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Storm King Stout | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

2,609 Reviews
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Storm King StoutStorm King Stout

Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Emerging from the deepest shades of darkness, a rolling crescendo of flavors burst forth from this robust stout. The thundering, hoppy appeal of Storm King subsides into the mellow subtleties of roasted malt, exhibiting an espresso-like depth of character in its finish. An exquisite blend of imported malts and whole flower American hops merge harmoniously in this complex ale. Discover the dark intrigue of Storm King, as it reveals the rich, substantial flavors that it holds within.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-10-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,609 | Ratings: 5,771
Photo of fountainofyouth
3.41/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Opaque brown-black and tan head. Good deal of lacing.

Smell: Strong scent of flowery hops with typical dark malt following behind.

Taste: Too hoppy! I'm inundated with floral hops, almost totally covering up the roasted barley.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied feel, lightish carbonation.

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Photo of BigBlacke
3.4/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I actually had a bottle of this given to me from the victory rep for northern Florida.
Appearance is a deep dark brown on the border of blacke. Nice foamy 1/2 inch head that dissipates slowly. Smell is of toasted malt, nuts, and a wave of floral hops. First thing I noticed about taste was the big upfront hoppiness. Not used to that so much in a stout. Dark chocolate, nuts and hops. Mouthfeel is nice and smooth. Taste of hops lingers for a while. Drinkability is about average for me. Wouldnt want to taste this one on the way up. Nice though.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.4/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

12oz bottle
Served in snifter.

A - Very dark brown to black. Topped with two inches of mocha head.

S - Initially on the pour I got chocolate, molasses, and some prune. Then some floral hops creeps in.

T - Roasted malt and grapefruit. This is the hoppiest RIS that I have had.

M - It's thick like it should be.

D - This is too hoppy for my liking in this style.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.4/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: The pour is just a deep, viscous, black liquid with a small mocha colored head.

S: The smell is hoppy, a good amount of earthy and citrus hops. There is also a fair amount of booze that comes though. There is also some nice chocolate and roasted malt.

T: The taste offers some nice roasted malt flavor, and some hops. The finish is very bitter and leaves a sort of unpleasant lingering bitterness on the tongue.

M: The feel is a little lighter than other RISes that I've had, but still good. Low carbonation and a medium to full body.

D: The beer is easy to drink, even for 9.1%. But, the unpleasant bitterness that sticks around after the sip is not welcomed.

I had high hopes for this beer, but was not impressed. It might just be a bad batch/bottle, but I don't know if I'll have this one again.

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Photo of mjrtoo
3.4/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

While I feel this beer has promise, the alcohol seemed to take center stage over the subtle stout flavors that are begging to be tasted.

Close your eyes, let the brew sit on your shelf for a half year, and it may have mellowed the alcohol kick enough to be one of the very best stouts ever made.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
3.4/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 bottle into a snifter. Black with a short lived tan head that settles to a thin ring along the edges. No lacing and emaciated supermodel legs make this sort of weak eye candy.

Initial predominant scent is rubber hose. Picked up from numerous bottles, this doesn't seem to be an anomaly. After a few minutes of time spent in the glass this off scent fades mostly to the background and what remains is bittersweet dark chocolate and dark roast.

Leafy and slightly sour hops dominate up front. There is a tree bark and lime quality that lingers long on the back end and overshadow much of the chocolate qualities promised from the nose. Maybe my memory is faulty, or my palate has changed, but this seems quite different from the bottles that really pleasantly surprised me a few years back. Seems at odds with itself.

Medium bodied with soft carbonation that manages to hide the bite well. Still, there's something off in the way the core aspects of this beer seem to battle each other more than seeking to live harmoniously. Am I alone in thinking this is a shell of what this beer once was? Verdict: uncertain.

