Storm King Stout - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Storm King StoutStorm King Stout

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2,557 Reviews
very good

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Reviews: 2,557
Hads: 5,539
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 11.41%
Wants: 191
Gots: 711 | FT: 15
Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  9.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-10-2001

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.
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Reviews: 2,557 | Hads: 5,539
Photo of jeffboo
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

High on a mountaintop, in a faraway land, lived a lonely king. His subjects were rejecting his leadership, leaving him little hope to retain his crown much longer. What could he do? He watched the sun race behind the horizon and felt the cold air moving through the valleys. It sent chills through his blood, He could only imagine how the villagers handled this cold season every year. Then an idea struck him. A drink to keep the chill off, some elixer to warm the blood. Brew a special beer for the people, maybe this could bring happiness back to his kingdom. It would be black as night, topped with a dark brown head. It would warm the drinker with its complex aroma of raisins,coffee,dark chocolate and fruit. The smooth, full bodied texture would go down very creamy and mellow, with its alcoholic tones hidden deep beneath layers of coffee and bitter chocolate, but a nice herbal hop flavor and bitterness would add even more complexity. It would finish both slightly sweet and bitter to raise the spirits. This would be the drink to break the spell of the Stormking, the dark cloud that has covered his valley for too long. This will bring the love back, bring the sun out of its slumber. A drink to warm the souls till sping returns. (1,242 characters)

Photo of cretemixer
4.65/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The deepest, darkest, brown with ruby highlights that is possible without being totally black. A thick tan head rests atop this delicious looking brew as light carbonation rises from the dark depths of my imperial pint glass.

Dark chocolate and hops are the most dominant aromas with hints of mochaccino and alcohol.

The taste is in line with the nose. I'm getting a nice nuttiness too. Very malty with a subdued hop presence. Very well balanced. This beer has a bittersweet quality that many Imperials strive for.

Thick and smooth, not too sticky and nicely carbonated.

Would I drink another? Hell yes! Do I want another? Hell yes! Do I have another? Unfortunately no, but I will be seeking this one out again. A huge thanks goes out to aaronh for this awesome beer, the last survivor of our beer trade. It has lived up to the hype IMHO. (851 characters)

Photo of Denali
4.6/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Opaque black, thick tan head - lace lasted for the entire drink.

Smell: Berries and malt. Incredible aroma. The bottled version even has more of an aroma.

Taste: I was immediately surprised by the initial hops taste. Then a strong and sweet berry-like taste kicks in. The taste very much matched the aroma. There are many many other flavors as well, which I could not identify. More flavors kicked in as the beer warmed. Almost no alcohol taste. Yum.

Mouthfeel: Very rich, creamy and smooth.

Drinkability: Despite the high ABV, I found that this beer did not hit me that hard. Is also easy on the stomach. Considering how enjoyable this beer is, I would be more than happy to drink these all night. (723 characters)

Photo of scottum
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Woah! Double take... over 9% abv? wow, this brew sure hides that fact with its steller taste. Pours out blackish black with not much head to write home about. But the taste, yes the taste is quite good. Not the best imperial stout I've ever tasted, but it's a damn good one!!! Mmmmmm stout! I'd drink these by the case if I could afford it. Stupid downward economy! (365 characters)

Photo of MJR
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Out of the bottle pours a thick, viscous, black crude some of us are brave enough to consume willingly. A massive tan head sits on top of the midnight black body, guarding anyone from trying to steal any of the precious liquid underneath. Like a merciless black hole, all light is sucked into it and never seen again. Sheets of lace cover the sides, preventing light from sneaking in...

Smell: From the depths, comes the distinct aroma of Cascade hops. Along with the floral hops, flavors such as roasted grain, coffee, and chocolate rise to the surface, like hands of the damned, rising from hell trying to pull you in... I can resist no longer...

Taste: In a whirlwind of taste, the same intense flavors that took aim of you in the nose, team up for one hell of a sucker punch. Rum, chocolate, coffee, alcohol, raisons, fresh floral hops, it never ends... Like a wave of flavor, it overcomes you and takes control of your palate, with the hops being the strongest of the many flavors. Complex and delicious...

