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: 1,682 | Ratings: 6,775
Photo of daveytheformer
4.39/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

into a snifter

Pours pitch black with an incredibly thin purplish brown head that fades really quickly to some lacing.

Smells like dark chocolate and coffee.

Taste follows the aroma strongly. Mild hop bitterness rounds out the flavor.

Mouthfeel is full bodied with some decent carbonation.

Overall is amazing. One of the best Imperial Stouts I've had. Up there with Stone IRS for me. The only thing that fell short for me was the head, there just wasn't much there.

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

I've had this beer sitting around for a year or so, finally got around to opening it up tonight.

Great presentation, I love the hefty 750ml bottle, foil wrapper and silk screened logos. Just as pretty when poured, too! Nearly absolute black, zero light gets through with a big dark brown head that lasts a long time.

Very nice aromas. Lots of coffee, dark chocolate, burnt malts, and a chocolate liqueur note that reminds me of a few Russian imperials I've had.

Flavors confirm for me, this is a world class beer. Great intensity and balance of rich dark chocolate, french roast coffee, blackened malts, a little bit of earthy hops. Just the right amount of bitterness that strikes a better balance than some of the ultra-high IBU impy stouts I've had. Despite the 12% abv, alcohol is expertly hidden; no alcohol heat to be found here. Full body and long finish that leaves the pleasing flavors lingering.

Yet another incredible brew from Alesmith. I wish their beers were not so scarce here in Portland. Superb beer that's worth a try if you can find it. Not cheap by any means, but totally worth the price of admission. I'll be looking for this one again.

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Photo of regspeir
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got to try this thanks to a trade with Snojerk321. 750 ml bottle poured into a snifter. Poured a dark brown to black with a one-finger black head that settled into a spotty large-bubbled coating. Lacing is pretty heavy and lasting. Nose is coffee, vanilla, roasted malt and bourbon. Taste is roasted coffee, chocolate and bourbon up front, with notes of vanilla and dark fruit. Finish is both dry and sweet. Mouthfeel is medium to thick, creamy with good carbonation. Not much that would give away the ABV. It's not difficult to understand why this is universally considered a great coffee stout and I would love another!

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

A: Pours a very, very dark brown with minimal light coming through the edges of the glass. About a two finger mocha colored head that forms into a cap that sticks around

S: Lots of huge roasted characters. Tons of coffee, alcohol slightly present

T: Follows the nose fairly well. Starts our with an explosion of roasted malts, lots of coffee and a molasses sweetness. Alcohol is quite detectable

M: Thick and creamy, small alcohol bite.

Overall this is an excellent stout and a good standby for anybody who can get it. I know I'm now going to pick up more for the cellar

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Photo of sweetbrew82
4.87/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ML bottle into a tulip glass; No freshness date

P: Pours black from the elegant-looking bottle, and sits in the glass almost completely opaque aside from the sliver of rosy-brown light at the very edges. Even with a gently pour, it produced a big, 3-fingered head that was frothy, creamy, and pillowy. Showed an outstanding amount of retention, especially for a stout with this high of an ABV. As it finally subsides, the head leaves sheets of lace that stick to the glass like glue. Looks great!

A: Great nose filled with tons of roasted coffee, sweet chocolate, some dark fruits, a bit of bourbon-like alcohol, and some more espresso. Damn, I hope it tastes as good as it smells.

T: Oh man, does it ever! This is absolutely fantastic. As huge waves of roasted chocolate, delicious coffee beans, and an ever-so-slight Bourbon-flavored alcohol hit the palate, I am quickly transported to heaven. But, it gets even better because it's a little more hoppy than I would have expected. They introduce themselves to the palate after the initial rush of sweetness to provide a great balance, while staying in the background for the most part. It finishes with a twinge of dark fruit flavors, along with some caramel that joins the already delicious profile to add even more complexity, while the still subtle hop bill tingles the tongue and adds a bit of bitterness to the finish. This is a masterpiece!

M: Most of the Imperial Stouts that I've tried are very gently carbonated, while the Speedway Stout is a bit more aggressively carbonated to produce a tad more of a "prickly" feel (contributed to by the hops) on the tongue. So smooth, so luxurious, everything I could want from an Imperial Stout.

D: The drinkability is excellent, but watch out! The alcohol will definitely creep up on you. Obviously, this is no session beer. But, it tastes so damn good that I would be willing to drink as much as my brain could handle.

Notes: Wow! This just immediately became one of my all-time favorites, no doubt about it. The AleSmith Speedway Stout looks great in the glass, smells friggin' fantastic, and tastes even better! If you haven't had the chance to indulge yet, and your two favorite beverages are beer and coffee, then don't put it off any longer. Go out and get one. Matter of fact, get two. One for now and one to cellar, as this would probably be even better with some age on it. Very highly recommended!

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Photo of BilbosNuts
4.48/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours pitch black in color with a two finger, dark mocha colored, creamy head. The head slowly shrinks to a thick film, but sticks around throughout drinking. Sheets of lacing are left behind. I can't imagine a better looking stout.

S: Dark roasted malts and roasted coffee provide a solid backbone for the aroma. Sweet milk chocolate and bitter chocolate round it out. Fantastic.

T: The taste follows the nose with dark malts and roasted coffee beans. A variety of sweet and bitter chocolate at nice complementary notes.

M: It has a body on the heavier side with a sort of chewy feel to it, almost like a light syrup. A slight, oily feel coats the palate with the intense flavor.

O: I don't know why it took me so long to try this one. Always saw it around, but never pulled the trigger. Glad I finally did, as this is has become one of my favorite coffee infused beers I've had.

