I’ve been waiting for an excuse to open this Alesmith Speedway Stout that’s been sitting in my refrigerator for the past few months. I don’t know why I put an imperial stout in my refrigerator in the summer. It was a rather stupid move because the damn bottle is big and has been taking up precious room where other, more summer/fall seasonal beers could have gone.
But now, November has come and the weather outside is finally conducive to stout drinking. In fact we just got out first snow storm up here in Boston. If that’s not a sure indicator that stout’s are ready to be drunk, I don’t know what is.
Oh, it’s (the day after) International Stout Day? Yeah, that too…
Whatever, you had me at beer. It’s time to crack this Speedway and dive into its murky, boozy abyss.
I remember about five or six years ago I had found an Alesmith IPA in a Boston liquor store. It was the first time I had seen Alesmith around on the east coast and I quickly became a fan of the beer. Unfortunately, there was a dry spell of a few years before I started to see Alesmith making its way back into the market. Now, I’m happy to report that distribution is quite solid for the whole lineup. I’ve been seeing their beer at just about every good liquor store in the area.
Hence, this fine bottle of Speedway Stout that has been sitting in my refrigerator for the past few months. Did I mention it’s a 12% imperial coffee stout? Oh, perhaps not. Nice way to wind down a Friday, eh?
Sometimes the name of a beer really embodies the liquid in the glass. And in this case, I’d suggest that Alesmith is dead on. Take a sip of this stuff and you immediately get this fierce rush of intense bitter cocoa and coffee beans, an alcoholic bite and sweet malt that races to your head and heart and gives you a punch of hello. The coffee is so dark and intense that you think you might need to cut it with a little half and half. The sweet is brown sugar and Christmas cake. It’s a mouthful of a stout all right.
This beer is a speeding race car, packed with layers of flavor. Yet for all of the intensity of the beer it’s still quite drinkable, not over cloying and balanced in its own turn-your-sound-up-to-eleven kind of way. It’s got a really nice mouth feel with a bit of acidity up front to create some great structure.
I’m digging the Speedway, and for me it’s just another testament to this great San Diego brewery. Speed on my friends. Oh yeah, and happy day after Stout Day or something. 91 points.