Storm King Stout - Victory Brewing Company
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Ratings: 4,391 | Reviews: 2,460 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by FormatKid:
4.85/5 rDev +18.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5
When I first started perusing BA a year or so ago, this legendary beer was #1 by far and remained there for quite a bit of time if I remember correctly. Over this period of time Ive been able to sample and greatly appreciate some amazing Imperial Stouts. Now I tackle the legend I have anticipated trying for such a long time.
This beer was bottled 10/20/04 and is being sampled 01/07/05.
As soon as I pop the top my nose is greeted by deep, ripe berry esters. The beer looks viscous as I pour it into my goblet, seeming almost reluctant to leave its bottle. A large foamy head the color of creamed-coffee rises rapidly and seems to retain rather well for a beer of this girth leaving a lace-like sheet on its way down. The body blacker than the night time sky in bed-sty in july; blacker than the seed in the blackberry pie, blacker than the middle of my eye. This beer eclipses even direct lights feeble attempts to penetrate its depths. Upon further inspection the nose reveals a flambé dish made of plums, ripe cherries and fire-consumed rum; deeply charred malt, dark roast coffee and juicy ripe blackberries. The taste is a perfect reflection of the beautiful nose. Storm King introduces itself to my palate by squeezing a handful of ripe juicy blackberries across my tongue and then soaks it up with a blasting combination of hop bitterness and deep charred roastiness. The bitter and charred flavors are awesome and roll over some other complexities of flavor (ripe apples, plum skin, toffee) and coagulate into a resinous, coating pine-sap in the finish. Very small hints of rum like alcohol flavors in the finish, but I consider it very well masked for the large ABV contained in this beer. Warmth instantly rides down my throat and pools slowly in my belly from the first drink. The mouthfeel is robust; creamy and almost a little oily at time still falls short of the thickest Imperial Stout Ive had to date but its no sucker in this category either. An amazing beer that is a great example of one of my favorite styles. You can really take your time with this one, making it a perfect beer for a night where youre only having one. Im so glad I have more of these!
Serving type: bottle
01-08-2005 02:47:17 | More by FormatKid
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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 4,391 ratings.