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AleSmith Speedway Stout | AleSmith Brewing Company

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AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout
BA SCORE
4.38/5
Outstanding
6,907 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#268
Reviews:
1,715
Ratings:
6,907
pDev:
8.45%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
923
Gots:
2,200
Trade:
150
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 6,907 |  Reviews: 1,715
Photo of brurevu
4.71/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

From my tasting notes: The beer poured a pitch black with practically zero head. The aroma was of coffee (of course), dark chocolate, and vanilla. The first taste was stronger coffee and chocolate which mellowed and became much smoother and decadent as it warmed. The Speedway Stout clocks in at a 12% ABV so by the time I finished my first glass I though this was easily the best beer on the planet! In retrospect I would put it up there with some of the best beers in the world, but to call it the best is more a matter of taste and mood. This was a truly great beer that I was happy to get the opportunity to try.

 616 characters

Photo of dsa7783
4.71/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On draft at Cloverleaf Tavern. Opaque, black pour. Creamy, frothy head. Strong nuances of dark chocolate and bittersweet molasses. Thick, hefty mouthfeel. Alcohol content well hidden. Strong chocolate flavor. Excellent rendition of the style. A tremendous brew. Easily drinkable despite the 12% ABV. Bittersweet, lingering finish. Recommended.

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Photo of brayton
4.71/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Burgh1328
4.71/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Photo of DemoniChris
4.71/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Cylinsier
4.71/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

tap

Pours jet black, light tan film for a head retains indefinitely.

Smells of cocoa, smoked malts, oatmeal, and brown sugar.

Flavor of cocoa, oak, coffee bean, toasted bread, caramel, brown sugar, and a whisper of licorice.

Full body with a sting from both the carbonation and alcohol. Warms going down.

Top notch stout with loads of flavor and aroma that mesh beautifully. I've almost tried this several times and am glad I finally did. Up there near the top of my stout list all-time. Maybe one or two others I'd pick before this. Must-try.

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Photo of Mrnickatnite
4.71/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of CraftBeerGuild
4.71/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Mitchell2336
4.71/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of SD-Alefan
4.7/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottled in Oct., 2013
Pours a viscous complete black with a minimal tan head.
Aroma is dark chocolate, roasted coffee, prune and raisin, leather and a touch of must.
Taste is coffee and chocolate right up front, a hit of sweet milk chocolate-covered raisin in the middle of the swallow and a lingering dark chocolate finish with a touch of underlying char. Also, just a smidgen of molasses and leather. Not even a hint of booze on this two-year-old vintage.
Mouthfeel is thick and exceptionally creamy

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Photo of Kappakoosh
4.7/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I was really happy to get to try this beer. I have not had access to it, so when I found it at Top Hops in NYC, I jumped at the opportunity. Bottom line is this is a fantastic tasting beer and extraordinarily smooth. I would recommend jumping all over the opportunity to try it. A little pricey...but worth every penny.

 323 characters

Photo of mctizzz
4.7/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.7/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Well damn. Just when I thought I knew what my favorite stout in the world was. Going into the end of my second bottle, its all up in the air.

How many ways can you say thick jet black w/ cherry cola head appearance. Amazing lacing, retention, even keeps the tan and red head stuck to the side of the glass after the black liquid is long gone.

Big chocolate and coffee nose. Boozy for sure. That will really be your last impression of booziness.

Taste, immaculate, you won't know 12% was the abv. Thick, no bad aftertaste, just mild coffee melded with a big chocolate malt roast (no bitterness or astringency to it). Just enough sweetness to make it smoother, without sweetness being a hallmark flavor that makes this beer. It never fades, even to the last sip. So coating, every drop, mouthfeel never stops, never fades, you just get sip after sip of heaven. This was drank Saturday, in 90 degree weather around the pool. Yeah, not what many would consider ideal conditions to drink a stout.

IMHO, don't worry about anything else, this stout makes the conditions around you ideal. I wouldn't argue with you if you said this was the best stout in the world.

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

AleSmith Speedway Stout–one of the true "white whales" among American Imperial Stouts. My girlfriend bought this as a special bottle for us to share while in Provincetown for the weekend. It's always a special occasion when there's Speedway Stout to be drunk. Enjoyed in my Dogfish Head snifter. Review is from notes.

Appearance (4.5/5): Speedway Stout is pitch black, completely opaque, and is topped by a very nice looking one finger, tan/milk chocolate head of foam. Somewhat unusual for the style, lots of sticky tan lacing is left on the sides of the glasses as you drink.

Smell (4.5/5): Notes of chocolate, espresso beans and fresh-brewed coffee, butterscotch, caramel, and a touch of alcohol blend to make this a very strong, pungent brew. Despite not featuring the most unique nose ever, it's extremely satisfying–really, downright mouth-watering.

