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AleSmith Speedway Stout | AleSmith Brewing Company

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AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout
BA SCORE
4.38/5
Outstanding
6,906 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#269
Reviews:
1,714
Ratings:
6,906
pDev:
8.45%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
923
Gots:
2,200
Trade:
150
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 6,906 |  Reviews: 1,714
Photo of Sammy
4.2/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A coffee brewed with beer and some spices and nicely carbonated. Thick and medium mouthfeel. Strong overwhelming coffee taste more than anything. Caffeine and alcohol kick certainly puts one on a rush. Bitter acidic finish. I've had more enjoyable of the style, see Yukon's version. Thanks XLPerro for bringing in from San Diego.

 329 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of acurtis
4.25/5  rDev -3%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev -3%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.97/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black with a small 1/2 inch puffy dark khaki head that fades to an oily cap. Random spots and small streaks of lace line the glass on the drink down. A gross slug of yeast or something plopped into my glass at the end of the pour from the bottle. Ew. Smell is of dark roasted malt, roasted coffee beans, slight chocolate, and a noticeable alcohol sting. Taste is of dark roasted malt, rich roasted coffee, and bitter chocolate. There is a nice roasty bitterness that sticks to the palate after each sip. A low level of carbonation makes for a smooth and thick mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good stout with some nice roasted coffee aromas and flavors.

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Photo of GRG1313
5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.18/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

one of those beers you just have to try to believe, really like no other. ive been holding onto this bottle for some time now, finally the time was right. inky black, motor oil on the pour, careful inch of light mocha head and a great density. aromatics of acid free coffee beans, smoke, birch bark, and chocolate syrup, very complex, but kid friendly as far as I am concerned. the alcohol is also minimal, which shocks me at 12% abv. the coffee isn't as strong in the flavor as I expected it to be, but it adds a richness and another layer of decadence to an already colossal beer. I feel the caffeine as much as the booze, which totally works at the lunch hour. chocolate as it finishes, not much bitterness at all, more like a cappuccino than an espresso, also okay. as big as body gets in beer, a definite bottle to share. overall exceptional, but not as distinct as I thought it would be. memorable but not the best ive ever tasted.

 937 characters

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of kjkinsey
5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of djrn2
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of Knapp85
4.03/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The mighty Speedway Stout, managed to finally get a bottle from my local shop in Bethlehem. I knew that it's said to be better with age but I was very excited to try it and didn't bother waiting more than a week or two to open it up. The pour was pitch black and gave off a nice brown colored head on it. The smell was deeply roasted and had elements of coffee and chocolate. The flavor of the beer seemed to me like it was lacking something. The flavors were pretty good but not something that I was expecting. I guess I was missing the WOW factor of it all. The flavors were the same as what was picked up on the nose with a subtle hoppiness to it. The mouthfeel was pretty good, not overly thick but still had enough body to keep it intact with the style. Overall I wasn't extremely impressed with this, I've picked up another bottle since and I plan on aging it for a while. I plan on revising this review when that time comes.

 931 characters

Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev -3%

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev -3%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev -3%

Photo of metter98
4.35/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a quarter finger-high beige head that quickly died down, leaving a thick ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass and wispy patches of bubbles covering the surface. The wispy bubbles eventually faded away, but a thick ring of bubbles consistently remained around the edge of the glass.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of chocolate in the nose.
T: The taste has strong flavors of bittersweet chocolate and coffee beans along with notes of dark roasted malts. A light amount of bitterness is present.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and quite smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a stout that is packed with an intense amount of flavors and hides its alcohol relatively well.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

You don't get darker or opaquer as this demonstrative stout races out to the gripping taste of supported roast.

Speedways masculine color is matched with a viscous appearance or motor oil as a blanked of heavy whipping cream seems to stand in for its head character. The foam will eventually give way to the beast of a beer underneath and leave moderate lace to start, but oily legging to finish.

A focused scent of espresso and cocoa-rich chocolates are backed with the scent of burnt caramel, malted milk, and slight coffeeish sourness.

Deliciously dedicated to the espresso and bittersweet chocolates as well. The simplified palate is supported by complementary malted milk candies, slightly scorched caramel, and a berry-like acidic twang that signals closure to the beer. Without much complexity, the beer relies heavily on roasted malt to carry the session.

