Storm King Stout - Victory Brewing Company

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Storm King StoutStorm King Stout

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5,245 Ratings
very good

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Ratings: 5,245
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: 5,245 | Reviews: 2,520 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of gimmehead
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A vigorous pour resulted in a black body and a tan two finger head with gorgeous lacing. Nose was unexpected; very hoppy and not much of the chocolate/ roast coffee that I expected. Floral and citrus hops also dominated the taste, alcoholic finish. Smooth and velvety, great on the tongue.

I don't quite know what to make of this one. It tastes good, but is overhopped for the style in my opinion. Not bad on it's own, but if you're craving a rich, sweet stout save this one for another time.

Photo of scottbrew4u
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I purchased this beer from the brewery in late May 2004 and let it sit in my cellar until late Jan. 2005. The beer poured out in my pint glass with a nice light brown one finger head. Deep malty aroma up front with a slight hop bouquet in there as well. The beer was jet black and very appealing to my eyes. At first taste I was amazed at how balanced it was. Then I thought maybe that would change later on. As I kept drinking it was increasing in malt complexity with some favorable dark fruity esters gliding on my taste buds.
It truely got better as it went down and I am off to buy some more for my cellar and I recommend others to buy some to age as well.

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

12-16-04 Bottling, poured into a tulip.
Pour is a dark black with a big tan head that slowly dissipates leaving a lot of lace. Looks yummy.
Aroma has some roasty notes in it, along with some citrus and some hops. I can pick up the alcohol, which doesn't surprise me at this ABV.
Taste, though, is amazing. Sweeter than I expected up front with some raisiny and orange-rind notes, but it gradually gives way to a very nicely nuanced roasted-malt flavor with a roasted/coffee finish. Hoppier than most huge stouts, but I think this balances the big roasty flavors extremely well.
Medium/creamy mouthfeel with just the right amount of carbonation dancing on your tongue. Much lighter than the designation and the ABV would make you expect, giving it a nice drinkability and smoothness.

Overall: Wow. That's what all the fuss is about, I guess. By far the best stout I've tasted in the last couple of years; I feel it takes all of the best qualities of stouts with none of the common drawbacks. If you want a big, balanced stout, look no further.

Photo of Citadel82
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Serving Size 12 Ounces. Bottled December 16, 2004

Pours espresso black with a cream-like tan head that lasts and leaves sheets of sticky tan lace in its wake. Held up to a lamp ruby colored highlights are apparent.

Citrus floral hop aroma (Cascades?)with toasted malt notes.

Taste is at first citrus hop definitely something from the west coast there, with a sooth interlude of dark chocolate, with espresso coffee notes and a tangy grapefruit punch that slowly fades to nothing. This is a hop monster in my book.

Despite the high gravity this is a light bodied beer that is surprisingly crisp and refreshing.

I will drink this one again.

Pair this with a rich sweet dessert.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I finally got around to picking this one up and can't wait to try it. Very cool label..bottled Dec. 7, 04. Deep black pour with a few hints of brown near the bubbly tan head. Patches of lacing on the glass as the head falls a bit. Nice. Whoa! Big, lush grapefruity, lemon, citric hops collide head on with robust roasty malts and hints of chocolate. A tantalizing mix and a very hoppy nose for an impy stout.

Big roasted, burnt malt flavor upfront with hints of cocoa and bitter coffee. Waves of citrusy hops roll over my tongue...more subdued than the nose suggested and quite enjoyable. A nice bitterness and just a wonderfully flavorful full bodied brew. Alcohol is not even detectable here.

Nice thick, creamy mouthfeel with tight bubbly nice and so damn easy to drink. While this is no session brew...I could easily have 2 or 3 of these on a cold night. Another fine brew from Victory...I look forward to many more!

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the beer engine at Capital Ale House.

I was damn excited to see this listed as one of the beers available for CAH's weekly Steal The Glass night last night. Inital impression was less than favorable. The beer arrived with *no* head at all. Looked like flat Coke. No lacing while drinking it. I'd had 2 pints of casked Hop Devil prior to the SKS and those were wonderful in appearance. I was vexed. Otherwise, the color of the beer was near total darkness, with light struggling to make its way through. Aromas are dominated by the choclate, with sweet caramel and roasted-toasted malt supporting. Flavor is again wonderful, but not quite as enjoyable as from the bottle, which, to me, is surprising. Perhaps I like the overwhelming mixture of flavors unattenuated by the conditioning. There's a whole lot of chocolate, coffee, and caramel here, don't get me wrong, and it tasted great...just not as good as I remember. Much smoother in this version. Short-lived bitter chocolate on the palate. Drinkable.

