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Storm King Stout - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Storm King StoutStorm King Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

5,309 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,309
Reviews: 2,540
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.07%
Wants: 168
Gots: 566 | FT: 17
Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  9.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

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

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,309 | Reviews: 2,540 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeanBone
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Just about solid black with a two finger tall caramel head that leaves great lacing. It certainly looks the part.

Aroma: Lots of roasty malt, as you'd expect. But unlike many stouts, there are definite hop notes to be found here.

Taste: Huge roasted malt body with lots of big semi-sweet chocolate and roasted coffee notes. Definite hop splashes at times, a very welcome addition. The alcohol is hidden rather well under the big malt body, but raises its head from time to time. Lots of coffee and some nice hop bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: A very thick body, almost reminiscent of a milkshake. Perhaps a little chalky at times, but it works. Medium carbonation with nice alcohol warmth in the mouth.

Drinkability: As you'd expect from a Russian Imperial Stout, this is firmly in sipper territory. A beer to be savored.

Verdict: A very solid Imperial Stout with a unique hop flourish that really sets it apart. Well worth the hype, this is a beer that delivers (especially at this price point).

Photo of johnmichael712
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured out of a 12 oz. bottle into a Chimay goblet. Freshness date on bottle is December 18, 2013. This beer pours a dark, dark black with a beautiful dark khaki colored head that is much larger and more easily formed than other Russian Imperial Stouts I've had. The head doesn't appear to be very sticky due to the high ABV (9.1 %) and doesn't stick around too terribly long, which is just fine with me because I'm ready to drink this beast.

Smell: Hops. This is definitely the hoppiest nose on a stout I've ever smelled, and while I don't know the IBU's of this beer I'm assuming they're very high. The hops are very citrusy, very grapfruity, and are well balanced with the aromas of roasted black malt and chocolate. There is, however, a bit of solventy alcohol and blackberry that are off-scents and keep me from rating the smell of this beer higher than a four.

Taste: This beer starts off with a wonderful chocolate and malt flavor with a hint of espresso (the usual chocolate/espresso flirtation that Imperial Stouts have) and finishes with a prominent citrusy hop flavor. Just as I assumed from the smell this is the hoppiest tasting Russian Imperial Stout I've ever had, and I must say that I really am enjoying the dry, lingering finish. Unlike some of the other dark beers I've had that are lower on hops the prevalence of the hops here acts as an aperitif, allowing one to drink this beer much more rapidly than other in its class.

Mouthfeel: The brewers at Victory have left no stone unturned with this brew, and the mouthfeel is no exception. This is one incredibly creamy, rich, and full-bodied stout, and it is a real pleasure to drink. It has the creaminess of an oatmeal stout, which is damn impressive. The carbonation is also very low, which is nice.

Drinkability: There is absolutely no taste of the 9.1% alcohol the bottle claims this beer has, and I could definitely see myself drinking a few of these in a night. Considering the fact that it's Saint Patrick's Day, and that this is one of the smoothest and most delicious stouts I've had, I just might have to do that!

Notes: At the time of my review this beer is sitting at number ninety-one on the best of BA list, and it honestly deserves to be ranked at least this high, if not higher. In my opinion this is one of the best Russian Imperial Stouts money can buy, and I'm falling in love with the beer with every sip. The fact that this beer is a year-round release gives me all the more reason to always keep this one stocked in my fridge. Supposedly it's even better with some age on it, so I'll be going to the store soon to pick up another six-pack to throw in the cellar. Look for another review in a year or so.

Photo of AdmiralDiaz
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 12oz bottle to pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark body with a large brown head with good retention and good lacing.

S: Smells very roasty with noticeable fruitiness, chocolate, and some hop to it.

T: Very well balanced and decently complex. Strong roasted malts are complemented by dark fruit turning into a bitter chocolate finish all with a nice hop character to it. Almost no alcohol character until the almost final sip.

M: Well carbonated, perfect thickness, not too heavy but by no means too thin. Silky and semi-creamy. Almost perfect for the style IMO.

D: Very, very drinkable for the style, I could very easily have a few bottles of this one. I'm very impressed.

