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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

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: 1,645 | Ratings: 6,566
Photo of SwillBilly
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ML Champaigne style bottle.

Appearance: Pours pitch black into my pint glass with a thick and merangue like chocolate covered head that lasts forever.

Smell: Big and malty with hints of milk chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, molasses, and a touch of alcohol.

Taste: Starts with an immediate hint of alcohol in the nose as you drink. The 1st taste brings a sweet, chocolatey cafe mocha like flavor followed by a dark fruity sweetness. Loads of malt with a really nice roasty finish with just a hint of bitterness from hops or the coffee. Alcohol is present but not obtrusive. You know its there but the other flavors dominate.

Mouthfeel: Nice and thick and creamy, perfectly carbonated.

Drinkability: I've been waiting to try Speedway Stout for a long time and I'm not disappointed. A big Double Stout with a coffee infusion. Plenty of big malty fruity sweetness and chocolate with just the right amount of roasted coffee and barley to give it a touch of bitterness. Alcohol definitely plays a roll especially at 12% but its not over the top. A beer to savor and let warm as you drink. Probably better to drink in the winter as opposed to the 95 degree day we had in DC today but I just brewed a coffee stout and wanted to see what I was up against. I think I lost big time !! A great offering from the folks at Alesmith. Definitely seek out and enjoy. Highly recommended.

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

Pours blacker than night, with a dark tan head that is rocky and leaves syrup and lace on the glass. Dissapates quickly due to the alcohol and likely the coffee acids.

You can smell it when you open it, pour it, and may be overwhelmed if you bring it to your nose. Wow. Coffee, chocolate, burnt grains, sweet alcohol.

A sip brings to the palate an assault of sweet malt with dark roasted barley. Creamy thick with tons and tons of coffee and chocolate intermingling in the finish with a sweet alcohol and slight lingering astringency on the tongue. An exhale brings more sweet alcohol and coffee.

This beer is a masterpiece. When I see it, I buy a case. It is worth every penny.

Alesmith, thank you.

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

Opened on April 18, 2011. The last day of classes for the year.

Black, with a large four finger tan head. Recedes to a finger of froth. Thick lacing.

EDIT: PZ generously sent me a replacement bottle, which was more in line with my expectations. A very solid coffee stout. Thanks!

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

A- Pours jet black with dark tan 1-2 finger head, good retention with lace clumping all over my glass.

S- Nice almost dark fruit with roasted malt and tons of dark chocolate coffee flavors, followed by a slight warming cherry sherry scent.

T- Very similar to the smell which is very nice, however this bottle is still young and has a slight bitter hop finish which will die in 1-2 years of cellaring.

M- Full body beer with tons of flavors a slight warming alcohol presence and almost too much carbonation on this beast, let it mellow for 1-2 years and re-review is best.

D- For being 12% alcohol, I finished a 750ml and started on some Stone Self Righteous, with some age this would be fantastic.

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Photo of camil1mj
4.03/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at cellar temp.

A: Dark brown like a dark chocolate Hershey bar. Tan colored creamy head.

S: Roasty and semi-sweet chocolate.

T: Big chocolate, caramel and roasted toffe notes that give way to hints of coffee.

M: Heavy bodied. Medium carbonation.

I: Great non-barrel aged stout. One of my favorite standards stouts. I wish it was distributed to MI.

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

Poured a black chocolate thick mysterious color with a coffee ground colored head. The head gave way to thick, intricate and full lacings.

Big malt aroma with some floral and hoppy suggestions.

Thick, and foamy consistency...this is a big beer!

Sweet malt base flavor mixes with a complex grouping of coffee, roasted malts, caramel, chocolate molasses and hops. The sweetness and warmth suggest the presence of the high alcohol percentage but the alcohol taste is lost amidst the other flavors. I found the sweetness to linger slightly too much in the aftertaste, but aside from that the flavors are excellent.

I'm looking forward to aging a few of these before I review again.

