Beer Review: ALESMITH VIETNAMESE COFFEE SPEEDWAY STOUT

Beer Review: ALESMITH VIETNAMESE COFFEE SPEEDWAY STOUT

The Vietnamese Speedway Stout, poured into a snifter/tulip hybrid glass, exhibits a clear dark brown hue when first released from the can, transforming into an inky black once settled. The substantial dark brown foam, almost threatening to spill over, impresses with remarkable retention. As the foam subsides, it leaves behind an enticing, bubble bath-like residue on the glass edges.

Aroma

The aromatic journey commences with a robust interplay of blueberry, blackberry, and the pungent essence of oily dark roast coffee beans. Upon warming, smokiness emerges, accompanied by a sweet fusion of blueberry muffin and chocolate-covered strawberry. Unlike its regular Speedway counterpart, the Vietnamese version opts for a sweeter profile, toning down the overt coffee dominance.

Taste

In the flavor realm, the Vietnamese Speedway Stout deviates from the sharp, intense roast characteristic of its predecessor. Instead, it embraces softer vanilla notes and the indulgent essence of an oily blueberry doughnut. The renowned full-bodied density akin to motor oil, a hallmark of regular Speedway, persists. With each sip, an extravagant coffee spectacle unfolds, featuring dark berries, smoke, vanilla, sugar, and oil in a harmonious dance on the palate. Notably, acidity, a prominent feature in coffee-infused beers, takes a backseat as sugar and oil claim dominance. The heightened sweetness, possibly influenced by additions beyond coffee, mirrors the character of Vietnamese iced coffee (cà phê đá), enriched with sweetened condensed milk. The base beer, intense and bitter with a rating of 9 out of 10, provides a robust foundation capable of accommodating the added sweetness.

Mouthfeel

The mouthfeel experience retains the world-class quality observed in regular Speedway, offering an extra layer of full-bodied density reminiscent of motor oil. The beer’s exceptional oiliness, potentially attributed to the Vietnamese phin filter, allows the coffee flavors to roam freely, unhampered by traditional paper filters. This process contributes to an overall smoother presentation, elevating the beer’s texture.

Overall

Distinctively diverging from the standard Speedway, the Vietnamese iteration amplifies sweetness and introduces a smoother, oilier coffee presentation. The infusion of nuanced flavors, including vanilla, sugar, and an intricate dance of dark berries, creates a unique sensory experience. The meticulous brewing process and careful consideration of traditional Vietnamese coffee styles contribute to this stout’s notable departure from the conventional Speedway Stout, making it a noteworthy addition for enthusiasts seeking a departure from the ordinary.