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
alesmith.com

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:
1,669
Ratings:
6,727
Avg:
4.37
pDev:
8.47%
 
 
Wants:
912
Gots:
2,172
For Trade:
153
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,669 | Ratings: 6,727
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 InsolublePancake
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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Photo of OneEye78
4.17/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark black with a thick khaki head 2-3 fingers. Smell has some hints of chocolate, vanilla and licorice. Taste starts with a sweet chocolate burst, followed by some vanilla, an astringent coffee flavor and some serious alcohol burn. Coats the toungue, leaving a dry finish and a tingle of alcohol. Overall, I would call this a good stout, but a let down given its lofty reviews.

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

A- Pours typical to style. Very dark black with a soapy 1 finger head that quickly reduces to nothing.

S- Dark chocolates, roasted malts, a bit of coffee, nothing too out of the ordinary for style. Definitely detectable alcohol on the nose.

T- Tons of chocolate and roasted malts. Faded coffee profile that lingers in the background. Bittering hops match well and balance the brew over all. A wee tad bit sweet for my preference, but no where near cloying. A little bit of heat detectable from the alcohol but nothing out of balance. Very rich, very tasty.

M- Not overly carbonated. Not as silky smooth as I was expecting. Maybe splitting hairs here but possibly a little thin in this department.

O- This is a tremendous RIS. Huge bold flavor is the name of the game with this beer. One of the best non barrel aged stouts I've had, though not as good as FBS in my opinion.

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

Thanks Dolfan84 for this one!

A - Black as night. Half finger tan head, lacing is spot on.

S - Caramel, sweet sugar, coffee, and bittersweet chocolate

T - Sweet chocolate hits the lips and a nice espresso is to follow. Caramel, raisins, and oak linger.

M - Medium carbonation and full bodied. Despite the big ABV this drinks well.

O - Really enjoyed this one. I heard that it was a coffee stout and that's what I was expecting but I was pleased to see that it played a secondary role in this big beer. Very complex, enjoyed it!

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Photo of zachary80
4.17/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L Amazing fat, creamy head with great retention. Complete lacing- totally coats the glass.

S Sweet and roasty, maybe a slight metallic aroma. Chocolate notes and some coffee.

T Coffee is not overpowering but definitely present. Nice and roasty, great balance.

M Not overly heavy but nice and thick.

O Great American Stout, nice coffee balance.

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

Enjoyed this next to the barrel aged version last night with a friend. I have probably had this 50 times now but just getting to rating it!

Black pour into a snifter with a small creamy head. Aroma is bursting with freshly ground high quality coffee beans, vanilla and dry chocolate. You can tell this is pretty malt heavy from the aroma. Flavor is a lot of that roasted fresh coffee beans, unsweetened chocolate, light bitterness and hops. Really creamy and smooth, I love the mouthfeel on this! For being available here this is stellar and honestly something I drink a lot of. Next to the barrel aged version this is fairly strong on the coffee and definitely a bit lighter though still super full bodied. Great beer.

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

A friend brought this back for me from a west coast trip. Pours a hazy very dark brown/black with a dark layer of foam that seems to lighten slightly as it sits there. Head retention is excellent.

Odor is of coffee and malt, and is very strong yet appetizing.

Flavor is also of dark malt ("burned pizza crust") and coffee. Very good. Flavor seems to sweeten slightly as it warms. I'm not in the mood for a stout all the time, but this is a great Imperial Stout to satisfy you when you feel the need for a darker beer.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.16/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. I've had this bottle a good while. At least a year.

Appearance - Jet black with an ample mocha head. Laces beautifully and retains some surface wisps.

Smell - Coffee with a slightly metallic aroma. Chocolate malts come through just slightly, but coffee is the most dominant aroma.

Taste - Coffee is extremely well blended. Blends with a deep burnt chocolate flavor. Enough sweetness to keep it balanced and not too bitter. Definite alcohol presence. Gives it a bright almost fruity finish with the bite.

Mouthfeel - Sharp alcohol, but otherwise thick, chewy, and delicious. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Solid, easy to get, delicious stout. Better fresh, it should be said.

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Photo of alcstradamus
4.16/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Had this before but didn't review it. Now's the time I guess.

Black pour with a milk chocolate brown head that rises to a finger and a half and laces well. Basically everything you look for in a stout.

Smell is fresh ground coffee with strong hints of floral and citrus hops, a little bit of dark fruit poking around but not much. Not really the biggest of smells, but pleasant.

