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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.

5,155 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,155
Reviews: 2,510
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 12.29%
Wants: 152
Gots: 505 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-10-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,155 | Reviews: 2,510 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Southernbrew
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark black with a small, tan head.

Rich roasted chocolate and coffee aromas blend with a weak citrus hop presence. Not an especially powerful aroma, however.

Full bodied and smooth as silk. Big roasted chocolate flavor along with espresso combine with a faint citrusness. A brief flash of alcohol comes across but it's quite minor. Roasted flavor becomes more noticable as it warms.

Supremely drinkable double stout. Delicious the whole way through and does a good job of hiding its 9% alcohol. Nice job Victory!

Southernbrew, Sep 11, 2004
Photo of mntlover
4.85/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Black midnight black brew with a nice dark brown head that lasts and leaves light lacing. Aroma is black and creamy roasted malts coffee aromas, caramel, fruity aroma with citrusy hops.Taste is so sweet and smooth roasted malt, coffee, caramel with light chocolate flavors so smooth and creamy leading to fruity flavors nice hop taste and a good bite of bitterness that stays with you. This beer is so wonderful nice rich creamy and goes down so smooth very drinkable warms the soul no alcohol presence detected its hard to believe its 9%. This is one beer that lives up to the hype it is wonderful run out and get some wish I had gotten some more there is always next time!

mntlover, Sep 10, 2004
Photo of BrewMaster
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle with a stamed that says "bottled on Nov 04 03." The beer pours fantasticaly with a sandy brown head. This beer is so dark it does not allow light to pass through even when held up to a bright source. The head lasts and lasts as well, making it a very nice drink.

The aroma is roasty with soy sauce and chocolate in it. And the taste is out of this world. Very dark roasty malt taste with cinnamon, almond, chocolate, and a touch of sour cherry. Very complex and very good. It is no wonder this is a winter beer. It sits warm in the stomach and reminds you that you have great beer in there.

BrewMaster, Sep 06, 2004
Photo of MrNuggets
3.33/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

When I opened my first bottle of this 6 months ago the hops are what got me. They got me good, I loved this beer alot. Loved it so much that I couldn't drink my other bottle. It had to be saved! What the hell was I thinking. I should have drank it then.
The hops aren't gone, but they don't catch me like they did the first time around. This beer was still great though. Just not as great as it would have been had I drank it when it was fresh. The dates and rasins are strong like before. Alcohol is masked well. But it just isn't right out the hops.
I'll make sure to review this again as soon as I get another fresh bottle.

MrNuggets, Sep 01, 2004
Photo of jvajda
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very intimidating. Looks like crude oil, with a chocolate colored head.
Smell: Roasted and alcohol scents.
Taste: Big bitter, roasted malt flavors invade the mouth. This is followed with a very strong alcohol punch.
Mouthfeel: Lots of carbonation and thick texture.
Drinkability: High alcohol makes this less drinkable than other stouts, but it's good none the less.

jvajda, Aug 31, 2004
Photo of bultrey
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This pours an opaque, deep, dark brown, just a touch on the lighter side of black. I get fine, dark Belgian chocolate in the nose, a bittersweet symphony. There is also a distinct medicinal aroma. And there's something else around the edges -- what is that? Dark, dark fruit, almost like blueberry or raspberry pancake syrup.
First sip -- ooohhhh, this is good. I was very much expecting that medicinal aroma to overpower as it does in so many imperial stouts, but instead, it makes the briefest of apperances before quickly yielding to a dry coffee roastiness, and then trasnforming back again to that bittersweet chocolate intermingling with raisins. This is very well-balanced for a style of brew that all too often swerves out of control. Alcohol is not that noticeable. Mouthfeel is smooth as silk, if not a tad undercarbonated for my taste. But that would be a hard feat to pull off with a brew of this body.
Drinkability -- do I want another -- yes, just not right after this one. I most certainly will, however, in a brandy snifter, sitting in front of a fire, when the first frost comes. Awesome.

bultrey, Aug 26, 2004
Photo of DrJay
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black beer with dark copper highlights, topped with a thick, tan head that just didn't disappear. Rich, malty-sweet aroma, with chocolate and a very light roasted character. Hop aroma was a little sharp (grassy/citrus) and provided a nice balance for the malts. Decadent malty flavour, with elements of dark chocolate, licorice, caramel sweetness, all balanced by a strong hop bitterness and floral hop flavour. The finish is bittersweet maltiness which lingers at the back of the palate. Very full body, thick and viscous, medium carbonation. Smooth texture with some alcohol flavour and warming present. As the beer warmed, some wonderful dried fruit flavours emerged, almost fig- or prune-like. Absolutely amazing balance for such a powerful beer.