Photo of Ranbot
2.43/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into a glass from a 12 oz bottle. Very dark and readily makes a dark thick head. I wasn't paying attention and poured a little too fast and had to let the head settle for a long time - good retention. You can clearly smell the hops and roasted malts. When I got around to drinking it the initial flavor was all hops followed by burnt coffee that lingered long after swallowing. Only a faint hint of the alcohol, but it's not surprising given how overwhelming the hops and burnt coffee is. I wish I could say I tasted something else in this brew, but I really didn't. There's little to no balance in it. It's sort of cross between a DIPA and stout/RIS, but I think fails at both, because the hops are really strong for a stout/RIS, and the malts aren't sweet enough to underpin hops like a good DIPA. Unrepenting hopheads will probably enjoy it, but I could not.

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
3.86/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Realized I can buy 6ers of this stuff now at my local liquor store.

Pours a dark black with a very nice head that provided lots of sticky lace to the glass. Looks a little thin for an RIS though.

Smell is not what I was expecting. It smellss pretty yeasty and there is a slight hop smell. Some roasted notes come through too but it is not very aromatic for an RIS.

Taste is a little different than what I was expecting but very good. It's not as toasty and over powering as alot of others in it's same category but that makes it very sessionable. It's like they didn't use alot of chocolate malt or something. Can't put my finger on it. There is a huge toasty aftertaste.

Mouthfeel I wish was a little more viscous but carbonation is good.

Overall a good beer. Still got five more and Im gunna let them age a bit before I drink them up. It seems like this one could use some time.

Photo of drizzam
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Straight from the 12 oz. bottle and into my Gray's pint glass.

A: Poured dark black with a gorgeous thick tan head. The head left a really nice lacing down the inside of the glass.

S: Slight coffee scent, but mostly malty. Rather subtle all around.

T: Roasted bitter coffee with a hint of bitter chocolate. A little boozy on the swallow.

M & D: Thick and creamy with minimal carbonation. Very smooth...finishes dry. This is a brew with a pretty high drinkability factor. Maybe not quite sessionable, but very good nonetheless.

Photo of dukedevil0
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Single 12 oz from Famous Liquors in Lombard, IL.

A: Pours dark black with a lot of CREAMY beautiful mocha head and some good lacing on the glass.

S: Bitter and milk chocolate, dark fruits like chocolate covered blackberries, slight coffee and roast scents

T: just like the smell, which is great; chocolately, dark fruits, slight coffee and roast malts slightly dry finish

M: Nice and creamy with perhaps a tad bit over carbonation but I can't complain about much else

D: Super easy to drink, can't pick up any of the alcohol, tastes good...winner!

This has just become one of my favorite easy-to-procure imperial stouts.

Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: Motor oil body, tan head.

s: sweet cocoa and some light hops notes.

t: Deep roasted malts, dark chocolate, molasses, bitter coffee and plenty of hop bitterness to balance things out.

m: Coarse on the tongue, thick body, long finish.

d: Mmm...roasty. Other RISs may be deeper, but this is more drinkable. A great beer for enjoying your fireplace for the first time of the season, as I did when I wrote this review. Good times. I think this is just a bit above Old Rasputin.

Photo of Ohiovania
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Really looking forward to trying this one. It smells great and looks fantastic. The head laces very nicely and takes a bit to go down but it the rest of the beer doesn't lace well or maybe I was too thirsty. Feel of it was a bit too lightly weighted for an imperial stout. Hardly any alcohol taste what so ever so it's easy to down these things and not realize it. Taste is a little sweet with some lightly roasted coffee and just a vestige of bitterness. An all around good beer but probably won't be picking it up again for a little while at least.

Photo of grayburn
4.36/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer carries its reputation quite well. The problem is, some beers that get this much hype end up being kind of a let down...not the casewith the storm king.
A midnight black, picture perfect stout, with head to spare that never goes away...The beer is gone, can I lick the foam out or is that just trashy? Beautiful beer.
The smell is burnt caramel and licorice, balanced with some mild hoppiness ( I wonder how many hops lost their lives to be sacrificed to the storm king?) some warming alcohol is wearing a chocolate scented suit.
The taste is the same, slightly bitter on the front of the tongue like dark chocolate, followed by a punch of tempered sweetness. Delicious balance of flavor.
The mouth is smooth and creamy, a gentle carbonation settles the alcohol down quite a bit. This beer is dangerously drinkable, it goes down way smoother and quicker than it should.

Photo of BringusKilkenney
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Had a great look out of the bottle depending on how you pour it could get a big foamy head of just a little bit of nothing both are a dark woody brown.
Smell- The average imperial smell chocolates and alcohol the only bad part about this is the alcohol is a little overwhelming in the smell.
Taste- As far as imperials go nothing to special dont get me wrong it is a good beer and i thoroughly enjoyed it. Had chocolates and alcohol for the strong points of the taste with a nice malty finish.
Mouthfeel- Very smooth and easy to take down the alcohol may overrun some of the other aspects but is very unnoticeable in the mouthfeel.
Drinkability- This is a great imperial to just sit around and drink while i feel it is a little average i will continue to enjoy it as it is readily available and accessible.

