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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: 1,644 | Ratings: 6,563
Photo of ngandhi
4.62/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Coffee, but not in any way ovepowering. Rich with cocoa and an ethereal, high-end carbernet mouthfeel. Tons of coffee, yes, but never overpowering. Fresh hop character is subtle and serves to lend structure without ever compromising the enormous malt and java character in this brew. An imperial stout before a coffee stout that is entirely impressively and archetypal of the style -- not of coffee/chocolate/nut whatever that means, but of stouts in general.

Drink now.

Relax, relax.

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Photo of ncvbc
4.62/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First thing's first, this beer lives up to all of its hype. Yes, I'm typing on a new keyboard because of it, but damn it was worth it. Poured into a snifter as well as a standard pint glass, the former spilling onto my keyboard and everything around it. Though I only consumed half or so, I can grasp the fact that this was amazing.

The bottle itself is worthy of a good appearance score. It poured a pitch black with hardly any light to show through. Thick, creamy tan head that sits upon the dark stillness. Close to a 5, though not quite.

Smell is heavily of roasted dark coffee. Slight bit of alcohol in the nose which plays well. Also some chocolate malts and dark, roasted malts.

Taste is perfection. Again, heavy on the coffee, roasted malts. Alcohol again is noticeable, though barely so and in a way that compliments the rest of the beer. Nothing overwhelming, just pure balance and excellent flavor.

Mouthfeel is creamy, full, and a little chewy. I had it lingering for hours, along with the smell on the floor and keyboard.

Drinkability also near exceptional. While I would enjoy this one for the duration of drinking it, there is definitely a limit.

This is about as close as I've been to giving perfect 5's all the way through, though the overall might not indicate it. I think this is in my top 5 favorites with ease and a contender for the top spot. I know for a fact that I will be seeking much more of this out in the future.

Big thanks to Phawk for the trade, it was well worth it!

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Photo of BeerResearcher
4.62/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

25.9oz Dark green bottle. No freshness date.
Inky, oily black, with a smallish tan head on top, along with some sticky lacing.
Rich, potent aromas of coffee, bitter chocolate, dark malt and piney hops are released upon first pour. A whiff of dark rum lingers in the background throughout.
A strong earthy dark malty body lays a solid foundation for a variety of complex and distinct flavors. Espresso, dark chocolate, buttered biscuits, cherries, white grapefruit, spruce, burnt caramel, vanilla, cream, and rum all mingle quite separately, then, as it warms, blends into a wowingly balanced Imperial Stout extravaganza.
Almost anyone can make an extreme beer. Many brewers lose sight of the purpose of their extreme creations by concocting a sea of over-the-top flavors and aromas with no clear direction in mind. AleSmith Owner/Brewer, Peter Zien understands the complex art of brewing beers that are full flavored and highly drinkable while maintaining high-quality beer-related foundations. Simply put; He gets it! And when a brewer "Gets it" we all get it. Get it?

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Photo of arizcards
4.62/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 750 ml bottle at Papago Brewing at the end of October for $12.99. Original review 5-28-06.

Having had this on tap several times, I have been wanting to try it out of a bottle. Beer poured black as night with a beautiful tan head that is hanging around nicely 4.5.
Nose is of coffee, cream, and chocolate malts 4.5.
Taste is a perfect complex medley of creamy chocolate malts and a beautiful chocolate hop finish. Alcohol was a little warming with the first sip but not noticeable after 5.0. Mouthfeel is blissfully creamy and smooth 5.0. Overall drinkability is near perfect. The abv, though perfectly masked, eventually sneaks up and kicks one upside the head! This is a awesomely brewed beer, an absolute try for the stout lovers 4.5!

Re-review 11-13-11.
Picked up a 750ml bottle from Total Wine(Received 10-22-09) in early December 2009. This has been sitting in my wine fridge for nearly 2 years. Cant wait to give it a spin!

Beer poured black as night with a smallish brown head. 4.0
Nose is mocha, cream, hints of faded coffee, and cocoa - very nice. 4.5
Taste is still perfect, the roasted malt backbone is just right- not to burny but not unnoticeable. Dark cocoa and cream with hints of coffee that has faded over 2 years are wonderful compliments. 5.0
Mouthfeel seems thinner over time, it is smooth but not as satisfying when fresher. 4.0
Overall this is a great beer that has aged surprisingly well. Pick it up and try it if you have not already.