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Photo of avwrite
5/5  rDev +14.4%

The stuff of legends. Worth every amount of hype it gets, and is simply my favorite stout. Nice dark color, great bold taste, and a smooth ride going down. Sweetness with bitter, awesome in a bottle.

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Photo of kmeves
4.04/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black with a frothy tan head. Aroma is lightly sweet dark fruit and a lot of grounf coffee. Flavor is less chocolate along with some chocolate and sweet malt. Heavy bodied, chewy mouthfeel. Finishes dry, long and bitter. A very good full bodied stout.

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

Capped 750mL poured into a Snifter

Been looking forward to this for a while, my friend T was nice enough to bring one to a late night tasting last weekend (I was nice enough to help him finish it).

L: Pours motor-oil thick, with ridiculous head ... unreal retention ... seriously there is a high water mark, and at one point the dimpling resembled a nuclear mushroom cloud. Jet black body, deep, layered dark break head ... looks like a chocolate pillow.

S: Hugely booze-forward, lots of malts shortly behind. Coffee is light and in the back, touch of lingering burnt coffee in the finish. Pretty straight-forward and huge coffee stout.

T: Front is a good boozy start into a watery-coffee middle. From there it develops into a chocolate, coffee, mealy affair with huge depth and great balance. 50/50 for me here, up front it's not great, second half is world class.

F: Smooth, thick and rich. Everything a stout should be.

D: Pretty damn drinkable at 12% ... all-around enjoyable

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Photo of Bartleby91
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is probably still my favorite beer. Bottled on 5/12/2014 and poured into a snifter.

The appearance is pitch black with a super compact 1 finger mocha head that lasted well. Alcohol legs on the glass as well.

The aroma is huge with chocolate, vanilla, dark fruit, a bready malt sweetness and roasted malts. Some alcohol spice creeps up as well.

The taste follows the nose with chocolate, vanilla, dark fruits, and a big bready malt sweetness. Also a slightly subdued roast comes through afterwards.

The palate is full with a viscous creamy finish that lingers rediculously long. So substantial. Has just enough heat that lingers slightly.

This is such an amazing beer that has held up wonderfully. I am happy that I have a couple more aging. Hopefully I can try the barrel aged version eventually.

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Photo of Litterbean
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - ebony tinged with cherrywood. Head is the color of caramel froth.

Smells primarily of bitter roasted malts, with a lot of that coffee thing they brag about on the label. Very appealing.

A lot of things happen at once when you taste this beer. Your tongue is bombarded by chocolate, coffee, and bitter roasted malt flavors. They mix together with a sweet syrupy aftertaste that makes this so palatable. The back of your throat warms and burns with a nice alcohol spice that is mostly imperceivable but is enough to warrant mention. So subtle and delicious, this beer is very very good. It is heavy as hell though, and you have to sip it, otherwise it's not enjoyable. That's the only knock. But when you pay this much for so little (sorry, 750 ml is too little for this fine brew), who cares? Sip and enjoy.

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

Received a bottle of this from Stubone in trade, but also got another bottle the same week from Abankovich in the high card/low card bif! Thank you both!

Speedway stout pours a deep and dark black with just a touch of murky brown accents around the edges. It is capped off by a small mocha colored head that didn't have much staying power. I could smell all of that delicious stout coming out of the bottle into my glass. I get strong scents of dark roasted malt, espresso, coffee, molasses, and dark cherries. I'm amazed that I don't get much alcohol in the nose at 12% ABV. The flavor profile is a nice melding of coffee, caramel, cocoa, espresso, and roasted grain. I am surprised at how non-dominant the coffee flavor is in this beer. I thought it was going to the main focus point in this beer. The mouthfeel is fairly thick and chewy with moderate carbonation. I still don't really detect any alcohol on this behemoth of a beer. I think the drinkability would hold up nicely for another glass, but I wouldn't push it to much with the ABV.

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Photo of Radcpa
3.93/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2016 vintage This product is so watered down. Thin dark appearance with some head and carbination. Aroma very mild coffee and chocolate. Taste is also very mild and not what I expected from previous years

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Photo of kirkpjr
4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received this one as an extra!

Poured into a tulip.

A: Pours a very dark and somewhat thick black - no light's getting through this one and it was apparent from the start with the solid black bottle. 1 finger of light milk chocolate head. Head retention is fairly good, and spotted lacing develops.

S: Heavy chocolate and roasted malts. Some coffee and espresso, but not nearly what I was expecting. A little soy is also present.

T: Rich, roasted coffee beans. A little bitter kick from the hops, and a smooth chocolate to follow. This one has it all, but necessarily initially. The aftertaste highlights everything that makes this beer great. Roasted malts, strong coffee and espresso, sweet chocolate, and a balancing hop bitterness all combine to leave one of the best aftertastes I've ever had in a stout.

M: Thick, but not as thick as expected. Moderate to low carbonation. Borderline creamy. Coffee and chocolate flavors linger.

D; Excellent coffee profiled stout. Not over the top and sweet, yet solid and highly drinkable. Leaves me wanting more.

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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 Viaduck
4.36/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Very dark & not much of a head. Smells like chocolate & coffee & molasses. Salty & sweet & complex flavors hide any alcohol flavor. It's low carbonation doesn't detract from the enjoyment of this excellent beer.

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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 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 head..espresso colored collar..decent 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 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 Newbeergeek1
4.59/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Amazing! Didn't know much about this brewery and went on recommendation from friends. ALL said GET IT! so I did and am glad I did. rich taste, nice soft head. I wound up buying 3 more bottles for those special occasions that I want to share with friends here at the house.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.37 out of 5 based on 6,775 ratings.
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