AleSmith Speedway Stout - Vietnamese Coffee | AleSmith Brewing Company

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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:
159
Ratings:
1,738
Avg:
4.44
pDev:
6.98%
 
 
Wants:
524
Gots:
284
For Trade:
29
User Reviews
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Reviews: 159 | Ratings: 1,738
Photo of schoolboy
4.34/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I was given notice that a keg of this was coming so it was with anticipation of something great that I bought this. It did not disappoint.

It's black with a weak head and little fizz. The aroma is beautiful coffee and ashes but somewhat subtle.

The taste is a malty, bitter-sweet. Coffee dominates but it is joined by everything from hops and roasty malts and very faintly some yeast.

This is a great brew. It's balanced, in it's own over the top way, and very drinkable. The booze is not to be noticed, unlike the regular. I am sure I will feel it once I finish this half growler. It is a fairly civilized humongous brew - maybe a little harsh on the throat. It can overpower any food. I am eating a spicy sandwich with raw scallion on it and this cuts right through and goes well with it.

It is not a great value, but who cares! Recommended.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
4.24/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark brown with a nice frothy two-finger khaki head. There was an overwhelming dose of coffee, oak, and dark chocolate in the nose. Comes down so easy in the flavors along with that delicious Vietnamese coffee, however, it was not as bold as it was in the aromatics. Lots of roasted oak and dark chocolate. Thick mouthfeel with a slightly bitter back finish. Well put together!

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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.

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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.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.49/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a growler via The Growler Stop in Newtown served in a snifter.
This beefy beast pours an rich obsidian with a nice head of light brown
foam that settles to a thick ring, thin pool, and features nice sudsy lacing.
Nose of rich cocoa, decadent coffee, dark sweet malts, subtle char, sweet
booze, and subtle char notes. Flavors nail the WOW factor. Delicious
rich coffee notes coalesce with dark bakers chocolate and mild cream notes
awash in heavy booze and dark sweet malts to balance out the bakers chocolate
with touches of char. Excellent mouth feel; smooth as velvet, rich, subtle cream,
light carbonation, and a bitter malt and coffee aftertaste.

Overall-----I think I am in love.

Thanks to the Growler Stop for some decadent fresh beer!

Cheers

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Photo of PicoPapa
4.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Orthodoxkardia for this one.

32oz mini growler pours a pitch color with an inch of frothy medium brown head. Lots of spotty lacing. This one smells great. The aroma is a nice mix of espresso, vanilla, caramel, and chocolate syrup. The taste is a mix of espresso and chocolate syrup. Roasted malts, earth, vanilla and caramel. More coffee flavors towards the finish mixed in with chocolate syrup. Very noticeable alcohol presence. Slick mouthfeel with a good amount of carbonation. This beer made the long trip to CT no problem and I am very grateful for that. Overall, an amazing beer that improves on an already great one.

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Photo of jakecattleco
4.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Draught pour at Davis Beer Shoppe into a snifter. Pours a brownish black with a thin layer of cream-colored head that mostly, but never fully, dissipates. Nose is roasty deliciousness, with hints of dark chocolate and some booziness as it warmed. Taste is heavier on the chocolate than the nose, plenty of roasted coffee. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, carbonation fine, and the finish slightly bitter and hot from the ABV. Tasty brew indeed, but I like the Hammerhead slightly better.

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Photo of spark3148857
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with a khaki head of tight bubbles bat leave pretty good lacing. Aroma of dark cocoa, roast, vanilla, caramel, and of course coffee. Up front on the palate is waves of dark and milk chocolate, caramel, and vanilla that give way to massive fresh roasted coffee that lingers forever. Mouthfeel is creamy and coating the mouth. Truly exceptional.

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Photo of portia99
4.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle (bottled 8/5/13) poured into a CBS snifter.

A - Pitch black on the pour with a thick finger plus cap of frothy cappuccino foam with very good staying power. Several minutes pass before it significantly fades and the glass is coated nicely with thick webs of lacing over almost the entire surface.

S - I get a rich coffee aroma up front with a firm complement of berry aroma along with it. Plenty of roast all around. Hints of caramel and molasses and a bit of anise for good measure. Milky chocolate completes the picture.

T - Milk chocolate up front, a touch of burnt/charred malt, lots of roasted malt, and some mild caramel. Coffee comes thru quite well especially as the beer warms a bit - smooth, slightly acidic. There is a thick creaminess to this beer, semi-sweet notes further smooth out this beer quite well. Light hop bitterness, a bit of a green, grassy hop component, but at a low level. Alcohol is well hidden but is not undetectable - light warmth can be felt on the swallow and found on each inhale. Each inhale also brings the berry-like, estery character noticed in the aroma.

