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: 1,684 | Ratings: 6,781
Photo of Backer2004
4.9/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Really f--ing amazing is the only way I can describe it. Held out for 6 months before bringing it to our Homebrewers Christmas party. Without a doubt, one of the best five beers I've ever experienced. tons and tons of fanastic coffee beans are involved in making this brew. Lots of chocolate and rich malts balance out the slight hoppiness. Cannot tell it's high ABV. Worth every bit of the $12.99 I got it for . . . and will get again and again, mainly for special occassions.

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Photo of drowland
4.9/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Whoa this is nuts. Aroma is a hint of sourness, roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate, prunes/raisins, hints of cooked and oatmeal, and so much more. Flavor hints on a great malty sweet and sour with a roasty malt lingerness with touches of coffee that add just the right amount (not gross overuse of coffee like some), and so much more! Yum!

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Photo of MJR
4.9/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours absolutely pitch black with no clarity whatsoever. It's extremely thick and dense tan head is a solid finger-deep. Nice amount of lacing on the glass.

Smell: Rich and painfully inviting with massive coffee and chocolate notes. Underneath the huge malt aroma is one of fresh, green hops. A hint of alcohol hides way under the surface, somewhere in the muck... Outstanding aroma here.

Taste: The overall flavor is HUGE with the mammoth coffee, burnt caramel, roasted grain, and chocolate malt flavors beautifully balanced with a prodigious amount of fresh hops. The coffee flavor alone has more richness and character than most other brews. Each sip is an explosion on the palate, with the malt sweetness and hop bitterness fighting for supremacy. There's a touch of alcohol, but it's really well hidden for a 12% brew. Finishes with the one-two punch of coffee and green hops. Positively sublime...

Mouthfeel: Thick and chewy with a lush, round mouthfeel. This is carbonated motor oil...

Drinkability: Top notch. Forget about what style it is...this is one of the best beers I've ever encountered in all my years of better beer drinking. I've got to get ahold of several bottles of the 2003 vintage that recently was announced. Mere words aren't enough...

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Photo of objectivemonkey
4.9/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

An "Imperial stout brewed with Ryan Bros. coffee beans"... dear lord... this will be good...

Into a tulip glass, an agressive pour yields a whopping dark tan head, massive frothy creamy cloud, bubbly underneath. Comes out thick and dark as motor oil. Color is black, pitch black, one of those few that are a completely opaque darkness, with sploches of ameoba-like lacing sticking to the side of the glass.

Aroma in and of itself is intoxicating. Molasses, roasted and black malts, licorice wrap around bourbon-like alcohol, while the coffee espresso quality adds a little tingle toward the back of the nose, or is that the alcohol, maybe both tinglin the schnoz. Truly, deeply delicious, one of the few (imo) that could stand alone on aroma alone. "Please, sir, may I smell your stout" "Why yes indeed, you rogue." "Yhar."

Note: now about 10 minutes into this beer, the head has finally subsided to a thick (ie not thin) foam. Of course, every time I refill the glass, it explodes to an inch or so yet again.

Now, as I drink this thing, I struggle between wanting to share with my drinkin bro down the street, and wanting to keep it all to myself. A formidable beast, yet remarkably well refined and conceived, like a sasquatch in a tux. And this is where I realize, its 12% ABV. Looks like I should've called the bro. This just may be the most formidable impy stout I've had yet.

Anywho, now that its warmed up a bit, everything is coming out. Indeed, rides the line between big and overwhelming. Black, roasted, toasted malts float around a column of warm alcohol. Coffee seems to be everywhere, providing a good backdrop, backbone as it were, to other characters as big molasses up front, bitter chocolate floating around like a drunken pixie, and brown sugar to round things out. Much is made of the fresh ingredients on the bottle, and it shows up in the beer.

And as if it couldn't possibly get better, the mouth is truly ... f'in sweet Goddamn holy Moses... Barbra Streisnad!!! Ah, ya, really, its really good. Among the thickest, baddest, sludge-like bodies I've seen, almost like a thick creamy malt. And yes, very creamy, smooth, just envelopes the tongue, providing the slightest carbonation to keep it just lively enough. Fantastic.

Simply put, this is a beer that will make me quit my job, order several dozen cases, and sit around with a hand down my pants, sipping myself into oblivion. It wasn't even the most anticipated beer in this trade, and I didn't even realize how high it was rated till just now after I scored it. Now that I have though, well worth all the praise, truly a man among boys in the halls of stout-dom.

