AleSmith Speedway Stout | AleSmith Brewing Company

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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
Reviews:
1,660
Ratings:
6,681
Avg:
4.37
pDev:
8.47%
 
 
Wants:
910
Gots:
2,161
For Trade:
151
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,660 | Ratings: 6,681
Photo of GClarkage
4.82/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

10/01/05- Purchased at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA

Presentation- 750ml bottle poured into my Corsendonk Christmas Ale tulip. No date on the bottle.

Appearance- One of the most black colored pours I have seen. No light getting though this one. 3/4 inch ultra dirty brown head. Lacing could have been a bit better.

Smell- More coffee than anything. A touch of dark chocolate and some sweet roasted malt in the nose. Definitely some alcohol presence as well.

Taste- The nose does not lie my friend. Nice ground coffee flavor to go with a darn sweet average toasted malt background. About perfect...not to weak, not to over the top. A touch of bittersweet chocolate rounds the taste out. Some hops lingering in the finish.

Mouthfeel- After nursing this one over about 3 hours, at the finish it's semi creamy, low carbonation and nicely warming.

Drinkability- Had no idea this was 12% until I looked at the label. Drained the last 2oz and dregs right out of the bottle into my mouth and thought maybe about 9% at first, then looked at the label! Very deceiving alcohol. Didn't hit me that hard. Quite delicious.

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

2008 vintage pretty sure, they don't date their bottles so that's an educated guess. Beer is black and has no head but manages to leave some lacing on the glass somehow. Carbonation is moderate.

Aroma is a mixture of sweet and a slight sour lactic aroma. There is also some alcohol in the aroma but not much.

Beer is sweet up front, medium to low body. Finishes slightly dry, no carbonation in the mouth. Drinkability is high and mouthfeel is high. I really liked this beer. I wonder what the barrel aged version is like.

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Photo of stevoj
4.34/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sampled at Boise’s 2014 Imperial Stout get together, over 120 bottles to choose from. Going with the flow on this rating. Not sure who to thank, but much obliged for a stellar brew.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a dark as night black that looked like oil as it came out of the bottle that had a finger of brown head and left good sticky lacing on the glass.

S: nice roasted malts and coffee aromas with some smokey, chocolate, and slight hop accents coming through the roastiness. There also seems to be dark fruits and booze notes as well.

T: coffee chocolate and roasted malts dominate the palate with a mild hop bitterness that also had dark fruit, caramel, and booze accents; tasty complex flavors.

M: full body with a good amount of carbonation that had a creamy coffee slight bitter and roasty finish.

D: very delicious and complex brew that was pretty damn drinkable for a stout. I've tasted this beer plenty of times but have a new appreciating for it.

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

Appearance: black in color with a short 1/4" milk chocolate colored head. Some big bubbles stick to the sides of the glass.

Smell: roasted malt, big chocolate tones, and a hint of alcohol is picked up by the nose.

Taste: roasted malt, dark bitter chocolate, prunes, some hint of grapefruit and pine. Bitterness is strong but not overpowering. Alcohol is noticeable and warming.

Mouthfeel : heavy in body. Light crispness to start, smooth and velvety at the finish. Warming aftertaste.

Overall: a great example in the style. Smooth and tasty, very easy to drink despite the very high alcohol levels. Superb beer.

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Photo of tempest
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very good beer. I don't know if I'll call it one of the best I've ever had (i.e. #12 like on the Best of BA), but its damn good. Pitch black with a tan head for starters. Big chocolate and sweet coffee aromas. Flavor kicks off with chocolate and then slides right into coffee beans and espresso. Ends with a kicks of more dry coffee. Drinkable, but I couldn't take down a 750ml alone. Find a good friend or three and share this great beer.

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

Poured into a Black Raven imperial pint glass. Pours pitch black with a one finger medium brown, persistant head with lacing. Aroma of roasted malt, chocolate and coffee. Taste follows with dark fruit, roasted malt, vanilla, coffee and a pleasant coffee and light hop finish. Creamy and medium bodied. Very nicely integrated and pleasant to drink. Complex and well made. The high ABV sneaks up on you because the taste is so mellow.

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

This bottle was purchased a week ago at Jungle Jim's and is being shared with zep9865. This beer pours a viscous midnight black in color with a two finger, creamy dark khaki head. The aromas are of mokah and bitter cooking chocolate. There is a nice cream aspect to it that welds the coffee and chocolate together in a near perfect manner. It drinks like lightly roasted chocolate coffee beans with a touch of cream and a light boozy finish. It's also sweet but not too sweet. It's nice but the coffee features a little more bitterness when compared to a bevy of other stouts. The alcohol isn't very present for being so high in abv. This drinks exceptionally smooth and coats the palate with chocolate and coffee goodness. Overall this is a superb beer and definitely worth a try. If only I didn't have to drive to Cincinnati to get it!

