Sunday, March 17, 2013

AleSmith Brewing Company - Speedway Stout

What, you really thought I wasn't going to do a stout for St. Patrick's Day? Come on now.. But we're not just tackling any stout today. We're going for perhaps the mother of all stouts in San Diego- AleSmith's Speedway Stout. Speedway has been around for quite a while now, but (in my opinion at least) it's yet to be surpassed by any stout I've had from San Diego. Somehow, in my infinite wisdom, I've been forgetting to review this beer for far too long. It's been a staple on the Top 100 (and now on the Top 250) List for a long, long time and it's time to give this beer it's well deserved time to shine. At #45- Speedway Stout.

Speedway Stout pours a jet black color with a monster, three-finger mocha colored head. It's not the thickest beer I've come across, but it still manages to leave some tracks of lace soaring high up the glass. When I first poured the beer, it had just come from the fridge and the smell seemed to be lacking a bit. But as it warmed up, it began to really intensify, bringing rich notes of dark roasted coffee mixed with the slightest trace of booze. When the beer warmed even more, I got a sweeter aroma that reminded me of milk chocolate, Whoppers, caramel, wet earth and toffee. This beer smells incredible.

The taste is a luscious blend of dark roasted coffee and rich dark chocolate. The middle shows just a hint of brownie/fudge and toffee sweetness before a big hit of espresso. The finish is pure dark roasted coffee bean deliciousness. At 12%, you would think this would be a challenge to drink, but it shows little trace of it's weight. The only hint is a slight warmness and dryness on the finish, but the beer is far from tasting harsh.

As far as coffee beers go, this is up there with the best of them. The coffee (brewed in San Diego by Ryan Brothers Coffee) isn't as intense in the smell or the taste as a beer like KBS, but it's so well melded into the other flavors here that it just might give KBS a run for its money. And while warming some stouts might bring out some off flavors you don't really want, warming this beer up only enhances the experience. If you haven't tried this beer, get on it. It's fairly easy to find and well worth the price. Happy St. Patrick's Day to all (or what's left of it).

Final Grade: A

Top 250 Beers Tasted: 115

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