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AleSmith Speedway Stout | AleSmith Brewing Company

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AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout
6,906 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,906 |  Reviews: 1,714
Photo of Wildman
4.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer poured darkly out of the champagne style bottle and no light was making it through the inky black darkness. Even with a hard pour, only a small dark tan bubby head formed, which quickly fled, leaveing circular lace around the glass. Very little carbonation seems to be present. An aroma of malt with a heavy chocolate aspect followed by coffee notes of course and molasses. The flavor was of malt with a heavy dark cocoa aspect with expresso notes. Some of the alcohol present could also be detected, yet it does not impact it's drinkability. It had a medium to light body with some bitterness in the slightly silky finish. While boasting coffee beans, I still feel it holds it's own as fine imperial style. Thanks again to lou91.

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Photo of Jables
4.77/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Special Thanks to Gusler for this one, the positive beer karma around that guy is probably swirling like a cloud of fresh hops!

Poured absolutely pitch black with very, very little carbonation and an oily like pattern of film residing on the top of the glass.

Aroma is heavily roasted with chocolate malts and definite java notes. Also some distinctly rich notes of nuts, so rich in fact its like peanut butter. Slightly peppery leather also.

Flavor starts off heavy with roasted flavors which subside for a time to rich chocolate notes. That rich nutty tone that I detected on the nose also comes into play in the middle part of the experience. It's a really intriguing nutty flavor too, something like a warm unsalted almond. The finish is distinctly dark roast coffee grounds.

Mouthfeel is maybe a touch thin but is cool with a slick, oily sensation which I enjoyed.

Overall feeling is that this is a tremendous brew worthy of much praise. I am thankful to have received it, and will be looking forward to the next time I have an opportunity to hoist one of these, Thanks Joe!

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.85/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I received this bottle as part of a trade with HopJack13 and have been sitting on it (well...not literally) for about a year. Our annual gathering for a Cleveland Indians seemed like the perfect time to share this rare gem of a beer.

Appearance: Poured a pitch-black, can't-see your-hands-in-front-of-your-face, where's-the-damn-flashlight-blackness that allows no light to pass through it. "Used motor oil" would be an accurate description. "Cool Whip"-thick tan-colored head persists for eons and creates and wonderful lace portrait on the glass.

Smell: This beer is brewed with Ryan Brothers coffee beans (note to self: must try Ryan Brothers coffee if ever possible). This beer teems with "stouty" aromas: chocolate, roasted malts, freshly-ground coffee. Caramel squares wrapped around dark fruit. I see Bill Cosby pitching an ad for Jello chocolate pudding...

Taste: Gang....this is amazing. Smoked chocolate, freshly-brewed coffee, roasted malts, and a bit of alcohol. Up-front sweetness, followed by a chocolate-slathered hops middle, and finishes with a alcohol-laced Hershey bar. Alcohol is there, but not over-powering. Finished with a toffee-roasted bitterness. Absolutely fantastic.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: I'd be curious to see how this tasted "raw" instead of aged one year. It is stellar at this time. Huge body. Wrapped my palate in velvet and sang Barry White songs to me all night. The 12% ABV feels more like 8% and makes it so much easier to keep on drinking. Smooth like a baby's bottom and laughably drinkable.

Notes: If you want a great beer, seek this one out. It will be worth any trouble...

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Photo of Billolick
4.48/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Champagne bottle, pours DARK and gooey, Licorish, chocolate and coffee grinds in the nose. Velvety on the tongue, strong, intense,smooth flavors expected in a strong stout such as this one. My first try of Alesmith beer. Yeeha I love trying new stuff, learning about a new brewery. This was greatly enjoyed. Very high quality and tasty product. Seek out and enjoy.

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Photo of Rastacouere
3.77/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blind Tasting, Thanks tiggmtl Pitch black pour with almost no head. Aroma consists of an hazelnuty malt profile with coffee and dark swiss chocolate notes. Very intense grapefruity hops also come into play in here. Palate is dry altogether. Taste is very hoppy, grapefruity although alcohol shows more and more as it warms, then it becomes more on the vinous side. Medium to full bodied, silky, round mouthfeel. Warming for sure, but definitely not close to my expectations. In fact, in the blind tasting, I never came close to guessing this was the speedway. I expected it to burst in my face with coffee flavors and frankly, this doesn't have so much coffee flavors, it's in fact only in my notes regarding the aroma and I insisted far more on the hazelnut. That being said, after the 10th imperial stout, I was sure the last one (11th) would be the speedway, it passed that anonym. It remains very well done though with all the elements you look for in an impy including a big roasty character, but you've got to be in the mood for alcohol and a very long west-coast hoppy aftertaste. My friends, without being chauvinist, this ain't no Péché Mortel. In fact, next time I have the Péché Mortel, I expect to raise its rating some..

