AleSmith Speedway Stout | AleSmith Brewing Company

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AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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: 1,636 | Ratings: 6,526
Photo of Qbdoo
4.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Black, really black with a nice tan frothy head that didn't last long. Aroma is roasted malt and a bit of coffee. Taste follows the nose but there's some dark fruit, a bit of sweet milkiness, and a touch of hop bite. The texture is a bit thinner than other big stouts but somewhat creamy at the same time. Still, a pretty amazing beer that lives up to the hype. I coming back to this one.

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.54/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours black cocoa with a tan head. Smells of roasty chocolate and coffee notes. The taste is a perfect balance between dark chocolate and roasted coffee. It's astonishing how covered up the abv is in this one. Probably one of the best, most well-balanced stout flavors I have tasted, and I can hardly believe it is 12%. It feels creamy and goes down smooth, with the abv being undetectable. If it wasn't so expensive I'd be buying this all the time. Great stout!

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Photo of HankSingle
4.88/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I'm sure there is a stout out there better than this, but I haven't had it.

Notes from 9/29/15, tasting bulb at Julian's in Providence:

Coffee black body, caramel head
Astringent coffee, round red notes
Soft oak, something like green/light roasted beans, just a bit of dry vanilla, almost French Vanilla - light body, especially for the ABV, which is totally hidden.
Coffee and dark cacao nib on subsequent swallows, so light and smooth and dry.

Make sure you bring a friend for this one, sneaky boozy

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Photo of Monkeyknife
4.44/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle a deep brown-black with two fingers of dark tan head.

Aroma of roasted malts, vanilla and a bit of an astringent note I can't identify.

Tasted of roasted malts, chocolate, vanilla, and a boozy finish from the 12% abv.

Medium-to-full bodied and creamy with a lighter carbonation.

I'm an instant fan of this one. Speedway Stout lives up to the hype!

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Photo of AJacob81
4.41/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been looking for this bad boy a long time. Excited its available in IL and I was able to pick one up. Served colder than suggested, in a snifter.

A - pours jet black, with a macchiato-colored head that dissipates very quickly. Looks like a big stout oughta.

S - Dark chocolate and coffee up front, hints of vanilla, star anise, and a pleasant smokiness in support. Warming brings out the fruits, especially black cherry and currant.

T - Bittersweet morsels, cocoa powder and cold brew java. Blueberries and pomegranate follow ever so subtly, opening into notes of an Earl Grey/black tea blend and chocolate-covered raisins and walnuts. Earthy hops in the finish balanced by a lingering mocha sweetness. So much going on here.

M - The feel here is thick, but smooth and silky. Lots of tiny bubbles keep the sips coming in this compellingly drinkable beast.

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Photo of Spacedog666
4.77/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This is an amazing beer. Look: This is a dark, creamy looking beer. Khaki head. This thing is SO thick! I love it. Definitely a winter beer. Every sip leaves a beautiful and thick lacing on the side of my glass. The head on my beer was not as large as I would have expected. Maybe half a finger, but that is okay. Smell: Dark fruit and bakers chocolate are very noticeable. A slight coffee smell as well. Everything I would want out of a Stout. Taste: Bakers chocolate, fig, some sweet coffee. Leaves a nice, semi-bitter after taste (bakers chocolate). Fantastic. Feel: Creamy. Leaves a lactose esque film on the back of the throat. Overall: This is a damn good beer. Would definitely recommend. Next time I find one of these I will definitely be aging it. I eagerly await trying this after it has aged a bit.

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Photo of WellRested518
4.03/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L- Black with a two and a half finger mocha head. Good lacing.

A- Boozy up front with a hint of raisin, fig, and dark cherry. Bakers chocolate and coffee are substantial. Toffee & caramel kick up as well. A bit fuesil in my opinion.

T- Booze, Devils food cake, brownie batter, big dark fruit, and some roasted coffee bitterness toward the backend.

F- Creamy and slick, but not as thick as many other imperial stouts. I feel like although this is a sipper, it should be enjoyed by two or three people at once over dessert.

O- A great beer that has its faults. The fuesil character in my bottle will change indefinitely, but it will also leave with even more dark fruit and less coffee.

Edit: I have a tendency for over thinking certain beers. Looking back, both the aroma and taste were very good, but I will stand behind some of its off characters.

