“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!” 12% ABV Imperial Stout
Purchased from The Fort in Fresno, California.
Poured from a 25.4 oz champagne bottle into my brandy snifter. The color is very imperial stout-y, completely solid black. A dark brown, frothy head is poured, which dissipates quickly and leaves good lacing on the glass. Light carbonation is visible climbing up the glassware.
Aromas of intense, darkly roasted chocolate and coffee dominate. Additional scents of dark fruit, wood resin, and alcohol undertones are also presented.
Speedway Stout has a medium-rich body, with a very smooth mouthful for such a big beer. It finishes with a healthy dose of bittering hops that help balance things out. I don’t get nearly as much of a flavor bomb as I was expecting. Moderately light dark-roasted bitter chocolate and coffee flavors initially, with some dark fruit and alcohol notes. These lead to a dry, bitter finish of long-lingering chocolate and coffee flavors on the palate.
This particular bottle of AleSmith’s Speedway Stout was bottled in mid-September of this year (just under two months ago), and it definitely tastes like a fresh imperial stout. One of the top beers currently on Ratebeer, I think it definitely needs another year or so of bottle aging to come into its own. It does do a pretty good job of masking the 12% ABV, with just moderate alcohol presence. The flavors are done well, but definitely will smooth out and blend together better with time. A really good brew, but not quite at the potential I think it eventually will be. 8.5/10
AleSmith Brewing Co. – San Diego, California