Storm King Stout - Victory Brewing Company

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Storm King StoutStorm King Stout

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5,244 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,244
Reviews: 2,520
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 12.29%
Wants: 160
Gots: 539 | 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: 5,244 | Reviews: 2,520 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of Hops1
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown in color with a slight lacy head.

Smell: Slight fruity smell with a hint of roasted malt. Took me a few times before I smelled anything.

Taste: not overpowering. Smoother than I thought. A bit pungent aftertaste but good.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability: I'm picky about my Stouts although this one is definately one where I could kick back and have a few.

Photo of ramrod666
4.65/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours an opaque black with ruby hues and a nice two finger head that drops after a few minutes. looks delicious. smells delicious... very hoppy for even an imperial with some chocolate roasted malts barely making it to the surface. taste is beautiful. nice, dry, and hoppy at first with a nice maltiness coming through in the finish. this stuff is so good i bought an entire case today. unreal. mouthfeel is thick and somewhat oily but, has a nice carbonation for a stout. drinkability is super. this storm king goes down ya throat about as fast you'll go down if you drink more than a few. savory.

Photo of tgbljb
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received a case as a Valentine's Day prenesnt from my wffe (I guess she knows the way to a man's heart).Bottled on date of Nov 18, 2004. Poured a beautiful dark color with small creamy head. Can detect hints of hops along with a dark carmel coffee smell. The taste is absolutely great. Flavor lasts in your mouth with a fantastic after taste. Can't believe its 9.1%

Photo of jsinnott
4.65/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark, near black. Nice head. Smell is very rich, sweet, with hints of chocolate and very malty. Mouthfeel is smooth, coats the mouth nicely. Taste is amazing. Very complex with flavors of espresso, chocolate, and malt. None of the flavors overwhelm, however. Very drinkable, but like others have said, the high alcohol content can make drinking more than one or two tricky. One of my favorites. Highly recommended.

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

This beer pours an inky black. The thick, creamy, tan head fades very slowly leaving quite a bit of laces. It smells quite chocolatey. There is a slight smell of caramel. Also, there are slight hints of hops. It tastes malty, with a good amount of chocolate flavor. It is slightly sweet. There is a slight coffee flavor to it, but only hints. This beer is a little over carbonated, I believe. But not so much that it detracts much form the greatness of the beer. It is robust. It is a full bodied beer that goes down surprisingly smoothly. The alcohol is well hidden, so this beer might sneak up on you. Because of that, it might not bee the best beer to drink all night. Unless you can dring high alcohol beers. Then drink away. This is a very good beer.

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

Pours an opaque black with a medium sized tan head. Smells hoppy and chocolatey. Tastes of espresso and chocolate. Definitely burnt characteristics. Hopped very well, the bitterness is not shy. Mouthfeel is thick and coating, just as a good imperial should be. I could drink these all night long, even though they would wreck me. My buddy brought me a twelver back from Pittsburgh for thanksgiving, too bad I only have one left. Wish Victory distributed to WI, dont understand how they cant when both Illinois and Minnesota get it.

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

Sampled: 2.24.05

12 oz bottle - bottled Oct 21 '03

A medium pour of approximately 4 ounces into a brandy snifter causes a short burst of vivid tan foam that fades quickly. This leaves a clear view into an umber abyss, opaque at the center, circled by a translucent reddish brown hue, and finally traced by a perfect ring of delicate foam along the outer edge. It's an eclipse. Pointed celestial webbing rests on the surface. I almost don't want to drink it. Give this drink a swirl yourself and just watch.

The nose is a glowing campfire, the smoky remnants of roasted marshmallows and chocolate..hold's like s'mores made with tootsie rolls! Hints of caramel confused me into wondering if Victory brewed this, or if it was Willy Wonka. Alas, no Golden Ticket under the label.

Tasting this beer is a downright pleasure. Roasted malts, sweet and bitter at the same time up front. Rolled around the palate, it's chocolatey, creamy and light all at once. The carbonation tickles the tip of my tongue. Lightly burnt smoke flavors cling after the swallowed sip, getting you excited for the next one. The alcohol barely makes an appearance. Leading to...

The drinkability of this beer is scary. In fact it's pretty dangerous. Cold, it can go down like a Guinness to the unknowing. Letting it warm can slow you down, as it tends to sit a little heavier. Me, I usually end up savoring every sip like it'll be the last until I can pop a new one and start all over again.

Overall, as the rating suggests, I highly recommend this beer as well. Just a great all around example of the style, and against other styles it's a bear, too. I'm an IPA guy and this is my favorite Victory brew that I've tried.

Photo of kbub6f
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nov. 16 '04 edition.
A tiny, beige head dies to filmy islands on the clear, dark brown beer. A couple of spots of lacing. Chocolate syrup and a little cheesy funk in the nose. A fruity, chocolate front; a thick, rich, sweet, but not too milky sweet middle; a nice, smoky, bitter chocolate, molasses finish. Grapesy aftertaste. This is a very good, full, milky, chocolatey, roasty, full-flavored beer.

Photo of Wonka
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 FL. OZ.
9.1% Alc./Vol.
Bottle conditioned ale.
No dates.
65 degrees

Appearance – black body; thick, light brown head; superb lace that could be hung in a gallery

Smell – orange zesty, hoppy zip; less roastiness than other ‘imperial stouts’; some coffee, solid molasses and dark fruits; the nose exposes only a hint of what’s to come

Taste – wham; roasted expresso bitterness with some dark chocolate, earthy tones and light molasses run to a grapefruit/orange rind-like bitter late that lasts for a strong and ever-present aftertaste

Mouthfeel – creamy; carbonation starts plush and lightens; nice dry finish, but not too dry

Drinkability – full-bodied but not too viscous

I have had Storm King so many times and this time was less spectacular than I remembered so I’ll modify through the six if anything changes. All in all, it’s a monster on the palate and very easy to enjoy.

