Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

AleSmith Speedway Stout | AleSmith Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
97
world-class
1,649 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States
alesmith.com

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Jet Black, with an off-white head. Starts with a strong coffee and dark chocolate sensation, then fades to a multitude of toasty, roasty and caramel malt flavors. Clean and crisp, full- bodied. Warmth from the high alcohol content lightens up the feel. You won't fool your taste buds - this beer is HUGE!

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-09-2002

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,649
Ratings:
6,607
Avg:
4.37
pDev:
8.47%
 
 
Wants:
902
Gots:
2,131
For Trade:
154
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,649 | Ratings: 6,607
Photo of 05Harley
4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No bottle dating information:

Purchased through Hi-Time Wine Cellars, Costa Mesa, CA

Price: $11.46/bomber

After a good day of snowmobiling this lovely gem just jumped out at me to help warm up my bones and replenish the energy levels.

Appearance: Pours like black ink revealing a 1" creamy tan cap. Head fades fairly quick to a lite sheen leaving behind an artistic laced decorated drinking vessel.

Smell: A rich aroma of coffee (not surprising given the pounds and pounds of coffee beans added), roasted malts and dark chocolate.

Taste: Coffee dominates the flavor followed by bitter chocolate, molasses and alcohol. Could use a tad more sweetness in the taste.

Mouthfeel: Starts out smooth like velvet with a medium body but quickly changes to a fairly bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability: If you like your stouts with a high amount of bitterness this one's for you. A little too much for my liking. An enjoyable beer never the less. At 12% the alcohol is well hidden. I've got a few more in the cellar and I suspect they will age quite well.

 1,050 characters

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

Poured into a snifter from a 750ml bottle.

A: Pitch black with a thin tan head, mean looking.

S: Light coffee/espresso, slight dark chocolate. Really mellow and lacking.

T: Roasted coffee and dark chocolate, again really mellow.

M: Thick and syrupy, light carbonation.

O: A good stout, but I can think of other ones I'd rather buy for the price.

 352 characters

Photo of khmel
4.49/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Pitch black, opaque. Thin, tan head. Dissipates quickly to a ring. Mild lacing.

S: Coffee noticeable, bourbon hint in the nose. Chocolate and oakey notes.

T: Dark malt, dark cocoa, cream, slightly smokey notes. Amazing!

M: Creamy, rich, smooth. Very low carbonation. Really great.

O: An excellent imperial stout! True to its style and very well executed. A must repeat!

 376 characters

Photo of westweasel
4.06/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured out a beautiful jet black liquid with a tall over one-inch frothy tan head. It looks like a root beer float. Tons of lacing were left on the glass. The aromas were a strong roastyness, coffee, and dark chocolate.

The taste is dominated by coffee and roasted grains. There is a nice bitter bite at the end of the swallow. The mouthfeel is medium to full.

The drinkability is very good. It's hard to tell that this is a high-alcohol beer.

 454 characters

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

Poured from 750ML Champaigne style bottle.

Appearance: Pours pitch black into my pint glass with a thick and merangue like chocolate covered head that lasts forever.

Smell: Big and malty with hints of milk chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, molasses, and a touch of alcohol.

Taste: Starts with an immediate hint of alcohol in the nose as you drink. The 1st taste brings a sweet, chocolatey cafe mocha like flavor followed by a dark fruity sweetness. Loads of malt with a really nice roasty finish with just a hint of bitterness from hops or the coffee. Alcohol is present but not obtrusive. You know its there but the other flavors dominate.

Mouthfeel: Nice and thick and creamy, perfectly carbonated.

Drinkability: I've been waiting to try Speedway Stout for a long time and I'm not disappointed. A big Double Stout with a coffee infusion. Plenty of big malty fruity sweetness and chocolate with just the right amount of roasted coffee and barley to give it a touch of bitterness. Alcohol definitely plays a roll especially at 12% but its not over the top. A beer to savor and let warm as you drink. Probably better to drink in the winter as opposed to the 95 degree day we had in DC today but I just brewed a coffee stout and wanted to see what I was up against. I think I lost big time !! A great offering from the folks at Alesmith. Definitely seek out and enjoy. Highly recommended.