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Photo of jeffjfindley
4.53/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ebony body, and the darkest head I've ever seen. Way beyond the parchment color of many micro stouts, this is BROWN. The smell is nice, and suggestive of the intense amounts of coffee beans they threw into this thing.

The taste is wonderful, and beyond smooth. It is even throughout, packing incredibly rich chocolate maltiness, mocha, and a healthy blast of alcohol at the end. The feel is perfect, and the most outstanding feature of this most outstanding brew. Almost too drinkable, considering it's ABV. Exercise restraint, or you may wind up pantsless in the gutter.

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Photo of Viaduck
4.36/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Very dark & not much of a head. Smells like chocolate & coffee & molasses. Salty & sweet & complex flavors hide any alcohol flavor. It's low carbonation doesn't detract from the enjoyment of this excellent beer.

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

Beautiful black beer with thick tan head. Thick sticky lacing coats the glass after each sip.

Huge nose of alcohol, roasted coffee beans (as the bottle warns) and some bitter chocolate.

WHOA! This beer hits the tongue with LOADS of flavor. Roasted coffee exlodes on the tongue. Lots of bitter chocolate and slight hop presence balance out the sweetness. Alcohol warming follows as this one finishes dry. The huge creamy thick feel makes this one overly pleasant to sit down with.

If only I could come across this one more often. Many thanks to Jetsbeer for this one.

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Photo of athensbeermaster
3.95/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I just got a new job so I could afford this expensive brew. This stout didn't pour much of a head and almost no lacing? The nose had some expresso and chocolate peeking out with a huge alcohol presence. The taste was full of dark roasted malts and rich chocolate and coffee flavors. The mouthfeel was smooth and went very well with my CAO mx-2 cigar. The drinkability scores as good as you can get for being so high in alcohol. This beer is very complex I picked up more flavors on the last glass and tasted some fig notes and smoky caramel. The finish is nice & clean with a dry coffee aftertaste.

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Photo of Wadsey
3.62/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Speedway Stout, vintage May 2011

Served in one of last two DFH signature glasses left in my possession. The others must have read my reviews of DFH beers and leapt to their deaths. I also lost a fish last week. Coincidence? I'm not so sure. 

A: Pours black with massive brown head that takes a few moments to settle down to surface of beer. No appreciable lacing and so forth. 

S: Roasted malts with molasses and some dark fruits. Hints of licorice, acetone, cocoa nibs, and earth. 

T: Shocking sweetness combines with roasted malt and cocoa nib characteristics to form chocolate syrup, but of a higher quality than Hershey's. I do think the other characteristics I described in smell are manifested in taste, although acetone/alcohol is more subdued. Medium bitterness. Finish is long and roasty. 

M: Medium-heavy body and medium-light carbonation. Fuller mouthfeel that moves from creamy to powdery. A little warming. 

O: Coffee is much more low-key in Speedway Stout than I was expecting and acts as a prop to roast malts more than anything else. Then again, I recently drank some great coffee-forward stouts so maybe my palate is a little too tuned in to coffee for this beer. Reminds me of Yeti, which is another above-average imperial stout. 

Thanks Robo for the beer. I know Speedway Stout is your favorite so it couldn't have been easy to let it go. 

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Photo of schlimenhaumer
4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to kojevergas for this bottle as well as hosting the first formal tasting I’ve attended on January 3! Starting the night out strong with this one. Poured into a Gouden Carolus tulip at altitude in Denver.

A: Pitch black with a dark tan head of little retention and spotty lacing. Oily appearance when swished around the glass.

S: Dark chocolate, peaty oak notes, some vanilla and a bit of booze.

T: Dark chocolate with some oak notes on the finish. Very straightforward in terms of flavor, but the flavors here complement each other and it’s very well balanced. The alcohol is concealed very nicely here.

M: Full-bodied and silky smooth. Quite possibly the best aspect of this beer, and near perfect for an imperial stout in my opinion.

