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 | website

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
Reviews:
1,633
Ratings:
6,489
Avg:
4.37
pDev:
16.93%
 
 
Wants:
905
Gots:
2,085
For Trade:
157
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,633 | Ratings: 6,489
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 Merkur
3.88/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap in a regular pint glass at Downtown Johnny Brown's in San Diego.

Beer pours very dark with about a half finger of dark brown head.

Beer smells very roasty but not strongly of anything else.

The beer tastes roasty and malty with slight hints of dark chocolate, followed by a very boozy finish with some slight espresso taste. A bit too boozy for me.

Mouthfeel was fairly thick.

Overall a good stout.

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Photo of Aenema
4.22/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pitch black, deep tan head.
Smell - Coffee, cocoa, vanilla, oak. Tremendous aromatic combination.
Taste - Cocoa, coffee, some bitterness towards the end.
Mouthfeel - Silky smooth with low-medium carbonation.
Drinkability - Very enjoyable and although it is a very filling, strong beer, it manages to remain easy to continue drinking. The biggest problem I ran into was a bit more bitterness than I would like on the end of this one.
Overall - A tremendous nose and great drinkability really set this one apart. I'm looking forward to trying this one again.

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

A: Pours jet black with no head, leaving little carbonation and almost no lacing.

S: Plenty of coffee. A good deal of milk chocolate, much sweeter smelling than most stouts, this one, with plenty of dark roast and roasted barley to accent the flavors. A touch of caramel, but it's very faint.

T: Honestly, I get a bit of oranges and hints of citrus in the front of this brew. Not sure if I'm going nuts or not, but there it is. The middle is plenty of nutty, roasty, dark coffee and double espresso, and the finish is a dry sort of oakish/woody flavor accentuated by the coffee and hops. The mouthfeel is almost anemic, and the carbonation is non-existent.

O: This is an interesting stout. I'm not sure why in hell I would get orange and citrus flavors at the front, but I do. Even so, it doesn't spoil the flavor one bit. A mighty fine stout, and a unique one. Would've liked more head/carbonation, but it isn't bad at all as it is.

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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.

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Photo of TCHopCraver
4.57/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes made on 12-11-10. Thanks to zoso1967 for bringing the bottle from PA, cheers to TCGoalie for his marriage, and salut to BuckyFresh for his excellent company.

Speedway Stout appears very black and opaque with just a hint of a dark brown tint around its edges. This 750 mL bottle was split five ways, so the head was not huge, but it was attractive with its medium to brown colored froth and it retained like a champion. Dainy, spotty, sticky, vertical lacing covered the glass after each sip.

The bouquet of this beer is magnificent. The coffee component is perfectly blended with smells of plum, dark cherry, brown sugar, molasses, and roasted malts. Of all the aromas, though, bitter, dark chocolate asserts itself with the most clarity. This smell is amazingly rich and full and I am blown away by how well all of the separate aromas come together.

At the outset of the drink, roasted malts leap onto my palate, which is somewhat surprising as they were but a well blended piece of the smell. After the roastiness tapers off, coffee, chocolate, and sex just melt in my mouth. The dark fruit aromas that were quite apparent in the smell are very subdued in the taste and take a backseat to other flavors. The sweet, rich middle of the taste finishes with great taste of bitter coffee.

The mouthfeel is good, but is the weak point of the beer in my mind. It has a medium body, is fairly creamy, and has perfect carbonation for the style. However, I find it to be just a little light, as I generally prefer a bigger, more coating feel from an Imperial Stout.

The drinkability is awesome. This is one of the top IS's that I have had, and I will feel priveleged to have it again when next our paths cross. I was shocked to see that the a.b.v. is 12% when I logged on to review. It's just so smooth and flavorful that I did not notice the alcohol when I tasted it.

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Photo of shippos
4.19/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Courtesy of my secret santa Gueuzedude, thanks santa for an awesome beer.

can't get any black that this with a nice small lacy frothed topped head. rich roasted chocolaty aroma bit of molassesy sugar and a bitter hoppy coffee aroma that blends nicely with the chocolate malt. taste lite freshly ground coffee with an upfront roasted chocolate taste. body seems a little weak and a bit thin for a stout of this caliber. coffee seems to thin out the body and finishes with a dry fresh brewed coffee mixed with a bit of alcohol.
I you can get it don't pass it up, fantastic.

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

Appearance – 750 ml bottle bought several months ago at Bev Mo and carried back to Mass with me on a plane. Not sure of the age, but the bottle has the old paper label with silver foil. In my tulip the beer is pitch black with a bubbly head with good retention and lacing.

Smell – Rich chocolate and coffee without a hint of alcohol. Sadly, I believe that this has a bit of oxidation resulting in a bit of cardboard in the aroma.

