Beer Wednesday: My Bloody Valentine by AleSmith

Since we like to be topical here at FIWK, Wet Wednesday this week is dedicated to a Valentine's day themed beer: My Bloody Valentine, a red ale by San Diego-based brewery AleSmith. I had this beer on tap at a bar in San Diego, and it was delicious.

AleSmith is best known for making big, aggressive dark beers like their Speedway Stout, so I was excited to see what they could do with a lighter style like a red ale. The depth and complexity of flavors characteristic of their stouts are also present in this red ale, but the alcohol is low by comparison (6.6% ABV) so it is not too aggressive. There is very little bitterness, but neither is the beer "caramel sweet" like I see some reviews describe it as. I tend to agree with the Beer Advocate reviews, especially the A+ review which praises My Bloody Valentine's well-balanced and easy-drinking (aka quaffable) personality. Overall it's rich, flavorful, and has a great hops balance.

Reviews on ratebeer are very favorable to My Bloody Valentine as well. The red ale style is a great fit for my palate; this is my favorite beer by AleSmith yet. Hardcore beer guys might like the Speedway Stout style better, and I can appreciate that. If you know your own beer preferences, or want to experience what a full-bodied red ale can taste like, I recommend you give My Bloody Valentine a try if you can find it. It cost about $5 on tap. I definitely plan to get it again.


  1. So I had never heard of the Speedway Stout, but I have referenced AleSmith in this space when discussing hops and their X (Extra Pale Ale). So is that your fault for assuming that AleSmith is best known for their big, aggressive dark beers? Or is it my fault for potentially blinding myself to beers outside the Pale Ale and IPA genre?

  2. Good question... here is their list of beers on Beer Advocate. There is a column which shows the number of reviews for each beer they do.

    If we use this as a metric to determine which beers are their most popular, the Speedway Stout has the most reviews at 947. Add in the Speedway Stout barrel aged version and that beer has about 1,100 reviews.

    Meanwhile the AleSmith IPA has the second-most reviews at 830. However, add in their YuleSmith summer seasonal, which is an IPA, and that's an extra 800 reviews. So their big time IPAs combine for 1,600+ reviews and combined seem more famous.

    The AleSmith X has about 250 and My Bloody Valentine has a meager 38.

    Looking at the ratio of the styles in their beer portfolio, it does seem like they do more different types of pales and IPAs than they do different types of Stouts. They really just stick to tweaking the Speedway Stout, making pales/IPAs, and then throwing in some other styles like red ales, barleywines, and belgian ales.

    So I guess we are both kinda right?