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: 1,684 | Ratings: 6,782
Photo of nuggetlover
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 1 pint can (!!!)
Slick jet black motor oil with lingering coffee tan head
I'm getting the coffee and the 12% abv is barely noticeable, but it's not the same nose I've gotten out of bombers in the past. The can tho... yo! I love it in the can!
Taste is great. All of the expected layered chocolate, coffee but SO smooth.
Did I mention so smooth?
It's an all timer, a gold standard for big coffee stouts.

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Photo of Holderness
4.54/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Despite what is stated on the packaging, I strongly suggest drinking this at ~62 degrees.

L -- This is the darkest beer I have ever had the pleasure of consuming. 1,000 lumens (roughly the power of a car headlamp) passed through the glass reveals... nothing. Nada. Absolutely no light passed through the pitch blackness that is this brew. 2-finger tan head produced with moderate pour. Great retention and moderate lacing.
S -- Coffee, well-roasted barley malts, bittersweet chocolate, fruity yeast esters, caramel, toffee, and vanilla
T -- A perfect balance between a molasses/caramel/toffee sweetness and intense flavors of espresso, dark chocolate, and a rich earthiness. Tastes like a well-made coffee ice cream that's been melted and turned into a 12% ABV beer.
F -- Thick and chewy, yet immensely drinkable thanks to the perfect levels of carbonation and sweetness.
O -- From start to finish, this is hands down the best stout I've had. Blows Breakfast Stout, Old Rasputin, etc. out of the water. In Massachusetts, though, it's pretty damn pricey at ~$9 for a 16 oz. can.

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Photo of mike22ne
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle, sometime 2015.

The smell is not as strong as I remember in a fresher one I've had, and the coffee flavor has definitely faded somewhat. It's more dominated by dark bitter cocoa and roasted chocolate, with some dark caramelized fruits. The feel is sweet, boozy, slick and full, but without being too dense - it has a somewhat dry bitter finish.

Overall a great beer! Noticeably different with age, it's worth keeping a bottle or two for a while. Now I've got to go find a fresh one to compare again!

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

Can dated 02-01-17 into pint glass. Pours a thick, viscous, inky black with a minuscule medium-tan head. Initial impression is sweetened coffee, molasses, dark chocolate, caramel, and roasted malts. Mouthfeel is thick and chewy. Carbonation is very light. Finish is more of the same, with a noticeable alcohol afterburn.
This could easily be a recipe for a sticky, cloying, syrupy mess, but it never approaches that. Alesmith has somehow produced an almost perfect balance of complementary flavors that play extremely well together.
I have a second can that's going to be cellared for a year or so. Looking forward to sampling that one!

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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 JRed
3.87/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Black body with coffee head. Aroma of coffee, cocoa, booze, grass. Tastes of cocoa, coffee, booze, hazelnut, grass, earth. Thick body with medium carbonation.

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Photo of Erikshegda1994
3.51/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very dark thick looking much like dirty motor oil with a nice smell of coffee and dark fruits and a hint of booze. Tastes like coffee and raisons with a very boozy finish almost like a world wide stout but with less abv which brought this down for me as I was expecting a more predominantly coffee flavor as opposed to a strong alcoholic malt flavor. Has a heavy full bodied mouth feel and very smooth with slight carbonation. Overall this is still a decent stout but very boozy.

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Photo of kitch
4.54/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A 750ml foiled bottle with no clear bottled on or best before date. Poured into a snifter glass.

Appearance: Black in colour with a just over one finger tanned head that had good retention and left great lacing.

Aroma: Roasty malts, dark chocolate, coffee, caramel with hints of vanilla and dark fruit.

Taste: Follows the aroma with roasted malts, dark chocolate, caramel, toffee, vanilla, coffee and dark fruits.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, velvety and smooth. Full bodied with light carbonation and light warming alcohol booze.

Overall: A very nice classic Imperial Stout. Very easy to drink with its nice coffee and chocolate flavours.