Photo of zminor
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. Small amount of cappuccino head dissipated quickly.

After reading a lot about this stout I had some really high expectations - thankfully I was not disapointed. Upon the first smell I knew I was in for a great beer - strong aromas of espresso and coffee were clear. The taste was fantastic and matched that. Lots of espresso, chocolate, and some toffee.

Maybe it was my bottle, but I felt like there was a little too much carbonation in the mouth feel. None the less the alcohol is beautifully hidden.

I definitely plan on picking up a few bottles to keep in the cellar - I think this will age quite nicely.

Photo of bbothen
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter. Bottle says "best by 9/13/2012". Hmm.

Pours a pitch, tar like black, no light coming through, with a small 1 finger deep thick tan colored head. Head quickly disappears into a small bubbly ring around the glass.

Aromas of sweet malts, toasted/roasted aromas, some coffee, faint smoke, and a nice fruity hoppiness coming through.

Taste is great. Toasted malts, nice hop bitterness, roasted coffee, cocao, plum, raisin, faint booze.

Full bodied, tad too much carbonation for me, still smooth and creamy.

Drinkability is good for %9 imperial stout. Could have 2-3 in a sitting.

I'm a fan of this one. Really like the flavor here. Will be seeking out again.

Photo of jujubeast6000
3.36/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 2/15/2008 (Bottle @ Flying Saucer, Houston, TX):

Pours a black color body, tannish head, average. Coffee apoma, some Belgian sugar. Not very strong. Coffee, malty taste, some nuts. Some alcohol on the back of the palate. Hoppy bitterness present. Pretty easy to drink. More alcohol bite as it warms up, stronger coffee.

Photo of goatgoat
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nearly impenetrable black. Garnet gets through the edges. A thick (3+ fingers) coffee head falls slowly leaving sticky lace along the top of the glass.
Aroma is dark fruit and a big alcohol bite. Pretty good citrus and grapefruit coming through as well. It's a pretty fresh bottle.
Taste is far more malty than the aroma. More dark fruits and chocolate leading to a bitter coffee finish. That sharp alcohol shows up again.
Somewhat full bodied, but not as much as I expect.

I enjoy the base flavors more than most other RIS, but it's just too harsh right now. I can see why folks age this and I might try that. This was a fresh bottle (best by: Dec 2013).

Photo of Mistofminn
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle with a "best by" date of Dec 5 2011.

Poured into a pint glass. Color is pitch black as it oozes out of the bottle. Produces a brown head, which quickly dissapates leaving a little bit of lacing. No carbonation as far as I can tell.

Aroma is strong on roasted malts and bitter chocolate. There is also a small portion that reminds me of dark fruits, as well as molasses. I get a faint alcohol smell here as well.

Taste is largely what you would expect from the mouthfeel. I'm not trying to downplay the taste at all, it's very very good. A strong roasted character is about all I get at first. After it warms a bit I'm starting to get a more pronounced coffee flavor, as well as dark fruits. Leaves a slightly bitter aftertaste. To my unchallenged palate, this tastes similar to the other RIS's I've had.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. It's a little lighter bodied than I'd hoped, but thats a minor annoyance.

Another great offering by Victory. I'm very pleased with this. A sipper for sure, but a great one, none the less.

Photo of drtth
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Slighly chilled and poured into Duvel glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically. Bottled 17 Aug 07 and consumed 3 March 09.

Appearance: Deep dark brown, almost black with half inch brown head that eventually fades away leaving behind some intricate lacing on the sides.

Smell: Initial impression of semi-sweet chocolate malt with traces of dark molasses but with no real hop presence.

Taste: Almost a burnt and semi-sweet dark chocolate flavor from the roasted malt. An undertone or hint of dark molasses but again no sign of hops, they have completely receded leaving the almost burnt flavor of the malt to carry through with the bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with light carbonation and a medium long finish.

Drinkability: This is one of my favorite imperial stouts, possibly my favorite, and I could sip my way through more than one of these in an evening, but slowly.

This stout is more than one beer. When younger the hops dominate and as it ages they recede to be replaced by the bitterness of dark roasted malt and dark molasses flavors. But I don't find the almost burnt flavor unpleasant here as I do in some other stouts.