Big, huge, monsterous thanks to fitzIPAtrick for this one.

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Photo of Chico1985
4.9/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Much thanks to cbutova for breaking this bad boy out. Split between 5 people I believe. It was about 9 months old.

Pours inky black with a super creamy, bubbly tan head. Retains very well and leaves great lacing. Mouth is watering.

Strong, excellent coffee in the scent. Booze and vanilla give it a bourbon vibe. A little bit of dark fruit.

The coffee is strong, rich and dark tasting ala Peche Mortel, this reminds me of that quite a bit. Chocolate covered raisins and vanilla. A little bit of grassy hops. More sweet than roasty in my opinion but overall a good balance of both. Aftertaste is amazing, booze is well-hidden.

Mouthfeel is extremely creamy and have a nice thickness. Just like everything else about this beer, pretty much perfect for the style.

I couldn't drink this all day, but damn drinkable for 12%, and oh so tasty. Probably the best coffee stout I have had so far. I vow to get a few of these bottles.

** 10/11/11 - more notes **

After having this twice, but with small pours (~5 oz) on both occasions, I'm finally sitting down with a fresh 750ml solo. Definitely a bit boozier than I remember, but I believe both of the other times I had it it was aged 9+ months. Huge coffee beans and chocolate fudge, big dark fruit, some vanilla and some hop bitterness there too. The 12% makes itself known but it's not overly hot and this beer definitely improves with warmth. Maybe not my favorite coffee stout but certainly top 5. Great fresh but maybe a bit better with a little bit of age on it, the coffee sticks around but the alcohol is tamed.

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Photo of SteveO1231
4.9/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

*** New Review ***

Picked up this bottle back in 2006 saved in my basement for a while and busted it out for my birthday/newyears eve 2009.

Large champagne bottle with the speedway label laser printed onto the bottle no bottling date but I bought it back in 06'

pours jet black with an excellent tan head that maintains it's thickness throughout.

Aroma is full of dark chocolate reminds me of a chocolate eater bunny, dark fruit, and black coffee.

Thick, full-bodied mouthfeel and a thick, slickness left on the palate. ABV stings the palate a bit.

Sweetness of burnt sugar upfront, charred malt, toffee, and caramel followed that lingers throughout the brew, some hints of dark fruit like plum or dates that is flushed away by a hop bitterness, coffee flavor, and burn from ABV.

Finish still maintains burnt sweetness with a huge dark chocolate bitterness. A bit of a sting form the ABV and finally an aftertaste of black coffee.

I'm not sure how much coffee they use in this brew but I bet it's a lot I actually had to drop a massive deuce halfway through the bottle.

Overall this beer has maintained it's quality over the past 3 years and was just as enjoyable as fresher samples. Still one of my favorites. Huge ABV by the time I reach the bottom of the bottle I'm buzzed out of off my tits!


*** OLD REVIEW*** 2005

Picked up a 750ml bottle from Marine Mart at MCAS Miramar. I picked up a newer bottle w/ out the paper label indicating that it is an Imperial stout brewed with Ryan Bros. coffee beans. Wrapped in a silver foil.

Pours a delicious jet black with a awesome espresso colored head. Leaves a nice ring of tan bubble lacing along my glass.

Very strong roasted chocolate and coffee aroma. I can smell the alcohol phenols in the brew.

Huge roasty toasty taste. Creamy texture on the palate. Deliciously strong flavors of a death by chocolate triffel and coffee. A dry smokey bitterness of black coffee bean and alcohol really clings to the palate.

Absolutely delicious brew, roasted and bitter, very strong, really need to sip this one. Packs a punch at 12% ABV


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

Purchased this beer from Lone Hill. Thanks Stan!

A - The beer pours completely opaque. Even when held up to the light, the beer remains a dark black. There is a one inch tan head with a slightly orange tinge to it that retains well. This beer is fun to look at.

S - The aroma is complex and rich. I'm getting tons of coffee, cocoa powder, cherries, and oats. The aroma really changers (for the better) as the beer roams.

T - Chocolate and coffee dominate this beer through and through. Furthermore, the chocolate notes really run the gamut, from bitter to sweet. As the beer warms, the potent alcohol undertone takes hold. Since this is a stout, I'm not particularly turned off by this. I think the beer really changes as it warms, so you get a different experience as the session transpires. Wonderful!