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

Pours like motor oil, light khaki head that dissipates quickly
Smells strongly of dark fruit, cherry, coffee
Lovely coffee forward taste that tames the sweetness
Near perfect mouthfeel
As a disclaimer, I started with BAVSS -might have set the bar at the moon

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Photo of Gajo74
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque dark color, pretty much motor oil black, but with a shade of brown. Nice mocha head rises quickly in a billowing creamy foam. It retains decently and leaves some lacing.
In the nose there are some characteristic imperial stout aromas such as roasted malts, cofee, cocoa and burnt dark caramel. There are also hints of dark fruit and cherry. Being that there is such a high ABV, the presence of bourbon is unsurprising, neither understated, nor boozy.
In the mouth it is rich, robust and full of complexity. The creamy and smooth mouthfeel brings about a fudge like and caramel sweetness. Yet there is so much more. There are alcohol soaked dark fruit, blackberry and cherries that add a note of tartness. As I drink on, the sweetness gives way to an increasingly roasty, bitter espresso roast, and charred malt that lingers. The finish also becomes increasingly dry and bitter. A mixture of bourbon sweetness and spice adds yet another element. The alcohol warms but doesn't overwhelm.
Big bodied and vinuous, definitely a sipper, yet easy to drink at the same time. Delightful and decadent. A real treat!

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Photo of Wiffler27
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bottled in January of 2016
it's been sitting in my fridge forever

pours oil black with a dark creamy head, looks amazing actually

smell is sexy as hell. tons of coffee, smells super fresh tbh

taste is strong, not boozy strong but coffee and heavy malt strong. big flavor and feel here. yet the body is velvety and smooth

pretty damn good. clearly a BIG beer at 12% but also the bottle is fucking massive. i'm only a few beers in (2 Nugget Nectars) and this beer might be my night ender

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Photo of Red5StandingBy
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 16oz into Spiegelau Stout glass. Canned on January 24th 2017.

L: Deep dark black. Finger width tan head with good retention. Spotted lacing.

S: Rich coffee, wood smoke, sherry, booze.

T: Wow. I was expecting an overwhelming alcohol bite as this is very fresh but its very smooth. Lots of coffee and chocolate, hints of wood smoke and sherry, very tasty.

F: Medium-Full body, decent carbonation. Super super smooth.

O: This is an absolutely delicious beer.

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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
4.23/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bought at Total Wine, Fredericksburg. Pours super dark brown, probably black from the growler. Small brownish head. Chocolate, malt and coffee in the nose. The mouth is assaulted by the roasted malt, toffee, etc. Killer!

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Photo of bwood06
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I picked up a bottle of this to share with a buddy of mine who, like me, is a huge dark beer fan. I've been wanting to try this one for a while now and finally got the chance to do so.

This beer pours a pitch black, opaque hue which results in not being to make note of the carbonation level present. he head is a khaki color and creamy in appearance, dissipating to a thin lacing with a neck that is retained. 4.25/5 The aroma is exactly what I expected with dark chocolate, vanilla, dark roasted malt, a touch of coffee, and a dark fruity sweetness all coming out in concert together. The aroma is heavily balanced toward the malt with no noticeable ho profile. There is a touch of booziness on the nose, but it is not overwhelming by any means, and it really goes to show just how strong this aroma is. 4.25/5 The flavor is every bit as awesome as the aroma with toffee and dark chocolate leading the way, transitioning into a dark roasted malt with a touch of espresso as well as vanilla. A bit of earthy grain, hay, tobacco, and hay notes come out in the middle but a dark fruitiness quickly envelopes them. There is light bitterness on the back end as well as a bit of booziness, but nothing overwhelming and neither linger after swallowing. 4.5/5 This is a very full bodied beer and a very heavy one at that with a light carbonation tickle on the front end that quickly subsides to a full mouth coating and creamy mouthfeel that really wets everything down nicely. There is really no dryness to speak of and no lingering dryness. 4.25/5 This is really an awesome imperial stout that brings out its flavors wonderfully well. Needless to say, my buddy and I thoroughly enjoyed this beer and will be returning to buy another one in the near future. 4.25/5

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Photo of Bartleby91
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is probably still my favorite beer. Bottled on 5/12/2014 and poured into a snifter.

The appearance is pitch black with a super compact 1 finger mocha head that lasted well. Alcohol legs on the glass as well.

The aroma is huge with chocolate, vanilla, dark fruit, a bready malt sweetness and roasted malts. Some alcohol spice creeps up as well.

The taste follows the nose with chocolate, vanilla, dark fruits, and a big bready malt sweetness. Also a slightly subdued roast comes through afterwards.

The palate is full with a viscous creamy finish that lingers rediculously long. So substantial. Has just enough heat that lingers slightly.

This is such an amazing beer that has held up wonderfully. I am happy that I have a couple more aging. Hopefully I can try the barrel aged version eventually.