Taste – The perceived oxidation in the nose does not appear in the taste. At first it has a slight charcoal flavor, but that dies down quickly and the coffee flavor takes over. Slightly bitter aftertaste. As I drink more the sharp roastiness calms down and the full flavors off this beer come out. There is a solid amount of hop bitterness, but not much hop flavor. Alcohol is only mildly present, impressive for such a big beer.

Mouthfeel – Medium-full body for the style with subdued carbonation.

Drinkability & Notes – In an hour and a half or so I had no problem, aside from inebriation, polishing off the whole 750 by myself. Luckily this beer just became available near by, so I will give a fresh bottle a try to see how it compares to this abused bottle. Overall, I feel like without the addition of coffee this would be a stout lacking flavor, there just isn't much to the base beer. A solid coffee stout, but at least this bottle is not earth shattering.

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Photo of stoutfiend27
3.9/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

bottle sent by the very generous genghis22 big thanks to james for making our house warming truly special

a-pitch black..no head..espresso colored collar..decent lacing..no highlights when held up to light...

s-alcohol hits first and foremost..then some coffee residuals and a roasty character...a hint of sweetness in the nose..

t-again alcohol does not hide itself...followed subtly by coffee and roasted grains...sweet but overbearing...almost a fruity character there maybe from the choice of hops??..finishes hot and semi bitter

m-oily and thick...almost chewy...clings the mouth well and stays sip after sip..

d-due to the booziness of this brew a 750 would be too much for one sitting glad i had a friend to share this with..but it was enjoyable

overall a very good stout...the alcohol distracted me a little but i wish i could get more to age and see what that does to it...thanks again go out to james who truly outdid himself in our last trade..

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Photo of NoLiberty
3.85/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours from a nicely designed bottle/label into my glass a dark black color. Low lacing and small but persistent toffee colored head. It's thick and rich. The aroma is big roasty, malty, toasted coffee, bitter caramel, molasses and licorice. The taste is big, rich, sweet, nutty, brown, toasty, burnt, bitter, coffee, espresso with chocolate late in the story followed by late dryness and an aftertaste of all that lingers on for a long time. Mouthfeel is nice and round, full, good small bubbled carbonation and pretty thick. Pretty drinkable too for a 12%er.

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Photo of AJacob81
4.41/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been looking for this bad boy a long time. Excited its available in IL and I was able to pick one up. Served colder than suggested, in a snifter.

A - pours jet black, with a macchiato-colored head that dissipates very quickly. Looks like a big stout oughta.

S - Dark chocolate and coffee up front, hints of vanilla, star anise, and a pleasant smokiness in support. Warming brings out the fruits, especially black cherry and currant.

T - Bittersweet morsels, cocoa powder and cold brew java. Blueberries and pomegranate follow ever so subtly, opening into notes of an Earl Grey/black tea blend and chocolate-covered raisins and walnuts. Earthy hops in the finish balanced by a lingering mocha sweetness. So much going on here.

M - The feel here is thick, but smooth and silky. Lots of tiny bubbles keep the sips coming in this compellingly drinkable beast.

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Photo of dcook11
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip.

A- Coffee black. Thick three finger mocha head. Sticky lacing. Sea foam like.

S- Fresh Coffee. Roasted malt. Some soy sauce. Vanilla. Carmel and chocolate as it warms. No abv heat. 12% undetectable.

T- Again coffee dominates. Roasted malt. Soy. Vanilla. Caramel. Chocolate. Alcohol very well hiden.

M- Heavy and thick.

O- Must try for any stout lover. One of the best stouts ive had.

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Photo of bigbeerdrinka
4.27/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep viscous black color with a slight ruby and dark brown hue. The slightest of slight heads appears from this brew only about a millimeter high at best. There is only a tiny lacing on the glass to be seen. Aromas are of dark roasted malts, some hints of coffee, a bit of cocoa and some alcohol. For flavor this beer is initially quite roasty, with a nice coffeescque flavor to it. Following some nice tones of chocolate come about along with yet more roasty flavors, and a nice sweetness to boot. This beer finishes strong and warm with a nice alcohol kick and yet more dark malty chocolate flavor. The finish is nicely bitter, with more coffee and just a snap of carbonation to leave this beer with a nice crisp finish. Overall the body to this beer is truly thick and chewy, with a nice smooth complex flavor to it. The alcohol is only noticeable at the end and gives this beer a nice kick. Great flavor and pretty easy to drink.

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Photo of Matthew
4.05/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml green bottle. Pours out a dark black, no light can get though this one. Nice big thick dirty tan head sits atop the inky black beer.
First big aroma I noticed with this beer is unsweetened dark chocolate, with some faint coffee undertones and big whiffs of alcohol. As the beer warmed the coffee character in the nose become more apparant along with the chocolate aromas and the big alcohol element began to fade a bit.
Nice big chocolatley, bitter coffee tastes up front with some nice dark roasted malt flavors that really pull through with warmer drinking temperatures. Alcohol is very present but doesnt hurt the flavor of the beer, just its drinkability.
The mouthfeel is not as big and viscous as I had initially had expected but is not too thin by any means for a big stout like this one. Definatley a sipping brew. I'd think that this beer will get better with a year in the cellar. We shall see.