Photo of tomthumbsblues
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

When poured a 2-fingered brownish foamy head rests upon the dark brown, almost black beer. No hint of light could be seen through this brew. Slight lacing was noted. Smell was of typical roasted malt, and not much else. The taste is akin to liquid black coffee, but smoother and with hints of dark chocolate. A very smooth beer. I would drink this year 'round if they only offered it.

Photo of pentathlete
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

At CAH 2/15/05. Temp was probably at or about 55 degrees F. Served in a 20 oz Imperial. I've had the bottled version (probably from the 11/04 batch) and this was a much better beer.

Black, opaque, 1/2 in brown head that went nowhere. Coffee, toasted walnut odors dominate. Taste dark malts, coffee, and some good hoppy bitterness. Balanced. Mouthfeel is full, thick and creamy. Sweetness and bitterness and a long finish. I was lulled into a sense of comfort and then **poof** the glass was empty. How did that happen?

I had one more. The long drive home prevented me from staying parked there for the duration. An excellent brew. I'll order it everytime until it is gone.

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

Who spiked my stout with IPA? This one's a stout with velvet gloves on roids lashing out on unsuspecting strangers. I'll never believe for a minute that this is over 9%. Like a cover of "Smooth Criminal" sung by Johnny Lydon, the hops bite covering up a more sinister intoxication. I'm usually a weary of wild experimentation of styles, but the massive hop infusion creates something new and wonderful. Eight cheers.

Photo of froggyfrog
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had two large glasses of this stout from the tap last night at Tobias in Lancaster.
The color was very impressive - a solid black with a moderate head. The head disappeared pretty quickly but did leave a lacey film on the glass as I drank it down. The beer had a good flavor, mostly of what I would expect from a stout, and I felt that it was very easy to drink. (Didn't know it was 9.1% at the time, whoops...) However there was a strong metallic taste lingering over the flavor of the beer. I didn't notice any other reviews mentioning this so I have to assume that the metal I was tasting was a result of the keg or the tap system or something.
Overall I was happy with this beer and would like to drink it again, though I plan to get it in a bottle next time.

Photo of karst
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The first beer to follow my awesome Founders Breakfast Stout. Very dark in stout glass allows light to pass thru as deep ruby color. Head dense rich tan. Wonderful wine and toasted coffee, bitter chocolate aroma. Taste well blended (not as harsh as FBS which I liked better). Hops may be pushing the style but its ALL GOOD! Mouthfeel is full finishes clean with a nice long "goodbye" from those wonderful hops.

Going for more. Want to cellar this sweethear!

Photo of Naerhu
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big thanks to Jimbo for sending me this beauty!!!

My anticipation of how extraordinary this beer this would be was not met. Though, you can see from the high scores I gave it, that I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Appearance: Opaque black body with a small brown head.
Aroma: Hoppy, char and sweetness.
Taste: Resiny hops with great slightly sweet berries and malt. Finish is an eruption of bitterness and dark chocolate.
Mouthfeel: smooth body, high alcohol noticeable.

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

Thick, sticky, black liquid with a thick, mocha latte- like light brown, meringue head. This one looks absolutely beautiful in the glass.

It smells like a stout and tastes like one of the best. Roasty, malty at first with a balance of hops in the back. Finishes dirty and grainy. Boy, do I need another sip.

Another fine Victory creation.

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

Bottled 2004 and purchased at the local liquor store for $9.99 a six pack.

Appearance- well, it is just as you'd expect from a double-stout; black and will not allow any light to pass through it's ink color. Small, dark tan head that dissipates into a ring around the glass with a pool hanging around in the middle.

Smell- complexity is the key of this stouts game. Giving off both sweet cherries and darker tones, like roasted nuts and dark chocolate all at once is indeed perplexing. The hops and alcohol are there if you look hard enough, making this an odd balance where the beer seems both sweet and sour at the same time. Don't think that i consider this a bad thing though, and quite the opposite; i'm impressed as to how many characteristics culminate in the nose at once.

taste- Just as complex as it's smell would lead one to believe. Starts off with the roasted tones, mild caramel, dark fruits, and plenty of dark chocolate, then subsides into a solid hop bite. But the brew isn't satisfied with just that. After the hop a sweet cherry flavor pulls itself through, almost out of nowhere it seems, and then AGAIN goes back to the hop bite after the sweetness has subsided. Very elegant in the way it goes about its business; it doesn't try to pound one single flavor into you but rather gives you many to work with. A minor touch of alcohol finishes off the show.

Mouthfeel- creamy, but not as heavy as i'd like from a double stout. Still, this isn't what anyone would call "light" by any stretch of the imagination. Heavy, just not D.S. heavy.

drinkability- I would consider this extremely drinkable when you take it's style into account. I can, and have, had three in the span of a little over an hour (as my friends have dubbed it, "The Storm King Challenge"), but your average person probably wouldn't consider this a session beer. Still, even when i'm only drinking one to relax, i take it down fairly quick.

The beer that started it all for me, back when my manager at the liquor store hooked me up with a 2000 vintage 6 pack for 9 bucks (talk about a deal!). And for quite some time after i turned 21, i considered this the best beer i had ever had. Well, that may not be the case anymore, but this is still a brilliant brew in my mind. What had started out as something new and exciting for me has changed over into an old reliable, which to me means that it never really loses it's charm. This, coupled with Old Horizontal, makes up the better part of what i purchase during the winter season. I guess Victory just knows what i like. Another winner from the great brewery.

Storm King Stout from Victory Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 5,244 ratings.