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Photo of Crundy
3.4/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Very dark, poured a very dark brown, dark mocha colored head, sticky lacing

S: Dark roasted malt, dark fruits, dark roast coffee aromas

T: Pine hop bitterness, dark fruits, roasted malt, roasted coffee flavors, black licorice

M: dry, very bitter, well carbonated, very thick, full medium full bodied beer

O: Its pretty good, though it is a bit too bitter for my liking. This is a very surprising RIS because of the hop presence, its throwing my taste buds for a loop. It is a quality beer and very complex. Definitely worth the purchase.

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Photo of sommersb
3.4/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tasted On: 11-14-2011
Freshness: Best by 04-25-2016
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle
Glassware: Snifter
Purchased: Received in a trade

The color is jet black, with no light getting through when held to the light. The tan head is a modest one finger, but given the alcohol content is not a surprise. Retention is low but there is a good amount of lace.

Powerful, aromatic hops of pine and woods, plus a heavy amount of roast in the malts.

Big flavors of burnt, roasted grains, as in a strong coffee. This is a very bitter brew, between the hops and the roasted malts, to the point of being astringent. The alcohol makes itself known as well.

The mouthfeel is highly carbonated, with a medium body. Aftertaste is of hop bitterness and coffees. Finishes pretty harsh.

Overall a very potent stout, but in my opinion the strong hop character overshadows everything else to it's detriment.

Thanks to wyatt for this one

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Photo of pants678
3.4/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the bottle into a normal pint glass, but there's no ahead, my fault on the pour. Not doing so hot on those. Still, this stout is opaque black.

First wiff is oak. And I don't get more than that.

Tastes of a very dark chocolate, charred malts and coffee. It's hoppy for a stout, but I don't mind, it fits well with the burnt flavor. Bitter, real bitter and it lingers. A tough beer.

More carbonation than I expected, but that's okay. It's harsh but not off-putting.

Drinkable, despite how bitter it is. I could handle a few of these, I think.

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Photo of mobrado
3.4/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I wanted to like this more than I did. As others are saying, intense roast, very hoppy, aggressive carbonation. The nose was very unappealing with a strange barnyard top note.

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Photo of craytonic
3.4/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours black with a small head; little lacing.

Smell: Coffee, chocolate, caramel, toffee, hops.

Taste: Mocha/espresso chocolate, coffee, dark malts, caramel, toffee, bitter hops. A little too bitter. Too much coffee and bitter chocolate. Acidic element, and the alcohol is not hidden.

Mouthfeel: Not as full or creaming as other russian imperial stouts

Drinkability: I'm not a fan, would not drink again.

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Photo of CraftBeerTastic
3.39/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Ba Review #250
Served On: 1/30/2013
Glassware: Duvel Glass
Labeled ABV: 9.1%
Date/ Code: 7/20/12

This 12oz bottle was from a sixer I found at Ye Old Spirit Shop in Frederick.

Look: Poured a super black color with some dirty brown tinges along the edges. Initial head was 2-fingers of a frothy tan foam. Some spotty lacing, but nothing too crazy. Carbonation level seemed sort of low.

Smell: I could smell the hops right after cracking open the bottle. Sweet juniper and a sharp sassafras hop note. Also a roasted coffee character was behind the hoppy bouquet.

Taste: First up was an herbal hoppiness that gave way to a coffee-like bitterness. The bitterness continued into the finish where some malt sweetness seemed to set in. The aftertaste was fairly dry with the hops returning with that sharp resin quality.

I would consider this beer more of an Imperial American Black Ale instead of a RIS. The use of hops basically dominated both the aroma and the palate. This was defiantly a Stout brewed for hop lovers.

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Photo of StarlightSeraph
3.39/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter

Appearance: Very dark brown with a creamy light brown, two finger head. Very nice, and just how I would like a stout to look. A decent bit of the head lingered for most of the glass, with a high amount of lacing.

Smell: The alcohol is definitely evident in the aroma. Fruit seems to be the dominant aroma, but I can't place it exactly (maybe plums?). Hints of hops - must less than I expected, considering the taste.