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Photo of CayseyW
4.48/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L: Perfect looking imperial stout. Jet black with a creamy brown head. The very thick head also leaves a very sticky tan lacing.
S: Roasty and fruity. Very nice aromas coming through with this beer. There is a brightness in there, cutting through all the big stout aromas you expect.
T: Surprisingly bright for such a huge stout. Dark chocolate and fruit, but really lacks the coffee flavors I was hoping for. Still, it has great flavors and a super long finish that eventually highlights the coffee I was looking for.
F: Perfect thickness. Some people might think its a bit too thin for the weight of this beer, but I love it. It is a bit boozy, but I mean at 12% you have to expect that. I think i might like a bit more bite in a double though. Still, great beer to drink.
O: This is only my second AleSmith beer (other is .394 APA), but so far I am extremely impressed by what these guys are doing. This is a world-class stout for sure. I can't wait to age one to see what happens with it.

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Photo of gopens44
4.24/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark, milk chocolate colored head and your standard stout colored liquid. Lacing is sticky and sparse.

Smells of chocolate, coffee, toastiness and lightly like coconut.

Taste is immediately strong with some nearly overwhelming alcohol but it fades in time to allow the dark bitter chocolate to shine along with a bit of coffee and some nuttiness before the astringency circles back around.

Finishes sticky and just a touch sweet

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.65/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this several years ago at a beer fest, and was blown away. Fast forward to the present, and Alesmith has arrived in Maine.
Very dark brown with a rim of red. Small tan head.
Beautiful aroma of coffee, chocolate, and charcoal.
The taste only improved on the aroma. Espresso coffee, bittersweet chocolate, and char.
Smooth, easy to drink. The 12% ABV is well-hidden.
Fantastic beer!

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Photo of Dustin_Sallitt
4.23/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours jet black with a large khaki head. Smell is a little muted, but has some coffee and cocoa present. The taste reminds me of founders breakfast stout, just way more well done. Tons of coffee, a little cocoa, and a nice roasted finish. Strong coffee lingering aftertaste. Pretty good, but I'm overall a little let down.

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Photo of tripledbrew
4.37/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark black in color with a light tan head. At first sip it was a little thinner than I expected. A little coffee flavor with some bitter chocolate. The 12% was well hidden, may be due to the 04/24/2014 bottle date? The flavor was more pronounced as the beer warmed.
Updated review:
The first one I tried was chilled, which was not the norm for me. I always drink these stouts at room temp.
The beer poured jet black with a light tan head. It had the aroma of coffee and bitter chocolate. It tasted of chocolate, coffee and nicley roasted malts. The mouth feel was just about right. As noted before, the 12% is well hidden and it is very easy to drink. Excellent beer , find it and enjoy.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.41/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours a nice brownish and slightly creamy but more bubbly head that dissipates quickly. The beer itself is a nice gorgeous black color that has a slick texture to it. The look is very appealing.

The smell is absolutely great. It's a fairly complex smell with multiple distinct notes that I really enjoy. The most distinctive and present note is the coffee, which is a bit sweet and roasty. The chocolate comes in as well and is fairly sweet. Both the chocolate and coffee mix nice and go well with the slightly boozy smell.

The taste resembles the smell in its delicious mixture of chocolate, coffee, and alcohol but also includes a slight hint of dark fruit. The combination of the three make for a wonderful experience.

The feel is good. The beer has a nice biting carbonation to keep it from feeling too thick from its heavy body. There is a also some warmth in the finish.

Overall, a fantastic beer and worth getting when you can find it. This one of the better stouts with a nice full flavor to it.

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Photo of laketang
4.27/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

poured into snifter pitch black with burnt butter head

chocolat notes as well as cake batter and gingersnap

like drinking a chocolat bar! a bit bitter (in a good way)some anise, alcohol is noted, but not overly tho

full mouth rich with a slight bitter linger

can I have another one please

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Photo of mschrei
4.22/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Love how this beer looks. Smells and tastes pretty good but doesn't live up to the look. Not a lot of coffee, even though it's billed as such. I'll give them credit for disguising the alcohol however, as it's not that forward for a 12%. Warms up well after coming across thin on first taste. Still feels and tastes creamy after an hour, which is the best thing I can say about it. Enjoyable but was expecting a lot more.

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Photo of Chris7482
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Nice pour, left a nice lasting lacing. nice dark chocolate and licorice aroma. Great chocolate flavor with hints of coffee. Nice balance of sweet/bitter. A little more carbonated than I prefer, but still a nice overall creaminess. great beer, would drink again

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Photo of Spinaltapped
3.56/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

L: Extremely black with a darker khaki head. A good looking stout and a decently thick two finger head. Cant complain.

S: The smell is primarily malt and coffee. There are are also strong notes of caramel, bitter chocolate, toffee, and a pinch of boozey sweetness.

