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Storm King Stout | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

2,614 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: 2,614 | Ratings: 5,783
Photo of corby112
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sampled at Resurrection Ale House on 12/04/2009. I've had this beer many times in bottles but this was the first time I've sampled it on cask.

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with very faint mahogany edges and a one finger foamy chocolate brown head that slowly settles into a lasting cap which leaves streaks of lacing behind.

Roasted chocolate malt aroma with a surprisingly prominent hop presence as well as some roasted coffee bean, bitter sweet dark chocolate, booze, caramel, toffee and more chocolate.

Silky chocolate malty body that again is surprisingly hop forward. Much more so than in the bottled version. Very smooth and well balanced with a lot of silky malt flavor and subtle roastiness. Hints of caramel, toffee and subtle roasted coffee bean accompany the luscious lactic creamy darrk chocolate flavor and the subtle hops up front provide a nice balance without providing too much bitterness. A lot of Imperial Stouts I've had lately have been way too aggressively hopped taking away from the creamy sweet maltiness that I like so much but this one is balanced perfectly. The cask conditioning gives this body an incredible quaffale smoothness that takes the roughness off of the bottled version. Dangerously drinkable with an almost undetectable high ABV. I had to slow myself down because I was drinking it entirely too fast. Highly recommended in any version but especially if you have the chance to sample it on cask.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Vintage Bottled 04 of November 2003, Sampled February 2004
Pours a pitch black color, and with a thick creamy brown head. Dark fruit, roasted malt, coffee aromas waft from my glass. The roasted characteristics are not overwhelming in any way though, seem to be well in balance. A thick creamy mouth feel to this beer. Definitely reminiscent of a rich coffee concoction, perhaps with a bit of chocolate in it too. It is quite interesting how the flavor hops contribute to a beer when it is so thick & dark. In a lighter beer you would be able to detect the over the top hops immediately, here they just seem to add another dimension to the beer. The hops help to soften the effects of the roasted malts and they help to boost the perception of a dark fruitiness, They also add a citrusy tingling sensation to the tongue. This beer is so well integrated I cannot imagine how it will get any better with age, but I do have a 6'er which I plan on aging to see how this changes. I do still love the fact that this beer is not too heavy, for an Imp-Stout it is nice, light, and easy sipping (note that it is still quite the sipping brew though).

Bottled Oct 15, 2002. Sampled October 27, 2003
This beer is a deep black color, when held up to the light it is seen to be quite clear. When roused a thick dark brown head appears. Notes of burnt raisin waft from the glass. Roasted malt is quite evident in the nose as well. The taste is very good, it is all over the place, not one dimensional at all. Not over the top in its roast character (like some Imp-Stouts), this is wonderful as it allows lots of the other flavors to come through. There are notes of a rich port, and a slight bit of sherry in the finish. The Storm King is fairly light bodied for this style of beer. It is fruity tasting, which is accentuated by the hop flavor that has been put into this beer. Quite novel to me to pack an Imperial-Stout with flavor hop additions, I really like this idea, especially in this relatively 'light' bodied example. One could easily drink a couple of pints of this, and regret it later. The more I drink the more I like this beer, I wish that I had more. I can't wait to get a fresh sample of this beer.

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Photo of aforbes10
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

this was a good night for me. a storm king (courtesy of dispholidus1), then a founders breakfast stout. wow. this one poured black but some light penetrates the liquid so its not the thickest i've seen. lots of nice lacing and head retention. chocolate, some hop odor. hoppy taste, lots of coffee flavor, sweet roasted chocolate taste. nicely bitter. this is a very good, top of the line stout. not disappointed despite high expectations.

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Photo of maundythirsty
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Black like midnight, with a wet off-white head that comes down to a thick ring and adheres to the glass in a veins. Rich, powerful smell is parts roasted malt, dried fruit and light citrus hops.

Exquisite divergent dancing sweetness and hefty, tasty burnt coffee and hop bitterness. I do love a balanced beer. Thick and creamy in the mouth, and very capable of supporting more carbonation than the average Russian imperial stout.