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Photo of falcon1
4.62/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A truly outstanding Imperial Stout to say the least. The aroma and taste of AleSmith Speedway Stout is really amazing to experience. One of the finest examples of a great and well crafted infusion of coffee (Ryan Brothers - Espresso Gold) and the Imperial Stout style.

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Photo of jera1350
4.62/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jesse (arniepnminne) for this trade offering. No bottle date, but I've had this in the cellar for about 8 months.

A rich, deep and dark black with a cocoa colored head that is dense and creamy. The head leaves lots of sticky lace all over the glass. Nice head retention as well.

Rich chocolate smell. Chocolate ganache, chocolate mousse, milk chocolate, chocolate milk, okay, I think we get the picture. Some noticeable roast and hops in there as well. The nose is dominated though by an outstanding rich chocolate dessert smell.

Dark and complex tasting. Roasty malts mix with the coffee beans, which are now subdued, but still quite apparent. Notes of charred wood and dark chocolate with vanilla bean and some light alcohol. Getting some solid hopping towards the end. Very rich and tasty.

Creamy soft and smooth. Full bodied and actually quite dry after the initial stickiness. Some warm feeling from the alcohol.

This is a top notch imperial stout for sure. Very luxurious in about every aspect. If you have yet to have it, get one ASAP. I would like to try this one fresh next time for comparison.

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Photo of TheViolator666
4.62/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle (with a huge cap) poured into pint glass.

A: Very slight creamy brown head. Pours black as all hell. Leaves faint lacing behind.

S: Smell is more present than most stouts. Definitely smells of chocolate and roasted malt.

T: Tastes more and more of coffee as it warms up. This one's hot! HUGE warming alcohol sensation after every sip... some don't like this, but I love it! I would also like to try this one with a few years on it for sure. This one would be ideal for a cold winter's night. I get an almost plum-like sweetness as well as slight chocolate in the aftertaste.

M/D: This one's got a very full body, definitely one of the thicker stouts I've had, but goes down well if you don't mind the boozeyness.

Overall, this is an exceptional stout... as it should be for the price!

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Photo of Trueant1
4.62/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a bomber with a black and white lable. Paid 11.99 USD.

Pours a black oil like consistancy. Leaves a thin head that is dirty brown. Some brown around the edges in the beer are noted.

Exceptioanl smells.
Smells up front of dark chocolates, raisons, grapes, espresso. Other smells are chocolate mousses, yiesty smells, peppery spice, and dark molassis.

Tastes just like the smells. The surprise is the unexpected bitterness in the aftertaste. ( not a bad thing at all) Also reminds me of chocolate covered espresso beans.

Mouthfeel is oil coating like. With fine carbonation.

This stout lives up to it's reputation. What a great smell it omits every time you put your sniffer in the snifter.


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Photo of Sound_Explorer
4.62/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The description of this beer is spot on. I'm not very good at verbalizing what I taste but the description is exactly what I am tasting. Chocolate then roasted caramel. Finishes clean for a big beer which was a surprise. Truly a great example of the style done plain and simple.

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Photo of MrNuggets
4.62/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Black body with a small brown head. Powerful aroma of coffee, alcohol with a hint of underlying sweetness. Taste was unexpected. Heavy dark fruit blended very well with the coffee flavor. I was looking to be over powered by coffee, this was not the case at all. Coco finish with that alcohol warmth you need in an imperial stout.

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Photo of mjtiernan
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to FosterJM for sending me this big-time Want.

750ml bottle poured into a snifter

A: Opaque black with a very inviting 1 finger mocha head. Head settles to leave a thin cap plus ring around the edge. Although the viscosity of the pour and appearance of the head hinted at creaminess..it looks to be on the oily side. Some lacing evident.

S: Dark chocolate, dark fruit, espresso, vanilla, cinnamon, licorice and roasted black malt.

T: Delicious. A creamy cup of coffee but with so much more. Chocolate and vanilla is in there...the dark fruit is in there. The unfermented malt provides a slight sugary sweetness but it’s far from cloying. Finishes with lovely roasted black malt and a touch of cinnamon.

M: Very balanced. Body is above medium and the carbonation is pleasing.

