AleSmith Speedway Stout | AleSmith Brewing Company

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AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout
BEER INFO

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,631
Ratings:
6,481
Avg:
4.37
pDev:
16.93%
 
 
Wants:
905
Gots:
2,076
For Trade:
155
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,631 | Ratings: 6,481
Photo of Preismj
4.19/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

a: pretty thick and black as night. Quarter inch head, nice and tan. Thick bubbles...good retention. heavy lacing on this guy.

s: I'm not getting a whole heck of a lot of coffee. A touch of espresso is on the nose, but I'm also getting cocoa and a touch of nutty malt...almost like a walnut. smells a touch hot. Wish there was a bit more coffee smell here considering they say they use the finest beans in San Diego...would have liked to have gotten a better scent of them...hope it is in the taste instead. To be honest, not getting much smell at all. Thought I was maybe a bit stuffed up but even the wife said she didn't get a lot on a whiff.

t: yeah, WOW...there is the coffee. Dominates the palette. espresso beans/coffee beans way up front...touches of cocoa arise. None of the nut malt is in this any more. I'm getting all big bold taste of San Diego's finest and I'm lovin it. it has a touch of heat to it, a nice warmth that is a good touch...but for the most part this hides the alcohol with the bitterness of the coffee and the sweet of the cocoa

m: Big, bold, thick and chewy. Nice and silky smooth. perfect level of carb to help bring this out on the palette.

o: Very solid stout. I wish the nose was a bit stronger, but man does it hit you with the taste. Coffee is bold and in your face. The coffee is a touch out of balance because of the sheer volume, but that is the point and I respect it and approve. Smooth and a sipper for sure. and after the bottle is gone...yeah, it is 12%, maybe 13%.

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Photo of deford
4.19/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle dated 07/30/13 into an Alesmith Snifter...Proper glassware!

L- Oh so deep and dark! Fudge colored with a small 1/2 in orange/brown head that stays for a bit leaving a nice ring. The head is really beautiful...leaves a bit of lacing as it fades.

S- Chocolate, fudge, slight coffee, vanilla...maybe some darks fruits.

T- Surprisingly the coffee is still here! Cocoa, vanilla, raisins...kind of a roasty/malty thing if that makes sense.

F- Very rich and creamy...coats your mouth...almost chewy.

O- Well balanced though a bit hot. Very chocolaty like Grandma's homemade fudge. Surprised I don't do this more often. Highly recommended!

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Photo of shippos
4.19/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Courtesy of my secret santa Gueuzedude, thanks santa for an awesome beer.

can't get any black that this with a nice small lacy frothed topped head. rich roasted chocolaty aroma bit of molassesy sugar and a bitter hoppy coffee aroma that blends nicely with the chocolate malt. taste lite freshly ground coffee with an upfront roasted chocolate taste. body seems a little weak and a bit thin for a stout of this caliber. coffee seems to thin out the body and finishes with a dry fresh brewed coffee mixed with a bit of alcohol.
I you can get it don't pass it up, fantastic.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle. There are 19 different versions of this beer, by dint of wood, fruit, and spice? Fuuuck. Anyways, thanks be to doktorzee for 'importing' this for me from SoCal a little ways back.

This beer pours a typically opaque black, with the same subtle, understated basal dark cola highlights, and three ebullient fingers of puffy, bubbly, thickly foamy milk chocolate head, which leaves rather prominent Tim Burton-inspired honeycombed lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells of a soft milk chocolate sweetness, further dense mountain holiday fudge, thin, somewhat plain morning office coffee, middling dark roasted salted caramel malt, a hint of wayward smoke, fleshy, watery orchard fruit, mild anise spice, and a bursting at the seams booziness. The taste is weirdly acerbic cocoa powder, well toasted Americano coffee, all with a certain lack of smoke or wood - things so prevalent elsewhere in the realm, instead bolstered by a restrained lactic quality, some softly oily nutty notes, more earthy licorice, and an amusing tussle amongst the sassy hops and alcohol for the title of 'innocuous in the least obvious way'.

