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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: 1,627 | Ratings: 6,455
Photo of mjgardner
4.52/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours pitch black with a tan head that dissapates somewhat quickly.

Aroma - A big coffee and toffee aroma. I also picked up a bit of the alcohol in the aroma.

Taste - A bit smokey malt taste. Almost a sweet expresso coffee finish with some heat from the alcohol.

Mouth - Quite full bodied with decent carbonation.

Drinkability - This is a big beer and I would recomment drinking with a friend. Definitely a good brew.

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Photo of beveritt
3.85/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Poured from a 750 ml green bottle into a small tulip. The label is painted on and gives a description of the beer and brewing process.

Appearance: Pours with a huge head, probably about 2 inches. The head is dark brown and takes awhile to settle. Finally settles into a thin coating of foam. The beer itself is a nearly opaque brown.

Smell: Thick and sweet smelling, like rum raisins and molasses. Tangy bitterness of coffee is also very present.

Taste: Alcohol bite upfront, followed by oily coffee and chocolate flavors and a long, lingering bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Average level of carbonation. Body is average.

Drinkability: I split this some friends, to celebrate a special occasion. The beer is strong and very flavorful, but more suited to sipping on a cool winters night than a warm April afternoon. Overall, I like it.

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

the best stout i've ever had. thanks to bennetj17 for this wonderful west coast beer!

appearance: black, with a gorgeous 2 finger tan head.

smell: chocolate and roasted coffee as is expected.

taste: rich chocolate, but not too sweet! balanced BEAUTIFULLY with the coffee beans. one sip you will get deep dark luscious chocolate, the next you will get a more roasted coffee flavor. some stouts, one flavor or the other dominates, this double stout, is meshed perfectly.

mouthfeel: thick and chewy, you can really sink your teeth into this one so to speak. a joy to savor each sip.

drinkability: i could finish a whole big bottle of this stuff on my own no qualms. this is very high ABV, but drinks like an 5% oatmeal stout. great dessert beer, or have it anyway you like, just give it your full attention and respect one of the best beers in existence!

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

I had a bottle of this at the Stone Brewery Distro while I was in the area for a conference. I have been lusting after this beer for a while since it is one of the few on the BA Top 100 I hadn't had. Seeing it on the Stone beer list made me very happy.


Appearance: Extremely dark, opaque body. Fairly substantial dark brown/orange head that lingers much longer than anticipated.

Smell: Lots of chocolate and roasted malt. Some fruity notes. A little hops buried in there. As it warmed up the alcohol definately came out.

Taste: mmmm yummy. Some sweet malt tastes upfront but quickly overwhelmed by the roasted coffee, roasted malt, and chocolate tastes.
A bit of hops at the end along with a reminder of the huge alcohol (especially as it warmed up)

Mouthfeel: Thick meaty goodness. Mmmm yummy. Low carbonation, full bodied, creamy, excellent mouth coating. Basically what you'd expect for an imperial stout.

Drinkability: Well... One 750ml bottle was plenty, especially after the Stone sampling... Not the sort of thing you chug down several of in a night, but who would do that to such a fine beer anyway? Now, if I had several bottles to spread out over a week that would be awesome. Too bad for stupid TSA carry on rules. :(

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.98/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a stark black into my snifter. The head was substantial and was a toffee color. The smell was a little roasted coffee. The taste was decent with slight coffee notes and a good roasted character. Not much chocolate going on here. Alcohol was missing in action until after the glass was gone. Decent RIS/Double but I was expecting a lot more from this beer. I'll cellar my other bottle for a couple years and see what happens. Old Numbskull is next!

Update 02/29/2008

Bottle aged for about a year. Smells like super malty grains and coffee. the flavor is strong coffee and molasses, then a heavy maltiness. This is actually pretty delicious and the mouthfeel is nice.

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

Had this awhile back and just going through my notes decided to write up the review. Served at cellar temp.

Pours a black as night an thick as oil. Caramel colored one finger head has thick coated retention and fantastic thick lacing. Roasted malt and barley in the nose with a touch of oats that smooth everything out. Big coffee kick with a slight hop twang--leafy hops.

