AleSmith Speedway Stout - Kopi Luwak | AleSmith Brewing Company

BA SCORE
4.37/5
541 Ratings
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by HopHead84 on 11-11-2009

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#409
Reviews:
80
Ratings:
541
pDev:
8.92%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
446
Gots:
72
Trade:
3
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 541 |  Reviews: 80
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

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

Thought Stouts couldn't get any more espresso-focused than the standard Speedway Stout? Well then, think again! If its dry roast that you're interested in, then look no further! Kopi Luwak delivers!

Incredibly dark and ominous, the Stout pours with a billowing mocha head. Somewhat marshmallowy in its structure, it refuses to settle- allowing a spider webbing of lace to ensue. Its a dense and demonstrative ale that only pushes forward.

Easily mistaken for deeply roasted coffee, mostly espresso, its nose is chocked full of earthen chicory, cocoa, roasted walnuts, burnt caramel and bourbon-esque alcohols. And that's just how the beer smells!

Its taste is even more intense with high end espresso roast, burnt embers and a slight smoky chocolate taste. Walnut oils, burnt sugar and earthen char all adds a rooty, peppery, and fennel-infused set of complexities that's hard to see underneath all that roast. Still, there's a taste of whipping cream and bread that peaks through as the beer charges ahead to a bitter finish that's part-hops and part-char.

Full bodied, but not recklessly so. Its high level of char and ash gives the beer a lightened sense. Some say drinkable because of this kinder rebuttal, but to the sacrifice of roughness say the fans of sweeter and heavier Stouts. That is a fine line to settle, but the beer carries that dialogue past its strong alcohol warmth and its light powdery feel.

The Kopi Luwak coffee definitely offers a more pronounced earhty, rooty, and "dirty" coffee flavor. But its not like its necessary- those flavors are already present in the original version. They're just not quite as pronounced.

 1,647 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.71/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12% ABV confirmed per the label. 1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass coffee with understated label art and black foil-ed over pry-off pressure cap acquired at Alesmith last year and served into a wine glass in me friend's gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed from notes taken last night. Expectations are high given the brewery and its current 97 rating. I also loved the Vietnamese coffee.

Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a 1.5 finger wide head of dark khaki colour. Nice even consistency. Good soft complexion. Smooth. Great creaminess and thickness. Consistent lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Head retention is good for the high ABV - about 4-5 minutes.

Body colour is an opaque jet black. No yeast particles/sediment is visible.

Overall, it's on the higher end of appearances for an imperial stout. I'm looking forward to trying it, but the appearance isn't incredible.

Sm: Chocolate malts, dark malts, cream, coffee/java with some roasty character, coffee bitterness, and chocolate. The coffee character isn't as intricate as I anticipated, but it's nice. Cocoa. Light cinnamon. There is some light booziness here, unfortunately. No hop character or yeast character is overtly detectable. It's about what you'd expect for a good coffee imperial stout, but isn't blowing me away - at least not like the Vietnamese Speedway. A pleasant aroma of moderate strength.

T: Chocolate malts, milk chocolate, and rich coffee - including a touch of roast, some bitterness, and pleasant java. It's got a good coffee character, but I've had better. The duration of the coffee flavour is bit disappointing; it doesn't linger too long or have a presence in the aftertaste. Dark malts provide the malty core. Cream. Some cinnamon. Marshmallow. A kiss of espresso, perhaps. The coffee isn't as harsh as I expected; it's a little too mellow for me and I want more aggression. Caramel. On the sweeter end, sure, but nowhere near as sweet as many imperial stouts.

No yeast character, hop character, or alcohol comes through.

Quite balanced, but honestly I hoped for far more complexity and subtlety. The chocolate is almost a bigger star here than the coffee. It's not the most nuanced or intricate imperial stout out there, but I do really like it. It just isn't the incredible brew I expected. Average duration and intensity of flavour. Above average depth of flavour.

Mf: Soft and silky. Smooth and wet. Well carbonated. Full bodied, with ample thickness. The texture complements the taste well and is very well executed.

Not oily, astringent, gushed, hot, boozy, or harsh. It does have some alcohol warmth.

Dr: Quite drinkable for the high ABV, but still a sipper. I'll enjoy killing this with my friend, but I wouldn't go out of my way to seek this out. It's a damn good imperial stout, but it's not Alesmith's best work, nor is the best kopi luwak beer I've had. I'd buy it again if I saw it on the shelf, sure, and I'd recommend it to friends. I wouldn't want a second bottle in the same night.

High B

 3,229 characters

Photo of oline73
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tasting snifter.

The beer pours black with a half finger of tan head. As the head fades it leaves some lacing. The nose of full of sweet roast and dark fruit. I didn't get much coffee even though everyone else said they thought it was there. Coffee shows up a lot more in the flavor. There is also a sweet dark chocolate note with a slight bitterness in the finish. This beer got better as it sat. The body is thick with lots of really smooth carbonation and a dry finish. I would say this was very good, but not quite what I expected. That being said I would be happy to have more in the future.

 611 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.68/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a nice large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of deep roasted barley malt with notes of dry coffee also dominating. Taste is a mix between some deep dry roasted malt notes with bitter and dry coffee notes which almost veers into astringency territory. Body is quite full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Good but almost too extreme on the coffee side which diminish the drinkability.

 473 characters

Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of zestar
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

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

Tan head. Deep black.

