish though. Somehow the coffee seems to intensify ten fold at the finish and leaves a lingering double espresso like aftertaste. Absolutely wonderful!
Mouthfeel- Thick and viscous this thing is very full bodied and super velvety smooth. Light carbonation is present that is very subtle and tingly with a fairly warming finish. Seems to get a bit more intense as it warms.
Drinkability- This is a fantastically delicious stout that I think would probably be 2 or 3 on BA's top list if it was only released once a year. It's got the soul of Péché Mortel with the heart of Choklat. I don't necessarily know if I like it better than Péché Mortel but I know it's on a whole other complexity level. Great beer that I really really enjoyed. Big thanks to Matt and nvsblman!

 2,307 characters

Photo of Proteus93
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Jet black, FAT head of sandy brown. Sticks around for a long time, spotty lacing over the edges.

S: Beautiful espresso aroma, dark chocolate. Almost like a fine mocha capuccino. A very nice choice of coffee... I'd like to try that, as well!

T: Roasty coffee bean - a bitterness of both unsweetened chocolate and espresso bean. Some black currant flavours nestled in there. Not a lot of subtlety here, as I find in many other of the style... but big flavours of finer quality.

M: Thick, rich, and heavy... then, like magic, it finishes incredibly dry, like it spontaneously vaporizes.

D: With the big flavour, it becomes something of a mellow sipper, but the alcohol is incredibly well hidden - maybe a little on the finish, but otherwise, quite unnoticable and buried under the other flavours.

 803 characters

Photo of avaulteriam
3.94/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A fat beer with an obvious booze factor. Not near as good as I would have expected, but decent enough. The coffee is there but muted, sweet and thick. Ain't no dark lord, though. Deep Black with burgundy on the edges and think dark head. Nose is some coffee and sweetness.

 272 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.37/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, near black body with, well, no real head to speak of. Rather Kahlua-like in appearance.

Smell: Heavily roasted dark malts with notes of espresso, dark chocolate, molasses, and chocolate cake (topped with a cherry). Keyword: Lovely.

Taste: Dark, roasty maltiness with full flavors of dark chocolate, birthday cake coated in blackstrap molasses, and (even moreso) robust coffee. Slightly obscured fruitiness. Roasty, earthy bitterness. A flickering of sweet dark caramel in amongst the heavier flavors. A distinct, warming touch of alcohol heat. Long, lingering coffee finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. Relatively creamy mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A very rich, complex stout, and yet another fantastic release from AleSmith.

 779 characters

Photo of Scrumtralecent
4.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Poured from a bottle into a snifter. This beer comes out a midnight black with a tan head. Can see the thick viscosity along the side of the glass when swirled around a little bit.

S: Malty, coffee, and some caramel. Smell has an almost creamy feel to it. A pungent smell that helps make the taste that much more powerful.

T: A wonderful changing taste as the beer temperature changes. Very cold starts with the malts and caramel from the smell, while as it warms, the coffee enters more into taste. Once again, I feel like a milky smooth taste in the beer, something creamy or dairy almost. I feel like this is an imperial stout meets milk stout. A really complex taste that leads to finding each sip different from the one before.

F: Good amount of carbonation, and nicely full bodied. Goes quite down quite smoothly.

D: At 12% abv, it will rock you a little, but you won't be able to notice. This goes down smoothly and the alcohol is hidden nicely by the complex taste and easy to handle full body. A great compliment to any cool night, this beer will not have any trouble going down. Wish I had access to this readily or else I'd be enjoying this brew multiple times during the cold IL winters.

 1,207 characters

AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.37 out of 5 based on 6,727 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.