AleSmith Speedway Stout | AleSmith Brewing Company

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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
Reviews:
1,669
Ratings:
6,727
Avg:
4.37
pDev:
8.47%
 
 
Wants:
912
Gots:
2,172
For Trade:
153
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,669 | Ratings: 6,727
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 dukedevil0
4.65/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked up a 750mL bottle from Jungle Jims in Fairfield, OH.

A: Pours a dark black color with khaki head, attractive lacing on the glass

S: coffee is the dominant smell with some roasted malts and chocolate scents too

T: similar to the smell; coffee is the dominant flavor, but not overpowering with some chocolate and roast, with a slight bit of alcohol in there too.

M: creamy and very full bodied, but it doesn't feel "thick"...great mouthfeel

D: probably the most drinkable coffee flavored stout i've ever drank

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.03/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brought this bottle back from Portland, OR in my suitcase...

Pours with a tan head the builds from within... Excellent retention...

Light coffee aroma, some black licorice.. roasty

Coffee, tobacco, black licorice and deep dark roasted malts.. One that gets much better as it warms. We opened the bottle at about 42-44 degrees. Was definitely better after a bit. Tastes like a nice creamy iced coffee. Just the right hint of sweetness.

Very slight carbonation and almost a deep rich mouth feel Certainly big bodied.

Wonderfully drinkable and hides the 12% ABV very well. A treat...

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Photo of JonathanL7890
4.6/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Nov 2007, Thanks Miguel!
Poured kind of cold into my New Belgium snifter.
No apparent head. Just a small ring of foam around the perimeter of the glass.
Smell was of chocolate , coffee. I sat enjoying the aroma until the beer warmed up to a suitable temperature, i.e. it didn't give my fingers frostbite.
Taste: Strong coffee taste, lots of roastiness.
Kind of sweet. It tastes just like an iced coffee that you would get at Starbucks.
As the beer warms there's more complexity coming out. I get some dried fruit, fig, raisins, etc. No alcohol burn 12% you say? Hah!
Mouthfeel: spot on for a stout. Not as thick as one would expect, despite there being quite a bit of sludge at the bottom of the bottle.
Drinkability: Yes it is. Very drinkable. I would be able to put a bottle of this away by myself, although it would take an entire evening.

One of the best stouts out there and aging it fo r a year or two definitely helps.

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Photo of slayer3604
4.26/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Incredably dark with a massive nesquick colored head, and some burnt bubbles on top. smells like strait up caramel mocha and tastes like the second runnings of coffe rinds! would have liked less coffe in this mother, but who am i to judge, i cant make beer like this!

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Photo of dotsonjamesg
4.58/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a chilled 9 oz goblet

A: Black, very black; jet black x10. The brew poured with a rich, thick mousy head that looks amazing.

S: Smell is rich of coffee, currants, dark chocolate, raisins with hints of vanilla and alcohol.

T: Rich and very sweet with coffee and currants with a flavor that lingers for hours after your done drinking it. The flavor is also heavy on the alcohol but is balanced with the sweetness of the brew.

M: Thick and syrupy but so incredible declicous. I simply cannot get past the amazing flavor of this brew, it is just beyond incredible. I could bottle after bottle.

D: So delicious, it might just make you want to get a small militia together and raid the brewery and hold the brewers hostage. Its so awesome!

By far, the one of the greatest beer I have ever had in my life to this point. I cry thinking about how good this beer was. Words cannot fathom the complexity and deliciousness of this hefty and mighty brew. This beer will make you believe in god.
Enjoy it as much as I did. Cheers!

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Photo of raoulduke37
4.65/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Being a Californian, I thought I'd be able to get this easily, but that hasn't been the case. I've been looking forward to trying this one for a long time now. It is no disappointment.

A - Turbid black, giving no secrets out - like a black hole sucking in all light, planets, dark matter, etc. Head is very fluffy, tan, with large bubbles, and good retention. Lacing is mighty and attractive.

S - Up front phenols, with brownies, chocolate-covered espresso beans, and raisins.

T - Definitely the highlight here. Starts out tasting like raspberries and chambord, Turkish coffee, dark chocolate. Oh man, this is the stuff dreams are made of, gents. More chocolatey than a chocolate stout.

M - Velvety, creamy, nice and thick and chewy on the way in and down. Foam is like some kind of divine cotton candy.

D - High abv, but almost undetectable. Hides it very well, unlike other stouts I've tried with high abv's. This is a fantastic beer, and I've got it available for trade!

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2005 bottle at 52 degrees.

