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: 1,669 | Ratings: 6,728
Photo of hreb
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle poured into an Ommegang bulging flute glass. Beer pours deep, rich brown, but becomes an opaque black form in the glass, yielding a much lighter chestnut-brown foam. Very sexy. Aroma is of deep, roasted nuts, toast, and coffee. Caramel.

First sip is big and rich, and slightly sweet. The flavor is dominating, but I don't get a heavy or creamy feeling, more syrupy. The carbonation is just right. The beer is bitter and sweet, like good coffee.

The aftertaste is on the bitter side, and reveals just enough heat to get a hint of the ridiculous strength of this beer: 12%. Heady. As the glass warms it only gets sweeter: Bright and grapey, like a barleywine.

This particular bottle sat in my fridge for around 6 months, but there's no date on the bottle. It seems appropriately matured.

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Photo of bbothen
4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours pitch ink black with a thick espresso colored 1 finger head.

Huge roasted coffee aroma, some chocolate, malted milk, and roasted/toasted malts. Oh yeah.

Huge. Roasted coffee, sweet chocolate, sweet maltiness, burnt caramel, toasted grains, deliciousness, slight booze. Oh mama.

The mouthfeel is awesome. Smooth, check. Creamy, check. Velvety, check. Full bodied, check. Can't imagine better.

I finished a bottle while watching the 9/14/2008 Vikings/Colts game. Okay I finished it in a half. No problems.

This is quite the delicous, complex, huge imperial stout. You should seek this out. One of the 3 best in the style, at least that I've had.

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Photo of BretSikkink
4.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Super dark black, viscous and oily from the pour. The head is bigger than the average stout by quite a bit, and it seems to be lasting a while. This is a coffee-tinted tan color, darker than most. Edit: super-sticky, super-potent, with extensive and impressive lacing.

The aroma has all of the requisite power and complexity to fit right in for style. Beautiful notes of very dark roast and patent malts, with coffee and chocolate battling hard for superiority. My hat tips to the coffee.

This is a pervasive, powerful, complex, and brutal ale. Definitely a sipper, as the flavors just blast throughout the mouth, assault the palate, and leaves a tingling sensation everywhere that it touches.

While there is enough sweetness to balance and be interesting, the bitter, roasted character of the malt is just amazing. Lots and lots of espresso and coffee notes. The hops are present and definitely assist with the length and tongue-coating aspects of the finish.

The mouthfeel is not only big but pleasantly creamy and silky, which helps to move the incredible amount of ingredients cohesively to the palate and beyond. Simply put, this could be a horrible, awful mess if the mouthfeel wasn't so rich and full. This is absolutely one of the richest and most impressively attenuated ales I've ever had. The balancing act here is precarious: you certainly want creamy and rich, but you also want to whisk the more bitter flavors off the palate as much as possible. The huge head and retention was a great indication to me that there was a lot going on here, and that this is one meticulously crafted Imperial Stout.

The finish, as mentioned, is super-long, plenty bitter but nothing outrageous, especially given the amount of flavors. Nothing cloying or overbearing, and the alcohol, while noticeable in the brain area, is well-buried in the mouth.

Well, I held on to it as long as I could. I was at work for twelve hours today so I'm glad I could recoup each hour with one percent ABV in such an attractive, potent, complex package. Kudos are to be issued in large quantities to the Alesmith crew.

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Photo of chrisafari
4.83/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Stone Brewing World Bistro And Gardens. Pours dark black w/ a brown creamy small head. Aroma of coffee and chocolate w/ a hint of alcohol. Flavor begins intense and alcoholy on the tip of the tongue, but ends smooth and chocolaty sweet. The intense malts create a complex flavor, that is spicy, chocolate, coffee and alcohol. The alcohol is enjoyable and tastes almost like a red wine. Palate is nice and smooth, really great. Easily my favorite beer, ever! (so far)

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

From paper label 750ml, silk screen would be minus 0.3 probably. Bigger richer, more intense, still bring acidity alc and balance keeping it high toned with a seemless lengthy finish. Enjoyed with dinner and friends, needed about 20 minutes to wake up. An outstanding brew. I look forward to my 1 other paper label and barrel aged ones. Also enjoyed this the same night from keg. Keg was a bit softer and more femenin. Different batches and years apart. I'd take the paper label for special occasions, the keg and new bottle versions are outstanding "everyday" type beers.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.13/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black with a tan head. In the aroma, small hops, roasty coffee, and hints of chocolate. In the taste, big coffee and chocolate maltiness and a nice small hoppy presence of hops. A smooth and medium mouthfeel, with a clean coffee and chocolate aftertaste. Body a bit lighter, but big flavor, quite nice and easy to drink.

