AleSmith Speedway Stout | AleSmith Brewing Company

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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

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Reviews: 1,682 | Ratings: 6,777
Photo of avwrite
5/5  rDev +14.4%

The stuff of legends. Worth every amount of hype it gets, and is simply my favorite stout. Nice dark color, great bold taste, and a smooth ride going down. Sweetness with bitter, awesome in a bottle.

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Photo of dcook11
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip.

A- Coffee black. Thick three finger mocha head. Sticky lacing. Sea foam like.

S- Fresh Coffee. Roasted malt. Some soy sauce. Vanilla. Carmel and chocolate as it warms. No abv heat. 12% undetectable.

T- Again coffee dominates. Roasted malt. Soy. Vanilla. Caramel. Chocolate. Alcohol very well hiden.

M- Heavy and thick.

O- Must try for any stout lover. One of the best stouts ive had.

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Photo of raidertony
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

If u really don't like this beer u really need to quick the craft beer game and go bye your self a 40oz of miller highlife cuz this is hands down the best imperial stout out there and for 10.99 it doesn't get much better then that,u really are a pussy if u don't like it or your pallet is just not ready yet..sorry but it is my opinion..

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Photo of beersarang
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours blacker than night, with a dark tan head that is rocky and leaves syrup and lace on the glass. Dissapates quickly due to the alcohol and likely the coffee acids.

You can smell it when you open it, pour it, and may be overwhelmed if you bring it to your nose. Wow. Coffee, chocolate, burnt grains, sweet alcohol.

A sip brings to the palate an assault of sweet malt with dark roasted barley. Creamy thick with tons and tons of coffee and chocolate intermingling in the finish with a sweet alcohol and slight lingering astringency on the tongue. An exhale brings more sweet alcohol and coffee.

This beer is a masterpiece. When I see it, I buy a case. It is worth every penny.

Alesmith, thank you.

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Photo of retry4z
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured at room temperature, in the comfort and quiet of my room, into an AleSmith Decadence elongated Belgian tulip glass.

Pours black and viscous, as used motor oil, with a resilient three-finger chocolate head that settles to a half-inch.

Smells of roasted cocoa beans and coffee, some cinnamon spice and detectable sweet notes of dried fruit.

Very dense on the palate, with a nice tingly and warm alcohol finish.

Very little bitterness present despite AleSmith using the most hops on this beer (they balance it with sugars). Tastes of roasted cocoa beans, dried prunes, and cinnamon-like spices. A perfect balance of bitterness and sweetness.

Overall, a very well balanced Imperial Stout. I'd say I would prefer this beer chilled by a few degrees for a refreshing complement. At 12% abv, a ton of different hops, and produced by the best microbrewery around, Speedway Stout is a brewer's masterpiece that will soothe even the savage beast.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Obsidian. Other than a mere sliver of pecan shell brown along the bottom edge of the glass, this beer is a complete black hole. The coffee-with-cream colored head looks nearly as thick and as meaty as the liquid on which it sits. Its moonscape surface contains multiple bubbles of various sizes that create pits and craters as they burst. Lace is in relatively short supply, but then I wasn't expecting much given the ABV.

The aroma was amazing as I poured and is no less amazing now that I'm concentrating on it for real. The three major components are ridicously roasted black malt, bittersweet chocolate and espresso. I can pick up the slightest hint of alcohol, though it's more than welcome in a beer as big as this one is.

AleSmith Speedway Stout is better than expected... and I expected no less than greatness. This is one of the hugest, most full-flavored, most mouthfilling ales of any style that I've ever had the pleasure to drink. Words fail me when attempting to describe the sheer massiveness of the malt backbone. Each sip explodes with the force of a daisy cutter, sending great gouts of melted, coffee bean-flecked chocolate fudge up, down and sideways until my mouth seems unable to contain it all.

