AleSmith Speedway Stout | AleSmith Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
1,631 Reviews
no score
Send samples
AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,631 | Ratings: 6,481
Photo of onehate02
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 750 ml bomber into an Old Guardian Chalice.

A: A deliciously appetizing pitch black coffee malt. Insane lacing through the entire beer. And a full finger of foamy chocolate head.

S: Straight up coffee beans, molasses, and thick roast malts. Very enticing!

T: An unprecented coffee bean and chocolate blend pillage the taste buds, as a smooth and long lasting after taste lingers of mollasses, sour cherries, chocolate malts and bitterness. Very little traces of alcohol linger to keep the mouth warm for the next gulp.

M: Thick and bitter on the tongue, soothing to the palate. Great carbonation.

D: Very smooth and drinkable, especially if you love coffee stouts.

Every AleSmith seizes to amaze me!

 717 characters

Photo of schroederm
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

In a tulip:

One and a half fingers of chocolaty head form over a dark brown body and settle quickly into a thin blanket. Sheets of lacing are left on the glass. Substantial alcohol in the nose, with some coffee, dark chocolate, and umami. An absolutely wonderful maltiness persists from the moment it touches the tongue all the way through to the aftertaste. Umami flavors complement bourbon, dark fruit, and vanilla. The bitter is entirely coffee based and balances the beer quite well. Unfortunately, I found the body to be a little thin. Good balance of carbonation, however. It's high ABV reduces drinkability, but excellent maltiness makes this brew highly desirable. Mouthfeel thinness actually helps drinkability along as well.

Overall: This is a fantastic beer, but I believe it may be a bit overrated. The Goose Island remains my favorite in the style to date.. but don't get me wrong, this is an amazing brew and a standard among the Best of BA.

 957 characters

Photo of Nick3
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer poured in into a Duvel tulip glass. A dark black brew with a chocolate brown head that dies a quick death. Roasted malt aroma with coffee and some chocolate. Taste like it smells and its darn good. Very, very well balanced and the alcohol is well hidden. Finish has a nice roasty bitterness that isn't too sharp. Nicely done brew. Drank this one when I bought it but I've got two others aging. Will revisit in 2 years.

 423 characters

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

A - Pours dark brown which olive hued chocolate syrup highlights. Little brown head that quickly dissipates.

S - Chocolatey, dark coffee, little bit of soy sauce.

T - Really robust coffee, chocolate syrup, cocoa powder.

M - Velvety, low carbonation, medium bodied. My description cannot accurately capture it, but the mouthfeel on this one is pretty close to perfect.

Thanks to Scott from the CBX for tossing this one my way.

 431 characters

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

Thanks stoutsnipas for this bottle, 2006 is the presumed bottling date, aged in a cellar and had with a barrel aged version for comparison.
Aged as suggested in the bottle.

Poured into a snifter, pitch black except for a very slight reddish edge. Fluffy, long lasting, lace producing tan head completes a very nice appearance.
The aging tamed the obvious coffee notes that usually overwhelm the fresh beer. Coffee is still there, but now is just a part of the well balanced combination of roasted malts, bittersweet chocolate, alcohol, molasses.
Full bodied and creamy, with the expected coffee flavor now playing a role in the same cobination of roasted malts, baker's chocolate, molasses, some alcohol heat (minimal).
Sweetness from the malt is well balanced with roasty bitterness, minimal alcohol heat and what is perceived as a mild grassy hoppy bite.
This is a major improvement over the fresh version, well deserving of the aging suggested on the bottle. The alcohol is impressively hidden (I thought around 10 while drinking), and IMHO the best version as compared to the barrel aged. I finally get what the hype is all about, but it definitely needs aging.