D: This is a very drinkable beer, especially in light of its alcohol content. I think it’s a great model for a simple approach to an imperial stout.

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Photo of khmel
4.49/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Pitch black, opaque. Thin, tan head. Dissipates quickly to a ring. Mild lacing.

S: Coffee noticeable, bourbon hint in the nose. Chocolate and oakey notes.

T: Dark malt, dark cocoa, cream, slightly smokey notes. Amazing!

M: Creamy, rich, smooth. Very low carbonation. Really great.

O: An excellent imperial stout! True to its style and very well executed. A must repeat!

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Photo of hophead247
4.65/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black and opaque in appearance; moderately thick in viscosity. Head is minimal at first but quickly diminishes to an oily overlay. Bitterness jumps out of the gate first for aroma, along with unsweetened dark chocolate, mocha mousse and cafe o' lait. Coffee and roasted malts are definitely represented in this speed demon. Alcohol is discernable in flavor. Bitter chocolate and espresso flavors dominate. It's like sucking on a handful of greasy, dark roasted espresso beans. Body is oily and dense. Malts seem to favor flavor over viscosity. Definitely has its share of IBUs. Moderate carbonation is probably livelier on the palate than in actuality because of the dactylic touch of alcohol. Finish is warming, bitter and mouth watering. While I served it at about 55 degrees as recommended on the bottle, I liked it better as it got even warmer, say 60-65 degrees. At the higher temp, it seemed to thicken and improve its body.

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Photo of bret27
4.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

S: Roasty and coffee predominantly. Also chocolate. A little booze and toffee malty sweetness around as well.

A: Jet black w/brn thick head. What else?

T: Mostly coffee along w/the delcious maltiness and roastiness. Vanilla, chocolate, toffee notes. A little boozy presence but the etoh is well hidden for sure.

M/D: Thick and velvety sublime mouthfeel. Drinkability is definitely impressive for ABV.

Overall: I can't really add anything. This beer is all over socal at reasonable prices, and it's still one of the highest rated beers in the world year after year.

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


Looks delicious. Luscious large brown head with deep dark brown body. Head dissipates very very slowly leaving thick lace.

Big coffee and chocolate aromas. Definitely sweet. You can sense the alcohol. Maybe a bit of vanilla ice cream, whipped cream sorta scent.

An initial spiciness is immediately followed by sweet coffee chocolate flavors. Theres a definite subdued sense of hops in the finish. The chocolate and coffee blend well in the finish. The coffee flavors throughout are very good.

The mouthfeel on this is exceptionally smooth with small bubbly carbonation, lighter side of heavy. 12% get increasingly prominent but always welcome and warm.

One of the top imperial stouts I've tried. Delicious.

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Photo of punkrkr27
4.01/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 bottle. Lots of rich sweet yet bitter black strap molasses character with a shot of espresso. There's some milk chcoclate that comes out in the middle and it finishes with a long bitter black coffee finish. There was a hint of soy I didn't care much for though. The body is sticky and full with moderate carbonation.

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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 natasharai
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass with 3cm dark tan creamy head. The beer is black in color, no light can pass through this stuff! Good head retention, stayed until almost finished with the glass, and nice thick lacing down the glass.

Smell: Very roasty like a roasted marshmallow, very sweet up front with a slight bitterness at the end.

Taste: A lot of roasty malts up front. Followed by a stronger bitter flavor than expected, like a dark chocolate or coffee bitterness. Almost no taste of alcohol. Leaves my mouth with a nice subtle bitter taste.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy bodied, little carbonation, small hop bite. Nice balance of creamy texture and bitter bite.

Overall: The taste was not bad, could barley notice any alcohol considering the ABV. I couldn't detect any fruity taste which I do enjoy in imperial stouts... so that was slightly disappointing. Otherwise I really enjoyed the mouthfeel and appearance.