The carbonation is quite on the low and unobtrusive side, the body heavy with a niggly medium twinge, and crazily smooth and creamy, with a sense of god-like pandering. It finishes off-dry, in the most pithy way, as the chocolate, coffee, and regrouped black fruit hold great sway, in the face of a swelling alcohol and hop (why are they so easily coupled here?) edginess.

A solid example of things possible with a stout when the American sensibility takes a firm hold - duly tasty additives without overt responsibility. An offering more or less worthy of its heady reputation, especially its ability to rein in the 12% ABV elephant in the room.

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Photo of trygger87
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 750 ml bottle in SF CA. Beer pours a wonderful tar black with very little head that goes away very quickly.Smell is of an alcohol spiked black coffee, not getting much else just coffee and booze. Taste is coffee up front, then i get this sherry taste followed up by a nice malt character. Mouth feel is silky and smooth, i love it. Drinkability is great, dont taste any offensive alcohol tones. Very smooth for a 12 percent, i love this beer.
Over all a very very solid brew that i would happily pick up again.

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Photo of wedge
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black under a dense, creamy tan head that fills the glass to the rim and leaves some messy lacing in its wake. Smells of syrupy chocolate, coffee and cream, vinous fruit, oats, berries, caramel, and nuts. Not as coffee-forward as I remember, but this probably isn't the freshest bottle. Lots of chocolate in the flavor too, with fruity coffee bean, leather, molasses, and a touch of smoke, drying out with a little black malt lingering into the finish. Thick, creamy, and velvety smooth in the mouth. I'm going to have to get a fresh bottle to get the full coffee experience. Good with a little age on it too, though.

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

Big thanks to mlaroche for providing yet another one of my wants.

Pours dark dark brown/black color, no light being able to penetrate, good amount of tan colored head, fades slowly

Smell is a nice mixture of roasted malt, chocolate, hints of coffee and a slight bourbon aspect.

Taste starts out great with a strong coffee and roasted malt kick, slight alcohol presence but overall it is very well hidden, one thing though is I think the mouthfeel is a bit thin compared to others and could be more viscous.

I think I'm going to age the other bottle for awhile, I'm sure this beer will age with the best of them.

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Photo of ne0m00re
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

08/19/10- Had this one out of a 750 mL bottle.
A: Black with a slow developing, nice caramel head.
S: Caramel, mocha, bananas, espresso, nice dark chocolate and molasses... very good.
T: Espresso and dark chocolate, bourbon vanilla character that is mild, roasted charred flavor and a strange cannabis green finish lingers.
M: Sticky, but with a nice cleansing frothiness.
D: Very good.

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

750mL bottle 2009 from John's Marketplace (Portland). Pours Jet black with about 3 finger mocha bubbly head. Great lacing and the head lingers long into the pour. Aroma hits the nose with deep dark roasted molasses, with chocolate and coffee coming through strong as well. Touch of earthiness and dark fruit (raisin). As it warms, much more deep dark chocolate comes out. Very full-bodied, only a touch of sweetness. Then, a pleasantly bitter coffee comes bursting through. This fantastic espresso mocha finish stays long on the tongue and makes me want more. Very drinkable imperial stout.

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

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass with 3cm dark tan creamy head. The beer is black in color, no light can pass through this stuff! Good head retention, stayed until almost finished with the glass, and nice thick lacing down the glass.

Smell: Very roasty like a roasted marshmallow, very sweet up front with a slight bitterness at the end.

Taste: A lot of roasty malts up front. Followed by a stronger bitter flavor than expected, like a dark chocolate or coffee bitterness. Almost no taste of alcohol. Leaves my mouth with a nice subtle bitter taste.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy bodied, little carbonation, small hop bite. Nice balance of creamy texture and bitter bite.

Overall: The taste was not bad, could barley notice any alcohol considering the ABV. I couldn't detect any fruity taste which I do enjoy in imperial stouts... so that was slightly disappointing. Otherwise I really enjoyed the mouthfeel and appearance.