Mouthfeel: Thick, oily, creamy, and's mouthfeel is only surpassed by Bell's Expedition Stout...hence the 4.5... There is no finish, as the aftertaste lingers on what seems an eternity...

Drinkability: Dangerously high... I'd be truly afraid if I had regular access to this one. It goes down so easily, with only the smallest hint at the powerful alcohol amount.

A huge Thank You goes out to Mike (kunzbrew) for providing me with a brew I've been looking forward to for months! (1,529 characters)

Photo of rabidawg
4.85/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Experiencing this beer (and knowing that I can get more tomorrow) is one of the great advantages of moving from Georgia to Connecticut. Wonderfully hoppy imperial stout. The color appears to be jet black, but with a mag-lite behind it a gorgeous ruby shines through. The head is thick, creamy, and coffee-colored. I was truly blown away by the nose of this brew . . . very floral, with a malty backdrop. The flavor is roasty, with a lingering and beautiful hoppy bitterness. The high ABV is barely noticeable, masked by the balance of the brew's flavor assault.

Worth moving 1200 miles to enjoy on a regular basis. (618 characters)

Photo of zerk
4.6/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black... not even a hint of light comes through this beer. Has an impressive and persistent tan head. Aroma is full of roast malt, coffee, and pine, with some vinous characterisitcs sneaking through. The flavor reveals quite a bit of hops... piney bitterness mixing with roast malt, then some malty sweetness that has a very subtle flavor of red wine, and a coffee finish. Has a slightly thin body for an Imperial Stout, but it's still full and smooth. This is a wonderful beer that I could drink again and again. (525 characters)

Photo of shirfan
4.7/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

For review #50, the much-esteemed Storm King.

Not a single photon escapes this... black as tar. Aroma is of roasted malts and rich chocolate baked goods.

Taste is where this truly shines, however. Everything that an imperial stout should be and more...starts smooth and dark chocolate, moves effortlessly to rich, refined, almost mocha flavor, before being taken over by a pleasing hoppy finish. Goes down effortlessly, with an almost airy, sweet and clean balance. It's every bit as complex as its peer from the Brooklyn Brewery, but less rough-and-tumble. Hides its ABV much too well.

This deserves the high praise it has received, it combines almost all of the best flavors I enjoy in beer into one amazing package. (728 characters)

Photo of inebrius
4.63/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Whipped head paints the inside of a pint better than Behr premium plus. Rousing nose of vanilla cake iced in chocolate buttercreme and slathered with a fresh cherry sauce; some decorative toasted shortbread cookies thrown in for effect. A cup of espresso and a shot of wheatgrass on the side. Starts simultaneous sweet malt and roast petering into nutskin and ramping up lingering hop to finish. Hairless and almost too easy to drink.

Huge cheers to frank4sail for sending this one! (486 characters)

Photo of the42ndtourist
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2002 bottling - September 26.

I avoided reading reviews of this so I could analyze it on my own. But then once I started drinking it I had to look at them to compare with what I was tasting...

It's all black.... nothing else to see. A fairly large-bubbled dark head sits on top and retains some presence to the very end. Some lacing is evident.

That hoppy, vinous, acidic quality everyone talks about - I don't like it. Nose is actually more floral than stout-like. Taste is largely affected by these hops. Acid shows in the finish. Vinous? Well, kind of, but not all that pleasantly. Mouthfeel is, yes, oily.

You know, it's not what I expected at all. The traditional stout flavours are undermined by the acid and hops. I may not have a whole lot of experience with imperial stouts, but I think malts should govern. Here, they don't. I prefer my good old locally available Wellington Imperial with it's mounds of coffee and chocolate overtones. After reading various reviews - I wouldn't mind trying some aged bottles of this, when the hops have mellowed. (1,069 characters)

Photo of Admiraldinty
4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Jet black with a dark tan head. Sort of wine-smelling (maybe the alcohol-this is a good thing) Obvious coffee-mocha flavor with a burnt malt finish. Full-bodied with pretty obvious alcohol. The best thing about this is the smoothness. There is so little carbonation that this is like drinking milk (or something really smooth.) Because of the high alcohol content (boy did this one make my Irish cheeks red) the drinkability suffers. But I'd certainly go back to it. I think I'm going to cellar this one as well. (512 characters)