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Photo of Aimstatus
3.95/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this was the first of my alesmith beers and what an amazing one it was.
Appearance: it was a good pour with dark with a light browm frothy head that maintained long after pour.
Smell: it smelt of a great balance of coffee and dark chocolate, which masked the smell of alcohol contant.
Mouthfeel:thinner then one might expect from a stout but overall pleasing.
Taste: you get what you smell first with roasted coffee then a nice finish of a good bitter dark chocolate.
Drinkability: its definitely a beer i could have often because it does in fact go down smooth with no weird or displeasing after taste.

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

A - Poured a pitch black color with a tan head that leaves lacing

S - Is of sweet chocolate malt goodness

T - Is a lot like the smell but even better with some coffee taste and a touch of alcohol

M - This beer is creamy smooth with light carbonation to it

D - I loved this beer I wish I was able to have here in Texas its definitely worth hunting down to have sometime

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, I've had the bottle at least a year and a half but I'm not exactly sure how much older than that it is. Served in a snifter, the beer pours black with about a half inch brown head. Head retention and lacing is decent. It smells like coffee, roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, caramel and molasses. The taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also some dark fruit (cherries) and vanilla noticable too. Although the bitter coffee comes out the most in this brew, there's also a good amount of sweetness. Mouthfeel/body is full, it's creamy, rich, slick and velvety smooth. Drinkability is pretty good, the alcohol is well hidden but after finishing a bottle of it you know it's there. This is definitely an excellent brew. I think it's worth the money, and I would recommend this to others.

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Photo of barefootbrewer
4.79/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: This beer poured like a big black oily nightmare. Only flaw was the lack of substantial head.

S: The smell is excellent - malty and sweet with coffee and molasses very noticeable.

T: The taste is bitter, coffee and chocolate notes It is predominately sweet.

M: The mouthfeel is creamy and velvet like - excellent.

D: This beer is so good I almost can't stand drinking it.

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Photo of israel
4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - pitch black with a nice cappuccino colored head that didn't hang around too long.

S - the beans are in the foreground along with a nice roastiness from the malts.

T - this beer IMO is superbly balanced; nothing in the flavors are overly dominate and everything works well with one another.

M - again I think this is a really nice feature of this beer as its not overly syrupy or too heavy. Carbonation is there but the beer is just silky smooth and a pleasure to drink.

D - really the only draw back to this beers drinkabilty would have to be the alc%.

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Photo of waltonc
4.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up this bottle last November in Orange County. This is a delicious stout. Though very strong, I didn't find it excessive in sludge-like qualities.

Appearance: Pitch black with appealing milk chocolate lacing around the rim of my glass.

Taste: The label says it's brewed with coffee. I can see that, but thankfully it's not out of control like, for example, Bells Java Stout. It's just plays the role of the typical complementary coffee note that I love in a good imperial stout. Drinking this, I would not have guessed it's 12% alcohol. More like 9 or so.

Mouthfeel: At warmer temperatures, this has a very nice creamy quality that went great with the coffee and chocolate flavors.

Drinkability: When I first started sipping this, I had every expectation of putting away the whole bottle (minus the small portion my wife wanted to try). However, I was defeated by the 12% ABV, and left a couple fluid oz. in my glass before going to bed.

Smell: smells good.

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

This is the third beer in my birthday trifecta. A lone tiger in the year of the rat. Poured a big ass 750ml into my glass, wife promised to help (yeah right)...

Man, I thought Stone Imperial Russian Stout was black. This bitch is black! Looks like 30wt after 10,000 miles. Not that I would know, I change my oil every 24 hours. Heh, heh. Shows a little dark brown hue around the edges in bright light, otherwise-black.

Smell: coffee beans, dark fruit, alcohol.

Taste: starts smooth, then the 12% says "hey, stupid, here I am." Whoo hoo! Also ... whoo hoo!

Uber rich, creamy, smooth, like I'm getting my chassis lubed. Heh, heh. Great stuff. It's possible that I may, might, maybe, prefer the Stone RIS but I just can't tell.

Overall: Happy birthday to ME!!!

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.48/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I got this bottle a year or so ago in California while I was there on business. I knew that this was a good beer, and I have been waiting for a while to drink seems like the perfect time.

Appearance: Pours black as night with a three finger head that looks like it is going to be around for a year or so. It is thick and mousy with a lot of bubbles rising to maintain the head, though it doesn't look like it needs much to stay alive. There is tons of tan lacing left on the glass after drinking.

Aroma: The aroma is super malty with a whole lot of roast and coffee aromatics as well as some chocolate and dry oat-like aromas. There is a whole lot of nuttiness to this beer, and it almost smells like Hazelnuts are part of the grist.

Taste: The flavor is really clean and well balanced without a whole lot of the aromas finding their way into the flavor profile. There is the dry roast and oats that I picked up in the aroma, but the alcohol plays a bigger role in the flavor than the initial aroma suggested. The hops are definitely there, but play a supporting role as a slightly floral and mostly grassy flavor to help balance the whole onslaught to your palate. The finish is definitely balanced toward the roast malts as well as the alcohol.

