Location: San Diego, CA
Let's cut to the chase.
I don't want to waste your time on this festive Christmas Eve. Besides, what are you doing on the computer when you should be wasseling among the leaves so green, or grabbing that last minute gift, or visiting with family. Seriously... I mean, Katie and I appreciate your loyal viewership, but do us a favor. After you finish reading this post (assuming that you are reading this ON Christmas Eve), turn off your computer, or pocket that smart phone for a little while and breathe in some of that Christmas Spirit with your friends and family. With, your favorite beverage nearby, of course.
I'm throwing the numbers at you from the get-go.
BeerAdvocate Rating: 98 (world-class)
RateBeer: 100 (yes, as in PERFECT)
Untappd: 4.3 out of 5 (11,962 ratings)
Awards, awards, awards...
I'll admit, I kinda knew what I was getting into when I decided to fire up the AleSmith Speedway Stout for the final post of this holiday season. I've never had it, but I know... You gotta go big when it comes to #1. This is the beer that needs to leave a lasting impression on the Beer411 readers (and hopefully it won't be December 2014 when we decide to write on here next!).
AleSmith is a well respected brewery from what I've heard. Sadly, they are also one of those breweries that does not distribute to Connecticut. And unlike my post on the White Birch Brewery, this story does not have a happy ending where I found this bottle at some store with a great selection. No... I happened upon this beer at a local Beer Themed Yankee Swap put on by the Relic Brewery. There were about 20 of us that took part and when everything was all said and done, I ended up with this tasty treat. Now, as I examined the bottle, I noticed something in small print, "This beer ages very well and will continue to mature for many years to come." But you can bet your partridge in a pear tree, that I wasn't about to wait.
On the pour, we have a dark, dark beer. Black as night. Or, according to the website, "Jet Black". I poured pretty aggressively and ended up with about 2 fingers of tan head.
The nose was full of coffee smells. Rich, robust coffee. Combined with unsweetened/semi-sweet chocolate notes. Hints of vanilla and earthiness as well.
I have to sit down this is so tasty. There's a coffee/chocolate 1-2 punch right out of the gate. As the flavor develops, there's malty sweetness, followed by vanilla and toffee/caramel. The cool thing about this beer is that while you may not like strong coffee, the sweetness balances very well to offset the bitterness.
Low carbonation, creamy and delicious. Full-bodied, as expected, but it's not as thick as Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout (of which I had a little last night). Slight alcohol warming on the finish, but you would NOT guess that this is 12%.
Given the high abv (and the since it only comes in 750 ml), this is one that you'll want to share with a few people. Highly recommended if you can find it. For food pairings... A family friend dropped off some homemade peanut brittle that was awesome with this.
Thank you all of our retweeters, Twitter favoriters, Facebook sharers, Facebook Likers, Google+ 1er's and anyone that might have spent a little time on our site. We really appreciate all of your support. I hope that you enjoyed our 12 Beers of Christmas. I love finding new beers with every season, and this blog gives Katie and I an excuse to dig a little deeper, especially over the holiday season.
So from all of us at BEER411 to all of you, have a happy and safe holiday!!