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: 6,776
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 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.


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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 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 AZBeerDude72
4.67/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pour is jet black with a beautiful coffee brown foamy head. Head lasts with a great lacing down glass as it dissipates. Smells of coffee and dark chocolate with molasses creeping around in the background. Taste is just awesome, full on coffee blasts you up front with a rounded dark chocolate mix and a very nice malty hops on back side. Finish is very smooth and creamy with very little burn from the high ABV. This is a great beer especially with a great cigar, outstanding....

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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.

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 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 the_awesometeer
4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Black with a nice tan foamy head that really laced the glass. I get aromas of chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, and a hint of alcohol. When you drink it you can defiantly taste the alcohol, there is a nice sweetness of chocolate and dark fruits that is followed with the long bitterness of coffee, roasted malts, and hops. The dryness is not overwhelming and the beer is smooth and mouth coating.

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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

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.

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.

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 Trevor11
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Decent stout. very strong coffee notes at end. prominent alcohol presence at 12%. Not as good as some of the other stouts that I have had. I still need to try its variants. Maybe the barrel aging would round out some of its flavor profiles.

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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.

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Photo of pezhead_79
4.49/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Exactly what I expected, a great stout with solid coffee notes and a pleasant chocolate flavor. I'm going to age one longer (this was Jan.) and see how the flavors change.

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Photo of falcon1
4.62/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A truly outstanding Imperial Stout to say the least. The aroma and taste of AleSmith Speedway Stout is really amazing to experience. One of the finest examples of a great and well crafted infusion of coffee (Ryan Brothers - Espresso Gold) and the Imperial Stout style.

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

Poured from 750 into a Grimbergen chalice. Motor oil black with a chocolate brown head, little to light lacing on the glass. Chocolate malts in the nose dominate, same on the tongue. Very tasty, wasn't expecting this. Alcohol is well concealed, very smooth brew, excellent balance.

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Photo of Gfunk720
4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Have had this bottle for a year and a half, and finally opened it. Consumed from my Trappist Rochefort goblet.

A- Pours almost pure black, very dark, no light passes through. Nice healthy tannish head, good retention too.

S- Coffee predominantly, with some notes of caramel. Also smell some dark fruit and some booziness.

T- Tastes mostly of dark coffee and caramel. Nice malty backbone swoops in for a second, and then fades to a nice coffee aftertaste.

M- Very nice mouthfeel. It is more carbonated than most beers of this style, but it works. Gets better as it warms...

D- Pretty heavy but the mouthfeel keeps drawing me back. The initial flavor was good, but the coffee aftertaste got to be a little much after a while.

A tasty coffee stout, and always a safe bet. It has a touch too much coffee in it for it to be perfect for me, but I'd buy it again. The Barrel Aged version is perfect, as the barrel aging mellowed out the coffee.

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Photo of SethB2
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a coffee color with a huge deep tan head that last several minutes before settling, leaving a web like lacing in it's aftermath. Smells of sweet malty fruit and some coffee. Something else a little bitter in there too, but I can't put my finger on it. Maybe some hops. Tastes is of strong, bitter malts, coffee and some hops. High alcohol content is well hidden, but you know it's there. It's a warming beer, for sure. Mouthfeel is the very definition of full and thick. It has a nice aftertaste too, something that I don't normally associate with Stouts. Drinkability is somewhat hindered by the high alcohol content and the fact that is is such a dominating, stong flavor. More that one at a time might leave your pallet in shambles.

Very nice beer. Many thanks to westsidethreat.

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

I got this in BIFIV, much props to the professional ninja who sent it my way. Needless to say, I am very excited about trying this.

No born on date, but I expect this to be a recent brew. I had considered letting this age, but per some recommendations ive decided not try it early.

Pours a dark as night pitch black. Solid 2 finger of thick dark mocho head. Very nice retention, even to the sides after a frew minutes.

Rich coffee, roated malt, more coffee. ABV is in there, but barely noticed. There is a nutty smell in here.

Cocoa coffee, deep roasted coffee, maybe some sort of nut, maybe almond. Deep, dark flavor. What a full bodied beer. There could be a more on the backend, but overall outstanding good. Some bitterness, maybe hops, at finish, though very subtle, not sure if it is purposeful. I think the best part of this brew is no ABV presense. Really ... n-o-n-e. Quite surprising for a 12 percent'er

Not syrupy at all. Some people dont like the Syrup, but depending on the brew Im a fan. This one has no syrup taste or consistency. Sits exceptionally well in the mouth.

Drinkability? Give me more, give me lots more. I really dont want this brew to finish.

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

2010 vintage

A: black black black no light getting through creamy looking head and its thick too! brown head, great looking beer.

S: sweet coffee and chocolate with a creamy quality to the smell.

T: Nice coffee and rich sweetness up front very drinkable I do not taste any of that 12% are you kidding me? some chocolate in the taste as well. The finish is slightly dry.

Overall: The best coffee beer on the planet, don't mess with the best.

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

Bottled on 12/15/15.

Poured straight down into the glass there's almost no head. Almost pitch black with the exception of the dark brown tinge near the top when held to light.

Smells like coffee and malt mostly.

Given that this bottle is over a year old, the taste is definitely different, but only in a subtle way. The strong coffee flavor from the original fresh Speedway is more subdued in this older bottle, and the roasted malt comes out more. As it warms there's a lot of sweet chocolate and brown sugar, among other similar flavors.

On the palate it seems the same as the fresh bottle: thick and chewy, but not completely syrupy.

Overall, I like the year-old bottle, but surprisingly not as much as the fresh. The coffee and chocolate have slightly faded (not much, though). Despite this, it's still a wonderful beer that's well worth buying and experimenting with aging.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.37 out of 5 based on 6,776 ratings.
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