 1,170 characters

Photo of alovesupreme
4/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Portsmouth snifter this beer had an off white head that sat on top of a black body which allowed light to penetrate the corners.
Smells of anise, chocolate, and coffee with some alcohol.
An astringent beer with an unidentifiable flavor. Coffee and chocolate are obvious with a lingering bitterness, and noticeable alcohol.
A good body but no where near where I like my RIS.
A good beer, but I do not think it is worthy of its rating.

 451 characters

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

750ml bottle into goblet on 3/8/09. Thanks to sholland119 for sharing.

A - Poured pitch black with sparse carbonation and a creamy, burnt mocha head that settled to about a quarter inch of retention and left thick lacing around the glass.

S - Complex and inviting aroma featuring roasted malt, toasted oats, hints of chocolate and coffee, mixed nuts, cocoa, milky notes and a hint of alcohol heat.

T - Roasted coffee and nuts with some sweet milky and bitter chocolate notes. Very roasty flavor overall with a bit of an astringent character. Finish is quite bitter with an abundant earthy hop presence.

M - Medium to full bodied with a rich, creamy texture that was almost chewy. Warm mouthfeel overall. Finish is quite earthy and bitter on the palate.

D - Very good imperial stout that was heavy on the roast but not so much the chocolate or oatmeal as the aroma suggested. It was a bit astringent, but still extremely drinkable for a 12% brew.

 955 characters

Photo of yourefragile
4.73/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle, silver foil over cap, split with a friend to celebrate our birthdays. Purchased last May, so let's say it's about a year old.

Dark, near opaque black liquid with a massive, dense coffee colored head. Amazing retention and lacing, very impressive looking beer. Aroma is also also exceptional, heavy on roasted malt, bitter dark chocolate and light coffee notes. One of the first things we noticed was that we didn't notice any alcohol presence whatsoever. Full bodied, extremely creamy, luscious mouthfeel. Body is sweet, chocolately and molasses like, with roasted malt and finishes with a strong, but not overly bitter coffee taste. One of the most impressive stouts I've had, incredibly well balanced (sometimes with coffee stouts I feel like the coffee is a little overdone, as much as I love coffee).

 820 characters

Photo of seaoflament
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This review is from a bottle I purchased at SouthBay Drugs and Liquor back in the Spring of 2007. Opened this one at La Bella Pizza tonight with Joey and Danny.

Dark and dense color with a small head, some lacing on the glass.

Chocolate, coffee with milk, vanilla, raisins, and black cherry dominate the nose. Some roastiness comes through as it opens up.

Wow, chocolate milkshake all the way! Espresso finish. A bit woodsy, dry roasted barley in the finish. There's also a touch of alcohol in the back but it's very well reserved. Two years has really blended the flavors well. Very low oxidation level.
Bitter chocolate and roasted bitterness that lasts long in the aftertaste.

Super smooth on the palate, well carbonated after 2 years, not syrupy or thick.

I would definitely age some more of this if I wanted a smoother, more chocolate forward Speedway.

 862 characters

Photo of JBogan
3.45/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown, which if you're not really paying attention might appear black. It is topped with a one finger darkish tan head which leaves minimal lacing.

Smells of the very familiar coffee and some tobacco.

Tastes, not surprisingly of coffee along with what seems like cola. Possibly a nut in there somewhere too, but maybe I'm grasping at straws. Basically it tastes like someone took a Coke and a coffee and poured them together. No real sign of alcohol taste, but there is a warming after you get through some of this beer.

Mouthfeel was not as velvety as some others in it's class. Somewhat thin too as it goes down.

I know a lot of folks like this brew, but it really didn't tickle my fancy. It's one and done for me.

 739 characters

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a super dark black. Nice tan head formed at the top that dissapated and left a nice sticky lacing on the glass.

Smells super toasty malts and coffee. Lots of coffee. Slightly sweet too.

Tastes wonderful. Lots of coffee and extra toasted malts. Almost some charred tasting malts. Semi tobacco taste too.

Mouthfeel is perfect. It is surprisingly not that thick and goes down smooth.

