810: Speedway Stout

810 - Speedway StoutName: Speedway Stout
Brewery: AleSmith Brewing
Country of Origin: United States
City & State: San Diego, California
Style: American Double / Imperial Stout
Alcohol Content (ABV): 12.0%
First Brewed: 2002
Price: $12.99

Tasting Notes
Dark color with a creamy off-white head. Roasted coffee beans dominate the nose, followed by chocolate and nuts. Tastes of coffee, joined by creamy chocolate, dark fruit, and caramel.

Ricky’s Thoughts

I can’t look at this bottle, and not think about Indianapolis. You know, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home of the Indianapolis 500? I lived in Indiana for 28 years and never went to the race. I never saw the Brickyard 400 there, either. Or the moto GP stuff they did. They even race F1 there. But I did walk the golf course, so there’s that! Matter of fact, we had tickets to the Indy 500 the last year we were living in Indiana and didn’t end up going. Oh well, go fast and turn left!

Until recently I hadn’t tried this beer. We couldn’t get AleSmith in Indiana, ironic, but the other day after 18 holes at Papago Golf Course we went over to O.H.S.O. They had it on tap. I remember it being great, but I was also eating a jalapeno burger and drinking several other beers. So today I can focus on the beer as is, and spend some time with this big black bottle. We did get the chance to try the Vietnamese Coffee Stout a few weeks ago at a tasting. It was incredible, as well. OK, here we go… Speedway Stout!

In the Glass: OK, so this beer looks amazing coming out of the bottle. It’s thick and I can already smell the coffee. Then the dark tan head starts to form and just sticks to the side of the glass like glue. I don’t remember my sample at O.H.S.O. being so memorable. But like I said, now I am able to focus solely on the bottle that I have in front of me.

The beer, as the head begins to settle, is dark as night and the head just sits there. Give me a spoon because that head isn’t going anywhere. This is a good sign of a great beer to come.

Nose: At first I am smelling dark roasted coffee flavors, then I get a nice metallic ting toward the end of the sniff. Granted, I am smelling the head… so the beer itself might smell different. I will want to see what it smells like once the head is gone. I am also getting some nice milk chocolate aroma toward the finish that has me tasting the beer before I even take a sip. The head is gone… time to take a sip! (Actually, the head isn’t gone… but I am getting impatient. Bottoms up, people!)

Flavor: This is too cold, but I couldn’t wait any longer. Glad I didn’t… WOW. This beer is incredible. There is a TON of coffee at first, then the booze kicks in, and the finish is that of a nice cup of Joe. Holy crap, this beer is amazing. I can’t imagine how good this will get with age. The bottles says to wait 6 to 24 months before opening this. I would like to see what 3 or 5 years does to a bottle of this. That is just an incredible flavor and experience all across the board. I do NOT remember is being this good on tap. I haven’t had a ton of beers from AleSmith, but this one is one of the best beers I have had in a long time. Bravo, AleSmith!

Mouthfeel: It’s thick, and there are no bubbles to speak of. It is almost too thick, and I am sure it will thicken a bit as it heats up. But that’s OK. That is just a part of the overall experience with this bottle. It’s a big bottle, too. I was surprised when I took off the foil that it was capped and not corked. Oh well, still a great beer and I am SO glad that it is on our list. I am going to stop buying beers that are not on the list to get through the beers we have to buy. Of course, I am still buying a few six packs every week of stuff just to enjoy!

I did take a sip to swish around in my mouth, and it didn’t really do much for me. The bubbles then become overwhelming, and the finish becomes drying. Speaking of the finish…

Aftertaste: Not my favorite part of this beer, actually. I would say just the overall experience here is my favorite part. This is a bottle that, if drinking alone, I could spend 2 or 3 hours with. I bet this would be a good cigar beer, too. Regardless, the beer is very easy to drink considering the ABV, and you would never know that as this heats up. The booze begins to, as it nears room temperature, disappear and more coffee and chocolate flavors rush to the surface.

AleSmith, you have outdone yourself. This bottle is worth every penny of the $12.99 price tag, and is the official Total Wine & More 1001 Bottles bottle of the week this week at the Scottsdale location. It’s cool to get a local liquor store to promote what we are trying to do here. One beer at a time, anyway!

If you haven’t had this beer, do yourself a favor and get a bottle. This beer is ridiculous. I will let my last few sips get to room temperature before I finish my glass. Man, what a great brew. Cheers!

Speedway Stout – The bottle says: “Speedway Stout is a thick, rich brew perfect for those who demand high performance from their beer. Deep and dark, it’s full of toasty, roasty, chocolatey flavors as any good stout ale should be. We brew it using precisely conditioned water, our championship yeast, the freshest hops and premium grains such as chocolate and black patent malts and roasted barley. But the real secret is the beans, pounds and pounds of coffee beans added to the brew yielding even more levels of complexity and flavor.Such a find brew demands the finest coffee, so we cook premium microroast coffee. beans from San Diego’s own Rya Bros.”

“For a flavor sensation that can’t be beat, look to the Speedway Stout to find a real winner. This Limited Edition Formula will race off the shelves, so try it today or you’ll be left in the dust!”

Rating: 5/5 (I wish I could give this a higher rating… like an 8 out of 5! It’s that good!)

Sheryl’s Thoughts

I can’t remember if I’ve had this beer before or not.  But Ricky has been raving about it for quite a while, and it is a stout, which I like, so I anticipate it being good.  Let’s find out.

The beer has quite a bit of head when poured out into a glass.  I think mine almost overflowed when Ricky poured it out.  But the head has since dissipated, and I’ve let it get warm in the glass.  It’s a very dark, thick look in the glass… that motor oil kind of version of a stout.  It looks great, honestly.  The smell is one of dark chocolate and espresso.  That’s what I get out of it, anyway.  Let’s see how it tastes.

It’s thick.  That’s the first thing I get.  And it has that bitter dark chocolate flavor.  It’s almost chewy.  I think I would prefer it be a little more sweet and a little less bitter, but that’s just me.  It’s not a bad stout at all, and better than a lot that I have tried.  Honestly, to me it just doesn’t quite hit the ranks of Maui Brewing’s Coconut Porter or the Goose Island Bourbon County Coffee Stout (two of my absolute faves), but it’s not too bad.  This is definitely one I would buy again if I was looking for a decent stout.

Rating: 4/5

809 bottles of beer on the wall…

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