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: 1,654 | Ratings: 6,647
Photo of sholland119
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a deep dark brown with a thin tan head. My mouth is watering.

S-Roasted coffee notes, caramel, rich milk chocolate, a little hops underneath. Excellent.

T-It's all that. Balanced and complex all the way through. Sweet in the front, then finishes with a surprising, delicious bitterness. Great hops finish is unexpected, and awesome.

M-Creamy, somewhat thick. Very nice.

D-Dangerously drinkable for a 12% ABV. Don't know where the alcohol is hidden but I could not taste it.

Lives up to the hype and ranking, I think. Rich, complex, delicious.


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

Big Bottle: From a trade with pantanap (A big Thanks!) Aroma coffee, Chocolate cake, big on malts, roasty, a light hop backing and raisins. Appearance is pitch black with a medium sized brown head tht diminishes into a thin tan film. Taste starts out with and upfront malt and chocolate note. Somewhat grainy at first. Then transforms into something totally different. (I love it when beers do this) Many phases to the taste and palate of this brew including a slight alcohol twinge in the middle, but smooths out with a roasted malt and caramel taste. Nicely complex.

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

Poured from 750ml, shared with three others, used Guiness pint glass.

Pour is thick, heavy and opaque black, with a creamy chocolate brown head yielding thick lacing. Aroma is coffee, chocolate and toffee. This is a big, strong beer, and you can taste the alcohol in each drink, which does sit in the mouth a bit. I'm not a huge fan of stouts, but this is one I would order any time I saw it on a menu.

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Photo of cswhitehorse
3.91/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Speedway Stout poured a viscous Texas tea with a wicked solid 2-3 finger foam head. I wanted to take a quick nap on the pillow like head. It left dotted slow like lacing.

The aroma was coffee filled with deep roasted malt smell. You could smell the 12% abv in the nose right away. Not strong enough to cause you to cry but close. I also got a muted dark chocolate smell.

The taste was real money if you are a coffee lover. If you don't like coffee very much you might want to stay away. Straight up roasted malt taste as it enters your mouth. It finished with a coffee bite and bitterness.

In the mouth the high alcohol burns the back of the throat but leaves a lovely coffee flavor that stays with you for some time. It is very chewy and thick.

Overall a wonderful example of a really good stout flavored with my other favorite drink, coffee. If I only lived in San Diego when the rain rarely comes. I would buy this again but the price will leave me to once a year.

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

A : Pours a thick dark black with creamy tan 2 finger head. Leaves some great lacing behind.

S : Roasted malts with a strong espresso smell and hints of dark chocolate

T : Dark roasted malts heavy on the espresso. Some hints of chocolate on the end. You can taste the alcohol a little bit but not as much as I would expect.

M : Full-bodied, real creamy

D : Easy to drink but the high alcohol means it's not sessionable.

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Photo of younger35
4.78/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Received this brew from both nvsblman (for winning the survivor pool) and 0110x011. Love AleSmith and have been wanting to break one of these bad boys open for quite some time now. Drank from my Stone India Pale Ale tulip.

Appearance- Black as hell with an almost tri-colored head. Two finger light sand head that gets about 1/8 inch off the top of the beer before it turns into a darker cardboard like hue. The head is big and soft and fluffy for quite some time before it dissipates into a very appealing cap and collar that leaves more lacing than I knew could be left.
Smell- Very pungent and very appealing this is exactly what I was hoping for. The coffee is O so delightful and as rich as espresso. A dark bakers chocolate bitterness is oozing out of the glass along with plenty of roasted malty goodness. Some light almost caramel sweetness is present too but the coffee and chocolate are what really stand out.
Taste- Much like the nose it starts with a rush of coffee that seems to engulf my entire mouth until a bitter flash of pure baker's chocolate moves in. The chocolate in this brew is much more pronounced than I was expecting but it's not the Choklat like chocolate. It's not near as sweet and is bitter, malty and gritty. A bit of sweetness is present with an almost molasses like flavor. There is a bit of a light fruit aspect to this as well that is almost lightly grape-y (think under ripened raisons). The alcohol is hidden very well until toward the end it's lightly warming. The best part of the beer is the finish though. Somehow the coffee seems to intensify ten fold at the finish and leaves a lingering double espresso like aftertaste. Absolutely wonderful!
Mouthfeel- Thick and viscous this thing is very full bodied and super velvety smooth. Light carbonation is present that is very subtle and tingly with a fairly warming finish. Seems to get a bit more intense as it warms.
Drinkability- This is a fantastically delicious stout that I think would probably be 2 or 3 on BA's top list if it was only released once a year. It's got the soul of Péché Mortel with the heart of Choklat. I don't necessarily know if I like it better than Péché Mortel but I know it's on a whole other complexity level. Great beer that I really really enjoyed. Big thanks to Matt and nvsblman!