The taste is much more pronounced in every way. Awesome fresh coffee and creamer hit the front of the palate, with a small wave of bitterness in the finish. Some sweetness exists, can't really pinpoint what it reminds me of though. I'm picking up a bit of plastic which detracts from the overall flavor.

Mouthfeel is full and creamy, the ease of drinking this is quite astonishing for 12% ABV but the plastic is holding it back a bit. Fantastic stout overall, although I'm not sure it measures up with the top tier.

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Photo of chanokokoro
4.16/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a unbranded snifter/short-stemmed tulip

The pour resembles dirty motor oil; the very darkest brown to black capped with a light beige one and half finger head. Big roasty malt, charred grain, bitter bakers chocolate, dark roast coffee accents, and plenty of alcohol on the nose. Dark chocolate, roasted husky grain, roasted malt, and hints of molasses and caramel. Finishes with robust roasty bitterness emphasized by espresso and clean warming alcohol. Big full body that seems a bit lighter due the abundant carbonation. Smooth with a creamy finish. A brew with complexity as well as excellent balance. This big, brooding stout more than lives up to its reputation and hits on all cylinders

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.16/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Speedway Stout pours an ink black into the glass with a thick, tan rocky head on top. The foam dissolves slowly leaving behind a lot of netted lace on the glass. The aroma was a bit more mild than I thought it would be. It's mainly roasted malt, coffee and nuts with a bit of alcohol mixed in.

Each sip of this full bodied beer is smooth and slightly chewy with a dry finish. The flavor has a lot of roasted malt with notes of coffee, chocolate and nuts. Towards the end some bitter hoppy notes move it to help balance out all the malt. Once gone some coffee and nut flavors linger on the palate.

For 12% alcohol this beer hides its strength rather well. It's very flavorful, fairly balanced and easy to drink. I'd give it a higher score if the aroma was a bit stronger.

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Photo of GatheringBrews
4.16/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich black/brown with a creamy tan head that lingers and laces quite a lot.

Aroma of coffee and malt; this bottle had a touch of hotness on the nose, but nothing offputting.

Tastes of espresso, dark chocolate with touch of bitterness and a slightly dry finish.

Excellent imperial stout.

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Photo of brew3crew
4.16/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- dark black with maroon around the edges. No head whatsoever
S-roasty and toasty malts- not much else
T-smooth roasted mzlt. Slight bit of chocolate. Some alcohol present throughout
M-medium bodied and really smooth
D-oh so drinkable. This is a great brew

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Photo of sentomaster
4.16/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Bottle dated December 2011 poured into a boulevard tulip. Awesome thick and oily pour of opaque black with a massive mountain of dense, rich looking mocha colored cream.

S- Big whiff of semi sweet chocolate and smooth, medium roast, premium coffee. Quickly gets overridden by a soft boquet of floral hops. Faintest hint of alcohol when it warms up.

T/M- Roasted malts mingle upfront imparting flavors of milk chocolate, toasted graham crackers and cocoa nibs. Earthy, floral and slightly herbal hops take over. prickly carbonation and maybe some alcohol lift the hefty body over the tongue. An oatmeal like smoothness and spring water freshness mixes with a touch of ripe apple into the clean finish. Chewy full body leaves a sticky sweetness lingering.

O- quite possibly the smoothest big beer I've ever had. The resemblance to sam smith oatmeal stout is striking- and that's not at all a bad thing. SS on steroids. 12%...where? How? Such a smooth, subtle and nuanced brew that you could never know there's even a scintilla of alcohol, much less 12%.

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Photo of tillmac62
4.16/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

BOD 3/23/15. Pours as dark as pitch black on a starless night. World class head volume, lacing and retention.

Almost world class nose of dark chocolate, molasses, hints of dark fruit (plum, raisin), vanilla, caramel and coffee.

Full bodied with a rich creamy texture. Below normal carbonation with no effervescence in the middle and a nice burst in the somewhat prickly finish.

The flavor profile is outstanding. It is intense, complex and reasonably balanced. However, the alcohol is not well hidden and produces an astringent alcohol flavor that prevents this exceptional stout from being world class. It begins with slightly bitter dark bakers chocolate, cocoa, that hints at sweetness. This flows into a rich sweet molasses with strong caramel notes. The middle is slightly bitter with roast and hop characteristics. Underneath are subtle notes of dark fruit, although not as pronounced as suggested by the nose. They are subdued by the arrival of the grain alcohol astringent flavor, which stays and lingers after the finish. The finish is a slow fade of rich chocolate and molasses that competes with grain alcohol astringency and finally succumbs to it. This is a world class stout that failed to make the grade due to the 12% alcohol content.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.37 out of 5 based on 6,727 ratings.
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