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: 1,684 | Ratings: 6,781
Photo of GinjaSlice
4.54/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Jet black, poured a pretty big tan head for a stout that faded rather quick but left good lacing throughout
S: Not as strong as the other top stouts. But very chocolate heavy with some malts and coffee behind it.
T: Where the stout shines. Delicious chocolate flavors with the malt backing and a slight coffee bitterness on the end. Not as intense and strong as some but really well balanced and easy to drink
M: One of the best again. Lower carbonation gives it a really nice almost creamy feeling and isn't sticky like others.

O: After having almost all the other very high rated stouts this is in my personal top 3.

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

Poured into a Portsmouth snifter this beer had an off white head that sat on top of a black body which allowed light to penetrate the corners.
Smells of anise, chocolate, and coffee with some alcohol.
An astringent beer with an unidentifiable flavor. Coffee and chocolate are obvious with a lingering bitterness, and noticeable alcohol.
A good body but no where near where I like my RIS.
A good beer, but I do not think it is worthy of its rating.

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

A very, very good beer.

From a 750ml bottle to an Imperial pint. Black as noir, thin, brown head but amazing retention. Sticky lacing. Higher than expected carbonation. Bourbon notes in nose, some coffee, some other smoky hints. Alcohol is present too.

Flavor: Very good. Hickory-tinged roasted malt, whisky, nice cereal flavors. Alcohol makes its presence known, especially as it approaches room temperature. No real hoppiness, but that's fine for this style.

Good, round mouthfeel. Takes advantage of the whole mouth. Pretty drinkable, considering the style and alcohol content.

Bottom line: well worth seeking out.

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Photo of mmurphy525
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

Pours a nice black with a thin tan head (akin to a good espresso head) that lasts throughout

Smells of sweet chocolate, and little coffee

Lots of roasted malts and coffee notes with a nice sweetness balance. In the finish there is a slight alcohol burn in the back of the throat mixed with a hoppy bitterness.

Mouth feel is very full and creamy

Overall maybe a little understated, or at least less then what I was expecting. Yet still a very good stout.

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

L. Black and opaque but not "motor oil" thick on the pour. 1 cm head reduces to a thin layer which stays and leaves a healthy lacing.

S. Roasted malt, chocolate malt, rich dark chocolate, very subtle dark fruit, rich mocha.

T. Bitter cocoa, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, cappuccino, chocolate malt, graham crackers, vanilla, a little bit of booziness. Caramel and chocolate aftertaste. The coffee flavor doesn't stand out, but compliments the other flavors so well.

F. Rich and creamy without being thick and heavy. Pretty well carbonated.

O. A masterpiece. My first 5/5. Cheers!

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

750ml silver foiled wrapped bottle poured into a oversized wine glass. Big thanks to Gtreid for bringing this one over.

A- solid black. No light can pass through this thing. 1 1/2 of head. Pretty good retention and lacing.

S- roasted malts, chocolate, sweetness maybe molasses?? Not as much coffee smell as I wouldve expected, however, there is a hint of coffee beans.

T- FANTASTIC!!! Creamy chocolate. Roasted malts and a vanilla coffee blend that is just freaking awesome. I wouldve never guessed that the abv is so high because of the wonderful balance of all the flavors. They mask the alcohol and I barely know it's even there.

M- Simply perfect. This is one of the smoothest, creamiest stouts I have drank.
D- I wish I could have this brew everyday. I would drink this all night if I could. The only problem would be the high abv. I def will be seeking this one out again without a doubt.

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

2004 vintage.Pours a fairly viscous ebony-brown color creating a thin tan head. A paisley pattern of foam maintains itself throughout the glass.

Assertive and complex aromas of espresso beans, dark chocolate, alcohol, vanilla, dark dried fruit and charred oak fill the nose.

Mouthfeel is slick, creamy and a bit oily but not as chewy as some other popular Impy Stouts.

