Storm King Stout | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

2,610 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: 2,610 | Ratings: 5,774
4.78/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This 2003 SKIS darkened the room as I poured it from its 12 oz home as of 11/ 18/ 03.

The thick head is as dark brown as I've seen. It slowly subsides leaving its lattice work along the way.

Aromatic indeed. Roasted malts with chocolaty undertones. Is this a cafe mocha. Hoppy with hints of orange.

Ohh Yeah... Tastes like a dark chocolate truffle dipped in gourmet coffee. Has a slight hoppy aftertaste of orange zest. Second sip beats the first. What a find. The bottle states an ABV% of 9.1, but I didn't taste alcohol... could be dangerous.

Nice mouthfeel is not too full.

I will definitely buy this beer again after my six pack is gone. Thank you Brewmasters of Victory.

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Photo of silks636
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle. Bottled on date stamped on label. Served at cellar temp.

Pitch black in color. Frothy brown head with excellent retention and spotty lacing. Aroma surprisingly hoppy with notes of fruit, rum, chocolate, and roasted grain. Front end is sweet with tastes of cherry and espresso that yields to a more bittersweet chocolate and roasted malt taste. This is one heavy duty brew! Finished bitter and dry. Floral and citric hops present throughout to provide a wonderful balance. Very complex and satisfying. Mouthfeel is smooth and full.

A superior stout all around and an excellent choice for a cold winter's night. Very warming and comforting. Surprisingly drinkable for 9.5%.

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Photo of WesWes
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a thick black color with a thick brown head. The aroma is of roasted and black malts. It also has a great hop aroma that really sets it apart from other stouts. The hop aroma is quite floral; exceptional! The taste is good. It is a thick beer with lots of hop flavor. It also is quite malty and high in abv. There is a good mix of dark malts and hop characteristics. The mouthfeel is good. A full bodied beer with low/medium carbonation. It is a great drinking stout; a true masterpiece. This could be the best stout I've ever had.

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Photo of CBFanWish
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a thick deep black color with a dark tan head with a wonderful lace effect. A nice coffe, chocolate malt mixture made for a graet tasting beverage. It also didn't seem to have a strong after taste. A great winter brew. Very smooth and easy going down. I would and will buy this again.

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Photo of mschofield
4.52/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pure opaque black with just the slightest purple edges, 1 finger mocha head settles to a film. Laces in webs.
Expresso and roasted malt aroma with alcohol esters
Roasted malt, toast, raisin and licorice, dark chocolate and brandied cherries. Gives a very chocolaty and expresso like impression. Good bitterness in the back, and some acidity probably from the roasted malt.
Smooth, with a medium full feel, robustly flavored, and nicely drinkable for 9.5 ABV. This was bottled on 11/18/03 it may be too young for drinking when I had it (12/20), I put a couple up to age.

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Photo of canoehornpoint
4.53/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours completely black. No chance of any light getting through this. Had a nice thick brown head with a burnt and toasted malt nose. This is a stout that is packed with flavors, toasted malts, burnt malts, chocolates, finishing with a sweet maltiness. This starts lighter than i would expect and finishes full. This is a great beer but a filling beer. I would have trouble putting down more than a few of these, not because I didn't like it but due to the fullness.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.6/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This poured an amazing pitch black color with the most beautiful Imperial head that I have ever seen. It literally took 15 minutes to go down. It pitted impressively and left the most detailed lacing on the planet. The head itself was very dark, well beyond tan, and absolutely gorgeous.

Smell – Man, this has it all. The hops come out right away, letting the drinker know that this is a well-balanced IS. The rich espresso bean is top notch, and the chocolate compliment is very exciting. This is not your typical corner store candy chocolate. This is more of your hard to find someplace in the heart of San Francisco type of chocolate. The espresso is very rare as well, making this Victory offering a find indeed.

Taste – Man, is this a big-un! The huge espresso and absence of coffee is very unique. Somebody worked pretty hard to put this brew together. It is extremely rich, and the espresso flavors are underscored with a beautiful vanilla and oak tinge as well as a monster sugar profile that only the Gods could love. This is quality at its finest.