Taste (5/5): Speedway Stout flavor is dominated by chocolate and coffee notes that are enhanced by a slight–though noticeable–booziness. It's much more complex than that, though: it also features woody notes (perhaps from the aging process?), a subtle smokiness, and a touch of fresh, herbal hops. Not overly sweet or roasty, but decadent nonetheless. This is just pure stout greatness: everything is where it should be and beautifully executed.

Mouthfeel (4.5/5): Medium carbonation, smooth, and not abrasive despite the high ABV (12%). This is quite an accomplishment and the brewers need to be commended. Dangerously drinkable. Very pleasing, never challenging.

Overall (4.5/5): Without a doubt, this is one of my favorite stouts. Speedway is just about as big and bold as coffee-infused stouts come. My favorite thing about it is that there is far more complexity to it than you find in your average Imperial Stout. If you're a fan of stout and you run across this rare beast, buy it!

 1,862 characters

Photo of Brenden
4.7/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This has a sort of old school of the new school look; this beer's been around, and it was a big black and viscous behemoth of a beer before stouts had gotten so big. As such, it's still at the top of its game with a big, thick onyx body and a nicely sized tense, thick, rocky and creamy crown of medium brown head that holds up and leaves behind evidence in patching that's pretty strong considering the ABV.
Plenty of wood comes into play both in the nose and on the tongue, and combined with a vanilla-like sweetness that complements and the warming booze that's smooth and not too hot, it's a wonder this isn't barrel-aged. Barrel aging isn't the be-all, end-all of craft beer, but this one incorporates its best aspect: namely, a big, bold depth and complexity of flavors that a spirit in a barrel can bring out with just the right use. It's got so much creamy smoothness and sweetness mingling toffee and smoky caramel flavors into the huge roast underneath. There's a bit of fresh ground and maybe even roasted coffee with some dark chocolate and creamy smooth mild chocolate notes. This is what brewers are striving for with their barreling programs.
Big, rich, thick without weighing down the palate or feeling overly heavy, and massively smooth with so much creaminess it wraps itself on the tongue, this beer has exactly the feel it ought to, with just the perfect carbonation to flow and develop the layers that open up, just the perfect amount of crispness to focus on the smoothness, and a little dryness to cut the sweetness and balance perfectly.
This is an impressive beer, period. Forget the whales; this is a year-round shelf beer.

 1,650 characters

Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.7/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the gems of the Madison Big Stout session. We were bruised and battered, yet not quite beaten by the time we got to this bad boy.

Pour: BLACK, all black, no light to be seen under an inch of capuccino cream and a bit of spotty lacing.

Nose: fresh roasted coffee (courtesy of Ryan Bros. apparently) caramel/vanilla cream, oatmeal malt and a bite of booze in the finish.

Taste: roasted gourmet coffee bitterness, baking chocolate, dark sweet fruit and grainy oatmeal malt with a vanilla liquor finish.

Feel: on the light side for the style, but silky smooth with velvety/tickling carbonation.

Drinkability/Overall: Hot Damn. This is a tasty ADS. Freshest coffee taste/nose I've witnessed, very refined and balanced with everything else going on. Parallels with the now defunct Heavyweight's Perkuno's Hammer Imp Porter. A top notch big stout. You SoCal mofos are lucky if you haven't figured that out yet.

 925 characters

Photo of riotontheroad
4.7/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of cjgator3
4.7/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my 750th beer review on BA. To celebrate number 750, I decided to review a special beer in a 750ml bottle. What better occasion to review Speedway Stout, an awesome beer but one I have yet to review.

A- Pours a deep dark pitch black color with a nice tan colored head that leaves a good amount of lacing and retention.

S- The aroma is spectacular. Dark roasted malts, loads of coffee, hints of cocoa and hints of alcohol make up the fabulous aroma.

T- The taste is unsurprisingly as big and bold as the aroma. The taste starts a bit sweet with the dark roasted malts dominating. Some bitter coffee flavors start to come into play somewhere in the middle, with the bitterness lasting well into the finish. There is also some warming from the alcohol, but it is not as noticable as you would expect from a beer with such a high ABV.

M- The mouthfeel has a very nice smooth and creamy texture with a perfect amount of carbonation.

D- This is definitely a sipper, but it is dangerously drinkable considering the high ABV.

Overall, AleSmith Speedway Stout is one of the finest beers of it's styles and one of my favorite beers regardless of style. Highly Recoomended.

 1,177 characters

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

Served on cask, via handpump, at the Blind Lady Alehouse (San Diego, CA) on 3/17/10 during their "Black Wednesday" St. Patrick's Day celebration. Served in a snifter.

Pours a dense, oily, black, topped with a frothy 1/2 finger of dark mocha head. This looks very burnt, with an angry looking reddish flareup when swirled, leaving back a huge cascade of spotty lacing that dots the sides of the glass. The aroma is lush with dark roasted coffee flavor, as well as a deep backing tang of chocolate and toffee sweetness. The whold thing is rounded out by a combo of herbal hops and some extra earthy coffee notes.

