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Storm King Stout - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Storm King StoutStorm King Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,236 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,236
Reviews: 2,520
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 12.29%
Wants: 158
Gots: 534 | FT: 18
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-10-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,236 | Reviews: 2,520 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of maek228
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pitch black. Thick brown head with some cling

Smell: Starbucks double shot of expresso and burnt malt

Taste: Burnt malts, black arabian coffee, expresso, and strong lingering american hops. Top notch bold ass stout.

Mouthfeel: Thick and rich. Creamy yet robust.

Drinkability: For a strong stout this one goes down

Photo of weeare138
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled Dec 23 '04...
Wow. I've forgotten how much I really love this one, even out of a bottle.
Appears black with a touch of red when drawn to the light. A nice 1 finger tan head that lasts. Thick, juicy lacing.
Smell is of caramel, sweet chocolate, creamy vanilla, and light coffee.
Taste is smooth, creamy with sugary caramel, chocolate, vanilla laced with coffee and just a light bite of hops.
Mouthfeel is great. Super smooth medium bodied brew. All the sweetness and bitterness blends to make a smooth, creamy liquid tiramisu that deserves special attention.
Drinkability...Forget about it! I'm still trying to figure out where the 9.1 abv is at. This is one of the great Imperial/Double Stouts out there. It really does remind me of a liquid tiramisu. Excellent.

Finger licking good...and then some!

Photo of Gaisgeil
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled December 7th, 2004.

Pours a dark black with just the smallest amount of dark brown around the edges. Poured with a light tan head that managed to keep a crown all throughout. Nose is amazing, stout like, yes, but also some very uncharacteristic things going on here as well. Some floral and citrus notes going on, a bit hoppy. Taste is very good indeed, some nice roast and coffee elements along with a nice tinge of dark chocolate. This one just a little bitter, balancing the nice round malts very well. I'm very impressed, I hope we can get this in Michigan very soon. A lot of complexity and delicate flavors going on here, more than just about any stout I've had, as stouts can be a little brutish with the roast, as is this one, but somehow some other elements manage to put their mark on the whole affair.

Very good indeed.


Photo of RealityDeviant
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz. brown bottle obtained from Carytown Wine and Beer. It reads “bottled Dec. 23 ’04.”

Appearance: This beer has a dark brown, almost black coloration and can be seen through only when directly under a light. Faint hints of red might be seen if observed closely. It pours with a healthy, tan head that it retains for a relatively short period of time.

Smell: It certainly does not seem to have an “active” aroma. I detect roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, and a distinct note of orange peel. Overall, the aroma comes off as earthy and rather alcoholic.

Taste: Whereas there didn’t seem to be as much going on in the aroma, the taste assaults the mouth with coffee and chocolate malt. The hops presence is worth noting, because it balances out the bit of sweetness in the citrus flavor. An chicory-like bitterness lingers on the tongue long after the first sip. I would definitely have to cleanse my palate before sampling anything further. Although I can tell it’s high in alcohol content, it’s pleasantly hidden.

Mouthfeel: It is not overly carbonated and is thick and creamy in body, allowing it to go down smooth like any stout should. The alcohol, while not immediately noticeable on the palate becomes apparent after being swallowed, as it results in a nice, warming sensation.

Drinkability: Wow, this one heck of an Imperial Stout. If you like the category of stouts in the slightest, I recommend trying this at least once. It’s too alcoholic to drink a great deal of and seems to be too overpowering to have with other beers, though. I’m doubt this would be my preferred summer beer, but I see this as a great beer for a cold, winter night.

Photo of ddarden
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Black. No light getting through this one. Nice tan head with not much lacing as it recedes. Smell is of dark malts and chocolate. Smell is not that impressive.

The taste is very nice off the bat. Definite roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee flavor. Alcohol is very well hidden....could be dangerous. The finish has a very nice hop bitterness with a lingering malt and chocolate aftertaste that lasts. This beer is not as creamy or chewy as I would expect in this style. Kind of disappointing.

The mouth feel is kind of thin for a double stout, but this makes the drinkability excellent. As I said before, the alcohol is very well hidden, which could lead to your goat being guided directly into a ditch.

Photo of dauss
4.8/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: Standard 12 oz brown non-twist off bottle. Small blurb about the beer, and a bottle date: Dec 16, 2004.

Appearance: Absolutely pitch black. No light passes through this beer, not even at the edge of the glass. A large sumptuous tan head rests on top. Excellent retention, and leaves a lot of lacing on the glass.

Smell: Very subtle aroma. Light chocolate sweet malt, with the acrid roast hiding in the background. Finishes with coffee, chocolate, vanilla and loads of alcohol.