O: I’m forced to compare this to my all-time favorite coffee stout, Founders Breakfast Stout, and this delivers. It’s got all the flavor of FBS but slightly less bitterness and it just feels more luxurious. Easy to drink for such a complex beer...although I’d prefer it to come in a more manageable size....especially at 12% ABV.

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Photo of tanarm
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I’ve had this one cellaring for a few months now and decided I couldn’t wait any longer.

The head is a light brown and the body pure black. It smells of chocolate and coffee. It is the coffee taste that hits you right away, too. Hints of roasted barley and molasses, maybe even a little nutty flavor in there somewhere, but it is all lost to the coffee and chocolate overtones. The finish is pure dark chocolate goodness that continues to linger on the tip of the tongue for at least ten seconds.

As it warms, the bitterness extends to the back of the tongue and even the roof of the mouth and gets stronger on the finish. You can definitely taste the alcohol in the aftertaste more as it warms, but it never overpowers, as the other tastes become more profound as well. Mouthfeel is almost like carbonated melted chocolate, very creamy. It coats the palate completely.

This is a delicious beer, and I must say one of my favorites. I have another bottle that is cellaring and I am interested in how the tastes will age, but I think this can't get much better. For the style, it is hard to beat.

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Photo of daythree16
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. Jet black with a tan, one-finger head that leaves some lace as it fades into a thin ring around the edges.

Aroma is mainly a combo of dark chocolate and a lighter, sweeter milk chocolate. I don't really smell any coffee at all. Taste, however is different. Very rich and chocolaty with a finish like a cup of coffee but not as bitter. Very little alcohol presence. This is absolutely delicious.

Mouthfeel is creamy and has the consistency of what I imagine motor oil to have. Drinkability is fantastic for such a high ABV. The lack of a strong alcohol presence plus the creamy chocolate sweetness are probably the reason I'm bogarting the whole 750ml. Hopefully my wife won't be too mad.

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Photo of zoso1967
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black as a starless night with a thickness that is evident in the pour. It is capped with a fluffy mocha head that slowly melts into the viscous black liquid. The aroma is full of roasted coffee and the darkest coca, as well as a dark malty sweetness and a hint of licorice. The flavor is wonderful. Roasted coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malt, burnt marshmallow sweetness, licorice, molassas and a touch of chalkiness. All the flavors are well incorporated and the alcohol is well hidden, though it warms nicely as it settles in my stomach. Also, as this beer warms I realize just how bitter it is. Strangely, this bitterness is not overwhelming and works with, and not against the roastyness. The mouthfeel is also wondrous and is full, chewy and smooth. The finish is both sticky and slick at the same time, but just right for style. Very drinkable and just delicious. So far Alesmith is 2-2 and I will definitely be picking some of this up for friends to sample.

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Photo of Luk13
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle via trade with Blankboy. This beer is huge. Jet black pour with brown head. Aroma is super rich, coffee with also lots of licorice, molasses and also something vanilla about it too. Taste is just awesome rich coffee flavors, with some vanilla smoothness great bitter/sweet mix. Palate is perfectly creamy with just enough carbonation, one of the best I've had.

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Photo of flexabull
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ok, I have had this before, but it was a 4 year old bottle, this bottle is a fresh new arrival at my local store. Happy to see Alesmith again!

Pours a deep flat black color with a huge tan head. Looks wonderful.

Nose is of dark heavily roasted malts, a fresh cup of coffee, and some dark chocolate.

First sip, wow... This is full flavored! Lots of coffee, more so than a lot of coffee beers I have had before, but it's not overly strong. I taste what reminds me of those chocolate covered coffee beans, some dark sugar, cream, and some bitterness on the finish. No hints of heat from the alcohol at all.

Mouthfeel is quite good, this is a bit viscous, but not to thick. It's actually quite smooth too.

Overall, an outstanding beer. I think it's much better than the aged one I had a few years ago. I think this is a beer best consumed fresh. I'm impressed, but that is something that Alesmith does often to me while drinking their brews.

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Photo of Freethyhops
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750ml bottle split between two. served in my sweetwater pint.

Thanks Ryan011235 for the bottle

A- pours jet black with 1/2 finger of fluffy tan head. no light penetrating this one.