M - The beer is medium bodied, and is very creamy, even for a stout. My only complaint is that it does come across a bit boozy after it warms a lot.

D - If you are into stouts, you can easily enjoy this beer at any time of the year. It's obviously not one that's easy to come across (unless you're in SoCal) but this one still ranks near the top at drinkability. If you can get your hands on this beer, enjoy!

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Photo of LuckySevens82
4.9/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml Bottle courtesy of kmpitz2.

Pours a very deep black with brownish hues. Head isn't all that impressive, but still a deep brown, one finger head in a 12% abv beer isn't that bad. Lacing isn't bad and collar is pretty impressive. There is a swirling ethereal quality to the slight lacing that sits atop this one.
Smell, wow. Intense cocoa aromas waft out of the glass. Followed closely by espresso coffee. Very slight wine like qualities as well. Definitely able to detect the 12% alcohol, but not nearly as "hot" smelling as I would have thought. Very slight hop aromas complement the other qualities of the smell quite well. This one just screams drink me at this point. So on I press.
Taste is very sweet up front, very much milk chocolaty. As this one sits around for a while, you can taste the naked espresso beans almost perfectly separated from the rest of the flavors. Sweet milk chocolate soon becomes a more bitter bakers or dark chocolate. Very wine like and dry at one point, somewhere near the middle-back of the tongue. Definite fruit flavors are present in this one (figs, cherries, grapes, dates). Balanced out very well in the finish by a pleasant hop character that is not too bitter, but certainly makes itself known. Alcohol is nearly undetectable, which is REALLY impressive for a beer of this stature. Even in the finish there is almost no trace of the 12%.
Mouthfeel is perfect, a little oilier than I usually like my stouts, but it works really well in this one. Carbonation is perfect.
Overall, I probably could give this beer all 5's but I don't think that at 12% alcohol the drinkabilty on this one should be a 5. The flavors are strong, well balanced, and overall excellent, but I know that I couldn't drink this one all night. That being said, this is still one of the best Double Stouts I've ever had. Definitely worth the price and definitely worth seeking out and selling your children for. This is better than Dark Lord by miles. Thanks so much Kevin for going out of your way to let me try this one.

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Photo of auee92
4.9/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Aroma: Essence of chocolate covered cherries, coffee, and a nice dark, oily Habano Maduro wrapped cigar

Appearance: Pitch black, with a frothy, one inch tan head of luxurious foam.

Taste: Medium sweetness up front, and a very bitter, lightly sour aftertaste.

Palate: Medium body, thin oily slick feel, lively carbonation, beautifully bitter finish.

Overall: Brilliant stout. Very, very good.

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Photo of mattcrill
4.9/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 750 mL green champagne bottle capped and with black foil around the top. The label states that this beer that I'm about to enjoy is an "Imperial Stout brewed with Ryan Brothers Coffee Beans". I am tingling at the thought of an imperial stout brewed with coffee. Hail to the beer geniuses that make craft brew and add coffee to it!

Appearance: Pours black hole black, thick, and viscous with a chunky tan head. I figured with the high ABV that I wouldn't have the pleasure of seeing a perfectly capped beer with a foamy head. However, I was pleasantly suprised. It didn't last too long but it was long enough for me to pick up the beautiful and subtle aromas that were wofting out of my snifter glass.

Smell: Raisins, dark chocolate, dried cherries, and a touch of smoke. Definitely not overdone. Perfectly balanced leading to the anticipation of tasting this beautiful looking beer.

Taste: Espresso, dark chocolate with an alcohol backbone. Even though I can taste the alcohol, it's not overdone, it doesn't wear you done and it only adds to the complexity and myth of this fantastic beer. I get a nice coffee-bitter aftertaste. This is absolute perfection in a glass. All tastes balance out. This is what all Double Stouts should aspire to be.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, thick, lip-numbing goodness. This is definitely a sipping beer. It has a HUGE body and enough character to have it's own TV drama.

Drinkability and overall: I am humbled. This is my all-time favorite Double Stout. Just because it says "Speedway" on the label, do not hurry with this beer. There is nothing that should be rushed with drinking this fantastic creation. Sit back, sip away, and let the goodness of this beer permeate your entire existence. I saved this one for my 100th review and it was surely a treat. Find. Drink. Be Merry. I only hope that Alesmith will stick around Ohio longer than they are predicting.