Taste: Thick, rich, lightly sweet, malty, and roasty. This beer has some awesome balance. The body is full and chewy, the malt isn't cloyingly sweet, loads of hop flavor in the middle with gradually increasing smooth bitterness, the roasted malts aren't harsh, acrid, or drying, finishes with expresso, chocolate, and a hint of rum. Thick and full mouthfeel after the sip. At 9.1% ABV, I couldn't even tell.

Notes: Excellent balance, alcohol well hidden, very smooth, and dangerously drinkable. The light carbonation in this beer gives a kind of creaminess to it. This stout is awesome. Thanks to my sister for getting this for my birthday. One of the best presents I've gotten.

Photo of santoslhalper
4.63/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled Dec 7 04 - Reviewed May 9 05

Appearence: Pours a pitch black with a creamy rich dark beige head.

Smell: The smell mix of chocolate notes and floral hops, with a strong coffee background. The flavors are not as pronounced as I remember.

Taste and Mouthfeel: God I still love the way this beer taste. The strong, rich coffee and chocolate notes play in your mouth forever, with a nice hop bitterness that rounds it off perfectly. The complexity is through the roof, but not unbearably so. The mouthfeel is rich and creamy.

Drinkability and Overall: Not as perfect as it was at a year, but still phenomenal. This is my favorite Victory brew, and one of my favorite stouts. It never ceases to amaze with it's incredible depth and character.

Photo of CJfromPhilly
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pitch black with a fluffy light tan/beige head thats sticks around for a minute & clings to the glass with every sip. Aroma is of malt & light smoke. Taste, ahhh. Roasty, toasty malts mixed with light smoke, coffee (black, no cream or sugar), and unsweetened chocolate. Hop bitterness, & a slight hint of alcohol which is almost TOO well hidden for a beer packing a 9.1% abv punch. The mixture of coffee, chocolate, & hops clings to your tongue well after the last sip is gone. Overall: this is the stout that made me appreciate stouts!

Photo of SupaCelt
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Close enought to black. Small tan head with no retention. Jagged peninsulas of lacing.

Smell: Roasted malts mostly. Coffee aspects. I guess I had better call it "espresso." Hard water ambiance emerges as well.

Taste: This beer chose to display bitterness as the dominant effect. Heavy bitterness is great in the right places ( the right styles ), but I like my imperial stouts to be thick and rich with sweets, and chocolate, and the "espresso" flavours. I welcome hoppy finishes, but this stout is just bitter all the way through. The sweetness that usually adds thickness to the mouthfeel is not present here. This tastes like a bitter, watered down, coffee to me. Perhaps it is the lack of other strong characters that make this one feel overhoppped to me. At any rate, I find it thin and lacking in complexity. The only thing imperial about this is the alcohol content.

Mouthfeel: Thin. Watery. I am astonished at how emaciated the body is with this one. Cachetic.

Drinkability: Give me a real imperial. This is a diet imperial. I apologize, but not sincerely. This thing is unimpressive. I just don't see the appeal. Serial drinking flavour with a higher buzz factor.

Photo of FirstMan
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black as night out of the bottle. The thick latte colored head takes a long time to dwindle down, leaving a very thick lacing on the sides of the glass. Nice head retention - a good looking beer

Smoke and hop bitterness are the main players in the taste. More smoke than I expected from the smell. The high alcohol content is really only evident by the warmth you get after a few seconds. Nice nice warmth, but without a lot of alcoholishness. Big, chewy, creamy mouthfeel - just a joy to let trickly down my throat.

Overall an excellent stout.

Photo of JackStraw22
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Black, with a good inch of caramel colored head. Good retention, good lacing.

Smell: mmm..lots of roasted malt goodness. Mocha, coffee, a little bit buttery.

Taste/mouthfeel: Lots of roasted malt up front. After the roasty taste leaves, some dark chocolate comes in, then finishes with just enough bitterness for some balance. Nice and full mouthfeel, really coats the mouth, very bold.

Drinkability: For an imperial stout, great.

Photo of Vancer
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After 500+ reviews, what more can be said? Personal notes to self: Well, highly rated in BA, didn’t quite make it that far with me. ‘Course, excellent blk pour with brw head. Rich, chocolate malt aroma, taste was full bodied – toasty charcoal at the finish. Hid the 9% kick in the ass well, by the end of the second bottle was feeling warm and sleepy. Awww, what a life of the BAs.