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Photo of beergeek279
4.84/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served in the green 750 mL bottle into a pint glass. The color is black, with a film of tan head. The smell is a rich chocolate and coffee mix. The taste is very chocolatey and coffeeish, with only a slight alcohol noticable in the finish. Mouthfeel is a bit undercarbonated. As for drinkability, for a 12% beer this drinks simply amazingly.

Wow, another fantastic beer from Alesmith! I love Imperial stouts, and this is amongst the best out there, with a deep rich coffee and chocolate taste that's a dessert in and of itself. I really hope to get this one again...hopefully Alesmith will increase their distribution area!

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.57/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Light doesn't have a chance at making it through this black hole abyss, it's a solid dark roasted murky dark black color with a thin large bubbled head, lacing comes packaged in tiny specks amazing. Aroma: A coffee chocolate combo backed with a deep brandy alcohol infused tone fruit lies there in the complexity these aromatics are amazing. Taste: Coats the palate with the lbs. of coffee beans added to the boil, than comes whopping you with the alcohol and chocolate. Mouthfeel: Full bodied this is a meal within itself so much complexity, with a mild carbonation. Drinkability: Each sip wants you to taste more and more, great stuff.

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Photo of rkhaze
4.44/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Pours...no glugs out a solid black. No color escaping the edges. A few bubbles but no head to speak of. I can smell this from a couple feet away. BIG aromas of coffee and dark chocolate. Red fruit, sweet heavily roasted malt, spicy hops and alcohol.
Wow...intensly flavored! Tastes like someone dropped a bittersweet dark Belgian chocolate truffle in a triple espresso, added a couple shots of Armangac and stirred it with a black licorice stick. The smoky/roasted malt character was great. Unfortunately it seemed a bit out of balance due to the bitterness and medicinal alcohol that really came through in the finish.
Thick, sticky viscous mouthfeel. Rich, oily and creamy. The richness, over the top alcohol presence and mild alcohol burn in the back of the throat really hurts the drinkability. But on the other hand, how many 12%Abv beers in 750ml bottles are you going to drink in one night? Definitely a sipper.
A real tongue number and belly warmer. Can't wait to try my other bottle down the road to see if age mellows it out a bit. Has the potential to be a classic.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.69/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is very lightly carbonated, it forms a wispy brown head. Deep black in color. Aromas of chocolate, coffee, alcohol, and burnt grain waft from my glass. It is quite thick, this is definitely a sipping brew. Luckily, despite its thickness, this beer is not syrupy, which I don't really like in a beer. Definitely tastes of coffee, with chocolate and alcohol in the finish. Reminds me of a good creamy dark chocolate bar. A definite malty sweetness is here, it is controlled by the roast flavors though. A certain restrained fruitiness is here, the closest analogy would be burnt raisin. This is quite good, and though I was disappointed at first, the carbonation is just about perfect for this heavy beer. The roasted - coffee notes of this beer just linger in your mouth, it is quite wonderful. This is a dark, black beast that is thoroughly enjoyable.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
4.58/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at the 7th Annual San Diego Strong Ale Festival at the Carlsbad Pizza Port. Okay, two things I really enjoy in life are beer (obviously, or I wouldn’t be doing this) and coffee. When I was in the service, I sometimes used to have a cup of coffee with the beers I had - especially when in Korea, a black hole for beer, IMO. So I’d have a beer in one hand, a cup of coffee in the other. Now, Alesmith has thoughtfully put the two together in one container for my drinking pleasure.
Sitting in the glass, Speedway Stout has a malevolent blackness to its hue, with a bubbly and blotchy espresso-toned head perched on top and looking like it wants to jump out of the glass. It slowly settles to a small brown ring. Placing a nose close to the glass reveals a darkly wonderful blend of espresso beans, black licorice, roasted malts, molasses, and a warning shot across the bow of alcohol. A taste yields a heavy dose of espresso and molasses while some bittersweet chocolate and roasted malt notes scurry around trying to find a place to hide from the all-consuming charred coffee bean flavor. The taste finishes off with a nice hops bite and another veiled warning as to this beer’s alcohol content in the form of a pleasing warmth and hint of ethanol. The feel was thick and chewy. It also had a real dryness that had me searching for some water afterward.
Those couple of warning shots about Speedway Stout’s %ABV are no joke and should not be ignored. At 12.5% this brew can definitely put a dent in your sobriety. That stated, the alcohol content is the only downside to this beer’s drinkability. If you love beer and coffee, Speedway Stout will hit the spot.