A very tasty brew. I am glad I have easy access to this brew. I will drink this alot of times as long as I have access to it. I feel I could session this brew too because it us not too heavy. But watch out the ABV will hit you because you don't really realize your drinking a 12% ABV brew.

 680 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The bottle I'm about to consume has been in my possession for about one year. The price tag is still attached to it: $8.99. I have a long trip ahead with a beer of this volume (750 ml) and strength (12% ABV). On to the beer:

Poured into a Delirium Tremens tulip, this beer is darker than black, the body being very thick, and an initial tan colored head on top, which fades to a lightly tinted cap. Some smoke in the nose, and a strong alcohol note. Molasses and chocolate makes a presence in the aroma as well.

Exceptionally smooth in the mouth, and viscous, but not too viscous. There's a little booze in the body, but not as boozy as the nose. Plenty of roasted coffee with a sweet touch of baker's chocolate. Like coffee liquer. Smoke and peat are mixed in.

Now it's becoming easier to drink. After a few ounces, this beer becomes easier to approach. The flavors meld together better, there's little interruption from the alcohol and coffee...this is becoming a favorite of mine. I can taste fudge brownies in here. Is this exceptional as far as drinkability goes, or merely very good?

Is it healthy to mix a high ABV stout with coffee? If it isn't, I'm in trouble, as it is one of my favorite kinds of beer, and this offering is one of the most accessable. Another world class offering from AleSmith, and the best beer I've had since....well, since I had Pliny the Younger 27 hours ago.

 1,397 characters

Photo of dukedevil0
4.65/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked up a 750mL bottle from Jungle Jims in Fairfield, OH.

A: Pours a dark black color with khaki head, attractive lacing on the glass

S: coffee is the dominant smell with some roasted malts and chocolate scents too

T: similar to the smell; coffee is the dominant flavor, but not overpowering with some chocolate and roast, with a slight bit of alcohol in there too.

M: creamy and very full bodied, but it doesn't feel "thick"...great mouthfeel

D: probably the most drinkable coffee flavored stout i've ever drank

 519 characters

Photo of Reagan1984
4.03/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brought this bottle back from Portland, OR in my suitcase...

Pours with a tan head the builds from within... Excellent retention...

Light coffee aroma, some black licorice.. roasty

Coffee, tobacco, black licorice and deep dark roasted malts.. One that gets much better as it warms. We opened the bottle at about 42-44 degrees. Was definitely better after a bit. Tastes like a nice creamy iced coffee. Just the right hint of sweetness.

Very slight carbonation and almost a deep rich mouth feel Certainly big bodied.

Wonderfully drinkable and hides the 12% ABV very well. A treat...

 586 characters

Photo of JonathanL7890
4.6/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Nov 2007, Thanks Miguel!
Poured kind of cold into my New Belgium snifter.
No apparent head. Just a small ring of foam around the perimeter of the glass.
Smell was of chocolate , coffee. I sat enjoying the aroma until the beer warmed up to a suitable temperature, i.e. it didn't give my fingers frostbite.
Taste: Strong coffee taste, lots of roastiness.
Kind of sweet. It tastes just like an iced coffee that you would get at Starbucks.
As the beer warms there's more complexity coming out. I get some dried fruit, fig, raisins, etc. No alcohol burn 12% you say? Hah!
Mouthfeel: spot on for a stout. Not as thick as one would expect, despite there being quite a bit of sludge at the bottom of the bottle.
Drinkability: Yes it is. Very drinkable. I would be able to put a bottle of this away by myself, although it would take an entire evening.

One of the best stouts out there and aging it fo r a year or two definitely helps.

 942 characters

Photo of slayer3604
4.26/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Incredably dark with a massive nesquick colored head, and some burnt bubbles on top. smells like strait up caramel mocha and tastes like the second runnings of coffe rinds! would have liked less coffe in this mother, but who am i to judge, i cant make beer like this!