Photo of JISurfer
4.88/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the best beer I've ever had. It's so good, and the only way that you could possibly know how good it is, would be to drink it yourself. The color is very dark and you can't see light through it, which I totally dig. The head is a great brownish-red color. Started out super thick, but went down to a film later. The taste is like a very light chocolatey coffee mixed with a peppery stouty taste. The finish is so smooth, it's like butter. It just slides down your throat and coats it. To experience this stuff is half the "fun" of it. I'm just glad that they finally got it at The Vintage Cellar. The price isn't too bad either. (636 characters)

Photo of HopheadEd
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured black and thick reminding me of coffee with no cream, yet produced dark tan head and laced fairly well. Aromas of coffee and roasted malt filled my nose, trailing off with hints of chocolate. The first sip was big and thick, roasted malt, toffee, caramel and chocolate, followed by a thick, coffee rich malt finish. Creamy and smooth with just a hint of carbonation. Very drinkable indeed, just watch the alcohol. I had this on tap, and the bottle version was much better. (489 characters)

Photo of RBorsato
5/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Black (with ruby red edges) color and a low dark brown head. Decent carbonation and lace for a style with high alcohol content. Intense roasty and chocolately aroma with a light alcohol scent. Light hop aroma initially but dissappears quickly in older versions. Burnt malt character with a big chocolate flavor. Rich and roasty with a bittersweet chocolate finish. Full bodied with a noticeable alcohol presence. The warming sensation lingers...

Note: I did a linear tasting of 3 years (98-99, 99-00, and 00-01). Tasted: 01/15/03. I found the beer to be better (more rounded) as it gets older. The hop presence mellows as it gets older but is fairly prevalent when enjoyed within 2 years. (691 characters)

Photo of goz
4.53/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark black pour, brown head which laces nicely. Aroma is roasted malts, chocolate, and espresso. Taste is bitter chocolate, espresso, dark dry fruits, followed with cirtus and pine from the hops. Add the warming from the alcohol, and the total is a completely enjoyable brew. (275 characters)

Photo of allboutbierge
4.87/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Drank out of a storm king glass. An awesome winter warmer. Thick and heavy yet drinkable. First sip reminded me of SN's stout in respect that it has that touch of crisp hopiness. Color was that of my 30W oil and head was medium with a brownish hue. Taste was that of a heavy and dark coffee/chocolate with a crisp hopiness in the background. This beer is calorie and flavor packed. A recommendation. (399 characters)

Photo of beernut7
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I didn't read the reviews of this one before tasting, so I didn't really know what to expect. I was rewarded by a very unique and flavorful concoction. The pour left a deep dark stormy brew with a distinct hoppy aroma. The first smooth swig greeted my palate with smooth-edged big malt presence and a huge floral hop infusion. The flavors meld perfectly to create a very drinkable and tasty brew that goes down smooth and leaves you searching for another. The high ABV is not as apparent as one might think, but definitely kicks in after a couple go down the hatch. (565 characters)

Photo of BeerAngel
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a near jet-black color with a 1-1/2 finger tan head with staying power. The aromas of chocolate malts and light alcohol dominate the nose. The taste reveals roasted chocolate malts with a crisp hop bite and slight alcohol dryness on the tail. The mouthfeel is a little on the light side for a beer of this style but to me it does not take away from this beer a significant amount. Now my opinion: Does it hold all the characteristics it needs to be number one ranked on BA? No. But the fact is, it is number one (at least at the time of this writing it is number one) and I value my fellow BA’s opinion and BA’s formula works well. Is it a good beer? No, it is a great beer. But it lacks complexity that a top notch beer should have.

