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Storm King Stout - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Storm King StoutStorm King Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,567 Reviews
very good

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Reviews: 2,567
Hads: 5,575
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 11.41%
Wants: 195
Gots: 730 | FT: 14
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.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 2,567 | Hads: 5,575
Photo of SamuraiJack
4.58/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The best word to describe this beer is "intense." I mean this in the best possible way - as all Imperial Stouts should be intense. The flavours are intense, the experience is intense, the alcohol is intense.... Wow.
Initial pour shows a nearly opaque black. Deep black. Total black. The head is thick, firm, tight bubbles, light foam. It's sticky and dark tan, a nice mocha colour even. The beer pours thick and almost chocolate syrup-like. Shockingly, the aroma is not that overwhelming, but rather quite balance and almost (dare I say it) subtle. You can smell the chocolate and the burnt coffee, but under it there is a strong roasted malt foundation and even some nice hoppiness.
Initial taste is of a thick, smooth, roasted malty, juicy, dark caramel, burnt espresso, deep, dark chocolate... Oh my. This is a good beer. Unlike many stouts, all this richness and sugar is balanced by a nice hoppy bite reminiscent of grapefruit. As the taste rolls over your tongue, this citric bitterness balances out as a result of a sweet, chocolatey aftertaste with heavy fruit undertones. Running throughout the palate experience is the warmth of the alcohol. Oh yes. The alcohol. This IS an Imperial after all, and it lets you know it. Final taste is of toasted grains and light, fading chocolate.
This is the shit. Oh my.
If you can find this beer - buy it. (1,355 characters)

Photo of nixhecks
4.41/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After seeing Storm King at #1 I had to go get me some. Although you have to pay an arm and a leg for any of Victory's brews, this one is worth it. While I haven't been a fan of imperials, this stout left me impressed. The beer is as black as they come, with an attractive thick brown head. Aroma was scarce at first but picked up as the beer warmed, mostly roasty dark malts featuring chocolate, licorice, smoke, and coffee aromas - half way I think I even dicovered a strong vanilla presence. The extra alcohol is always welcome, and is blended very well. I could drink this all night, or all day for that matter. (614 characters)

Photo of WaltTrombone
4.36/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The bottle came with "Bottled on Nov. 11, 02" on the label. It poured black as a tuxedo in a dark closet. It came topped with a dense, dark-brown head that had a lot of staying power. Dark roasted malt and hops aroma. All sorts of flavors, lots of hops, dark malt, bitter chocolate, Turkish coffee, cherry notes, citrus and alcohol tangs, all fighting the battle for supremacy on my happy tongue. Just like dinner with the Italian side of the family... Thicker mouthfeel than some other stouts I've tried, very luxurious, like rich Corinthian Leather. The finish goes on and on, like bitter chocolate and expresso, and some tanginess in there, too. Wow, this is definitely one of the most complex beers I've ever had! I'm not sure yet if I'm in LOVE with it, but I'm at least in "Like!" (786 characters)

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

Pours black with a light brown head. The aroma is of fruity hops, and roasted malts with hints of chocolate. The flavor starts with a fruitiness that flows quickly to a roasty malt flavor. From there this full-bodied beer goes to a dry, hoppy, bitter finish. The bitter finish in this brew is intensified by the burnt malt flavors. It also has an alcoholic flavor in the finish. I really wasn’t expecting the fruitiness in this beer. Overall a great, complex beer with a plethora of flavors. I would definitely drink this one again. It has a bitterness that sticks with you. (580 characters)

Photo of Todd
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased in a 12oz brown bottle with the bottled on clearly marked on the front of the label -- well done -- Nov 11 02.

Poured an ominous pitch black beer, crowned with a thick mocha foam head; mixed, patchy and sticking. Retention, excellent. Thick and syrupy to the eye.

Quite subdued in the aroma. Notes of citric hops, big eathy nose, some mustiness and a softened roasted grain. Nothing special going on here, and certainly not when compared to the rest of the beer's characteristics.

The mouthfeel hits me upfront. It's thick, viscid, juicy and silky smooth. Malt character is complex with roasted, molasses, coffee, dark chocolate, bitty chicory, tree bark and earth. Sharp-ish hop character breaks through and melds with a roasted astringency. Flashes of citrus rind and a tight carbonation prick at the palate, balancing out the heavy dark malt characters.