SS tastes blacker, meaner, more menacing than most other American double stouts that I've run across. It's more along the lines of an RIS in that regard. It's as sweet and as chocolatey as any other ADS, but it's also impressively bitter and has a huge blackstrap molasses vibe goin' on. In fact, the flavor profile contains the entire gamut of stout flavors and still manages to combine them into a beautiful, seamless whole.

I don't like coffee and I'm not usually a fan of coffee-dominant beer. I had a few qualms about this one when I read the back label and found out that 'pounds and pounds of coffee beans' were added during the brewing. Surprisingly, the flavor isn't overwhelmingly java-like. The finish is freakishly long and leaves the mouth and tongue coated with a 'bitter hop cones (mixed with fire-roasted black malt)' layer of scum that one doesn't usually find outside the biggest IPAs/DIPAs.

That brings us to mouthfeel. Simply put, this beer has one of the three biggest mouthfeels in all of beerdom. It's easily the equal of Dark Lord (I'm leaving the third spot open because nothing else comes readily to mind). If you've ever drunk eggnog or heavy cream, you'll have some idea of what it feels like. It's velvety smooth and impossibly creamy. In other words, it's mouth candy for those of us whose attach more importance to mouthfeel than to anything other than flavor.

I've just realized that I haven't even commented on the ABV or the noticeable alchohol yet. That's because this is one of the most well-masked high alcohol beers in existence. Whether that has more to do with its age (an estimated 1 year) or to its brewer's skill, I couldn't say. As noted in the nose, the alcohol is an integral part of the whole and is a more than welcome contributor. Completely burying the beast just wouldn't be right; a little controlled snarl is just what this beer needs.

AleSmith Speedway Stout deserves every accolade ever thrown its way. I'd love to scratch off the 2nd place ribbon shown on the rear label since this behemoth takes a back seat to no stout. No how, no way. This is a truly special beer brewed by a truly special brewery and is not to be missed.

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Photo of DaPan
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours pitch black, no light comes through. Beautiful head, decent retention.

Nose is coffee, slight alcohol. Generous coffee, espresso, damn!

Taste is huge malt, dense espresso, brown sugar, molasses, little sour, licorice. Hugely satisfying. No alcohol,which is surprising,considering the ABV.

Sticky, warming and very satisfying brew. Unbelievable, would definitely buy again.

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Photo of Mavajo
4.97/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

As this beer pours from the bottle, it's a fairly translucent deep, dark brown - but as it all coalesces in the glass, it settles into an impenetrable near-black. No light could shine through, even in my small snifter. Nice sizeable brown head with great retention, and nice lacing down the glass. Very good appearance - it does everything great, but fell just short of truly wow'ing me.

Nose is brilliant. I genuinely said "Ahhhh..." as I took a whiff. Great notes of chocolate, roasted malt and coffee. My shoulders just slumped and I broke into a shit-faced grin as I inhaled the wonderful aroma. This is exactly what I wanted my coffee stout to smell like.

The taste follows in perfect lockstep with the nose - again, brilliant. The full-flavor just explodes across your tastebuds. You have the coffee there, along with the sweet chocolate notes and great backbone of roasted malt. Everything balances so perfectly - the layers of sweetness and bitterness play off of eachother so wonderfully. They manage to complement eachother, removing the harsh edges without compromising their contributions. Total perfection. I've never tasted a better coffee stout. As for the alcohol...what damn alcohol? Surely this must be about 12%?!? I don't believe you. The alcohol is so well blended into the rest of the beer that you won't even notice it unless you remember to search for it.

The mouthfeel is massive, with perfect carbonation - smooth and creamy.

Genuinely a world class beer. The absolute best coffee stout I've ever had.

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4.97/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

1pt 94fl.oz.bottle. Oversized glass. Enjoyed on jun´12. Pure black & black to the light. Creamy, brownish beige in color, lasting crown. Aromas of roasted malts –chocolate & black patent- cocoa, ripe fruit, bread crust & toffees. Creamy roasted malt with chocolate hues at first sip then an increasing bitterness arises & lingers into the finish with a kind warming sensation. Flavorful , creamy & voluptuous palate. Full body, soft carbonation. Black coffee on the aftertaste. ABV flavor perfectly hidden. Everything dances in a perfect balanced performance. Smooth & quiet. Drinkability? Well, I ,was by myself, enjoying it when I realized only three fingers were left on the bottle so…I just finished it.