The taste showcases a bit more of the sharpness of the hops up front, with the fudgey sweetness of the chocolate malts coming in next, before that robust coffee and dark roasted malts fill out the back of the profile. This isn't quite as sharp and tangy as I remember it being on tap but there is definitley some more definition to the flavors here, with a ton of dry roasted flavor coming out in the finish. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a huge mellow creaminess to it that is maybe showing a bit more of it's warmth than usual here on cask. Fortunately, it isn't too distracting, as this still drinks like a champ for a beer this size.

I love when the cask-version of a beer brings a little something different to the table and this one definitely did. The extra definition of the flavors really exposes the coffee even more here but the quality of it was more than able to step up to the plate and meet expectations. I love this beer and it was a rare treat (this is only the 3rd cask review out of nearly 800 here on BA) to be able to try it this way.

 1,677 characters

Photo of BergBeer
4.7/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: Jet black with a thin mocha head. Mild activity. Pours thick.

Smell: Rich and heavy on the nose. Decadent coffee, cacao nibs, dates, deep roasted malt, and a sticky toffee with light vanilla notes.

Taste: Deep and complex roasted malt. Fresh brewed coffee, toffee pudding, bitter cacao nibs, honey coated dates, and dark chocolate.

Feel: Big and oily. Coats the palate. Big bodied. Medium alcohol on the throat.

Overall: Outstanding. It's a big beer. There is no argument about that. Yet it has complex layers that are nuanced. So many beers like this are soupy sweet messes and this is the benchmark of what those should be. Each notes is distinct yet full flavored. World class stuff.

 700 characters

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

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

Whoa ! Served in the 12oz. plastic cup at the source, this is a dark black...maybe brown (it's hard to tell it's so dark) with a light brown frothy head. Good lacing that sticks.

Smells of dark, rich roasted espresso , bitter-sweet chocolate and some alcohol, oh my!!

First taste wakes the tastebuds, post-haste! Strong powerful, bitter, eye-opening coffee fills the mouth, goes down easily, then lingers and lures you to please, have some more ! Don't have to twist my arm, this stuff is delicious and very potent ! At 12.0% ABV, I think this is a one-of-a-kind, definitely the strongest stout I have ever tasted.

A full-bodied beer that hits hard at first, subtly mellows and lingers in a most pleasant way...what a stout ! Creamy, smooth mouthfeel...nice !

The best stout I've ever had on tap, highly recommended...try it !

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Photo of WeisGuy
4.7/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to HimerMan for trading me this bottle a few months ago.

a - pours black with a two-finger tan head with an orangish tint, surprising retention for such a big brew and great lacing

s - big scents of coffee and bittersweet chocolate, burnt malt, dark fruits, some black cherry, slight hoppiness, hints of alcohol

t - quick dark fruit sweetness right up front, quickly evolves into an intense coffee taste with strong notes of bittersweet chocolate and roasted malt, a bit of hoppiness on the finish along with some black cherry and hints of alcohol, very complex, every sip brings new flavors

m - full-bodied, low carbonation, very creamy, coats the mouth well, pretty dry finish, nice warming effect

d - as drinkable as a big stout can be, the alcohol isn't all that evident in the taste, but you can definitely feel the warming, I could sip on this all night

Wow, this lived up to all the hype for me and has instantly become one of my all-time favorites. I waited for the right occasion to drink this bottle and tonight was the night. Incredibly complex brew that I wish I had a few more bottles of to enjoy tomorrow night and the night after that. Definitely worth seeking out.

 1,197 characters

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

One of the finest there is. For being such a huge beer, it's very drinkable. Being a coffee stout lover, this is what it's all about. Everything in this stout is brought together so nicely. All the flavors compliment each other and work well together.
Pours a nice black color with a slight tan froth for a head. The smell is great. You can spend some time enjoying this beer even before the first taste. The taste is unbelievable for a beer this complex and huge. The coffee, chocolate and flavors are brought together and can be noticed quite easily. It is incredibly smooth on the palate. Honestly, this stout was closer to a five ranking for me. Still an incredible stout, and readily available in my home state. There's got to be a benefit to living in Ohio, right?

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

Poured from a bottle into a Duvel tulip. No freshness date, but I bought it about a year ago

A- pours jet black with a three finger dark brown head. Looks amazing, as it damn well should

S- a huge aroma of coffee smashes you in the face, with a bit of a chocolate backbone as well and roast coming through extremely heavily. Vicious

T- bitter coffee with some slightly sweet chocolate coming through as well. Decent bit of roast in the finish as well....no burn at all. Unreal

M- viscous. Motor oil thick. You can cut this beer with a knife.

O- pretty close to as perfect of an imperial stout as you can get. Affordable, no heat at all, huge flavors...amazing

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.38 out of 5 with 6,907 ratings
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