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: 6,645
Photo of wanker
4.64/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wonderful thick, creamy mouthfeel. Almost feels like cream has been added. Among my favorite mouthfeels ever.

Delicious coffee flavor. The coffee is really out front and provides all the bitterness in the beer. I couldn't taste any hops - but that is ok. Because of the coffee bitterness the beer was adequately balanced between sweet and bitter flavors. No alcohol taste, even though the ABV is 12%.

Super drinkable, until you pass out from the ABV.

Just a few negatives:

I couldn't get any head out of this beer, even with a fairly aggressive pour. I'd like to see a bit of head. Thus the 3.0 appearance rating.

Even though there is no alcohol in the taste, the alcohol hits you pretty hard in the nose. So I took off a point for smell.

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Photo of NewSc2
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap at beachwood (writing this as I drink)

I've had this stout a few times here, all have been great. Not a big fan of imperial stouts, but love coffee, which this beer exudes. Great roasted coffee flavor throughout, not really chocolatey at all. As the beer warms the alcohol comes through, which is not what I'm used to in stouts.

Would never have guessed 12% abv at all. Might be psychological, but the stout tasted less balanced than ideal after I found put the alcohol content.

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Photo of Kudashov
3.73/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On a trip to Marty's I told Dan ~ Le Beer Man ~ that I was on the hunt for Stouts and Doppel Bocks . He gave me a bottle of Speedway Stout and said that it is one of his favs . Marty's is by far my favorite place for beer hunting . Yes some will say that the beers are tad but pricey but that old line " you get what you pay for " holds true . When poured in my Galway seidel mug the head was thin . The brew looks sooo thick . Coffee - espresso - flavor . Has a dark chocolate bitterness to it . On the tongue it is thick for a short while but there is no burn on the finish . Which I though would happen seeing that this is 12 % . I enjoy the warmth that this is giving me as I watch the LSU / Ole Miss football . LSU is killing my parlay right now . This is a good beer , not great . It has put the "red heat " in my cheeks but at $16 a bottle I would rather buy packs of Brooklyn Black Chocolate Founders Breakfast Stout , or my fav as of right now Kentucky Breakfast Stout .

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Photo of PhxHorn
3.23/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours almost black, with very little head. Smells of intensely of coffee and dark chocolate. Tastes the same, except very sweet. Actually, too sweet and too much coffee for me; quite lopsided. Needs more bitter flavor to balance out the sweetness. Took me quite awhile to finish the glass. This is a very rich, sweet and coffee-tasting beer, more than I care for. I'm sure it's just the beer for someone who love coffee, but it's just not the right one for me.

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

750ml brown bottled purchased from Dilly Deli poured into a pint and a snifter. No dating but it was recently received about a month ago.

A: Pours a pure black with much viscosity. In both vessels, I get a very weak head even after an above average pour. Head is a deep mocha color with a bit of staying power before it disappears completely. I get thin wisps of lacing after each sip in the pint but next to none in the snifter.

S: I originally poured this into just a pint but the smell was a bit too subtle. After pouring the rest into my large snifter, I get the full powered goodness. Big coffee notes, just as deep as Founders BS but not as pungent or abrasive. Nice background of bitter chocolates and a nice hidden sweetness. Smells like the dark cherry(and chocolate) juice into those little chocolate.. things, lol. Very good and complex. Glad I poured the rest into my snifter.

T/M: Taste is spot on the smell. The sweetness is a bit darker and rawer than the smell.. more of a molasses. Quick change from strong coffee notes, to subtle sweetness and back with a perfectly controlled raw coffee bitterness at the end. Body is very full and creamy. Alcohol is 100% completely hidden, even after warming past 65 with ease.

D: Everything just seems right with this brew. Before I knew it, the 750 was gone. Only draw back is $13 a beer. This is something that I would bring to any and all occassions(like my expedition stout, even though it's pretty expensive, yet in singles) but the price makes it a rare treat.

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

AleSmith- Speedway Stout

Big thanks to Pimpp for this 1.

A- Thick viscous black with a thick creamy tan head.
S- Immediately got hit with fresh roasted coffee with hints of cocoa and alcohol.
T- Strong dark roast black coffee with ccoa powder mixed in. A slight cream flavor pronounced in the end. Boozy alc. shines through in the end also.
M- Very very smooth up front, mild bitterness makes way for a very creamy body. Alc kicks you in the nd.