Full bodied and robust throughout, the malty oily early palate is rounded by the richer malt texture of heavy cream and bread. A slow fade to firm alcohol warmth and roast bitterness finishes the beer with a long linger of roast and chocolate.

I like the fact that the beer isn't muddled with tertiary flavors just for the sake of complexity. This beer is complex because of it's sheer bigness and not because of it's variety of conflicting taste.

 1,316 characters

Photo of biboergosum
4.18/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle. There are 19 different versions of this beer, by dint of wood, fruit, and spice? Fuuuck. Anyways, thanks be to doktorzee for 'importing' this for me from SoCal a little ways back.

This beer pours a typically opaque black, with the same subtle, understated basal dark cola highlights, and three ebullient fingers of puffy, bubbly, thickly foamy milk chocolate head, which leaves rather prominent Tim Burton-inspired honeycombed lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells of a soft milk chocolate sweetness, further dense mountain holiday fudge, thin, somewhat plain morning office coffee, middling dark roasted salted caramel malt, a hint of wayward smoke, fleshy, watery orchard fruit, mild anise spice, and a bursting at the seams booziness. The taste is weirdly acerbic cocoa powder, well toasted Americano coffee, all with a certain lack of smoke or wood - things so prevalent elsewhere in the realm, instead bolstered by a restrained lactic quality, some softly oily nutty notes, more earthy licorice, and an amusing tussle amongst the sassy hops and alcohol for the title of 'innocuous in the least obvious way'.

The carbonation is quite on the low and unobtrusive side, the body heavy with a niggly medium twinge, and crazily smooth and creamy, with a sense of god-like pandering. It finishes off-dry, in the most pithy way, as the chocolate, coffee, and regrouped black fruit hold great sway, in the face of a swelling alcohol and hop (why are they so easily coupled here?) edginess.

A solid example of things possible with a stout when the American sensibility takes a firm hold - duly tasty additives without overt responsibility. An offering more or less worthy of its heady reputation, especially its ability to rein in the 12% ABV elephant in the room.

 1,794 characters

Photo of kojevergas
4/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The score posted reflects an average of the below reviews.

*1

Brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a trappist Westvleteren goblet in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live.

A: Pours a half finger head of nice tan colour, lovely cream, great thickness, and okay retention. Colour is a solid black.

Sm: Heavy caramel, cocoa nibs, cream, chocolate, and toffee. A layered moderately strong aroma.

T: Complex, with all the notes of the nose layered in a brilliant balance. Not too rich, and nicely subtle. The cream undertones on both the finish and open are fantastic. A bit too much caramel, but it does fit into the build nicely.

Mf: Incredibly delicate and smooth. Just wet enough. Near perfect for the flavours.

Dr: Incredibly drinkable for the ABV. A very high quality beer. Abv comes through, but not as much as I'd expect.

*2

750ml brown glass bottle with foiled over pressure cap served cold and allowed to warm during consumption. Served into a pilsner glass in me gaff in Los Feliz. Acquired at the brewery for $10.99 5 days ago. Expectations are high; I loved this before and I'm a huge fan of the brewery.

Poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 5 finger beautiful dark tan chocolate colour head of dazzling frothy cream, smooth rolling complexion, fantastic lacing, amazing thickness, and incredible retention considering the high ABV. It just sits there for 3 minutes, hardly reducing at all. Colour is a solid nontransparent jet black. Remarkable appearance. Near perfect for a stout. Could only be better with a bubble show. I can't wait to try it.

Sm: Refined aroma of chocolate, chocolate malts, rich java/coffee, roasted barley, dark malts, caramel, a bit of nut, and toasted malts. Subtle, evocative, and welcoming. Could use a bit more boldness, but its subtlety is quite alluring. Moderate strength aroma.

T: Delightfully subtle rich coffee and java roast, with hints of mocha and cream. Creamy throughout, greeting you on the open. Dark malt foundation, with chocolate malts as well. Chocolate is subtle throughout, and not particularly dominant. Less cacao nibby and more dark brick chocolatey. Caramel. Near perfectly balanced, with each note coalescing in an intentional meaningful way. There's so much going on here, yet each flavour is so subtle. If anything, coffee dominates - but really nothing does. Rather, the beer balances all of its notes without losing focus. The whole experience is the emphasis, not one particular flavour. No yeast or alcohol comes through. The roast is wonderful.

