AleSmith Speedway Stout | AleSmith Brewing Company

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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:
1,660
Ratings:
6,683
Avg:
4.37
pDev:
8.47%
 
 
Wants:
910
Gots:
2,162
For Trade:
151
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,660 | Ratings: 6,683
Photo of Zorro
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Silver foil top so this is the 2005 vintage.

This is a beer I have traded several times but just never got around to trying it myself. Sort of like living in Anaheim California and never going to Disneyland.

As the beer is poured in to the glass this is a jet black colored beer with a short brown head. This is in fact very slightly transparent to light at the very edges but for all practical purposes this is black as coal soot.

Smell is strong coffee liqueur with some fig and prune aromas. The aroma is only what I can describe as super Kahlua. After you warm this with your hands chocolate and pepper aroma fully develop along with some fainter brandy aromas.

Taste is sweeter than expected with a good strong coffee bite from the very start. Strong chocolate flavors are the equal of the coffee here and are not overwhelmed. Despite the power of this beer it stays completely away from harshness. The more subtle flavors here hide in the after taste in the shadow of the coffee and chocolate. Vanilla and walnuts are the major sub flavors here. I tried to find the "Licorice" flavor in this one and it just isn't there for me.

Mouthfeel is not as full as I would have expected for such a big beer.

Drinkability is very good but this isn't any easy to chug lager on a hot day. This is like Turkish coffee, strong and powerful and best consumed in small cups. Definitely a beer to share with someone, a great substitute for after dinner coffee.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Hollingshead's Delicatessen in Orange, CA,

A: Pours black, an oily sludge black, with a brown head, small out of the tap, but leaves abundant lacing in a Chimay chalice, and good retention all the way through the drink.

S: Coffee, dark, roasted malts, some dark chocolate there as well.

T: A truly delicious beer in every sense of the word. Huge coffee flavours bombard the palate, baker's chocolate, and roasted malts just add to the delight. There is a slight alcohol burn at the end, but it is hardly noticable, since the big flavours make you concentrate on them and not the ethanol, the ethyl alcohol is very well hidden.

M: Smooth, silky smooth, creamy, robust, full-bodied, this is a beer that demands your attention. And for a beer so high in alcohol, you'll never notice it, so be careful.

D: The most drinkable big beer I have ever had probably, another of the two truly outstanding offerings I have had from Alesmith, along with Yulesmith. On-tap or in a bottle, any SoCal beer fan should find this beer and try it at least once.

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

The tap version of this excellent beer has started to show up in the SEPA area, which is a pleasure to see.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is attractive, as I get considerable coffee, vanilla, light leather and chocolate. The flavor profile replicates the nose in this excellent beer, with the vanilla, coffee and chocolate flavors dominating. The is moderately sweet, but with a hint of coffee grounds and light bitterness in the finish (that helps to balance the sweetness). Mouthfeel is medium bodied to full, with a long, slightly gritty finish.

I think I prefer the bottled version, but regardless, this is still a delicious beer.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Early on 31st Dec 13, usual 0.75 litre bottle poured into a pint pot and the remainder into a Gordon’s badged thistle shaped glass. One of two bought for me by a brother on my 60th Birthday earlier in December.

Jet black with a thick coffee like foaming head on both glasses. You can’t miss the coffee and dark chocolate in the nose or taste but below those two powerhouses there are more subtle flavours and aromas to find. A strong vanilla flavour arrives and then leaves: but a pod or two stay behind to dance with some hedgerow berries and a bag of toffees.

This gets more complex as it warms too: each malty molasse playing with your taste buds and nasal senses.

Rich, smooth and very drinkable: most enjoyable, pity I had to share it with my son and son-in-law (the wife insisted).

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Photo of puboflyons
4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

From the black foil wrapped 750 ml. bottle. Sampled on December 24, 2016.

It pours a dark brown color with a modest, short lasting tan frothy head.