Photo of Erix
4.68/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pint glass filled from bottle.
Appearance: Looks Delicious. Extremely dark, with a khaki colored head.
Smell: Hops come through in a big way. Smells malty too, and less burnt that I expected. Maybe a little too cold? Less luscious than the Black Chocolate Stout I just had last night. I've had to raise the rating for the smell as the beer warmed. Now dark chocolate and fruit are apparent, like a cherry cordial.
Taste: Starts with dark malt and its burnt bitterness, met by the hops and their herbal bitterness, and counters this bitterness with the sweet malt and alcohol, and refuses to go away even after there is no beer left to drink. I get such a mass of flavor out of each sip that I have trouble picking out more than a few threads... coffee, chocolate, toast, sweet something or other..
Mouthfeel: Drying, warm (almost hot if held in the mouth too long) thick, but not as thick as what I have become accustomed to with the style. Very coating, helping to keep the taste going long after each sip.
Drinkability: As often happens when I start on a beer that is strong in both flavor and alcohol, my opinion of the drinkability has increased as I emptied my glass. The astringency makes this a rather easy beer to drink, prompting a self perpetuating need for more libation. Good stuff.

Photo of Fish113d
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2004 version: Pouring into a goblet, it pours a deep, dark brown/black color w/ no light at all getting through the glass, along with a 1cm tan clingy head, creating a nice edge layer. However, it does dissipate rather quickly. Smell is of dark rich baker's chocolate and some raisins (raisons), a bit of caramel malts w/ tones of slight hops throughout. As it warmed to room temp, the chocolate came through more, and I even thought of fresh brewed coffee from this one. Taking a sip, it solidified my ideas about the coffee; sweet coffee and caramels coming through with the dark roast malts. Again, as it warmed to room temp, the chocolate came through more and more along with teh raisins (chocolate covered raisins!) Great mouthfeel...smooth, smooth, smooth!!! Carbonation up front is enjoyable and lighter than expected, the alcohol burn on the swallow is a great addition to this one in that it was NOT overpowering at all as I had expected before. Very chewy, creamy, rich Imperial Stout! Wow! Victory, can you do it any better?

Photo of BeerFink
4.58/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Deep black with a nice light brown head. Some nice rings of lacing are apparent as the stout is consumed.

Smell - Syrupy smell of raisins and caramel. It just smells thick.

Taste - Bold and chewy. This is one thick stout! Roasted yet sweet. Chocolate and caramel come through, with a touch of raisons and even some citrous. A hint of coffee is there as well. The alcohol flavor comes through, but it is not overpowering at all - a nice compliment.

Mouthfeel - Very low carbonation with a pronounced roasted malt aftertaste. Creamy and slightly bitter at the same time.

A very drinkable brew - it is very smooth and inviting, despite the high abv. Very good blend of malts giving a complex flavor that is addictive.

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

This was a VERY dark brown brew with a short head that left good lacing on the glass.

The aroma was complex... slightly sweet and fruity, with hints of caramel over a strong roasted malt backbone. Bittersweet chocolate notes abounded.

The taste followed the aroma... slightly sweet, with caramel notes and bitter chocolate, over a roasted malt core with hints of coffee. A nice bitter hop character also made its presence known, but did not overshadow the roasted malts.

The mouthfeel of this beer was full and chewy, rich and luxurious. Very good, and highly drinkable.

Photo of carln26
4.6/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep, light absorbing black color with a thick tan head that settled to a light streaky lace. The aroma is dominated by the roasted malt. I don’t often detect coffee/espresso aromas in anything except a coffee stout, but I do find it here, with just a hint of hops on the back. Wow! Surprising hop flavor up front. This really is a hoppy stout. Nice fruity accent to the beer. More roast malt with the coffee flavor I detected on the nose along with some chocolate. Good rich velvet mouth feel. No alcohol heat. This is a very drinkable stout

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

This beer could put the pitch in pitch black. Poured an opaque totally black with a small tan head which dissipated very quickly.

Floral aroma of fresh hops! Also chocolate malt...but the hop intensity was a surprise. Nice.

Hop flavor matching the aroma -- cascade (?) along with chocolate malt. Nicely blended.

A wholatta hops going on here.

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

Given to me by Bruiser81. Not available here in Kansas.

Appearance: Jet black, pure and simple. It looked slightly viscous as it poured into the glass. A brown head with hues of red (it almost looked bloody right after the pour) rose up to a good three fingers and stuck around for ages. It was dense and a little rocky as it settled, leaving a ton of lace behind in its wake. There was always some amount of foam lingering around on top of the ebony liquid.One fine looking beer.