 267 characters

Photo of dotsonjamesg
4.58/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a chilled 9 oz goblet

A: Black, very black; jet black x10. The brew poured with a rich, thick mousy head that looks amazing.

S: Smell is rich of coffee, currants, dark chocolate, raisins with hints of vanilla and alcohol.

T: Rich and very sweet with coffee and currants with a flavor that lingers for hours after your done drinking it. The flavor is also heavy on the alcohol but is balanced with the sweetness of the brew.

M: Thick and syrupy but so incredible declicous. I simply cannot get past the amazing flavor of this brew, it is just beyond incredible. I could bottle after bottle.

D: So delicious, it might just make you want to get a small militia together and raid the brewery and hold the brewers hostage. Its so awesome!

By far, the one of the greatest beer I have ever had in my life to this point. I cry thinking about how good this beer was. Words cannot fathom the complexity and deliciousness of this hefty and mighty brew. This beer will make you believe in god.
Enjoy it as much as I did. Cheers!

 1,032 characters

Photo of raoulduke37
4.65/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Being a Californian, I thought I'd be able to get this easily, but that hasn't been the case. I've been looking forward to trying this one for a long time now. It is no disappointment.

A - Turbid black, giving no secrets out - like a black hole sucking in all light, planets, dark matter, etc. Head is very fluffy, tan, with large bubbles, and good retention. Lacing is mighty and attractive.

S - Up front phenols, with brownies, chocolate-covered espresso beans, and raisins.

T - Definitely the highlight here. Starts out tasting like raspberries and chambord, Turkish coffee, dark chocolate. Oh man, this is the stuff dreams are made of, gents. More chocolatey than a chocolate stout.

M - Velvety, creamy, nice and thick and chewy on the way in and down. Foam is like some kind of divine cotton candy.

D - High abv, but almost undetectable. Hides it very well, unlike other stouts I've tried with high abv's. This is a fantastic beer, and I've got it available for trade!

 978 characters

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

Vintage 2005 bottle at 52 degrees.

Pours opaque black with barely a whisp of brown head. Dotted lacework throughout the glass but little more than a few smears of foam on the surface of the brew.

Aromatics lead off with brownie batter, dark chocolate, espresso, and fudge chunks. Kahlua, boozy alcohol, and charred malt follows through.

Full bodied with a chewy, sustaining mouthfeel. Creamy with a drying bitterness.

Black forest cake batter, chocolate fudge, booze-spiked espresso, and bakers chocolate start the palate. Blackened barley, coffee grounds, and charred embers follow through.

Finishes with lingering char, bitter chocolate, Kona roast, and warming booze.

The carbonation was a bit low, and the appearance was lackluster. All other aspects are pretty kickass, except for the bitter charred finish which a bit overdone.
I really was expecting something more complex for such a big beer after five years in the cellar.

 937 characters

Photo of markwise
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is one beer that deserves every bit of hype. Absolutely phenomenal. Pours jet black with a huge tan head. It laces like a beast. Nose is dark chocolate, coffee, licorice, spice, and roasted malt. Flavor is a veritable dervish of flavors all dancing to the front and then receding to the background. Coffee, roasted malt, chocolate, vanilla, and a velvety smoothness that just slides down the palate. Incredible: smooth, toasty, and full of yellow lace. Amazing depth and character.

 486 characters

Photo of Buebie
3.62/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle courtasy of stubone.

Poured from a 750ml bottle into an oversized snifter. Neck is wrapped in a silver like tin. No freshness date on the bottle. I've had it in my possesion in the cellar for 3 months.
Served at 45 degrees.

This bad boy is pitch black, off a semi rigerous pour I get a gynormous 3 finger brown head. As it settles it leaves many rings behind, almost looks like the trunk of the tree with growth rings.
Settling finally to a thin brown cap.
Lace is quite tacky and long lasting leaving many lines and a spiderweb like pattern.