Spicy abv kick noticeable right after the first sip. Big roasted malt flavors and a big coffee bitterness. Coffee beans and unsweetened chocolate flavors dance on the tongue. Bitterness from the coffee lingers on the palate well into the finish, though it's still surprisingly smooth. Coffee notes are held in check by a sweet caramel flavor--excellent balance on all flavors for this brew. With such a high abv, this is one sipping or sharing brew. Easily drinkable even with a slight spicy abv nudge.

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

I'm finally getting around to reviewing this beer, my favorite stout.

Certain beers get to me sometimes and it becomes almost all I can think about. Usually with me it's an IPA or a Belgian ale, but every once in awhile it's a fine crafted stout. Speedway Stout is one of those beers.

This special beer works best in a snifter I've found (or perhaps a large red wine glass). The snifter allows the beauty of the deep, viscous blackness as it pours along the curve of the glass, leaving a creamy lace. The espresso frothed head is glorious in the small mouth of the snifter.

The aroma is wonderful - rich coffee, sweet malt and an almost vanilla flavor. It takes awhile to get around the complexities but it's very rewarding. The texture is thick and creamy - exactly what I like in a big stout. You can almost chew it.

Tasting it starts with an espresso flavor that gets a bit bitter before rounding out with a sweet malt backbone. There's a bitterness of dark chocolate with a sweetness of vanilla bean and hint of cherry wood. It's difficult to put a finger on all of the flavors, but it's enjoyable to try.

At 12% ABV, this is not for everyday / all day consumption. At that level it is rather remarkable how easily it does go down. The alcohol warmth makes this perfect for a colder night. Living in Los Angeles, I've enjoyed this just as much at bbqs and even for a nice weekend breakfast sipping.

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Photo of oberon
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to orfeu I finally get a chance to have this brew,poured into an imperial pint glass a jet black with a very tight formed 1 1/2 finger mocha colored head that leaves globs of lace as it ever so slowly settled.Aromas of bitter chocolate,dark roast coffee a very definitive fruit essence,even a hint of tree bark.Starts out quite dry with big French Roast coffee flavors with notes of earth and wood after awhite a sweeter rummy like flavor comes thru that lingers after the finish.The alcohol creeps but never really rears its head just a nice little burn,wow this is a masterpiece stout its huge and packed with intense flavor,a gem no doubt and probably my new favorite stout of any kind.

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Photo of JFazekas
4.53/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Painted 750ml foiled but with a cap

Appearance: Deep black with decent head retention in a tulip glass.

Smell: Very sweet and a syrup smell with a note of roasted nuts. No noticeable hop aroma.

Taste: Deep roasted malt attacks the pallet. The malt mellows out into into a rich balanced flavor, yet there are little hop characteristics. The beer was young still, only aged roughly one year so the alcohol flavor was still very present in the after taste. You think you're finished tasting then another round of aftertaste hits with a delicious dark roasted coffee and nut flavor that is more present as the beer warms.

Overall: A truely great beer. At first taste I wasn't sold but as it warmed up it quickly became a delicious treat. I have another bottle saved that I plan on aging, but I can't wait to see how it turns out. As it is this falls into my top 10 all time beers.
put in my all time top 10.

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

Split with a friend, 2006 vintage. We'll be splitting another one of these in a year or so. Oh man, I can't wait.

APPEARANCE: Absolutely pitch black with NO light getting through this. An incredibly dark brown head sits atop my Unibroue chalice, but lightens up somewhat as it sits. The head is still one finger large even 5 minutes after pouring. RIDICULOUS lacing. I'm very impressed.

SMELL: Incredibly intense. HUGE flavors of caramel and chocolate and interestingly nutty. Not as coffee-like and no particular hop aromas detected. Alcohol is very present. Very different from many other big stouts I've had.

TASTE: Wow. Chocolate, caramel, some coffee, and the nuttiness is really present. As it crosses the palette, bitterness becomes more apparent, but no hop flavors specifically. The finish starts as alcohol, but then the nutty and caramel flavors return for a 2 stage finish. Wonderful.