Nonetheless, I enjoyed this beer, but I was less than “wowed”. I do however need to thank the BA’s who did beer trades with me to acquire such a touted brew: McCall, Beerluvr, and Rotsaruch. Thanks guys! (952 characters)

Photo of Viking
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very dark, ruby-tinted brown body bordering on black. Small, quickly fading head. Body is a bit syrupy - I notice the brew clinging to the glass after a gentle schwirl. Incredible aroma - fruity, hoppy, with a heavy toffee/coffee malt base. Flavor full of hops - nice and bitter! Also, a rich taste of roasted malt, and slightly vinous fruit. Finish is extremely oily, with a noticeable alcohol warmth. Body is thick and a bit syrupy (more so than I expected from the slight clinging). It may in fact be just a bit too thick, but it's still excellent. A truly fine Imperial Stout. I'd love to get my hands on more of this. Alas, it will have to wait...

Special thanks to pbrian for sending this one my way! (709 characters)

Photo of mickstepp
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After following the recent debate as to whether this beer really deserves its high rating I thought I'd try it again and found myself to be just as impressed as my first experience. A beautiful dark opaque brew with a nice toffee colored head and toffee aromas. I love the hop level in this beer and the dry finish. It's also a very powerful beer and the high alcohol prevents it from being a session quaffer. I put this beer more in the dessert category, great to finish a meal with or to sip by the fire. (506 characters)

Photo of stoutlove77
4.52/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This stout is thick and full of flavor. The first sip I took with my pal DavidBanner and we were pretty impressed on the fruity flavor mixed with somewhat tint of coffee taste. I couldn't really tell the ABV for the flavor was so full it gave me a bite. It has a dark head and tint, with a sweet distinctive aroma of rasberries. The reason I give this the drinkabilty of a 4 is that one too many is gonna be trouble. (416 characters)

Photo of TXHops
3.97/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Malts: imported, 2 row
Hops: American whole flowers
Alcohol by volume 9.1%"

Compared to Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout and Northcoast Old Rasputin, the Storm King has more obvious hops in the nose and more obvious alcohol in the flavor, giving the beer a fruity, vinous quality. For a full account of my feelings on the beer, check out my article on 3 Imperials... (397 characters)

Photo of Brent
4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had been saving this precious beer-trade for the "right time," and decided that my first beer of 2003 was a worthy reason. Since this beer has held the top rating spot for some time, I tried to reign in my expectations and approach it with an open mind.

Onyx black, with a dense coca-colored head, like cafe latte. I observed an interesting Guinness-like cascade effect in the head about half-way down, which stopped and left about half the head that stayed with the beer throughout. Wonderful aroma of deeply roasted malt and a touch of Mexican chocolate.

Flavor was dense with layers of roasted malt peeling away. High ABV was evident in a slight tingle at the tip of the tongue. Hops bitterness punched a hole through the wall of malt and announced itself at mid-tongue, with a thick, lasting bitterness at the finish.

I don't know that this is the best imperial style stout I've had, but it ranks in the top few. (928 characters)

Photo of kelticblood
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a solid black with a coffee colored thick creamy head.Left generous amounts of brown lace.Great head retention reduced to half the size and stayed.The aroma is of hops,coffee,and malt.The texture of the taste is not as creamy as I'd like.A roasted coffee finish with a long lasting alcohol bitter aftertaste.Leaves a dry dehydrating taste probally due to the high ABV.A very good stout with a full body and personality. (426 characters)

Photo of ZAP
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Re-rate 1/2/03

I found this a bit disappointing on my second tasting...not bad at all but not at the level I originally placed it...a bit too thin and not enough overall flavor to be considered the best of the best...Very drinkable but not as complex as I remembered. I have readjusted my numbers slightly and re-worded my old review to reflect my current view

I have been eagerly anticipating this tasting all day,. Midnight black in color...soft creamy tan head...great aroma of dark beans...and husky hops...just a wonderfull creamy feeling in your mouth...Pretty good flavor, but not in the same class in this area as Bells Expedition which just overwhelms your buds...It has a very nice dark cocoa base but also has some good hopping that adds a strong bite on the finish..some real bitterness lingers on the long finish...Definitely not overly different points the hopping seems real high, and then towards the end it seems to mellow down a tad...perhaps a bit thin...solid (1,011 characters)

Storm King Stout from Victory Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 2,557 ratings.