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: 1,659 | Ratings: 6,677
Photo of shareallthebeer
3.74/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Unbalanced as far as imperial stouts are concerned. The taste of alcohol is unmasked, I think the coffee could have been ramped up to help mute the alcohol. Lots of chocolate on the front, after which all I tasted was burn. The nose closely follows the taste. Pours dark with more head than you see with most imperial stouts.

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

THE STANDARD when it comes to coffee stouts. Time to try it out for a rating.

750 mL bottle, undated, poured into Guinness stout glass

L: Pour brings big 3F+ soapy very light tan head with lots of retention, lacing, and a ring. Beer is midnight black.

S: Coffee up front, followed by roasted malts, with some vanilla, cocoa, cloves, and cinnamon in back.

T: Coffee and roasted malts forward, a hint of vanilla dairy creamer and a tiny bit of alcohol (no burn, a bit of drying). I expected slightly bolder, but it's very good.

F: Moderate to heavy bodied, light carbonation, alcohol content leads to a little bit of palate drying, but impressive cloaking of 12% ABV indeed.

O: A shade short of the true greats, but solid flavor and construction say this is a beer that has earned its status.

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Photo of THSdrummer
4.57/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours black with a thick, foamy creme colored head. A bit of spotted lacing gets left behind as the beer disappears. Really, it looks close to perfect. The aroma is highlighted by coffee, which is incredible. Toasted and roasted malts sit behind. Great aroma. The taste features a blast of coffee, with toasted malts, and chocolate in the background. Absolutely stellar. Mouth feel is sublime, with it's thick, robust feeling, while still remaining smooth and easy to gulp down (it's almost tough to not gulp it). Overall, a beer that delivers on every front. I traded for it after reading about it in coffee beer reviews. So glad I did. I was disappointed to see the bottle was from early 2015 (consumed/reviewed on April 1st, 2016 - but this beer is no joke) as I thought the coffee notes would've faded away, but I was dead wrong. They are there and in force. It's an absolute delight to drink.

Served in a 12oz snifter. Bias: I love coffee.

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Photo of WunderLlama
4.34/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bomber poured into Sam Adams glass

Pitch black liquid , dense thick, rich, creamy taupe foam cap atop a brown foam layer, great lacings

Aroma of roast malts , coffee

Taste of coffee, roast malts , bit of bitterness

Low sudsing, hint of alcohol , bitterness on the back of the tongue

Great beet

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.37/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A black body, inky opaque, with a thin, light tan head that fades to a cast across the top and a ring at the edge. Minimal lacing, small dots scattered on the side of the glass.

S - Smashing hit of warm alcohol. It hides most else, but molasses, coffee and chocolate notes are behind.

T - The front is dark chocolate and molasses, a touch of coffee bitterness, and a bright malty middle, coming to a more acidic and alcohol note in the close.

M - Warm and slick, a touch sticky, but with enough burn on the close to clear the palate of the beer's definite weight.

O - A mighty fine stout, with lots of depth, and great feel. The nose is a bit too much alcohol, but fortunately the flavor is dialed in. I think I'll need to get this one again.

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Photo of Rawwie
4.34/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Really awesome, smooth, great smelling, grey tasting beer. Only thing that kind of bugged me is the thin mouthfeel. Other then that, really awesome beer. Cheers