DrJay, Aug 26, 2004
Photo of stcules
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Almost black, with a beautiful brownish head.
The nose is a triumph of roasted, liquorice, bitterness, a light chocolately note. Then again cocoa, bitter herbs, coffee. Almost some woody notes.
The taste is full, soft, smooth. It goes down like velvet. Again feelings of bitterness and roasted. Liquorice everywhere, chocolately notes that rise up.
The body is full and round.
A beautiful bitter aftertaste, very good. The alcohol is very well hidden, in the taste as in the smell.
But after a while, it warms... And you can feel it.
Maybe at least not the best in drinkability, but very good.

stcules, Aug 25, 2004
Photo of AlexJ
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer has all the attributes I love in a strong stout. I'm from PA so I've known this stout for a long time and it always remains close to the top of the list. Huge chocolate and roasty coffe/espresso nose balanced by piney and floral hops. Toasty malts but not too sweet. It always pours w a big milk chocolate head. Taste is sweet chocolate, raisens, and coffee, countered by pine and citrus from the hops. Hoppier and less sweet than some Imperial Stouts. Medium bodied with a soft palate. It's quite inexpensive for beer of this calibur and ages well, but it loses a lot of the hop character as it does.

AlexJ, Aug 25, 2004
Photo of DESTRO
4.68/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

my roomate who works for an airline brought this back from a stop in new york and i will forever love him. this stuff glugs out dark as dark can get. aromas of roasted malt, sweet molasses, licorice and alcohol. sounds like a strong mix, but unlike some other motoroil stouts it does it in a welcoming gesture that is more pleasant than most. taste is alot like the nose, sweet and strong. roasted coffee beans, dark chocolates, sweet malt, a perfect hop bitterness...the works. slight alcohol tug at the end. thick and rich in the mouth, creamy and coating. this is a big beer, but what makes it so awesome is that it is so drinkable its scary. this gets a full blast zepplin "black dog" tribute and an attempt at the splits.

DESTRO, Aug 22, 2004
Photo of baiser
4.58/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Ordered this at the Volo Caffe on Yonge St.

Poured a pitch black colour, with a moderate sized head, but was solid and dense, tan coloured. Not much retention. I guess I just didn't pour hard enough.

Smelled of chocolate, espresso, slight alcohol. Roasty.

This is hands down one of the best tasting beers I've had the pleasure of drinking. Initially, there's a chocolate sweetness that swirls around in your mouth. Then a sharp bitterness swooshes by, and it tastes like a sweet espresso. The hop bitterness is intense. Also, there was a slight ginger flavour in the after taste. There's just so much going on but different flavours peak at different times.

Mouthfeel is so damn smooth and creamy. You don't really feel the alcohol, until maybe after you finish the bottle.

I could drink this all night. Probably the best beer, not just imperial stouts, that I've had ever. I wish they sold this stuff here in Canada.

baiser, Aug 14, 2004
Photo of Goldorak
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Sampled 11aug2004, bottle date 20jan2004

Black as night, with small café-au-lait head that sprang back to life after a few swirls.
Smells hoppy, with plenty of roasted malt, light smoke and a faint of sweetness, sort of prune and/or anise.
The hoppiness and malt shine through at first in the taste, and a huge bitter dark chocolate finish. This Beer looks like used motor oil and coats the mouth just like it. Awesome body, really thick, like melted Valrhona.
That 9% ABV is nowhere to be found at first, and only appears in the aroma near the end of the pint. Surprisingly drinkable, even in the summer.