A real luxury. So disappointing to hear it's a seasonal, so necessary to stock up. Buy it. Put it away. I'm nervous that I only have a few left, and my friends have had a taste. We may just turn on each other...

EDIT ...
Storm King is apparently now a year-round Victory offering. Hooray.

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Photo of godfathermg57
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very dark stout with little head. The alcohol is certainly present, but this is one of the more drinkable dark stouts I've had. Taste is quite exceptional and so is the aftertaste.

Overall I would highly recommend this brew. While it is fairly alcoholic, this is still a smooth drinkable stout.

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Photo of soulgrowl
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: This is the best-looking head on an RIS I've seen in a while, nougaty in texture and hazelnut-coffee in color with remarkably good retention. Body is a perfect jet black.

Smell: Sumptuous chocolate fudge, figs, grape juice, prunes, molasses, honey, and licorice - all the good stuff you'd hope for in an RIS. The malts are perfumed with spicy alcohol combined with a very interesting cinnamon tone reminiscent of Churros. Hops are quite fruity, grapefruity to be precise, though the bright citric quality also calls to mind limes. The sweet-spicy-booziness of it all reminds me of brandy or port.

Taste: Mmm... loads of coffee and chocolate, plus a lovely smoky/burnt flavor. Not as fruity as I anticipated, just supremely rich and dark. Molasses, honey, and prunes round out the sweetness, while mellow alcohol (with a whiskey-like burn) and pithy, zesty hops fence everything in. Finish is dry and predominantly bitter, with lingering Campari and burnt sugar flavors.

Mouthfeel: Fantastically smooth and full, yet still dry.

Drinkability: This is good stuff! A very impressive, balanced yet endlessly flavorful RIS.

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Photo of jeffjfindley
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oh my.... She is a classic beauty. A graceful body shrouded in blackness, wearing a vintage antique white hat. Her vanity is alluring, and I am helpless.

Closer inspection reveals a fragrance dominated by dark chocolate & sultry molasses. I have never smelled a sweeter scent, or one less subtle. The effect on the tongue is similar, but with a sassy bitterness and a smokey aftertaste.

The feel is milky smooth, but firm. Don't get out of line though, or you'll get a smack in the mouth. She's a lot of things, but timid is not on the list. I suggest you tread carefully and show a lot of respect, because she will kick your ass if you don't.

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Photo of boogles
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a really good imperial stout, and certainly the best bang for the buck where I'm located (Columbus, OH), at $10 per 6-pack. I have to drive across town to get it, and it's well worth it.

Although drinkable, this beer is worthy of being sipped, as the taste and mouthfeel evolve rather than simply fading. The initial vanilla hit fades, followed by a noble cola/coffee bitterness truly worthy of the stout designation, followed by alcohol. The head could be darker for an imperial and it could last longer, but the taste is solid and full, on par with what a stout should be. Unlike some other popular imperial/Russian imperial stouts, there's nothing overdone about Storm King. Because Great Lakes' Blackout Stout is seasonal (Feb/Mar), the Storm King is my stout standard for ten months out of the year, when available.

Unlike most beers, my cat actually wants to drink this one rather than just lick the side of the glass--I see that as a compelling endorsement. Too strong for kitty, though. But just right for me.

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Photo of cdpike
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours jet black with modest, dissipating off-white foam and a bit of lace. Nose is slight ale fruitiness with a good amount of espresso backed by alcohol. Fairly full-bodied and ultra smooth, there is a TON of flavor that leaps out immediately with this brew. Plenty of espresso is backed by very dark chocolate with a very faint fruity complexity. Again, quite smooth and a bit slick, there's an astringency and lingering bitterness that balances all the big malts. This is definitely one of my favorite beers regardless of style. Excellent!