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Photo of Myotus
4.21/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured aggressively at 53°F from a 750no bottle (no date) into a beer goblet. Consumed on 13Mar16.
LOOK: A fingers worth of cinnamon colored foam foams after being poured. The foam head changes color to khaki within 15 seconds. At 1 minute and 45 seconds, the foam head has halved itself in size, leaving behind a moderate amount of thick lacing from the dissipation. Black in color with an orange tint. Rising bubbles are small in size and very subtle in quantity. Lacing is thick and moderate.
SMELL: Strong molasses, sweet chocolate, and sweet coffee aromas entangle with mild aromas plum, sweet black cherry, alcohol, vanilla, and bitter roasted malts.
TASTE: Very strong molasses and sweet chocolate flavors first bombard the palate. This initial explosion of sweetness is welcoming yet leaves me yearning for balance. Some balance is brought as strong alcohol and mild vanilla, plum, and sweet black cherry flavors immediately follow. More balance is achieved as mild flavors of sweet coffee and subtle flavors of bitter roasted malts close out the final taste.
FEEL: Very full-bodied with subtle amounts of carbonation. Goes down incredibly smooth and creamy. Finishes with a strong dryness. A great and nearly unwelcoming alcoholic warmth can be felt as it goes down the throat.
NOTE: The alcohol flavors are personally off putting for me, but as I stated, they do bring some balance to the sweetness. This Stout is definitely not for those who love their alcohol hidden.

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Photo of dmgallag
4.46/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not tasting a lot of coffee here, but this is incredibly creamy. My goodness does this go down easy. I can't believe The ABV on this. No burning, just creamy smooth goodness going down. You get the coffee as the aftertaste, but it is subtle. Well done.

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Photo of hardysf
4.53/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Really dug this beer and will definitely be buying more. Upon popping, Coffee and Chocolate filled the air. Hard pour created a lot of aroma and foam that tasted very nice. Taste was a chocolate and coffee delicacy; lots of sweetness including hints of caramel and toffee. Creamy mouthfeel, full bodied with a dry finish. Wonderful.

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Photo of thepenguin
4.24/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours pitch black with a decently-sized khaki head for the style that retains itself in large bubbles around the edges of the glass.

S: Semi-sweet with musty coffee, caramel, bready malt and some dry cacao. A nice roasted character that breaks through the malt and maintains a good balance.

T: Very balanced but certainly on the sweet side, particularly in the finish. Lots of caramel and toffee, with fairly restrained coffee flavor for a coffee stout. Thick and rich, with just enough coffee and hops keeping the rest from getting out of hand. Sweet, syrupy finish with plenty of roasty coffee and a decent amount of booze.

F: Medium-plus body – surprisingly light for this beer’s strength – with light-to-medium carbonation and a substantial amount of lingering warmth in the finish.

Thoughts: A classic for a reason. At 12% abv and with it’s sweetness it’s not the most drinkable beer I’ve come across, but it’s a very well crafted imperial stout. The relatively light body adds some drinkability, and the coffee definitely adds some balance and complexity.

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Photo of hopflyer
4.47/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 4/24/14

Pours nearly opaque black with a little amber/ruby red highlight when held up to light. Head is ample 1 1/2 finger light tan color. Looks like an espresso. Head receeds to a nearly full film on top with tight bubbled collar. Collar widens as the top film dissipates.

Nose is heavy chocolate and coffee and signifies there's a lot of depth. Ever so slight licorice scent but reminds me of the chocolate licorice more so than black licorice. Some alcohol/ booze in far background.

Initial taste is medium roast coffee with a fairly prominent vanilla component to compliment it. A slight twang of roast and bitterness on the back of the tongue. Opens up to some bitter-sweet bakers chocolate but when cold, the bitterness overtakes the sweetness. 12% is nowhere to be found. Bitterness from the roasted malts later excuses itself somewhat to some chocolately and caramel sweetness as it warms.

Medium to full bodied and silky feel complimented by low carbonation. Lingering bitterness on back of palate. Has a milky texture.

I've been holding on to this bottle for a while and figured I'd give it a crack today for NBS. Did not disappoint one bit. Full bodied feel offers a range of all the flavors you'd expect in a coffee stout. ABV is invisible and not sure if it's because of the age or just the artistry in how this one was crafted. Nonetheless, I need more of this.

