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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
6,910 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:
1,717
Ratings:
6,910
pDev:
8.45%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
923
Gots:
2,199
Trade:
150
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 6,910 |  Reviews: 1,717
Photo of Mahlik
4.11/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml bottle into a tulip glass.

A - Poured a deep black color with it a beautiful 1.5" thick and frothy brown head. The head retention was great. When it did finally start to dissipate, it left behind good lacing. I also noticed some carbonation making its way up the glass.

S - The chocolate hit my nose first. It's followed by sweetness from the dark fruits and vanilla. Some roasted malts are mixed in too. I found the coffee aroma to be very subtle. I guess I was expecting more coffee on the nose. For 12% abv, I really couldn't sense the alcohol's presence. The aroma is overall pleasant but nothing complex.

T - The coffee comes through more in the taste. Still, I feel the chocolate notes come out more here. I get dark chocolate up front with some bittersweet chocolate on the back side. I was a bit surprise by the bitterness of these beer. The alcohol makes its presence know but it's not overbearing.

M - This beer is very smooth and drinkable. I would never guess this beer is 12% abv. This is a full-bodied beer with a slightly creamy feel and solid carbonation. The booziness adds warmth to the overall taste/mouthfell.

O - I would have probably enjoyed this beer more if I hadn't hear so much hype about this beer. However, I'm glad I was able to find this beer at a local bottle shop. This is a great imperial stout. It's incredibly smooth for the style/ABV and I really enjoyed the chocolate notes in the taste. I just wish the smell and taste was a bit more complex.

 1,505 characters

Photo of claspada
4.11/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle I purchased around a year ago. Let's see how it's held up.

Pours midnight black with no escaping light, little-to-zero head. I tried to arouse some via a quaff with no success; small soapy cap with light spotty lacing. I question the quality of this immediately because this is really still for a non-barrel aged beer.

Aromas begin with very rich and full of roasted malts and baker's cocoa. As it warms the strong ground coffee notes intensify and become dominant. Really smells like a nice freshly brewed cup of black iced coffee.

The tastes begin with dark roasted maltiness coupled with full flavors of dark chocolate. Lightly bitter coffee mixed with black strap molasses and even more robust coffee. Flavors never reach dark espresso levels of darker coffee which I really enjoy. A flickering of sweet dark caramel in amongst the heavier flavors. Not a drop of alcohol is detectable which is stupid considering this is 12% ABV.

Mouthfeel is medium to heavy bodied with way lower than I expected carbonation, which I usually dislike, but works with the overall big body and coffee flavor profile. Finish is fairly dry and roasty thanks to the coffee additions, but still definitely full and slick on the palate and lingers thanks to the massive flavor profile. Once again I question the quality of this particular bottle because this is really still for a non-barrel aged beer, luckily it doesnt detract from the taste.

Overall, this is the definition of how a coffee beer should be made. No other coffee beers rival this... period! You can really taste how the recipe for this beer was tweaked numerous times (back when it was being formulated) to create this well made beast of a stout brewed with coffee. Not a beer just blended with coffee, but a highly crafted example of amazing American craft brewing ingenuity. A must try for any fan of coffee beers or Imperial Stouts.

 1,895 characters

Photo of DrinkThemAll
4.11/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of TMoney2591
4.11/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Honestly, this is how imperial stouts ought to look following a pour: damn jet black with a healthy finger of tan bubbly head that does not malinger. A decent amount of lacing is left behind. The nose drops off a bit, being dominated by coffee and chocolate, though some dark malts and some kind of wood are also detectable. The tongue finds itself agreeing heartily with the nose, as coffee and bitter dark chocolate spark off the proceedings here. Again, some dark malts and a vague woodiness are also there, but the coffee and chocolate are the real stories here. Not that all of this is necessarily bad, but not very complex at all and, as things progress, somewhat boring. But still pretty tasty nonetheless. Ironically (maybe), it's complicated. The body is rightfully heavy, with a light smattering of carbonation and an extremely smooth feel. Overall, for such a husky little man, the drinkability is relatively high, but he's just not as impressive as others have made out. Again, tasty nonetheless; it's complicated...