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

I think the Abyss might be darker, but how do you compare dark black with dark black? I would say this falls short of a 5 on appearance only for the head. And while the nice deep tan head is nice and a bit rocky it just doesn't look like a 5. Dunno...I could be crazy.

Coffee up front in the aroma. Not a dark roast...something a bit lighter yet sturdy. A mix of dry chocolate and slight smokey leather. Alcohol. It's kind of all over the place, could probably blend better a tad.

Great taste of that coffee and dry cocao. Slight anise in the sides with a hint of sweetness up front. Feels a bit thin at first, but expands as it warms on the palate. Alcohol seems to cut through the chocolate and directs the taste towards dark fruit and dry feel. This has a good feel to it and is not overly thinned by alcohol. A great DIS, wish I had more.

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

2010 Vintage poured in to Duvel tulip. I wish I had tried this one fresh instead of sitting on it for almost a year.

A - Dark black with one finger of thick, foamy light brown coloured head.

S - Smokiness, roasted malts, some coffee but not a whole lot and a light cocoa nose. The smokiness is really intriguing.

T - Roasted malts, smoke, light coffee and a slight alcohol taste is present as well. Very robust. The coffee is somewhat of a background flavour but is still present. I wonder what this would be like fresh...

M - Medium body with a nice chew. Lightly carbonated.

O - An excellent imperial stout. Bold, robust and full of flavour.

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

The beer pours a pitch black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a wonderful mix of black and chocolate malts as well as a complimentary coffee aroma. It's sweet with a hint of earthy character and alcohol warmth. The taste is great as well. It has a smooth and complex malt character, which boasts of chocolate and espresso beans. It warm and inviting with just enough black malt character. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn good stout. It's bold and complex, with tons of mouthfeel and excellent coffee character.

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

Revisit: 30 Jan 2016
750ml
Charcoal Gray Foil/Capped

Been A Long Time Coming!

Poured into a chalice a very nice black color, very nice carbonation, with a pretty nice small tan head, which leaves some very nice islands and sticky lacing behind. The nose is very nice malty, lots of chocolate/toffee, very nice touch of coffee, some licorice, with also some nice dark fruits (cherries, figs, plums, grapes, raisins), vanilla. The taste is very nice, malty, sweet, with some very nice chocolate/toffee/coffee notes, licorice, vanilla, and some dark fruits. Full Body, ABV is hidden very well, a very nice complex brew. Overall, this is one very nice brew. Glad that it is available to me now.. Highly Recommended!

A - Pours a nice black color, nice carbonation, nice brown/tan frothy head, tons of lacing afterwards.

S - Scents of roasted malts, and coffee/chocolate.

T - The taste is kinda sweet, malty, with some nice coffee/chocolate taste, kinda dry finish.

M - Medium, a nice complex brew.

D - Very drinkable for a big brew (12% ABV). Highly recommended.

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

The bottle I'm about to consume has been in my possession for about one year. The price tag is still attached to it: $8.99. I have a long trip ahead with a beer of this volume (750 ml) and strength (12% ABV). On to the beer:

Poured into a Delirium Tremens tulip, this beer is darker than black, the body being very thick, and an initial tan colored head on top, which fades to a lightly tinted cap. Some smoke in the nose, and a strong alcohol note. Molasses and chocolate makes a presence in the aroma as well.

Exceptionally smooth in the mouth, and viscous, but not too viscous. There's a little booze in the body, but not as boozy as the nose. Plenty of roasted coffee with a sweet touch of baker's chocolate. Like coffee liquer. Smoke and peat are mixed in.

Now it's becoming easier to drink. After a few ounces, this beer becomes easier to approach. The flavors meld together better, there's little interruption from the alcohol and coffee...this is becoming a favorite of mine. I can taste fudge brownies in here. Is this exceptional as far as drinkability goes, or merely very good?

Is it healthy to mix a high ABV stout with coffee? If it isn't, I'm in trouble, as it is one of my favorite kinds of beer, and this offering is one of the most accessable. Another world class offering from AleSmith, and the best beer I've had since....well, since I had Pliny the Younger 27 hours ago.

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Photo of liamt07
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Andrew, 750ml into a snifter - thanks dude!

Pitch black and viscous, cream/brown head with great retention and legs. Pure chocolate and coffee wafts from this, absolutely delightful. Some malt sweetness, caramel, perhaps a touch of booze - quite rich. Bitter and lightly sour coffee flavours on the palate, toasty and roasty malts, chocolate with again a little bit of booze - not even close to the alcohol content suggested. Rich, dense and viscous mouthfeel yet smooth and creamy. Medium-low carbonation. Fantastically drinkable, wish I could've consumed the whole bottle alone...