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Photo of Proteus93
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Jet black, FAT head of sandy brown. Sticks around for a long time, spotty lacing over the edges.

S: Beautiful espresso aroma, dark chocolate. Almost like a fine mocha capuccino. A very nice choice of coffee... I'd like to try that, as well!

T: Roasty coffee bean - a bitterness of both unsweetened chocolate and espresso bean. Some black currant flavours nestled in there. Not a lot of subtlety here, as I find in many other of the style... but big flavours of finer quality.

M: Thick, rich, and heavy... then, like magic, it finishes incredibly dry, like it spontaneously vaporizes.

D: With the big flavour, it becomes something of a mellow sipper, but the alcohol is incredibly well hidden - maybe a little on the finish, but otherwise, quite unnoticable and buried under the other flavours.

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Photo of avaulteriam
3.94/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A fat beer with an obvious booze factor. Not near as good as I would have expected, but decent enough. The coffee is there but muted, sweet and thick. Ain't no dark lord, though. Deep Black with burgundy on the edges and think dark head. Nose is some coffee and sweetness.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.37/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, near black body with, well, no real head to speak of. Rather Kahlua-like in appearance.

Smell: Heavily roasted dark malts with notes of espresso, dark chocolate, molasses, and chocolate cake (topped with a cherry). Keyword: Lovely.

Taste: Dark, roasty maltiness with full flavors of dark chocolate, birthday cake coated in blackstrap molasses, and (even moreso) robust coffee. Slightly obscured fruitiness. Roasty, earthy bitterness. A flickering of sweet dark caramel in amongst the heavier flavors. A distinct, warming touch of alcohol heat. Long, lingering coffee finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. Relatively creamy mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A very rich, complex stout, and yet another fantastic release from AleSmith.

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Photo of Scrumtralecent
4.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Poured from a bottle into a snifter. This beer comes out a midnight black with a tan head. Can see the thick viscosity along the side of the glass when swirled around a little bit.

S: Malty, coffee, and some caramel. Smell has an almost creamy feel to it. A pungent smell that helps make the taste that much more powerful.

T: A wonderful changing taste as the beer temperature changes. Very cold starts with the malts and caramel from the smell, while as it warms, the coffee enters more into taste. Once again, I feel like a milky smooth taste in the beer, something creamy or dairy almost. I feel like this is an imperial stout meets milk stout. A really complex taste that leads to finding each sip different from the one before.

F: Good amount of carbonation, and nicely full bodied. Goes quite down quite smoothly.

D: At 12% abv, it will rock you a little, but you won't be able to notice. This goes down smoothly and the alcohol is hidden nicely by the complex taste and easy to handle full body. A great compliment to any cool night, this beer will not have any trouble going down. Wish I had access to this readily or else I'd be enjoying this brew multiple times during the cold IL winters.

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

Thanks to Imstillthegman for this.

Consumed (mostly) during the 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500.

First pour went into a small brandy snifter (hey, it's 10 AM, I'm not ready to go full throttle just yet!). Perhaps a tad too cold; virtually no head and scant lacing.

Second pour went into the recomended tulip glass and yielded a full two-finger tan head atop an STP-colored pour. (engine additive reference for Indy tie-in only, for all I know STP is golden. This stuff is friggin black, okay??)