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Photo of sitarist
4.11/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a deep, all most black color. One finger of a caramel colored head falls to a ring. Pretty heavy amount of lacing.

S- The smell is very complex with chocolate and coffee leading the way, along with hints of fruit, and whoppers, but there is a liquid smoke scent that doesn't belong.

T- Nothing wrong with the taste. There is a lot of chocolate(both sweet and bittersweet), malt balls, and coffee. Almost taste like a mocha. The smokiness from the nose does not come into play with the taste.

M- Medium body, sticky, with light carbonation. The mouthfeel and flavors go well together.

D- Who cares if this is 12% alcohol? Pour me another!

Notes- Other than the smokey scent; I cant think of anything bad about this beer.

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Photo of ccg
4.11/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Typical oily, jet black look of a big stout. Got over an inch of tan-colored head when poured into a snifter. Large bubbles in the foam, not quite as dense as the foam on something like To Øl's Goliat. Above-average retention and lacing for a stout.
You can smell the coffee, but it's not dominant or bitter. Definitely also getting chocolate notes and something earthy or almost piney, probably the hops.
I can taste coffee, malt, and hops, but all well balanced. Slight smokiness too. The first few sips had a bitter, metallic finish, but as it warmed, that completely smoothed out. I think next time I'll have this one almost at room temperature.
Overall, one of the top non-barrel-aged coffee stouts I've had. Update: as it warms to room temperature, it definitely has more malty sweetness but without overwhelming the coffee character. Quite nice.

 853 characters

Photo of stephens101
4.11/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Near impenetrable blackness fills the glass and rests foreboding beneath a thick and bubbly dark tan head. Retention is excellent, and takes a good two to three minutes to retreat into a nice-sized layer above the brew. A thick, sightly broken lace rings the glass. Aroma consists of sweet malts, burnt oak, earthy hops, black licorice, roasted almonds and toffee, all of which are in near perfect harmony. Taste is sweet and a little vinegary up front, but a huge hit of hops, more roasted nuts and coffee swoop in quickly, adding an almost intimidating boldness to the overall taste. Behind all of that is a welcomed layer of alcohol heat mixed in with some dark chocolates. A good amount of carbonation keeps the brew from being too heavy going down. Mouth-feel is medium-to full bodied and isn't as creamy as expected. Not for the faint of heart.

 850 characters

Photo of BigPlay1824
4.11/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in a snifter

A: pours a deep deep black that is impenetrable, pours with two fingers of fine milk chocolate head that lingers a bit and leaves a nice amount of very thin lacing
S: coffee, dark chcolate and slight berry scent
T: deep and intense coffee and chcolate malts, very smooth and tastey
M: pretty thick, smooth and creamy, leaves the mouth feeling like its got some thick chocolate on it
O: loved it

 417 characters

Photo of Eddiehop
4.11/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of tewaris
4.11/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown and clear, viscous looking but not the thickest, Speedway poured with a medium dark brown head that fell to a ring and a disjoint sheet of tiny foam soon enough. Some lacing. Good enough for a 12% ABV Imperial Stout.

Aroma: Coffee, alcohol, and sweetness that could be from alcohol, but most probably comes from sweet malts. No hint of roast; and overwhelming booziness --- limited in merit and complexity.

Taste is smooth, bitter and flavorful with coffee. Ample amount of sweetness from rich malts and alcohol. Finishes with unexpected strength of roast and a kiss of alcohol with lingering coffee aftertaste. Feels silky with low carbonation against its body but is still not as coating; however, the finish is fairly clean too so no problems here.

Overall rather one dimensional but quite potent and well done.

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Photo of mrandypandy
4.11/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle brought back by a co-worker from his trip to California. Thanks Miles!

A- Like pretty much all stouts it pours jet-black with some nice ruby hues at the edges. Pretty clean and clear for an Imperial Stout. Soapy tan head fades farely quickly and leaves little lacing. Better head would have pushed this one up to a 5.
S- Not a lot going on. Some subtle dark fruits (raisins), coffee, malty sweetness. Maybe I'll get more as the beer warms.
T- Pretty tasty. A nice burnt roasted malt character to compliment coffee grounds and faint lactose sweetness. Alcohol is well hidden.
M - Thick, creamy, luscious. Very smooth. It's not bitter or harsh or prickly. Couldn't ask for more.
D- For a 12% Imperial Stout this was really drinkable. The alcohol (and lack of food) caught up to me at the end of the bottle, but I'll take more any day.

