AleSmith Speedway Stout - Vietnamese Coffee | AleSmith Brewing Company

BA SCORE
98
world-class
160 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
AleSmith Speedway Stout - Vietnamese CoffeeAleSmith Speedway Stout - Vietnamese Coffee
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:
This Vietnamese coffee version of Speedway Stout is and continues to be AleSmith's most popular variation of the ever-growing Speedway Stout collection. Since 2012 we have been adding this blend of four Vietnamese coffees, known in Vietnam as cà phê sa đá, to our popular imperial stout. The coffee beans were slowly roasted at low temperatures and then brewed by AleSmith with a traditional phin-style filter that gently percolates water through the ground coffee. The result is an intensely aromatic and bold tasting coffee that complements the notes of chocolate and roast in this massive stout.

Added by brew3crew on 11-13-2011

BEER STATS
Reviews:
160
Ratings:
1,750
Avg:
4.44
pDev:
6.98%
 
 
Wants:
521
Gots:
289
For Trade:
29
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 160 | Ratings: 1,750
Photo of PHBoiler
2.39/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

July 2014 bottle opened after being stored cold. No idea what happened with this bottle based on other reviews. The smell was Halls menthol eucalyptus. The taste followed that smell. Tried multiple pours from the bottle at different temperatures. Shared with a friend that got the same taste. Neither of us detected any coffee flavor beyond typical stout roast. Other than that, it's a tad on the thin side compared to alternate stouts.

 442 characters

Photo of ArrogantB
3.16/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at Alesmith. Standard black color, almost no head. Aroma is slight coffee but also vanilla, weird. Flavor was also vanilla laden with only hints of the coffee. I was thoroughly confused by this beer. I made sure to taste my cousins' and I got the same thing. Not impressed.

 280 characters

Photo of HopHead84
3.33/5  rDev -25%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

3/30/2012

On tap at Alesmith.

A: Black with an inch of creamy foam that leaves scattered lacing on the glass. Looks like Speedway.

S: Cocoa, dark chocolate, and burnt malt. Pronounced earth and acrid robust coffee. Light licorice and molasses.

T: Intense dark chocolate and strong licorice notes. The coffee profile is somewhat acrid and charred, reminiscent of over extracted coffee. This is pretty boozy and there's an upper moderate bitterness.

M: Full body with a silky, sticky, and chewy mouthfeel.

Overall: Too boozy and acrid. Not one of the better Speedway variations. 

 584 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.35/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

On tap at Pizza Port in Ocean Beach. Near black with a fine beige foam in the tall tulip.

Coffee is the main flavor, not surprisingly, but it's more of an intense espresso taste. Which would be okay if it wasn't so goopy and sweet and bitter at the same time. There's a cream flavor plus bitter spice, like old cinnamon. As you sip the bitterness emerges. Very hoppy, very charbroiled, very sugary, and deeply, madly coffee flavored.

After a few sips the whole over-sexed concoction becomes undrinkable. Strictly for those for whom too much is never enough. For me this is one whale I'll leave rotting on the beach.

 618 characters

Photo of aleigator
3.41/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Yields a coal black color with a huge, creamy dark brown head.

Smells of sweet cold brew coffee, lots of milk chocolate and just a little hint of roast. Molasses and spicy licorice mingle into this foundation, producing a milk chocolate powder aroma.

Has a thinner, velvet mouthfeel, with flavors ranging from sweet to dry, without a lot of nuances in between, tied together by a lower carbonation.

Tastes of rock sugar and hot chocolate, molasses, surprisingly thin on the palate, with a slowly evolving coffee dryness. Once the coffee takes over, this begins to taste interesting, bringing flavors of dried herbs, earth, wood bark and sugared espresso beans to the palate, pungent and harmonious. Finishes bitter, bready and rustic, with its initial silkness.

If it wasn't for the thin mouthfeel, with just a little more complexity to it, the beer could become mighty fine. As it stands, there is quite a bit unused potential to be found in here.