Mouthfeel – Close to full-bodied in the mouth and very chewy. This one was very quenching and dry yet enticing and cloying. Absolutely no sense whatsoever of the high ABV.

Drinkability – Can I drink one SKS every night for the rest of my life and not be too offending to other BAs? This stuff was awesome and definitely lives up to the hype.

Comments – I did a trade with OldFrothingSlosh and this was just one of several beers that he sent me. I couldn’t believe the exclusive “Top 50” membership included in this swap. Big, huge, thanks to a true BA who filled my coffers (and cellars) with some of the best beer on the planet.

PS: This marked my 500th review, and I was glad to share it with the BA community via a beer provided to me by a wonderful standard-bearer of the site. Cheers & Beers!

Update – As I am now well past my 1,000th review and over a year has passed since I rated The King, I thought I’d give it another thoughtful taste.

It is still one of the most drinkable “big beers” on the planet, and its balance is impeccable. Although I’ve had other stouts that have caused me to rethink my idea of “full-bodied” (I’d say this is definitely not full-bodied now) I’m raising the Drinkability rating by 0.5 and officially calling this one of my favorite beers of all time.

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Photo of Ieatlambfries
4.73/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The last batch I drank was bottled on Oct. 23 2003.
Strangely enough it seemed *slightly* different from the first which was bottled on Oct. 7th 2003. But maybe it's just me.

Onward, in both batches the color was super opaque, almost black. If held up to light in a pilsner glass you can see the slightest tint of red where the bottom of the glass graduates. The head in my first batch seemed to form thicker, about 3/4 of an inch. The second batch about 1/2 inch. Both were a nice tan color and dissipated quickly.The smell was like roasted caramel and espresso, slight hint of chocolate. I didn't detect any hints of fruit.
Mouth feel was excellent the first batch but (and it's most likely just me) seemed thinner the second time around. As to taste, amazing, both batch's. Roasted malt, espresso, chocolate, actually more like chocolate coated raison, notes. Some hoppiness also. Very satisfying, each sip is like letting a piece of fine dark chocolate melt in your mouth. Very drinkable, the only things holding me back are the 9.5 abv and the richness of it. To drink more than a few would be like trying to eat a tub of chocolate mousse.

An amazing experience to say the least.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
4.87/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Every bit as good as on tap, the Victory Storm King is truly a king of beers. The dark rich body and nice beige head seem pefectly suited to the superior lacing job it does. Lots of rich aromas of toasted goodness, the taste that follows is full of chocolate and coffee. A truly superior hop finish makes this one of the truly great beers of America.

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Photo of FranklinPCombs
4.37/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an engine oil black out of the bottle. No light penetrates this liquid, save for the slightest red tint around the edges. There is a marginal tan head that recedes into a ring of foam with patches of bubbles lingering for a while. The smell of this brew is incredible. It hits you with a thick meaty smell, with a sharp twinge of hops behind, smoothed out by a backdrop of malt. Some raisiny fruit smells are hidden behind. The taste is nearly as impressive as the smell. It is a surprisingly sharp taste of hops and definaly a typical coffee flavor evident of its style. Earthy tones of burnt and soil hint themselves through the taste as it mellows out into a slow meaty malt taste. At 9.5% ABV, this brew will certainly at least make you think that you;re warmer on a cold winter evening.

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Photo of CRJMellor
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured absolue jet black, my wife called it a black hole. When agitated produced a frothy light tan colored head. Aroma was very surprisingly dominated by resiny hop notes. Almost an IPA hop profile to my novice nose. Also got wonderful chocolate and roasted barly aromas.
Taste was very milk chocolately with a very bitter end. Really unique profile for me. Very roasted flavors yet really almost sweet on the front end. Hop fairly really is aggressive but then dominated on the back by heavy roasted coffee flavors. This is the first beer in a long time that I got three disticnt flavor profiles from. A good beer to me produces at least 2 distinct points of taste, great beers produce 3 or more. This beer is great, but unless you are prepared and appreciate maybe more than one, I think you might not get the full flavor profile and all the uniqueness of this beer.