All kinds of aromas including dark sweet malts, coffee grinds, rich malts, fig, plum, char, but a low hop profile. Booze is buried.

Full body and smooth.

This is the kind of stout flavor that other brewers try to emulate. Bold and rich dark malt, dark bread sweetness, dark fruits, vague coffee, wood, slightly smoked, and a mild but easy to handle earthy hop finish. Through and through you would never know this is 12% ABV because the booze is integrated beautifully into this beer. Although my head will feel it later.

I usually have to think carefully about spending $15 on a single bottle of beer but this is worth that.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.37/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a light tan head that is merely moderate. Lacing is mostly absent. The smell has deep roated malts, coffee, and bitter chocolate aromas as well as atouch of vanilla at the finish along with a deep bitterness. The taste exhibits that same deep bitterness, particularly on the finish. Dark fruit and bitter chocolate are prevalant along with a nice creaminess in the flavor and mouthfeel. A tiny bit of vanilla sweetness rides along with the other flavors, but it is definitely a subtext. Surprisingly drinkable given the high abv. Very, very good, but not the best RIS. I haven't had Dark Lord, but besides that my vote goes to Oskar Blues Ten Fidy. Regardless, Alesmith's version is wonderfull, as are so many of their beers.

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

A: Black with a tan head, some retention & lace.

S: Big aroma of chocolate, coffee & a little hop spicing.

T: Coffee, chocolate, molasses & a light fruitiness & spice. Very warming alcohol, but surprisingly not harsh.

M: Moderate body & carbonation, slightly chalky with a touch of roasted acidity. Incredibly well-attenuated for it's strength (to the point that it's almost not stout-like).

D: Insanely drinkable for its strength, but definitely a sipper.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.37/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Alesmith.

A: Near black in the snifter with dark brown showing at the edges. Light brown head with good retention and lacing.

S: Big coffee notes with a moderate roasted quality and a decided nuttiness. Dark chocolate is potent. Intensely aromatic.

T: Coffee, chocolate, and a dry roasted quality. There's a touch of dark fruit in there. The chocolate complements the coffee nicely. A subtle nuttiness is detectable. Alcohol flavor is noticeable in the roasted coffee rich dark chocolate finish. Bitterness is at a lower moderate level.

M: Full in body and lower moderate in carbonation. Mouthfeel is silky and sticky. There's a slight astringency.

Overall: A great beer but a potent one. A small sample is all I ever need. The quality of this beer is more readily apparent when it's not apposed alongside the Kopi Luwak version.

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Photo of rudzud
3.86/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Shared with bpk59. 2012 vintage?

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice dark brown almost black hue with a great two finger mocha head that leaves nice side lacing.

S - Aromas of chocolate, older coffee, alcohol is hidden nicely.

T - Taste is fair amount of dark fruits, kind of over power the coffee and chocolate. Definitely tastes older slightly old.

M - Mouthfeel is nice smoother carbonation. Not much alcohol.

O - Overall this was a bit too dark fruit for my liking. Ah, very unfortunate.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.21/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured a black body with one finger creamy khaki head that left a little bit of lace ring around glass. Aroma is balanced between roasted coffee and dark chocolate along with hints of caramel, toffee and figs. While at first the beer seems more coffee than anything else, as this slow, full-bodied sipper warms it release more chocolate notes, so at end of beer I find myself drinking a chocolaty, slightly caramelized/toffees coffee beer with some figs and possible raisins stashed away. A little bit sticky with no discernible ABV, not even in finish, this beer blends all elements seamlessly together and lives up to the hype.



S: There are moderately strong aromas of chocolate in the nose.
T: The taste has strong flavors of bittersweet chocolate and coffee beans along with notes of dark roasted malts. A light amount of bitterness is present.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and quite smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.