 1,402 characters

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

Pours blacker than night, with a dark tan head that is rocky and leaves syrup and lace on the glass. Dissapates quickly due to the alcohol and likely the coffee acids.

You can smell it when you open it, pour it, and may be overwhelmed if you bring it to your nose. Wow. Coffee, chocolate, burnt grains, sweet alcohol.

A sip brings to the palate an assault of sweet malt with dark roasted barley. Creamy thick with tons and tons of coffee and chocolate intermingling in the finish with a sweet alcohol and slight lingering astringency on the tongue. An exhale brings more sweet alcohol and coffee.

This beer is a masterpiece. When I see it, I buy a case. It is worth every penny.

Alesmith, thank you.

 711 characters

Photo of Verecund
3.95/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Opened on April 18, 2011. The last day of classes for the year.

Black, with a large four finger tan head. Recedes to a finger of froth. Thick lacing.

EDIT: PZ generously sent me a replacement bottle, which was more in line with my expectations. A very solid coffee stout. Thanks!

 281 characters

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

A- Pours jet black with dark tan 1-2 finger head, good retention with lace clumping all over my glass.

S- Nice almost dark fruit with roasted malt and tons of dark chocolate coffee flavors, followed by a slight warming cherry sherry scent.

T- Very similar to the smell which is very nice, however this bottle is still young and has a slight bitter hop finish which will die in 1-2 years of cellaring.

M- Full body beer with tons of flavors a slight warming alcohol presence and almost too much carbonation on this beast, let it mellow for 1-2 years and re-review is best.

D- For being 12% alcohol, I finished a 750ml and started on some Stone Self Righteous, with some age this would be fantastic.

 701 characters

Photo of camil1mj
4.03/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at cellar temp.

A: Dark brown like a dark chocolate Hershey bar. Tan colored creamy head.

S: Roasty and semi-sweet chocolate.

T: Big chocolate, caramel and roasted toffe notes that give way to hints of coffee.

M: Heavy bodied. Medium carbonation.

I: Great non-barrel aged stout. One of my favorite standards stouts. I wish it was distributed to MI.

 360 characters

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

Poured a black chocolate thick mysterious color with a coffee ground colored head. The head gave way to thick, intricate and full lacings.

Big malt aroma with some floral and hoppy suggestions.

Thick, and foamy consistency...this is a big beer!

Sweet malt base flavor mixes with a complex grouping of coffee, roasted malts, caramel, chocolate molasses and hops. The sweetness and warmth suggest the presence of the high alcohol percentage but the alcohol taste is lost amidst the other flavors. I found the sweetness to linger slightly too much in the aftertaste, but aside from that the flavors are excellent.

I'm looking forward to aging a few of these before I review again.

 693 characters

Photo of jeffjfindley
4.53/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ebony body, and the darkest head I've ever seen. Way beyond the parchment color of many micro stouts, this is BROWN. The smell is nice, and suggestive of the intense amounts of coffee beans they threw into this thing.

The taste is wonderful, and beyond smooth. It is even throughout, packing incredibly rich chocolate maltiness, mocha, and a healthy blast of alcohol at the end. The feel is perfect, and the most outstanding feature of this most outstanding brew. Almost too drinkable, considering it's ABV. Exercise restraint, or you may wind up pantsless in the gutter.

 574 characters

Photo of Zonk
4.56/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black with a light tan head. Really strong coffee aromas on top of roasty malt and cocoa. Rich and creamy mouth feel with a great doese of coffee. Very impressive stout.

 181 characters

Photo of timtheenchanta
4.78/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful black beer with thick tan head. Thick sticky lacing coats the glass after each sip.

Huge nose of alcohol, roasted coffee beans (as the bottle warns) and some bitter chocolate.

WHOA! This beer hits the tongue with LOADS of flavor. Roasted coffee exlodes on the tongue. Lots of bitter chocolate and slight hop presence balance out the sweetness. Alcohol warming follows as this one finishes dry. The huge creamy thick feel makes this one overly pleasant to sit down with.