Flavor is a huge hit of the hot alcohol component which was a bit surprising considering the bottle was 3 years old. Otherwise pleasant flavors of espresso coffee, semi-sweet chocolate, vanilla bean, roasted malts, charred wood and rye seeds are enjoyed.

A delicious, huge and complex brew but I’ll take a Bells Expedition push comes to shove.

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Photo of Tupperwolf
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Where to start?

In the San Diego area there seems to have been a shortage of Speedway Stout; I swung by the brewery to buy some and was informed by a friendly but chagrined employee (Mike? Matt?) that they were waiting on coffee from Ryan Bros. before they could get a new batch on the market and that they didn't have any left at the brewery at all. He recommended a couple of places, both of which didn't have it, and I stumbled upon the last bottle at BevMo. I intended to give the bottle away for Chanukah, but was determined to at least try it. At the time I didn't have a chance to review, and I stumbled across another couple of bottles at Dick's Liquor. I've been saving my bottle for some time now; It's been calling to me.

I'm dissappointed immediately by the utter lack of a head; The cap hissed when I opened it, so I assume the cap seal wasn't bad, but there's just no head at all other than a few bubbles I force with an aggressive pour that soon dissappear. I'm left with a murky brownish-black tulip full of what looks like a nightmare child of dark wine and the blackest of military coffees. I hate giving this beer a below average score for appearance but as far as I can tell there's nothing wrong with my particular bottle - the other sample I tried was similarly headless.

The smell punches you in the nose with coffee (duh) and bitter baker's chocolate. Little whiffs of raisin and sour-fruity-sweetness tie the two together, and the alcohol makes a slight appearance. Heady, heavy, alcoholic, the scent is somewhat intimidating. That's a good thing!

The taste is so full of coffee, toffee and chocolate notes it's like drinking a cool mocha (maybe even an Irish coffee, with the alcoholic notes on the back of the tongue). The taste is just like the smell, with slight variations in the acidity of the raisin-plum notes that are the background to the chocolate-coffee. Big, big flavors have been forced into this one alongside big abv.

Mouthfeel takes a big hit because this simply doesn't have any carbonation. This Imperial/Double Stout has the right consistency - chewy and sticky, with lingering sheets of carmally flavors coating the inside of the mouth that just won't go away - but I wish it had some froth to liven things up a bit more than they already are.

For a Big Beer, this one drinks like a champ. Go into the game expecting alcohol and coffee and you'll flip for this one.

It may seem obvious that something was wrong with my bottle and I should have had more carbonation; But I reviews 'em as I sees 'em. I'm more than willing to try another bottle of this to see if I get a better example! Until then, my review stands.

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

Poured into Oversized Wine Glass, 750ml shared with SundaySour

A: Black cherry with lighter reds at the rim. Really apparent black coffee look with some deep brown bubbles. Bakers chocolates with powdery cocos. The look of char anticipates deep roastiness.

S: Really chocolatey with swirling roast aromas. Really comes off as a creamy coffee with charred notes of high coco dark milk chocolates. Some Hazelnut nuttiness melts into butter into a balance of a creamy coffee nose. This just begs for a chocolatey dessert pairing.

T: Deep swirling complex notes of nutty coffees. Mellow woody flavors without overt acidity. Dark chocolates imply a belgian origin; leading to an unreal palate creaminess. Buttery Soft notes of butterscotch round out a coffee theme. There really is just a wonderfully swirling mess of hazelnut/cream/chocolates/coffee. The flavor just begs sip after sip.

M: A lower carbonation with a creamy medium/heavy body. The ingredients really wear thick on the feel. Mouthfuls of flavor add a sensation of weight to the low carbonation; without an overwhelming presence of alcohol. Velvet textures follow the silky introduction. A soft coating of the tongue really gives this a fancy dessert feel. Really one of the best mouths in style.

O: Just phenomenal! Having had this multiple times now I'm astounded by the consistency. Bold flavors that are framed in a deep creaminess and soft mouth-feel. Superb canvas for barrels to paint upon. This will make an impression on any stout and or coffee lover. For fans of both -- this is your soul mate. It's impossible not to appreciate the coffee/stout blend of this beer; it's truly a marriage of all the ingredients.