Goldorak, Aug 12, 2004
Photo of oxmasterscream
4.88/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is unbelievable. Period. As others have mentioned, the price just seals the deal.

Appearance: Poured like a really dark espresso, with just a small tan head, which eventually became a tiny ring around the glass. If I angled the glass correctly, I could see a faint ruby brown glow at the bottom of the glass. It was beautiful.

Smell: A nice combination of burnt, sweet and spicy, with an emphasis on sweet especially as it warmed... hops, burnt malts, dark chocolate, raisins. I couldn't wait to taste it.

Taste: Sweet and spicy with a very mild and enjoyable, bitter and drying aftertaste. Tastes of raisins, prunes, molasses, and burnt sugar. As it warmed, it got sweeter and more tart. It left a nice tang on the back and sides of my tongue. Major Cascade grapefruitiness in the finish later in the glass. The alcohol, as with other big beers, began revealing itself about halfway through the glass.

Mouthfeel: Nirvana. It's full-bodied, silky, smooth, creamy and luscious. Feels like a cafe latte with bubbles.

Drinkability: For an imperial stout, to date, it's my most drinkable. I've had others that seem to get tougher to handle as you get closer to the end of the glass (e.g. Rogue Imperial Stout). Storm King doesn't seem to concentrate all of its energy so much on all things burnt; instead it seems to cater to the sweet tooth. It's like drinking sophisticated candy. My favorite to date.

<note: Just had a fresh bottle (dated 10/20/04), roughly one week old and it's much hoppier than I remember. My original review was of a bottle aged for at least 6-9 months. The hoppiness really mellows out with some aging. I think it's the way to go with this beer to get the most out of it. I don't think I'd give it a 5 for taste had I reviewed it fresh.>

oxmasterscream, Aug 06, 2004
Photo of MattFrenzy
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm starting to love Victory Brewing Company more and more. This sealed the deal. Pours like motor oil, but darker. Photons enter, but none emerge. Taste is hops and spice, burnt coffee and chocolate but still very drinkable. Aftertaste of hops lingers for a while. This beer goes exceptionally well with spicy food, not something I usually do with a stout. Highly recommended, this is not only what a stout should be, but what a beer should be. Hunt it down.

MattFrenzy, Aug 06, 2004
Photo of sacfly
4.72/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big, persistent, tan head. Sweet coffee and light chocolate smell. Opaque, dark brown.

Wow. Great burnt, dry flavor. Just a hint of sweetness that disappears into dry burnt grains. Bitter, pleasing aftertaste. No detection of alcohol at first. Toward the end of the glass, I do notice a very slight alcohol aftertaste. I would have never guessed 9.1% ABV.

This one goes to the top of my Imperial Stout list! A great buy for the money. I paid $8.99 for a six pack.

sacfly, Aug 05, 2004
Photo of danadeny
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bottled nov 18 2003. Pours very black with a small brown head. The smell is very surprising for a stout. The smell of floral hops is very unexpected, a hint of black licorice is there. The alcohol can be noticed through out the flavor time line, but it blended very well, like a light barlywine. The alcohol is balanced with the slightly bitter hops. The king is incredibly smooth for a hopy and a 9.1 ABV beer. A light coffee flavor is detectible in the after taste. A 6 pack spells a night of winter fun you probably wont remember the next day.

danadeny, Aug 04, 2004
Photo of EPseja
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one poured with the color of the darkest chocolate, finally settling with an espresso-like thin head. For such a dark (and powerful) beer, this one has a very clean, hoppy smell with faint tinges of licorice, acacia (like in Sen Sen), prune and raisin.

The taste is complex, containing elements of dark coffee, dried dark fruits (as mentioned above), and (get this...) Stilton Cheese. I have no idea what it is that gives this beer that last characteristic, but as a fan of the cheese, it's an interestingly welcome note! The alcohol is also prevalent in the taste (but not overpowering), and helps to keep the mouthfeel light. The finish is smooth and easy, with a pleasant dark mocha-cocoa bitterness, and lingers for a long, long time.

Overall, an amazing stout from a company that's really playing attention to the beers they bring to the market. This one definitely scores high on my personal best list.