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Photo of mwilbur
4.54/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 mL bottle into snifter.
A: Pours an extremely dark brown with nice 1/2 inch dark mocha head with good retention.
S: Can start to smell this from a couple feet away. Bittersweet chocolate, medium roast coffee with cream, sweet tobacco, leather, molasses, and a hint of dark honey.
T: Wow! Chocolatey goodness combined with medium-dark roast coffee. Perfect harmony between those two notes. Caramel, cream, sweet tobacco, molasses, dark honey, and a hint of leather.
M: Medium-heavy body (drinking a tad lighter than ABV). Super smooth and creamy feel. Darkly sweet with mild bitterness throughout. Mildly sticky. Lingers and matures nicely on the palate too.
D: Was expecting an outstanding brew...and definitely got it. The chocolate and coffee interplay in this beer is phenomenal.

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

750ml bottle from 2014, bought from (£15.25):
Great stuff from AleSmith again here & a beer that was every bit as good as I'd hope for going in; it was definitely worth the wait in cracking this bottle open. The beer was kicked off by a lot of darker, roasted malts & coffee flavours but it was also a touch sweeter than expected thanks to the sugars & chocolate, but also the darker fruits & vanilla that featured too. The beer was quite rich & complex with good carbonation & only a little of the 12% abv. showing nearer the end of the nose & taste, something that helped the beer down very easily. The beer was very much a moreish offering with some dry touches nearer the end & some subtle darker fruits coming through to keep things interesting at times.; I really enjoyed drinking this one & it seemed to go down slightly better than the Vietnamese Coffee edition that I tried on-tap last year; an excellent beer that you definitely need to try, it's one that I'll be on the hunt for again now.

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Photo of peterpunk15
4.88/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This one was incredible,, super thick appearance with a brownish foam just like the one I love in stouts. The perfect amount of coffee and an incredible flavor. Loved it.

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Photo of leantom
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

More fruity than I was expecting, but good nonetheless. Here goes:

A: Pitch-black with a huge, slow-to-build, chocolatey head. Leaves a lot of lacing as well. Perfect.

S: Slight scents of charred coffee bean and chocolate give way to a concoction of sweet plum, figs, and raisin. Very complex and sweet. Very little in the way of hops.

T: Follows the nose. Hints of chocolate followed by robust dark fruit. Back of the pallet is pure fruit; there's a lingering taste of licorice, raisin, and plum. Tastes like a Russian Imperial Stout - very similar to Old Raspy.

F: Good.

O: A nice stout. A little overrated, but it's worth the purchase price.

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

Tastes like a stout should taste. Not too bitter and not too sweet. Chocolate and coffee dominate the palate. This is probably my favorite stout that is easily accessible. This is one lives up to its high rating.

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

Not much to add that countless other reviews haven't covered, but from my experience, this is best with about two years of age on it. I've had fresh bottles from multiple batches that were a bit unbalanced, with too much dark-roasted bitterness, but after some time in the bottle, it really smooths out. The coffee is still prominent at that point, but it brings out more earthy nuttiness and subtle dark chocolate notes to balance the bitterness.

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Photo of senglish7
4.61/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big fan. Jet black in appearance. Sweet almost plum smell. Similar on the mouth with some coffee and a bitter finish. Had always heard good things, now I can vouch.

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Photo of fireazzi
4.52/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice solid stout. Nice dark color. Has a nice coffee and chocolate taste. Still has a little boozy taste going on. But the booziness is not that bad for such a high ABV.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.04/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

$9.99 for a 22oz bottle. No ingredients listed per the website. Brewed with ryan brothers coffee. 12% ABV, 70 IBU, OG=1.114

Pours out to an inky black, forming a tall dark tan head with excellent retention and solid sheets of lacing. Carbonation is moderate. Lots of prune juice, soy sauce and black walnut in the nose, with some dark chocolate and mild roast. Mouthfeel is rich, oily and dense with a big body. The taste is a recap of the nose. Prune juice, soy sauce, black walnut, then chocolate, and moderate roast, some vanilla and a little leather in the finish. Earthy moderate bitterness, roast lasting in the finish and a black pepper heat of alcohol. Quite boozy, more than I would anticipate for 12%.

A nice imperial stout, although its a bit hot and boozy for me, with some mild fusels and finishing very dry. I'm not inclined to buy it again.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.37 out of 5 based on 6,782 ratings.
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