AleSmith Speedway Stout | AleSmith Brewing Company

6,809 Ratings
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 6,809 |  Reviews: 1,692
Photo of jarryd
4.74/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Easily one of the best stouts i've ever had.

A Black beer with a short tan/brown head less than a quarter inch.

Definitely used roasted barley and maybe even a high crystal malt for this brew. A definite coffee flavor as well as chocolate which hides the alcohol very well. This is truly an awesome brew by yet another awesome San Diego brewery.

 347 characters

Photo of MadLatvian
4.74/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Seadog20000
4.74/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

APPEARANCE: Pours black but clear yielding a two finger, medium looking dark tan head with very good retention. Black body, clear, with no real carbonation evident. Head fades to a wisp that sticks to the sides of the glass. A splotchy wisp remains leaving some bits of lacing down the glass. Still looks good.

SMELL: Roasted notes with band aid and rotten cabbage. Light cream notes but the coffee addition has come out like band aids and vegetables. Pretty rotten.

TASTE: Better than the nose, but still lousy. Cabbage and perfume with some roasted grain and coffee up front. Bolder finish of roasted coffee, sweet cream and lots of band aid and cabbage again. This is also rotten, though not as rotten as I'd expected from the nose.

PALATE: Medium-fully body, heavy on the palate, with medium to lower end carbonation. Heavy and creamy on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly mouth-coating. A slight prickly punch at the back after the swallow. Great mouthfeel for the style; big and mean.

OVERALL: The only saving grace of this is that I didn't have to drink my full share. The drain was in a good mood that day. The feel is still a menace and the look is good, but something went horribly wrong with this batch. Rotten vegetables and band aids all over the place. Nasty. The Kopi was a touch better and BA Kopi was the best, though that's not saying much.

 1,382 characters

Photo of trippnwo
4.74/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Photo of jwhancher
4.74/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought a bottle back in September from the brewery on a trip out to San Diego. Had been saving it for a special occasion, so yesterday being New Year's Day I shared the bottle with my big brother.

A: Great presentation- descriptive notes on the back of the bottle, nice foil presentation, but couldn't find a bottled on date. Pours jet black with minimal head. Was a little disappointed that the head wasn't bigger. Gave it a vigorous pour into a large snifter glass.

S: Smells awesome. Aromas of chocolate, roast, candy bar, coffee/espresso beans. A pure joy to savor. Hops hide behind all the dark malts, chocolate & roast character.

T: Tastes just like it smells. Excellent. Reminds me of being a kid and biting into a giant chocolate candy bar. Or being older and walking into a coffee store with excellent roasty aromas in the air. Can hardly tell this one is 12% ABV.

M: Feels velvety soft & cream-like. I wish the head was bigger. No hot alcohols. Not too sweet or bitter. Drinks way too smooth.

O: A pure joy. Glad to have tried this one again. Would like to try this on tap again (perhaps at the brewery), but not sure when that will ever happen again. An excellent beer from a great brewery!

 1,206 characters

Photo of atowle25
4.74/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black, with no head and nothing but little brownish bubbles at the top of the beer. Just looking at it, you can tell this is one thick beer. Smell is HUGE amounts of coffee. Oh man, so much coffee in the aroma, and a very nice chocolate smell to compliment it. Taste is just like the Really good coffee though. Very little hops or bitterness to it, just smooth coffee and chocolate. Absolutely delicious. This is by far the best coffee stout I've had. Mouthfeel is very oily and think...not a lot of carbonation, but it works pretty well as this is a huge beer. The alcohol is not even noticable. Fantastic beer.

 639 characters

Photo of tavernjef
4.74/5  rDev +8.5%
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!!

 1,271 characters

Photo of JTDay
4.74/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of DrKarl
4.73/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Dewey0603
4.73/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a jet black with a giant tan foamy head. A very impressive looking beer with great head retention and lacing. The smell is chocolate,dark fruit and coffee. A pungent brew,but not as much as other imperials. The taste is a creamy rich chocolate,coffee, and dark fruit masterpiece. An outstanding beer and at 12% alcohol it's very drinkable. The m/f is heavy with all the flavors mixing extremely well. I never thought I would give a beer a "5" in taste, but this beer is incredible. Run out and get this now. Cheers.

 521 characters

Photo of zachthelaxer93
4.73/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

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

I've been sitting on a bottle for about a year and then I happened to come across another while in Cleveland for Christmas. So I've decided to have one to celebrate my new car - a VW GTI.

The most elegantly bottled beer I've had the pleasure of opening. A brown 750 mL bottle with silver screen printed label. The silver plastic "foil" over the cap peels off easily unlike real foil found on Avery's big beers, for example.

Served cold and poured into a large wine glass. It is extremely dark, even on the pour there is barely any color. It has great espress crema-colored that settles very slowly leaving some thick lacing on the side.