Overall- An excellent stout for a long cold evening. Surprisingly smooth for a 12% alc beer!?! 1 bomber is plenty for the night.

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Photo of Trueant1
4.62/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a bomber with a black and white lable. Paid 11.99 USD.

Pours a black oil like consistancy. Leaves a thin head that is dirty brown. Some brown around the edges in the beer are noted.

Exceptioanl smells.
Smells up front of dark chocolates, raisons, grapes, espresso. Other smells are chocolate mousses, yiesty smells, peppery spice, and dark molassis.

Tastes just like the smells. The surprise is the unexpected bitterness in the aftertaste. ( not a bad thing at all) Also reminds me of chocolate covered espresso beans.

Mouthfeel is oil coating like. With fine carbonation.

This stout lives up to it's reputation. What a great smell it omits every time you put your sniffer in the snifter.


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Photo of SilentSabre
3.82/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received this in a trade with Enola back over the Summer. 750mL bottle with silver foil around the top. Label looks similar to the one in the photgraph here, only it's black and white. Poured extremely dark; black crude oil body with only a sliver of dark reddish light around the edges when held up to the lamp on my computer desk.
This simply smells rich. Old coffee, damp, black earth, dark roasted cereals, and perhaps, some mushrooms. A splendid combination of aromas. Taste, I'm afraid to say, while certainly good, wasn't what I thought it would be. This is yet again another example of a really good beer not being the "Ale of the Gods" all the hype and excitement would suggest one prepare for. I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea. This is a great stout and I wish I had 3 or 4 more downstairs to enjoy in the winter to come. However, the way folks go crazy over this thing simply doesn't match its performance, IMO.
Many of the profiles present in the smell were present in the flavour, as well, especially the coffee and burnt cereal grains. Again, this is a *good* stout, but certainly not what others would have one believe. Honestly, in the way of stouts, I'd take a Weyerbacher Heresy over this.
Mouthfeel in this one is very nice, but could be a bit more oil-like. *Almost* where it needs to be in a stout like this for my tastes.
While the 12%abv is terrifically well concealed with alcohol difficult to detect, the flavours are still very rich indeed warranting a 3,5 at best for drinkability.
Overall, a nice stout with wonderful aromas and a delightful combination of flavour profiles married to a heavy, but smooth mouthfeel. It does not, however, hold up to the near fanaticism one sees so regularly on this site.

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Photo of k3n
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 Vintage.

A: Jet jet black. Black Black. Heart of Gold Black. Really black. Foamy tan bubbles.

S: Dark chocolate. Coffee (also dark). Soy sauce?

T: aahhh.. Rich chocolate and coffee flavors. This is one of those beers you absolutely cannot drink right out of the fridge. It just does not do it justice. Let it warm up, and you're rewarded by a richness you just can't taste when it's too cold. A bit of hop astringency at the end. Almost no bitterness. Certainly can't taste the alcohol!

M: Creamy, with just a spike of carbonation. Oily on the tongue, just helps coat all the good flavors around.

D: I could just sit here and sip on this forever...

[Aside: Also tried this tonight with a blop of Hagendaaz Coffee ice cream in it...instant dessert!]

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Photo of chefscott79
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was awesome

poured on tap at hollingshead in orange, ca

appearances...nice and dark with a great head and lots of lace left behind

smelled great lots of roasted malt smells with coffee...yumm so fucking new favorite stout...great dark malt flavors and balanced with a great coffee and hoppiness bitterness....sooo good

drinkable....sooo don't even know that this is 12% soooo drinkable...I was sad I could only get one of these there...

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Photo of tendermorsel
4.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

This a real sipping beer. Nice strong jet black color. Aroma of coffee. Very malty and a bit more hops than I expected. A remarkably smooth beer that became sweeter and smother as it warmed. Although I couldn't taste the booze I could definitely feel it. I am glad I shared this with a friend.

Overall a good beer. Not my all time favorite coffee stout but definitely up there.

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

750ml bottle from the brewer. Pours opaque motor oil black that no light will shine through. Accompanied by a dirt brown head that dissipates slowly and has moderate lacing. Aromas of sweet anise, espresso and coffee. Taste is pure bliss, bitter hops and coffee dominate with some black licorice and dark chocolate in the background. Mouthfeel is perfect--full, creamy and smooth. The finish was long and showcased bitter chocolate hops. Recommended.