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

750ml, pours with a small dark tan head. nose is slightly sweet, very chocolate-like, not really much in the way of roasted or burnt odors here at this point. served 50f.

some alcohol gets through into the taste, at 12% not that surprising. once again, semi-sweet chocolate is the major feature. beyond that, there is a slightly sour bitterness into the aftertaste/finish. maybe I am missing something, but this is not a terribly complex drink. I am surprised by its relatively high ratings.

very pleasant 12% american stout, very nicely balanced taste, worth trying, along with alesmith's other products.

I will note that I believe the size and abv of this beer are too much, combined. I understand this is a 'premium-priced' alesmith product, but some smaller alternative (like a 375ml corked bottle) would be nice if one were to wish to drink this without either dumping half the bottle or being mildly inebriated upon finishing it.

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Photo of SirSketch
4.23/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Speedway is jet black with one of the creamiest heads I've seen on a beer. The smell is reminiscent of chocolate fondue and fresh coffee, and perhaps a burnt toast quality as well. Light fruit flavors emerge, but fade quickly. Slightly metallic taste. Slick as hell on the tongue. Overall this is a great beer worth tracking down, and only a slight notch behind Dark Lord in my book.

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Photo of 2378GCGTG
4.46/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011 poured into a tulip
Appearance: True black color with a 1.5 inch coffee-mocha head that rolls and dances up from the bottom. Lacing sticks to the glass all night.

Nose: Molasses, sweet malt, coffee, and hints of very dark chocolate.

Taste: Coffee, burnt malts, and roasted grain like a bite of burnt toast and a dark chocolate finish.

Mouthfeel: Viscous and yet velvetty and flowing on the tongue, the perfect amount of carbonation for the style.

Overall: This is a truly excellent stout, especially for the price.. outstanding

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Photo of egajdzis
4.59/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2003: Poured an opaque black color with a nice tan head and lacing as well. Rather mild chocolate, but a HUGE coffee aroma. Dark fruits were also noticed in the aroma. Taste of roasted malt, chewy hops, lots of coffee and some alcohol. Full mouthfeel, but I feel this might be a little young.

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Photo of dukedevil0
4.65/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked up a 750mL bottle from Jungle Jims in Fairfield, OH.

A: Pours a dark black color with khaki head, attractive lacing on the glass

S: coffee is the dominant smell with some roasted malts and chocolate scents too

T: similar to the smell; coffee is the dominant flavor, but not overpowering with some chocolate and roast, with a slight bit of alcohol in there too.

M: creamy and very full bodied, but it doesn't feel "thick"...great mouthfeel

D: probably the most drinkable coffee flavored stout i've ever drank

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Photo of mechamifune
3.74/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of the 750ml bottle into sifter.

Pours with almost no head to speak of.... some light pleasant lacing but thats it. Beer is close to jet black with almost no hint of carbonation.

Smell is lots of coffee and notes of chocolate.... more muted than, say, FBS, but still very enjoyable.

Taste is coffee upfront, followed by a lingering tartness and almost no sense of hops. Still its a pleasant taste, not world class, but enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is where it really falls flat to me... this is a beer with almost no carbonation.... it still is relatively creamy and thus not totally unpleasant, but it just gets a little difficult to drink after a while. But for a 12% beer, it has a very minimal sense of alcohol, and the taste and flavors are enjoyable enough that I feel I can still rank this as a good beer....but relative to other "big" stouts, this one doesn't really match up.

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

Incredibly strong coffee and chocolate and (not as much)alcohol aromas.

Pours jet black with a brown, foamy head that sticks to the inside of the glass.

Mouthfeel is sticky, oily, chewy, with strong alcohol warmth.

I taste molasses, coffee, alcohol and chocolate. Brewed with tons of coffee beans.

Also taste espresso, dark fruit.

Such a BIG beer but without an overwhelming alcohol presence. Nice balance.