The aroma is full and robust. There is great dark chocolate and espresso in the nose.

Flavor is simply excellent. For someone who loves stout and coffee in almost equal measures, this has got to be the ultimate. It starts with sweet melted dark chocolate and a hint of caramel. As it lingers in my mouth, the intense coffee flavors come forth with some very strong bitterness. Hops play a big part with this beer as well bringing an herbal, minty flavor.

Mouthfeel is full bodied with creamy smooth carbonation. The only down side is the strength of alcohol and bitterness. Drinkability is difficult to judge as well. Although it's a fantastic tasting beer, it's simply too strong in flavor and alcohol to enjoy much more than a glass.

This is up there with some of the best beers I've ever had. Great coffee flavor without taking over the beer. This was certainly worth the wait and the space in my suitcase.

 1,553 characters

Photo of Snellgg5
4.73/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of mlhyatt
4.73/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass

Appearance - pours motor oil black with a dark tanish brown head that starts off at about and inch and then smooths out to a beautiful lace.

Smell- the smell doesn't have a lot of coffee which i though it would have. But it has hints of chocolate and caramel. A smooth roast begins and finishes the smell. Great smell but the coffee wasn't very strong.

Taste - so great. The coffee blends so well with the chocolate and caramel undertones. The aftertaste is strong coffee but it doesn't overwhelm the palate. There are very very subtle fruit like figs.

Mouthfeel- very smooth for a 12% abv. Only a very slight burn and not a strong carbonation which is consistent with a high abv. It has a smooth finish with lingering coffee taste.

Overall- a very very delicious beer. The taste is amazing but a little more coffee smell would increase the overall score. I recommend this beer to anyone who like imperial stouts. The feel is smooth and finishes great. I relly want to try one of these aged for about 2 years to see how it improves.

 1,085 characters

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

I've had this beer sitting around for a year or so, finally got around to opening it up tonight.

Great presentation, I love the hefty 750ml bottle, foil wrapper and silk screened logos. Just as pretty when poured, too! Nearly absolute black, zero light gets through with a big dark brown head that lasts a long time.

Very nice aromas. Lots of coffee, dark chocolate, burnt malts, and a chocolate liqueur note that reminds me of a few Russian imperials I've had.

Flavors confirm for me, this is a world class beer. Great intensity and balance of rich dark chocolate, french roast coffee, blackened malts, a little bit of earthy hops. Just the right amount of bitterness that strikes a better balance than some of the ultra-high IBU impy stouts I've had. Despite the 12% abv, alcohol is expertly hidden; no alcohol heat to be found here. Full body and long finish that leaves the pleasing flavors lingering.

Yet another incredible brew from Alesmith. I wish their beers were not so scarce here in Portland. Superb beer that's worth a try if you can find it. Not cheap by any means, but totally worth the price of admission. I'll be looking for this one again.

 1,161 characters

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

2004 vintage thanks to hopasaurasrex!

A - like motor oil, thick viscous black brew with a large dark tan head.

S - deep dark chocolate, arabica coffee, cocao, molasses and dark fruits.

T - rich dark malts, chocolate, coffee notes swirl in a warming vinous blend of wonderfully aged stout!

M - full bodied, nicely carbonated, vinous, smooth, warming

D - this bottle was shared amongst friends and it found a great home! a slow sipper but what a nicely aged stout to savor!

a bit pricey in these parts for me to build a big cellar of but darn was that tasty!

 562 characters

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

750ml bottle purchased for $10.70 on 6-1-7 at John's Marketplace in Portland.

This is probably my favorite double stout right now, and is definitely on the short list of my favorite overall beers. Pours a viscous opaque black, with a controllable dark tan head. I pour mine so that it stands slightly above the brim of my glass. As the foam makes a hasty exit, it leaves substantial lacing draped around the inside of the snifter. The aroma is of toasted malts, coffee and chocolate. The taste is very rich. Big time roasted coffee character accompanied by a wide range of chocolate notes and a faint hop bitterness. The alcohol seems to have been defeated by these stronger flavors, but reminds you of its own strength once it sets up shop in your stomach. This is the perfect beer for a cold/rainy fall/winter night.

 820 characters

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

Rich coffee, chocolate, and roasted flavors and smells throughout. Amazing and strong. Looks great. Lacing for days. Smells amazing. Tastes even better. Creamy and enjoyable. Easy to drink for a huge stout like this. Alcohol sneaks through a bit in the scent and the taste, but not bad for a 12%er. Great young. Need to get a few to put away and age.

 350 characters

Photo of Charlemagne7
4.73/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2013 Bottle, poured into snifter

I've had this beer a few times now, figured I was well versed enough with it to get off my lazy ass and review it lol

The appearance is that of any quality Impy Stout. Pours black with a mocha brown head. Not overly carbed (duh), so the head isn't very prominent, but damn does it look good.