MOUTHFEEL: The thickest, chewiest beer I've ever had. The texture of a milkshake. The carbonation is a bit more than you'd find in most big stouts, and to me, that's perfect.

DRINKABILITY: It's so hard to determine drinkability for a beer as big as this. It's huge and you can't have a lot of this, but what I've got is so damn good and so easy to drink. I'm very impressed.

Believe the hype. This beer is that good. I can't wait to taste it in a year.

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

Picked this one up from the dwindling selection at The Table and Vine. I had heard great things about this beer but sadly was a bit disappointed. Imperial Stout is one of my favorite styles, and this one, while quite good, lacks the complexity of secondary flavors which the truly great ones, such as Yeti or Rogue have in abundance.

Appearance: Beautiful packaging, Fancy 750 capped bottle with white, black and grey lettering. Poured with a think brownish head. Black, Black, Black. More lees in the bottom of the bottle than I have ever seen on anything, even homebrew. Props.

Smell: Rich coffee and roasted malt with alcohol and slight hop undertones.

Taste: Its got the roasted notes, its got the slight pleasant alcohol burn. Perhaps a bit less hop flavor than I go for. And none of those complex vinous and raisiny complex yeast flavors you often get with the a well brewed malt bomb, which as I mentioned was slightly disapointing

Mouthfeel: thick, tingly

Drinkability: All things are relative I suppose. Not one you have three of while your grilling, but good for the style. For the price I paid for it however, I could have two or three Smuttynose RIS's and be much more satisfied. A very good beer, but a top 10 beer, not to me.

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Photo of greenbeaner
3.88/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, I have to say I'm a bit disappointed with this one.. It's definitely a good, better than average beer, but nothing really stood out one way or the other...so here it goes...Appearence is a thick almost black with a huuuuge head...three fingers tan and creamy. Smell is fairly thin for as thick as the beer appears coffee, vanilla, molasses. Tastes of roasted malt with coffee notes and a hoppy finish. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy, which sets the beer apart a bit..otherwise this beer, while being a high quality stout just doesn't seem to have any one quality that stands out more than any other.

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Photo of WeisGuy
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to HimerMan for trading me this bottle a few months ago.

a - pours black with a two-finger tan head with an orangish tint, surprising retention for such a big brew and great lacing

s - big scents of coffee and bittersweet chocolate, burnt malt, dark fruits, some black cherry, slight hoppiness, hints of alcohol

t - quick dark fruit sweetness right up front, quickly evolves into an intense coffee taste with strong notes of bittersweet chocolate and roasted malt, a bit of hoppiness on the finish along with some black cherry and hints of alcohol, very complex, every sip brings new flavors

m - full-bodied, low carbonation, very creamy, coats the mouth well, pretty dry finish, nice warming effect

d - as drinkable as a big stout can be, the alcohol isn't all that evident in the taste, but you can definitely feel the warming, I could sip on this all night

Wow, this lived up to all the hype for me and has instantly become one of my all-time favorites. I waited for the right occasion to drink this bottle and tonight was the night. Incredibly complex brew that I wish I had a few more bottles of to enjoy tomorrow night and the night after that. Definitely worth seeking out.

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Photo of uberabr
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from the 750ml into a snifter

Pitch black, with a big, rich, creamy brown head that leaves rings of lace. Smells of deep espresso, honey, molasses and chocolate. On the phenolic side, some spices and a mild piney hop.

Taste is truly amazing. The overwhelmingly rich, creamy espresso and chocolate seem to predominate at first, but as your palate adjusts these bold flavors dissolve into subtle complexities. Hints of apricot, plums, cherries and white chocolate- even fresh spring water, cut vegetables, and asparagus- round out into a sweet caramel and molasses, walnuts, butter, and cream. Mouthfeel is great, but a tad on the oily, buttery side due to some diacetyl that would round out with age. Truly one of the beers I've ever had. Way to go, Alesmith.

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Photo of tanarm
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I’ve had this one cellaring for a few months now and decided I couldn’t wait any longer.