Aroma is super chocolaty, with cocoa powder, dense moist sweet chocolate cake like aroma. Its got a nice yeasty chocolate bread aroma, super delicious in the aroma department. Just a hint of alcahol warmth, which is quite humbled for a 12% beer.

This is slick upfront with a heavy cream mouthfeel and greasy like slickness across the toungue. Carbonation all through, with a bit more carbonation then I'd expect with such a heavy thick beer.
Its a bit warm and boozy especially after the swallow, gradually heating up into the linger to an un welcome amount of solvent like lingering flavors.
It starts out sweet though with a bit of a metallic tinge. Lots of cocoa powder like flavor and a touch of somthing aspirin like.
A good amount of grains in there, its quite malty. Alot of hop character left into the swallow and linger with grassy pine hop flavors. I'm kinda glad I didnt age this any longer to get the hop flavors. Although I wish I had to smooth out the hot boozyness.

This is a solid RIS and has alot going for it. Although my dislikes out weigh my likes. I dislike the solvent alcahol and hotness in the mouth, the higher amount of carbonation and the abv was too much to handle this one on my own. We dont need that much alcahol if its going to be so hot.

 1,825 characters

Photo of raninator84
4.73/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into a chalice.

Poured thick black with small head, color is black as oil. Smell is a double shot of coffee oozing from every corner, then hints of chocolate, grapes, malt, and a prevalent kick of alcohol. Tastes hit you with an impressive blend of strong coffee and hints of chocolate and fruit finishing with a pleasant bitterness and sweetness. Just an amazing imperial stout. Well blended, but strong stuff. Drinkability may be a little strong for some but for those in need of a well made stout, step on up, there goin' fast.

 550 characters

Photo of sonicdescent
4.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thank you stfun37 for yet another winner.

Pours a very dark and opaque red/brown, nearly black. Head is tan and frothy leaving a wonderful lacing around the outside of the glass.

The scent caught me off guard, actually has a scent that I associate with belgians, very fruity at first. Chocolate and roasted coffee is definitely present as well, but more relegated to the background that I had expected, not that that is a negative. No trace of alcohol.

Taste is extremely complex, there's some dark fruit, intense roasted malts, chocolate, all backed by a very strong coffee taste that lasts well after the drink. Very tasty and amazingly smooth.

Body is thick, viscous and mouth coating, almost chewy. Carbonation is low. Perfect.

Drinkability you ask? Yet another one I wish we could get here, I'll have no trouble finishing this bottle.

 844 characters

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

Had this at a local stout event that was put on by brdc and company. Much appreciated.

Poured from a blinded (and revealed after rating) bottle into a flute. It pours a thick deep brown that is opaque when held to the light, except at the edges. A persistent tan colored head from that overall is lattice-like.

The aroma was subtle to me but quite complex if you spent the time to sniff. It had notes of roasty oak and dark cherries. Smaller notes of coffee and is fairly sweet.

The taste is also complex with a significant amount of sweetness that seems to come from that same dark cherry component. The oak is definitely present, as is an earthy tone. The chocolate and alcohol tastes are also present.

The mouthfeel seemed medium bodied to me, perhaps because of all the stouts we were sampling. It was sticky and thick with a nice level of carbonation.

Overall, I thought this was a good beer for the style. It was not the best stout of the night but it is hard to compare when it is going against Dark Lord and others. Overall, a very good beer and I will continue to keep my eyes open for more.

 1,105 characters

Photo of htomsirveaux
3.97/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle tried 25 Oct 2008.

Poured in a 0.4 L snifter. Small dark brown head. Medium carbonation. Opaque pitch black color. Smells quite roasty, molasses, coffee, dried prunes, ethanol. Starts with sweet chocolate and ethanol, cinnamon, clove. Chocolate and coffee throughout. Finishes roasty and warming. Medium body. Almost milky mouthfeel.

Would get this again.

 372 characters

AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,631 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.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.