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Photo of amphion1065
4.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle into a Duvel tulip. Reviewed from notes.

Jet black pour. A billowing, two-finger dark brown head forms and lasts. Very thick, tiered rings of lace cascade down the glass. Gorgeous.

Pure, unadulterated coffee is very present in the smell - black, strong coffee. The chocolate in the aroma compliments the coffee perfectly. There's a slight fruity, almost cola-like note. Vanilla and caramel round out the picture.

The taste is predictably coffee-forward. Though a number of imperial stouts have coffee as a key flavor component, it seems to find its fullest expression in this beer. The taste is ultimately less complex and inviting than the aroma, as the chocolate provides only a minimal counterpoint to the coffee. Pronounced bitterness, but that's not exactly surprising.

The carbonation is adequately low, though the viscosity is off. A beer this big deserves a thicker body, especially because the relatively low carbonation makes this seem like a dessert.

Speedway Stout is a helluva standby. There's nothing particularly innovative or distinctive about it, but it absolutely nails its limited aims.

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Photo of MPLS
3.86/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

2009 Vintage that I received in a trade at DLD, October is my birthday month so the cellar will start looking lonelier everyday.

A: Poured into my 20oz Imperial glass, my first instinct was to make sure all the lights were on in the room because this brew is wickedly dark. Back alley darkness with a nice caramel head that retained itself rather well for 12%ABV

S: Hmmm...sniff, sniff, sniiif. Sweet chocolate, cocoa, coffee.

T: Excessively sweet soy sauce overload. This big beer crosses the sweet line and is too cloying for me. There are worthy flavors in its profile. This one could see some benefits to aging.

M: I am all about the viscosity of syrup, big n thick, milkshake like. A+

D: Saccharine overload, I'd love to try a different vintage or batch, might change my mind.

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Photo of Cannibalgasm
4.39/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22oz. bottle.

A: Pours completely opaque black allowing absolutely no light to penetrate it's darkness. Resembles used motor oil like a great stout should. Head is two inches of magnificent foamy mocha color that retains for an insanely long time and leaves behind lots of beautiful lacing. This is a great looking beer.

S: Aromas of chocolate, coffee, dark roasted malts, and caramel make themselves know immediately. Then you get some notes of dark fruits, toffee, raisins, cinnamon, tobacco, some noticeable alcohol, and a subtle earthy wood like scent. While the aromas aren't bombastic they are very pleasant, complex, and inviting and it opens up as it warms.

T: Wow. That was a great initial taste. Dark chocolate, roasted coffee, and caramel up front, then roasted malts, sweet bread, dark fruit, raisins, molasses, and toffee flavors appear in the middle. Finishes with flavors of oak, tobacco, some subtle earthy hops and a pleasant alcohol note. They really nailed it with this one. Like the nose it opens up with warmth.

M: Full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Slick, smooth, creamy, thick feel with a nice alcohol warmth and oily after feel . A very pleasant and drinkable sipper.

O: An absolutely phenomenal brew. AleSmith has definitely been impressing me. This is a very complex yet well balanced stout, the flavor profile is fantastic. A great sipper that gets better with every sip. I will be buying some more to enjoy and a few to set aside for a couple years. I would recommend those of you with access to do the same. I can't wait to see what a couple years of growth does to this brew.

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

Note: 2006 Vintage

This beer smells fantastic! Holy Hell!! As soon as I smell this black, holy shit of a beer I knew what it was going to taste like. Chocolate malts! The beer is very reminiscent of another very popular beer. *cough* stone *cough*

The mouthfeel is creamy and complex. I have a feeling this brew will produce a nice warm buzz. The drinkability of this SS is that of a creamy, warm cocoa.

Overall, this brew is a beautiful example what an Imperial Stout should be. I WOULD LOVE to drink it often. Its just a beautiful beer.
---
2011

Recent bottles have been very acidic and harsh tasting. Not nearly as nice as the 06 vintage.

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Photo of daythree16
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. Jet black with a tan, one-finger head that leaves some lace as it fades into a thin ring around the edges.

Aroma is mainly a combo of dark chocolate and a lighter, sweeter milk chocolate. I don't really smell any coffee at all. Taste, however is different. Very rich and chocolaty with a finish like a cup of coffee but not as bitter. Very little alcohol presence. This is absolutely delicious.

