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 | website

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:
1,633
Ratings:
6,490
Avg:
4.37
pDev:
16.93%
 
 
Wants:
904
Gots:
2,087
For Trade:
157
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,633 | Ratings: 6,490
Photo of tobelerone
4.42/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A top notch Imperial stout to be sure. Had on tap at the brewery but glad to see this is all over NYC now as well. Opaque, black, with a brown head that settles fairly quickly, leaving strong lacing up and down the glass. Aroma is full of freshly roasted coffee, bitter chocolate, and deep dark malt.

Super tasty. All the coffee, chocolate, and malt from the nose are there in the taste in spades. Big, delicious flavor hits all the right notes for the style to be sure. Slight booziness but overall pretty well hidden underneath everything else. Coffee is dominant, moderate sweetness adds to the overall tastiness. A hint of fruitiness as well.

Full bodied stopping just short of thick and chewy. Creamy, sticky, with low-medium carbonation giving it just enough life without getting fizzy or prickly. A bit dry in the finish. I’d actually prefer a little fuller body but I’m nitpicking here. Powerful sipping stout.

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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 Whiskeydeez
4.51/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle date 8/15/13
Poured into a St. Bernardus Chalice, Rust on bottle cap, moisture under the foil?

This pours a nice black color with hints of brown in the light. A nice full brownish tan head sits on top and winds down at normal pace. Not much for lacing, spotty.

It has a really nice smooth roasted malt aroma, sweetness and a little coffee. When it warms there is a bit of alcohol but its blends nicely with the malt sweetness and bit of chocolate roast.

The taste follows the aroma well and it is very smooth. This has a wonderful smoothness between the chocolate, coffee/espresso and malt sweetness. There is 12% alc in here??? Really the biggest thing I like about this is how smooth and seamless the flavors fit together, nothing is out of place.

The mouthfeel compliments the flavors perfectly. It is thick and oily and coats your mouth with each sip.

I really enjoyed this stout. Stouts are not my go to style but if I had access to this that might change. It's smooth and mellow but full of flavor. It seems like the chocolate, coffee, sweetness and alcohol are all paired perfectly in this beer. It's not over the top in any way, just damn good.

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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 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 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 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 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 GreesyFizeek
4.31/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Foil topped 22 oz bottle purchased from Beers of the World last year, and Nathaniel Square Corner Store this year. Opened during movie night at my apartment, gave a few small pours out to people interested, but about 16 oz of this black beast was all mine.

Pours dark, dark, black. Pure darkness. As Rick James in the Chappelle's show said, "YOU DARKNESS, YOU BLACK - LATE NIGHT - EVIL MOTHAF*CKAS - BLACK MAGIC, DARKNESS! YOU RAW... DARKNESS... YOU... DELIRIOUS... MOTHAF*CKAS."

Basically I'm saying it's about the darkest beer I've ever had. Maybe Ten Fidy is darker, maybe not.

Smells like coffee, chocolate, and lots of roast.

Tastes awesome. Sweet, fruity coffee flavors intermingle with creamy vanilla, creamy chocolate, and slight alcohol twang.

The mouthfeel is pretty good. Slightly thinner body than I would've expected, but still pretty thick. The alcohol sneaks up on you, beware. I was just about ready to bed after finishing the full 22oz last year. Had less this year, so I felt it a lot less.

Overall, a great stout. I really want to try some of the variants.

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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 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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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 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 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 dar482
4.59/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

It comes deep black with a nice big tan head.

The aroma is lovely with sweet chocolate and big roasted malt. There's some alcohol and coffee.

In the taste, it has a bittersweet chocolate and a chunky milk chocolate. A touch of alcohol, although that falls out with aging. The coffee is medium minus and not obvious as other coffee stouts. In general, there's huge huge molasses, savory umami, and palate covering roasted malt.

The beer drinks decently well for its ABV. It has a full mouthfeel. However, the savory and molasses on the back end interferes with the beer slightly.

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

750ml bottle poured into tulip 23/4/13 cheers Rutager for the long time want

A black liquid with a dark cola edge a fingernail deep, plenty of bubbles floating up the side of the glass and they keep a two finger mocha foam going for quite a while leaving a couple partial rings followed by random patches

S all sorts of chocolate on the nose, coco, fudge, bakers chocolate and syrup, coffees hard to miss and the roast is dark, there's a little booze, smoke and charred wood but its faint, just a little over ripe plum and licorice with a slight nutty aspect, smell very rich and sexy

T the coffee I'm smelling more like burnt espresso in the mouth, much more dark roast with lots of char but not smokey, faint booze but I'd be guessing 8% not 12% so its quite well concealed, I like it but I loved the nose with more chocolate and less ultra intense roast the mouths offering

M thick and silky with just the right amount of carbonation, a little heat but less then one would expect from a beer this strong, very strong espresso and char on the finish lingers for ages and its just a little sticky on the lips

O big on coffee and chocolate and a very intense dark roast make for an intimidating brew, well concealed booze and I 'll be tasting this one tomorrow at this rate, pretty solid brew if your a coffee lover like me

No bottling date info that I can see but I'd be surprised if this ones fresh as they hide 12% pretty well, enough booze to close one eye and enough coffee to have the other wide open.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle obtained via trade with oggg. Thanks for the opportunity... Capped and foiled.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" of dark brown head over the totally dark brown/black brew. Head holds steady for most of the drinking experience, and exhibits excellent foamy lacing. Aroma is dark malts, coffee, and alcohol. Taste is creamy coffee with dark fruit tinges and the slightest alcohol notes. Funny, the booze is hidden over the tongue, because my chapped lips are stinging, and my throat is warm as all get out, so I know it's in there... For the style, mouthfeel and drinkability are great. Smoothness and not over the top alcohol presence (at least perceived), make this one a great one.

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Nose: espresso, chocolate, roast malt
Pours heart of darkness black with a thin 1/2" tan tinted foam cap, some lace, has legs.
Palate: light sweetness followed by black espresso coffee that gives way to a hint of chocolate and a hint of dark dried fruit.
Creamy rich full body, medium low carbonation, warming but the alcohol is not as hot as you would expect for 12% abv.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Pours an all-encompasing dark color. No light penetrates the edges of this brew. The darker tan head sits atop the brew and slowly fades. There is some lacing as well. Looks frightening.

S-Unbelievable dark roasty malted flavor. Big, big chocolate and coffee. Smells like a gigantic booze-coffee mutant. Alcohol is present but is not a detractor seeing as the beer is so big.

T-Super assertive. Quite like the nose with the roastiness, chocolate, coffee/espressso attack. The taste lingers and lingers forever. An absolute monster. Speedway Stout has one of the most in your face tastes I have come across. Tastes like Kahlua but way more awesome.

M-Sludgy and viscous. Light carbonation. Slick. Just how a big boy stout should feel.

D-Can't stop sipping. Especially at %12. I am shocked by its drinkability.

I find the Founders makes some hardcore stouts but this one plants itself right next to the top for me.

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Photo of barczar
4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 vintage.

Big cocoa aroma, slightly sweet chocolate, and roast malt.

Flavor is lacking in malt depth. Roasty and malty in the finish. A very drinkable 12 percent. The cocoa comes out as it warms.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,633 ratings.
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