EPseja, Jul 31, 2004
Photo of diablo14
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

ah the storm king stout. for so long rated not just the finest stout in the good ol US of A, but the finest stout full stop. thanks to that legend of beer advocacy, the one and only malto, i have been able to taste this brew and sample its qualities for the first time. and while i wouldnt say i was disappointed with this stout, i will certainly say that it didnt quite live up to the wraps put on it.

dark, viscous appearance with charging bubble action and a limpid light brown head that didnt hold on for long. rich chocolate malt nose, hints of coffee, toffee and a stinging blast of zesty hops to finish the deal. the taste was rich, sweet, malty with bold coffee and chocolate tones, with a suprising element of stone (cherries, peaches, plums) tropical (banana, passionfruit) and citrus fruits (orange, grapefruit) in there. astonishing probably a better word. actually seemed a lot like a roasted pale ale to me in a lot of ways. everything was quite delicious and well balanced to this point, until the overuse of hops came to the forefront very early on in the peice. i love my hops as much as anyone, but this brew (and others i tried on the night) were downgraded simply because there seemed to be this obsession with getting as much hops into the beer as is humanly possible. they arent balanced with the flavor, and overwhelm the whole thing in the end. the hops are also far too dry, to the point of raspy. victory just didnt need to go this far.

alas, i suspected it would be this way. funny thing with the storm king is that if they did tone down the hops, it wouldnt be a top ten beer any more. having said that, i for one think it would be a much better beer. but im only one man. its still a four star beer tho no doubt.

diablo14, Jul 26, 2004
Photo of ngandhi
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled November 4, 2003; tasted July 23, 2004

Fruity, unintegrated hops dominate this beer. They fail to complement any showing of significant roast -- as Cascades function so successfully in Rogue Shakespeare Stout, for example -- because there hardly is a discernable roast in this beer. What is there is cut by a deficient medium body and sharp, thinning carbonation. The finish is far too dry.

Though there is nothing wrong with this beer, it is based on a style dedicated to hedonism; and, in a world filled with many mighty gods, Storm King Stout is mortal.

Licorice, coffee.

[This final rating is comprehensive and considers the past two tastings of the November 4 bottling.]

Relax, relax.
Bottled November 4, 2003; tasted March 23, 2004

I couldn't resist trying this brew again. The hoppiness has died down on the nose and this is now discernable as a stout. In the past three months, SKS has picked up a deep roast that gives this brew some real stout character, but overall it has grown dull. The flavors are deep and classic with burnt malt and balanced bittering. Though the carbonation is still too sharp and tongue-numbing, it highlights a nice aftertaste of licorice, coffee, creamy oak, and yeast. The alcohol has calmed down, but this bottling of Storm King is still too volatile and physically abrasive to the tongue. A great stout, hopefully it will develop richer characteristics as time goes on and become more identifiable as an imperial. Imperial stouts are the gutsiest of all beers; Storm King desperately needs to grow a pair. I think it will.

Second Rating: 4.05

Relax, relax.
Bottled November 4, 2003; tasted December 6, 2003. Many thanks to Drew and his persistence at The Corkscrew in Urbana, IL for this very special opportunity.

The nose is an opus. Green and spicy with hops, with an revolver of dark chocolate/fudge, alcohol, and some kind of earthy funkiness. Can beer have terroir?

This beer drinks very young, and I'm not altogether confident in its potential to age. Up front is flavorful hopping mixed with (but not at all balanced by) a hop-based plummy, dark fruit and currant character. This quickly yields to fumey alcohol, and a fruity bitter finish with a touch of espresso. The bittering is handled well. Like a young port, however, this brew is all over the place, but without reason. For a 9abv brew, Victory's done a miserable job in controlling the alcohol. I think I taste a little woody/medicinal/alcoholic note; whatever the hop is, it wasn't properly utilized and serves only to call attention to the alcohol.

Though viscous, the body is cut by sharp carbonation that, though perfect for a pale ale, is completely against style. At times it bites the tongue.

