Home > Imperial Stout, Stout > Speedway Stout – Vietnamese Coffee

Speedway Stout – Vietnamese Coffee

Rating: 4.3

A very special beer now and my third AleSmith offering, the first of which will have been on-tap with the previous two that I’ve tried being bottled offerings; namely their Horny Devil Belgian pale ale and the flagship AleSmith IPA. Although I already have a bottle of the original version of this in the house and still to be opened, this one is a beer that I recently noticed a local Brewdog bar would be offering on-tap over the weekend and I quickly arranged a visit to try to grab myself a glass known it’s unlikely I’ll see it again anywhere outside a visit to California. The beer is, as the name suggests, a version of the brewery’s Speedway Stout that is brewed with Vietnamese coffee beans and is one of countless variations of the original beer that AleSmith offer. The beer comes in at 12% abv. and might just be the strongest beer that I’ve managed to try on-tap so far as well, it was only a third of a pint measure though which I guess was probably a good thing for an afternoon beer. Another reason I was so excited to try this one on-tap was because of how highly rated it is online with BeerAdvocate ranking it as the 47th best Imperial stout and 149th best beer overall on that site whilst RateBeer has it as the 27th best Imperial stout and the 40th best beer overall, although the original Speedway Stout does have a higher rating on the RateBeer site whilst BeerAdvocate ranks this version higher; either way, you know it’s a good beer.

Speedway Stout - Vietnamese Coffee

Appearance (4/5): This one pours pitch black in colour and sits like motor oil in the glass with a thin bead of tan brown lacing around the circumference of the glass. There is evidence of a tiny bit of lace sitting in the middle of the glass as well but it was a still looking beer and there wasn’t much of a head to speak of but it did look like quite a thick, full-bodied stout.
Aroma (9/10): Quite a thick and strong beer on the nose with plenty of toasted malts and coffee notes to kick things off, I’m not sure how it compares to the original but I wasn’t able to identify the Vietnamese part of the beans although they did smell good. There was some strong alcohol and grains coming through around the middle with a couple of darker malts and some chocolate notes toward the end before a hint of vanilla sweetness managed to break through and make itself known too.
Taste (9/10): This taste of this one followed on well from the nose thanks to the strong roasted malts and darker flavours that kicked things off, there was some roasted coffee beans too and a hint of bitterness off the back of them. I managed to detect some excellent rich chocolate flavours with the vanilla from the nose making itself known a little earlier this time around as well. Like the nose, again there was some alcohol grains showing and a few smoky touches as well but it was an excellent tasting beer from start to finish.
Palate (4/5): Full-bodied and very thick on the palate, this was a strong and dark beer that boasted some nice sweetness from the middle onwards and a silky smooth feel from the get go. There was some nice alcohol touches coming through in places but overall the beer seemed balanced and drinkable despite the strength.

Overall (18/20): This one was a beer that did not disappoint in the slightest, it came through with an incredibly strong and dark flavour that had a good combination of coffee, chocolate and even some vanilla with everything balanced nicely allowing it to go down easily. There seemed to be a little alcohol showing in places and there was definitely a solid kick to this one but it was also very smooth and full-bodied making it extremely enjoyable; I’m looking forward to trying the original version all the more now. This one was another outstanding beer from AleSmith and although it’s up there at the very top of my list, it’s not too far behind either.

Brewed In: San Diego, California, United States of America
Brewery: AleSmith Brewing Company
First Brewed: 2011
Type: Imperial Stout
Abv: 12.0%
Serving: Draught (1/3rd Pint)
Purchased: Brewdog DogHouse, Glasgow, Scotland
Price: £5.45

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