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Photo of altctrlsdelete
4.66/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Storm King on cask reminds me of why I'm proud to be an American. Served from the engine directly in front of me, the glass is an opaque obsidian the likes of which is to be feared. A foamy tan head tops it off, and leaves incredible lacing behind as I work my way through this masterpiece. This is an exceptional beer out of the bottle, and it is something to be honored and cherished on cask. Nothing touches it, stout or otherwise. Without hesitation, I would order a Storm King on cask before I'd order anything else (that I've already had).

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.66/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a jet black color with a 2 finger tan head that falls to a quarter inch cover over the beer. The nose is deep chocolate and dark figgy fruit with a really apparetn alcohol. The flavor is very chocolatey and roasty, finishing strong on coffee tones. There is also a creamieness in the flavor as well that make it so smooth. The feel is as smooth as a can be, almost velvety. There is a little bit of syrupy feel that keeps the beer on my tongue. Fantastic beer. For a beer above 9%, this one doesn't let me know anything about it except in the nose. Victory, you do very good work.

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Photo of cubedbee
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle bottled 9/27/05. Pours a dark oil black, absolutely opaque, a thin beige head, some small amount of lacing. Nose is a combination of roasted malt, chocolate, caramel and big floral and piney hops, very appetizing. Taste is more of the same hoppy roasted goodness, espresso, dark chocolate, roasted malt, chocolate covered cherries, lots of great stout flavors, all infused with wonderful resinous bitter hops. I've just gotten into hoppier dark roasted beers, and this is the best balanced of the lot I've tried (Alpha Klaus, Black Sun, Yeti), really showcasing the hop flavors, but still allowing the dark roasted stout tastes to showcase. Excellent beer, can't believe I haven't tried this local stuff before, need to stock up immediately.

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Photo of guitarmage
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: One of the blackest beers I've seen, a coffee tan lacing sits on top, foamy, thin, inviting.

Smell: Clean and crisp, gentle roasted malt, coffee, unsweetened chocolate, some aromatic herbal or spiciness, pine and cream.

Taste: Big nuttiness and coffee beans, brown bread, fresh baked, then comes the herbal hops, medium intensity and balanced out with a milky creaminess, hops hang on the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and creamy, carbonation is very light, but the beer is very drinkable and goes down easy.

Drinkability: Delicious, one of the best stouts hands down, very complex, not too sweet, tastes like a meal. I'd like this with a hearty meal.

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Photo of grub
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a deep black with a thin brown head.

smell is nice. roasty and malty. slightly vinous, with just a hint of alcohol. dried fruit, like raisin or date.

taste is great. roasty. biscuity malt. bittersweet chocolate and espresso. nice bitterness in the finish. the dried fruit coming through again.

mouthfeel is great. carbonation level is moderate, which works great.

drinkability is excellent. higher than i thought it would be on a 9.1% beer, but it's really well balanced and hides its alcohol well.

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Photo of Derek
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled Sep 27 05.

A: Dark, dark black. Tan head, only a little retention (not really enough for a stout), but it does leave some lace.

S: It smells bitter, oily and somewhat alcoholic. Some citrus & pine with a dark, burnt, maltyness.

T: Dark, bitter chocolate. Orange and pine from the hops. A little molases with a slight spicyness, like jaggery. Dark fruit (raisin and prune) with some dark, burnt caramel. Slight acidic tartness in the finish. The bitterness and hop flavour are assertive, but they're not over-powering. The alcohol is apparant, but it takes a back seat to all the other flavour. I really like this one... though I do think it would benefit from some more fruity esters (from a British yeast).

M: Thick, somewhat syrupy body with a chalky finish. Light to moderate carbonation. It's a mouthful, so the lighter carbonation is nice.

D: Awesome for a RIS.

