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Storm King Stout - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Storm King StoutStorm King Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,567 Reviews
very good

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Reviews: 2,567
Hads: 5,575
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 11.41%
Wants: 195
Gots: 730 | FT: 14
Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  9.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-10-2001

Emerging from the deepest shades of darkness, a rolling crescendo of flavors burst forth from this robust stout. The thundering, hoppy appeal of Storm King subsides into the mellow subtleties of roasted malt, exhibiting an espresso-like depth of character in its finish. An exquisite blend of imported malts and whole flower American hops merge harmoniously in this complex ale. Discover the dark intrigue of Storm King, as it reveals the rich, substantial flavors that it holds within.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 2,567 | Hads: 5,575
Photo of BeefyMee
4.31/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Wonderful tan head with a jet black body. The head just floated there and took quite some time to dissipate, leaving a nice lace behind.

Smell: Interesting aroma. Smells of chocolate malt and hops.

Taste: Coffee and rich chocolate with a nice bitter finish. The hops that were present in the smell do not show up in the flavor. The alcohol is noticeable but rather subtle considering the high ABV.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy. There is a slight tingle on the tongue from the alcohol.

Drinkability: I savored it for about an hour, but I could have downed it much faster and had another right after.

This beer is very similar to Brooklyn's Black Chocolate Stout and has become one of my new favorite stouts. I'll be coming back. (753 characters)

Photo of claytri
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The black of well fired malt, topped by a muddy head that recedes quickly. A smell of grapes and malt at a level that teases, but does not overpower. A good strong taste that can win you over to this style. It is heavy on maltiness, but includes the same taste of grapes. There are hints of wine, and the hops provides a nice finish. The taste has some nice changes as the beer warms. This stout is smooth and well bodied in your mouth. There is little carbonation so it goes down smooth. This is beer that will make a nice change of pace, or when a strong beer is desired.

I'm glad I received six of these for Christmas. This is a style and beer that I would have taken longer to try. My preference is, and will remain, lighter golden and wheat beers. However this has opened a new area to me. I had tried other stouts and was not as favorably impressed. I now know that a well brewed stout can provide a good alternative experience. I will probably have more of this fine beer in the future. (994 characters)

Photo of 99bottles
4.85/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wonderful beer. I am glad I finally tried it. i am KICKING MYSELF IN THE *** that I passed up the oppurtunity to have it on cask at KCLingers. Mmmm. Cask. Anyways, the beer is deserving of its stature, and my opinions of it are as follows. Storm King pours a black brown body topped with a head of tawny brune, inch thick that settles within a few minutes to a thin lace. The King, he smells like a beast. Heavy bitterness ensues, the hops gnash their bite at you, the thick sweetymalt longs to run and settle. The taste of this beer is something special. My initial notes read 'Stout on Drugs. Doesn't give a second. Heaves flavor full-bore- hops, malts, unspeakable smoothness'. That's what I felt at that point. Now, I just long to to taste it once more. It's full, but not heavy. It's complex and myriad. If a person was blessed enough to drink one every day, they still couldn't explain it in a year. It's something to be had, and admired, and never taken in the wrong way. It is so wonderful, I adivse not buying a lage quantity to age. They'll never make it.

Update-- I went back and tried this on cask at KClinger's. Even smoother, with more pronounced malt sweetness. Good for them for putting another out there. Absolutely divine. (1,243 characters)

Photo of PartyHatjo
4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The first thing that hit me when I opened the bottle was that the hop nose wasn't masked by the malt character of the stout. It pours a nice black color with a tan/coppery head that doesn't linger. The roasted malt taste is prevalent with a bit of hoppiness peaking through.

