AleSmith Speedway Stout | AleSmith Brewing Company

BA SCORE
97
world-class
6,837 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
AleSmith Speedway StoutAleSmith Speedway Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States
alesmith.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
6,837
Reviews:
1,700
Avg:
4.37
pDev:
8.47%
 
 
Wants:
918
Gots:
2,187
For Trade:
149
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 6,837 |  Reviews: 1,700
Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of mendvicdog
4.34/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of dcmchew
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%

Pours pitch black, even in the light, with a two finger mocha head, pretty fast to some floating spots and a sticky lace.
Smells awesome, salty roasted malts, rich dark chocolate, rich coffee bean, rich strong Italian espresso, some vanilla and raisin/plum, dark spices and the faintest warm alcohol (really cool).
Coffee and caramel up front, bit of toffee and some nice dark chocolate, something like a stronger cappuccino. Still sweet for a few seconds with a sprinkle of vanilla, licorice and cinnamon and some juicy plum, dark cherry and fig, subtle. Gets roastier, with rich dark malts, some nut peel and some more robust coffee bean, plus cocoa powder. It's also woody, a weird (nice weird) kind of whisky barrel feel (placebo, maybe?), probably from the greatly handled alcohol and the rich malts. Roast and some mild bitter hops close this up.
But tons of choco-coffee richness gets through to the aftertaste, tempting you to renew the flavors with another sip, and then another, and so on. The beautifully hidden alcohol also helps, but it will hit eventually. Medium body, smooth and easily drinkable.
LE: Gets a bit boozier later on. I guess it's normal, tho.
This deserves to be a classic, especially for the rich flavors and the stealthiness it has. Not a very complex beer, but it excels at what it advertises. Very tasty stuff.

 1,343 characters

Photo of Ciocanelu
4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dark brown color with mocha head. Aroma has sweet malt and chocolate pralines with coffee liquor. Taste is quite malty and sweet at first but the coffee bitterness and roasted malt takes quickly over. Medium body and carbonation. Quite boozy for a coffee stout, kind of overhyped.

 280 characters

Photo of billab914
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into my Dogfish snifter glass. pours black with a thin tan colored bubbly foam on top. The head settled out and stuck to the sides of the glass but left good lacing on the sides as I drank it.

Not surprisingly coffee is the first thing that hits you in the aroma, but it also gives off some bitter chocolate and roasty flavors. Taste, much like the nose is coffee dominant but is also somewhat balanced out with the chocolate and roasted flavors.

Mouthfeel is on the thicker side and slightly creamy. Carbonation is moderate. It's very drinkable for being 12% abv, I didn't even think it was that high until I checked the bottle for the review. It's a very smooth and easy drinking coffee beer.

Overall one of the best stouts I have had, the coffee flavor is very present but not overdone. It's very surprising that it can be over 12% and have virtually no alcohol bite. It really drinks like it could be a 6% stout. I will be buying this one again as long as Southbay keeps shipping them to me.

 1,026 characters

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.

 779 characters

Photo of russpowell
4.69/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2007 Version pours an effervescent ebony ( I hold it towards the setting sun & zero light penetrates it!) with 2+ fingers of mocha colored head into my Vondel snifter. Shimmers like 50 wt motor oil. Not much lacing & head retention

S: Chocolate, iron & roasted malts, plus some booze as this warms, oakyness as really warmed up

T: Iron, roasted malt, milk & baker's chocolate up front. I get a mocha as this warms along with dark chocolate & a bit of booze, plus Kahlua. Finishes dry with strong coffee
( Kona to me! ), much chocolate & the right amount of booze

MF: Real chewy & oily, plus silky with minimal carbonation, very rich

Drinks easy for the ABV, the complexity just sucks you in. A little too much coffee & dryness to try to session on IMO. Superb Imp Stout!

 778 characters

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

Obsidian. Other than a mere sliver of pecan shell brown along the bottom edge of the glass, this beer is a complete black hole. The coffee-with-cream colored head looks nearly as thick and as meaty as the liquid on which it sits. Its moonscape surface contains multiple bubbles of various sizes that create pits and craters as they burst. Lace is in relatively short supply, but then I wasn't expecting much given the ABV.

The aroma was amazing as I poured and is no less amazing now that I'm concentrating on it for real. The three major components are ridicously roasted black malt, bittersweet chocolate and espresso. I can pick up the slightest hint of alcohol, though it's more than welcome in a beer as big as this one is.

