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Storm King Stout - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Storm King StoutStorm King Stout

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5,313 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,313
Reviews: 2,542
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.07%
Wants: 170
Gots: 570 | 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: 5,313 | Reviews: 2,542 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ITK4ever
4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass, black color. No light gets through at all. Tan head which settles in tight rather quickly. Very nice lacing as this one hits the lips. Malty with hop undertones, but very well balanced.

This beer is just plain pretty. One sip and you know why it's so highly rated. If you can't get this on the Left Coast, you need to find someone who can get it for you as it certainly is a treat. But then, I expect nothing less from Victory.

Photo of jabocu
4.67/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

Photo of shbobdb
4.04/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Man, Victory brews beers like I like to drink beers. This is one crazy good Impy Stout.
All of the hallmark elements are there, just . . . muted. Bold hops, coupled with a lot of roasted flavours with some malt and alcohol. But they are all half as strong as most Imperial Stouts that I've drank. Man, that makes this beer incredibly balanced and very drinkable. I don't normally associate Impy Stouts with words like, Drinkable, subtle, sessionable, and other words that make me think of a fine pilsner.

Wow. This beer blew me away.

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

I picked up a Storm King Stout at a local specialty shop to taste and review. I poured this beer in to a pint tumbler. .

Pours a jet black brew and is opaque. One finger of beige/brown head is fairly resilient, but dissipates to a quarter inch film and produces some lacing on the sides of the glass.

The smell is fairly strong and sweet. It smells a little like coffee with fruit elements and a hint of alcohol (spirits) as well.

The taste is quite rich and robust. The flavor is very complex. There is a decided bitter charcoal flavor, and also a smoky and slightly sweet coffee and chocolate flavors. There is a mild hop finish, which takes the flavor full circle back to the bitter charcoal flavor. The flavors are reasonably well balanced, but it may be a little over-hopped to the exclusion of the malt. The aftertaste is remarkably short-lived, taken over by the hops and is slightly bitter.

The mouth feel is a little thick and heavy. The beer is very mildly carbonated.

This is a drinkable beer, but with it’s higher ABV (9.1%) I’m not sure I’d want to have more than a couple in a sitting (especially at $2.75 a bottle), and I wouldn’t want to drink them very fast. But this is a outstanding stout, and a beer drinking experience well worth having. I would definitely have a Storm King Stout again. I’ll look for an occasion.

Photo of SilentSabre
4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This will be my second review on this beer. The reason for that is simple. My first review was on a fresh sample. This review is on a bottle with a date of 18Nov 2003. This aged specimen is very similar in appearance to a fresh sample. Black, cream coloured head; nice lace. The smell seems a bit hoppier and a bit less malty than a fresh one. There's also more fruit present. It is still very enjoyable, just different. The taste is substantially different IMO. The chocolate that is present in a fesh sample is very diminished. There is, however, a toasted sensation on the finish that is very pleasant. The mouthfeel is smooth as silk. Incredible!! This is certainly a beer that ages well (if kept properly, of course), and even at 9.1%, the drinkability after aging this long is amazing.
Blessed Be

Photo of Sixpack595
2.98/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I don't get it. This beer isn't very good. Tastes like a burnt American style IPA. Yea, the guys who brew this really like to add hops... Sadly it tastes like thats about all they did. Dumped a bunch of hops into a kettle of middle of the road stout. Roasty, burnt, astringint taste. Flat, very little head. On the plus side it hides the high ABV quite well, and the mouthfeel was medium bodied. I'm really disapointed in this one sinve the other Victory brews I've had are better. Overhyped.

Photo of macster
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle served at 55*. Pours black and opaque as night while developing a dense tan head. Didn’t appear as viscous on the pour as other big Imp Stouts. Moderate nose of dark roasted coffee, dark chocolate, charred wood and hops. Palate was creamy and smooth, without being slick or oily. Attractive taste of espresso coffee and lots of charcoal notes with a minerally dryness mid-palate. The hops certainly make a strong play here keeping any cloying sweeetness at bay and providing a notable crisp and pleasant hop bitterness to the long finish. A very well balanced Impy Stout which keeps the alcohol well hidden. Top notch!

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

Looks like any good stout should: Impenetrable darkness with a tan head. Head doesn't retain well but the lace is abundant.