Taste: Fruity, bitter, and sweet. A very nice hoppy kick in the aftertaste. Coffee also comes through. The taste doesn't linger nearly long enough, however. Despite smelling it, I don't taste any of the 9.1% ABV. Hops are the most prevalent flavor, and become more dominant as the beer warms. A tiny bit of the alcohol kick also comes through as the beer warms. Not very balanced.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly thin. Highly carbonated, but a very thin mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Dangerously easy to drink, as the alcohol is masked very well. It did warm my stomach after awhile, even though it didn't come through in the taste. However, I was kind of disapointed by this. It has the hoppiness of an IPA, the color/alchohol content of an imperial stout...but doesn't really succeed at being either.

This was my first really 'hoppy' dark beer, so maybe I'm just not that in to the style - I would prefer either hoppy or dark, but not necessarily one at the same time.

For me, this was a case of looks being decieving. It poured beautifully, but that was the most enjoyable part of this beer. I doubt I would buy it again, but I wouldn't necessarily refuse it. It wasn't bad, but I guess it's just not a beer I prefer.

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Photo of gatorlove
3.39/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is almost like a black ipa. All I got was hops on the nose. Non of the notes you would expect from an Imperial stout. The same thing with the taste.

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Photo of yobeerman
3.39/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Very dark coffee colored with a thin mocha lacing. Great looking beer.

S - Not a strong aroma but what is evident are scents of Coffee and Roasted malt, with a slight hoppiness.

T - Roasted Malt is dominant but a strong hoppy bitterness follows. The bitterness becomes increasingly stronger as you drink this beer - the taste of coffee fights for its part.

M - Medium bodied and smooth, with little carbonation. The bitter roasted flavor was overwhelming though and stays with you long after your last sip.

D - The bitterness was to much for me - overwhelming. One's enough.

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Photo of SisuPride
3.39/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Black, not much of a head
S - I consider this to be a little spicey smelling - it will wake your nose up.
T - Almost too spicey in flavor for me. A beer I have to be in the mood for paired with the right meal and beer to precede it.
M - A little creamy and relatively rich. Not oily - more clean.
D - I would drink two of these at most. I would say it lingered in my hand longer than most beers - maybe because I wasn't wild for it. Better than most beers because I am a fan of stouts in general but I would place it in the bottom half of stouts I have had.

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Photo of kalosjakar
3.39/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Brownish/black.. definitely not inky.

Small tan head.

Moderate carbonation, bummer. Fizzy upon sipping.
Getting roasted malt and not much else, bitterness on the finish.

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Photo of BatDaddy
3.39/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Pours a dark solid black with a strong brown head. Lots of lacing and head retention.

S - Smell is a bit faint. Some citrusy hops and faint roasted malts.

T - Taste is a bit rough. Burnt roasted coffee and some bitter citrus hops. Seems like it could be better balanced. Strong, but almost harsh.

M - Mouthfeel is nice. Smooth, full-bodied, and creamy.

D - High abv paired with some unbalanced flavors probably means I won't be having too many more of these.

Notes - A decent beer for a cold winter's night, but there's probably better ones out there. Just seems a bit off.

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Photo of Backer2004
3.38/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I have nothing more that the other 990 reviews probably say but I'm giving my 2 cents anyway. Pours so opaque you cannot even see the carbonation. Small beige head that stays around only around the edge. Smells of caramel, chocolate, fresh hops (this one had not been cellared at all). Too hoppy, without a malt balance. A bit on the burnt side. Medium body and though drinkable, it disappointed me.

I'll still keep the others cellared for a while and re-edit as necessary.

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Photo of usechopstix4soup
3.38/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured into snifter glass. First impression was typical imperial stout, nice, thick head with decent amount of lacing. Very dark, might as well have been pitch black.

Smells strongly of heavily roasted malts and hops but not much else.

