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Storm King Stout - Victory Brewing Company

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Storm King StoutStorm King Stout

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5,420 Ratings
very good

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Ratings: 5,420
Reviews: 2,568
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.07%
Wants: 179
Gots: 632 | FT: 16
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: 5,420 | Reviews: 2,568
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.

Photo of phisig137
4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a jet black that only allows a very slight red hint through when held dirrectly to the light. A two finger kakhi head appears, and disappears quite quickly. Minimal lacing.

Aroma shows dark caramel, complex malts, burnt coffee,and a bit of bittersweet chocolate. Upon the first sip, this stout coats your tongue like motor oil, and is possibly the best balanced stout I have ever tasted. It is very heavily roasted without being astringent. Coffee, malt, caramel chocolate, burnt sugars, all held together by a solid hop back-bone. Perfectly balanced.

Like I said earlier, it coats your mouth, and the flavor lingers for quite a few minutes. Alcohol seems to be extremely well hidden, with no warming at all.

Although it is fantastic right now, I can't wait to try this in a year or two. I can't imagine anything else more balanced and round than it already is. Superb.

Photo of troutmask96
4.62/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Lawsy, what a beer. Pours a jet-black turgid brew with a lacy tan head. Smell is of dark chocolate, espresso, and whipping cream. Taste is sheer immaculance. At 9.10 ABV this baby packs quite a wallop. Head-to-head with Stone's Imperial Russian Stout as the kings of this genre. Staggeringly good...

Photo of bobstockwell
4.78/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle. Had to special order a case. Expensive but worth it...So strong that a couple of bottles is all you could do in a session. Dark..dark...dark....like motor oil.Pours like motor oil too.
Starts with burnt coffee and bittersweet chocolate , than switches to strong hop notes...alcohol level is high...makes it quite warm going down ..almost rum like. This is without doubt my favorite beer...unfortunately it's hard to drink and rate like styles without them suffering by comparison...LOVE IT

Photo of kkipple
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Victory Storm King Stout pours an impenetrable near black, with a nice Guinness-tan foamy head that quickly subsides, leaving tons of tiny, lacing bubble on the glass. Looks rather like motor oil, and somewhat intimidating.

Put your nose to the glass and you'll be smacked in the face by a huge malty, hoppy smell. It's intense, and more than enough to get your mouth watering. This is one aromatic beer.

Taste? Well, this is simply a superb hoppy Imperial Stout. There's the heavy, deadening malt hit, you know, the bittersweet cocoa and coffee flavor, followed by an equally delightful hop bite, and finishing off smoothly, with a warm glow left by the 9% alcohol. Oh yes, this is tasty.

Mouthfeel is initially sharp, this beer certainly has a "bite" to it. It's eventually warming and pretty slick, with a pleasant carbonation and mildly dry finish.

Drinkability? For me, this is pretty much a "one and done" beer. It's just too rich and filling and alcoholic. *Maybe* two over the course of a long night, but I'd be hard pressed to even do that. This is hardly a knock against the beer, as it really saves you money in the long run. :)
Storm King remains a superb Imperial Stout, and one that you should make a point to try if you enjoy the style.

Photo of evh883
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is excellent. It is black, but not opaque as you might usually see with this style, with some light getting through. The head was a light brown and had a fluffy, cotton-like look to it and it stayed around the whole time I drank it. The aroma is full of hops and a little maltiness. I was waiting for a bitter taste but instead I got a very smooth and pleasant taste out of it which was surprising. No sign of alcohol at all in the taste which is remarkable considering the very high content. Great mouthfeel and very drinkable, recommended to all.

Photo of tsmthrs
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle with bottled on date of Dec. 04.

Pours a deep black, with just glimpses of ruby tones on edge of pint glass. A decent creamy head forms and lingers leaving slight lacing.

Aroma is of roated coffee and maybe chocolate.

Taste, wow the hops really come through here. Seem to be jumping off the tongue. Bitterness is just right followed by a slight sweetness of cocoa and berries to mix it up a bit. Despite the high alcohol content, the alcohol did not seem to overpower the other tastes.