 953 characters

Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.76/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at O'Briens night of a million zillion speedways

Look: Pours midnight black and totally opaque with 1/8 tan head and good reception for a small pour

Smell: Very sweet and gourmet coffee notes that take over the whole beer

Taste: Very sweet and very bitter coffee notes that are backed up by copious amounts of chocolate

Mouthfeel: Full body and low carbonation

Overall: Not one of my favorites of the night. Overly sweet and a bit off putting on the taste

 468 characters

Photo of worldsworstextra
3.84/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Didn't care for this speedway variant. The amount of coffee and bourbon made this a little harsh and completely dominated any other such flavors in the beer.

 157 characters

Photo of BarrytheBear
3.9/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 shared with the wife, sister-in-law and father-in-law over the holiday weekend.

Nice dark and rich pour with a fat mocha crown. Smells rich and decadent...a very inviting and luxurious twist on a solid base.

Coffee shows greasy and oily if that makes any sense at all....odd and while not entirely unpleasant, I'm not sure this coffee agrees with me.

Finishes oily and watery despite a nice body and heft through the middle.

A disappointing beer to be sure. While I enjoy the base and most variants, something here just didn't sit well with me. My only similar comparison was a coffee used in one of the older BCBCS that I really felt displayed an unsavory oily bean quality.

I'm sure I'm a dipshit, but my tastes are my tastes.

 738 characters

Photo of ehammond1
3.91/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On Tap

Night of a Million Zillion Speedways
O'Brien's Pub
San Diego, CA

Dark as night black with brown edges, thin head but the body of this beer is just spectacular. It's thick and oily and leaves the glass absolutely covered in sticky lace. Thick as can be and dark as night. Spectacular.

This is a far sweeter variation than typical Speedway Stout. The roasted coffee elements seem actually subdued in this one; the Vietnamese style coffee pushes through, and it seems a bit syrupy and sticky. The aroma resembles that of a sweet coffee liqueur.

The flavor follows the nose as well. This was certainly the sweetest of the variations and seemed a bit syrupy.

Medium to thick mouthfeel with low carbonation.

A good variation, but a touch too sweet overall for my personal preferences.

 793 characters

Photo of HalfFull
3.99/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Two year old bottle I believe, having been cellared at home since purchase at the brewery. Poured into a snifter showing a deep black and a light mocha cap. Brief retention and light lace follow.

Aromas of rich chocolate malts and a hint of ethanol as expected given the robust character and ABV. Coffee notes are quite blended by now and express themselves mostly as a level of bitterness to balance the sweetness of the base beer.

Taste is classic speedway but with a drier finish and a more complex mouthfeel , as the coffee again cuts the one sided finish of the base beer. Overall quite solid though I think I would have preferred it fresh.

 653 characters

Photo of Nominoe
3.99/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Having this on tap in a tulip. It's too cold, so I may be biased. Looks like a good imperial stout - thick, viscous, black with a small tan head that fades quickly. Nothing special there. Smell is very subdued coffee and sweet chocolate with no alcohol presence at all. Stronger coffee and chocolate taste than smell. Significant alcohol burn on the swallow, but not too distracting. Mouthfeel is as expected from watching it poured - thick and creamy but with a strong burning finish. Overall I think this beer is well balanced but mild in flavor of coffee and any other notes that should be present in a beer like this. It's fantastic as an imperial stout, but my expectations were maybe too high. I'm left wanting more complexity and more flavor. I would certainly buy a bottle if it were on the shelves, though! It's definitely good.

 837 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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 with some hazelnut nectar which rounds off some of the rough edges. Taste is a mix between some deep dry roasted malt notes with dry coffee notes and some hazelnut notes which helps rounds off the flavours. Body is quite full with good carbonation and nice creamy body and no apparent alcohol. I liked this version better than the Koppi version.

 520 characters

Photo of DefenCorps
4/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Apex.

Black with a dark brown head, this looks solid. Big, creamy coffee with moderate sweetness, dark chocolate bitterness, mild hops. Heavy roast. Mildly oily, creamy, and for a first with Speedway, a little unctuous and flabby. Solid beer, though I prefer the base beer.

 285 characters

Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a blackish body with one-finger tan head that died quick with bits of lace. A coffee aroma that has bits of roasted malts and bitter chocolate. Easy drinking, medium to heavy bodied beer that has this dry coffee flavor that is a tad grainy but has some sweetness to it, possible chocolate sweetness, and there is a touch of balance. Not my favorite coffee stout but it's pretty good.