Photo of Cadyfatcat
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep jet black. Medium caramel colored head, with decent retention. Smell is simply wonderful. A penetrating chocolate malt, with hints of caramel coats the back of the nostrils. While some floral hops dance among those little hairs inside your nose. The flavor is excellent. An abrupt punch of roasted yet tarty malts, phased out by the hops. The hops are perfectly executed; they have just the right bitterness to phase out the initial malts. The hops pick up right at the same level that the malts drop off, and allow the flavor to gently subside. The palate slowly dries out as the flavor seems to burrow down into your tongue. Just as I thought it was over, a sweet but dry molasses and walnut aftertaste crept back up on me, just amazing. Damn this beer packs a punch, I am really feeling it by the end of the glass. As I search for further means of description I end up with the "sophisticated beast." I would love to have one on a pungent and dimly lit late autumn night(I live in New England mind you), accompanied by an equally exceptional roast. A must try.

Photo of walleye
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

from the bottle, poured dark brown to black, with a nice foamy tan head, with good lacing. aroma, lighty roasted malts, oak, dark cherries, hint of hops, coffee, alcohol. flavor, bitter chocolate, coffee, malts, woody, cherries, and a nice brown sugar sweetness. this was very good thanks Francisweizen

Photo of trumick
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark used motor oil color, a thin tan head with nice lacing all around. There is no light visible through the glass.

Scent is slightly metalic along with dark fruits, sweet dark malts, spice and molasses.

Taste is espresso, dark fruits, sweet malts, a bit of hop spice/tanginess and slight alcohol warming finish. The coffee/espresso lingers as well with the fruityness along side.

Mouthfeel cannot be improved upon IMO. It is silky smooth even creamy. With the perfect amount of carbination.

Drinkability is above avreage also. I will seek this beer out again when it is available.

A very nice Imp Stout from Victory. This is one of the best to ever touch my lips.

Photo of ypsifly
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz into a pint. Bottled on date reads 1/14/05.

Black with a foamy tan head that stands about two fingers. Great retention with lots of stickiness.

Smells very hoppy with lots of roasted malts. There's some toffe and caramel in there too.

The taste is very complex and balanced. There's the roasted notes, some chocolates and other dark sweets. Nice clean finish with some coffe notes and no alcohol detected.

The mouthfeel is very robust. I would keep ordering this one until the abv stepped in.

Photo of Star80
4.78/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled November 4th, 2004. Aged and consumed today, five months later. Served cool from storage in my garage but not cold. Hops now take a backseat to the roasted malts. The beer is as black as I've seen them. Brown head began about half an inch and has dissipated quite a bit and it now clings to the side of my glass. Smells of licorice, tobacco, chocolate, and smoke. Taste is more of the same, but with a more noticeable dark chocolate presence. Age has not withered this strong stout. Mouthfeel is solid as a beer this size should be. Carbonation is adequate but not detracting from its drinkability.

Photo of ski271
4.65/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark brown with hardly any light passing through. Head is medium-sized, creamy, light tan and slowly diminishing leaving some light lacing.

Smell: BIG roasted malt aroma! Cherry, alcohol, milk chocolate, slight coffee, and a hint of banana. Very complex and wonderful.

Taste: Big and bold malt presence with dark, fruity, coffee undertones. As it warms up a bit, it reveals even more complexity. Resin, molasses, vanilla and… is that licorice? The finish is long, bitter and wonderful.

Mouthfeel: Everything about this beer is big and heavy, including the mouthfeel, but its creamy texture and soft carbonation make it much more drinkable than one would expect from such a robust beer.

Drinkability: See above. This beer is absolutely marvelous. A must try!

Photo of mynie
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Thank you beerinator for the trade)

Pours completely opaque with champagne bubbles and an uncontrolable head. Seriously, pour this one slow.

Very strong smell of deep grapefruit hops and intense coffee malts. Not too complex, but still nice and wonderfully intense, like a mixture between an Imperial stout and a barley wine.

Strong coffe upfront that makes way into a hops and alcohol zip. This is the first time outside of a Belgian that I've tasted strong alcohol and not hated it. Nice. Just intense enough.

I drank mine at room temp and had no trouble finishing off the bottle. I only wish I had more! This is a fantastic beer.

Photo of mmmbeer
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz., bottled on Dec. 16, 2004. Pours into the snifter thick and black with a 1 finger light brown head that never dissipates completely and leaves little bits of lacing on the glass. The aroma is hops (citric/some pine) with some chocolate and roasted malts. On the palate, the hops are spicy/citric/piney and the malts contribute notes of raisins/figs, coffee, bittersweet chocolate, and an overall toasted character. There is perhaps a hint of anise as well, along with a warming sensation and lots of IBUs. Goes very well with milk chocolate. Very smooth in the mouth - like velvet. It is a bit strong both in flavor and ABV to drink too many, but that's not to say I won't do it. Much better on a cold winter night than this unusually warm April afternoon, but who cares?