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Photo of SethB2
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a coffee color with a huge deep tan head that last several minutes before settling, leaving a web like lacing in it's aftermath. Smells of sweet malty fruit and some coffee. Something else a little bitter in there too, but I can't put my finger on it. Maybe some hops. Tastes is of strong, bitter malts, coffee and some hops. High alcohol content is well hidden, but you know it's there. It's a warming beer, for sure. Mouthfeel is the very definition of full and thick. It has a nice aftertaste too, something that I don't normally associate with Stouts. Drinkability is somewhat hindered by the high alcohol content and the fact that is is such a dominating, stong flavor. More that one at a time might leave your pallet in shambles.

Very nice beer. Many thanks to westsidethreat.

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

Served from the bottle to a pub glass at room temperature.

Appearance: By Bachus himself this beer is pretty sitting in a glass. The beer pours a straight black darkness. The head was brilliant towering roasty foamy coffee godhead. The lacing plastered itself to the sides of the glass.

Smell: Massive amounts of coffee, floral maltyness, great fruity smells abound I am not sure if it is dates or raisins but it smells great. The alcohol is present in the smell but is in no way over powering or offensive.

Taste: A mound of coffee goodness with well balanced malty chocolate tones. There is fruityness at the party but I am not sure what it is.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: This is a very, very drinkable and delicious beer. Carbonation is minimal. The beer is full bodied and full flavored. The alcohol is not overpowering to smell or taste. This truly is a great and drinkable stout.

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Photo of comfortablynumb1
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been a while since I tried one of these, so I decided to pop one I have been aging, for 6 months, after a day of laying concrete...

Poured from a 750ml into an Old Raspy pint glass...

A - Poures black with a one finger dark tan head. Great head retention on this one... Very nice appearance..

S - Smells of chocolate with lots of dark fruits...

T - Chocolate and coffee up front, and then the dark fruits, I thought I detected in the smell, come through at the end. Ends with an alcohol bite....

M - Medium/full bodied, with decent carbonation...

D - Will definitely be revisiting this one in the near future. Think I might let the next one age a little longer though to see if it loses a little bit of that alcohol bite. Caught a decent head change on a fairly empty stomach....

Got to love the 12% abv....

Cheers....

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

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a small Founders snifter.

A - pours a deep brownish black (not inky black) with two finger medium brown head. Slight waterfalling. Head halves in size quickly, but had good staying power. Looks thin.

S - lots of alcohol - straight whafting a bottle of isopropyl, which is surprising. Roast and chocolate also come through.

T - very nice - noticeable alcohol but not as strong as in the nose (hopefully the bottle I've had in the cellar for the past two years has mellowed). Tons of chocolate from start that changes to dark chocolate on the late palate. A very pronounced roast on the back end paired with a firm hop bitterness.

M - medium bodied. Barely enough to hold all the flavor. I think if they used a less attenuation yeast, it might add some mouthfeel and reduce the hot alocohol present.

D - actually fairly drinkable when cooler, but not so much as it warms. The roast paired with the hot alcohols reduce drinkability as it warms.

Overall - an excellent stout that I am glad I can pick up off the shelf anytime I want in Ohio seeing how so many people seekl this one out. Curious to see how it ages-will add tasting notes to an aged bottle once it's broke open. Beat up on it a little for the hot alcohol aromas.

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

Despite a total lack of 'hiss' upon prying the cap and a remarkably lifeless looking pour, a bounteous and deep brown head blossomed in the time it took me to inspect the label. Though not all of it held up, a good chunk of it remains splattered across the glass. The black liquid beneath it looks as solid as marble and could not possibly be any darker.

The aroma showcases enough coffee that I can already feel my right eye starting to twitch and my left foot starting to tap at hummingbird speed. There's enough alcohol that my blood feels to be thinning out just through contact with the fumes. Mind you, it all comes across as incredibly delicious and overwhelmingly decadent. Gentlemen, start you engines!

Blindfolded, I might guess that I was fed some kind of 95% dark cocoa chocolate-infused coffee. There isn't much roasted grain but rather an astringent, oily coffee flavour as well as a sooty, bitter cocoa taste. It's actually a bit thin-bodied, albeit immensely flavourful. It possesses hints of vanilla and splintering wood spice normally found in barrel-aged offerings.