Photo of tittymcj
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out very very darkly, almost a little purple as it passed the light. Good sized tan head that lasted a minute before receding, and good cascading lacing.

Smell is typically very heavy on roasted malts and chocolate, although this one reminds me a lot more of hot chocolate than anything else. A little coffee aftertaste.

Taste is of very dark chocolate and a little bit of coffee bitterness near the end. Very roasted flavor.

Mouthfeel is very interesting. I love the thickness initially, but the carbonation is pretty heavy after that, which is not my favorite.

Good drinkable beer, obviously can't have many of them, but tasty enough to enjoy a couple of.

Photo of HeyItsChili
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours dark brown/black with a foamy khaki head that stays strong the entire time.

S - Sweet chocolate, roasted coffee, and dark fruits.

T - Very sweet and powerful stout, dark chocolate, coffee syrup, with a hint of dark fruits and dark rum.

M - Very silky.

Photo of Phillyduke
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1-year old aged bottle from the 2007-2008 winter enjoyed on a snow day in my DFH snifter.

A: Pitch black and completely opaque. A 1+ finger head of mocha-colored foam caps the glass after a semi-vigorous pour, and quickly recedes to a fine surface layer. Alternating fine and rocky lacing rings the edge of the liquid. Not much cling. Some mild viscosity tints the glass brown as the liquid moves around the bowl.

S: Chocolate pokes through a heavy roasted malt nose. Notes of coffee and some faint hop character. Some sweetness (molasses, perhaps?) as well. A faint whiff of alcohol is noticeable as well, and becomes more so as the beer warms.

T/M: Smooth and creamy on the palate with a surprisingly prevalent hop character for a year-old stout. A bitter dark chocolatey/coffee character and a nice roastiness from the dark malt are the real stars here, though, with the taste alternating between the two. A subtle underlying sweetness provides a second layer of complexity, but there is some balance here. Finish is definitely on the bitter side and lingers for awhile. Alcohol is noticeable, but only just barely so. A bit on the lighter side body-wise for an RIS.

D/O: I wish I had reviewed a bottle last year when this was fresh, but if memory serves me this has definitely gotten better with age. Not as terribly rich and complex as some of the better RISs out there, but certainly a fine example of the style and one of the first to inspire a new generation of devotees. The smooth, creamy mouthfeel and pleasing flavors make this easy-to-drink stout a must-have every winter. Sipping on one of these is a perfect way to spend a snowy winter's evening. I have two more from this batch to try in '09-'10 and '10-'11.

Photo of jim102864
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Blind Tiger during my recent visit. Cask ale served in a mug. Dark black with a thin pond on the surface. Sort of a buttery nose. Some mild chocolate notes. Nice roast creates a coffee espresso flavor. I like the bitterness that prevails up front and lingers on the tongue with each pull. I only wish they'd serve this in a larger glass. Bitterness milds out somewhat as it warms. A nice brew.

Photo of BigMike
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my go to stout.
A very quality example from Victory.
Pours very dark. Almost black with close to two fingers worth of tan head.
Smells of espresso and chocolate with a suprising fruitiness to it.
I find this complex for an RIS. Not only the presence of chocolate and coffee but also fruity, sweet and bitter at the same time.
Mouthfeel is almost milkshake like.
The over 9% ABV. is well hidden and this finishes quite smoothly.
This is a must try.

Photo of JoeST
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very deep almost black brown with a caramel color two finger head that quickly reseeds.
Nice toasted malt aroma with a good bit of hops coming through.
The taste is somewhat hard to distinguish. I get a bitter dark chocolate with some bitter hop bit as well. After taste lingers with a bitter roasted malt flavor.
I would drink this one again, but wouldn't go outta my way for it.

Photo of Gyle41386
4.52/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Review #50. Let's do this.

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Probably the blackest beer I've ever poured. Two finger chocolate brown head leaves sheets of lacing. Creamy, but doesn't retain well.

The nose is quite interesting. This is the hoppiest smelling stout I've come across. The nose has all of the typical RIS scents, like roasted black malts, dark chocolate, coffee, yet the commanding scent, to me, is citrus.

Wow. This is an unbelievable stout. It's got a body like a milkshake. Tons of chocolate and espresso, and then here come those hops. Citrus and pine in a rich, thick Russian Imperial Stout. Who knew?

The body is excellent. Rich and thick, full and creamy. Just amazing.

Photo of solargoat
3.38/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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

Storm King Stout from Victory Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 5,309 ratings.