Opinion: This is a really nice beer, and it is too bad that we can't get it here in Texas. All of the Imp Stouts are so frickin' good that it is hard to pick one over the least for me. This is one of the best that I have had, no doubt. I don't know if I would take it over some others, like Yeti, or Stone's Russian Imperial, or a number of others. I think that a side-by-side comparison is in order, and I would love to participate in that. Either way, I like the nuttiness and the malt balance of this beer, and I would certainly drink it again...regularly if it were available.

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Photo of CrellMoset
4.48/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of gford217 - thanks! Poured into a 22 oz. Terrapin snifter.

Appearance: Pours out like thick, black motor oil, but a coffee-colored head slowly forms from the much. The operative word is indeed slowly, because this beer is so thick that it takes forever for the bubbles to rise to the top and form any kind of head-like structure. Once it gets there though, it stays. A long time. The head is great looking - not even or uneven, just a huge mass of tan, chocolate fluff on top of this fierce-looking brew.

Aroma: Lots of sweet, milky chocolate and full roast coffee - let this one warm, for real. I almost gave it a sub-4.0 score because it hadn't warmed yet and seemed really weak, but as it warmed, a few really intriguing, pleasant notes emerged.

Taste: Fantastic. To get this out of the way first - in discussing why a friend of mine preferred Peche Mortel to the Speedway Stout, he determined it was because the coffee in Peche is cleaner, and I would have to agree. This one has a lot of dirty overtones - but that makes it all the more endearing to me, in my opinion. It's an earthy, dirty, nutty, grassy coffee flavor, and all the notes that're imparted by that do wonders for the sweet chocolate and dark fruits notes imparted by the malts. So, yes, milky, creamy, chocolately coffee - a mocha latte, anyone? - with plenty of dirt and other malty notes - maple syrup, molasses, dark brown sugar - as well as some citrus and light herbalness (hops, perhaps), hints of anise, and Like coffee-flavored, alcoholic M&Ms. But the alcohol it's hardly there - only the faintest hint of its presence is felt in the finish. And it's so well melded with the warm, sweet, smoothness that it hardly registers.

Mouthfeel: Thick and syrupy - evidenced by the bubbles taking their sweet time to rise to the surface earlier - and incredibly milky and creamy. Fine-to-medium bubbled and even. Only the faintest hint of a warming alcohol - it's expertly concealed.

Drinkability: Now, I can't taste it, but my typing's beginning to slip, which is usually the sign that I should knock half a point off drinkability. The alcohol's really expertly concealed on this one (perhaps easier on an Imperial Stout, but still, well done guys), but it's still definitely there. This beer comes highly recommended.

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

Pours a dark, opaque black color with a deep tan head. Great retention and lacing down the glass.

Smells like coffe, chocolate, dark malts.

Wow! Tastes increadible! Thick choclate and coffe, with heavy sweet malts - just as it smells. Goes down smoothly. Very well balanced with no alcohol burn.

As stated above, goes down smoothly with no alcohol burn. Heavy, but as any imperial stout should be.

I only wish I could afford more of these. Or that they were sold in Michigan. Wonderful session beer.

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Photo of WillClark
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of the 750ml bottle a midnight black with a rich cafe au lait head that released brilliant notes of chocolate, coffee, raspberry and toffee. Taste is best compared to what chocolate silk would feel like- so smooth and sexy with a puckering bitterness that dissipates like the perfect one night stand. I can't put my glass down- this beer is so smooth, but where on earth is the alcohol?

My god. Fantastic stuff.

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Photo of willjschmidt
4.47/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Stone IRS glass.

A: Pours jet black with a tan head.

S: Espresso, roasted malt, dark chocolate, and some molasses.

T: A big and delicious stout. If I hadn't read the label I probably wouldn't have guessed that it was brewed with coffee. The coffee is definitely there but it's certainly not overwhelming. Lots of dark and bitter chocolate as well as some molasses. It's all very smooth and everything meshes extremely well together.

M: Excellent mouthfeel, smooth, creamy and viscous.

D: One of the best jobs at masking a high ABV beer that I have ever sampled. I would never have guessed that it is a 12% beer if it wasn't printed on the label. A great stout, worth seeking out.

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Photo of JasonA
4.48/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I got this in BIFIV, much props to the professional ninja who sent it my way. Needless to say, I am very excited about trying this.

No born on date, but I expect this to be a recent brew. I had considered letting this age, but per some recommendations ive decided not try it early.

Pours a dark as night pitch black. Solid 2 finger of thick dark mocho head. Very nice retention, even to the sides after a frew minutes.

Rich coffee, roated malt, more coffee. ABV is in there, but barely noticed. There is a nutty smell in here.