The head is a light brown and the body pure black. It smells of chocolate and coffee. It is the coffee taste that hits you right away, too. Hints of roasted barley and molasses, maybe even a little nutty flavor in there somewhere, but it is all lost to the coffee and chocolate overtones. The finish is pure dark chocolate goodness that continues to linger on the tip of the tongue for at least ten seconds.

As it warms, the bitterness extends to the back of the tongue and even the roof of the mouth and gets stronger on the finish. You can definitely taste the alcohol in the aftertaste more as it warms, but it never overpowers, as the other tastes become more profound as well. Mouthfeel is almost like carbonated melted chocolate, very creamy. It coats the palate completely.

This is a delicious beer, and I must say one of my favorites. I have another bottle that is cellaring and I am interested in how the tastes will age, but I think this can't get much better. For the style, it is hard to beat.

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

4.5 / 4 / 4.5 / 4 / 4
From a bottle. Chocolate, roast, coffee blend in aroma. Cocholate in the very end of the sip, and then sweet coffee after that in the aftertaste. Aftertaste is a pretty amazing blend of coffee and chocolate.

4.5 / 4 / 4.5 / 4.5 / 4
Served in a goblet at the Stone Bistro. Appearance was a midnight brown with a caramel colored head that had great retention. Smell was chocolate and coffee. Taste was of strong chocolate and lots of coffee for the most part with a nice mellow roasted character as well. Alcohol was well hidden. Moutfeel was thick and full, carbonation very low for a nice smooth drink.

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Photo of SacoDeToro
4.44/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2004 bottle opened and shared by fellow BA, KAME - thanks dude.

The beer poured a darker than dark coal black with no head. There was no pop when this beer was opened and it appeared flat.

The aroma of the beer was full of rich coffee, roasted malts, dark chocolate, and some faint vanilla. The high alcohol helped carry the aroma brilliantly.

The flavor of the beer was full of intense flavors that seamlessly transitioned from one to another. Coffee - Chocolate - Rich roasted malts. There were also flavors of some rum soaked fruits, like plums, raisins, and figs. The hops were very subdued and in the background.

The mouthfeel was thick and heavy. It coated your mouth with a ton of flavor. I only wish the beer weren't flat. A little carbonation would've been nice. From what I understand, the dudes at Alesmith made a slight miscalculation/assumption with respect to bottle conditioning the 2004 bottling. Subsequent batches have this corrected. The beer had a great creaminess to it that helped all the flavors blend together very smoothly.

This is a world-class beer that should grace everyone's beer collection. Buy some now and age it for a few years.

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

One of the highlights of a weekend full of tasting new beers. Wonderful aroma as soon as the cap is opened. Pours a deer rich black, with a very dark tan head. Seems bubbly and highly carbonated and you would think that this would be evident in the taste...But you would be wrong. Heady smells of coffee, chocolates, and malt as it swirlls around in the glass. The faintest smells of bourbon hinting at an alcohol bomb.

A wonderful taste that is eclipsed only my the marvelous mouthfeel. Chocolate and coffee do indeed make their presence known, but the alcohol hinted at in the smell remains elusive. Impressive feat for its abv. Mouthfeel is full and chewy, yet creamy. That high appearing carbonation reveals itself here as only the slightest tickle. Very well done Alesmith. Quite possibly the best Imperial Stout I've had the pleasure of drinking.

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

Appearance: The blackest of the blacks, no light passes through, even at the bottom. The head is a coffee ice cream tan, foamy and inviting. The beer sticks to the glass like a root beer float.

Smell: Not surprisingly huge doses of coffee beans, sweetened up by big maltiness and alcohol, bourbon alcohol, spicy hops in the back, very aromatic.

Taste: Loads of coffee, sweetened with a heavy malt body, warm smooth alcohol, with notes of bourbon in the nose, trails off with peppery hops on the tongue. Coffee, sugar, alcohol. Big.

Mouthfeel: Flawless, creamy, a little sticky, full bodied, lightly carbonated, the foam sticks around and forces you to drink more of the beer.

Drinkability: Spectacular, at 12% ABV this could not be more drinkable. The beer can be sipped like a fine single malt scotch or guzzled down like a creamy shake. The beer is the best of both, and in my opinion you only need one of these 5ths to get a a great buzz from a great beer.