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.31/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Foil topped 22 oz bottle purchased from Beers of the World last year, and Nathaniel Square Corner Store this year. Opened during movie night at my apartment, gave a few small pours out to people interested, but about 16 oz of this black beast was all mine.

Pours dark, dark, black. Pure darkness. As Rick James in the Chappelle's show said, "YOU DARKNESS, YOU BLACK - LATE NIGHT - EVIL MOTHAF*CKAS - BLACK MAGIC, DARKNESS! YOU RAW... DARKNESS... YOU... DELIRIOUS... MOTHAF*CKAS."

Basically I'm saying it's about the darkest beer I've ever had. Maybe Ten Fidy is darker, maybe not.

Smells like coffee, chocolate, and lots of roast.

Tastes awesome. Sweet, fruity coffee flavors intermingle with creamy vanilla, creamy chocolate, and slight alcohol twang.

The mouthfeel is pretty good. Slightly thinner body than I would've expected, but still pretty thick. The alcohol sneaks up on you, beware. I was just about ready to bed after finishing the full 22oz last year. Had less this year, so I felt it a lot less.

Overall, a great stout. I really want to try some of the variants.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up in a trade with Kaiser81.

Beer pours black with a tan head. The aroma is strong chocolate with a little bit of coffee and roasted malt. The flavor has more coffee than the aroma but the beer finishes with a nice chocolate flavor, which gets stronger as it warms. There is also a bitter chocolate note that really works well with this beer. You get a little alcohol in the flavor as well. The mouthfeel is very creamy and makes this beer absolutely delicious. This is one of the best stouts I have ever had and I will definitely try it again.

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Photo of Whiskeydeez
4.51/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle date 8/15/13
Poured into a St. Bernardus Chalice, Rust on bottle cap, moisture under the foil?

This pours a nice black color with hints of brown in the light. A nice full brownish tan head sits on top and winds down at normal pace. Not much for lacing, spotty.

It has a really nice smooth roasted malt aroma, sweetness and a little coffee. When it warms there is a bit of alcohol but its blends nicely with the malt sweetness and bit of chocolate roast.

The taste follows the aroma well and it is very smooth. This has a wonderful smoothness between the chocolate, coffee/espresso and malt sweetness. There is 12% alc in here??? Really the biggest thing I like about this is how smooth and seamless the flavors fit together, nothing is out of place.

The mouthfeel compliments the flavors perfectly. It is thick and oily and coats your mouth with each sip.

I really enjoyed this stout. Stouts are not my go to style but if I had access to this that might change. It's smooth and mellow but full of flavor. It seems like the chocolate, coffee, sweetness and alcohol are all paired perfectly in this beer. It's not over the top in any way, just damn good.

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

Alesmith Speedway Stout

Pours a jet black color with a mocha colored head. Aroma of coffee, roasted malts and chocolate. In the taste, premium coffee with a little residual bitterness. Roasted malts are heavy. Mild anise like notes arise, coupled with coffee and roasted malts give it a refined "classic" stout taste but more vivid and lively than most. Full bodied feel, smooth, and very easy to drink despite the big abv. I would like to have a few of these in the cellar.

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

10oz pour at the 2nd Street Brew House in Philly.

Alesmith Speedway Stout pours in the glass a pretty thick coat of dark black with just a touch of dark brow foam up top that leaves some gunk. Some swirls bring out some more life, a lot of activity for a 12% stout. Smell is all about the roasted malt with roasted coffee mixed in. It's bold and smells like the pure Columbian kind. Some faint chocolate and earthy hops, but this is all about the COFFEE. Taste is extremely roasty and some bitterness comes with the coffee. The main ingredient delivers. Small traces of vanilla and a small hop bite at the end. This must be a fresh keg. Pretty creamy and a nice full feel, carb is light, just like the bottles that I have had, but it works for this type of beer. Not a lot of alcohol or heat as well. I drank this quicker than most huge stouts which speaks for it's ease of drink. Not the most impressive stout in terms of balance, but one of the more impressive ones that's main ingredient is coffee.

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Photo of biegaman
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Despite a total lack of 'hiss' upon prying the cap and a remarkably lifeless looking pour, a bounteous and deep brown head blossomed in the time it took me to inspect the label. Though not all of it held up, a good chunk of it remains splattered across the glass. The black liquid beneath it looks as solid as marble and could not possibly be any darker.

The aroma showcases enough coffee that I can already feel my right eye starting to twitch and my left foot starting to tap at hummingbird speed. There's enough alcohol that my blood feels to be thinning out just through contact with the fumes. Mind you, it all comes across as incredibly delicious and overwhelmingly decadent. Gentlemen, start you engines!