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Photo of DrewBeechum
4.37/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 750ml

Black as sin with a strong brown head that holds well through the pint.

Aroma is of strong fine grind coffee with licorice and roasts nose.

Flavor is chocolate and sinnamon with a large sweet chewy and a growing flavor of a demi cup of espresso.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.77/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

An Imperial stout that's also brewed with coffee? This must be the beer designed just for me!
Dark as the blackest night, with a head that, on this pour, stays small, but lasts for the duration as a fine, brown-tinged ring.
Aroma is thick and viscous, a twisted, motor-oily smell, wrapped up in licorice, molasses, dark rum. Deeep, dark, delectably intoxicating. Potent stuff, wicked, but delicious: I love it!
Taste: an intensive barrage boards the senses, thick, chewy, immense, the flavor quickly dominates the senses, slays any opposition, rearranges the furniture, makes itself completely at home in the mouth. There's a new King in the Castle! Devastating! Amazing!
Coffee flavor is there, for certain, but isn't dominant, rather it seems to be the skeleton that holds this incredible flavor together. And a never-flagging flavor it is, too, every element continue to roll luxuriantly in the mouth. I was in a state of beery blissdom, brought on by this bottle.
Alcohol is so well-concealed by the flavor, it's largely unfelt until halfway through the bottle. And I made a mistake, not realizing that it's a whopping 12%, until I was well into it. My sobriety took a definite hit in this sampling!
A most impressive stout. If I were a very good boy indeed, I'd love to sink into one of these every night, as my reward.

Great big thanks to BierRiese for this one!

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Photo of tavernjef
4.74/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Color pours out a typical leathery brown to settle a thickly burnt black with a purply-brown plum-like hint in tone, absolutely no head produced, just a few bubbles from a vigorous pour, no real lace either.
Aroma is absolutely lovely! Lots of deep dark chocolate, freshly baked chocolate cake, buttery, moist, and chocolately with a nice little espresso on top. Just loved the smell of this, so chocolatey and absolutely yummy on the nose. Makes your mouth water - so time to quench!
Taste starts with a smooth chocolate tone thats very dark and rich, stays mellow for a good portion of its stand, oh then the finish, oh the finish! Everything is noted here starting strong with espresso and some hoppy bitterness. Then gets quite complex with warming alcohol, molasses, tangy dark roastyness thats bittering deep and long; turning to a slightly burnt chocolate cake with espresso and chocolatey drying lately lingering for a good while. Absolutely amazing great finish!
Feel is full and hefty, good little help of creamyness with some major finishing of both a strong chocolatey dryness and some espresso/coffee bittering, souring sweetness on the tongue. This is some amazing sh*t! A major sipper all the way and extremely enjoyable to the fullest.

Thanks Gusler!!

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Photo of hyuga
4.72/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I think this is the 2002 bottling. Pours jet black with very little head, which is almost brown. That's understandable for a beer with this much alcohol. Roasted coffee beans are definitely in the aroma, as well as massive blackened chocolate and a little caramel along with some faint hoppiness. Faint alcohol presence. Extremely rich and robust flavors, and an absolutely creamy mouthfeel. Massive rush of dark chocolate and coffee, all burnt to a crisp. A little charred caramel and molasses here and there. Leafy and slightly rind-like hops provide the small amount of balance this needs. They come out more in the back and definitely in the finish. No alcohol is detectable after it's in your mouth. Just the way an imperial stout should be. It really doesn't need a head to add anything to the mouthfeel. Very well done, the coffee beans added to this brew are not out of place at all, they add quite a bit to it. A must-try for imperial stout lovers! My second favorite imperial stout.