Mouthfeel is creamy though it does feel to jump off the tongue, like a celebration.

Drinkability... I could definately drink two or three of these in a setting. In fact, I was suprised by how quickly the pint emptied. Can't wait to get my hands on more of these.

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

Storm King poured an opaque black color with a very small tan head. I was barely able to shine a light through the glass. Aroma was of roasted malts, hops and alcohol. Taste was just awesome. Notes of espresso, roasted malt and a powerful hop taste mesh perfectly with flavors of chocolate, burnt currant and warming alcohol. This beer is a wonderful cold weather brew and I don't mind the high hopping at all. After all, I'm a hophead. It may not be true to style as an RIS, but it is an excellent American interpretation.

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

Storm King Stout pours a midnight black into the glass. A creamy cinnamon colored head forms on top. As the foam dissolves it leaves a fair amount of lace on the side of the glass. The aroma is rather chocolatey with some roasted malt mixed in.

This medium to full bodied beer is smooth on the palate. The flavor has lots of chocolate malt and coffee notes with some hoppy bitterness towards the end. A sticky palate with chocolate and coffee flavors remain behind when the beer is gone.

I really enjoy the richness and full flavor of this beer. It's easily one of my favorite stouts.

Photo of edskirk3
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stated in plain English: "Bottled Sep 27 05" See? Is that so hard?

Pours opaque black with a tan head, tightly beaded with little lacing.

The aroma is of chocolate, roasted malt, and a little bit of alcohol. It's actually very pleasant.

Tastes same but not very alcoholic (which I guess can be dangerous). Within the first few sips, you pick up some coffee flavor. A few sips later, this flavor becomes more evident, and bitter like bittersweet dark chocolate. It's creamy too. Further along in the glass, a burnt sensation stays with you constantly. A little bit more and it would be too much. Not unlike a cup of coffee that needs two more lumps.

This beer is very drinkable considering the abv. But you start to feel it as you finish the bottle. Not that that's a bad thing. A true winter warmer.

Photo of msubulldog25
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first-ever Storm King was served in a large snifter at Henry's Tavern in Portland. Immediate reaction from co-worker friends around the table was "WHAT is THAT?!?!" - I guess because it wasn't served in a pint glass (or bottle).

Appearance - deep brown, almost black very thin tan head. It was a very dark seating area so...moving on...
Smell - dark chocolate and roasted coffeebeans.
Taste - like that off bittersweet chocolate, slight sweetness married with slight tang. A little bit of citrusy zest, too.
Mouthfeel - Smooth & full. Flavor all over the tongue.
Drinkability - I stopped at one, but this was an excellent stout - I definitely want to enjoy one again. Pretty strong in alcohol so I paced myself on this night.

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

Black in color. Chocolate brown quarter inch head. Sweet grain smell. Thick taste with hops ringing through. A nice aftertaste that fills you with the warmth of a good stout. A well balanced beer that stout lovers will find very drinkable. Also a beer that may intimidate some. I found that the taste was not as extreme as many are with the high alcohol content. Overall a great beer.

Photo of wedge
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black with a soft creamy head. Hoppy nose upfront then a smooth chocolate roastiness with some subtle alcohol. Huge, rich roasted malts upfront - coffee and chocolate - followed by a wave of burnt sweet fruitiness. Very very rich. Creamy smooth mouthfeel and very soft carbonation. This is a very luxurious beverage.

Possibly a bit too sweet for the style, but who cares? Its delicious.

Photo of zjungleist
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours near pitch black and totally opaque with a nice fluffy tan head. Smell is rich and chocolatey with plenty of hops. The taste is slighly simple, with herbal hops and bitter espresso flavors. As I drink more, I find a slighly medicinal and alcoholic aftertaste. Despite the slighly off flavor, the mouthfeel is totally perfect in my mind. Rich and slighly oily, but lots of carbonation to offset that. Drinkability is still way high.