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

Bottle purchased at Hi-Time in Costa Mesa
Looks good. Dark brown, black in appearance, very little light penetrating through the glass. Thin, oil spill head fades quickly, even in Duvel chalice
Smelled very strong of coffee and chocolate. Many coffee beers go overboard and the coffee aspect tends to smell like burnt grounds. Speedway pulls it off quite well. Probably the best smellin coffee stout I have had.
Taste is almost perfect. Very rich chocolate, coffee and alcohol.
Mouthfeel is strong as well. Well rounded, thick, tasty brew that, despite it's high alcohol content, doesn't lose any drinkability for it.
Highly recommended.

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

On-tap at Hollingshead's Delicatessen in Orange, CA,

A: Pours black, an oily sludge black, with a brown head, small out of the tap, but leaves abundant lacing in a Chimay chalice, and good retention all the way through the drink.

S: Coffee, dark, roasted malts, some dark chocolate there as well.

T: A truly delicious beer in every sense of the word. Huge coffee flavours bombard the palate, baker's chocolate, and roasted malts just add to the delight. There is a slight alcohol burn at the end, but it is hardly noticable, since the big flavours make you concentrate on them and not the ethanol, the ethyl alcohol is very well hidden.

M: Smooth, silky smooth, creamy, robust, full-bodied, this is a beer that demands your attention. And for a beer so high in alcohol, you'll never notice it, so be careful.

D: The most drinkable big beer I have ever had probably, another of the two truly outstanding offerings I have had from Alesmith, along with Yulesmith. On-tap or in a bottle, any SoCal beer fan should find this beer and try it at least once.

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

Received in a trade.
Black in color with a light brown head that holds it's shape well. This beer looks big.
Roasted aromas. Coffee. Hint of chocolate. Not as chocolately as I was expecting.
More bitter than other RIS that I've had in a good way. Roasted malts. Burnt rye bread. Coffee, rich and dark. Chocolate and a hint of tobacco. Very complex and deep yet smooth. Lasting acidic bitterness in the aftertaste. The 12%abv is nowhere to be found.
Thick rich and creamy mouthfeel. For such a rich and big beer it is remarkably smooth.
If my liver would take it I'd drink another.
I've been holding on to this one for a year waiting for the urge to strike. The urge struck and now I'll be searching for another.

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Photo of Absumaster
4.05/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is a black, non transparant beer with a small off-white head.

Smell is strong roasted that is predominantly black malt. There is some smoke and the coffee beans are in here, but not as upfront as I expected. You would have to know it to smell it.

Taste is roasted and burned, I get goose bums on my back at the first sip. This stuff is bitter! Now I get the coffee sensation, but still it is not strong and does not smell like fresh ground coffee or like fresh coffee. You could have fooled me and say that the burned/ roasted notes came from the dark malts. Bitterness is high and dominated by US hops, which means piney and citric aggressive bold bitterness and full of cohumulone.
The body is medium and drinkability is good, for a 12%ABV beer they have hidden the alcohol remarkably well, there is not even a warming sensation. Aftertaste is dry and lingering bitter and roasted.

I got this bottle from dogfooddog, thanks again!

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Photo of drseamus
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served on draft at the Toronado. An amazing beer all around. It has the typical jet black body with a thin mocha head. The aroma is filled with strong chocolate and coffee. The feel of the beer is incredibly creamy and chocolaty with a sweet finish. As I said, this is a damn good beer all around. Heavy body with great drinkability.

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Photo of brewcrew76
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Solid black with a thick creamy brown head and a ring of lace staying behind.

S - Coffee, roasted malt, sweet chocolate, vanilla & some bitter hops.

T - Roasted grains and black raosted coffee beans with some bittersweet chocolate, touch of bitter hops and a hint of alcohol.

M - Thick chewey and creamy all at the same time. Dry finish. Smooth at 1 year old but not as smooth as I remember a fresh bottle.