Smell: Very nice aroma. Rich chocolate, bitter coffee, smokey, dark roasted malts, light cream, and sweet cherries were all detectable. No hops at all on the nose. Everything combined well and smelled great.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and very smooth. It seemed to coat the tongue as the liquid slid across it.

Taste: Upfront were hints of sweet cocoa on the tip of the tongue. This gave way immediately to bitter chocolate and coffee. Very roasted and bitter flavors, overall. The hops kicked in very strongly in the middle and on the finish, sneaking in for the attack after they had slid in underneath the aroma radar. The finish was a continuation of bitter coffee and hops, with a tiny bit of cherry underneath. Some sweet malt and chocolate rise up in the aftertaste to take a little edge off the bitterness. No evidence of the 9.1% abv anywhere in the flavor.

A great stout that easily lives up to the hype. Goes down way too easily for a beer of this strength. Too bad I can't get it here.

Photo of bashiba
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to santoslhalper for this great beer.

Poured a very dark brown with just a small line of dark coffee colored head.

Smells strongly of Chocolate and espresso with a little bit of toffee malted sweetness poking through as well.

Taste has hints of bitter chocolate, coffee, anise, and some dark fruit flavors. Initial Malt sweetness is balanced very well by a very strong hop finish, very nice!

Mouthfeel is suprisling light for this style, but still has a very pleasant creaminess.

Drinkability is very good on this exceptional stout!

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

Storm King on cask reminds me of why I'm proud to be an American. Served from the engine directly in front of me, the glass is an opaque obsidian the likes of which is to be feared. A foamy tan head tops it off, and leaves incredible lacing behind as I work my way through this masterpiece. This is an exceptional beer out of the bottle, and it is something to be honored and cherished on cask. Nothing touches it, stout or otherwise. Without hesitation, I would order a Storm King on cask before I'd order anything else (that I've already had).

Photo of FormatKid
4.85/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

When I first started perusing BA a year or so ago, this legendary beer was #1 by far and remained there for quite a bit of time if I remember correctly. Over this period of time I’ve been able to sample and greatly appreciate some amazing Imperial Stouts. Now I tackle the legend I have anticipated trying for such a long time.

This beer was bottled 10/20/04 and is being sampled 01/07/05.

As soon as I pop the top my nose is greeted by deep, ripe berry esters. The beer looks viscous as I pour it into my goblet, seeming almost reluctant to leave its bottle. A large foamy head the color of creamed-coffee rises rapidly and seems to retain rather well for a beer of this girth leaving a lace-like sheet on it’s way down. The body…blacker than the night time sky in bed-sty in july; blacker than the seed in the blackberry pie, blacker than the middle of my eye. This beer eclipses even direct light’s feeble attempts to penetrate its depths. Upon further inspection the nose reveals a flambé dish made of plums, ripe cherries and fire-consumed rum; deeply charred malt, dark roast coffee and juicy ripe blackberries. The taste is a perfect reflection of the beautiful nose. Storm King introduces itself to my palate by squeezing a handful of ripe juicy blackberries across my tongue and then soaks it up with a blasting combination of hop bitterness and deep charred roastiness. The bitter and charred flavors are awesome and roll over some other complexities of flavor (ripe apples, plum skin, toffee) and coagulate into a resinous, coating pine-sap in the finish. Very small hints of rum like alcohol flavors in the finish, but I consider it very well masked for the large ABV contained in this beer. Warmth instantly rides down my throat and pools slowly in my belly from the first drink. The mouthfeel is robust; creamy and almost a little oily at time…still falls short of the thickest Imperial Stout I’ve had to date but it’s no sucker in this category either. An amazing beer that is a great example of one of my favorite styles. You can really take your time with this one, making it a perfect beer for a night where you’re only having one. I’m so glad I have more of these!

Photo of marcobrau
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge aroma of hops and dark malts. Black in color. Lots of hops for this style of beer, but I like that. The espresso flavor of roasted malt still comes through the spicy, citrusy hops. The malt and hops blend quite well, better than you'd think. A very bitter finish seems to be made up of both hops and malt flavors. This is a very intense, hoppy stout. The hops can actually deceive and get you thinking that you're not drinking a heavy beer. Very well-attenuated, which combined with the high hopping rate, actually makes this beer a little bit two-dimensional -- but still a very tasty stout.