The smell is very coffee and chocolate forward. I'm sure it's been said many times, but how are their not candles that smell like this. Reminds me of Mazzaro's, for you Florida folk lol.

The taste on this one is great. Starts out with a mild chocolate sweetness before progressing into a strong coffee presence. The malty sweetness balances out the subtle bitterness from the coffee perfectly. Very rich flavor, so a perfect desert beer.

The mouthfeel on this beer is probably the only thing not practically perfect. I don't know why, but it seems just the wee bit thin. Perhaps it's my imagination, but it just seems slightly watery. For something so heavy and rich, I'd expect a motor oil viscosity (ya you Ten Fidy).

Overall, this beer is one of the best non-BA stouts I've had. It's no wonder the BA version is so damn good, it's base beer is stunningly delicious. I would recommend splitting the bomber with a few friends as the ABV is masterfully hidden and can become quit a chore to tackle on your own. Cheers!

 1,349 characters

Photo of elec
4.73/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

Poured from bottle into a chalice.

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

 550 characters

Photo of ChanChan
4.73/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From notes:
I had this on tap at the Blue Palms Brewhouse in Hollywood Califas!!

Appearance: Black as any stout. The head is mocha colored and sticks around for a good while

Aroma: Coffee, some bakers chocolate, I also detect a little hop as well. The aroma in this stout is not as pronounced as many of the big RIS’

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and almost creamy. Great mouth-feel

Taste: This beer has a rich premium coffee taste there are some malts in it as well. The coffee does wonders in hiding the heat in the alcohol

Drinkability: This is by far the most drinkable RIS that I have ever had. This beer has an ABV of 12% yet I feel like I can easily quaff this goblet down!

Overall: This is a definite go to IRS, the drinkability will make you forget that it is a huge stout. Easily one of my favorite beers of all!!

 828 characters

Photo of buck1futter
4.73/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A- motor oil dark, coffee colored head, plenty of lacing, somewhat a thick head for 12 abv, sticks around for a little bit.

S-dark chocolate, roasted malt, fresh coffee grounds. You can tell it's a big beer, toasty sweetness, a little subtle, but increasing coffee as it warms. really nice.

T- Big coffee notes, i think its more along the line of beer in my coffee, not literally but if you had this beer you know why. Nice robustness, of the coffee, blends so well, but still punches you in the face. Taste buds are going nuts with this one. Its pretty creamy, slight vanilla at the end. Mild alcohol, you dont really tastes it, but it does let you know its there in the back of the throat and inner nose.

M- Very think, like a frothed mocha shake that's melted into a malt. Surprisingly clean finish as well, almost like it sticks to your tongue and cheeks, one of the best mouth feels on a beer ive had in a long time.

0- One of the best coffee stouts ive ever had, creamy, toasty oats, really good coffee notes. Don't pass this beer up if you like stouts, this is a must for any coffee stout fan, in which is my second favorite style behind ipa/dipa's. If you see this and don't pick it up you are fooling yourself. Extremely hearty and perfect for dessert and even could drink this to replace coffee in the morning soooo good.

 1,336 characters

Photo of MakeMineADoubleJack
4.73/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured this into a snifter after taking it out of the fridge and letting it sit on my counter for an hour. I've made mistakes in the past having a straight cold-from-the-fridge glass first. Never again. This approach was perfect.

The pour is near-black; gorgeous khaki-colored head that dissipates, but never leaves completely. Best lacing I've seen with a stout.

Taste is damn near perfect, and it feels like smooth velvet on the tongue. The coffee is so well-balanced that it beats Founders Breakfast Stout, in my opinion. Bravo!

I'm glad this bomber is all for me. I'm going to enjoy it as it continues to warm and open.

 626 characters

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

I drank this out of a little shrimp cocktail bowl at a New Year's Eve bash. It was a pretty decent substitution for a snifter. I came a bit early and there weren't too many people around, so I was able to take notes without looking like the biggest geek on the planet.

Appearance: The pour is black as night with a brown head- one of the darkest heads that I ever did see.

Smell: The aroma is intense. Coffee, a Central American, roasted beyond any logical limits by some Pacific Northwest roaster, meets chocolate and alcohol in the nose.

Taste: The massive flavor profile has dark, city plus roast coffee verging a on short shot of espresso with plenty of crema, semi-sweet chocolate, molasses, bourbon vanilla, and warming alcohol. Fuck me! This one isn't so bad.

Mouthfeel: The oozing full-body is slightly creamy with a bit of carbonation.

Drinkability: It's 12% and it definitely becomes apparent by the halfway point, but you would have to pry it out of my semi-intoxicated hands before I'd give up one drop of the 750 milliliters of brilliance that is Speedway Stout.

 1,082 characters

AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.37 out of 5 based on 6,809 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.