Mf: Incredibly light and delicate for the style. Creamy throughout without feeling washed out. Fragile and supportive of the bold flavours. Masterfully tailored to the flavours. Excellent brewing here. Smooth and wet. Thin but not weak. Delightful. I don't know how they accomplished it. That said, I will say that I do personally prefer more coarseness and dryness in a stout. I'm nitpicking. Alcohol warmth is minimal but pleasant; very little booziness or heat.

Dr: Hides its ABV absurdly well. Drinks very easily for its high ABV. I could down this all night. The coffee should help keep you upright while you quaff it too. Very well priced; the quality is unmatched at this price point - only $10.99? I'd take this over a 4 pack of Old Raspy 6 days out of the week. This is a solid go-to imperial stout for us locals. Bravo, Alesmith. Probably their finest mainstay. Lives up to the hype. I'd definitely have this again, especially on nitro (if its offered). I can't wait to try the barrel aged variants.

Small criticisms. It could use more complexity. This style definitely has high expectations. I like that this is so widely available in SoCal, but it doesn't match the complexity of something like The Abyss or Black Tuesday.

An excellent candidate for aging. I've got a few in my cellar as we speak.

Would pair well with chocolate and unsalted plain nuts.

A-

*3

Truncated notes (18 month aged 2011 vintage):

A: Gorgeous 3 finger tan colour head. Good cream and thickness. Solid opaque jet black body. Head retains for easily 8+ minutes. Spotty lacing.

Sm: Coffee has faded, but there is some faint roast and earthy bitterness. Dark & chocolate malts. Not as seamless and balanced an aroma as I remember from fresh bottles. It hasn't developed with age. Moderate in strength.

T/Mf: Luscious silky texture is still a highlight here. Dark & chocolate malts. Coffee has really faded here, to its detriment. I can't recommend this beer for aging. Creamy. Certainly balanced and cohesive, but it's a shadow of its former self and has lost complexity. Smooth, wet, well carbonated. Good body and thickness.

Dr: Drinkability is as good or better than I remember, but the beer hasn't developed. Don't age this; drink fresh. I'm disappointed, but it's still easily a "B" at 18 months.

B

*4 (3+ year aged 2011 vintage):

No coffee. This definitely deteriorated with age.

B-

 4,995 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of emerge077
4.35/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Amanda for lugging these beers back from LA!

Jet black body, frothy mocha foam in the glass that slides down slowly around the edges. Some sticky lace is left behind, though there's not much head retention save for a swirl of skim on the surface.

Roasty black malt, bitter unsweetened chocolate, mild coffee aromas. A healthy amount of char that lends a toastiness in the taste, intertwining seamlessly with dark chocolate and mellow coffee notes. Body is creamy and silky smooth. 12% abv is nowhere to be seen. Top class Imperial Stout, all the best characteristics of the style rolled in together.

 609 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.67/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a rich blackstrap molasses color with a modest head that drops to a ringlet and archipelago but leaves splotches of lace around the chalice

Smell: Coffee, molasses, bittersweet chocolate and a touch of citrus hops

Taste: Starts out with a mouthful or rich, sweetened espresso that builds in molasses and chocolate flavors by mid-palate; after the swallow, the hoppy bitterness kicks in and is accompanied by some fruity character

Moutheel: Medium to full body with relatively low carbonation

Drinkability: One of the most wonderful tastes in beerdom

 571 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4.25/5  rDev -3%

Photo of oline73
4.05/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown, almost black, with no light coming through at all. There is a half finger of tan head that fades to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Very sweet and roasty with lots of coffee and roasted malt dominating. There is some dark fruit, chocolate, and alcohol in there as well.

Taste: Very smooth but very roasty. The coffee and roast make this one pretty bitter, but there is a ton of sweetness to balance it out. Some chocolate and dark fruit. Roasty alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Very thick body, sticks to your mouth. Tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: Very well balanced other than the bitterness in the finish. I would have liked the finish to be a little bit smoother, but still a wonderful beer. I'd love to have it again.

 834 characters

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.38 out of 5 with 6,906 ratings
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