This beer is a project to drink (albeit a very enjoyable one). Set aside some time, find a comfy chair and settle into this one. Just fantastic!

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Photo of Lnedrive14
4.09/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had to write this one the morning after because I got a bit too drunk from that big bottle!

A: One heck of a dark beer - straight up opaque black. A bit disappointed that it poured with no head - maybe this was one of those issues AleSmith had been having with the beers sent to the east coast. In any case, the lack of head really detracted from the beer's appearance.

N/P: This really is a coffee stout. I think I started drinking this one a bit too cold so a lot of the flavors didn't come out very well. When it warmed up the coffee and roasted malts hit the palate hard. To be honest, I had a hard time pulling anything else out of this one - the coffee really dominates.

M/D: The alcohol I felt was a bit too much. I guess I should have expected it at 12%, but it was a definitely a bit stinging throughout the session. Other than that, the beer was fairly creamy and had a pretty good texture. Drinkability is fairly low, although I did manage to kill the bottle myself :)

All in all a good beer, but certainly it did not live up to my expectations. Perhaps this is a different beast on the west coast, but unfortunately, this is the only one I had to review.

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Photo of pjwilson
4.73/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

from notes. I drank this badboy stout down in the heat of palm desert. Somehow the plan to lay a bottle down quickly morphed into drink immediately. Oh well.

Appearance: poured into a wine glass, the head is a dark tan, not white at all, with lots of lacing. The beer is deep dark black and the head held for as long as can could be excepted for the 12 percent, but would have liked a bit more. Still hands down the darkest foam I've ever seen.

Mouthfeel: a freakin' 6, how can such a dark beer be this light drinking? I've had ESBs that drank thicker than this. Could it be the coffee that makes the mouthfeel this thin? So nice drinking this beer, so easy.

Drinkability: yeah it's super easy to drink. The alcohol sort of made the last 5 ounces take some time but I was going good until then. Really ace.

Taste: Ok, I started this colder than recommended, but shit it's Palm Desert. Extremely tasty sheets of coffee and chocolate hit the tongue. Not "like" coffee and chocolate but dead on in fact. Deep slurps bring on just a hint of booze. A respectable bitterness holds it own and there is a slight sweetness.

Smell: Saved smell for last thinking it might improve but no. The smell is way more boozy than the taste and the coffee and chocolate flavors, which are there but hover in the background. Still pretty good though, and the beer taste's and drinks so well, one hardly cares. A "must buy" again and again.

New review 11/20/10
Pretty, pretty, pretty good

a: pours like black cough syrup, forming a dark tan head. It's like a black hole, can't see any light through it. Kind of hypes you up.

smell: major coffee. but sweet coffee, not bitter. nice

taste: just yum. Doesn't really taste like "beer" but that's okay. So rich and coffee like. Can't taste but a hint of alcohol. I taste chocolate and coffee so who can complain.

mouthfeel: yeah, it's thick. But really, with this alcohol level you need it to be.

drinkability: between a siper and a drinker. For my money a top notch stout.

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Photo of shacawgo24
4.78/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A-Leather black/brown. Pours same color as the bottle, a perfect super dark black/brown. Moose brown head that is sudsy and thick. Like I had an imaginary straw and blew into the brew to create a bubbly head.

S-Dairy. Vanilla. Fresh sweet cream. Roasted coffee. Caramel.

T-Chocolate. Coffee. Roasted the chocolate and coffee taste, like campfire s'mores & cowboy outdoor kettle coffee. And yet the coffee/chocolate swirls around sweet & smooth too. Like a glass of iced coffee with cream and milk chocolate combined. A tart-sour finish reminds one of chocolate dipped raspberries. Bitter dark cocoa lingers. One of the best tasting let alone stouts, but beers period.

M-Medium body. Creamy. Like a super medium. Resinous oily finish. Decent carbonation that tends to die down as all stouts/porters do with time. Refreshing and cool. Warming as well. Beauty of stouts: good cold, good warmed. I felt like a chocolatier was funneling fresh gourmet liquid chocolate down my throat.