If only I could come across this one more often. Many thanks to Jetsbeer for this one.

 575 characters

Photo of athensbeermaster
3.95/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I just got a new job so I could afford this expensive brew. This stout didn't pour much of a head and almost no lacing? The nose had some expresso and chocolate peeking out with a huge alcohol presence. The taste was full of dark roasted malts and rich chocolate and coffee flavors. The mouthfeel was smooth and went very well with my CAO mx-2 cigar. The drinkability scores as good as you can get for being so high in alcohol. This beer is very complex I picked up more flavors on the last glass and tasted some fig notes and smoky caramel. The finish is nice & clean with a dry coffee aftertaste.

 598 characters

Photo of Wadsey
3.62/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Speedway Stout, vintage May 2011

Served in one of last two DFH signature glasses left in my possession. The others must have read my reviews of DFH beers and leapt to their deaths. I also lost a fish last week. Coincidence? I'm not so sure. 

A: Pours black with massive brown head that takes a few moments to settle down to surface of beer. No appreciable lacing and so forth. 

S: Roasted malts with molasses and some dark fruits. Hints of licorice, acetone, cocoa nibs, and earth. 

T: Shocking sweetness combines with roasted malt and cocoa nib characteristics to form chocolate syrup, but of a higher quality than Hershey's. I do think the other characteristics I described in smell are manifested in taste, although acetone/alcohol is more subdued. Medium bitterness. Finish is long and roasty. 

M: Medium-heavy body and medium-light carbonation. Fuller mouthfeel that moves from creamy to powdery. A little warming. 

O: Coffee is much more low-key in Speedway Stout than I was expecting and acts as a prop to roast malts more than anything else. Then again, I recently drank some great coffee-forward stouts so maybe my palate is a little too tuned in to coffee for this beer. Reminds me of Yeti, which is another above-average imperial stout. 

Thanks Robo for the beer. I know Speedway Stout is your favorite so it couldn't have been easy to let it go. 

 1,373 characters

Photo of schlimenhaumer
4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to kojevergas for this bottle as well as hosting the first formal tasting I’ve attended on January 3! Starting the night out strong with this one. Poured into a Gouden Carolus tulip at altitude in Denver.

A: Pitch black with a dark tan head of little retention and spotty lacing. Oily appearance when swished around the glass.

S: Dark chocolate, peaty oak notes, some vanilla and a bit of booze.

T: Dark chocolate with some oak notes on the finish. Very straightforward in terms of flavor, but the flavors here complement each other and it’s very well balanced. The alcohol is concealed very nicely here.

M: Full-bodied and silky smooth. Quite possibly the best aspect of this beer, and near perfect for an imperial stout in my opinion.

D: This is a very drinkable beer, especially in light of its alcohol content. I think it’s a great model for a simple approach to an imperial stout.

 909 characters

Photo of Czarkazm
4.13/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle has been aged about 2 years. Pitch black in the glass with some ruddy brown highlights along the edges of the glass when held up to the light. Being an aged bottle, I'm getting more chocolate on the nose than coffee, more dark fruit than I remember a fresh bottle having, some burnt caramel, roasted malts. Taste follows the smell very well. Very roasty with bittersweet chocolate along with a fully rich, decadent mouthfeel. As good as this one still is, I wouldn't recommend aging it.

 498 characters

Photo of hophead247
4.65/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black and opaque in appearance; moderately thick in viscosity. Head is minimal at first but quickly diminishes to an oily overlay. Bitterness jumps out of the gate first for aroma, along with unsweetened dark chocolate, mocha mousse and cafe o' lait. Coffee and roasted malts are definitely represented in this speed demon. Alcohol is discernable in flavor. Bitter chocolate and espresso flavors dominate. It's like sucking on a handful of greasy, dark roasted espresso beans. Body is oily and dense. Malts seem to favor flavor over viscosity. Definitely has its share of IBUs. Moderate carbonation is probably livelier on the palate than in actuality because of the dactylic touch of alcohol. Finish is warming, bitter and mouth watering. While I served it at about 55 degrees as recommended on the bottle, I liked it better as it got even warmer, say 60-65 degrees. At the higher temp, it seemed to thicken and improve its body.