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Photo of InVinoVeritas
4.89/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Look – This pours dark as to be expected, flawless example of the style; light is not passing through this one. Pretty good head, brown about an inch and lacing holds for a good time.

Aroma – Smell is maybe the only thing, which could be improved. However, I don’t think it’s that the aroma is lacking, it’s that every other characteristic is flying sky high.

Taste – WOW, just WOW!!! I taste dark chocolate, almost like dry chocolate, like used in baking. Coffee / toffee flavor, are there with unparalleled balance. ABV is in incognito and you only get a little, very little at that, burn on the back of the palette in the finish; careful ladies and gentlemen.

Mouthfeel – It’s silky, with spot on body. This was the first think that really impressed me.

Overall – This is amazing, as it’s one of the best, perhaps best imperial stouts I’ve ever tried. Have faith, this won’t disappoint and if it does, it’s time to check in the taste buds and start a new hobby.

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Photo of Mauerhan
4.89/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this beauty on tap at alesmith this weekend. the batch i had was the first that alesmith had roasted its own coffee for the brew.

amazingly rich, roasted coffee flavors with hints of chocolate. this beer is so close to perfect its not even funny. i had to go back for seconds, the majority of my last review stands. this beer is incredibly rich and full flavored has amazing lacing and it answers a big question ive had for a while. wwjd, what would jesus drink? well im guessing speedway.

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Photo of silverblaze540
4.89/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A - Pitch black color with tan head

S - Strong coffee notes

T - Coffee and chocolate. Very sweet. Malty on the finish.

M - Very thick and smooth.

O - A high quality brew, with a taste that can be enjoyed both by hardcore beer snobs and causal beer drinkers. Definitely one of the best I have tried.

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Photo of umpquabrewer
4.88/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Klokke Roeland snifter.

A- Pours black and opaque with a two finger head that is frothy, soapy and looks like the whipped head of a latte.

S- Coffee, smoke, dark chocolate and hops.

T- Bitter coffee, chocolate and currants.

M- Creamy and slick with a nice carbonation.

D- WOW- Almost too drinkable for a 12% superstar! I'm 2/3 of the way through the bottle with a Vacuvin cork in it thinking hmm...

This is now my favorite stout! (sorry Old Rasp) What can I say? This is a great tasting beer, I just wish it was more available... maybe not, I do have to work. :)

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Photo of ShrLSU
4.88/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This one pours out a thick black like asphalt on a racetrack :). It has a nice tan ring around the glass and some nice tan bubbles in the center. The nose is chocolaty and malty. There is a coffee hint as well. The taste is nice and complex. There is a very upfront choclatiness with some roasted malt and coffee taste. A nice bit of alcoholic twinge makes this definitely a slow drinker. It's quite creamy and full bodied. I'm amazed at the balance of coffee and chocolate. This might be one of the best stouts ever had. Bravo alesmith! If you have the means, DRINK THIS!

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Photo of cbutova
4.88/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Split a bottle with a friend last night. Pours pitch black with a 1-2 finger dark tan head, laces the glass like a fresh coat of paint. Smells mostly like coffee with some chocolate and malts. Has a HUGE coffee taste with chocolate in the background, don't remember tasting any of the 12% alcohol, more coffee comes out as it warms up. Mouthfeel was thick and creamy and coated my mouth for the next few hours of the night, delicious. Very addicting, only flaw is it filled my stomach up quickly, would drink this every night if I could find some around here. The coffee flavor and mouthfeel of this one would never get old, cant even taste the 12% either.

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Photo of samie85
4.88/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-Pours a deep, midnight black with a three finger, dark brown, dense, crater-y head into a snifter. This one leaves thick, sticky rings of lacing.

S-Roasted malt with smooth coffee notes and some vanilla with chocolate malt and some alcohol.

T-Chocolate upfront with some deep, roasted coffee notes, some light traces of vanilla, and finishes dry, roasty and with the smallest hint of booze on the finish.

M-This could be the thickest, creamiest stout I've had. The only ones I can think of that might touch it's mouth-feel are BCS and Darkness. The carbonation level is low, and the beer finishes dry and with a warming quality from the alcohol.

D-This has to one of the easiest drinking high alcohol beers I've had. Almost no indication that this beer is 12%. The mouth-feel blew away as did the taste. I wish I had regular access to this damn near perfect specimen of a coffee stout.