This is a very smooth beer with the malt balancing the bitterness nicely. The alcohol is masked well, but you can feel it after two. (410 characters)

Photo of waughbrew
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Darkest brown head that I think I have ever seen rides on top of a pitch black body. Frothy engine oil maybe. This beer is great, with a big espresso-like character and beautiful mouthfeel. The large hop flavor meshes pretty darn well with the deep, dark malts. The only real fault I find with this beer is a certain lack of depth in the flavor. What is in the flavor from the start lasts a long time, but it doesn't really evolve much, which is something I look for in a complex brew. I would like to taste this same beer with a different yeast that might lend it a more complex and evolving character. That being said, it is a damn fine brew (and a rediculous steal at its price!) (682 characters)

Photo of rkhaze
4.87/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottled Dec. 17, 2002. Poured out black with some dark chestnut colors just escaping the edges. No head developed to speak of.
Lots of smells. Coffee, chocolate, dark roast malt and hints of molasses and licorice.
Complex tastes of sweet heavily roasted malt, dark coffee, chocolate covered cherries and a hint of licorice. There was a nice subtle smoky element and a spicy/tangy hop bitterness that balanced it out. Well hidden alcohol. Great job!
Medium bodied. Rich and creamy but lacking the viscous feel of some Imperials. Excellent drinkability. (554 characters)

Photo of Beervis
5/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is amazing!

After taking one sip I knew I was in for a treat. It pours very dark with a nice thick brown head leaving great lace on the glass as you drink it.

The taste explodes in your mouth and never seems to stop. Chocolatey/Coffee notes on the palate, and a generous hopping add to a very complex mouthfeel. Even as the beer goes down your throat, with it's warming feel, the aftertaste keeps kicking with hops.

The complexity of this beer is amazing, and it's incredible drinkability makes it a little dangerous (quite the potent alcohol kick!)...as I can see myself drinking a lot of it!!

This beer is definitely my favourite Winter beer so far. (675 characters)

Photo of littlebibs
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally got to try this much talked about stout, bottled Nov. 03
and I will say this is pretty close to a masterpiece from the
Victory brewers. I've started trying these stouts when I can find them and thanks to beer advocate.com I have a true source and
so many opinions to go by.
I love the Magic Hat stouts and porters(they never fail to surprise
me with their secret ingredients, not massed produced) at times they've been a bit on
the watery side but always delicious, now I've come across STORM
KING and it is a gem of a beer. It has a nice bite to it but is so
smooth, I could easily drink a few of these, but they have a kick!!
What a beautiful dark tan creamy head(reminds me of a root beer
head) slowly fades away with a nice lace around the glass. This is a dark knight who meets the chocolate/coffee expresso crowd late night and happens to bring along some dark roasted malt fruit friends. The tastes all get along just fine, Wow
what a find. It ranks right up there with the best but you have
to try all these stouts to truly appreciate the difference in the quality. Can't WAIT to sample this at the beer extreme fest!!!!JAN 17,03' (1,158 characters)

Photo of OatmattStout
4.6/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poors as black as a moonless night with a really nice caramel fluffy head after an aggressive poor. Really nice smell of hops, coffe and chocolate. The taste of this beer makes me say wow every time I have one. Really incredible bittersweet chocolate, espresso and an hint of liquorice all surrounded by some major oily and resinous hops. This beer has incredible depth and mouthfeel to it and more flavors show up as the glass warms. Definately a classic in it's style. (470 characters)

Photo of proc
4.7/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a complex stout! Pours out to a beautiful black with a taste of coffee, malt, hops and Al K. Hall on finish. A very good stout. The alcohol at 9.1% is hidden very well in the beer. Excellent. Thanks to pbrian for sending this my way!

Update: 1/5/04 - Excellent. Plain and simple, excellence. So tasty it begs you for another sip. A world-class beer. I look forward to the day this is distributed to Michigan. (416 characters)

Photo of granger10
4.01/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This Imperial poured an opaque black and had virtually no head but moderate lacing. Lots of sediment floating around in the mixture. The aroma was slight and had to discern any real flavors. The taste was extremely smooth and balanced. Unlike most imperials no strong flavors really came out, this one was definitely lighter in body and mouthfeel. The dominant malt flavor was espresso but it wasn't sweet at all. This beer was also hoppier than what I'd imagined it would be. The finish provides and acidic bitterness that lingered for a long time. Defnitely a well crafted beer but not on the top of my list for Imp. Stouts. (626 characters)

Photo of Lafe
4.89/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is excellent.