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Photo of HamdenHector
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: opaque; very dark brown - just a hint of ruby at the edges; <1 finger dark khaki head that receded to a wispy cap; little lacing;

S: roasted grains, bittersweet chocolate, licorice, a little dark fruit, a little alcohol, a hint of coffee; as it warms, the bittersweet chocolate and dark fruit really come forward;

T: roasted grain, dark fruit, and a bit of alcohol from start to finish; bittersweet chocolate mixes in at the middle, but fades before the finish; mild bitterness at the end; as it warms, the bittersweet chocolate is much more evident;

M: full bodied; really coats your mouth; moderate carbonation; lightly dry finish;:really smooth; the ABV is warming, but quite well hidden for 12%;

O: a really good, complex stout;

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Photo of FerarriPaul
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of the best beers I have ever drank, without question. I'm not a connoisseur, yet, but I'm becoming a Stout and Porter guy so my opinion is becoming well rounded for this genre.
Speedway ranks as my absolute favorite Stout thus far. It's a palette's super nova providing complex aromas with thick malty goodness. The flavor lingers on the palette and as it tapers, you'll taste hints of cocoa and light caramel/molasses. Bury your nose in the glass and take a deep breath to prime your senses with each sip of this beer... but most crucial of all... drink this beer slow to really appreciate it like a good medication from the ol' doc.

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Photo of Cylinsier
4.71/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75


Pours jet black, light tan film for a head retains indefinitely.

Smells of cocoa, smoked malts, oatmeal, and brown sugar.

Flavor of cocoa, oak, coffee bean, toasted bread, caramel, brown sugar, and a whisper of licorice.

Full body with a sting from both the carbonation and alcohol. Warms going down.

Top notch stout with loads of flavor and aroma that mesh beautifully. I've almost tried this several times and am glad I finally did. Up there near the top of my stout list all-time. Maybe one or two others I'd pick before this. Must-try.

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Photo of Catracho5
4.57/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bomber bottle poured into a snifter

A: Pours jet black with a full, creamy, mocha colored head, some lacing, low carbonation, no head retention, no light come through, very dark, poured like motor oil, looks really good.

A: Coffee, roasted malts, dark chocolate, picking up some alcohol, big aromas, was expecting more coffee.

T: Touch of coffee up front, adding some moderate bitterness, roasted malts, dark chocolate, big dry finish, incredibly smooth and drinkable, for 12% ABV the alcohol is well hidden.

M: Balanced carbonation, dry finish, full bodied, creamy smooth mouthfeel.

O: This is a very tasty beer I can't believe I waited so long to try it, amazingly drinkable, smooth, creamy mouthfeel, very balanced, roasted malts and dark chocolate with a touch of coffee, a world class beer. I would like to see this in a different format besides the bomber bottle.

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Photo of thespaceman
4.52/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured off tap into a snifter at My Place in Newtown, CT

Appearance - Pours a beautiful jet black with half inch tan head. Head retention is light due to the alcohol but it looks pretty as ever

Smell: Dark roasted malts and coffee take over the aroma - a small tinge of fruit and molasses here as well, you can really smell the malt flavors through a quick sniff, smells premium for sure

Taste: Dark chocolate and coffee flavor is predominant - a nice tinge of esters from the alcohol but not enough to make your face cringe, it's way on the backside. Finishes with a smokey flavor that is very appealing

Mouthfeel: This is where his beer shines. Not overly slick, still a bit light for the alcohol content and heavy enough to let you know your drinking a big stout. Carbonation is minimal as it should be.

Overall: I've heard so much about this beer since I got into craft beer back in 2007 and glad I finally got to try it. It's the picture perfect stout, light on the mouth and easy to drink yet complex and packed with flavor profile. Will seek again for sure!

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Photo of soco89ziegler
4.41/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great beer that is not a challenge to find at all (I am in SoCal though). Pours dark black, strong coffee flavor, smooth at 12%, and a great classy mouth feel that every imperial stout should have. I have never had the opportunity to try any of the variants but the original is a one of a kind beer.