D - One of my favorites but I remember a fresher bottle being a touch better. This one is 1 yr old and is a touch less complex and smooth than I remember the fresher bottle I tried. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Stoneman78
4.52/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Getting in the mood for tomorrow's barrel-aged releases from Alesmith!
A- Pours the deepest of browns with highlights of dark tan, very opaque in clarity, the head is thick, vivacious, and creamy with a brown/tan color, big thick lacing sticks on the glass
S- As billed, the aroma is big on coffee, toasty, and roasty, as well as a good offering of chocolate, molasses, and toffee, some dark rich malts in there as well and a subtle alcohol presence
T- Initial taste is dominated by a huge coffee taste backed by dark chocolate, I am also catching some molasses and dark fruits in there as well as a hint of vanilla and slight hop character, finishes with that hop bitterness and a warming alcohol presence
M- Very full-bodied stout that is thick and creamy on the palate, bordering on syrupy, carbonation is lively and balanced
D- The alcohol presence is surprisingly subtle for a whopping 12%abv, but I still wouldn't push my luck with this one, this big stout is well-known and respected throughout the land and I cast my review in the midst of the majority: a top quality coffee-forward Imperial Stout that is in the top tier of the genre (along with Old Rasputin and Stone IRS), I can't wait to tap into my barrel-aged version at some point in the future!

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

Pours an opaque black with a dark brown head that dies to a ring. Smells of coffee grinds, chalk, caramel and some tinfoil. Tastes of roasted coffee, molasses, chocolate and chalkey. Medium in the mouth. A sipper. Must admit I was dissapointed compared to all the hype.

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

Pours a deep, rich, dark black color with a light brown colored head that dies down to leave very little left. Smell is some coffee, molases, and I also smell some tinfoil, and a kind of chalky aroma. Taste is a little better than the smell with coffee, some dark cacao, and again a little more chalky taste. Mouthfeeling is creamy and watery with a medium feeling.

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Photo of BigJTrucker
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased this 750ml bottle from the Market of Choice, 29th & Willamette, Eugene, OR. Had the pleasure of consuming it with a buddy after the Ducks' amazing victory today.

Poured a very deep dark coffee black color. Thick, foamy, creamy head, excellent head retention.

Heavy coffee, dark chocolate, and roasted malty aroma. Very nice indeed!

OMG! Tastes very heavy of dark bakers chocolate, roasted coffee beans. This beer is heaven, in a glass!

Mouthfeel is very heavy, thick and syrupy. In times past, i wouldn't have been worthy of a beer with this amount of mouthfeel and would've came away overwhelmed, but praise be to Ninkasi, I'm greatly joyed that i can enjoy a beer of this magnitude.

Drinkability is very high. So much flavor and mouthfeel make this beer a joy to behold. 12%abv though makes it a bit much to drink more than a bomber of this, but it's truly an honor to be able to share this 750ml bottle with a close friend.

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

750mL-- was saving it for a special occasion, but opening the beer is a special occasion in and of itself.

Pours dark, garnet-hued brown and opaque. I mean seriously opaque-- nothing passes the event horizon of this beer. The head dissipates quickly to a thin ring around the edge of the glass, which is a shame, since it's a great shade of brown. In spite of this, it laces like crazy.

The aroma is perfect for a stout-- lots of coffee, chocolate, some molasses, and just a little vanilla (which is weird for beer that hasn't lived in a barrel.) Sweet dark malts are present throughout.

Opens up with sweet malts, blending mid-palate into dark malts. The finish is heavy on the coffee, with just a hint of west coast hops. Malty sweetness lingers, along with the coffee flavor. Alesmith has managed to do something that almost no other brewery has managed to do with their big stout-- to make black malt coffee flavor a major presence without being disgustingly astringent (I'm thinking of Nogne Ø here.)

The mouthfeel is heavy and creamy but not overwhelming. Alcohol is present only as warmth in the chest. This is an especially huge achievement, since there's a lot of it.

Considering the style and the ABV, this is pretty drinkable too.

This is an awesome, awesome Imperial-- oh sorry, "American Double"--Stout.

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Photo of illidurit
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've had a couple bad experiences with Speedway in the bottle due to the infamous bottling problem AleSmith had a couple years ago, so when I went down to the brewery this past weekend, I just had to try it on tap. Unspoiled Speedway in the bottle is amazing, and on tap it's just divine. Great cocoa head that sticks all over the glass, powerful coffee and dark chocolate aromas, and the perfect balance of sweet and roasty malt that materialize as bittersweet chocolate and coffee. The perfect stout.

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Photo of jarspag04
4.78/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is the brew that stared the obsession. What once was an imposing force on the palate, one which was taken down with sheer pain and struggle - now becomes the go to beer for any occasion which warrants a heavy sipper. Most notably a cold snowy night during a friendly ski trip...ah yes, perfection. Let one mature for at least two years and you'll see why this brew is nothing but world-class.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.37 out of 5 based on 6,645 ratings.
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