 393 characters

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.06/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap at Broadway Dive, served in a tulip glass in an 8 ounce pour.

Look, smell, taste, a whole lot of Speedway Stout. Less bitter perhaps? Not sure as it's been awhile. Got some sweetness and vanilla, but again, not sure how much that distinguishes this from the regular.

 275 characters

Photo of breadwinner
4.06/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After getting my hands on this, I suppose I just need to concede that, somehow, Speedway isn't for me. I love AleSmith, but reg Speedway has never done it for me, and Vietnamese, while tasty enough, sadly follows suit. A bit of dark fruit alongside the dark, roasty notes of the coffee, decent body, a bit wet, not coating, touch of nuttiness in the finish. Again, a perfectly respectable coffee stout, but I still just can't figure out what everyone else is getting in Speedway(s) that I'm missing.

 499 characters

Photo of SABERG
4.06/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on draft at Armsby Abbey, poured into a small tulip glass.
A - Very dark, chalkboard dark, there must be carbonation in there because a lovely mocha cap resides.
S - Coffee, dark chocolate, heavy roast notes, a sharp edge to the nose, a bit of alcohol rises with time.
T - Bakers chocolate, cold brew coffee, not very subtle here, a big presence. In time warming the palate
relents to some darker fruits and more coffee,
M- Full in body, delightful oily complete submission cannot be resisted.
O - A beautiful big stout, the coffee variant was a bit spicy, surprisingly dry and quite a nice match.
Cheers

 614 characters

Photo of notchucknorris
4.08/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On cask at Alesmith

A: Pours pitch black with a dense mocha colored head. Loads of lacing down the glass.

S: Very dark and earthy aroma. Dark chocolate, Mexican chocolate and some dark ass coffee.

T: Lots of coffee and cream throughout. Smooth, rich and velvety with some bitter dark chocolate and charred malt on the finish. Cocoa pebbles as well. Finish is a bit harsh, but this is still a tasty variation.

 411 characters

Photo of maximum12
4.08/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Hail to my favorite new trader, rawfish, for this bottle. It will be the fourth I've had from his box & if the pattern holds, it will be a minimum of very good. Big, dark 750ML bottle split with my wife.

Pour is Banner of Mordor black with only a flash of head, then, still. My wife makes a blasphemous (but positive) exclamation at the smell: yes, she's a coffee junkie. I get less coffee than I expect (I am not an addict, or even a drinker of, coffee, so that's good) & chocolate so milky it's turning off-white. Bit of creamer.

Speedway Stout - Vietnamese Coffee should have been sampled right beside a regular bottle: because to me, coffee is coffee, since I know no better. This is my kind of coffee: more creamer than bean. First impression is of sweet cream & malts, & only then does a mild bitterness intrude (pleasantly) along with a roast more decadent than Caligula. No alcohol in my glass. In the shadows are a faint nutty twist, vanilla, chocolate. It all comes together with a thunderclap of smooth that's so silky it belongs on a Victoria's Secret model. Preferably Jill Goodacre. Wait, sorry, my age is showing. I'm already more than halfway through my portion of the bottle.

Smooth. Like, wow, smooth. I arrived here expecting a coffee bomb & instead was greeted by a coffee seduction. Smooth, delicious, rich, this is one excellent beer.

 1,362 characters

Photo of Damian
4.15/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Drank on tap at The Publick House, Brookline, MA
Served in a snifter

The beer poured a murky brown/black and was topped by a thin, frothy, caramel colored crown that quickly dissolved. A bit thin in body for the style. Multiple rings of drippy lacing trickled along the glass.

The aroma was solid but contained absolutely no coffee. Really malty and robust. Dark chocolate notes were quite apparent. Rich and fudge-y. Good amount of brown sugar sweetness too. Stone fruits also came through strong. Raisins and plums were most noticeable. There was a subtle, pleasant booziness as well.

Rich dark chocolate notes lead things off in the flavor profile. Somewhat spicy with loads of vanilla. Perhaps a touch of cinnamon too. Malty and robust. Moderately roasty. Bit of coffee in the center, but the coffee was rather subtle. Lots of roastiness on the back end. The beer finished with bitter, earthy hop notes, more roast and a good amount of alcohol warmth. All in all, a bit rougher around the edges than I would have preferred.