Cocoa coffee, deep roasted coffee, maybe some sort of nut, maybe almond. Deep, dark flavor. What a full bodied beer. There could be a more on the backend, but overall outstanding good. Some bitterness, maybe hops, at finish, though very subtle, not sure if it is purposeful. I think the best part of this brew is no ABV presense. Really ... n-o-n-e. Quite surprising for a 12 percent'er

Not syrupy at all. Some people dont like the Syrup, but depending on the brew Im a fan. This one has no syrup taste or consistency. Sits exceptionally well in the mouth.

Drinkability? Give me more, give me lots more. I really dont want this brew to finish.

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Photo of IBUnit63
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a licorice/espresso/spent motor oil body. While 1st pour has only a thin wispy head 2nd pour yields big and bountiful pumpernickel/banana nut bread colored head. Impressive.

Mild yet abundant scent of coffee beans backed by caramel/cinnamon sugar malt and oily alcohol. Smells nicely ominous.

((eyes rolling into back of head))
Wow. Lots and lots of coffee-Italian roast or darker. Loads of malt and piney piney hops. Warmth brings out more cinnamon sugar and molasses. $#!+ dog!

Literally melts on the mouth. First sip or 2 leaves a little tin on the back but this dissipates. Long, sweet sledgehammer of a finish.

Awesome stuff but here's a news flash...not quite sessionable. Drinks invitingly well for its weight class, though.

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

Thanks to Hoss for shipping this one to me from San Diego. Poured from a 750ml painted bottle with cool graphics and back story into a pint glass. No dating info but he got this end of last year and I've been letting it age till now. Couldn't wait any longer. It was pitch black - no light getting through this one. It had a one finger brown head that settled into a collar with broken foam. No carb but good lacing.

The aroma was really good. Strong coffee but also good amount of toasted chocolate malts and caramel. The taste is awesome as well. I'm usually not a big fan of this style but damn this is tasty. Has a good bite to it at first and then finishes smooth. I'm not a coffee drinker so was concerned before I drank it that it would be too coffeeish but it's not. Despite the high ABV, the alcohol doesn't really appear in the smell or taste. But you definitely feel it halfway thru. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy.

Overall, an excellent beer that has earned the high ranking and praise. I wouldn't want to drink it too often as it's not my favorite style but I'd love to try at least once a year. Highly recommend.

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

I thought, seeing as Tropical Storm (Hurricane) Eduardo is hitting Houston tomorrow, I might be washed out to sea, and it would be a shame not to enjoy some really outstanding and rare beers tonight... First off is a beer that I have wanted for years... Pours a jet black midnight colour, dark as the night when you were a kid sneaking out at 2am....Lacing is really good, spots and dots, lower than expected head, but for 12% good... light alcohol, fresh coffee beans, chocolate from a century old swiss chocolate shop.... wonderful in the mouth, oily and chewy- smooth as silk but bold like a new magnum 500 sharpie ... I don't get it, the points (score) doesn't seem to match up on how much I am loving this beer, its not the most wow'ing beer i have had, but its just fuckin good!.. 'shit yeah, man!' ..'i am the walrus'..'are you a Lebowski achiever' ... I really like this beer, fuck that stuffed animal you hug at night,i want to spoon this beer when I go to bed...

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Photo of dedrinker
2.91/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A very glassy, shiny black color with little head and the thinnest dark brown hue when held to the light. Quite attractive despite the lack of head. Faint aroma of coffee, vanilla, and roasted malts. Flavor and mouth feel are disappointingly thin with a sharp, acidic black coffee bitterness that carries through to the finish. A little oak and rum creep out at the end to try and redeem itself, but I can't sign on to this one. The trouble with some coffee stouts is that they taste like they could really use some cream and sugar. I'm glad I didn't pay money for this, but on the brighter side I think this would be a great beer to braise some skirt steak with.

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Photo of johnd513
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks go to klewis for this one!
This beer pours a dark black with a nice two finger head with nice lacing. Nice aroma of coffee and chocolate. The mouthfeel is creamy and the taste is complex flavors of coffee and chocolate. Not my favorite coffee stout. (I enjoyed Péché Mortel and Jahva more). Still a very solid RIS. It doesn't live up to the hype in my opinion but a great beer none the less.

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

Respect this black masterpiece. If you like your beers tough, this one's for you. I've been riding bareback having had a difficult week with a family medical emergency. I felt it was finally time to break out this 6 month-aged ammo. At 12% it'll take you away from your troubles, guaranteed. Like the bottle states, this one's roasty and toasty and filled with copious amounts of the good stuff that make up an exceptional beer. Ain't nobody skimp'en on this San Diego treat. Give'em an A for attitude.

Life can sting,
Oh so true.
A tasty brew
Helps us through.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.37 out of 5 based on 6,728 ratings.
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