S- the aroma isn't the most overwhelming ever, but it has some very nice roasted/coffee notes. with some sweet cocoa floating in the backround. some molasses/licorice possibly in there as well.

T- the first sip is absolutely awesome. same as the aroma, the roasted malts/coffee flavors lead the charge but the chocolate is quite heavy as well. more bitter than your average stout, even a coffee stout. the aftertaste is pure espresso, making this one all around fantastic. The beer is very well balanced as well.

M/D- not the creamiest of Impy stouts but it's definitely not thin by any means. a nice subtle carbonation blends in perfectly with the beer. 12%??? this beer drinks as smooth as any imperial stout out there. with that extra couple percentage points it scores some points as a dangerously easy drinking stout.

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Photo of urwithdave
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml silver foiled wrapped bottle poured into a oversized wine glass. Big thanks to Gtreid for bringing this one over.

A- solid black. No light can pass through this thing. 1 1/2 of head. Pretty good retention and lacing.

S- roasted malts, chocolate, sweetness maybe molasses?? Not as much coffee smell as I wouldve expected, however, there is a hint of coffee beans.

T- FANTASTIC!!! Creamy chocolate. Roasted malts and a vanilla coffee blend that is just freaking awesome. I wouldve never guessed that the abv is so high because of the wonderful balance of all the flavors. They mask the alcohol and I barely know it's even there.

M- Simply perfect. This is one of the smoothest, creamiest stouts I have drank.
D- I wish I could have this brew everyday. I would drink this all night if I could. The only problem would be the high abv. I def will be seeking this one out again without a doubt.

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Photo of nycwinter
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750ml bottle and split between a pint glass and a chalice. I have been aging this bottle in the back of my pantry for 4 months, and couldn't wait any longer.

A= Black as night. Deep ruby red along the edges. Orange-brown thick foamy head. Pint glass had a three finger head, and the chalice had a four finger head. I don't know if that had to do with the order I poured them or not. The head slowly dissipated and became chunky and rocky. A thin orange blanket stuck around throughout the experience.

S= There's a great balance of aromas here. At first dried cherries and raisins hit the nose. A lot of earthy/mossy and espresso coffee notes fill nose when whiffed.

T= Strong bitter espresso hits the tongue initially. This is balanced by very tart dried fruits in the aftertaste. As it warms, you get mouthfuls of bittersweet chocolate. Very delightful.

M= Medium-heavy body. Coats and cools, yet the high ABV leaves your palate warm.

D= This one is a sipper. Savor it. It is excellent as soon as you pour it, but it gets even better as it warms. The high ABV it not for the faint at heart. I recommend sharing it with fellow advocate.

Side Note: I hope this doesn't negate my review...Try a splash of it over vanilla ice cream. Goodbye Hershey's syrup!

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The bottle I'm about to consume has been in my possession for about one year. The price tag is still attached to it: $8.99. I have a long trip ahead with a beer of this volume (750 ml) and strength (12% ABV). On to the beer:

Poured into a Delirium Tremens tulip, this beer is darker than black, the body being very thick, and an initial tan colored head on top, which fades to a lightly tinted cap. Some smoke in the nose, and a strong alcohol note. Molasses and chocolate makes a presence in the aroma as well.

Exceptionally smooth in the mouth, and viscous, but not too viscous. There's a little booze in the body, but not as boozy as the nose. Plenty of roasted coffee with a sweet touch of baker's chocolate. Like coffee liquer. Smoke and peat are mixed in.

Now it's becoming easier to drink. After a few ounces, this beer becomes easier to approach. The flavors meld together better, there's little interruption from the alcohol and coffee...this is becoming a favorite of mine. I can taste fudge brownies in here. Is this exceptional as far as drinkability goes, or merely very good?

Is it healthy to mix a high ABV stout with coffee? If it isn't, I'm in trouble, as it is one of my favorite kinds of beer, and this offering is one of the most accessable. Another world class offering from AleSmith, and the best beer I've had since....well, since I had Pliny the Younger 27 hours ago.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Pours an all-encompasing dark color. No light penetrates the edges of this brew. The darker tan head sits atop the brew and slowly fades. There is some lacing as well. Looks frightening.