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Photo of CTbrew32
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Quick Review: Tan and foamy two finger head on the pour. Smell is strong on the coffee, roasted malts, and dark chocolate. Big coffee at first with roasted malts and dark chocolate making for bitter start. The bitterness is balanced by a softer finish which has vanilla and milk chocolate show up. Verges on being to bitter at times, but it mostly manages to remained balanced especially as it warms. Very good for the style.

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Photo of Beers-es
4.54/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

From a 22 oz bomber into a snifter, pours black with a finger of dense tan head whose top is dotted by frothy, larger bubbles. Head dissipates but never leaves completely. Lacing is moderate but lasting. Holding this beer to the light reveals a deep, rich ruby-brown along the edges--the middle is still impenetrable. Beautiful stuff.

Smells are initially dark fruits--raisins and black cherries--with coffee and chocolate mixing in. After warming a bit, roasty malts and caramel toffee appear as well.

Taste is roasty, dark fruit with evolving layers of complexity. Sweetness is balanced well by the bitter roasty flavors. Feel is dang near perfect. Rich and full without being overly viscous. The carbonation comes in just when you want to liven things up.

This is an outstanding Imperial Stout, worthy of its world-class rating.

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Photo of SD-Alefan
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottled in Oct., 2013
Pours a viscous complete black with a minimal tan head.
Aroma is dark chocolate, roasted coffee, prune and raisin, leather and a touch of must.
Taste is coffee and chocolate right up front, a hit of sweet milk chocolate-covered raisin in the middle of the swallow and a lingering dark chocolate finish with a touch of underlying char. Also, just a smidgen of molasses and leather. Not even a hint of booze on this two-year-old vintage.
Mouthfeel is thick and exceptionally creamy

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Photo of spacecake9
4.48/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Been looking at this beer for over 6 months, not sure why I hesitated.
A - Pours black. Really really black. With 1 inch of beautiful tan head.
S - The aroma is not strong but it is coffee.
T - Great balance of coffee and stout. And a touch of sweetness.
M - Smooth, creamy, soft mouth feel. Perhaps the creamiest beer I've ever had. Is there any carbonation at all?
O - This is an awesome coffee stout. I don't get any other flavor notes beyond coffee. But there is something else going on here because there is NO coffee harshness. Really nice.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.59/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

$ 11.99/25.4 oz + $ 4 shipping = $ 0.629/oz from the Craft Shack
Bottled 9/24/15, served at 42 degrees into snifter, allowed to warm to 50 degrees
Aroma weak, roasted malt
Head small (two cm, aggressive pour), light brown, frothy, diminishing to three mm ring and partial thin layer with a few rocks
Lacing excellent – complete rings of tiny bubbles
Body dark brown, opaque
Flavor weak, can’t taste the coffee, just roasted malt; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate full, creamy, soft carbonation

Appearance 4.25, Aroma 3.25, Flavor 3.5, Palate 4, Overall 3.75

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Photo of SomethingClever
4.21/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle poured into snifter

A: pitch black body big fluffy looking head a tan color laces on the glass as the head recedes

S: some coffee, bakers chocolate, licorice, smells a little like cocoa powder and some metallic

T: coffee is huge, lots of chocolate, anise the coffee is actually making the beer have a bitter finish

M: very light carbonation nice oily slick feel on the tongue which turns to a nice fullness

O: Great drinking beer I remember really being taken with this beer I am not as blown away as I was the first time but the beer is good. The coffee is much more pronounced in the taste then in the nose.

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Photo of smanson56
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pour a dark black color. Nice nose but didn't find a lot of coffee here as I expected. The taste is smooth but the coffee is still hindden by the nice roasted malts. A really good stout just not with the coffee flavor I expected.

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Photo of kik
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted on the lighter side for such a strong beer: more carbonated with only a faint smoky taste. Hints of coffee. Solid, but lacking the oomph of Dark Lord.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.37 out of 5 based on 6,677 ratings.
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