AleSmith Speedway Stout is better than expected... and I expected no less than greatness. This is one of the hugest, most full-flavored, most mouthfilling ales of any style that I've ever had the pleasure to drink. Words fail me when attempting to describe the sheer massiveness of the malt backbone. Each sip explodes with the force of a daisy cutter, sending great gouts of melted, coffee bean-flecked chocolate fudge up, down and sideways until my mouth seems unable to contain it all.

SS tastes blacker, meaner, more menacing than most other American double stouts that I've run across. It's more along the lines of an RIS in that regard. It's as sweet and as chocolatey as any other ADS, but it's also impressively bitter and has a huge blackstrap molasses vibe goin' on. In fact, the flavor profile contains the entire gamut of stout flavors and still manages to combine them into a beautiful, seamless whole.

I don't like coffee and I'm not usually a fan of coffee-dominant beer. I had a few qualms about this one when I read the back label and found out that 'pounds and pounds of coffee beans' were added during the brewing. Surprisingly, the flavor isn't overwhelmingly java-like. The finish is freakishly long and leaves the mouth and tongue coated with a 'bitter hop cones (mixed with fire-roasted black malt)' layer of scum that one doesn't usually find outside the biggest IPAs/DIPAs.

That brings us to mouthfeel. Simply put, this beer has one of the three biggest mouthfeels in all of beerdom. It's easily the equal of Dark Lord (I'm leaving the third spot open because nothing else comes readily to mind). If you've ever drunk eggnog or heavy cream, you'll have some idea of what it feels like. It's velvety smooth and impossibly creamy. In other words, it's mouth candy for those of us whose attach more importance to mouthfeel than to anything other than flavor.

I've just realized that I haven't even commented on the ABV or the noticeable alchohol yet. That's because this is one of the most well-masked high alcohol beers in existence. Whether that has more to do with its age (an estimated 1 year) or to its brewer's skill, I couldn't say. As noted in the nose, the alcohol is an integral part of the whole and is a more than welcome contributor. Completely burying the beast just wouldn't be right; a little controlled snarl is just what this beer needs.

AleSmith Speedway Stout deserves every accolade ever thrown its way. I'd love to scratch off the 2nd place ribbon shown on the rear label since this behemoth takes a back seat to no stout. No how, no way. This is a truly special beer brewed by a truly special brewery and is not to be missed.

 3,408 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
4.17/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice black color with a one finger mocha colored head, nice retention and lots of lacing. It is thin, but covers most of the glass.

S: Lots going on in the nose with some chocolate, molasses, licorice, brown sugar and a little bit of coffee – not as much as I was expected, and for me not a problem at all. Could be from age, no idea how old the bottle is. There is a little bit of dark fruit as well.

T: A good bit of roasted malt and chocolate, with coffee undertones. A little bit of nondescript dark fruit shows up. Very light smokiness and underlying vanilla and cream.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Slight warming in my stomach from the alcohol, but for 12%, hidden very well. Drinks very smooth.

O: Very nice beer, lived up to reputation. Again, not sure on bottle age, but the coffee really was not as strong as I expected, which is a good thing for me.

 903 characters

Photo of drewone
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of duceswild
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of smithj4
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of Gagnonsux
4.29/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Jason
4/5  rDev -8.5%

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

750ml foil wrapped capped bottle aged for approx. 6 months and served at cellar temperature in a Pint Glass

A – Poured a very deep dark black oil like liquid with a large two finger head of tannish brown foam on top. Very nice thick poured on this one as it seemed to just ooze out of the bottle and plop down into the glass. There was no way to vigorously pour this one; rather you just kind of had to let it slide down. Nice retention initially as it took a good few minutes before the head settled down to just a thin film of brown across the top. After five or more minutes even this was gone as the only thing remaining were some small amounts of tan suds clinging to the side and a thick black oil looking liquid taking up residence in the glass.

S – The aroma was very rich and full of roasted malts and hints of coffee. It was rather strong and pungent with hints of dark baker’s chocolate also easily apparent as you took in whiff or two. Some strong hints of the alcohol were also easily found even in the aroma, giving you a hint at what lies beneath this 12%abv monster. As it warmed you were able to start picking out some aromas of sugary lactose and even a hint of caramel or vanilla adding some great depth and profile to the smell.

T – The flavor was very full and rich and really made me very pleased to be able to try it. With all the hype surrounding it, it was nice to not be let down and to see this one hold up to the loft goals I had set for it. The rich flavor awaiting me was touched off by a storm of dark baker’s chocolate laced in between rich Smokey roasted malts a touch of alcohol creating almost a wave of just dark delights that rolled over you and warmed you from the inside out. The deep flavor gave way to a subtle sweetness mingled in were the nice lactose flavor and the hints of vanilla which only served to deep its profile and increase its grip on me. The finish was strong with a long lasting hint of chocolate and a boozy like quality that dragged it out.