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Photo of ZAP
4.97/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

top notch Imperial Stout of my favorites...

Pours lout of the bottle like crude oil...very black with a small tan, burnt malt and dark cocoa on the nose..also some caramel and vanilla really blend in nicely....mouthfeel is creamy, full bodied...

This is my idea of how an Imperial Stout should taste...very balanced...very good dark cocoa and coffee flavors...molasses with a hint of vanilla....sweet but a very nice juicy hoppiness balances nicely..a leafy, tobacco/canibus like hop finish..

Great beer here...ABV is very hidden...tasty, big and balanced....Much better than Storm King...easier drinking than Expedition while almost as flavorful....more balanced than Rogue and Stones efforts..

Top notch...I'm not a big fan of coffee or coffee beers but this one is great...almost a bourbon like feel to it....

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Photo of patm1986
4.97/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

deep black, thick with a khaki-colored head. a bit of carbonation relieves the motor-oil-like characteristic.

immediately hit with coffee beans. immediately. slowly some chocolate and vanilla and booze, but quickly the coffee intensity returns to overpower the other aromas. excellent.

it's a smooth ride through moderately roasted coffee, hint of vanilla and smoke, a bit of oat grain, but then, like the aroma progression, a return to coffee-town. sweet and rich and with a slightly bitter-dry finish.

smooth though. has a bitter bite from the roast, but it is incredible. big beer, but it doesn't come through at all. the huge coffee flavor and sugars cover the alcoholic bite. so damn good.

i don't think i've had a stout with more coffee flavor than this one. if i were a coffee drinker, i'd make the comment to replace my morning starter with speedway, but i'm not, so i'll enjoy this even more. intense but smooth as silk. exceptional stout.

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Photo of Morris729
4.97/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was quite surprised after peeling away all of the silver foil on the top of the bottle to find only a plain gold cap rather than a cork! Pours a black ruby color with a thick tan head that fades into a creamy lace. Nose is roasted coffee beans along with chocolaty cocoa and some fainter notes of dark fruit. Lots of sweet roasted chocolaty malts are in the tasting along with some espresso and a touch of molasses followed by just the right amount of hop bitterness. The flavors continue to develop in complexity and perfection as the beer warms. The alcohol is noticeable, but extremely well hidden for such a strong brew. Truly magnificent.

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Photo of TheItalianStallion
4.96/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

25 oz. bottled on 2/24/14 and poured into a tulip

A: Pour is absolutely pitch black with an inch and a half of tan foam. After a minute or 2 the head settles to a thin collar that leaves a good amount of lacing behind.

S: The smell of this beer is MASSIVE. Huge (seriously f****** huge) aromas of rich chocolate and coffee meld seamlessly together. I'm also getting a lot of roasted malts and vanilla, with a bit of a caramel type sweetness that almost reminds me of molasses. There is also a faint aroma of citrusy hops in the background. This is the greatest nose of any imperial stout, and honestly any beer that I've had to date. This beer seriously smells like some kind of delicious chocolate candy bar.

T: Flavors are dominated by chocolate and espresso like coffee. The chocolate and coffee are the main players, and they work perfectly together without one overpowering the other. There is also a good amount of vanilla and caramel flavors. The roasted malts are there, but they definitely take a back seat to everything else, mainly the chocolate and coffee. A perfect sweetness on the finish that lingers on the palate for a little while.

M: This beer is very full bodied and has an incredibly thick, silky mouthfeel, without being overly viscous or creamy. Carbonation is low, and the alcohol is masked very well for 12% abv.