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Photo of bditty187
4.68/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Absolute blackness, there is no “hue” to it, opaque and dense. The brunette head reached a quick finger in height before shrinking to a loose soapy collar, which clung well. As I quaffed it slowly it laced decently. Magnificent looking, if for no other reason that the black body it possesses. A shallow whiff produced a pleasant roasted maltiness, I knew there had to be more, I went in for seconds, this time I noticed strong piney hops behind the malts. Imperial Stout no doubt, Americanized as well. The potency was strong enough to be tempting, so why wait to sip? The palate on Storm King surprised me, I wasn’t expected such a well-blended beverage. The roasted malts were far deeper and long lasted that I anticipated and when the hops were introduced to the tongue there wasn’t this epic battle for bragging right, but a sensuous dance that awoken my tastebuds. The roasted malts, with its own coffee-like bitterness, led the tango but the piney, bitter hops had its own moves. It was scrumptious and magical with an aftertaste of complex maltiness with a splash of hoppy bitterness that seamlessly allowed for a smidge of alcohol to round off the ale. I’ve witnessed Storm King reign on BA for over a year and now that I’ve finally tried it, thanks to sulldaddy, I understand why. The taste is aggressive and welcoming, powerful and yielding, stylish and blunt. I am impressed. Full bodied, thick in fact, with moderate carbonation. The mouthfeel is dead-on and truly lovely. I’m not gushing folks, this beer is awesome… and I hate every one of you who can drink this on a regular basis. No seriously, I do. It is going to be very difficult to cellar the other two bottles, thanks again sulldaddy you made my day!

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Photo of counselor
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a beer I had been looking forward to and it lived up to my expectations. The bottle poured an an espresso coffee color with a nice sand colored head that thinned out quickly due to the ABV content. The nose was of chestnuts, coffe and aged cigar tobacco with a hint of alcohol on the back end. the beer tasted as deep and dangerous as it looked and smelled with rich raisiney flavors almost like a super mince meat pie. After swallowing though the hops came forth drying the mouth all around the gums, making me want for another sip; but first, the alcohol kicked in - just a little to remind me what a whopper of a beer I was drinking - and then just when I was ready to go back I am hit again with the the tobacco and roasted malt flavors.

When I finished the glass, I was happy that the beer lived up to my expectations and look forwrd ot the next bottle. I don't think I could throw back more than 2 of these at a sitting, but it was a blast to throw back after as a late nite reward for decorating the Christmas tree.

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Photo of rajendra82
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an inky dark black with brown highlights, with a khaki head that disappears pretty quickly. The remaining carbonation has a hard time working it's way through the syrupy thick body. The first whiff is that of dark chocolate, raisins, and licorice. Further sips reveal hop spiciness, burnt wood like maltyness, and medicinal tasting alcohol. Oily mouthfeel with slick molasses like consistency. Not as much roasted barley taste as I was expecting, but very smooth and relatively easy to drink for such a bold brew. The hight ABV is very deceptvely hidden under there. Thanks Weissenheimer for this wonderful trade.

This is my second bottle of this wonderful beer, which came as a part of the Secret Santa 2005 package from BA Riggsy. The first time I had it, it was an year old sixpack. This time it is fresh. Compared to the review of the aged bottle, this fresh sample poured a lot more foamy, and had a leafy hop presence that dwarfed eveything else. Felt more like I was drinking a union of a DIPA and an RIS. Teeth coating bitterness, over the top roastiness, and fantastic citric notes made this one of the most drinkable Impreial Stouts to have sampled. Oh how I wish I had more.


