Storm King Stout - Victory Brewing Company
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Ratings: 4,385 | Reviews: 2,460 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by Dantes:
4/5 rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Package: 12oz. bottle, labeled 9.1% ABV; bottled Oct. 15, 02. Nice description and Aztec-like mask on a blue-black label. No recommended serving temperature.
Cost: $7.99 a 6-Pack at Bottle King
Presentation: Imperial Pint glass at ~50º.
Appearance: Darkest brown, like Gabon ebony. Virtually opaque. Head was sparse and disappointing for a stout, resembled espresso crema. Faint gunsmoke. Subsequent pourings yielded better heads.
Smell: Burnt coffee and wood-resin aromas. Definite hops aroma. Alcohol.
Taste: The first taste was like cold espresso ristretto. Sensations of burnt coffee and semi-processed cacao nibs (Yes, I’ve eaten them). The alcohol pushed to the front, steamrolling over whatever other flavors might have been there. I didn’t register the flavors of fruit, tobacco, and chocolate noted below. I tasted the hops, but didn’t feel that this was over-hopped as many micros are. Sweetness expanded as my palate acclimated to the bitter coffee upfront. Medium, acrid finish.
Mouthfeel: Lacked the creaminess I expected. Somewhat thin.
Drinkability: Reasonable for its ABV. Not something which I'm likely to drink a lot.
I’m somewhat reluctant to write this review, because it diverges so much from the experiences of others and I'm a neophyte reviewer. In my defense, I tried three bottles of this in various situations, and consider stouts one of my favorite types. Of the three bottles, SK seemed best to me as an accompaniment to a meal of pan-seared filet mignon with shallot butter, baked potato, and salad. The richness of the beef countered the sharp edges of the beer, revealing more complexity. By itself, I was surprised that the alcohol was less integrated than in the Old Horizontal with a higher ABV, nor was it as luxurious. Alone, I felt that this was trying too hard to peg the meter in every category as opposed to achieving an integrated whole. I didn’t hate it but I didn’t love it either. Like “Charbucks” it thinks burnt is better (and I love coffee).
Backwash: This king has no clothes. I’m at a loss to explain my lack of affinity for this, as I agree with most other rankings. I think that this would be better on draught (as most beers are). All in all, I’d rather have a Samuel Smith’s Imperial Stout, Oatmeal Stout, or a Rogue Shakespeare. I plan to drink one more and cellar the last two. If I can get some other bottlings, I'll try those as well. Maybe I will come to my senses.
Serving type: bottle
12-30-2002 14:59:43 | More by Dantes
More User Reviews:
3.94/5 rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4
Enjoyed out of a 12 oz brown bottle with an etched-on freshness date that reads "enjoy by Mar 4, 2018". That's right--four years from now. Seeing as how I've had this bottle a few months already, my best guess is that Victory uses a five year lead time for this beer. Poured into a small Belgian snifter glass.
Appearance - So far, so good. This looks like a classic imperial stout, with a deep darkness that seems to suck in all light. Only when I put it in front of a flashlight do I see hints of burgundy around the edges of the glass, and even then I'm surprised by how little of the light beam gets through. It's like a black hole of beer. Atop the pitch black body sits a generous two finger head the color of rich chocolate truffle that eventually dissipates to a healthy-looking film that varies in thickness across the lake of motor oil. Decent sheets of lacing are interspersed along the sides of the glass and remain for the duration of my enjoyment of the beer.
Smell - What the... if I'm not mistaken, that is the distinctly pungent aroma of hops. Hoppy to the point of overpowering a lot of the more traditional stout flavor profiles. Loads of citric acidity soar over much more subtle notes of baker's chocolate and roasted malt, along with more hop presence in the form of tree bark and freshly-churned wet soil. The aroma has taken a surprisingly pleasant left turn from the appearance after this looked like it would be a straightforward imperial stout.
Taste - Again, the hops are leading the charge, but now they pull a caravan of rich flavors behind them. Dark fruits, licorice, more bittersweet chocolate and charred caramel storm over my tastebuds. But they are not to be outdone by the in-your-face astringency of the citrus and resiny hops. There is a lingering bitterness on the palate like you might expect from a piece of toast that spent just a bit longer than it should have in the toaster oven.
Mouthfeel - This is the first point at which I feel a tad let down, as this beer lacks the viscosity and body that I prefer in my big, bold stouts. Body is full, but closer to medium, and carbonation is medium to low. Finish is bitter.
Overall, a very well done beer, and certainly unique amongst imperial stouts. I've never had one that was so hoppy--and it's hoppy to the point that if someone had told me this was the beer that inspired the oxymoronic term "black IPA", I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest. I personally prefer this style to be much more easygoing with the hops--especially of the citric variety--but I can't in good conscience write this beer off due to my personal preferences. It is very well crafted.
Serving type: bottle
03-12-2014 05:20:58 | More by LambicPentameter
Storm King Stout from Victory Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 4,385 ratings.