The flavor is slighly off balance with the alcohol, and though the flavors are near perfect for the style, they could be just a touch more complex. Otherwise, a near perfect brew.

Photo of ChuckD
3.35/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased a sixer of 12 oz bottles from Shoreline. Bottled on date of Dec 13th 05.

Poured into a chalice. The head can be brought out by a rapid pour and gives 2-3 fingers of tan, foamy head. This disappears into a boring lace. The color is as it should be - dark black, nearly opaque.

A slight alcohol is definately present in the nose. So is a smoky, charred fruitiness.

In the mouth, this is a real strong contender. Smooth and warm going down - with a nice sweet maltiness on the back of the tounge. The alcohol is highly present. The hop character is hard to define - it seems to be trying to be something more than its not. The finish is too medicine like.

Musings: I would have to say if I reviewed this 5 years ago - I would be discussing a different beer. The hop nature of this beer now is all over the place - it has no direction at all. The feel of this stuff in your mouth is great - that hasn't changed. However, the taste has lost alot.

Photo of bennetj17
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black color, barely a head develops and settles into a dark tan ring. The aoma is very mild. It smell a bit toasty and somewhat chocolate-like. The taste is dry and I notice the alcohol right away as it gives me a chill. Notes of licorice and chocloate are evident at first, and over time a burnt coffee flavor develops also. The alcohol is actually not that noticable, it just felt potent on that first sip. The flavors are a nice mix of sweet and bitter. The beer feels thich and slightly chewy on the palate. It's quite rich, and although the carbonation is a bit low, it seems right for this stout. Drinkablity is good. I don't really agree that it's a top 10 brew, but it is close...

Photo of joeskirkie
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled September 27, 2005:

Wow, an opaque black body with a dark biege head, it's so enticing. The head seemed quite vigorous at first but quickly settled.

A malty bready aroma, not to strong and not too roasted.

The falvor carries the malty charachter, it finishes with a delightful bite. It drinks easy. It's bubbly but not too bubbly. I don't detect any alcohol really and it's so very well balanced.

Eash sip (who am I kidding, each gulp) gets better. Very well done. Another victory for...ugh I can't believe I almost went for that pun.

Photo of jslot38
4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz Bottle from 05-06 Winter, Bottle date clearly marked.

Appearance: Massive tan frothy head over a pure black body. Lacing is outstanding.

Smell: Mocha, chocolate, deep hop undertones intermixed with classic stout aromas.

Taste: Wow, where to start with this one? Certainly an interesting hop profile for a stout. Mild oil hops are interlaced into a malt character of chocolate, coffee, toffee, caramel. The presence of alcohol was interesting. It almost tasted as if the boys over at Victory had soaked some chips in bourbon and mixed them into the brewing process. Probably not, but certainly an interesting touch.

Mouthfeel: Very slick, I'd even say a buttery diacetyl character, but used very effectively (I'm a fan of this feeling anyways). Slight carbonation.

Drinkability: For 9% this is great, certainly could have a few of these, but be careful.

Notes: Let it warm up to add to the complexity. Personally I'd say lay a few of these down and let 'em age to take out the harsh hop complexities. While now it seems that Victory gets criticism for this, and how its not how this beer used to be, I have to say I like it, and that it lives up to the hype. I don't know though, I never tasted one from the past, unfortunately. If its better, I'd be amazed.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.65/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Jet black beer, thick as pitch, thin mocha crown, decent stickiness and retention. Very syrupy looking.

Nose: must and earth, citric acid, rosted grains, coffee and chicory.

Taste: Complex malt character. They’re big and roasty. Coffee, dark chocolate, bitter chicory, molasses, dirt, and dank wood. Subtle dark fruit comes through the finish.

MF: Thick yet smooth as silk worm’s cocoon. Hints of citrus balance out the big malts.

Drinkability: Really dangerous. This one goes down too easy for the ABV and style.

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Storm King Stout from Victory Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 5,420 ratings.