Aroma is full-on hops, kind of grassy/earthy, a bit lighter in smell than the heavier chocolate/coffee you get in most stouts. Toffee is there, with a dark grape fruitiness far back there.

For an Imperial Stout this is a seriously refreshing taste, one of few Imperials you could drink year-round. Not too heavy in the mouth but still hugely substantial. The flavors feature piney hops (I've noticed this aspect seems to diminish over the years...it's either my palate being more used to hops or the recipe changing...), followed by grape, toasted malt, espresso, cream/milk (in smoothness and flavor), followed by a piquant and bitter aftertaste that leaves the mouth happy with a pleasant tingle. Nice frothy sizzle in the mouth.

A drinkable big stout, deserving of all the high marks and raves, but there are better in the style.

Photo of jamesdergen
4.07/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark, opaque espresso black with a minimal fizzy tan head that disappears rather quickly.

Smell: Nice aromas of caramel and toffee.

Taste: The first thing to hit is a rich coffee/toffee flavor that quickly gives way into a massive wall of resiny hops. The rich, roasty malt background remains throughout. The hoppiness was a lot more intense than I was expecting, but it somehow fits in incredibly well. The only detractor here is that weird overcooked vegetable taste that comes into play towards the middle of the hop invasion.

Mouthfeel: Pretty highly carbonated and a heavy mouthfeel, but that's not too surprising from an Imperial Stout.

Drinkability: A bit too intense, heavy and carbonated to drink more than one. The alcohol is well-hidden, however. This one is a sipper, and a delicious one!

A big thanks to Christian down at Cellar's for recommending this one to me. It's a great brew with huge flavors and massive complexity the likes of which I have never tasted before. A great brew.

Photo of ricodewey
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Being a Victory fan for many years, I can say this year's Storm King batch is superb.

I must comment on the mouthfeel. Let is sit in your mouth for 30 seconds. Inhale and breath deeply the pungent cherries, dark coffee feel. At a potent 9% abv, the alcohol is clearly evident but extremely drinkable. Goes down smoothly with tones of coffee on the tongue. Goes very well with any dessert. I have been enjoying this beer for 5 years and this years batch is top-notch.

Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up a single at Riley's here in Madison. "Bottled Nov 18 05"

Pours your standard RIS black with several fingers of frothy tan bubbles and a bit of lacing. Nose is much more subtle than I was expecting - dark fruits with hints of roasted malt, coffee and milk chocolate. Taste is on the mellow side as well with caramel and toasted malts, espresso/chocolate with a hint of plum/raisin. Mouthfeel is fluffy and smooth. Alcohol is barely noticeable. I was a little disappointed that this wasn't intense and in your face, especially after the Bourbon County Stout I had this weekend, but this is still a damn tasty RIS, and insanely drinkable for 9.1%. I don't know about #8 in the world though....

Photo of petemoss14
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. Dated Dec 13, 2005.

Been a lot of flack about this beer lately. Shall we...

Pours a dense opaque. Completely black. Two finger tan head fades to nice lace.

The aroma is quite fruity and intriguing. There's some underlying coffee, molasses, and chocolate, but I must say the overrinding aromas are those of blackberry, current, and licorice. Notes of floral hops and mild alcohol esters

Tastes of dark fruit, coffee, chocolate. Mouthfeel is disappointing at first -- seemed thin and undercarbonated. This improves greatly as the beer warms. It becomes silkier. As for the hops, they are there -- defiant, but not overwhelming. They in no way overwhelm the beer or seem out of place. And I am certainly no hophead.

Can't say that I am all that familiar with previous bottlings, but I was impressed with this one. Very drinkable for a beer of its strength. Curious to try different batches...

Photo of normZurawski
4.62/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was one of the first beers I tried when I started getting into craft beer. My initial thought at the time was, "I guess stout really isn't my stlyle." Skeip ahead 2 months and that's changed. I find this winter I enjoy nothing but stout and the occasional Dogfish Head offering, usually the IBA. And among the stouts, Storm King is head and shoulders above the rest.

Everything about this beer is well done. The aroma is excellent, and this beer drinks as smoothly as you could hope for. Given the high ABV, it does an excellent job on the delivery, having a rich malty finish worthy of any Russian emporer. I also get some hoppiness in the finish, especially as time passes. The finish on this is really long, lasting damn near a minute after you've put the glass down, assuming you put the glass down. Very good beer, try it.