M - Medium/full bodied with a lower level, creamy carbonation. Estery, roasty, coffee-centric, chocolately imperial stout - complex describes it. Mild alcohol warmth that lets you know this is a 12% beer, but smooth enough that you completely forget that fact while drinking it.

O - Very, very good imperial stout. Regular Speedway is great by itself. This Vietnamese coffee version takes it up another notch. Not quite the religious experience I've heard others describe this as, but certainly upper echelon material. I think this is the 3rd bottle I have had and happy there is still one left in the cellar - will be happy to revisit this one again at least one more time.

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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.

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Photo of jegross2
4.75/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Reviewing the Vietnamese Coffee Speedway Stout from AleSmith Brewing Company out of San Diego, California.

Score: 97

Bottled 08/05/13. Served in a Surly Darkness chalice and enjoyed on 01/23/13.

Appearance: Jet black in color. Pours two fingers of khaki head that recede to thin, coating layer and thick ring around the glass. Great lacing and retention. This is a beautiful looking stout. 5/5

Smell: Milk chocolate, high percentage cacao dark chocolate, vanilla, cake batter, molasses, raisins and dried dark fruits. There are undertones of coffee, but they are much subtler than you would expect from a coffee stout. A little cinnamon comes across too. The doughy cake, vanilla and cacao notes are surprisingly prominent relative to the coffee character -- I was expecting roast and a big blast of coffee based on the last time I had this beer -- but the heavy dose of cacao and vanilla is welcome surprise. Everything here is in perfect balance, and the dark fruit character mixes in seamlessly unlike regular Speedway Stout. This nose is absolutely incredible. 5/5

Taste: There's the coffee I was expecting! Upfront hits a big blast of smooth, bitter roast and chocolatey coffee flavor that lingers long. Delightfully creamy, not that acidic. There's a big dark fruit character on the back half that's not nearly as neatly integrated as it was in the nose at first. Notes of bakers chocolate, oak and molasses too. The dark fruit mellows out and blends in to the rest of the beer much better as the brew warms up. In fact, by room temp, all the flavors blend wonderfully and more chocolate notes come through. No booziness; I would never guess that this is 12% ABV. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel: Not quite full bodied, but nicely viscous. Carbonation level is spot on. Very creamy mouthfeel with a dry finish. Has some sweetness towards the finish, which counterbalances the upfront bitterness nicely. Can't ask for much more in the mouthfeel department than this in a stout. 5/5

Overall: A really excellent stout from Alesmith that is better than any of their barrel aged projects, and a major step up from the base beer, in my opinion. While not quite up to the level of the Kopi Luwak variant, this twist on Speedway Stout is excellent in its own way. The bitterness here is quite appetizing, and the dark fruit, molasses and chocolate mix well balancing the sweet and bitter characters. My recommendation is that you drink this one on the warmer side. Proceed with caution, however, as this beer is dangerously dome-able.

Cost: $18 for a 750 ml bottle.

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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.

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Photo of pmarlowe
4.3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at O'Brien's, leftover from 2011 Million Zillion. 10oz thin glass.

A: Pours viscous black, with a solid cover of head. Good retention and some lacing. Recedes to a ring and thin cap.

S: Dark roast coffee, cream and vanilla, and dark chocolate. smells good.

T: Rich dark roast coffee, lots of vanilla, dark chocolate, and cocoa. Dry and finishes with a light lingering bitterness. Rich and decadent.

M: Creamy, slightly sticky, light on carbonation and full body.

O: Wow, delicious. A richer version of regular Speedway. Really well balanced and showcases all the good flavors of a stout.

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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.

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Photo of Wayne17
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Just when you think Speedway can;t get much better, the addition of the Vietnamese coffee elevates it further. The thing I love about Vietnamese coffee is it's intense dark roastiness but not in a bitter or burned kind of way but a slightly sweeter, more chocolatly/Oreo kind of way. Being in Houston I'm no stranger to Vietnamese coffee, and this beer is certainly a great representation of how delicious that coffee can be.