Blindfolded, I might guess that I was fed some kind of 95% dark cocoa chocolate-infused coffee. There isn't much roasted grain but rather an astringent, oily coffee flavour as well as a sooty, bitter cocoa taste. It's actually a bit thin-bodied, albeit immensely flavourful. It possesses hints of vanilla and splintering wood spice normally found in barrel-aged offerings.

My first few times having Speedway Stout I was hung up on the beer's apparent strength, a decidedly 'hot' characteristic that can be almost inevitable when dealing with alcohol in the 12% range. That quality never seems to fade entirely, although even limited aging will smooth it out. I don't recommend excessive aging, however, as the beer doesn't have the breadth of malt that do many other stouts in its category.

Short of traveling to Ethiopia, seeing a lady handpick the beans, roast them in a pan in front of your eyes, ground them by mortar and pestle and then have you drink them from a traditional clay and straw pot, Alesmith Speedway Stout is probably the most unique and decadent coffee consumption experience you're bound to have. Although acquiring a bottle can be a hassle, whatever the price, it's still cheaper than a plane ticket to Africa!

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

This beer is very lightly carbonated, it forms a wispy brown head. Deep black in color. Aromas of chocolate, coffee, alcohol, and burnt grain waft from my glass. It is quite thick, this is definitely a sipping brew. Luckily, despite its thickness, this beer is not syrupy, which I don't really like in a beer. Definitely tastes of coffee, with chocolate and alcohol in the finish. Reminds me of a good creamy dark chocolate bar. A definite malty sweetness is here, it is controlled by the roast flavors though. A certain restrained fruitiness is here, the closest analogy would be burnt raisin. This is quite good, and though I was disappointed at first, the carbonation is just about perfect for this heavy beer. The roasted - coffee notes of this beer just linger in your mouth, it is quite wonderful. This is a dark, black beast that is thoroughly enjoyable.

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

Poured from 750mL bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: utterly, completely, entirely black with two thick fingers of frothy light brown foam. There's good head retention and a nice lace on the glass, too. Beauty, eh?

Smell: a combination of rich, roasty malt, with coffee and chocolate notes, and a fruity alcohol character which I tend to love in the style. I think it's strong, balanced and intriguing -- love it!

Taste: whoa, there, Nellie! This is one massively flavored beer. Big alcohol hits me right up front, followed by the light fruitiness, then more alcohol, then finally the roasty malt character. Much less subtle and balanced than the aroma. Still good, but a bit too unbalanced to be great.

Mouthfeel: big body with a nice, well-integrated carbonation yielding a lush, rich and creamy mouthfeel. Wonderful.

Overall: I like this beer a lot, but the huge alcohol kind of detracts from some of its otherwise wonderful qualities.

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Photo of dar482
4.59/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

It comes deep black with a nice big tan head.

The aroma is lovely with sweet chocolate and big roasted malt. There's some alcohol and coffee.

In the taste, it has a bittersweet chocolate and a chunky milk chocolate. A touch of alcohol, although that falls out with aging. The coffee is medium minus and not obvious as other coffee stouts. In general, there's huge huge molasses, savory umami, and palate covering roasted malt.

The beer drinks decently well for its ABV. It has a full mouthfeel. However, the savory and molasses on the back end interferes with the beer slightly.

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

750 mL bottle, silver foil over cap, split with a friend to celebrate our birthdays. Purchased last May, so let's say it's about a year old.

Dark, near opaque black liquid with a massive, dense coffee colored head. Amazing retention and lacing, very impressive looking beer. Aroma is also also exceptional, heavy on roasted malt, bitter dark chocolate and light coffee notes. One of the first things we noticed was that we didn't notice any alcohol presence whatsoever. Full bodied, extremely creamy, luscious mouthfeel. Body is sweet, chocolately and molasses like, with roasted malt and finishes with a strong, but not overly bitter coffee taste. One of the most impressive stouts I've had, incredibly well balanced (sometimes with coffee stouts I feel like the coffee is a little overdone, as much as I love coffee).

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

A top notch Imperial stout to be sure. Had on tap at the brewery but glad to see this is all over NYC now as well. Opaque, black, with a brown head that settles fairly quickly, leaving strong lacing up and down the glass. Aroma is full of freshly roasted coffee, bitter chocolate, and deep dark malt.

Super tasty. All the coffee, chocolate, and malt from the nose are there in the taste in spades. Big, delicious flavor hits all the right notes for the style to be sure. Slight booziness but overall pretty well hidden underneath everything else. Coffee is dominant, moderate sweetness adds to the overall tastiness. A hint of fruitiness as well.

Full bodied stopping just short of thick and chewy. Creamy, sticky, with low-medium carbonation giving it just enough life without getting fizzy or prickly. A bit dry in the finish. I’d actually prefer a little fuller body but I’m nitpicking here. Powerful sipping stout.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.37 out of 5 based on 6,681 ratings.
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