This beer needs age to calm down the hops and maybe supress some of the alcohol. My guess is that, when it does settle down, the malts won't be there to back it up and the carbonation will always be a problem. Victory Storm King Stout is unprepared to take a leap beyond the basic parameters of an American imperial stout.

First rating: 4.1

Relax, relax.

ngandhi, Jul 23, 2004
Photo of bigbeerdrinka
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice deep black with no light penetrating through. A firm offwhite chocolate head pours about an inch high with a nice lace. This looks really good. A nice roasted malt aroma is present with hints of coffee, alcohol, and a bit of cocoa. For taste this beer hits initially big with the malts showing off a nice roasted flavor along with some bittersweet chocolate. There is only a slight hint of coffee but a nice hop bitter finish and a little more roasted flavor. This beer has a nice full body and a crisp carbonation. Overall I am definetly impressed with this beer, the malts go great and the alcohol is nicely masked by them.

bigbeerdrinka, Jul 22, 2004
Photo of Hibernator
4.68/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this out of a 12 oz bottle that was dated Jan. 20 2004. Served the Storm King Stout in a pint glass.

The appearance is a very, very dark jet black. There is really cool cascading going on after the pour and sip on the side of the glass. Instantly there were smells of chocolate and mocha aromas.This brew smells sweet and plentiful.

The taste of this stout is delicious. Beautiful blend of hops and malt. Robust dark chocolate flavors burst through with complimentary sweetness. This imperial stout (9.1% ABV) is so smooth and drinkable. I can't believe how fast I drank this beer. Stouts of this power usually take a little bit of time to consume, but this was very enjoyable.

Highly recommended for fans of imperial stouts....this beer has all the bases covered.

Hibernator, Jul 15, 2004
Photo of Dithyramb
4.68/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I don't have much more to add, which hasn't already been said. Nice bottle design. You notice after pouring that the beer is actually darker than the bottle.

Pours a deep dark black. Cascading effects are cool, ending with a thick tan head. Very...slowly...dissipates into a creamy ring that laced the glass to the bitter end.

Thick and juicy, like a homemade coffee drink. Charcoal, chocolate and the roasted malts come rushing in, just to get a rocket punch from some hops that tame them so nicely.

Chewy greatness.

Yes I would have a couple. Happily, I bought a six-pack this week. Has gone well with dessert, by itself, and with a thick steak.

Dithyramb, Jul 14, 2004
Photo of Truh
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Closed the storm shutters on this one on 4/22/2004.

12-ounce bottle poured into shaker glass. Golden-black pour with light root beer touches. Light film on head, with no retention and verging on ebony in color; not nearly as pitch as others in this style. Oak scents with pine sap undertones, and an alcohol shortness. At taste were all the aforementioned attributes as found in the bouquet, but also a slight smokiness or burnt umber, although not as deep as others within the style. Clean finish for an imperial as a result of the finely tuned recipe. Much more drinkable than the DFH World Wide Stout offerings.

Truh, Jul 10, 2004
Photo of mattcrill
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a fantastic Imperial Stout! Pours syrupy black with a nice two-finger head that retains well. Beautiful lacings down the glass. Smells of roasted malts and espresso predominates. Beautiful balance of espresso, dark chocolate, dried fruit, and a splash of alcohol make this a top notch stout. The predominance of hops is amazing. You can really enjoy the hop bitterness of this beer without it invading on the style of this wonderful stout. The hope presence is truly remarkable but in no way interferes with the integrity of this beer. Feels great on the palate...not too overpowering even with the 9.1% ABV. Really easy drinking. This is a great stout. One to be sipped and enjoyed.

mattcrill, Jul 06, 2004
Photo of Billolick
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Lazy Boy in WP, NY. Poured black and studly. Dark tan head, excellent retention. Roasted malt and heaps of hops in the nose. Heavy body, engine oil comes to mind. Tons of roasted malt and burnt notes. Rich flavors, chewy mouthfeel. Coffee, chocolate, coffee. The flavors keep on coming. This is wonderful stuff, nice to enjoy on tap. Seek and enjoy this classy sipper

Billolick, Jul 05, 2004
Storm King Stout from Victory Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 5,155 ratings.