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Photo of weeare138
4.52/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to grassrootsvt for sharing this bottle...
Appears a pitch black with a dark tan head that slowly fades out. Plenty rings of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is roasty, with caramel, coffee, cocoa, and vanilla.
Taste is of the same aromas maybe toned down slightly in a nicely contained mix that is addictive.
Mouthfeel is sweet, full bodied, with coffee bitterness and sugary complexities.
I really enjoyed this. The only problem was that the 12% abv was well noticable, which makes this more of a sipper.

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

Pours a one finger, light brown head that slowly fades to a ring leaving a good lace. Solid black color. Light carbonation and heavy bodied. Roasted coffee nose. Starts as a sweet malt and roasted coffee, smooth, finishes with a smokey caramel flavor; the high ABV is not noticeable. Excellent Imperial stout. Serious yeast in bottom of glass. $12.85 for a 750ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my 750th beer review on BA. To celebrate number 750, I decided to review a special beer in a 750ml bottle. What better occasion to review Speedway Stout, an awesome beer but one I have yet to review.

A- Pours a deep dark pitch black color with a nice tan colored head that leaves a good amount of lacing and retention.

S- The aroma is spectacular. Dark roasted malts, loads of coffee, hints of cocoa and hints of alcohol make up the fabulous aroma.

T- The taste is unsurprisingly as big and bold as the aroma. The taste starts a bit sweet with the dark roasted malts dominating. Some bitter coffee flavors start to come into play somewhere in the middle, with the bitterness lasting well into the finish. There is also some warming from the alcohol, but it is not as noticable as you would expect from a beer with such a high ABV.

M- The mouthfeel has a very nice smooth and creamy texture with a perfect amount of carbonation.

D- This is definitely a sipper, but it is dangerously drinkable considering the high ABV.

Overall, AleSmith Speedway Stout is one of the finest beers of it's styles and one of my favorite beers regardless of style. Highly Recoomended.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Cracked open with @LaitueGonflable and @thescotdownunder to celebrate my 800th beer review on BA. Purchased at City Beer Store in San Francisco and carted back in my luggage to Sydney.

Pours with an amazing cascade effect -- the head forms backwards from what I expect, leaving some liquid darkness running down the inside of the glass, while the head forms downwards into the body of the beer. Quite spectacular to watch. It's a deep, heavy and opaque black colour, and the head, once it has formed, is a pleasant mocha brown. Lacing is very decent. Looks every bit the American Imperial Stout. Just wonderful.

Very dark on the nose, with huge roasted notes, but also a very distinct and spicy capsaicin note like freshly crushed chilli. Big oaky and roasted coffee notes as well -- I expect nothing less from the best Impy Stouts. Little coconut or vanilla, as I've had from many other examples, but the spicy notes give this its own edge, and its own unique character. Very, very good indeed.

Very smooth and slick profile on the palate; it's the first thing noticeable. It then delivers big roasted notes, but subtly leavened by good vanilla characters that almost evoke melted ice cream. Quite noticeable oak on the back, and it finishes surprisingly dry; that slight spice aroma gets revived in the dying moments. It's a lovely brew.

Oh yes, oh yes... this is an exceptionally good beer. Rich, full of character, dark and seductive, boisterous and aggressive in places. So much going on and so excitingly craft. I love it to bits.

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Photo of corby112
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Draft at AleSmith. March, 2013.

Pitch black and opaque with a two finger, frothy beige head that has great retention, only slowly fading into a thick, lasting ring.  The glass is left coated with streaks of soapy lace.  

Robust roasted coffee bean and dark malt aroma.  Very inviting with gourmet roast, dark chocolate, toast, burnt sugar and subtle lactic cream.  Underneath, there is some sweetness with bakers chocolate, caramel and toffee.

Full bodied and slightly viscous with a blast of deeply roasted coffee bean flavor.  Somewhat dry and bitter but pretty smooth and not acrid at all considering how much coffee flavor it has.  Some burnt toast along with gourmet coffee bean followed by oatmeal, strong dark chocolate flavor, fudge, sweeter bakers chocolate, caramel and toffee.  The robust coffee, dark malt and sweeter dessert-like flavors are very well balanced and the high ABV is excellently masked, making this beer deceptively drinkable.

