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: 1,660 | Ratings: 6,681
Photo of weazal
4.02/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Immediately noticeable sweetened coffee aroma. There's also toffee and faint chocolate baked in a breadiness. Slight, bright alcohol in the background the lends a welcome contrast.

T: The roast coffee flavor is present and rides through the whole tasting, leaving a espresso-like bitter aftertaste. But surprisingly, that potent flavor is nearly usurped by an exceedingly sour, tangy, and juicy sensation. So much so that the mouth is puckering by the end.

The contrast of rich, dark coffee bitterness and sour, juicy tanginess is not a flavor combination I'm used to. Not saying it's bad, Different.

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Photo of bort11
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to sholland119 for this one. Great trader.

750 ml capped bottle, poured into my my brand new Boulevard Smokestack chalice. Inch of dark tan head, thick and solid looking. Pretty quick to recede, leaving a few specks of lacing. Color is velvety black with dark mahogany highlights.

Smell is solid stout character. Mild chocolate character, coffee, and some charred wood. Taste steps up the stout character. Chocolate is bitter though sugars keeps everything mellow. A little alcohol to spice things up.

Mouthfeel is velvety smooth. Slick and goes down smooth. The thing with this is it is solidly a stout. Noting really seems to overpower one character over another.

Blipped "Jesus Built My Hot Rod" covered by Prima Donkey

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Photo of jsapunor
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Nonic and it is black as it can be not allowing any sunlight to get through. The head is light brown.
The aroma gives hints of coffee or dark chocolate. I don't smell any hops.
This is a delicious stout! The coffee flavor is strong but smooth without any hint of burnt beans. Some caramel is noted. A hint of alcohol in the finish which is surprising given the 12% ABV. It features a medium mouthfeel that is very creamy. So easy to drink and so good.
Alesmith has produced a great beer and if you are fond of the style you owe it to yourself to try this one.

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Photo of walows
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First appearance out of the bottle was a nice dark liquid that it is not as thick as some RISs. Poured into a snifter and this beer has a decent little head, that falls to a nice ring on the sides.
I take a big whiff and i smell those sweet burnt grains, coffee, dark chocolate, and sweet dark fruits! It smells really good!
This beer's taste is excellent. At first is that nice big malty sweetness, then comes the coffee and dark cholate. I nice burnt coffee bitterness lingers followed by an alcohol hotness(which is its only fault).
My favorite part about this beer, it is full bodied, but it has a good amount of carbonation which really makes this beer excellent. It doesn't feel like you are drinking motor oil.
I really thought that is was going to be a mission to drink this whole 750mL bottle, but it is extremely drinkable! Some RISs, one can only drink so much before your pallet gets overwhelmed. However, this beer is full bodied and has HUGE flavors but it very easy to drink and easy on your pallet.
All in all, what a wonderful beer! I will be aging some of these to see how that the alcohol hotness fades away.
Great Beer!!!!

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Photo of bamadog
4.12/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a couple of pint glasses.

Appearance: Poured black and thick, but not especially viscous like some other double stouts; 1 finger head that was deep tan and had really solid retention - eventually faded to a fairly thick skim that looked chewy; on the swirl, a sticky, oily foam sticks to the side.

Smell: Rich and chocolatey is very dominant and and smacks me in the nose upon opening the bottle, perhaps mocha; a roasty coffee smell is certainly present but wow, the choclate is really what strikes me.

Taste: Does not really match up with the smell at all - I thought the chocolate would be much more present in the taste but it was more subdued. I feel the most apparent presence to the flavor was the alcohol, but it wasn't especially overpowering so just a nice touch (more on that with the mouthfeel as well). There is a nice bitter to it, likely from the amount of coffee used in the brewing process, but also from the hop presence; some type of a mildly chocolate coated deep sweet fruit is in there as well, perhaps a date of prune, but this is only there on certain sips, so it's not overly present. There is also a bit of a metallic mineral in the aftertaste, I can't put my finger on it but Kels says iron, so I'll buy that.

Mouthfeel: A bit of a let down here, I thought it would be thicker than it was but really I found the body to be a little watery and thin; the presence of the alcohol really warms the the mouth, throat and stomach and this is pleasant enough; the mouth dries quickly as well from the alcohol but there's enough left behind to leave the mouth with a thin sticky coating.

Drinkability: Moderate for a heavier beer with a 12% ABV - I'm glad I split the bomber because it would have wrecked me to try to finish it myself. I enjoyed it, but think it might be a littler over-rated in the grand scheme of things. In terms of similar beers, I don't think I would put it quite in the same class as FBS.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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...

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.37 out of 5 based on 6,681 ratings.
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