M – A very full bodied ale this one came across as thick as molasses with a rich oil like coating across the entire inside of your mouth. A very big rich creamy feel this one simply would not let go. It was truly the dessert beer, not really reach out and grasping that feeling of shake like consistency, but more relying on the just full bodied assault of the sense. Very nice.

D – Well for 12%abv you could barely tell I will give it that. It was very filling, really putting a hurt on you and filling you up pretty quickly. Now I took my time with this one to be honest, really enjoying it and taking almost 3 hours to drink the bottle. I just thought it was better this way as it really let me take in the flavors and see the changes occur as it went from the 50 degrees of my cellar to almost room temperature.

Overall I thought this was great. Really a very fine and high quality ale here. I would have no issues getting this one again as it really embodies a strong stout in every sense of the word. Very full big flavors with a long dry finish. What more could you ask for. Completely deserving of its spot on the list, a really fine ale indeed.

 3,166 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.67/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on Nitro pour at Al's of Hampden served in a snifter.

The color is black as pitch with small medium brown cap with ultra fine bead, the head returns with a swirl and retreats again. Clarity is opaque and lace sticks decently. The smell is luscious dark chocolate mixed with espresso and some vanilla with light hints of dark sugar. The feel is very good, not bad on Nitro with thick viscous creamy body and mild alcohol with subtle bitterness and smooth roast essence, the finish is medium dry.

The flavor is rich like brownie batter with spiked coffee and vanilla with slight rum-like dark sugar tinge. The flavor of the coffee is well blended with the smooth mildly sweet dark malt which is slightly cocoa-like and has a hint of earthy peppery hops to back up the light caramel. Overall I loved this and didn't want to stop, but alas a 12% stout that is this drinkable is dangerous. I think this is one of the best of this style a must try if you can get it on tap or in this case Nitro.

 1,005 characters

Photo of vfgccp
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bought bottle in 2011, opened October 2013.

A - Thick coffee black body. Tall, creamy, dark cocoa head. Great retention and lace.

S - Bourbon, coffee grinds, oak, caramel, honey, white booze.

T - Thick coffee, worcestershire sauce, dry oak, burnt molasses. Dry, 80% cocoa dark chocolate finish.

M - Thick, creamy, full body. Soft finish.

O - An excellent double coffee stout. The worcestershire note is the only thing holding this beer back.

 446 characters

Photo of millerbuffoon
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of atrocity
4.39/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mdfb79
4.42/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 2/6/10 notes. Had at SC Day from a 750 ML bottle thanks to nimbleprop.

a - Poured a dark brown with a small amount of brown head. Not as dark as the barrel aged Speedway but still very dark.

s - Smells of coffee, but the coffee smells somewhat faded to me. Still very nice with hints of roasted malts and chocolate as well.

t - Tastes of coffee and roasted malts. Again, I thought the coffee was fading, but it had a great taste that was sweeter than I was expecting.

m - Smooth and creamy, full bodied, little carbonation.

d - Overall I really liked this one. We sampled this followed by an 06 Barrel Aged Speedway and while this was not as good as that beer, this was still very good. I have a bottle of 09 Speedway that I think I'll be holding onto for a year or so in hopes it taste like this.

 807 characters

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

A: The pour is viscous and black with a thin layer of mocha colored foam.

S: The nose is full of rich dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, and alcohol.

T: While the nose wasn't quite as good as I remember it being, the flavor is still top notch. Great coffee and roasted malt flavor with bitter dark chocolate on the finish.

M: The body is incredibly full with low carbonation which leads to a nice creamy feel on the tongue.

D: Even with the boozy nose, this is still one of my absolutely favorite stouts. Great fresh or with age, and this bottle was no exception.

 570 characters

Photo of ZEB89
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of orangesol
4.39/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A - Pours dark as night black with a nice one and a half finger tall tan head, dissipating down to a light film, leaving webs of lacing down the glass.

S - Smells of chocolate malt, rich espresso, molasses, dark fruits, and a faint hint of booze. Very complex yet enjoyable nose.

T - Plenty of rich coffee right off the bat slowly giving way to a sweet mix of chocolate and molasses. The feel is very creamy, how all stouts should be in my opinion. The finish is a mix of sweetness and dark roast. This is one awesome beer.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Smooth feel with a rich, bold, body. The finish is all sweet roast, lingering for some time.

O - I love this beer. It is complex yet easy to drink. I can only imagine what the BA version tastes like. Someday I will get one!!

 845 characters

Photo of Gkruszewski
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of MarkyMOD
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.37 out of 5 based on 6,837 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Learn More