This review is based on the second pour. When you pour yours, go with the recommended glassware & temperature., with a big, fluffy tan head that pretty much stayed put, and left a solid wall of lacework down the glass.

Aroma of dark chocolate, espresso, malted grains, prune, anise. Flavor is all that and then some. Add fig & molasses to the mix.

Mouthfeel is smooth but with a little bite, from the very active carbonation and probably augmented by the alcohol warmth--though I must say this doesn't strike me as overly boozey. Thick, but not what I would call syrupy.

Not sure how old this bottle is but I'm told it's likely very recent, and while there's a lot of complexity to this beer and it's very well balanced, it tastes like it could improve greatly with some age for mellowing.

Excellent brew. Next one I get sits for a couple of years.

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Photo of ccrida
4/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml poured into my Deschutes snifter, Speedway Stout is a pitch brownish black with a large tan head that is creamy and slow to subside, leaving heavy lace. Served at cellar temp, I put the rest of the bottle into the fridge as it smelled pretty thick. In spite of this, I had to let the first glass warm to room temp while I walked the dog, and found it to be more enjoyable when I returned.

Smell is very rich, sweet caramel and malt, with this sharp, tangy, almost almond like malty aroma that I really don't care for, like a tripel milk stout or something. Colder (and perhaps once acclimated), it's mostly chocolate and alcohol, and more enjoyable then my initial, warmer pour.

Taste is very similar to the nose, this drinks more like a 12% milk stout then coffee stout to me. Perhaps my palate is skewed since I just had a Péché Mortel yesterday, which tasted as not if not more like coffee then beer. I'm not even sure if I would have called the coffee had it not been on the label! In fact, it's more along the lines of an über export stout then an RIS. Stylistic quibblings aside, it's a good stout that steadily won me over as I worked through the bottle, although it's strength only became more apparent on the palate.

Mouthfeel is still but not as thick and heavy as one might fear from such a big stout.

Drinkability started out rather slow, I'm not sure if it was because I served the first glass a bit warm or I just needed to warm up to it. The bottom line is I went from not in the mood / disappointed to really enjoying this sucker by the time I was facing the last few gulps. I think it's better served a bit colder, rather then warmed then room temp, but is pretty good for a big stout. I'll admit it's not my favorite style, and I much prefer their barleywine and IPA. A pretty decent big stout, as a big coffee stout, not so much,!

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Photo of joekfsu
4.78/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

#100. 25.4 oz bottle. Pours a thick black that is impossible to see through with a 2 cm tan foamy head that is slowly diminishing. Aroma is totally dominated by coffee with hints of malt and alcohol. Initial flavor is coffee heavy with a hint of chocolate that changes to a balance of previous flavors plus malts and a slight hop bite at the end. Ends moderately bitter, lasts, can feel the alcohol here. Tons of lacing, medium body, very light carbonation, and obvious alcohol hanging around. Drinkable, yes, best stout around, maybe, best I have tasted yet, absolutely.

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Photo of jasonjlewis
3.27/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

pours a mediocre head with some decent retnetion and a very full dark brown color.

Smell is of chocolate, raisin, grape, and toffee with some coffee notes.

Taste starts off sweet and chocolatey with a little bit of raisin undertone. It finishes with a coffee bitterness and a dry assertiveness from the alcohol, which is not too bad, but a little aggressive. Seems to be a little vanilla on the swallow as well. A nicely complex beer that could use some thicker malts and sweetness over the astringency of the alcohol.

The mouthfeel is slightly astringent on the finish and the malts don't cling to the mouth like I would like them to.

Overall this beer is too boozy even when cold. I could drink it as a nice night cap, but only a glassfull at that.

I think age would make this a much better beer.

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Photo of falcon1
4.62/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A truly outstanding Imperial Stout to say the least. The aroma and taste of AleSmith Speedway Stout is really amazing to experience. One of the finest examples of a great and well crafted infusion of coffee (Ryan Brothers - Espresso Gold) and the Imperial Stout style.

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

Finally getting a chance to review this. I guess my only previous reasons have involved availability in Santa Barbara and price tag when elsewhere.