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

A - Pitch black with a thick caramel colored, creamy, sticky head, and sticks to the glass.

S - Coffee, vanilla, cream, dark roasted malt, alcohol, and some roasted toffee.

T - Flavor is even from start to finish with coffee, dark roasted malt, toffee, black anise, alcohol, and dark roasted chocolate. The alcohol warms the back of the throat on the way down and the dark roasted malt and coffee hang on for a lingering, dark chocolate bitter finish.

M - Full body and thick, sticky on the lips; coats the mouth with dark chocolate, light coffee, and some dark fruit.

O - Roasty, warm, and solid. If I would have any complaints it would be the significant alcohol presence in the flavor and mouthfeel and would rather have that intensity as a product of barrel aging.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.67/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle(room temp) pitch black with a small head that dissipated quickly leaving just a fine ring around the edge of the glass.

The smell is of maple syrup and/or molasses with some coffee notes as well.

The taste is full of coffee and molasses and is very thick in texture. There's a lot of smokiness as well for me in the flavour and that is definitely a positive in its overall presentation.

Wow. I had this one fresh and it was a treat but this +1 year old sample just kicks it up a notch or 2. Did I mention how obtrusive the 12% abv was in my review of this beer? I didn't? Well...there's a warming effect coming from this brew for sure but in no way was it obtrusive. Highly recommended!!

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Photo of Rhettroactive
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 750mL bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 1/3/12
*From notes

-- Thanks to SirRuss for bringing this back east on his recent trip --

A: Big, black and nasty. A generous pour yields a cascading 2.25 finger head. Killer rentention and gobs of lacing rim the glass.

S: Toasty. A heavy dose of char, freshly brewed coffee and a surprising amount of hop oil.

T: Damnit if this isn't delicious. Rich, creamy chocolate up front evolves into a hot booziness on the mid. The finish is crisply charred, and it must be noted that there's a pretty hefty hop kick too.

M: Extremely viscous. You can cut this with a Ginsu knife and still need help getting through it.

O: I now feel much better about my eventual move to the West Coast. AleSmith's Speedway Stout immediately struck me as the Left Coast answer to Founders Breakfast Stout, which is one of my all-time fav's. I really regret not getting into a bottle of this sooner. It's one that I'll revisist, and often.

Easily recommended, and heartily so.

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Photo of dwagner003
4.48/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Speedway.. I'm sorry. I tried you several years ago when I was a very inexperienced beer person.. I didn't like "coffee" in my beers.. You were bitter and difficult to finish. But I've learned. I've learned so much. About me. About you. And I want to apologize. You're wonderful. You're delicious. You're cold, black and strong, just the way I like em. Please forgive me. I love you.

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

Thanks to jfam for this - 2011 edition

Appearance - Dark brown colour with an average size frothy head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some decent lacing. The head lasted for around 5-6 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, grains, coffee, chicory, vanilla

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate, and coffee. There is also some vanilla, dark fruit, and chicory.

Overall -What this big beer manages to do very well is - not be cloying. Its got a lot of taste and booze, but not the sweetness that usually accompanies this. A fantastic beer worthy of its acclaim.

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

Poured a deep, deep brown with a small brown head. Nose was roasted, coffee and a slight chocolate hint. Taste followed the nose well. Lots of roastiness, chocolate and coffee beans with a the 12%ABV hiding pretty good. Mouthfeel was roasty and cocoa hiding but evident, coffee and creaminess mmm.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.95/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle poured into a nonic. No bottled date. Huge thanks to BeerFMAndy for splitting his bottle with me!

(A)- Pours a thick & dark black as night color that produced a beautiful cascading foamy brown head with great retention behind it. Left plenty of lacing behind.