My first few times having Speedway Stout I was hung up on the beer's apparent strength, a decidedly 'hot' characteristic that can be almost inevitable when dealing with alcohol in the 12% range. That quality never seems to fade entirely, although even limited aging will smooth it out. I don't recommend excessive aging, however, as the beer doesn't have the breadth of malt that do many other stouts in its category.

Short of traveling to Ethiopia, seeing a lady handpick the beans, roast them in a pan in front of your eyes, ground them by mortar and pestle and then have you drink them from a traditional clay and straw pot, Alesmith Speedway Stout is probably the most unique and decadent coffee consumption experience you're bound to have. Although acquiring a bottle can be a hassle, whatever the price, it's still cheaper than a plane ticket to Africa!

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

750-mL bottle. Bottled 1/20/06, consumed 3/10/06.

This coffee stout poured black as night with tal, brown foam that persisted and clung to the glass. The smell was malty with notes of oatmeal(?), a hint of sweetness, and some hops underneath all the malt. The taste was dominated bby coffee (not surprisingly). It was sweet and rich and malty with chocolate flavors coming through more as the beer warmed. There was also a light taste of alcohol. The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy with full body and moderate carbonation feel. It was a tad warming. This was a very nice, rich stout.

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Photo of Naerhu
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Jet black body with a dark brown crema colored head. Speckling foam lacing as a result of the high abv.
S - Coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malts.
T - Big coffee flavors, massive bitterness that just goes on forever. One sip and you can taste the bitterness for minutes afterward and one exhale can still taste the coffee. Rich cacao. Amazing balance between alcohol, sweetness, bitterness and acidity.
M - Yeasty silkness. Fine carbonation. I would guess this is bottle conditioned. Far too viscous and thick.
D - This is just too heavy and rich. A 750 split 4 ways is good, but between two people, it is just too much.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

one of those beers you just have to try to believe, really like no other. ive been holding onto this bottle for some time now, finally the time was right. inky black, motor oil on the pour, careful inch of light mocha head and a great density. aromatics of acid free coffee beans, smoke, birch bark, and chocolate syrup, very complex, but kid friendly as far as I am concerned. the alcohol is also minimal, which shocks me at 12% abv. the coffee isn't as strong in the flavor as I expected it to be, but it adds a richness and another layer of decadence to an already colossal beer. I feel the caffeine as much as the booze, which totally works at the lunch hour. chocolate as it finishes, not much bitterness at all, more like a cappuccino than an espresso, also okay. as big as body gets in beer, a definite bottle to share. overall exceptional, but not as distinct as I thought it would be. memorable but not the best ive ever tasted.

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

Appearance - ebony tinged with cherrywood. Head is the color of caramel froth.

Smells primarily of bitter roasted malts, with a lot of that coffee thing they brag about on the label. Very appealing.

A lot of things happen at once when you taste this beer. Your tongue is bombarded by chocolate, coffee, and bitter roasted malt flavors. They mix together with a sweet syrupy aftertaste that makes this so palatable. The back of your throat warms and burns with a nice alcohol spice that is mostly imperceivable but is enough to warrant mention. So subtle and delicious, this beer is very very good. It is heavy as hell though, and you have to sip it, otherwise it's not enjoyable. That's the only knock. But when you pay this much for so little (sorry, 750 ml is too little for this fine brew), who cares? Sip and enjoy.

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Photo of vtfan77
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased online from South Bay Drugs

A- Pretty much black with a great big tan head that slowly dissipates, leaving big chunks of lace in its wake. I really don't like giving fives, but I really can find no faults with the appearance of this beer; it's perfect for an Imperial Stout. Beautiful.

S- Coffee is the first thing that jumps out, but there's a lot more to the smell than just that. Aromas of caramel, bitter cocoa, and molasses are apparent, with just a hint of alcohol. Surprisingly complex and very good.