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Photo of Dnayew
4.88/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Fantastic baseline imperial stout. It's not the special craft of a Hunapuh or Abraxas, but it's in that Top Tier of Imperials w/ Ten FIDY and Marshall Zhukov.

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Photo of HankSingle
4.88/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I'm sure there is a stout out there better than this, but I haven't had it.

Notes from 9/29/15, tasting bulb at Julian's in Providence:

Coffee black body, caramel head
Astringent coffee, round red notes
Soft oak, something like green/light roasted beans, just a bit of dry vanilla, almost French Vanilla - light body, especially for the ABV, which is totally hidden.
Coffee and dark cacao nib on subsequent swallows, so light and smooth and dry.

Make sure you bring a friend for this one, sneaky boozy

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Photo of GJ40
4.88/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sampled from a 750ml bottle in my DFH snifter. No date on the bottle but I've been aging it for a year or so. Started at 50 degrees then it warmed from there.

A - A deep, dark black with no light coming through. Topped with a big, tan head that dissipates pretty quickly. It looks like something you could fall into and never be seen again.

S - Cocoa, molasses, vanilla and coffee. I was pleasantly surprised that the coffee didn't overpower it. I was a bit worried when I realized it had actual coffee in it.

T - Smooth and creamy. The coffee is there but it's joined by plenty of other flavors including cocoa, vanilla, molasses and a hop bitterness. Everything works in perfect harmony. There's no harshness or imbalance at all. And the 12% alcohol is completely hidden except for a gradual warming feeling.

M - As silky as any beer I've had. The low carbonation makes it slide right down.

D - A great beer to sip slowly while unwinding at the end of the day.

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Photo of BeerManDan
4.88/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

When poured, the color was on the verge of black. But, after a short period, a very small amount of dark tan foam popped up in my glass. Also, a small amout of lace stuck to the face of my glass while drinking this stout. The smell of coffee and roasted malts was not really overpowering, but, suttle. The flavor was of chocolate, coffee and roasted malts was fantastic. All the flavors were well balanced and even more as this stout warmed up. In fact, I like it a lot more as it got warmer. More intenise flavor. I love this Stout so much, I didn't share it with anyone else. More please!

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Photo of Faina
4.88/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep obsidian black with only a small coffeee milk colored head.

This beer seriously sells amazing. Deep, rich chocolate powder, black malt, rich dark coffee grind and only slightly hot.

As amazing as it smells it tastes even better. It's more complex and I feel like I'm drinking a rich adult hot chocolate with a shot of espresso. It's slightly hot with a rich creamy mouthfeel. The's high but drinking it I didn't even notice it. There's the slight heat in the back but it does not even begin to hint at the 12% that lurks in in it. One snifter pour aside for my bf, I drank this entire thing on my own. As a small 4'11"/5'0" on a tall day chick that's saying a lot...

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Photo of soulfly967
4.88/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Seved this up in a tulip glass. Big thanks to Zorro for the trade.

Poured an evil looking black, with a fluffy tan head that faded fairly quickly to a ring of tiny bubbles on the outer edges. This looks great!

The smell was of fresh coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malts, some dark fruits and toffee.

The taste was of rich chocolate, caramel, coffee, a slight hoppiness in the middle and finished with bittersweet chocolate, some more coffee, and a slight alcohol warming.

The mouthfeel was thick, rich, and satisfying. Amazingly smooth and warming.

Overall... this is one bad ass brew. This is a perfect way to blow an hour of your day. Sip, savor, and enjoy this woderful beer.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
4.88/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A 22oz bottle imported from Escondido, CA.

A - Motor oil black, with 1 finger of head and sticy lace all over the glass

S - Sweeet. Chocolate notes, and coffee hit the nose

T - Smooth and sweet. Roasted malts, chocolate, coffee. So well balanced. d

M - Rich and creamy, full bodied, well carbonated

O - This Stout is so smooth, well balanced, and ABV completely hidden. This is an Imperial Stout at its best

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Photo of Gatch
4.88/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Unbelievable. As remarkable in every sense as the World Wide Stout from Dogfish Head. Dark as midnight; can't even see through it up to the light. Dark brown, bubbly head that settles quickly. The roasted malt comes through more than anything but the coffee is still noticeable. The finish is the best aspect, where there is a lot of dark chocolate, roasted malt, and fresh, dark coffee. As expected, fantastic.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.37 out of 5 based on 6,781 ratings.
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