Pours opaque black with barely a whisp of brown head. Dotted lacework throughout the glass but little more than a few smears of foam on the surface of the brew.

Aromatics lead off with brownie batter, dark chocolate, espresso, and fudge chunks. Kahlua, boozy alcohol, and charred malt follows through.

Full bodied with a chewy, sustaining mouthfeel. Creamy with a drying bitterness.

Black forest cake batter, chocolate fudge, booze-spiked espresso, and bakers chocolate start the palate. Blackened barley, coffee grounds, and charred embers follow through.

Finishes with lingering char, bitter chocolate, Kona roast, and warming booze.

The carbonation was a bit low, and the appearance was lackluster. All other aspects are pretty kickass, except for the bitter charred finish which a bit overdone.
I really was expecting something more complex for such a big beer after five years in the cellar.

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Photo of markwise
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is one beer that deserves every bit of hype. Absolutely phenomenal. Pours jet black with a huge tan head. It laces like a beast. Nose is dark chocolate, coffee, licorice, spice, and roasted malt. Flavor is a veritable dervish of flavors all dancing to the front and then receding to the background. Coffee, roasted malt, chocolate, vanilla, and a velvety smoothness that just slides down the palate. Incredible: smooth, toasty, and full of yellow lace. Amazing depth and character.

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Photo of Buebie
3.62/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle courtasy of stubone.

Poured from a 750ml bottle into an oversized snifter. Neck is wrapped in a silver like tin. No freshness date on the bottle. I've had it in my possesion in the cellar for 3 months.
Served at 45 degrees.

This bad boy is pitch black, off a semi rigerous pour I get a gynormous 3 finger brown head. As it settles it leaves many rings behind, almost looks like the trunk of the tree with growth rings.
Settling finally to a thin brown cap.
Lace is quite tacky and long lasting leaving many lines and a spiderweb like pattern.

Aroma is super chocolaty, with cocoa powder, dense moist sweet chocolate cake like aroma. Its got a nice yeasty chocolate bread aroma, super delicious in the aroma department. Just a hint of alcahol warmth, which is quite humbled for a 12% beer.

This is slick upfront with a heavy cream mouthfeel and greasy like slickness across the toungue. Carbonation all through, with a bit more carbonation then I'd expect with such a heavy thick beer.
Its a bit warm and boozy especially after the swallow, gradually heating up into the linger to an un welcome amount of solvent like lingering flavors.
It starts out sweet though with a bit of a metallic tinge. Lots of cocoa powder like flavor and a touch of somthing aspirin like.
A good amount of grains in there, its quite malty. Alot of hop character left into the swallow and linger with grassy pine hop flavors. I'm kinda glad I didnt age this any longer to get the hop flavors. Although I wish I had to smooth out the hot boozyness.

This is a solid RIS and has alot going for it. Although my dislikes out weigh my likes. I dislike the solvent alcahol and hotness in the mouth, the higher amount of carbonation and the abv was too much to handle this one on my own. We dont need that much alcahol if its going to be so hot.

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Photo of raninator84
4.73/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into a chalice.

Poured thick black with small head, color is black as oil. Smell is a double shot of coffee oozing from every corner, then hints of chocolate, grapes, malt, and a prevalent kick of alcohol. Tastes hit you with an impressive blend of strong coffee and hints of chocolate and fruit finishing with a pleasant bitterness and sweetness. Just an amazing imperial stout. Well blended, but strong stuff. Drinkability may be a little strong for some but for those in need of a well made stout, step on up, there goin' fast.

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Photo of sonicdescent
4.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thank you stfun37 for yet another winner.

Pours a very dark and opaque red/brown, nearly black. Head is tan and frothy leaving a wonderful lacing around the outside of the glass.

The scent caught me off guard, actually has a scent that I associate with belgians, very fruity at first. Chocolate and roasted coffee is definitely present as well, but more relegated to the background that I had expected, not that that is a negative. No trace of alcohol.

Taste is extremely complex, there's some dark fruit, intense roasted malts, chocolate, all backed by a very strong coffee taste that lasts well after the drink. Very tasty and amazingly smooth.

Body is thick, viscous and mouth coating, almost chewy. Carbonation is low. Perfect.

Drinkability you ask? Yet another one I wish we could get here, I'll have no trouble finishing this bottle.

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Photo of SykDoc
4.03/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at a local stout event that was put on by brdc and company. Much appreciated.

Poured from a blinded (and revealed after rating) bottle into a flute. It pours a thick deep brown that is opaque when held to the light, except at the edges. A persistent tan colored head from that overall is lattice-like.