T: Initially, very strong coffee with lingering bitter chocolate. There is some semi-sweet cocoa, but there is a large degree of additional sweetness that comes off as a bit much. It's just not quite what I want from a coffee stout. I want a lot more balance. I want less sweetness especially.

F: Tons of smooth residual sugars to keep the beer silky a day smooth. Almost has a milk stout like smooth, lactose mouthfeel. I only wish the mouthfeel was a bit thicker, it's pretty light, especially for an imperial stout.

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Photo of dd43
4.23/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This will be a two part review, starting with a relatively fresh bottling and concluding with a bottle I intend to age for 6 months.

Fresh bottle:

Poured at 49 degrees. What, you don't temp your stouts? Given the flavor/aroma profile of this beer and the readily apparent booziness, I was somewhat surprised that the body of this beer wasn't more substantial. Big dark chocolate notes up front, as well as roasted coffee and almost a vanilla like presence. Flavors follow suit, roasty and toasty malts with a chocolate fudge character. Good amount of hop bitterness coupled with the bitter touch from coffee. The heat from the alcohol is pretty big here, there's really no getting around it. That vanilla thing in the bouquet really came to mind because of the alcohol, and I found myself exhausting it through my sinuses after swallowing. The mouthfeel is pretty nice, but like I said a bit more thin than what I was expecting on the initial pour. The legs on the inside of the glass and the coffee colored foam on top were appealing. This is a yummy beer that I recommend sharing with someone that appreciates big time imperial stouts.

Aged bottle:

It turns out that six months on the shelf at 65 degrees didn't do much to quell the heat. However, I actually enjoyed this beer more the second time around. Perhaps my palate evolved somewhat. This really is a great beer. I chose six months out of fear that a longer aging period would cause the coffee and chocolate notes to subside, but after this experiment I think a year would have been more appropriate.

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Photo of von_kaiser
4.54/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Thick black motor oil w/ 2 finger brown head action. Scent and taste are full of coffee for DAYS! Feel is a little hot but not too much as i'm left wanting more. Highly recommend and glad that alesmith is now availiable in CT. Look forward to having again. Cheers!

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Photo of MHurley
4.46/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black as night with great tan head. Smell of bourbon, rasins and carmel. Thick lacing that stays. Tastes of bourbon gets better with every sip. Ill definitely be looking for more of these

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

Pours an opqaue jet black color with khaki colored head. Coffee, roasted malt, and sweet chocolate on the nose; follows onto the palate. Full bodied. Finishes with coffee and cocoa, like a chocolate espresso.

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

: Two fingers of a brown head. Black as the night.

S: dark roasted coffe. Molasses amd licorice.

Molasses licorice. The coffe is baely therer. There is some sweetness

Poured from a 750mL bottle,

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Photo of TruePerception
3.61/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

AleSmith's Speedway Stout, imperial stout brewed with coffee. 12% ABV.

A: Three fingers (!) of chocolate milk brown head. Pure black in the glass. Dark brown in the dimple. Some slight lacing and sheeting.

S: Big char and very dark roasted coffee dominate. A touch of licorice. Smells almost like oil, interestingly enough. The is a burnt oat note in the background. I almost missed it, entirely.

T/MF: Even more char on the palate. Ash, licorice. The coffee is almost completely lost in darker flavors. There is some sweetness on the front of the tongue. A bit dark for my tastes. Could definitely use some sort of barrel aging.

Poured from a 750mL bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

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Photo of IronLover
4.21/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Deep black in color with dark brown and ruby hues on the edges. Poured with thick, dense, dark beige foam that quickly reduces to a thick cap with good retention. Mellow, medium high, roasted malt and milk chocolate aromas. Medium light dark fruity esters of sweet fig and raisin. No hop aromas. Light, pleasant, boozy notes in the background as this warms. Full bodied with a creamy smooth, thick, viscous feel and light carbonation. Medium high flavors of sweet milk chocolate up front followed by dark roasted malts into the middle. Medium high hop bitterness through the middle along with dark fruity esters and a definitive, pleasant, boozy, warmth that slowly intensifies to the end. Finished dryly with a lingering, mellow hoppy and roasty bitterness. Incredibly drinkable considering the high abv. No hot boozy, solvent flavors or feel. Generally mellow flavors and aromas (for the style) that may be a result of a year of cellaring. Also, bo coffee characters were noted, flavor or aroma. Not sure if this was also a result of aging or si ply perceptikn. Fabulous balance between the sweet and roasty malts and hop bitterness. Pleasant, mellow, warm, booziness, despite the higher abv.

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Photo of cjgiant
4.11/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.37 out of 5 based on 6,526 ratings.
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