The mouthfeel was thinner than expected for a beer at this magnitude but still solid. Rich, creamy and frothy on the palate. The liquid contained a fine, moderate effervescence that gave the beer a nice fluffiness.

I was not a big fan of the original and bourbon barrel-aged Speedway Stouts, as I found both of these to be overly roasty and boozy, and thinner in both flavor and body. Unfortunately, the Vietnamese Coffee variant had many of these same issues. I am glad I had the opportunity to try this beer, but I definitely would not seek it out again.

 1,589 characters

Photo of Dactrius
4.16/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm not a fan of normal speedway stout due to some flavor in it I do not enjoy, and the barrel aged version does a decent but not complete job of masking whatever the unpleasant flavor is for me. I was very surprised that the Vietnamese version didn't taste the same at all and I enjoyed it.

 292 characters

Photo of brew3crew
4.17/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap are O'Brien's for million zillion night

A dark black body ad no head. Same with all of them

S-a more herbal coffee than the decaf. Very plesant

T-get a little bit more bitterness from the coffee but other wise follows the nose

M-medium body and smooth. So smooth

O-very good beer, but far from the best..

 326 characters

Photo of danh53
4.17/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Chocolate, roasted coffee, some dark fruit. body is dialed in with a nice medium feel that is substantial yet drinkable. Coffee is not bitter at all and the booze is barely noticeable. Excellent beer. Can't wait to try the barrel aged version.

 243 characters

Photo of stakem
4.2/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

What kind of crazy awesome dude sends a growler of something like this as an extra in a trade? I'll freaking tell you who... anotherjoe. Such generosity; endless thank yous are owed to you my friend. Poured from a 32oz growler into a snifter, the brew appears dark brown with a silky brown topping of froth that is rich and thick more than 2 fingers strong. The cap slowly dissolves leaving a full wall of lace sticking to the glass that fades to spots and a webbing pattern. When held up to the light, the brew shows some ruby clarity faintly around the edges. A swirl revives a half finger of froth back to the surface composed of super tiny, tight bubbles that are almost reminiscent of nitro.

The aroma is classic speedway but with a pretty hefty dose of super earthy and roasted coffee included. A seemingly exaggerated amount of leather, tobacco and hints of citrus that are commonly found in some fresh coffee beans is also present mingling with some dark fruity alcohol esters similar to prunes/raisins. There is a bit of a musty to almost mineral or metallic/carbonic inclusion also present towards the backend. As the brew reaches room temperature, the first indications of something like cocoa emerge. After the brew goes beyond ideal temperatures, when swirled the brew shows off some hints of sulfur and a hint of cheese which is strange but the pleasant aspects certainly outweigh the negative. Also, it seems as though the warmer this brew gets, the more a bit of herbal or vegetative hops start to show themselves.

The taste displays a solvent surge of alcohol upfront blending into a dry roasted almost acrid feel that strips the moisture from the tongue. The coffee is strong and bitter with plenty of roast, earth, leather, char, tobacco and some citrus components. More sips reveal a bit of anise flavors with traces of minerals and almost a carbonic quality. At times, there is a bit of fruity alcohol esters that make for dark prune or plum flavors that fade off to a bit of a hop presence that is herbal and almost vegetative. Just like the aroma, this brew starts off really solid and enjoyable and starts to take a strange twist as it warms up.

This is a medium to fuller bodied brew with a silky smooth feel and moderate amount of carbonation. The feel of this brew is awesome for 12% and the carbonation is pretty much spot on. The coffee inclusion here starts off strong and is certainly an improvement on the normal speedway. However, as the experience continues, it starts to get a little awkward and I don't know if that is from the coffee inclusion or otherwise. Regardless, I am very much appreciative of the chance to try this and it has perked my interest to try the others if the opportunity ever presented itself.

 2,753 characters

Photo of Phigg1102
4.21/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Slick black pour, with a thin tan head. Nose is more roasted malt than coffee, fairly rich, but a bit more toned down than I was expecting. Coffee comes through in the taste more, along with a bit of chocolate and some tobacco. The malts are well expressed in the taste as well; rich, lingering on burnt, but not overly bitter.

 327 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
AleSmith Speedway Stout - Vietnamese Coffee from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.44 out of 5 based on 1,750 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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

    Subscribe