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Photo of animal69
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

w/ my Jags leading at halftime, i figured it was time for this ; pours a darkest black only letting a touch of dried-blood red light through the edges, a thick light brown head slipped away a bit quick, but left a good lacing in my pint ; a full-on malt assault w/ a nutty, roasted malt smell up front followed by a strong, suprisingly pleasant floral hop nose w/ some dark fruit and poss. munich-type malts lingering ; the flavor is almost identicle to the smell, but w/ a stronger hop influence, just, wow, it's really good (how do you describe that ?) "awesome" maybe a better word ; a robust, almost full, dry mouthfeel, this is prob. the best stout i've ever had, beats Sam Smith's impy by bottle lengths, victory never ceases to amaze me, i'd drink this forever if God would let me, this is a "must try" for stout lovers....

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Photo of twilight
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The first time I had this was two months ago, and I *hated* it, so I think I might have had a bad bottle before, or I'm having an exceptional one now. Pours black as midnight, and seemingly thicker than normal beer into a nonick pint with virtually no head. Still, the color is dead on for an imperial stout, and the blackness just makes me want to drink it now. Aroma is of roasted barley with hints of belgian sweetness. I'd say plums, but it's only what I imagine plums to smell like. The smell is thick, is the best way to describe it. Taste is overwhelmingly roasted mixed in with some slight fruity sweetness that finishes into this slight sourness that that is holy on the palate. Though I may not agree with the fruityness in the beer, it is amazing. The coffeelike textures of the flavor, and the portlike sweetness. It's to die for. Carbonation is a moot point. I mean, it's there, but the full richness in the mouth. It's too delicious to be quaffed all night, but if I find this on tap. I'm going to be a rider on the storm. An excellent offering from Victory, and an addition to my trinity of Imperial Stouts (this, Samuel Smith and Rogue) so far. I'm going to have to look for another sixer to be able to enjoy this until it comes out again.

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Photo of jabocu
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Mike at Brawley’s in Charlotte, NC for hooking me with one of these!

Very dark coffee color with a one finger dense tan cap. Cap diminished to lacings along side and surface within a minute. Lots of aromatic citrus hops. Nice caramel sweet maltiness with notes of coffee and dark chocolate. Alcohol is in the nose. This very robust flavor starts off as sweet caramel toffee, coffee and chocolate. Transforms into a very biting citrus hop bitterness. The bitterness clings to the back of the tongue as all the flavors mellow. However, the aftertaste is gone fast and leaves a charcoal bitterness leaving you wanting more. Full-bodied with light-medium carbonation. Very excellent beer! I just hope I can find some more.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5


Pours as thick as melted wax, a black bitumen looking liquid that effervesces and settles with a nitrogenous looking separation that Guinness would be proud of. The head forms readily into a large brown mass, is well aerated, very crusty, bubbly and it laces the glass sides with eloquence. Head settles to a creamy 1/4” – but as thick as a “Navvies Slice”.
Nose, hold on – I get Chocolate Rice Crispies, the chocolate is so prevalent in the nose that I am now imagining a bowl of Rice Crispies sat in a pool of cool brown milk. Other aromas are malt, and er, well, erm… chocolate again. Hmmm. Tastes are chocolate at the beginning; cocoa powder in the middle, hoppy at the end, and the finish has a burnt roast twist and a lovely coffee bitterness. This must be what Cold “Hot” Chocolate tastes like.
I was so embroiled in drinking this beer that I took few Notes – so that’s it. One of my shortest Reviews.

Liquid Coffee Walnut Whip in a Glass. Young’s Chocolate Stout – eat yer heart out!!

9.1% - are you kidding me! Really!! Awesome. Very High Drinkability regardless.

“A bloody reet gud Staarrrt”, as we would say in Yorkshire, England.

Updated 12/25 : According to Rotsaruch, who knows much more about these things than me, as the bottle is undated (I checked several times) it was therefore a 2001 Vintage. So There!!

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Photo of DmanGTR
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - pitch black with very slight garnet hues in the light with 1/2" tan head that left a ring of bubbles and laced minimally in my pint glass.

S - dark chocolate, coffee, slight waft of burnt toast and smokiness. Somewhat floral.

T - very dark malts, chocolate, and coffee with a mild breadiness. No alcoholic taste detected despite the high alcohol content.