The aroma was subtle to me but quite complex if you spent the time to sniff. It had notes of roasty oak and dark cherries. Smaller notes of coffee and is fairly sweet.

The taste is also complex with a significant amount of sweetness that seems to come from that same dark cherry component. The oak is definitely present, as is an earthy tone. The chocolate and alcohol tastes are also present.

The mouthfeel seemed medium bodied to me, perhaps because of all the stouts we were sampling. It was sticky and thick with a nice level of carbonation.

Overall, I thought this was a good beer for the style. It was not the best stout of the night but it is hard to compare when it is going against Dark Lord and others. Overall, a very good beer and I will continue to keep my eyes open for more.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.97/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle tried 25 Oct 2008.

Poured in a 0.4 L snifter. Small dark brown head. Medium carbonation. Opaque pitch black color. Smells quite roasty, molasses, coffee, dried prunes, ethanol. Starts with sweet chocolate and ethanol, cinnamon, clove. Chocolate and coffee throughout. Finishes roasty and warming. Medium body. Almost milky mouthfeel.

Would get this again.

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Photo of TonyBrew
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A friend of mine was holding onto this bottle for a little while and it was beautiful. A thick dark appearance with a great chocolaty aroma. The taste, well - creamy goodness. I only wish it was the first beer of the night instead of the last (third) so my sense of smeall and taste were a bit more refreshed. I highly recommend this to anyone who likes American Stouts!

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Photo of LilMatrix
3.9/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours out black and viscous as hell, motor oil. Beautiful finger of dark tan head.

S - Dark roasted coffee, bitter chocolate, slight alcohol.

T - A wonderful example of an imperial stout. Not as much of a coffee profile as expected, pleasant dark roasted malt sweetness. Finishes very clean and very warming.

M - Creamy, thick and chewy, very heavy bodied.

D - A slightly boozy imperial stout however pretty drinkable for such a high ABV. Definitely a sipper that gets exponentially better as it warms. A very solid beer for the style.

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Photo of natasharai
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass with 3cm dark tan creamy head. The beer is black in color, no light can pass through this stuff! Good head retention, stayed until almost finished with the glass, and nice thick lacing down the glass.

Smell: Very roasty like a roasted marshmallow, very sweet up front with a slight bitterness at the end.

Taste: A lot of roasty malts up front. Followed by a stronger bitter flavor than expected, like a dark chocolate or coffee bitterness. Almost no taste of alcohol. Leaves my mouth with a nice subtle bitter taste.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy bodied, little carbonation, small hop bite. Nice balance of creamy texture and bitter bite.

Overall: The taste was not bad, could barley notice any alcohol considering the ABV. I couldn't detect any fruity taste which I do enjoy in imperial stouts... so that was slightly disappointing. Otherwise I really enjoyed the mouthfeel and appearance.

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Photo of br3wmeister
4.62/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Beautiful brown one inch and a half inch head that sticks to everything. Looks like mountains and valleys as the head drops and clumps together. The beer is pitch black, no light can make its way through it. Awesome head retention and great lacing.

S- The first thing I can detect in this beer is dark chocolate and heavily roasted barley. Some coffee aromas sneak through then a little citrus hoppyness and hints of plum and other dark fruits.

T- Waves of flavor come through on this beer, it starts our kinda bitter but then there is some malty and dark chocolate sweetness. Once again it returns to a bitter piny flavor and then drops into a deep rich fruity sweetness, lots of raisins and plum. Some hints of coffee throughout this flavorful ride also some alcohol warmth towards the end.

M- This is a thick, mouth coating beer with some hoppy bite and nice carbonation. The flavors hold onto the taste buds for quite some time.

Overall- This is a very good complex beer, I loved all the flavors and aromas it has going on. I did not realize it was 12% ABV, the alcohol does not make a big presence so it is very drinkable for such a big beer. I do recommend sharing this with a friend though.

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Photo of AdmiralDiaz
4.67/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber to pint glass. Thanks to Br3wmeister for sharing this one and LilMatrix for hookin him up with it!

A: Pours almost black with a beautiful light brown two-finger head that becomes full of craters. The body can't be seen through at all. The head retains pretty well and leaves a bit of thick, spotty lacing.

S: Very sweet scented, smells of fairly strong bittersweet chocolate and strong roasted malts, dark fruit, possibly figs and cherries. It's pretty complex but you're able to pick up all of whats going on.