Sweetwater Happy Ending was released in 12 oz. bottles a little while back, and since Victory Storm King Stout of the same age just showed up in Georgia, I decided to do a side by side. I was expecting the Storm King Stout to easily surpass the Happy Ending, but I found the end products much closer than I initially anticipated. The Storm King was clearly the better looking beer of the two, as the head on it was larger, and the color was solid back when compared to the shades of brown in Happy Ending. The smell of the beers was different, but none was better than the other. The Happy Ending was sweet with a lot of chocolate notes, while the Storm King Stout was roasted and hoppy. The taste of the Happy Ending was sweet, soft, and full of chocolate, while the Storm King Stout was much more bittersweet, and had a citric tang of hops to it. Happy Ending didn't have the thickness in the mouth to justify a RIS style label, while Storm King Stout was just thick and creamy enough to squeak by. Both were easy enough top drink, but Storm King Stout was clearly the more complex beer of the two. I think a comparison of a few aged bottles is needed to see how things change over time.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is motor oil black and poured with a brown persistent head that fell very slowly and laced the glass. The aromas are fruit, chocolate, coffee and hops. Dark roasted malt aromas lurk in the background. The flavor is bitter and hoppy. Some chocolate, some coffee, most flavors overshadowed by American hop bitterness and flavor. The finish is hoppy and coffee/chocolate. The body is good, but a little less than expected.

The flavor is hoppy, but not what I would call complex perhaps it was sampled too young. The bottle I have says bottled on 10/9/03 and 9.1% ABV.

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Photo of NearerMyBeerToMe
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours thick and gooey, completely opaque, black as india ink. Forms a dense, clumpy head with muddy-colored bubbles of varying size that almost seem to roil around, crackling audibly! Head dissipates slowly and clings well as it dries out into crusts of bubbles. Huge aroma: burnt malt and toffee up front, then BIG roasty bread crusts, smoldering wood. Waxing poetic: piles of autumn leaves and timber, huge dryness and dusty yeast, then a big, thumping belt of hops. Flavors everywhere: raisin skins, extremely bitter chocolate in front palate, and then... BIG bitter wall of hop flavor bowls through a wall of malt and mingles with tobacco, leather, peat. Even through a smooth, glowing alcohol finish, something of a plummy, curranty sweetness... Mouthfeel: did I mention that this beer is BIG? Slick, oily and with a stickiness that lasts for minutes. Alcohol warms and puckers inside of mouth with an astringent finish. This beer needs to be savored and digested. Let it slowly coat your insides. Perfect when matched with dark chocolate, nuts, and caramel. A rollicking bruiser of a beer.

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Photo of benmiliron
4.78/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had it not been for this website, I might never have tried this stout. It's on one of the side shelves at my local beer vendor and I had to look to find it.

Cappucino colored head, very hop fragrant - lovely. Excellent mouthfeel, rolls over the tongue. Bitterness is balanced well by by sweet malt. 9.1 ABV not noticeable as expected, though I did start this one cold out of the fridge. American hops support the malt, but don't take a starring role (as it should be.) Opaque black, jet black. This heavy stout is not at all sticky. Drier as it warms, and more bitter.

This stout is nearly flawless. Well done victory!

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Photo of jahred
3.91/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was quite excited to try this after the excellent reviews... Pours incredibly, incredibly thick, with a very dark black color. Wow. My girlfriend, who doesn't drink beer, said "Holy crap, that's dark!" as I was pouring. That alone was impressive to me (hence the 5 for appearance).

A very thin, but pretty head, that soon disappeared for the most part, leaving a very nice lace on the glass.

Smells strongly of burnt malt and hops. Tastes of burnt wood and thick malt and hops, with a burnt malt/chalky aftertaste. I occasionally caught hints of chocolate and coffee, but not to the extent that I hoped for.

The alcohol was hidden quite well, so I decided to try another one. Maybe it was the hidden alcohol working its way thru my system, but I definitely enjoyed the second Storm King a bit more, and caught more of the chocolate/espresso flavors I was so hoping for.

Good, but not as fantastic as hyped.