Overall - An imperial stout that certainly lives up to it's accolades. Nice subdued cofee tones with all the standard impy stout qualities. Considering the price, this is probably the best bang-for-your-buck stout that can be easily obtained and doesn't require a 2+ hour wait in a line. Well done.

 1,147 characters

Photo of zizouandyuki
4.11/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of cjgiant
4.11/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle:
The pour looks awesome. Color is pretty much black - can't see much light even through the edges. The tan head builds and sticks around. Lacing is pretty significant.

The nose is deep roasted notes, and most predominantly coffee, which is not a surprise given it is brewed with coffee. It's fairly straightforward with very little other scents punching through the roasted/coffee curtain.

The taste starts like the nose, by hitting you smack up front with dark roasted coffee. The other thing it hits with, however, is the burn of alcohol. In its straightforward nature, it is in line with what I expect in a highly rated coffee stout, as we tend to like bold flavors here. Letting the beer warm a bit smooths the edges some, but the main taste continues to be dark, mildly astringent coffee. The edges start to add in some milk-chocolate cocoa, but the coffee and alcohol erase these notes before mid-taste.

Especially early, this beer is a little rough on the tongue with alcohol (and some carbonation early, which fades before I finish the glass). The suggested temp is towards the higher end at 50-55, and by the time the beer smooths out considerably, it seems almost room temp (emphasis on seems).

So, this beer more or less delivers on its promise. It has bold flavors that are in line with what a coffee stout should probably be. The feel gets better and better with warmth, but never loses its alcohol/astringent bite.

 1,444 characters

Photo of boatshoes
4.12/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, to finish off the evening during a recent trip to Brews Cafe in Granville, my friend ordered up a bottle of Speedway Stout (love that Alesmith is distributed to Ohio). Not my first experience with the beer but my first review.

Appearance- Pours the usual motor oil black out of the bottle with about a half finger of dark brown head made up of very large bubbles. Head dies back to a thin sheet across the top of the beer with little to no lacing present.

Smell- Wow, a whole lot of burnt French roast coffee going on here. Rich roasted malts as well but really dominated by the coffee. Just a touch of chocolate as well. Liking this nose a lot for a coffee stout.

Taste- Really dominated by the coffee. Very rich roastiness but lots and lots of dark roast coffee in there as well. Coffee lends a bit of astringency that drys out the mouth and heightens the bitter bite that finishes off the sip. Not really any of the chocolate that I thought I picked up on the nose. A touch one-dimensional on the coffee but very good.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel is good especially given that it would seem easy to come across thin in a beer with the level of coffee flavor included in this one. Remains adequately rich and thick. Drinkability is pretty good as well for the ABV, lots of bold flavors to keep you interested if coffee stouts are your thing.

Overall, a very good coffee imperial stout. I need to review more coffee stouts but this gives me a good standard to judge against.

 1,492 characters

Photo of BdM
4.12/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Donerik
4.12/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle, Consumed on the night before dark lord day.

My Palate was clear, but I'd been cooking so....

A: black, average RIS look. Nothing Suprising here. Dark foam stuck around in my snifter a bit before disapearing.

S: Good, Malty, Coffee, Smelling this beer was the highlight for me, the anticipation was quite high for a brew of this reputation

T: Coffee, Chocolate, Nothing....This was a great beer, well crafted but when something is rated #20 I expected more.

The Beer has a coffee essence that when combined with the very bitter dark chocolate has a bittering effect that keeps the malts in check. It's not too bitter, it's not too sweet, it just is. and that is was good for a 4.0

M: the carb was high than some less than many other styles.

D: I enjoyed my glass but I was ready to move on after having it. I could have had more, it wasn't too boozy, or to heavy, it was right about a 4.0 I'll drink my other bottle with friends at some point; gladly.

 966 characters

Photo of silenius
4.12/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I drank this while watching the Indy 500.