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Photo of Dogbrick
4.65/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Acquired via trade. This definitely fits the bill as a Big Beer. Pours almost sludge-like out of the champagne bottle. Thick and black with a miniscule beige head. Next to no lacing. The aroma is all roasted coffee. The body is big and bold and the flavors of coffee, bitter chocolate and warming alcohol really pack a whollop. It never becomes too much though. The beer remains smooth throughout. This is one of those beers that you wouldn't know was 12% by the flavor, only by the effect. The finish is dry and slightly bitter. Superb.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.78/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer literally glugged out of the bottle. In the glass, it looks black. Very black. Black Hole black. Ink black. A tight yet bubbly brown brown head of minimal height graces the surface and recedes to a thin coating gradually. Big chocolate, java, cocoa powder on the nose. Also get a whiff of some milky sweet lactic tones. And some dark, roasted malts come to mind as well. Great nose. The mouthfeel is oh so creamy, but the body isn't as viscous as I like Imperials to be. It's about medium-full. Maybe a little better. I'd rather it was full with no question about it. Good nonetheless, just not exceptional. Upon tasting, I ask, "This can't be 12% a/v, can it?" It's hidden very nicely. The every so slight ethanol I do detect blends beautifully with the roasted bitterness and burnt malt tones of this beer. The chocolate qualities are delicious....as are the coffee tones. I love an Imperial Stout with a big bitterness and this one has it. Lovely. Burnt malt bitterness. Hop bitterness. Oh yeah. This one is a gem.

Thank you Sir Bum for the Liquid Gold.

I'm gonna go fold kids' clothes now. And I'll have a great time doing it with this beer to accompany me.

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Photo of Mustard
4.03/5  rDev -8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: 25oz. dark green bottle; no "bottled on" or "best before" warning on the label; I know this particular bottle dates to the later part of June 2003, however, as I witnessed its packaging in person; purchased for $10 directly from the AleSmith brewery.

Appearance: Poured a viscous, sludgy black with little in the way of head, carbonation or lacing; the 4oz. sampler I had on tap down at Stone's 7th Anniversary showed a beautiful, cascading, cocoa-brown head with lots of lacing and good to very good retention; it is upon the latter experience that I have graded this beer's appearance; bottled version would merit a 2.5.

Nose: Largely of chocolate, coffee and sherry -- and all three pungently so.

Taste: Huge notes of sweet chocolate and dark, plum-like fruits upfront; predominant quality is of a deep, roasty coffee, however; thick, pleasing bitterness in the finish; strongly phenolic; unfortunately, the bottled version's lack of carbonation created a syrupy, liquer-like effect which was off-putting; mouthfeel score is again based on the aforementioned 4oz. sampler which was itself a tad thick for my tastes; bottled version would merit a 1.5.

Notes: Between the prohibitive $9-10 cost, stupor inducing 12% ABV and the above noted carbonation troubles, I will probably never buy this again; that said, the 4oz. tap sampler I had out in San Marcos was downright beautiful and one of the tastiest examples of an Imperial stout I have ever had.

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Photo of alexgash
4.58/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Another first for me...at the Stone 7th Anniversary fiesta. I still would like to try this from a bottle. But from the tap, this monster was Penzoil black. I mean it was like black rubber from the tire of a "speedway" race car. Hahahaha! Hilarious. Anyway, nice-sized brown head. Smell was, as expected, complex. I caught whiffs of sweet malts, sherry, roastiness, plums, raisins, and plenty of the good stuff--yep, alcohol. Taste was much the same as the smell. Velvety smooth, for such a high abv brew and yet another exemplary imperial stout. I like imperial stouts.

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Photo of TheDM
3.64/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a dark brown head of large quickly disappearing bubbles and an uncarbonated black as night colored body. It has a very strong coffee alcohol aroma and a very strong alcohol flavor. This brew is one that should at least be on everyone's list of beers to try.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.44/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted at 48F. The body is black with a mahogany glint beneath the thin head of dense orange-ish tan cream. The head drops shortly but leaves some interesting lace and maintains a thin surface covering - which is surprising considering its 12%abv! Roasted malts and deeply caramelized sugars appear in the nose alongside a splash of fresh brewed coffee. The body is full, smooth, and exceptionally creamy due to a very fine and moderate carbonation from bottle conditioning. Alcohol and coffee appear upfront before it softens to reveal some sugary caramel and cocoa in the swallow. A solid bitterness rises in its long, dry finish. As it warms, the alcohol falls more into place and richer coffee notes appear - although it still remains a bit overdone strength-wise. An alcohol content more in the range of 9-10% might do wonders for this beer - particularily adding to its drinkability! Still, quite an impressive brew!