T: Bitter chocolate and malts hit upfront and the chocolate quickly becomes sweet, followed by dark fruit (figs, prunes) turning into a semi-bitter coffee finish that leaves a strong coffee and chocolate aftertaste. Hops are apparent at the front and back of the palate. Pretty complex overall, which is something I love to see in this style. Alcohol becomes apparent after it becomes room temperature but I never would have guessed 12% abv, I didn't look at the bottle and my guess was about 9%.

M: Fairly carbonated especially for the style, It's pretty thick though and very smooth.

Overall: Amazing! I'm very happy that this didn't dissipoint me at all, I'm always afraid when I try a beer thats in the top 30. Very drinkable and absolutely delicious! Get this by any means you can.

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Photo of beachbum1975
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Newtonty decided to bring this one to the LOST season 5 premiere. Thanks, bud. I've had this one before, but never reviewed it. No freshness date on this bottle.

What you'd expect to see in a double stout - super dark brown with a tan, creamy ½ inch head. Good head retention leaves a delicate glazing of bubbles on the surface and a small halo edge around the edges of my wine glass.

The nose consists of sweet decadence... Smells include Hershey's chocolate syrup and vanilla bean right off the top with a mix of dark chocolate, cream, nougat, caramel and a hint of coffee grounds.

Medium to full bodied with BIG, rich and full flavor. Starts with a wave of deliciously fresh coffee and dark chocolate that's almost bitter. The remaining flavors dictate the nose... Rich, smooth and complex. Perfect amount of carbonation and creaminess. Finishes with just the right amount of light dryness and bitterness.

Fine example of an imperial stout - sublime. Highly recommended. I can't wait for Newtonty to open his Barrel Aged Speedway now...

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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 ryrust5301
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Stop, take a picture, and just take it in. This is easily a perfect score in this category. A midnight black looking abyss of a beer. A coco powder brown head of a gentle 1/4 inch in thickness adorns the top. Bubbles are some of the smallest I have seen. They are no bigger than the tip of a pin, and number in the millions, creating an intricate ocean of lacing around the glass.

Smell - Huge nose, almost gonzo sized. Bitter with coffee notes, but just as sweet with chocolate flavor. A roasty warm alcochol is just what I was looking for on this bitterly cold winter night.

Taste & Mouthfeel - This is one big ass SOBitching beer. As deep as the ocean and with more flavor than a box of jelly bellies. Where to begin? The mouthfeel is so full and rich, that its awash in coffee and chocolate. I've never had a stout that balances the two so well, while blasting your taste buds with each one. This is a titanic stout, and one that I can't rave enough about. The way they blend the powerhouse flavors is surreal. A coffee bomb and a chocolate explosion fighting for dominance in such a beautiful way. The mouthfeel is just as big as the taste, simply incredible. Smooth and creamy all the way down the throat. The most mind boggling thing is that you know this beer packs a roundhouse of a punch in the alcohol category, but it's so well disguised it's disgusting.

Drinkability - Alesmith only brews top notch beer, but this is their opus. The crowning jewel in the empire is so breathtaking that I will kneel down and pray towards San Diego at sun up and sun down everyday. I just need to get my hands on a barrell aged speedway to find anything that could ever top this.

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Photo of hwwty4
4.23/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to several BA's for helping me to acquire a couple of these bottles.

Poured a 750ml bottle into my Tripel Karmeliet tulip. Speedway Stout pours a viscous India ink black with a huge dark beige head that left some serious legs when swirled around my tulip. The Aroma is a trifecta of smells. Huge notes of dark roasted malts, combined with strongly roasted espresso beans, and dark chocolate nibs. The flavor really follows suit with heavily roasted malts being the major flavor with bitter chocolate and some seriously cold pressed espresso beans. Also there are hints of vanilla and just a subtle booziness to it. Nothing over the top but all blended very well together. The mouthfeel is velvety smooth. Just like licking a 70's velvet of Elvis. Amazing. This is just the second beer I've had from Alesmith and they both lived up to their reputation.

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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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Photo of charlesw
4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice opaque black. No head. Consequently tiny aroma. Bummer on both counts.
But, golly, this tastes good. Like, well, like an imperial porter should. Sure, it's sweet, but there are other things going on to help balance that out (and it ain' carbonation). Chocolate milk made with that bitter Mexican chocolate powder. Some coffee. Butterscotch all over the middle of the mouth as you swallow. Then, immediately, a quick burst of light citrus all over the whole mouth. Lingering dark chocolates. Whoa.
The wife loves it but then, well, she is a big dark chocolate fan. Ha.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.37 out of 5 based on 6,727 ratings.
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