Photo of kmpitz2
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a jet black color with a 2 finger tan head that falls to a quarter inch cover over the beer. The nose is deep chocolate and dark figgy fruit with a really apparetn alcohol. The flavor is very chocolatey and roasty, finishing strong on coffee tones. There is also a creamieness in the flavor as well that make it so smooth. The feel is as smooth as a can be, almost velvety. There is a little bit of syrupy feel that keeps the beer on my tongue. Fantastic beer. For a beer above 9%, this one doesn't let me know anything about it except in the nose. Victory, you do very good work.

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

Draught. I picked up this keg at Vecenie’s Distributing Company in Millvale. It has a roasted aroma with some very faint undertones that I cannot describe. This stout is very dark and opaque with a very tight frothy head, which is brownish in color (tan to light brown). The head is somewhat lasting, but it dissipates faster than expected. The taste is complex yet balanced; it starts out slightly bitter, but the mild sweetness catches up, leaving you with a long bittersweet finish. I mostly notice a roasted flavor, but it does not seem like chocolate or coffee; maybe it’s molasses. If you sip the frothy head when you first pour it, it tastes pretty much the same as the beer itself, which is not true of other stouts that I have imbibed. It has an oily full-bodied feel on the palate with lively carbonation. Storm King warms your stomach and is not a stout that can be consumed quickly as you will eventually feel the effect of its high alcohol content; Victory Brewing’s website lists the beer at 9.1% ABV. If that’s correct, Victory goes down on my list as another quality brewer that knows how to mask the smell and taste of alcohol.

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

I first tried this brew on tap at the Barcade in Brooklyn, NY during the Winter Madness BA event, but I am currently enjoying a bottled version.
A very dark beer, allowing no light to pass through. Hardly no head forming and not a lot of lacing.
Aroma contains coffee/espresso and a hit of hops. Not a very overpowering smell...I would expect more w/ the 9.1% ABV.
The taste is awesome, with a hint of roasted malts blended well w/ the American hops. You cannot taste much alcohol presence here...this beer goes down very smooth.
The texture is perfect...not too carbonated and lots of body. I can tell you that this beer goes right to the head after a couple and will warm you just right during the colder months....nice timing Victory.
I'm sold on this beer and will continue to enjoy it year after year.

Photo of oggg
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to IrishRedRock for this 2004 gem.

This beer pours a dark dark black, with the faintest red tints at the edges. A small brown head forms but dissipates quickly (forgivable given high abv),. There is the aroma of alcohol, some chocolate, and a nice floral quality. The aroma is fairly mild though. This beer has a good deal of hop bitterness mixed in with a lesser amount of burnt grain bitterness. Lots of choco-coffee flavor. It is huge and rich and full. The hops add complexity -- a subtle fruitiness. Alcohol is subtle. I discovered the massive 9.1%abv with an inch left in the glass. For some reason, 8+% beers seem to snooker me harder and longer than if I drank two 4% beers.

I initially tried this big beer with a decent Punch handmade cigar. The Storm King wasn't quite keeping up with the smokiness. I pulled a light coffeecake out of the fridge, but the Storm King completely overwhelmed it. I had a bit of brie, and the combo seemed a bit better. I see this bitter brew going well with a sweet fruity chocolate dessert.

Overall: this is a huge beer that is really really well done. hoppy coffee beer =) aroma is its weakspot.

Photo of beertaster13
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There are some beers out there where you get giddy just pouring it, this is one of those beers. Pours a crude oil black with a mocha latte tan frothy head. The smell is of thick molasses and caramel nuggets, also very chocolatie, almost roasted. Hint of floral hop, very subtle. The taste is thick smooth and buttery fresh, the dark chocolate malts are on the forefront with a nice espresso finish, floral hops are incredibly efeective. Thick bodied and great, drinking more than 2 of these could be trouble.

Photo of maltedmilk
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

This beer pours almost black with a small tan head. The hops are apparent but not overpowering.
It has a slight bitterness and with a bit of chocolate taste. The beer is very pleasant and smooth.
Even with a 9.1 abv , there is no strong alcohol taste smacking you in the face. But you can be sure it will smack you horizontal after too many, so you should resist the temptation of drinking these too fast.

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

12 oz bottle, dated 11/11/04. Fresh as a Bud. Duvel tulip. Extremely dark brown with a nice lasting brownish head. Aroma is big on fresh hops. The underlying bittersweet chocolate maltiness blends nicely in a wonderful medly. This tastes almost like a big old black IIPA. Lots of flavor and bittering hops dominate and linger. Underneath is a smooth chocolate pudding like malt. I almost picture Hop Wallop underneath everything going on here. This may not be a good multi-brew night beer, but a good satisfying one tonite brew, for you can sit and enjoy the hops for quite a while after drinking, for they sure do linger!

Storm King Stout from Victory Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 5,245 ratings.