(S)- A delicate roastedness with coffee bean, molasses, vanilla, & brown sugar. Has a brief whiff of a biscuit-like oatmeal.

(T)- A soft, yet bitter roastedness with coffee & molasses with a touch of raisins. Has a rather ample hop addition; creates extra bitterness & a grassy-background.

(M)- A great carbonation level. Good roastedness & feel to it, but the ample hop addition kinda starts killing off some of the great flavors & creates a mild grassy note that caught me off guard.

(D)- A good stout, though still too fresh based upon how high the hop level is in this. I think it would get much better with another 6 months to a year of age. I like alot of hops, but not in my stouts. Solid stuff though.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.83/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

(Served in tulip glass)

A- This beer pours an inky jet black opaque body that floats a thick creamy head of deep tan. The head last and last sticking to the sides with each sip and slowly sliding down the glass. This beer is to dense for any signs of carbonation even at the base of the glass.

S- This beer has strong aromas of roasted coffee beans and dark roasted black malt that is rich and fresh. There are nice chocolate malt and black roasted malt notes in the background with a note of cream and cola.

T- This beer has a dark black earthy malt flavor with a deep roasted coffee flavor that has a hint of chalk taste to it. The coffee has some good depth like a Sumatra blend or Cafe Verona roast. There are notes of chocolate malt and chocolate hints in the coffee that have notes or lighter roasted malt flavors. There are some notes of prunes and white raisins along with some lighter fruit notes. The finish is a nice iced coffee bitterness and flavor. At the beginning of the bottle there are some fusel alcohol notes but they taste more like bourbon notes as the beer warms.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a warm alcohol finish that cleans the thick complex malt flavors from the palate.

D- This is a serious stout,and a seriously exceptional stout. The malt and coffee flavors are fresh and well balanced with many layers of flavor that I couldn't capture in my review. The alcohol content was nice and played an important part of the finish. I didn't taste any oxidized coffee notes like old coffee grounds or stale coffee which is a big turn off in coffee beers. After a sip the beer just begged me to take another sip.

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Photo of kscaldef
3.34/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Purchased about 1 month ago; no bottle date.

Slowly develops a 1-finger dark tan head after pouring. The beer is a very dark brown, near black.

The aroma has some roasty coffee notes, but also a medicinal note and some green wood. It's not particularly appealing, but not off-putting either.

The first sip is an explosion of coffee and chocolate. Unfortunately, it's chased by that same green, medicinal flavor and a bitter woody finish. The mouthfeel is heavy and coating, but a bit chalky. Almost no carbonation.

Overall, this is a bit of an enigma to me, though. It's better than the sum of its parts and I keep being pulled back for another sip.

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Photo of akorsak
4.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 750 mL bottle obtained from Boolshot.

A: The ale is a black oily color. Absolutely nothing cuts through the darkness of the ale. There is a small ring of cappucino colored head in the glass. A pour generates a 1.5 finger sized head.

S: The stout has a deep roasted malty aroma that has a vinous depth. The alcohol is evident but not overpowering. Some hops add a floral florish without detracting from the malts.

T: The stout has a big bold taste. The first flavors to hit the tongue are heavily roasted, almost burnt malts. The intensely roasted flavors border on a very dry chocolate flavor. As the beer warms in the moith, a distinct, intense alcohol flavor emerges that is astringent. Back to the malts, this beer has a fairly subtle acidity that belies the coffee beans. Finally, the stout ends with a sweet flavor that finishes long and brings back hints of the roasted malts and coffee.

M: This big stout has a great deal going on at any one time. The malts and coffee combine nicely and are well-balanced. My only complaint is the alcohol burn.

D: The drinkability is limited by the 12% abv, but there malts are flavorful and the coffee is a great addition. I am very impressed that the ale has such a balanced flavor.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.37 out of 5 based on 6,683 ratings.
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