O: Imperial stouts are my favorite, and this beer is the greatest imperial stout I have ever drank. This beer is unreal, it is like a liquid candy bar. The flavors of chocolate and coffee work so well together, and the big vanilla and caramel flavors add the perfect touch to make this such an outstanding beer. The alcohol is also masked dangerously well for 12%, with only a small hint of it on the finish. This beer is very, very complex. Definitely the best imperial stout, and one of the best beers I've ever had. In my opinion this is the PERFECT imperial stout, and i highly doubt it can be beat.

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Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.95/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle served in a snifter glass.

A: Pours a deep black oil like color forming a medium brown head which is bubbled but quite aired, with big bubbles. Retention is low, however, a small layer lasts forever and some lacings are left in the glass. Kind of small bubbles around. Just beautiful

S: Smell is quite sweet and dark chocolate like with strong notes of moka coffee, roasted malts and a bit of alcohol in the end

T: Perfect taste. Sweet upfront followed by intense dark chocolate, coffee and roasted malts. End is roasted malts bitterness mixed with a delicious grassy hops bitterness and taste. Perfect

M: Such a powerful and, at same time, delicate beer. Extremely pleasant in the mouth you do not fell the 12% ABV, impressive. Body is medium and carbonation is low. Mouthfeel is a bit molasses. Upfront in sweet and the end is bitter as it just should be

O: Absolutely drinkable. Impressive quality. Perfect American Stout

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Photo of dpgoblejr
4.95/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottled 2/11/15 and enjoyed 3/14/15. Poured an extremely dark brown, almost black, color with mocha cap and spotty lacing. Aroma was full of coffee, some chocolate and slight toffee. Taste is of bittersweet chocolate, caramel, and strong coffee. Very nice velvet texture, creamy feel and warmth from the alcohol. In summary, this was the first AleSmith brew I've had and probably in my top ten favorite stouts to date. Highly recommended!

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Photo of Wackyfoot
4.95/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle from Market of Choice. Last beer I drank in Oregon before flying back east, and did it ever ensure that that coast would need to do a lot to impress with its beer. Black and viscous like oil, this was so smooth going down that I didn't even notice how fast I was drinking. There's almost no alcohol taste either, which is astounding in something 12%. It's beers like this one that make me wonder if I'm missing something by not drinking coffee.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.94/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

There’s a running theme with Speedway Stout and my attempts to review it. I open a bottle with the full intent on writing a review. Half way through that bottle, I am overcome by the amazing wonderment that is Speedway. Soon after a desperate craving to drink more and more Speedway develops and doesn’t subside until I have filled my gullet with every stout and coffee beer in my house. By the time I recover, I have usually forgotten half of what I had intended to write about the beer. Still, all themes change and alas, it is time for me to finally review Speedway Stout.

This particular bottle was a touch over 3 years old, well cellared, and was given to me in San Francisco some time ago. Compared to younger vintages, I found that the aging mellowed the body, dramatically reduced the coffee flavor, and brought out more dark fruit character.

Appearance: Jet black with a thick head the color of antique, old growth Douglas Fir. Head retreats rapidly to a skim. Ample carbonation.

Aroma: Espresso beans, 85% cocoa chocolate bars, fermented cherries, blackberry, date, and plum and molasses.

Taste: Cocoa and dark roasted coffee beans. Lots of dark fruit alcohol. Toast and a touch of molasses.

Mouthfeel: Thick, chewy, full bodied. Alcohol does not overwhelm lending only a pleasing warmth throughout. Balanced coffee acidity, chocolate bitterness, and fruity/alcohol sweetness.

Drinkability: Flawless. As I said, Speedway turns me into a fiend for more every time I let it touch my lips.

I love this. Again, the big difference I see with aging is that the coffee aroma and flavor are really reduced. The beer as a whole seems better balanced, more mellow, and drinkable.