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

Pitch black body only brightening at the edges to a dark brown red color. Dark creamy tan head. Decent retention and lace.
The nose is complex with scents of marcipan, smoke, caramel, burnt coffee beans and chocolate. Hops are strong but still well balanced.
Nuts and roasted coffee beans up front dark chocolate and black cherries fading into the aftertaste which is a blend of dominating spiced hop flavors, sweet thick malts and a dry finish.
Solid and thick as expected. Good coating.
Highly drinkable just beware of it's strength.


Photo of jlh8643
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an Imperial Pint glass. A semi rough pour generated a healthy 2 inch cheastnut head that leaves thin lace with mild retention. The body is deep, dark brown almost black. Mild coffee and acrid roasted malts back up with some citrus hops lurking around. The mouth feel isn't as big as I anticipated. Mild coffee, dark fruit like prunes and the roasted astringency are what I initially come away with but the finish is much lighter combined with the alcohol warming effect left me hanging a bit. Overall a good beer but not the tops of its class.

Photo of EvilTwin
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Good after dinner beer.
Pours as black as an lawyers heart with a half inch carmel head.
Interesting nose with a prominant alcohol smell, somewhat expected from thr 9.1 ABV.
Good taste with the main flavors I noticed being coffee and roasted malt. Noticible alcohol taste and hop bite, but a very enjoyable drink.
Medium thickness on the mouthfeel. Not a chewy stout, but it stays with you.
A drinkable stout that will set you back after a few. While strong tasting it WILL sneak up on you.


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

Has all of the ingredients for the perfect Stout. An Ideal color with a viscous texture and strong head retention. Ideal blend of espresso and bittersweet chocolate and a lightly powdery roasted grain quality. Enough in the nose and flaovr to demand respect. Enough heat to recognize it's potency. Still, no off balanced characters at all. No fusal alcohols, dominating hops, astingency, harshness, or accessive acidity. It grabs the throat a bit on the way down, but to be expected. Very clean for style. Difficult to criticise.

Photo of DaggerEyes
4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz Bottle, dated October 31st, 2005

Pour a rich dark brown, that borders very closely on black. The rich browns are really only present when tilting the glass and holding it up to the light, and even then don't think you're going to be seeing your fingers on the other side of the glass. The beer poured with a thick head which disolved quickly leaving a delicate lace behind to hug the edges of the glass. Very thick to the eye with great retention.

The alchohol is present on the nose, as well as mild smokey and sweet scents.

This beer has a very bold taste and is very bright on the front of the tounge. Slight smokey and burnt taste, yet very pleasant. A simple and strong taste often reminiscent of Licorice.
Despite it's heavy syrupy appearance this is more of a chewy medium bodied beer with a pleasantly strong ammount of carbination .

Thought the abv might prevent you from putting back a bunch of these in a night, it is none the less a true pleasure to drink

Photo of supernaut
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out the typical pitch black, but with a nice creamy 2 finger head and some mild lacing. Not much initial retention though, and ends up looking kinda flat unless swirled around a bit

S - A peculiar sweetness eminates throughout the nose. Not quite sure what to make of it though.

T - Mild coffee, chocolate, licorice, and possibly some faint butterscotch (is that the sweetness I sense?) seems to poke through initially. A tad oily, with a burnt(emphasis on the burnt) caramel/malitness toward the end. The alcohol is not that much of a factor until the end, and even then it mingles decently.

M/D - Not quite as smooth and creamy as I would have envisioned, especially with the wee little dry kick at the end provided by the alcohol...(still pretty mild all things considered). Pretty drinkable despite this (especially given the ABV), but just not quite as silky as desired.

O - I noticed a discrepancy between older and newer reviews. I also noticed that I happened to sample one of the batches garnering less enthusiam (12-13-05). So maybe this batch is an outlier of sorts???

Outlier or not, this is still a very good stout.