Drewbage gave me this a couple months ago.

It pours an impenetrable brown black with really no head to speak of. Yes, there was some carbonation, but not much. Looked like used motor oil.

Smell. How interesting. Espressso, raisins, and dark chocolate with a definite alcohol scent. Interesting. This beer is strong.

The taste doesn't end with this one. I keep tasting it minutes after taking a sip. It is a bit sharp. The taste is continuously the same. A blender mix of dark chocolate, dark cherries, raisins, old coffee and alcohol.

Mouthfeel is sharp and slick. Not as syrupy as I thought it would be.

This got me drunk faster than I would have liked. A treat every once in a while, but not something that I would go for again and again.

 801 characters

Photo of avalon07
4.12/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a black color and a thick consistency. There was an inch and a half of foamy, tan-colored, long-lasting head. Great lacing.

S: A nice aroma of coffee, malt, dark fruit, and something sugary.

T: Tasted of a good amount of chocolate, some coffee (though not as much as I expected), toffee, vanilla, and roasted malt. A nicely complex flavor that has quite a bit of chocolate in it. It's not quite as powerful or forceful as I would have thought, but it's still very tasty.

F: A good amount of carbonation with a silky smooth finish. Medium- to full-bodied.

O: While this beer didn't quite live up to the hype for me, it's still an excellent stout. Very much drinkable.

 715 characters

Photo of Thefrap
4.12/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of bamadog
4.12/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a couple of pint glasses.

Appearance: Poured black and thick, but not especially viscous like some other double stouts; 1 finger head that was deep tan and had really solid retention - eventually faded to a fairly thick skim that looked chewy; on the swirl, a sticky, oily foam sticks to the side.

Smell: Rich and chocolatey is very dominant and and smacks me in the nose upon opening the bottle, perhaps mocha; a roasty coffee smell is certainly present but wow, the choclate is really what strikes me.

Taste: Does not really match up with the smell at all - I thought the chocolate would be much more present in the taste but it was more subdued. I feel the most apparent presence to the flavor was the alcohol, but it wasn't especially overpowering so just a nice touch (more on that with the mouthfeel as well). There is a nice bitter to it, likely from the amount of coffee used in the brewing process, but also from the hop presence; some type of a mildly chocolate coated deep sweet fruit is in there as well, perhaps a date of prune, but this is only there on certain sips, so it's not overly present. There is also a bit of a metallic mineral in the aftertaste, I can't put my finger on it but Kels says iron, so I'll buy that.

Mouthfeel: A bit of a let down here, I thought it would be thicker than it was but really I found the body to be a little watery and thin; the presence of the alcohol really warms the the mouth, throat and stomach and this is pleasant enough; the mouth dries quickly as well from the alcohol but there's enough left behind to leave the mouth with a thin sticky coating.

Drinkability: Moderate for a heavier beer with a 12% ABV - I'm glad I split the bomber because it would have wrecked me to try to finish it myself. I enjoyed it, but think it might be a littler over-rated in the grand scheme of things. In terms of similar beers, I don't think I would put it quite in the same class as FBS.

 1,961 characters

Photo of srandycarter
4.12/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Black - not much on top at all. No head, no lace, to speak of.

S - Cup of friggin Joe! Huge coffee aspcect, burnt malt present.

T - Coffee times three, vanilla, bitter chocolate.

M - For such a harsh flavor balance nicely done. Good carb.

D - Palate killer.

 265 characters

Photo of BubbleBobble
4.12/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of srhoadsy
4.12/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured slightly chilled into a pint glass.

Pours an extremely dark brown bordering on black. An inch of brown foamy head that recedes and clings to glass.

Rich aromas of coffee, dried fruits and chocolate.

Flavors follow through from the aroma with a touch of dark coffee bitternes.

Mouthfeel is expectedly rich and creamy with mild carbonation. Some alcohol presence but not overpowering.

Overall an excellent example of the style. Would love to try some of the other versions.

 483 characters

Photo of geneseohawk
4.12/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of toronadotornado
4.12/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Room Service - San Francisco, CA - 22 oz. bomber poured into a pint

67 characters

AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.38 out of 5 with 6,910 ratings
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