Mouthfeel is creamy and has the consistency of what I imagine motor oil to have. Drinkability is fantastic for such a high ABV. The lack of a strong alcohol presence plus the creamy chocolate sweetness are probably the reason I'm bogarting the whole 750ml. Hopefully my wife won't be too mad.

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Photo of ryrust5301
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Stop, take a picture, and just take it in. This is easily a perfect score in this category. A midnight black looking abyss of a beer. A coco powder brown head of a gentle 1/4 inch in thickness adorns the top. Bubbles are some of the smallest I have seen. They are no bigger than the tip of a pin, and number in the millions, creating an intricate ocean of lacing around the glass.

Smell - Huge nose, almost gonzo sized. Bitter with coffee notes, but just as sweet with chocolate flavor. A roasty warm alcochol is just what I was looking for on this bitterly cold winter night.

Taste & Mouthfeel - This is one big ass SOBitching beer. As deep as the ocean and with more flavor than a box of jelly bellies. Where to begin? The mouthfeel is so full and rich, that its awash in coffee and chocolate. I've never had a stout that balances the two so well, while blasting your taste buds with each one. This is a titanic stout, and one that I can't rave enough about. The way they blend the powerhouse flavors is surreal. A coffee bomb and a chocolate explosion fighting for dominance in such a beautiful way. The mouthfeel is just as big as the taste, simply incredible. Smooth and creamy all the way down the throat. The most mind boggling thing is that you know this beer packs a roundhouse of a punch in the alcohol category, but it's so well disguised it's disgusting.

Drinkability - Alesmith only brews top notch beer, but this is their opus. The crowning jewel in the empire is so breathtaking that I will kneel down and pray towards San Diego at sun up and sun down everyday. I just need to get my hands on a barrell aged speedway to find anything that could ever top this.

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Photo of Trueant1
4.62/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a bomber with a black and white lable. Paid 11.99 USD.

Pours a black oil like consistancy. Leaves a thin head that is dirty brown. Some brown around the edges in the beer are noted.

Exceptioanl smells.
Smells up front of dark chocolates, raisons, grapes, espresso. Other smells are chocolate mousses, yiesty smells, peppery spice, and dark molassis.

Tastes just like the smells. The surprise is the unexpected bitterness in the aftertaste. ( not a bad thing at all) Also reminds me of chocolate covered espresso beans.

Mouthfeel is oil coating like. With fine carbonation.

This stout lives up to it's reputation. What a great smell it omits every time you put your sniffer in the snifter.

Yum!

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Photo of shangwang
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 vintage.
Poured jet black, viscous and little head with almost no lacing. Strong smells of vanilla and alcohol. Could tell this is going to be a heavy hitter. Tasted surprisingly sweet like vanilla and milk chocolate, with a little coffee. Guessing the coffee notes have faded most with age. No hiding the ABV - tastes BIG. Medium weight in the mouth; not overly creamy or light, somewhere in between. Finishes with a lingering sweetness on the tongue.
Very enjoyable and potent. I'd love to try some of the other version.s

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Photo of Grundle20
4.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance:
The beer is completely opaque black, even when held up to light nothing comes through. There's a sizable tan head with an orangish tinge to it that displays some rather impressive retention, easily the best I've seen in a stout. There's thick patchy lacing from beginning to finish.

Smell:
The scent is rich and complex. There's a multitude of scents at play here ranging from cocoa powder to cherries and all points in between which includes brown bread, rye, lactose, and many others. The smell is a little weak but if you bury your nose in the beer it's quite a treat.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
There's a rich chocolately tone throughout the whole beer and it really covers the whole spectrum of chocolate tones from the bitter to the sweet. Up front there's a lot of cherry fruit character which crests over the underlying chocolate bitterness. As the beer warms a potent and astringent alcohol undertone takes root. Had it not been for the apparent booziness I would have easily given this beer a 5. From the pour it is implied that this beer is going to be thick and foody and it delivers. It drinks incredibly smooth. The finish is surprisingly clean, most likely from the alcohol but there is a touch of roast in to the aftertaste.

Drinkability:
Again this would have scored higher here had it not been for the unveiling of the booze. Aside from the alcohol presence though this is a pretty tasty and agreeable stout.

Bottom Line:
I enjoyed this beer immensely more when it was cold. A lot of undesirable qualities surface as the beer warms. It's still pretty bangin' but I think I'll be drinking them cold from now on.

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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 pdoran10
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out pure black into a pint glass. Bottle split three ways. One finger of brown head that leaves nice lacing.

Smell is crisp dark malt with bitter earthy hop and slight coffee presence.

Taste is dry roasted bitter chocolate with light bitter coffee. I love dry thick stouts with coffee. This beer covers all my bases and then some. Roast and coffee meld well together.

Big substantial and dry with moderate carbonation. Lots of win here. I love me some dry, thick stout!

One glass was not enough.
Must
Have
More

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,633 ratings.
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