 930 characters

Photo of bret27
4.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

S: Roasty and coffee predominantly. Also chocolate. A little booze and toffee malty sweetness around as well.

A: Jet black w/brn thick head. What else?

T: Mostly coffee along w/the delcious maltiness and roastiness. Vanilla, chocolate, toffee notes. A little boozy presence but the etoh is well hidden for sure.

M/D: Thick and velvety sublime mouthfeel. Drinkability is definitely impressive for ABV.

Overall: I can't really add anything. This beer is all over socal at reasonable prices, and it's still one of the highest rated beers in the world year after year.

 568 characters

Photo of Sensaray
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011

Looks delicious. Luscious large brown head with deep dark brown body. Head dissipates very very slowly leaving thick lace.

Big coffee and chocolate aromas. Definitely sweet. You can sense the alcohol. Maybe a bit of vanilla ice cream, whipped cream sorta scent.

An initial spiciness is immediately followed by sweet coffee chocolate flavors. Theres a definite subdued sense of hops in the finish. The chocolate and coffee blend well in the finish. The coffee flavors throughout are very good.

The mouthfeel on this is exceptionally smooth with small bubbly carbonation, lighter side of heavy. 12% get increasingly prominent but always welcome and warm.

One of the top imperial stouts I've tried. Delicious.

 718 characters

Photo of punkrkr27
4.01/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 bottle. Lots of rich sweet yet bitter black strap molasses character with a shot of espresso. There's some milk chcoclate that comes out in the middle and it finishes with a long bitter black coffee finish. There was a hint of soy I didn't care much for though. The body is sticky and full with moderate carbonation.

 321 characters

Photo of deepsouth
4.62/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

this beer poured a black color with a tan head and some rocky bubbles. a good looking beer.

the smell is of coffee, molasess, sweet malt, roastiness, espresso coffe beans... complex as hell.

the taste is divine and complex and consistent with the smell. indescribably balanced. alcohol present. damn near perfect.

the mouthfeel is full and velvety. it doesn't get better than this.

the drinkability of this beer is off the charts. perfect.

thanks to barefootbrewer for sharing this with me.

 496 characters

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

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass with 3cm dark tan creamy head. The beer is black in color, no light can pass through this stuff! Good head retention, stayed until almost finished with the glass, and nice thick lacing down the glass.

Smell: Very roasty like a roasted marshmallow, very sweet up front with a slight bitterness at the end.

Taste: A lot of roasty malts up front. Followed by a stronger bitter flavor than expected, like a dark chocolate or coffee bitterness. Almost no taste of alcohol. Leaves my mouth with a nice subtle bitter taste.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy bodied, little carbonation, small hop bite. Nice balance of creamy texture and bitter bite.

Overall: The taste was not bad, could barley notice any alcohol considering the ABV. I couldn't detect any fruity taste which I do enjoy in imperial stouts... so that was slightly disappointing. Otherwise I really enjoyed the mouthfeel and appearance.

 932 characters

Photo of Bluerabbitbell
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From tap at Bocktown in Robinson. First day of school date with Leah. 12 oz pour. Definitely high alcohol, but of course... It's an imperial. I like this offering because it isn't too sweet. A very warming offering for a cold winter day... Although this is still summer ;-) Anyway, this is a top notch beer for sure

 315 characters

Photo of jaketaz
4.56/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The definition of a strong coffee imp stout, runs 11 or 12 bucks for a 750ml bottle in my area which is a bargain. Surprisingly mild alcohol taste for 12% abv, strong espresso and roasted malt flavor, pitch black beer and a short, thick tan head. Smells like a dark Guatemalan coffee. Substantial body and mild carbonation, basically you're gonna have a great time if you're remotely into standards like Old Rasputin, Stone russian imp, Narwhal etc. If I was giving this an objective everyman rating it'd probably be straight fives, but personally I dig flavored desserty sweet stouts more than classic imp stouts. I left half in the fridge overnight, the next day the taste had barely diminished at all. A top notch stout.

 724 characters

AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.37 out of 5 based on 6,607 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe