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: 1,682 | Ratings: 6,777
Photo of Bung
4.57/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Old engine oil black pour, dark tan head that lasted the entire glass. Looking at it from the side there were 3 layers, dark tan, reddish brown, then black. Roasted aromas, coffee and malt. Great creamy mouthfeel for such a big beer. Roast malt, some coffee, chocolate, mocha, a little lactic even. The alcohol is nearly non-existent for being 12%. Finishes much less bitter than many imperials. Lingering mocha latte. If there was an imperial milk stout, this could be it. The best of both, the roast, bittering and ABV of the imperial stout combined with the creamy mouthfeel and chocolate of a milk stout. At this point it is close, but I think this might be the best beer I've had nearly ever. I've rated the Bell's double cream stout higher because it's abv allows for more prolonged comsumption. This is the first time such a high expectation was met. That being said, I may be rating a little based on expectations. We'll see after the other 3 I have age a bit. Will have to try the barrel aged.

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

Ya know with all the hype around this beer, I figured why not give it a shot. Only problem, I didn't have one. Answer, host a tasting with a friend whose cellar reaches back a little further then mine. Thanks treyrab!!

The appearance really throws me off, doesn't look like an imperial stout. Not quite black, with some mahogany accents around the edges. No head head at all.

In the nose, I found mostly very ripe darker fruits, and a little bit of smoke. Sweet darker chocolate is present but this portion of the beer is really lacking, as it comes off a bit airy.

In the mouth, the flavors aren't too difficult to decipher. Some chocolate and caramel at the beginning of the sip, leading into some riper dark fruits (my guess would be red cherries). Alcohol is present, and not very pleasing. There's a slight amount of smoothed out coffee on the end.

I guess I expected a bit more for a beer so highly regarded.

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

Easily one of the best beers I've ever had. Dark as night, very thick, and a wall of a brown head. Powerful aroma of strong coffee and dark chocolate. Flavor is excellent, strong coffee, slight sweetness brought about by the bakers and dark chocolate flavors, then bittersweet finish. Alcohol is masked by the coffee, but you feel the 12% after finishing a bottle. It is really like no other stout.

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

I believe it's a 2008, purchased from the Andersons in Toledo.

A - Pours an almost pitch black, with a slight, tight, tan head. Deep walnut highlights kiss the edges of the snifter. Carbonation isn't visible, and head retention isn't a strong suit, yet lacing is somehow present.

S - Poured slightly under cellar temperature, I was expecting more aromatics. A nice mixture of alcohol, baking chocolate, mocha, and a small hop profile in the background. It would've gotten a five if everything were a little more pronounced.

T - It's a giant brew, with milk chocolate and coffee playing huge roles in the taste. Also, a nice coffee and hop bitterness takes over the backend. Wonderfully warming on this 28 degree day, yet the alcohol is hardly noted in the mouth. Sweet at times, and bitter at others, it's just a stellar imperial stout.

M - Thick, big, and oily without being too syrupy and gloppy. A wonderfully even, small, ALMOST sparkly carbonation smoothes it out and makes it a real winner.

D - I'm really looking forward to enjoying the rest of the bottle.

Notes: Hands-down the best coffee stout I've ever had, excluding anything in a barrel. A great brew that actually is worth its spot on the Top 100. Can't wait to get into the Barrel-Aged version in my cellar :)

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

I waited a long time to my lay a hand on this one and finally found in on a trip to So. California. This poured BLACK. Not dark brown but black with no light at all even on the edges and threw up a very fat tan head that lasted a long time. Nose is very powerful and of coffee and chocolate. Very thick mouthfeel. Flavor is rich roasted malts with the chocolate and coffee in abundance. Finish is dry and bitter. Simply amazing stuff. Maybe my best stout ever. I loved this stuff.

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

I poured this one from a 750ml brown champagne bottle (crown capped rather than corked and caged) into a tulip pint glass.

A= Initial pour was too cold as the bottle came directly from the fridge, so I let it warm for 15 minutes before continuing.

This stout poured a deep black/brown with zero light penetration, even around the edges. The dense tan head started a bit over 1" and slowly settled to a bubbly, soapy skim, leaving decent creamy lace down the glass.

S= Though the aromas were subdued, there was a deep complexity in there. I found sweet malts, roasted grains, treacle, chocolate, molasses, coffee ice cream, and leather. Some alcohol near the end as well.

T= Very good flavor profile leading off with the sweet stuff (malts, molasses, and chocolate) followed by the bitter roasty grains and a nice coffee presence. The finish dried out considerably and melded the roasted flavors with some warming alcohol. Nice.

MF= The body of this beer can only be described as "big boned". Big and heavy (in a good way) with a beautiful carbonation level that provides just the right amount of crispness to lift the body a bit without ruining the creamy, tongue-coating mouthfeel.

D= This is a deceptively drinkable beer. Delicious flavors and a fantastic mouthfeel make this an easy one to put down quickly. Though there is detectable alcohol in there, the huge ABV is almost too easy to get along with. A dangerous and wonderful beer. I must get more.

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

Bottle from Red Carpet.

Pours dark brown/black with low tan head, fades quick and leaves behind a little lace with some legs.

Smells of chocolate and coffee, slight hop aroma in the background, definetly wait for this to warm up when it hit 55+ the aroma changed for the better.

Flavor is dark and malty with a strong coffee presence, balancing hops but really no bitterness, plenty of hop aroma in the finish with a nice residual sweetness (pz's signature sweet finish). Leaves a wonderful roast sweetness in the mouth.

A great beer, highly enjoyable, I wish they made more of it.

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.17/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks again to raznug for the opportunity to try this one.

A: Thick as motor oil going out the bottle and into the glass. Slow forming, thick, cascading, two finger mocha colored head. Head transitions into a cap in a few minutes and leaves behind just a tiny bit of lacing.

S: Sweet and smokey. Bourbon and vanilla that transitions into sweet chocolate and brown sugar. There are imperial milk stouts that smell less creamy than this beer does.

T/MF: Thick, chewy mouthfeel. Bitter chocolate, hot splash of bourbon and oak. Slightly smokey with a comparably subtle hop bitterness. Incredible malt bill on this beer, allows for a great deal of complexity with each sip. Each sip reveals something new about the beer. Right now it's slightly bitter with a mixture of dark fruits, given a bit of warmth, sweet tobacco and coffee with heavy cream and sugar I think that the beer could stand to be just a bit more lively on the tongue, yes it's nice and thick, but it sort of just sits there, doesn't have the pop that I really want it to have. But damn if this beer isn't tasty, reminds a bit of Bourbon County Stout, though I still give the edge to BCS.

D: At 12% ABV I'm more than halfway though my first glass and loving every second of it. There are a few things that could stand to be improved upon, mouthfeel and appearance, but I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't want this beer around me all the time.

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Photo of tmoneyba
4.27/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Poured dark black hue with large creamy light brown head that lasted with good lacing. Aroma was a heavy roasted malt with strong coffee tone. Flavor was as complex with a medium to heavy bittersweet finish of long duration. Full body with creamy texture with a light alcohol finish.

Very good brew.

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Photo of beerhappy
4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

First time having this beer and, actually, a first from the Alesmith brand for me. Poured into a tulip leaving 2 fingers of an exceptionally rich looking head. The smell confirms to me that it is what I thought it had the potential to be (after reading the label): a beautiful alternative to the alchoholic/energy drink/malternative crap or the vodka redbull/jagerbomb junk that most of my friends seem to enjoy soooo much. Please know that I am a huge coffee fan and... the smell of this brew is an absolute delight to my senses. Roasted dark malt, fine dark chocolate, lots of espresso & alchohol.

The taste and mouthfeel then pick up where the nose leaves off. Let me tell you, I had this one in the fridge for a couple of days before opening and, I wish that my fridge was not set to such a low temperature because this bottle really seemed to open up after being left out before the second pour. The taste is cohesive with the smell in that it is a superb combination of ingredients beer making wizardry... however the way that this beer feels gliding around on your palate adds something to the overall enjoyment of this beer that is hard to explain. The mix of carbonation and thickness is done to perfection and, after giving it some thought, this seems to be one of the most difficult things to achieve when making a brew: sublime texture. I have never attempted to make beer so I wouldn't know, but I have noticed that this trait is consistent in some of the finer brewerys and lacking in others. Well done Ale Smith!
I have my eye on your Wee Heavy next.

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Photo of jwc215
4.58/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into tulip glass (as per instructions on the bottle):

Pours black with a huge tan head that slowly descends to a lasting cover, leaving webs of lacing. Awesome retention for the abv/style, or for any beer in general.

The smell is of coffee, chocolate, dark fruit and licorice. Dark breadiness is there that fades to the background as it progresses.

The taste is of coffee (very fresh - no burnt or overdone "bitter" edges"), chocolate, dark fruit and a liqueurish sweetness. The sweetness is balanced by a hint of roast and a piney/resiny bittering touch. Peppery alcohol is warming but not hot. It has a semi-drying, long finish.

This is truly full-bodied - velvety and silky with a thickness that is hefty without being too syprupy because there is just enough carbonation to let it glide over the palate. Perfect for the style, IMO.

This is dangerously drinkable, indeed! Coffee-accented, and wonderfully so (would like to get a hold of the coffee used in this one!) but with other "dark" complexities going on in wonderful harmony. A thrill to drink!

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Photo of rhinos00
4.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a snifter.

A- Dark brown, black in color. Produced a two finger, tan colored head.

S- Wow! Aroma of coffee beans, chocolates and sweet molasses all mixed together. As the beer warms, the flavors only get more pronounced.

T- Just as amazing as the smell, if not better. Clean and simple. The chocolate / coffee bean / sweet molasses flavor blended well together. This wonderful fusion was capped off by a slight bitterness of hops.

M- Full bodied with a little to no carbonation. Coated the tongue with a nice syrupy texture.

D- If it weren't for the 12% abv, I could drink this all day. The taste, smell, and mouthfeel of this beer are truly remarkable.

Overall, this beer is definitely worth its hype. I am reconsidering my past trades of this beer. Definitely looking forward to trying the aged version so I can compare.

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

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a Chimay glass. 11/15/08

Pours very deep brownish-black color with almost a finger of chocolaty brown head. The head slowly dropped to a thin layer, leaving some lacing. Aroma is strong with roasted malt, milk chocolate, and roasted coffee. There's also some dark fruit and cherry in the aroma.

Taste is very similar to the aroma. Lots of sweet milk chocolate up front and plenty of roasted malt. That is followed by bitter dark chocolate and dark roasted coffee. There's also a surprising amount of dark fruit in the taste. Raisin, fig, and a bit of date. There's not as much coffee in the taste as I expected. Slight alcohol taste as well.

Feel is very smooth and silky. Probably the highlight of this beer. Medium-full body with ample carbonation. Very smooth and very nice body. Drinkability is pretty good. The high ABV is well-hidden and the taste is good.

Overall, a very good beer. Not as much coffee, and a bit fruitier than I was expecting. But still very tasty and very easy to drink.

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Photo of treyrab
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one in the cellar for a couple months now. Split it last night with jac5084.

Had this along with Jolly Roger RIS and Nogne Imperial Stout recently.

A: This meanders out of the foiled top bottle with some viscosity and sits in the chalice with absolutely no head. A few small brown mocha bubbles come up from below, but nothing that forms a disc of head at all. When held to light this one is brown around the edges, not completely black by any means.

S: To my surprise the coffee that I was so joyously looking forward to had disappeared very much so. Dark fruits (plums, raisins, figs and some dark berries) however took control and beat the hell out of the coffee and roast.

T: The taste was similar to the smell, that is, containing tons of dark fruits that really overpowered other flavors. Don't get me wrong, the flavors are complex, but the coffee and roast that I love in Imperial Stouts were not very prevalent. The alcohol was hid extremely well for 12ABV though. Overall, the flavors were great.

M/D: The mouthfeel was rather creamy but not too viscous. As mentioned, the ABV was hidden, so this could be consumed rather easily.

Overall, this is the second time I have had this beer and it was extremely well done!

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Photo of hopdog
4.53/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap. I ordered this and the tap kicked after I got my glass. Well almost a full was 3/4 full so the gave it to me for free! Tasted at the Pizza Port in Solana Beach.

Poured a dark black color with an averaged sized brown head. Nice chocolate and subtle coffee aroma with some dark fruits. Tastes of chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, and caramel. Creamy and smooth body. 12% well hidden.

I've had this numerous times out of the bottle, but the one that I will always remember, is the first time on tap...

Notes from and tasted on 11/30/04

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Photo of kevd193213
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle, aged for two years. Oily black pour with a thin light coffee head. Aroma of chocolate, coffee and faint smoke. Fantastic taste of bitter chocolate and coffee Also had notes of roasted almonds. Completes with a nice dry bitter finish with warming alcohol present.

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Photo of WYVYRN527
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a pint glass, Speedway is almost black, with a thin off-white head and almost no lace. The smell is almost all roasted malt and mocha, with a bittersweet chocolate backbone. The true beauty of this stout comes out in it's flavor. The coffee is very prominent, with hints of bittersweet chocolate and molasses. The mild hop bitterness shines through on the finish. Speedway Stout is not as full-bodied as I expected it to be, despite it's 12% ABV. It is medium bodied, and very drinkable. It could be dangerous to those who taste this beer and crave more.

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

Received a bottle of this from Stubone in trade, but also got another bottle the same week from Abankovich in the high card/low card bif! Thank you both!

Speedway stout pours a deep and dark black with just a touch of murky brown accents around the edges. It is capped off by a small mocha colored head that didn't have much staying power. I could smell all of that delicious stout coming out of the bottle into my glass. I get strong scents of dark roasted malt, espresso, coffee, molasses, and dark cherries. I'm amazed that I don't get much alcohol in the nose at 12% ABV. The flavor profile is a nice melding of coffee, caramel, cocoa, espresso, and roasted grain. I am surprised at how non-dominant the coffee flavor is in this beer. I thought it was going to the main focus point in this beer. The mouthfeel is fairly thick and chewy with moderate carbonation. I still don't really detect any alcohol on this behemoth of a beer. I think the drinkability would hold up nicely for another glass, but I wouldn't push it to much with the ABV.

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

Pours a deep black with a frothy tan head. Aroma is lightly sweet dark fruit and a lot of grounf coffee. Flavor is less chocolate along with some chocolate and sweet malt. Heavy bodied, chewy mouthfeel. Finishes dry, long and bitter. A very good full bodied stout.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.42/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this bottle in my first trade (thanks msubulldog25) and finally decided to crack it open. 750ml bottle with silver foil served in my Terrapin snifter. Poured cola brown with a dense, quarter inch mocha-colored cap embedded with tiny bubbles. Some strands of watery lacing, but weak legs. Head is replenished with a gentle swirl. Nose is malty sweet, brown sugar, molasses, cocoa and dark fruit (somewhat vinous, but maybe some cherry) with a light boozy quality. Taste follows nose, but then the coffee beans are revealed. Exquisite flavor without tasting charred. Some light hops bittering is also expressed in the mouth. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and lightly effervescent. Lacks the viscousness often present in a beer of this style and abv. This is such an awesome beer. Alcohol is well-hidden and an incredible flavor profile.

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Photo of funkyspunk87
4.65/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

AleSmith Speedway Stout
AleSmith Brewing Company
Style: American Double / Imperial Stout
ABV: 12.00 %

Presentation: 750ml bottle

BOOM! This beer took over my night once I finished it. At 12%, I definitely felt it after finishing this. Choco-coffee taste with a medium body. A great beer to have after dinner or winding down the night - put me to bed.

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

Pours pitch black with a huge, deep brown head. Smells of tons of coffee, sweet milk chocolate, caramel, roastiness. Huge flavors of bitter coffee and bittersweet chocolate, roasty & smoky, huge maltiness, caramel, malted milkballs, alcohol is almost completely masked, immense aftertaste that lingers on the palate forever. Mouthfeel is very viscous, coating the mouth, very creamy, perfect carbonation, and slightly dry finish. One of the easiest drinking big beers ever. Dangerously smooth for 12% abv and simply Unbelievable. One of the great pearls of craft beer.

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

A- Pours black with a very dark head. The 2-finger head that forms quickly recedes to a thin ring around the rim of the glass and doesn't leave much lacing.

S- The aroma is very sweet for a coffee stout. Milk chocolate, coffee, caramel, and sweet alcohol are all very prevalent. A roasty aroma from the roasted malts and the coffee comes through as well.

T- Again, this is much sweeter than I expected. The sweetness in the nose that I thought was coming from the alcohol must be coming from somewhere else because there is virtually no alcohol taste at all, which is extremely impressive for a 12% abv beer. Coffee and chocolate (unsurprisingly) come through very strong. Stone fruits and a mild smokiness come through as well. The malt is very intense in the aftertaste.

M- Very fine carbonation and exceptionally creamy.

D- This is a dangerous one. No alcohol flavor or burn at all makes this almost too easy to drink. The carbonation also balances the heavyness of the stout.

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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 ballewblake
4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 into a Grimbergen chalice. Motor oil black with a chocolate brown head, little to light lacing on the glass. Chocolate malts in the nose dominate, same on the tongue. Very tasty, wasn't expecting this. Alcohol is well concealed, very smooth brew, excellent balance.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.37 out of 5 based on 6,777 ratings.
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