T- The flavor starts with lots of coffee upfront then segues into a fruity sourness, like tart plums and grapes. The finish is moderately bitter with an acidic, somewhat astringent coffee note. Overall it's kind of strange but extremely flavorful and tasty.

M- Not real thick but very smooth and creamy. The carbonation is ample but it isn't too prickly, which is good.

D- Quite good for a stout of this strength. The alcohol is barely noticeable and the smoothness of the body makes it easy to drink. Still, the richness limits the drinkability somewhat. I could still see myself downing a 750 of this before I realized it.

I must say that this is a very, very good beer. Per the South Bay Drugs newsletter, the January batch of Speedway (of which I presume this bottle is a member) had a problem with the yeast, causing the body to be thinner than usual and the taste more acidic. While I can see where that may have been the case here, I still have to give this beer high marks. It was very good and I would love to have a bottle with the "problems" straightened out. Recommended.

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

A bottle poured into a duvel tulip with some killer chocolate and other tasty treats.

A- three fingers of dense coffee and creamy colored head from a very hard pour. The massive head ever so slowly settles leaving tons of thick sticky lace and a good cap on top. This all about the black can't say much more about the color then that. There is just the faintest of brown glow at the edges. This is a beautiful looking beer.

S- deep dark roasted almost burnt malts, loads of coffee and bitter chocolate. A good amount of black licorice and a touch of char.

T- bitter and roasty up front with espresso and 96 percent dark chocolate. This borders on burnt its so roasty but some times the edge of the cliff has the best view. A sweet anise flair brings a balancing touch but never evens things out. Hops might be a component of the bitter but I'm not sure its tough to pick things out of a brew like this. Long lasting roasty close.

M- way less thick on the palate then pour had me thinking. About medium maybe a bit fuller with a carb on the lighter side bringing a smoothness to things. The abv does show a bit and provides a good warm to the mouth and the belly. Super dry finish.

D- I've had this a few times and after really giving this a good hard look I've come to the decision that its very roasty and choc full of coffee and its very good at being that. Its just not my favorite of this very heavy style. I really like that it goes its own way and makes quite a statement in the flavor department. Now I really want to try the ba version.

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

A: Pours a nice black color with a one finger mocha colored head, nice retention and lots of lacing. It is thin, but covers most of the glass.

S: Lots going on in the nose with some chocolate, molasses, licorice, brown sugar and a little bit of coffee – not as much as I was expected, and for me not a problem at all. Could be from age, no idea how old the bottle is. There is a little bit of dark fruit as well.

T: A good bit of roasted malt and chocolate, with coffee undertones. A little bit of nondescript dark fruit shows up. Very light smokiness and underlying vanilla and cream.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Slight warming in my stomach from the alcohol, but for 12%, hidden very well. Drinks very smooth.

O: Very nice beer, lived up to reputation. Again, not sure on bottle age, but the coffee really was not as strong as I expected, which is a good thing for me.

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

A fantastic beer, if you're willing to loosen the purse strings. This was my first AleSmith purchase, and the quantity supplied a healthy sample amongst myself, my wife, and a friend.

Appearance: Cool champagne-style bottle (crown-capped) with a foil-wrapped stem. Pours dead black with a thin layer of chocolately head.

Smell: Rich malty smells and freshly ground espresso zing. I'm hard to impress with the smell of beer, but this was interesting.

Taste: This was VERY well-balanced for a 12% abv beer. I'm a big fan of big beers, and I'm always trying the imperial stouts and barleywines; personally, I can deal with some pervasive alcohol flavor, but it was very muted in Speedway. The coffee flavors really mitigate any over-sweet maltiness that often creeps into beers of this gravity.

Mouthfeel: Again, a very balanced body for a high-gravity beer. Some big stouts coat your system like motor oil, but this was just fine. Mild carbonation at best.

Drinkability: I could certainly drink a whole bottle of this. Personally, I've yet to experience any noteworthy effect from caffeination in coffee-beers. Without knowing the alcohol content in advance, I could have easily missed my guess on this one by 3-4 percent. Usually big beers have some aspect that discourages consuming them in quantity, but with this one it's only the price tag.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,631 ratings.
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