The taste compliments the smell almost perfectly. Both are very strong on the senses, slight burn on the throat. I'm disappointed at the lack of complexity in taste. Definitely higher on the hoppy scale with no other flavors to balance it out, I might have tasted a bit of grapefruit at the tail end.

Body is thin, leaves a strong trace of bitter once gone for a considerate amount of time.

Overall, this is a very stand-up beer choice. If you are in the mood for a heavy hitting beer with everything turned to the max, this is the beer for you.

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Photo of remllof
3.38/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle. Pours with a slight light brown head that disapates in about two minutes. Smell is of coffee, chocolate notes come through. Color is jet black with not a chanch of any light going through with light carbination. Tastes notes of slight coffee at first. Finished off with a bit of bitterness. Which was a bit too much. Mouth feel is very smooth. Almost a bit lighter than I would have expected. Overall a decent beer. Not exactly what I was expecting but one I may come by every once in a while.

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Photo of Anaz
3.38/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It was nice to watch the light leave the room as my glass turned dead black except for the huge, fluffy coffee and cream colored head that rose above the darkness. Watching the lacing decend was awesome, too. I kind of felt like a geologist analyzing sedimentary rock strata for bit, but then I took a sip and snapped out of that silly ass daydream.

The huge hop aroma was promised on the bottle, but I didn't think it would really deliver quite like it did. Very bright, sharp hops with the coffee and roasted malt aromas lurking underneath.

The hops are very aggressive, with grapefruit and piney flavors really coming to the fore. The roasty malt, burnt toast, espresso, and bitter chocolate flavors really took a backseat on this beer.

The body is a lot thinner than what I would have expected, and the clean bright bitterness made this almost refreshing, but it's so intense that it's not very quaffable. The booze is there, but not obtrusive. This could be more than a sipper if the hops were a little tamer, but it would get damn dangerous, so that's kind of a good thing. An interesting, and flavorful take on an imperial stout.

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Photo of solargoat
3.38/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured 12 oz single into a large snifter. Looks and smells good enough. Very dark, smells of malts and coffee.
Taste is off for me, surprisingly bitter like old coffee. Not undrinkable by any means, but an average RIS for me.
I may have been spoiled by all the Founders Breakfast Stout I drank this winter.

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Photo of assurbanipaul
3.38/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a slick black with a thin tan head. Aroma is spicy, loaded with lots of hops, some alcohol. Very dry.

Taste is dark and hoppy. Dry black patent as a base, but the hops are clear, strong and pungent. More malt (cocoa, coffee, charcoal) comes out as it warms a little. No sweetness at all, on any level. Very slight tinge of alcohol flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium, not nearly as heavy as other stouts. Has an astringent quality, a little oily. Would probably benefit with lots and lots of aging. Not bad, but not really something I'd return to. I followed this one with an ordinary dry stout (Coopers) and found that much more satisfying.

Fresh bottle, dated Sep 12 05.

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Photo of woosterbill
3.38/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at The Cask Republic into a snifter.

A: Black body with deep ruby glints; one-finger head of frothy light-brown foam. Ok retention, spotty lace. Attractive.

S: Bitter dark chocolate and huge piney + herbal hops. More like a Black IPA (or whatever you want to call it) than an RIS, but not a hop profile that I find terribly attractive. Meh.

T: Follows the nose precisely. Overly bitter, less than complex, and far less than delicious. I want to like it, but I don't.

M: Medium-to-full body with nice, creamy carbonation. Very pleasant indeed.

O: This was one of the first beers I ever reviewed, and even though I wasn't a fan way back then I decided to give it another shot when I saw it on tap. Sadly, my original review was, if anything, overly generous. I can appreciate what Victory was going for with this beer, and it's obvious how ahead of the time they were, but admiration for innovation aside I just don't find it to be an enjoyable brew. While there are some super-hoppy stouts that I love (e.g. Stone IRS, Imperial Stout Trooper '10, Night Stalker), this one misses the mark.


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Storm King Stout from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
92 out of 100 based on 2,609 ratings.