11 months later... (March 6, '06) 12 oz. bottle from the same six pack, now 16 months since it was bottled. This is the first beer I've cellared for an extended period after taking notes on the fresh version, so it'll be interesting to see what the age has done to it. It still has a surprising amount of carbonation and even keeps a head on it for the first half. The hops have smoothed out in both the aroma and taste and the dark malts are taking center stage. Much fruitier now... near the end it almost smelled like I had Chambord in the snifter. Lots of juicy blackberries and currants with a big backbone of roasted malts and coffee/espresso with the same citric/pine hop flavors, but with less bitterness. Definitely more drinkable, and I might say it deserves a 5 for aroma, even though I didn't indicate as such in the score. Even better than when fresh. I paired this one with a slice of rich chocolate cake and it complemented it perfectly. I have one more bottle left, let's see if I can make it last another year.

Photo of tatterdash
4.72/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this at Cafe Volo, I asked for snifters and I am glad I did. Pours a sinister black with the slightly dark red in the light. There was a very thin tan head, but it was devoured by the darkness. Aroma was huge. Coffee, roasted malt, burnt toast, very fragrance, I could smell it from quite a distance away, which is great. Taste, wow, so much going on. Roasted malt, dark chocolate, coffee, long finish. The chocolate got quite strong as it warmed, but it was never overpowering. Mouthfeel was velvetty smooth and the high ABV was so well hidden, it warmed your throat, but you couldn't taste a scrap of it. The was crazy drinkable too, so well balanced and nothing was overpowering. An amazing stout.

Photo of Sixpoint
3.6/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Hmmm... had a bottle of this after it was given to me as a gift from my distributor.

My sample was not opaque... it had brown highlights in the corners of the glass. The aroma was neutral... a faint whisper of alcohol and just a little bit of roasted barley. No hops evident.

The flavor was mellow and roasted, a warming after-effect from the alcohol. The mouthfeel was subdued, I'd say it was medium to full-bodied.

This beer was very drinkable for its size. I'd definitely recommend it to my friends, and probably is one of my favorites from Victory.

Photo of asabreed
5/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow. I can't say that enough. Had my first Imperial pint at the Capital Ale House in Richmond, and I was thrilled to see that they still had it in stock. Being a huge Storm King fan from bottle or draft already, I was more than excited to try this.

Appearance: What you'd expect. Opaque and beautifully black, with a mocha-colored tan had that slowly dissipates as you sip on it.

Smell: The smells seem to much different from the "regular" Storm King and have gained amazing texture and complexity. Yeast. Bread. Dark, unsweetened chocolate. Dark berries. Slight coffee / mocha. Complex malts. Faint hops. Dark cherries, but it doesn't smell syrupy at all. Amazing.

Taste: All the flavors come together amazingly well. Berries up front, rather than the espresso like flavors of the bottle or regular tap. Some chocolate and malts, lingering and slight hop finish. Aftertaste of dark cherries and a faint hop bitterness. Also amazing.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, but not chewy. Light and perfectly balanced carbonation.

Drinkability: I paired this with raspberry white chocolate cheesecake, and it only enhanced the flavors of both. I don't see how a cask-conditioned beer can get better than this, as Storm King by itself is amazing enough.

Please try this if you see it, especially if they still have it at the Capital Ale House when you go. It's way beyond well worth it.

Photo of blitheringidiot
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A 10/20/04 bottle pours a stunning buh-lack used 1973 Oldmobile used motor oil with sticky U.S. Constituition papyrus paper tan head glued to the sides.

Aromatic scents of mega hop krunch meets molasses and espresso balls out blast. Tobacco leaf and bunt cake spicey characters.

First swigs: Tongue raping wrestle of deep thick roasted malt soup. Toasted pumpernickel, grassy floral hop attenuation and spicy cinamon hidden in there.

Mouthfeel is exquisite. This is thick as soup. I'd serve it with a fork and a napkin if I owned a bar that served it.

Drinkability is massive. This puzzle could be an allnighter. As a matter of fact it has been. One night an wntire growler vanished and yours truly was to blame. This is an American Imperial Russian Stout. Start WW III with this one!

Last swigs: Good grassy burnt malts. Like Old Rasputin.

Photo of monkeybutler
4.63/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The technical achievements of this beer have been documented by fellow beerflys here. I offer anecdotal evidence that this beer rocks on tap as well as the bottle.
The road to Victory is difficult and treacherous, but even moreso is the trip home. Don't expect to be driving well after you drink Storm King. It won't much matter, because after you've had this beer on tap, you'll be happy to live and die at Victory.
So what do we look for in an Imperial Stout? Roasty, malty, bitter, coffee, with hop balance. The King nails them all. The tap version is admittedly better than the bottle version, for all of the obvious reasons. It's fresher with more consistent carbonation and lace, and the folks at Victory know how to pour a beer.

Storm King Stout from Victory Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 5,236 ratings.