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Photo of Czarkazm
4.13/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle has been aged about 2 years. Pitch black in the glass with some ruddy brown highlights along the edges of the glass when held up to the light. Being an aged bottle, I'm getting more chocolate on the nose than coffee, more dark fruit than I remember a fresh bottle having, some burnt caramel, roasted malts. Taste follows the smell very well. Very roasty with bittersweet chocolate along with a fully rich, decadent mouthfeel. As good as this one still is, I wouldn't recommend aging it.

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Photo of rex_4539
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: Jet black color, two finger brown head, nice lacing, no visible carbonation.

S: Raisins, dark chocolate, sweet coffee.

T: Coffee, dark chocolate, raisins, booze.

F: Medium to full bodied, yet very smooth. Lots of booze but highly drinkable.

O: World-class beer, not question about it. Could have this any day!

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Photo of garbercury
3.69/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Although I was told to hold out and wait until winter to drink this celebrated beer, I could not contain myself and cracked open the 750ml bottle. Thank you Vintage Wine and Beer for access to this relatively rare beer.

A--Black as tar, I mean really, really, black. You can see how thick this beer is. The head, though minimal has a deep orange hue that is pretty cool

S--To me this was excellent. You can really smell the roasted malt, coffee, and sweet tones of chocolate and even vanilla. The aroma was extremely appealling.

T--Very intense. I have heard that this beer really masks the alcohol and that is just not true. I found it to be overbearing. Deep roasted malt flavor and you can definitely get the hints of coffee and chocolate.

M--You can practically chew this one. The mouthfeel is very distinct and heavy.

D--Now maybe it was drinking it at the wrong time but can you say way overrated? I expected to have an epiphany drinking this stout and was quite frankly, disappointed. I wonder a bit if people are simply rating this beer on expectation more than what it really is. I would take a Guinness Stout or Shakespeare Stout over this any day. Certainly worth a try and not bad, but you must be crazy if you are going to tell me this is one of the top 10 beers in the world. It being ahead of some of the beers on top 100 only makes you understand how George Bush got to be President, people are crazy!

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Photo of ChanChan
4.73/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From notes:
I had this on tap at the Blue Palms Brewhouse in Hollywood Califas!!

Appearance: Black as any stout. The head is mocha colored and sticks around for a good while

Aroma: Coffee, some bakers chocolate, I also detect a little hop as well. The aroma in this stout is not as pronounced as many of the big RIS’

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and almost creamy. Great mouth-feel

Taste: This beer has a rich premium coffee taste there are some malts in it as well. The coffee does wonders in hiding the heat in the alcohol

Drinkability: This is by far the most drinkable RIS that I have ever had. This beer has an ABV of 12% yet I feel like I can easily quaff this goblet down!

Overall: This is a definite go to IRS, the drinkability will make you forget that it is a huge stout. Easily one of my favorite beers of all!!

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

Poured into tulip glass

A: pours black, with a small brown head that dissipates into a tiny head

S: coffee

T: strong coffee taste with big dark chocolate. Maybe a little caramel as it warms up

M: slick and smooth. Full bodies but still crisp. Very warm on the finish from the alcohol content. A little dry

Overall: very good imperial stout. One of my favorites now. About to try the barrel aged version. Huge flavor. Great.

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Photo of tattooedtolley
4.82/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: thick black pour, very dark tan/light brown head.

Smell: Coffee, hints of chocolate, a bit of a dark/slightly fruity smell, a little alcohol too.

Taste: Big roasted malt flavor with perfect coffee notes. The alcohol is apparent but not overpowering the taste. Eventhough they dont stand out too much, the hops are taming what could be a very sweet beer, which is appreciated.

Mouthfeel: Thick in body, very smooth however, silky.

Drinkability: This beer was perfect served at cellar temp and eventhough I enjoyed this beer over a couple hours, it never became too warm even with the fireplace going. A delicious stout and inspite of the alcohol, very drinkable.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.37 out of 5 based on 6,566 ratings.
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