Photo of falloutsnow
3.82/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a deep, dark brown in color, nearly identical to a pool of molasses. Impenetrable darkness allow for no light or visibility to occur within the beer, how mysterious. A hard pour produces a dark tan head about 1cm in height. The foam quickly dissipates into a thin field of bubbles around the perimeter and a small island in the middle of the glass.
S: Strangely, the most apparent smell is of sharp, citrusy hops. As the beer warms, however, this descends into the darkness with aromas of roasted espresso beans and faint, mild milk chocolate. Hints of raisins can be smelled and become more apparent as the beer warms.
T: A fine balance between citrusy hops and malt sweetness is immediately apparent from the first taste and lasts throughout the beer even as it warms. Subtle hints of burnt coffee with a sharp alcohol twinge and hop bitterness at the end. The malt backbone and alcohol presence seems to become more dominant and overpower much of the other flavors as the beer warms.
M: Heavy, thick mouthfeel with well-set carbonation levels making the beer have a smooth, flowing feel. Dry finish from the hops and alcohol.
D: A fine example of the imperial stout with what I feel are some unfortunate warming characteristics, the bigger alcohol burn and malt punch. At 9% ABV, this is a pretty hefty beer and the alcohol burn does not really add to much in this beer; perhaps it would be better with some aging to mellow it out. All this is, of course, tempered with a great mouthfeel, complex aroma, and good taste.

Photo of crwills
4.52/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Not much to say about this one that hasn't already been said. I think I've had this about four times at this point, and it's always impressed me for the most part.

This particular bottle was consumed at home (the rest were elsewhere, from what I remember). Poured pitch black with a nice sized interestingly-dark head. Head faded fairly quickly, but left a lot of lacing.

Smell is malty with a lot of coffee and toffee and chocolate, but some definite (noble?) hop presence in there unlike some other sweeter Imperial Stouts. Also hints of fruits (plums and raisins), as well as a bit of alcohol bite.

Taste is very dry and bitter dark chocolate, with some serious smokiness. Almost dries out the mouth with its strong unsweetened cocoa presence. Dry chocolate aftertaste.

My only criticism of this beer is that, from my experience, it is a bit light in body for such a big beer, and compared to some other beers of the same style that I've had. It was significantly improved, however, by having a couple of pieces of good, 85% cocoa dark chocolate as I drank the beer. I highly recommend this as an experiment sometime if you can manage it.

High drinkability score, even with the 9% ABV -- I could drink 'em until I fell down!

Photo of montageman
4.72/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Deep, dark brown to black color with little to no light penetration when held up. 1" head recedes and leaves some nice lacing. Smells like espresso and there's some chocolate in there, too. Taste is excellent - espresso, dark chocolate, and the bitter hop finish is something I haven't experienced in many stouts (although, I haven't had that many). The alcohol is noticeable, but not in a bad way - it has a nice, warming effect that would make this perfect for a winter's night next to the fire. An overall excellent, excellent brew.

Photo of BillyB
4.85/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an impenetrable dark brown to near black. Nice one finger tan head.

Aroma is a huge malty sweetness surprisingly balanced with awesome big hop bitterness. The biggest and most balanced stout I've ever tasted. Tastes of deep roasty malts, slight dark fruit,and faint citrusy/ piney hops.

Alcohol warmth and bite are noticeable yet soothing. Full bodied,oily and surprisingly carbonic with a slightly dry finish.
Very rich and fulfilling.
Just an amazing beer!

Photo of dirtylou
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz, got a 6 pack from Riley's as the magic Victory Fairy has come to madison...been sitting on an 04 bottle, and i will keep sitting now that the 05 is here

bottled 11/18/05

appearance: pours a very dark mahogany, near black, foamy tan head forms but dissipates rather quickly, plenty of lacing around the rim

smell: very dark and roasty, strong bitter hop tone, roasted malt, licorice, plum, raisin...thick and chewy caramel, tones of alcohol...dark bitter chocolate

taste: somewhat of a letdown...unfortunately Blackie put it in my head that it wasnt that great this year. I just dont see how a 93 is justified for this when i can think of plent of imp's i would rather have, but to each his own...taste is dominated by licorice, hop bitterness, plum, a lot of malt sweetness but just not enough of the coffee/chocolate flavours i love so much about imp's

mouthfeel: extraordinarily smooth and creamy, bitter aftertaste

drinkability: a little above average

Photo of copasetic
4.63/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Wow! Pure opaque black with a huge coarse black head. The aroma is fantastic dark burnt malt and slightly sweet. I don't know if I'm drinking beer or a cup of some of the best coffee I've had all week; crisp, balanced, and punchy. It has the body of a dry, bitter stout and the noted 9.1% ABV on the label is not detectable in the mouthfeel, smell, or taste.

A truly fantastic stout. In contrast to other stouts, I could probably drink this all night. Well, I could probably drink this until I fell over.

Storm King Stout from Victory Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 5,313 ratings.