M - full bodied, light/medium carbonation. A little chewy and thick on the palate. Quite pleasant.

D - very drinkable. Extremely smooth but the alcohol may catch up to you.

Overall - This is in my opinion one of the greatest stouts available out there. It is rich, flavorful, and you do not need to drink a lot of it to be satisfied (even though you'll want to slam down a few of these in one evening). If the alcohol wasn't so high I'd say it would make an excellent session beer, much like Guinness Extra Stout, but since it is quite potent, I'd like to savor one or two of these on a cool evening with an irish cream cigar. Will buy again ($12/6 pack at Wegmans)

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Photo of khiasmus
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Looks like thick coffee. Pours a dark brown with a light tan head that settles to a thin lace quickly.

S- Wonderful. Piney hops with thick, sweet malt that leaves a heavy sensation in the nose, one that makes you want to smell it and savor for hours before you drink it.

T- The only reason this doesn't get a 5 is the slight metallic note. That's the only reason. Strong hops, strong malt, perfect balance but dense and intense.

M- Well carbonated but smooth, thick but light. This mouthfeel is perfect.

D- One of the easiest imperial stouts around to drink. Dangerous for the alcohol content.

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Photo of itcomesnpints
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I finally got to try this one, and it was better than I expected. I never truly enjoyed a RIS until Storm King came along.

The pour is a dark vacuum with a feisty tan head that quickly dissipates. Lacing is minimal. Right out of the fridge the aroma is mostly refreshing hop bitterness, but as it warms, the smell consists more of roasted coffee and dark chocolate. The taste is simply perfect. Deep roasted coffee and chocolate, followed with a crisp bitter hop aftertaste. A full-bodied brew that feels just right. Storm King Stout easily deserves all the hype.

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Photo of cakebread
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottled Sep 27, 05

A - Dark as night, two finger head that quickly faded leaving almost no lacing.

S - Roasted malt with a hint of the hops to come with a bit of a prune scent.

T - Dark bittersweet chocolate with coffee at first. Then come the hops and just the right amount of sweet to make this so balanced.

M - Almost creamy but not as full-bodied as I'd expect for a double stout at 9% ABV.

D - I pondered knocking off half a point because its just too drinkable for me, but would that be fair?

Postnote: I love stouts with hops that stand out, like Sierra Nevada's Stout. I find that incredbly drinkable for a stout and consider this the double stout evil-twin of SN Stout. I usually find double or imperial stouts to be "sippers", but I find myself having to slow way way down when drinking Storm Kings.

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Photo of ski271
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark brown with hardly any light passing through. Head is medium-sized, creamy, light tan and slowly diminishing leaving some light lacing.

Smell: BIG roasted malt aroma! Cherry, alcohol, milk chocolate, slight coffee, and a hint of banana. Very complex and wonderful.

Taste: Big and bold malt presence with dark, fruity, coffee undertones. As it warms up a bit, it reveals even more complexity. Resin, molasses, vanilla and… is that licorice? The finish is long, bitter and wonderful.

Mouthfeel: Everything about this beer is big and heavy, including the mouthfeel, but its creamy texture and soft carbonation make it much more drinkable than one would expect from such a robust beer.

Drinkability: See above. This beer is absolutely marvelous. A must try!

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Photo of egajdzis
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

(9 months old – 9/16/03) Poured a black, opaque color with a medium sized tan head that did leave some lacing on the glass. Aroma of sweet chocolate malts and a slight hint of dark fruit in the aroma as well. Bitter coffee, sweet chocolate taste, slightly hoppy. No alcohol can be noticed, considering this is 9.1 Pure heaven!.

(Cask 8 months old – 7/26/04) Opaque black with a small tan head and beautiful lacing. Roasted and floral hop aroma. Chocolate soaked hop taste with a strong roasted coffee finish. Dark fruits (berry and plum), nuts, and just the slightest bit of alcohol. This was a cask so it was not carbonated, and it was simply incredible!

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Storm King Stout from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
92 out of 100 based on 2,614 ratings.