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Photo of francisweizen
4.7/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml Capped Bottle. This beer pours an opaque black colour with a small beige head that is reminiscent of the infamous Expedition stout. The aromas are heavy and consist of coffee beans, alcohol, roasted malts, hops, yeast, and more. The taste is similar to the aromas and consists of coffee, alcohol, malts, hops and more. The mouthfeel is very thick and rich as well as creamy. The drinkability is excellent for a brew of this size (12%ABV) but this just isnt as well balanced or tasty as a Victory Storm King or Stone Imperial. This brew is "world-class" none-the-less though!

Cheers to JCalabre for giving me this chance to finally try this marvellous brew!


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Photo of BierReise
4.22/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

After lifting the cap off of this green 750ml bottle, vigorous pouring yielded a dense tan frothy head the width of my pinky finger. This deep ebony brew settled nicely into its stylish looking Alesmith pint glass sporting an etched logo on clear glass. The aroma wafting upwards was of an intense roasted malt, heavy with notes of coffee and alcohol. The texture of this stout is incredibly smooth, possibly the smoothest, creamiest stout I've had. The flavor is deep, dark, and delicious. Coffee, bitter chocolate and a warming alcohol sensation leaves the finish only slightly dry with a hint of bitterness. This is one hell of a big stout. Full of flavor and strong, yet remarkably easy to drink. This stout will not dissapoint. Kick back with some soothing sounds and enjoy the ride. I plan on putting one of these away for next winter to see how it improves.

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Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.86/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Now here's a stout I can get in to. This reminded me a lot of Expedition, only I think this is even better. Thick, black pour, little head, no retention. Smells and tastes of strong (good) coffee. Has that nice, warming feel from the first sip. Full, oily body, not thin like some of the other renowned imperials. One bottle of this and it's off to bed, but what a drinking experience! This may be the greatest beer I've ever had.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.57/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

There I was wondering through the beer aisles when I saw stacked boxes of this “much read about, but never tried” beer. My penknife came out & I opened the stores box for them, and quickly loaded one of them into my trolley. As such, this must be the 2003 batch.

Presentation: 750ml green glass bottle with a rather racy looking label that has two chequered flags set about a large Pint glass. Labelled as a 12% ABV Imperial Stout brewed with Ryan Bros. Coffee Beans.

Appearance: Highly viscous black-tar pour offers little head. It settles almost flat with a very thin brown halo ring head. It’s a shame really because the appearance is probably slightly spoiled by the complete lack of any head.

Nose: Massive and a mix of Dark Bourneville Chocolate and Coffee beans.

Tastes: Quite awesome. Deep roasted coffee beans lead you into a dark bitter chocolate middle that lingers on the tongue. Every sip accentuates a different aspect of this mighty beer; bitter, roast, silky, toasted malts, alcohol, dark chocolate all wrapped up in lovely cocoa milk smoothness.

Mouthfeel: Impressive silky chewy dark chocolate toffee bitterness. It lingers in the mouth just to remind how damn good this beer is.

Drinkability: Considering its strength, I found this to be a highly quaffable brew. Very moorish.

I’m getting some more of this monster to cellar.
A great beer to finish Saturday night with (or did it finish me?).

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Photo of beerguy101
4.55/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Eclipse black color. Large tan head. Aroma is coffee and roasted malts. A very full-bodied stout. Thick and rich, nearly chewy. Flavors are mainly of coffee, but there are also lots of chocolate, toffee, roasted malts, vanilla and cherries. Its amazingly complex and the flavors are at the same time very separate and blend well together in an amalgam of flavors. Extremely smooth. Excellent sipping beer. Hides the 12% alcohol very well. A WORLD CLASS stout. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and dry. Aftertaste is slightly bitter. The 750ml bottle disappeared all too quickly. Thanks to Herbjones for this one.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.38 out of 5 with 6,906 ratings
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