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: 1,660 | Ratings: 6,681
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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Photo of HalfFull
3.92/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Stop 2 on my Big Stout Hunt, following The Abyss. Poured on tap into a pint glass, Speedway flows a rich black with a thin tan head. Head doesn't linger too long and offers little lacing on the glass.

Smell is pretty robust with hops, chocolate, carob, coffee and vanilla. A bit smoky at times, yet always interesting.

Flavor is of rich roasted malts and coffee, bit of chocolate. Somewhat complex yet not overly exciting. Feel is decent but one-sided. Lots of coffee on the finish and a good light carbonation, perhaps too light towards the end yielding a somewhat viscous feel. Drink is good as the alcohol isn't too obvious. A bit present on the nose but otherwise hidden well.

In the end, two big stouts and nobody really wins.

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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 swizzlenuts
3.84/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A:Black with a tan head about cm in height. Good retention.

S: Fruity molassesy smell that is quite fruity. Not exactly what I'd expect for a Imperial Stout

T: Dark chocolates, roasted malts, and a coffee bitterness at the end. Fusel alcohol at th eend, which is expected. God but not bang in the flavours.

M: Thick as fuck! Almost perfect.

D: Decently drinkable.

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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 JEdmund
4.6/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours out thick and black, with only a small tan head forming; film resides throughout

Robust coffee and dark fruit

Maybe my favorite RIS from the get-go. LOVE the coffee component of this beer as it really shines and tastes great. It absolutely adds to the profile. Next comes some chocolate syrup-like flavors that wrap around all that coffee and bitter hops to help balance it all out--yum! Some heat in the finish, but it's not overwhelming. Extremely drinkable for such a big beer.

Luscious body; tight carbonation (much like Old Rasputin) yields a wonderful airy and silky texture; so smooth while still being full.

Wonderfully complex, balanced, and flavorful. I had no trouble drinking this big bottle all by myself. This lives up to the hype!

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Photo of gameface23
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pitch black with a dark, small head. The smell was of sweet coffee, dark chocolate. It had a "thick" smell. The taste was very well balanced. Sweet, yet a strong coffee presence to round it out. Very thick & syrupy mouthfeel. The drinkability was pretty damn good considering it was 12% and thick as almost anything I've ever had. Great beer!

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

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

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Photo of sprucetip
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 into snifters.

Pours black as night with enormous mocha head that lasts and lasts and lasts and leaves thick heavy lacing.

Nose is bitter chocolate, coffee, roasted malt and malty sweetness. Aroma is persistent and booze hidden. Yum!

Bitter chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, and malty sweetness, with just a faint hint of the heavy booze in the middle. Very smooth and balanced. Mild roasted grain bitterness in the finish.

Perfectly restrained carbonation an fiz, tick, creamy, full bodied, rich. Clean finish with mildly bitter finish.

Absolutely delicioius! Savor, share and sip because it is such a special treat, not because it is too aggressive or overwhelming. It's not. Who would ever guess the 12%abv? I wouldn't. I could drink this indefinitely, if it wouldn't make me fall over. Delightful.

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

Reviewed on 9/2/08. Bottle thanks to iowaherkeye (thanks Joey!). Pours black with a thick dark tan head. Aroma is quite awesome--coffee, chalky bitter chocolate, nice roasted malt. Flavor is a little boozy, some sweet roasted malt, coffee but not too much (compared to other coffee impys), biting carbonation. Very thick, yet smooth. Quite enjoyable, although not the best of its style, in my opinion.
9/4/8/4/16 (4.1/5)

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.37 out of 5 based on 6,681 ratings.
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