There's an interesting fruity sweetness that pulls thru, that of cherries in syrup covered in dark chocolate and an edge of pineapple in the background ... adding even more layers to twist your mind with. Alcohol is warming and complements the citric hop characters with a decent dose of blended spice. Finish is try with roasted notes and grain.

Hell yeah! This is an outstanding stout ... flavourful, powerful and very drinkable for it's high ABV. I'll just leave it at that and recommend that all stout lovers give this beer a try. (1,416 characters)

Photo of hyuga
4.68/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First of all, a big thanks to fellow BA francisweizen for this sample, my first Victory beer, which I've been looking forward to for ages. This is a beautiful beer, I have to give it a perfect 5 in the looks department. The mocha brown head stays exceptionally and impressively well, which seems to be a tough thing for many imperial stouts to pull off. The aromas I'm getting are delicate, sweet chocolate, smooth and quite creamy mocha, toffee chips, and a hint of hop leaves, maybe some floral hop character. Very subtle and delicate aroma, but certainly complex and pleasing. On to the actual tasting. This is by far the smoothest imperial stout I've ever tasted. A subtle yet ever-present leafy hop character is the only thing that really stays the same character-wise all the way through this beer. In the front, there's dark chocolate and coffee, in the middle, sweeter chocolate and more intense hop character, very leafy with a good amount of bitterness. excellent contrasting of flavors. In the back, hop bitterness subsides a bit in favor of more chocolate sweetness. It has a mocha feel to it overall, but this characteristic is not always so noticeable. This beer is just mellow and smooth all the way through. It's rather relaxing. No tremendous assault to the taste buds, but complexity is still in profusion. Magnificently crafted. I really wish Victory would start distributing here in Arizona, but for now I'll treasure and savor every last drop of what I can get of this masterpiece. To those of you who can grab this at your local store, count yourselves lucky and appreciate what you have! (1,610 characters)

Photo of JohnnyDuvel
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Occasionally, I know we all try a beer that is very highly rated, with much hype - and come away disappointed. This is certainly the case here. Upon first taste, I immediately found this beer to be thin and overly hopped. It's definitely a quality brew, and the overall effect is nice. Unfortunately, the hops are too dominant, and the body is too thin for the style, The second time I had this, I drank it "head to head" with a Sammy Smith Imperial. No contest, IMHO. The Sammy was smooth, thick, and creamy - further emphasizing the overall lightness of this beer. On a positive note, the alcohol is very well hidden, and it goes down pretty easy. Pours dark, but not as dark as the Samuel Smith. More of a deep burgundy. Decent head, but thinner and somewhat carbonated. Some lacing, but nothing significant. Ultimately, bitter and dry. I know there are thousands of hopheads that will groan in disgust with this review, but try the same head to head test - see what you think. (980 characters)

Photo of Bunnyhop
4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clear, opaque, dark, reddish-brown Imperial Stout with a large, dark tan, clingy head. The smell is roasted, hoppy, and dark chocolate. The taste is roasted, along with chocolate and hops, with a strong bitter finish. The body is oily in my mouth. Overall, a bit more bitter than I anticipated but very tasty. The higher alcohol isn't particularly noticeable at first, but sneaks on in.

(source: Consumers Beverage; Williamsville, NY) (439 characters)

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

Finally got this in my town after the law change last fall. This beer poured as dark as sin and formed a cascading huge medium tan head that subsided slowly leaving circular lace. Very foamy texture like a soda. An aroma of malt, coffee and hops. A flavor of malt, coffee, chocolate and a slight bit of hops. The finish was a touch burnt. A great stout! (353 characters)

Photo of GreatPondBrewer
4.58/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beginning with a thick, deep pour there was never any hope for any light to escape my glass. This beer was like the dark side of the moon. Night. The only thing light about it was the tan head that was about a finger width, but that quickly receded into sticky lace on the outside of the glass with some bubbles in the middle. The smell was very earthy with some roasted scents. The taste was thick bordering on chewy and very hoppy at the outset balanced with some rich coffee and bitter chocolate undertones. At the end it was a little more subtle with some exquisitely mellow malt with just a hint of the alcohol. The last taste was pure chocolate. I am not a fan of Imperial Stouts, but this has my admiration! Enjoy. (721 characters)

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 soothing...it'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)

Storm King Stout from Victory Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 2,567 ratings.