Appearance: Pours with a, appropriately, coffee colored head, which is around a finger thick. Settles into a half-finger. Lacing is definitely present, spotty for hte most part, but in consistent and large patterns. Body is slight less dark than I would expect, with more hints of brown than I'm used to in a stout body.

Smell: Toasted pecans and almonds on the front end, followed by deep espresso or Turkish coffee (read: bold coffee aroma), followed by chocolates. The chocolate profile is more milk-inspired (as in milk chocolate) than I would have expected, with a little semisweet, but the dark chocolate, I would suspect, could be found in here, although I find it hard to distinguish it from the coffee aromas. Some nutmeg and alcohol on the back end. An extremely powerful aroma, which is appropriate for a 12% ABV, I suppose.

Taste: Some woodsiness on the front end, with some milk chocolates dangling in front of a slightly bitter, strong roasted coffee flavor that coats the tongue. Brown sugar and molasses follow, along with alcohol. Upon swallowing, the coffee smacks you in the face with a long, lingering aftertaste that is entirely pleasant. The alcohol is suprisingly well masked in this. Really, a tremendous stout.

Mouthfeel: Fizzy, roasty. Appropriate.

Drinkability: Surprisingly drinkable for such an ABV. I need to take my time with this one.

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Photo of phishgator
4.52/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Beautiful opaque color with a dark tan head. About an a half inch head that dissepates quickly. The aroma is roasted coffee, dark choclate, a slight dryness/bitterness from the hops, and even a touch of plum fruit jumps in there. The taste is much in the same accord as the aroma. The "dark" flavors come through from start to finish! A big bodied beer that is great for sharing!

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Photo of callmemickey
4.57/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Im going to break away from my typical reviewing pattern and just go at... this dark blackbrown behemoth looks great... smells amazing, tastes phenomenal and feels like a champ.... this beer truly unlocked everything that an american imperial stout has to offer

the coffee beans lend its self to a rich, and delicate flavor full of everything dark and grand... chocolate, coffee, caramel, roasted malts, ... smooth like it should be this beer is a king... love it. love it. love it.

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Photo of deepsouth
4.62/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

this beer poured a black color with a tan head and some rocky bubbles. a good looking beer.

the smell is of coffee, molasess, sweet malt, roastiness, espresso coffe beans... complex as hell.

the taste is divine and complex and consistent with the smell. indescribably balanced. alcohol present. damn near perfect.

the mouthfeel is full and velvety. it doesn't get better than this.

the drinkability of this beer is off the charts. perfect.

thanks to barefootbrewer for sharing this with me.

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

Looks like motor oil, black/very dark brown. Opaque. Brown head about a finger in size. Leaves some sticky lacing.

Nose is dominated by coffee smell, with notes of chocolate.

Very sweet up front. Malts make me think of molasses, chocolate, caramel. The middle is dry tasting, very much like coffee. Finishes with a boozy taste.

Creamy mouthfeel, proper carbonation.

Very drinkable. One of the most drinkable stouts I have encountered.

Great beer!

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Photo of SQNfan
4.26/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2007 bottle.
This pours opauqe black in color and a thick brown head. The nose immediately shows off the coffee along with scents of dark chocolate, plum liquor, dark caramel and hazelnut. Thick and rich in the midpalate with a nice bitter/dry edge picking up toward the lingering finish. While it is a sipping beer, it is so well-balanced that it is very easy to drink...not overpowering at all. Yum!

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

Pours black with a thick, creamy, large bubbled cappuccino head. The aromas promise a dandy; juicy dark fruit ester, roasted coffee, pineapple, chocolate powder and molasses, and hints of bubble gum. A silky mouthfeel, slightly oily, and a sharp carbonation that doesn't bite too hard is quite enjoyable. Dark fruits, plum, sweet tobacco notes and some coffee and cocoa but not like the nose indicated. A heavy dose of fruity, piney, citric hops is little off balance and lingers in the aftertaste. Alcohol starts hot but softens as it warms allowing for easy drinking.