O-AleSmith-Speedway Stout lives up to it's name and even exceeds it. Nothing bad to say about this beer. The chocolate and coffee were so even. One didn't nudge the other out of place. Congrats must go to The Ryan Bros. for the locally fresh brewed coffee infusion. This lent the stout a silky smooth swirl that made me feel like a kid again enjoying a sweet dessert treat.
Can't wait to buy another bottle and try to find any and every flavor variation.

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Photo of cheers2beers
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Special thanks to Boolshot, for a trade gone well.

Appearance: This magnificant brew cascades a solid black hue with a light brown head in the center, yet the edges of the head are slightly darker.With the carbonation being relatively high,the head stacked up an outstanding three fingers high. This beer produces lots a laceing with huge slick alcohol induced legs. Simply irresistable, I must taste it!

Smell: Seems complex, and yet I can almost easily describe each aroma with ease. Has some dark chocolates and/or fudge brownies, coffee, woody and nutty, brown sugars with a touch of maple syrup, a slightly sweet and roasty maltiness that makes this beer to die for. This would be awesome on a scratch and sniff card.

Taste: Wow! I am almost at a loss for words. This beauty of a stout is big and expressive in all aspects. Dark chocolate and vanilla are right up front. Coffee, wood, brown sugar and some leafy hop edges mid palate. The finish see's a bit more of that bitter chocolate coming back. Nice hopp bitterness and an alcohol punch that bring up the back in a wonderful and long lingering finish.

Mouthfeel: This is just soo lucious and slick. Its leaving a thick film behind, even with the 12% abv this bad dude is meaty! Good carbonation for a beer of this size and magnitude.

Drinkability: Even at 12% abv and being huge in all other aspects this beer was not cloying at any point. I find myself sad now that its gone, thats how good it is. In my opinion this edges out Stone IRS by a hair. Its soo easy to drink and absolutley stunning. Obtain this beer at any and all costs!


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

This beer pours very dark with a two fingered head and tons of lacing. The smell is nice of chocolate coffee and nutty malts. The flavor is big and in your face a wonderful chocolate and coffee flavor with wonderful malt flavors. Nicely drinkable but couldn't all night it and a very nice and smooth mouthfeel

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Photo of nas5755
3.36/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A black beer with a massive tan head some lacing is left on the glass, with a little retention. The nose has coffee, light chocolate notes and deeply roasted dark coffee bitterness. The taste follows the nose, heavy with dark roasted coffee and the astringent bitterness that comes from too much roasting, chocolate and roasted malt flavors. Too much roast when fresh. A very smooth and creamy stout with a great mouth-feel, but it was hard to appreciate because of the bitterness. A very good stout that should be aged, even with all the coffee notes. The astringent bitterness is just to harsh to truly enjoy. I have this beer with a little over a year and the astringency had faded considerably.

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Photo of Mauerhan
4.89/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this beauty on tap at alesmith this weekend. the batch i had was the first that alesmith had roasted its own coffee for the brew.

amazingly rich, roasted coffee flavors with hints of chocolate. this beer is so close to perfect its not even funny. i had to go back for seconds, the majority of my last review stands. this beer is incredibly rich and full flavored has amazing lacing and it answers a big question ive had for a while. wwjd, what would jesus drink? well im guessing speedway.

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Photo of senglish7
4.61/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big fan. Jet black in appearance. Sweet almost plum smell. Similar on the mouth with some coffee and a bitter finish. Had always heard good things, now I can vouch.

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Photo of sevenarts
4.47/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Very dark black, opaque. Frothy tan head soon fades with just a little lacing.

S: Rich dark chocolate, coffee, and a hint of booze hidden underneath.

T/M: Lots of chocolate up front, smooth and creamy. Notes of coffee, dark roasted malts, some boozey alcohol threaded through the middle, and a nice burnt, slightly bitter aftertaste. Creamy and dense.

O: A great imperial stout, loaded with chocolate and coffee flavor, nicely complex and hefty.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.37 out of 5 based on 6,781 ratings.
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