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Photo of chargerfanjess
4.94/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

OK I am new so I am reviewing the beers I had last night and they happen to be my favorites so thats why the high I taste more and sample the scores will be more reasonable. Anyways this beer poured thick with a nice tall tan head that lasted for ever. I could have balanced a semi truck on this head. The amlty aroma I could have smelled for hours. Nice subdued hops in the nose not to overpower the lovely malts. The taste is incredible very complex with anise, raisin, roast, slight smoke and hung around on the palate for ever. the mouthfeel was equally incredible without being too thick. Very drinkable. a sligh alcohol edge that soothed with time. I felt I was drinking some expensive bottle of wine the way I judged it (Screaming Eagle like). I got this at Holiday Wine Cellar in Escondido. I have heard this is hard to come by. try it if you find will not be disapointed

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Photo of Tallboy
4.94/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Jet Black, with a toast-brown head Flavor: Starts with a strong coffee and dark chocolate sensation, then fades to a multitude of toasty, roasty and caramelly flavors. Finishes with a nice fullness but dry enough not to be cloying.
Aroma: COFFEE!
Mouthfeel Velvety smooth texture. Clean and crisp, full-bodied. Warmth from the high alcohol content lightens up the feel just a bit. Still, you won't fool your taste buds -- this beer is freaking Huge

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Photo of greshdoghophead
4.94/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

bottled 11-22-13
Exceptional aromas of hops and vanilla paired with a marinated flank steak. Other tasters noted roasted raisiny notes. In a word- Phenominal!
Mouthfeel was dreamy. 12% hotness subtle but yet prevalent. The wow-factor happened.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
4.94/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Speedway stout pours a black color with a nice tan lacing head. There is as bold massive roasted aroma, nice warm alcohol, with hints of black licorice. The taste is full of chocolate, and coffee, great roasted notes, and a perfect alcohol warmth. Perfect blend of flavors, great warmth. Overall this is really a near perfect stout.

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Photo of smekermann
4.93/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This stout. I mean, I've always had a soft spot for it in my heart, because it's been amazing for nigh 10 years now, but I've just had a fresh batch, and I've decided it's probably my favorite year-round, overall stout.

Fresh, the coffee is ridiculously drying. Probably one of the driest stouts I've had yet, which is also kinda funny since I remember this stout being pretty cloying back in its early days. Not so anymore. For 12% ABV, it's ridiculously drinkable - almost illegally so. It's so crisp and alcoholic you'll think you're sober but you'll be fuckin high as a kite. Definitely not a beer to be enjoyed alone.

Overall one of the best year-round stouts I've had, public drunkenness notwithstanding. If you can find it fresh (and by fresh I mean 6 months or earlier since bottling date) you'll find one of the best stouts ever made. Honest.

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Photo of rudylaw
4.92/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I just ordered a couple of bottles from Liquorama and they were delivered at almost the perfect drinking temperature. Poured into a snifter, I filled it up 3x... quite a bargain for $10!

It pours jet black with a slightly off-white head. It starts out with a strong coffee and chocolate taste, then as it warms, segues to a caramel malt flavor.

I put this right in the same league as Founders Breakfast Stout and a half-step below Darkness. It's that good!

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Photo of Wildman
4.92/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

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Photo of iSrALE
4.9/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this at Labellas Pizza in Chula Vista 25oz mug for $8.

Appearance: Looks like motor oil, dark coffee, coca cola, seems thick.

Smell: Fresh coffee, biscuity, like a very well crafted brew, very good.

Taste: Wow! This is the best part, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, molases, cocoa, licorice all combined in an artisanal way, my taste buds are having a party right know! Very drinkable for an Impy Stout, and the 12% is very well masked on this puppy, I could sip this all night long especially on a cold one.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, it gets better as it warms up.

Overall. This beer is fantastic I remember the first time I had it and the last time and everything in between including a 2003 barrel aged versioh. This is my favorite Imperial Stout, I will put this over the Abyss, but that's just my humble opinion. An overall Excellent Beer from a local brewery. Thank's Alesmith.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.37 out of 5 based on 6,777 ratings.
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