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AleSmith Speedway Stout - Chipotle & Morita Peppers

AleSmith Speedway Stout - Chipotle & Morita Peppers
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   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
FlacoAlto (4133) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - MAR 10, 2011
The surprise Speedway of RBWG 2011
The beer pours into my glass with a two finger thick, creamy, well browned, dark head that leaves some nice lacing on the sides of my glass. The beer is almost pitch black with some brown tinges to it and a clear dark chocolate brown color if you hold up a thin part of it directly to the light and is exactly what you want this beer to look like. The beer smells of rich, concentrated malt with umami notes of light smoke, dark smoothly roasted grain, black espresso, an almost roasted nutty note and some sweet coffee notes. The finish has a touch of chile spiciness to it that disappears fairly quickly (as well as some spicy alcohol notes), but was quite distinct in the first few moments of pouring this beer. After leaving the beer for a moment the sharp roast notes, rich smokiness and spicy chile hints become noticeable again, but once again the smooth, sweeter, dark chocolate like notes and smooth coffee notes become the dominant character. After even some more time, the roast, sometimes sharp, roasted coffee notes start to become the dominant note in the aroma.

Smooth and sweet with chocolate notes as it first hits my tongue. The beer finishes with a sharply, slightly acrid big roast character, hop bitterness and a hint of chile spiciness that lightly lingers on the tongue; this last is actually quite faint, but grows to be a bit more piquant after subsequent sips. The up front dark chocolate notes are quite rich and oh-so smooth, the coffee notes are here (especially if you let the beer sit on the tongue) and it reminds me a bit of a thick, rich mocha. There is a hint of smokiness to the flavor, though it is not nearly as noticeable as it was in the nose. There is a roasted fruitiness to the finish that reminds me a bit of burnt prunes (my wife says it reminds her of an Asian plum or even hoisin sauce a bit in the finish). There seems to be a hint of something wrapped up in the chile spiciness that reminds me of a berry / vegetal chile flavor (as opposed to the heat). The body of this beer is rich and chewy, quite viscous and a definite sipping beer; the roasted & hop bitter, slightly acrid and piquant finish do a great job of ensuring this is not cloying and helps balance out the up front richness of the imperial stout.

I canít believe that there is a subtle smokiness to this brew; I donít think it is from the base beer, but is actually from the smoked chiles (chipotles) that were used in this beer. I like the subtle, palate warming effect of the chiles here, this really isnít a spicy brew but it has a nice, pervasive, almost invasive warming effect on my head (or perhaps that is the %). Really nice, I was quite surprised to find that I liked this a lot more than the Kopi Luwak version.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
daknole (10836) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - MAR 8, 2011
Hell yeah! Black pour, brown head. Loads of coffee and chocolate in the nose with good chili presence. Flavor of chili peppers is in the beer, but no spice. Seamless blend of all the ingredients here. Wow and wow. Thanks Alesmith, Peter and Joe. Bravo.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
dcschiller (2207) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - MAR 7, 2011
UPDATED: MAR 9, 2011 (on draught at RBWG 2011-Phoenix!!). Pours dark brown with red hue and thin tan head. Aroma of chocolate, adobo sauce and coffee. Taste is semi-sweet with some roasty bitterness and some heat coming through. The heat is subtle and blends perfectly with the rest of the ingredients. Medium bodied with creamy texture. Finish is mildly spicy and roasty. This is a really nice speedway variation. Thanks to Dak and smokepot for hooking this up!!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
cbkschubert (2901) - BFE, Arizona, USA - MAR 7, 2011
On tap @ RBWG - Pours a dark, dark brown color with a small tan head that eventually settles to a long lasting film. Very light spotty lacing. Aroma is a doughy roasted malt with hints of coffee and pepper. The flavor is more chocolate with a noticeable chili pepper presence. The pepper is really noticeable in the finish. It really lingers on the lips and seem quite slick. Full body. A very nice beer. Glad to see the pepper didnít over whelm the beer. Thanks Joe, Dak, and Peter with setting this up.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
brokensail (15570) - Dublin, California, USA - MAR 7, 2011
A: Looks like Speedway: thick and black with a finger or so of tan head. S: Spicy chili peppers are strong up front with the coffee following quickly behind. Plenty of roasted malt and a touch of char, but not as much of the smooth chocolate qualities that regular Speedway tends to have. T: Earthy and spicy chili peppers provide the bulk of the flavor here. The coffee is still there, but there is not as much of the base Speedway character as I would have liked. Some mild chocolate and a good roast, but not as rich. M: The body is medium with a moderate level of carbonation. D: Good but not as good as regular Speedway Stout (or of course some of the other variations).

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
douglas88 (8147) - Portland, Oregon, USA - MAR 6, 2011
On tap at RBWG 2011 in Arizona. Thanks so much the the amazing love from AleSmith and to Dak and Joe. Pours a totally black color with a medium creamy light brown head. A rich roast and coffee nose, earthy soot and smoke. The flavor is wonderful; upfront heat from the peppers, it mixes seamlessly with the massive milky coffee, lots of roast, smooth as hell. Just a lovely treatment to Speedway- which is an institution in itself. The palate is improved by spicy heat. What a great treat to try. Very spicy and a beast.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
savnac (2391) - Anchorage, Alaska, USA - NOV 13, 2010
On tap @ Oíbrienís Night of a Million Zillion Speedways. Looks the same as the regular version, except maybe a smaller head. Aroma is spicy chilies, vegetal, and cinnamon on top of regular Speedway. Flavor has some spicy and cinnamon notes and a light heat on the back of the throat. My least favorite of the night.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
JohnnyJ (5353) - San Diego, California, USA - NOV 6, 2010
Draft at OíBrienís. Typical Speedway appearance, black, small creamy tan head. Chocolate, chipotle peppers, lots of heat and spice hitting the back of the throat, a bit of coffee coming in the background, the flavors are interesting, but Iím not a big fan. Not the hottest beer I have had, but I think itís safe to to say I donít like pepper beers that much.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
danielcurtis81 (1519) - San Diego, California, USA - NOV 6, 2010
Served on tap at Oíbrienís Night of a Million Zillion Speedways. Only got to try one sample of this but that was more then enough. Got the recommendation to save this till the end and that was great advice.The appearance is the usual Speedway deep black hue with a medium roasty brown head. The aromas are smoky chipotle pepper and riach roasty aromas. The flavors are full of smoked chipotle peppers that just sits way to heavy in the esophagus. The smoke just chokes you and it lingers. They are good flavors but not in a beer for me. If you marinaded some chicken or something in here then it would be great.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
WeeHeavySD (3377) - Portland, Oregon, USA - NOV 5, 2010
1st rating of this brew, and first tick in a long time for me. Tried this today at Obrienís amidst a sea of people and an unseasonably hot November evening. This was probably the most intersting and surprising of all the beers featured tonight. Nice spicy nose and taste that really incorporates the peppers into the beer in a way that enhances it. A spicy imperial Stout, wow, if this was bottled it would make great chili.

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