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

Big A** bottle. I have been sitting on for a few months.

a- dark brown/black pour and thick like motor oil! the "glug glug" sound from the bottle to the glass is awesome.

s- coffee, chocolate, prune, dark cherry, fig.

t- same as above, rather robust and extremely complex.

m- chewy, this is a meal in a glass.

d- it will take me all night to drink this bottle. actually, i may have to cork it and finish tomorrow. it is so complex that it needs to be experienced, not downed to get through.

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Photo of peabody
4.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Now this beer looks nice. It pours out a very black reddish brown with tons of creamy malt suds that come up two fingers and suspend themselves leaving lacing as they very slowly dissapate.
First smell is coffee and roasted malt. One person wrote he smelled leather, by golly I think I do too. Now the dark chocolate is coming through.Sweet malts and yeast come together to hide the alcohol.
Taste is the best.Bitter coffee and sweet caramel. Coffee is very strong here. Malt sweetness with raisin and cherry.I feel like I could chew this stuff.
Aftertaste is coffee but there is never any alcohol hint until you stop drinking this brew. Then the alcohol sets to the back of the throat.
I love this but know it's not a session beer. I sure would love to make it one though.

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Photo of Phatz
4.87/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is everything divine about Stouts. WOW! All I can say is Oh my God. WOW!

Appearance: Pours absolute black. The tan head settles to a halo and it leaves some fine lacing for a 12.00 % beer.

Smell: The aroma is the perfect drum-roll to an absolutely grand flavor. The anticipation it induces is terrific. Smells of dark rum, leather, roasted malts, dark vinous cherry, chocolate and coffee... amazing.

Taste: I believe this is not beer. God melted perfect chocolate into port made by his own hand and infused it with coffee leaving the most rich and sensuous flavors imaginable.

Mouthfeel: It is like drinking liquid silk. Melted chocolate with just the right addition of butter to make a thick rich warm chewy feel across the palate.

Drinkability: This is a sipping beer. Still it is one I could live with if Speedway Stout and I were all that was left on earth.

Hope this is helpful.

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

Thanks to Phatz for sharing his bottle - Poured from a 750ml bottle into a snifter glass. Appears pure black, letting no light pass through with a finger of dark tan foam. Smells of bitter roasted coffee, and grassy hops. Tastes of bittersweet cocoa and strong brewed coffee followed by a burst of hops. Thick in the mouth with light carbonation. The alcohol is so well hidden in this beer and it is satisfying to drink. A fantastic double stout.

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Photo of rayjay
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2006 vintage, purchased in OR (who have a better selection of CA beers than I do here in CA >:-{

Very firm, oily, multi-colored head. The highlight is the extra creamy nitro mouthfeel that just melts on your tongue. Firm bitterness from the coffee, although it's flavor is hard to pinpoint; the beer has a deep roasted flavor that seems to be coming from all directions. Very dense, yet very easy to palate. Alcohol is extremely well hidden, and lightens the gravity more than it's tasted. Minor notes of leather, chocolate, and burnt crystal malts. All flavors blend together in perfect harmony, making for a great drinking experience.

Very highly recommended. Would it kill you guys to send some to N Cal every once in a while? Maybe drop some off on the way up to OR?

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

Poured from a 750ml bottle into two pint glasses. Thanks to Killer for the assist! Extra special thanks to Mcallister for the hook up. Woo Hoo! Review #100!

A: I don't think they come much blacker than this! Tiny, dark brown cap of foam that disappears to a tiny ring.

S: Quite restrained in the nose. Roasted coffee, burnt brown sugar, and alcohol.

T: See above with the addition of cherries, raisins, dark chocolate, black pepper, boozy alcohol, with spicy hops in the finish.

M: Bitter, dry, and oily. Thinner that I expected. Very slick and slippery.

D: This is a brutal stout that is not to be toyed with. One bottle could be an afternoon project...for two people. I wish the alcohol flavor wasn't so pronounced. I subtracted points because of the ragged booziness.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,627 ratings.
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