S-Unbelievable dark roasty malted flavor. Big, big chocolate and coffee. Smells like a gigantic booze-coffee mutant. Alcohol is present but is not a detractor seeing as the beer is so big.

T-Super assertive. Quite like the nose with the roastiness, chocolate, coffee/espressso attack. The taste lingers and lingers forever. An absolute monster. Speedway Stout has one of the most in your face tastes I have come across. Tastes like Kahlua but way more awesome.

M-Sludgy and viscous. Light carbonation. Slick. Just how a big boy stout should feel.

D-Can't stop sipping. Especially at %12. I am shocked by its drinkability.

I find the Founders makes some hardcore stouts but this one plants itself right next to the top for me.

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Photo of Floydster
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pint at the Tap Room in Pacific Beach

I was stoked to find these for 4 bucks a pop, considering they are about 10 dollars for a 750ml bottle in the stores

This beer was pitch black with a thick tan head and was the best stout I have ever had

Too much flavor to even describe, the coffee bite really tops it off

If I was not so full from dinner, I probably could have drank more, will definitely be drinking more of these in the future

Great beer with a dessert

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Photo of rkuhnel
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I waited a long time to my lay a hand on this one and finally found in on a trip to So. California. This poured BLACK. Not dark brown but black with no light at all even on the edges and threw up a very fat tan head that lasted a long time. Nose is very powerful and of coffee and chocolate. Very thick mouthfeel. Flavor is rich roasted malts with the chocolate and coffee in abundance. Finish is dry and bitter. Simply amazing stuff. Maybe my best stout ever. I loved this stuff.

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Photo of everetends
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Review number 300 and I figured I would hit up the Speedway for this one. Been saving this one for a while and I have to thank Reino for sending me the bottle a while back. 750ml bottle served up in my Terrapin snifter. Lets get this party started.

A: This brew pours slowly and thick from the bottle. This beer is black, letting no light through and is completely opaque. A semi-vigorous pour yields a finger of thick, bubbly dark brown head that has some decent retention. Really tight bubbles on top that are really frothy. Lacing sticks to the glass very nicely. Very nice and the start I was looking for.

S: This one smells greatly of some nice, big time chocolate. So much chocolate in this nose. The coffee is there but does not over power the chocolate. The crazy thing is that you can actually get bit of the grain through the chocolate, coffee and nicely roasted malt characters. There is also a touch of bourbon coming out from the alcohol notes. Smells good.

T: Taste is awesome. The chocolate is rich and creamy, not unlike an awesome milkshake. Stupid rich. Coffee is nicely roasted with just a touch of bitterness that cuts the sweetness a touch. Roasted malts round off the heavy flavors with some sweet, roasted goodness. There is also a nuttiness that reminds me of some good hazelnut. Also a touch of nougat. This is stupid good.

M: This is a major, full bodied brew that means business. This beer is chewy and may be the thickest, creamiest beer I have ever enjoyed. Just an incredibly beautiful creaminess. Carbonation is light but there. Aftertastes are of some malt and coffee. ABV is present with a wonderful, slow warming from the stomach, but really no heat on the throat or palate. Amazing.

D: This beer is truly amazing. IMO, it lives up to the hype surrounding it and I can only imagine how good the barrel aged offerings are. This beer is just crazy in the flavor and feel categories and better than solid in every other category. Another amazing thing about this beer is how easy it is to drink for a 12% Imperial Stout. I will be enjoying the rest of this bottle with true gluttony and raise my glass to Reino for providing this gem.

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Photo of Beervis
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 750ml bottle a dark black with a very attractive thick, lasting tan head. In just the glass, this brew is amazing.

Smell is incredible, chocolate, caramel, and a boatload of coffee. Taste follows right along with chocolate and strong espresso up front, followed by a very creamy coffee taste, almost like a coffee with cream was poured into a strong stout. Full body with amazingly complex flavor notes. Hops are perfectly balanced, and a wonderful alcohol spice finishes it off perfectly. This beer is all about balance, and with every sip, I taste something new. As it warms, it's magical, every sip delving deeper into the already complex.

As for drinkability, I think that kinda goes without saying. I drank this bottle without any problem at all, and could have gone on to another, if not for the alcohol. It's more of a sipping beer, and one to savor.

Absolutely incredible!!

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.37 out of 5 based on 6,563 ratings.
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