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Photo of Rastacouere
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours black with a ruby reflect like a owl's pupil when he anticipates bleeding his prey. The head is tan, short-lasting. Aroma is deep spicy hops with obvious molasses notes as well as rich dark chocolate, this is gonna be good. Mouthfeel is very thick, oily yet velvety. This is one complex beer. Hops are prevalent and delicious, but there's a definite malty couterpart with peaks of chocolate, molasses, coffee and a perfectly balanced roastiness. The finish is hoppy and dry without being overpowered on the bitterness aspect. Big beer, fully deserved success and reputation, well-hidden alcohol. Worth the hype. Cheers Egajdzis!

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Photo of Hobbz
4.37/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge, thick aroma to match its thickness in the glass. The foam action formed from the pour quickly diminished but the appearance was superb for this imperial stout. The smell did not offer a big, robust burnt (roasted barley) smell, yet was a complex amalgam of sweet (malt & fruity like alcohol-marinated raisins), chocolate, hoppy alcohol. Taste also showed not immense roastiness, but rather more of a toasted malt background against the "imperial" sweetness, but with notable hop-bitterness too. A very warming glass full.

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Photo of ChrisBowers
4.63/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Wonder what everyone's talking about? Then go get one. Or ten. This is an amazing brew from the boys at Victory. Most recently had it on tap at their brew-house. Pours with a great caramel colored head and a nearly opaque body. Smells of chocolate, espresso... Taste is amazing for an american brewed beer of this high ABV. Alcohol is balanced beautifuly. There's just that hint at the end reminding you it is there. But it takes nothing away from the rich flavor of roasted hops, coffee and chocolate. Damn this is good stuff!

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Photo of 86MonteSS
4.6/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Of the imperial stouts I've had, this one's the hoppiest. I had this beer at my first genuine "beer tasting" and as such it's pretty hard to believe that I'm once again drinking one of the world's best brews as I write this. Storm King is a good God damn beer, but I don't believe it's the best Imperial out there. It's not at the very top of my list but it is pretty close.

Negativity aside, Storm King is easily one of the boldest beers I've had to date. It's definitely not for those who want a malty, mellow stout. The aftertaste fights like a branch davidian to stay in your mouth, while, to the tongue, it is bitter and tart in the greatest possible way. While Stone and Rasputin may surpass Storm King in the Imperial Stout arena, I'm just glad enough that I can get this stuff for a decent price whenever I want.

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Photo of marburg
4.62/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

How remarkable -- a beer that actually stands up to (and surpasses?) all the hype that it's afforded.

Aromatic complexities that boggle the mind. The musty comfort of a wet, day old sponge underlies dark chocolate, raisinets, and toasted crackers. A distinctly flame-kissed fragrance hints at the impending roasted bitterness.

And it arrives in glorious fashion. Heavy molasses cookies meets flambéed cascades. Finishes with a swirling roasted bitterness that leaves a lingering astringency reminiscent of chewing on wood and an aftertaste that just won't quit.

I could have had 3 of these. How is that possible?

So, so good.

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Photo of BierManVA
4.41/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled November 4th and sampled today, December 2nd, 2003.

Amazingly thick dark amber pour. Like syrup. The head is huge and sticky and sweet. Like something a candy maker would experience. A chocolate malt comes to mind.

The smell is likewise thick and chewy. Some alcohol content here but not overpowering. Again, more hints of chocolate.

Taste...Heavy chocolate with coffee malts. Quite desert-like. A bit of wood as well. Very nice.

This is an amazing bier. My head is swimming with ideas for deserts. I want to concentrate this and use it in a variety of tortes and cakes. Ice cream is also coming to mind here. Mmmm.


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Photo of clvand0
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one pours a very dark color with a medium tan head that leaves some lacing on the glass. It is very thick during the pour. The aroma is of hops, roasted nuts, malts, chocolate, coffee - great aroma - very complex too. The flavor was extremely smooth conisidering the syrup-like pour. Very very smooth. Tasted of a mixture between dark chocolate and roasted malts with some hints of coffee, molasses. It's a little sweet with hints of alcohol as well and the flavor lingers for a while. Great beer here.

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Storm King Stout from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
92 out of 100 based on 2,610 ratings.