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Tuesday, April 03, 2007 

AleSmith Speedway Stout

96 / 100

I'm finally getting around to reviewing this beer, my favorite stout.

Certain beers get to me sometimes and it becomes almost all I can think about. Usually with me it's an IPA or a Belgian ale, but every once in awhile it's a fine crafted stout. Speedway Stout is one of those beers.

This special beer works best in a snifter I've found (or perhaps a large red wine glass). The snifter allows the beauty of the deep, viscous blackness as it pours along the curve of the glass, leaving a creamy lace. The espresso frothed head is glorious in the small mouth of the snifter.

The aroma is wonderful - rich coffee, sweet malt and an almost vanilla flavor. It takes awhile to get around the complexities but it's very rewarding. The texture is thick and creamy - exactly what I like in a big stout. You can almost chew it.
Tasting it starts with an espresso flavor that gets a bit bitter before rounding out with a sweet malt backbone. There's a bitterness of dark chocolate with a sweetness of vanilla bean and hint of cherry wood. It's difficult to put a finger on all of the flavors, but it's enjoyable to try.

At 12% ABV, this is not for everyday / all day consumption. At that level it is rather remarkable how easily it does go down. The alcohol warmth makes this perfect for a colder night. Living in Los Angeles, I've enjoyed this just as much at bbqs and even for a nice weekend breakfast sipping. Stouts are not for everyone, but if you ever wanted to crossover this is the best place to start.

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