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

Appearance: This is motor oil in a glass. No light gets through at all. Head is mocha colored and about two and a half fingers deep. Retention is absolutely superior and thick waves of lace line the glass. This is a great looking beer.

Smell: Very heavy roasted coffee aroma hits the nose first. It's easily one of the best coffee/espresso aromas I've had the pleasure of smelling in a beer. Very strong and rich. Roasted and chocolate malt aromas blend extremely well with the coffee fragrance. There is a slight hint of a smoky aroma. Alcohol appears to be blended very well as it's just barely noticeable here.

Taste: This really is a remarkable beer. Its balance is truly its strength. The roasted coffee and malt flavors are balanced perfectly. Neither wins out. They collide to create an excellent tasting stout. One that is no doubt unique and incredible. The flavor really develops as it warms. It does feature a slight smoked taste as well as some light dark fruit flavors. Alcohol is extremely well blended and is only barely noticeable. Impressive considering its stature. It's difficult to find anything overtly wrong with its flavor. I'm inches away from awarding a perfect score for flavor. But, I do think it's likely improved with a little barrel aging, if only ever so slightly.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's light to medium bodied. Extremely smooth and creamy. Personally, I'd prefer it to be just a tad thicker. But, it's got a great feel and is extremely drinkable. Given its 12% abv, that's a bit of a small surprise. I certainly want more than the meager 750 ml I have.

Speedway Stout is an incredible beer. There's no doubt about that. I personally believe the barrel aged version has to be damn near perfect. Perhaps I'm a bit reserved in scoring it in that regard. Aging this in bourbon barrels has to be simply amazing. I certainly hope the opportunity to try that version presents itself in the future.

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

25.4 oz bottle received via trade with bennetj17. Thanks a bunch! Poured into my Duvel tulip

A: Pitch black with a thick dark brown head. Looks pretty in my glass

S: Intoxicating with chocolate, coffee, cream, all in beautiful balance. There hints of molasses and raisins too.

T: Coffee and chocolate up front with a pleasant roast flavor. The cream and the raisins come through for a little bit.This baby's full-bodied and finishes smooth and semi-sweet.

M: Slick, full-bodied and palate coating.

D: I'd be had pressed to peg this at anything above 6%. At 12%, I have no idea how they hide the alcohol the way they do.

**Edit 9 Feb 2012**
Drinking my one bottle from 2007 that my aunt was kind enough to get me. This is the green champagne bottle.

The nose is simply stunning. Rich, dark fruit character with plums, some raisins, chocolate and faint coffee notes, this has oxidized in a rather stunning fashion. Mild licorice, brown sugar and molasses are present. Very smooth, this reminds me a lot of the 03 BA Speedway. The palate is sublime. Smooth chocolate, raisins, port, red grape juice, and rather surprisingly, a little bit of a coffee character remains. Coupled with the sweetness, it brings to mind a cafe cubano. Rich, decadent and awesome with fudge, caramel. Ridiculously good. 4.5/5/5

**Edit 3rd May 2013**

Drinking my lone bottle of the 2004 vintage that I received from Faro. Thanks, man.

The nose is super mellow. A blend of mild soy, raisins, dark fruit, a little bit of alcohol, moderate sweetness, this smells great. This is clearly aged but not really old. The palate opens with a vinous sweetness, medium full in body, mildly carbonated with a blend of raisins and chocolate, very fruity, mildly soy-like, a touch of caramel, and towards the very end, just a little bit of paper. Medium-full in body, lightly carbonated,this has a long finish with a blend of mild char, chocolate, caramel and a little bit of soy. Very nice.

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Photo of Boto
4.58/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle: I believe this one dates to 2004: paper label and black foil. This one pours an inky very dark brown. There was a thin tan head that didn't linger. Rich aroma. Mainly Roasted coffee and chocolate, with hints of sweetness and some dark fruits. WOW: is the taste smooth. It is very full bodied, roasty chocolate caramel, definitely some hops to balance it out, but they are masked. Excellent.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.37 out of 5 based on 6,647 ratings.
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