Flavor profile is intense coffee. Very unique and distinguished. Has a bitter roast to it. Chocolate and cocoa. Vanilla flavors. Awesome.

Mouthfeel: roasted, but smooth. Full bodied.

Overall, one of the better coffee beers out there. Get this.

 268 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of dbrauneis
4.5/5  rDev +3%

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

Thanks to rudzud for sharing.

Nice big frothy thick darker rich head, fades slowly with plenty of thick layered lacing, pitch black beer no light, gorgeous looking!

Nose is nice, fresh roasted coffee beans but not overbearing roast, mellow smooth coffee mostly, earthy nutty like coffee too. Then malts bring some cocoa, coffee like roasted malt, little nutty with caramel and fluffy nougat. Light dusty chalk cocoa too, light oats too, and very faint booze. It does get a nice expensive lush choc aroma too.

Taste starts with smooth rich coffee and dark malts. Coffee is light nutty but smooth, little toffee like to. Malts are dark, light roast without acrid flavors or burnt, then into choc, dark choc and expensive cocoa. The coffee turns strong flavor wise, but a nice earthy expensive coffee fresh bean, little earthy and nutty, and a light vanilla character, almost espresso but not as strong. The nice coffee bean flavor fades to light bitter roast as it brings earthy hops too, and just a touch of booze, lingering dark choc and very good smooth but earthy nutty coffee flavors.

Mouth is fuller bod but not syrupy, thick slightly creamy, nice carb, faint hint of booze.

Overall very good, very tasty, the coffee is awesome, very tasty, delicious, the booze is hidden well, very smooth and rich tasting coffee bean and choc, I could drink lots if this.

 1,367 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of ygtbsm94
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of Rifugium
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had side by side with the BB version, which I did like a lot better, though obviously this one was no without its charm. Solid black pour--or at least it seemed that way in the dim light--with a tan collar of bubbles on top. Aroma of dark chocolate, roasty malts, brown sugar, smooth coffee. Unsurprising yet still decadent. Nice hit of earthy coffee in the taste, roasty dark malts, semi-sweet chocolate, burnt caramel. Smooth mouthfeel, lower carbonation, might as well call it full-bodied. Rich and enjoyable, very good overall.

 531 characters

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

This was a special San Diego Beer Week tapping of this rare Alesmith treat @ O'Briens Pub (San Diego, CA) on 11/10/09. Served in a smallish tumbler. I enjoyed this next to a glass of regular Speedway Stout on draft for comparative purposes.

The pour is similar to the regular Speedway, with a jet black look in the glass, topped with a layer of rich dark mocha foam. Retains with some light trimming but this flares up very nicely into a robust cascade on the sides, leaving some decent looking spotty lacing and brown oils behind. The Kopi Luwak in the aroma is just unbelievable smelling, with the coffee being extremely more pronounced than in the regular version. I'd overall call it less fierce but much more robust, with the thick tang and intense roasted activity taking a back seat this time, while the mellow, earthy, and green texture of the coffee takes hold, mingling in with extra softer accents of cocoa and vanilla. Just very easy and more gentle here but this is still packed with delicious coffee flavor. Amazing nose here.

The Speedway standbys of chocolate, molasses, and roast are present here in the taste, giving this a sticky and bitter feel but these remain in the background for the most part. Much like the aroma, the coffee here just so much more mellow and smooth feeling, lacking the massive sharp java bite of the regular Speedway and replacing it with more of an earthy and citric character that actually floods across the palate, sticks in the finish, and for the most part, pretty much just controls the entire profile. An overall luscious coffee presence here, that just sits at the forefront of this. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with a pleasant mouth filling creaminess that allows the flavors to properly coat the mouth. The smoothness also allows for a very easy drinking experience with this, despite a 12% ABV. I still can't believe that number, based on my experience with it. These two 5 oz samples of this delicious nectar were not nearly enough.

Well I have to say that this Kopi Luwak is the real deal, as I've never had a coffee (much less a Coffee Stout) that was so rich and flavorful, yet mellow, as this was. Just really unique and tremendous stuff here, that took an already out-of-this-world Stout into the stratosphere.

 2,280 characters

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

Photo of billab914
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of mendvicdog
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of duceswild
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of mdaschaf
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of drewone
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of mdfb79
4.17/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 10/28/11 notes. BIG thanks to nimbleprop for sharing this one. Poured from a flip-top hand bottle into a tulip. Tried side by side with a 2011 Normal Speedway Stout and a 2009 Barrel Aged Speedway Stout.

a - Pours a pitch black color with one inch of dark tan head and low carbonation evident. Looks like the others, slightly less cabronated due to being hand bottled.

s - Smells of coffee, bready malts, chocolate, roasted malts, and light cream/vanilla. Definite coffee here but not as much as I expected, and more bready malts than I expected. Either way, it works and was pretty nice.

t - Tastes of coffee, roasted malts, sweet and bitter chocolate, light fruit and vanilla. Again, pretty nice.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Super smooth body and very easy to drink; a tiny bit more carbonation and could be perfect.

o - Overall this is a good beer, but I wouldn't say it is an improvement on the already existing great base beer (like the BA version is). Trying three versions I felt like I could see notes of the normal Speedway in the BA version, but not quite as much in the Kopi Luwak version. This was my least favorite of the three, though I'd still like to try it on tap sometime, and it's still a good beer.

 1,237 characters

AleSmith Speedway Stout - Kopi Luwak from AleSmith Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.37 out of 5 with 541 ratings
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