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: 1,686 | Ratings: 6,786
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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Photo of MA_hops
4.54/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pretty delicious stuff! Both the aroma and the taste is a punch to your senses!
A: Midnight black with a thin, mocha colored head.
S: Raisins, roasted malt, subtle coffee, milk chocolate
T: Creamy milk chocolate both mid sip and aftertaste. Some light coffee and roasted malt flavors.
M: Very smooth, almost silk like with a little bit of carbonation and bitterness.
O: Very good….excellent on all fronts!!

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Photo of wpqx
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Hot diggity dog this is way smoother than I thought for 12%.

A - Jet black with a generous head if poured violently
S - Very mild smell wise, might be seasonal allergies but I get some coffee aromoas but that's about it.
T- So smooth, seriously I was aging this because I assumed it'd be harsh, not at all.
M - Extremely pleasant going down, enough said.
O - Not as complex and boozy as I was expecting, very drinkable and very smooth. I look forward to drinking this again, but far from a life changing imperial.

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

I've been waiting to try this one for a while, and iconoklaztor just opened one and was generous enough to give me a taste.

Pours a very dark brown, slightly transparent but still very dark. Head is dark tan and robust with very fine lacing that clings to the glass for quite some time.

Smell is amazing, so deep, thick, and rich. Everything I was hoping for. Taste invades the palate. A strong chocolate taste, with an immense alcohol flavor that persists long after the mouthful is swallowed.

This is my first Speedway Stout, an '06, so I can't comment on how well it ages, but it seems like it has done quite well in the bottle.

Great beer. Try it if you can get one. A classic.

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Photo of beerbully
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Poured into HF stemware

A-Black as midnight.....3/4 inch toffee colored head, decent retention, thick lacing that slides down the side of the glass (4.25)

S-Chocolate, coffee, anise, (4.25)

T- Lots of dark chocolate out of the gate..........slight anise, coffee, brown sugar, molasses, dark fruits, some booze but not 12% worth, very sweet, booze is more like rum than whiskey.......finish is like dark chocolate covered coffee beans soaked in rum (4.5)

M-Thick full bodied beer, 12% ABV is noticeable but not dominant.....just enough to provide some warmth......lots of flavors, well balanced (4.5)

O-Good full bodied beer to be sippin on a cold, damp afternoon. (4.5)

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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!

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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.

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Photo of Faina
4.88/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep obsidian black with only a small coffeee milk colored head.

This beer seriously sells amazing. Deep, rich chocolate powder, black malt, rich dark coffee grind and only slightly hot.

As amazing as it smells it tastes even better. It's more complex and I feel like I'm drinking a rich adult hot chocolate with a shot of espresso. It's slightly hot with a rich creamy mouthfeel. The's high but drinking it I didn't even notice it. There's the slight heat in the back but it does not even begin to hint at the 12% that lurks in in it. One snifter pour aside for my bf, I drank this entire thing on my own. As a small 4'11"/5'0" on a tall day chick that's saying a lot...

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of laketang
4.27/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

poured into snifter pitch black with burnt butter head

chocolat notes as well as cake batter and gingersnap

like drinking a chocolat bar! a bit bitter (in a good way)some anise, alcohol is noted, but not overly tho

full mouth rich with a slight bitter linger

can I have another one please

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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.

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Photo of Nicolaiw
4.31/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pitch black, Brown head
Aroma: Lots and lots of coffee, burnt malt, bitter chocolate brown sugar.
Taste: oily, coffee, bitter chocolate, little vanilla, little boozy,

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of Bum4ever
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From a can dated 1/27/17

L: Pitch black with a good amount of creamy light tan head that lasts awhile.
S: Coffee and lots of it. Followed with some caramel and malt smell.
T: Coffee but with something sweet, no bitter aftertaste like other coffee stouts.
F: Medium bodied feel with light carbonation, very smooth.
O: Really solid coffee stout, like this one a lot. Guess I am going to have to pony up for the big bottle to see the difference between the 2.

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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.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.37 out of 5 based on 6,786 ratings.
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