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Photo of Biggiekrock627
4.57/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap into a 5oz taster at rumpus room in milwaukee. The taste and feel are nearly perfect. Pour this on a tire, car bumper or pretty much anything and I am in

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Photo of ChrisMon02
4.67/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Black as night. Mocha head that lasts longer than expected. Nice lacing clings to the glass. Waves of coffee, chocolate and caramel on the nose and palate. Well integrated and delish. Super smooth mouthfeel. Glad I finally got to try this one. A great variant of the original. Highly recommended.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.66/5  rDev +5%

Opaque black with a dark tan foam that drapes the glass in lace. Huge walls of sweet coffee and chocolate in the nose. Intense layers of cocoa and chocolate accompany roasty, aromatic coffee and citrusy hop bitterness. Milkshake thick mouthfeel. Very complex and impossibly drinkable for the ABV.

World class stout. So delicious. A must try, like the original Speedway Stout.

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Photo of JamFuel
4.71/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Himmeriget in Copenhagen.

Jet black with a light, brown head.

Excellent nose, bursting with coffee, chocolate and vanilla.

The taste is huge! Sweet and roasted, with so much coffee and chocolate it feels like I'm drinking a cake. Pretty much no alcohol, and some terrific vanilla notes in the finish.

Mouthfeel is just right, thick and oily, but not overly so.

Alesmth is my favorite brewery, and this is another great take on the Speedway. Huge in both smell and taste, it ticks every box I want a stout to tick. I want more....

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Photo of GOBLIN
4.27/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Accidentally stumbled upon this on draft . . . Very excited ! As expected it pours deep black with khaki colored head and very nice lacing. Honestly I'm not overly impressed with the nose but it is what it . . . Coffee, roasted malts, some random spices thrown in there as well. Taste is just delicious and it might be just me but this is similar tasting to KBS but with a much, much better and thicker feel. Overall, not really convinced that this worth the hype ( they never are ;) ) but still an impressive imperial stout.

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Photo of kevanb
4.37/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle, generously shared by Colin, Mike and Chris, once again thanks guys! Poured into a 10oz snifter, reviewed from iPhone notes.

The beer pours a deep jet black color, super opaque, touches of cola brown when held to the light, with a thick, firm caramel head that has poor retention and leaves only a spot or two of lace behind. The aroma is of heavy coffee, one of the more beautiful beans at that, lightly roasted, loads of fruit character with nice toasted cocoa, vanilla and rich malted grain and just a trace of hot alcohol. The coffee is on full display here and it really comes across on the tongue, just a subtle roast with sweeter fruit and cocoa that is also lightly bitter, vanilla is really nice with a bit of creaminess and a lot of sweet, hearty rich grain. Alcohol is well hidden on the tongue, the beer is certainly sweet, but the earthiness of the coffee helps cut that down nicely. The bean is showcased so well against the backdrop of a big stout. The mouthfeel is fantastic, rich, silky and coats the mouth superbly well. The finish is super creamy and soft with a light warming sensation.

Verdict: A great coffee stout and a really great adaptation on the base stout. The fruitiness of the bean, along with some earthy qualities really shine and the subtle roast is wonderful. I still struggle with how sweet this beer is, but it's a joy to drink in smaller quantities.

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Photo of kawilliams81
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a snifter.

Pours pours black with a huge 3" dark cola head. A lot of small trails and bubbles of lacing cover the glass.

Huge coffee, big dark chocolate, light vanilla and mint.

Nice big rich coffee, vanilla, dark chocolate.

Great coffee stout! Very smooth, huge rich coffee flavor with nice dark chocolate as well.

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Photo of Gatch
4.75/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Straight up espresso and dark chocolate. This is the real deal. So rich and dark. Worth the hype? Probably. Few beers have given me such a reaction on the first sip. Wow. On tap at Rail Trail in Hudson, MA.

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Photo of ronricorossi
4.59/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

That slick vietnamese coffee profile makes this something special indeed. That particular, signature sweetness is unique among coffee stouts. World class.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.33/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A very interesting and different beer to the 'regular' speedway stout. You can tell the coffee is stronger and more bitter.

The look is a nice dark brown to black with some excellent lacing and a decent frothy ring of tan-off white head.

The smell is nice but thin in its complexity, plenty of bitter coffee grinds along with some vanilla bean and cocoa beans to round it out. The smell is a bit astringent which departs from the nice aromas. The taste follows suit in many ways, but it is filled in by a hefty malt bill and some deeper sweet and savory flavors that make the coffee tastes richer. A very complex palate that seems to open up as it warms and deepens with each taste.

The feel is a nice medium feel with little burn. It goes over smoothly, and caps off a very nice brew overall.

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AleSmith Speedway Stout - Vietnamese Coffee from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.44 out of 5 based on 1,738 ratings.
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