It pours an opaque black, and offers up a very thin tan head as I pour it down the side of my pint glass. The head doesn't linger long. The aroma is malty and roasty, with only a slight hint of alcohol.

The flavor is all that one could want from an imperial stout. I would serve this beer to an emperor. A full mouth-feel, with chocolate, roastiness, maltiness, and a subtle but firm bitterness from the hops, this beer pleases on many levels. Very satisfying.

I think I'll have another. (520 characters)

Photo of Mangus
4.62/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black as a moonless night, the storm king rears up its head into a turbulent froth and slowly settles to a tan whisper. I’m intrigued.

Pungent earth tones and chocolate notes swim up and fill my head as I inhale the roasted barley and sweet smokiness. I smell the damp, Northeast woods and faint mist of the forest.

I pour the dark elixir into my mouth. It is smooth with deep roasted low notes. I am satisfied. As it cascades into me I’m left with a sweet bitter honey afterthought that lingers and slowly dissipates as I reach for another sip of this delicious stout. (579 characters)

Photo of Maestro
4.62/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an amazing stout. I love the blackness and the overall intimidation this beer brings. The nose is quite nice. It has a sweet and powerful smell to it. The head is tan and lasts for the entire pint. The beer is great by smell and appearance alone. The taste is phenomenal. The Victory crew does a great job of masking the alcohol. There are a lot of roasty, chocolatey flavors that are prevelant at the front of this beer. The hops are definitely American and make this stout a nice treat. The malt is great in that it doesn't ever give up. The body holds for the entire beer. Drinkability is great being that the flavors are so good and the alcohol is masked. Definitely deserves to be in the top 50. Cheers. (716 characters)

Photo of budsboy
4.97/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sweet Victory. This is one I can't resist. This is top shelf. If you have a macro-drinking friend, give them this. If they can't recognize its greatness, give up. They don't get it.

Smells sweet, malt, chocolate, coffee, fruit.

Pours slick from bottle, black color, frothy inviting tan head.

Tastes like a stout should. Complex full-bodied with hints of citric, robust malt. Damn good.

ABV is barely believable, this beer is so drinkable. But after about two, you'll have no trouble believing the ABV. (514 characters)

Photo of yankeeheel
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours the usual oily dark squid ink black. Big fat espresso colored head gives way to some nice lacing. Smells strongly of coffee and malt.

The taste is a little bit of a letdown for me in comparison to some other imperials I've had lately. This one is chock full of the goods, coffee, licorice, dark fruit and raisin. Can't dispute that. However, the finish is so dry and harsh that I can't give the taste high marks when you compare it to the likes of Sam Smith or North Coast. It's a darn good stout, just a little raw for my liking. Maybe cellaring will make me a believer. (580 characters)

Photo of beerman599
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

cask is even better than the bottle wow!!! as far as i'm cocerned their are only two imperial stouts wourth drinking old rasputen and storm king with storm king winning hands down. mouth fell is great and the aroma is out of this world, this could be my desert island beer! (273 characters)

4.78/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This 2003 SKIS darkened the room as I poured it from its 12 oz home as of 11/ 18/ 03.

The thick head is as dark brown as I've seen. It slowly subsides leaving its lattice work along the way.

Aromatic indeed. Roasted malts with chocolaty undertones. Is this a cafe mocha. Hoppy with hints of orange.

Ohh Yeah... Tastes like a dark chocolate truffle dipped in gourmet coffee. Has a slight hoppy aftertaste of orange zest. Second sip beats the first. What a find. The bottle states an ABV% of 9.1, but I didn't taste alcohol... could be dangerous.

Nice mouthfeel is not too full.

I will definitely buy this beer again after my six pack is gone. Thank you Brewmasters of Victory. (694 characters)

Photo of silks636
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle. Bottled on date stamped on label. Served at cellar temp.

Pitch black in color. Frothy brown head with excellent retention and spotty lacing. Aroma surprisingly hoppy with notes of fruit, rum, chocolate, and roasted grain. Front end is sweet with tastes of cherry and espresso that yields to a more bittersweet chocolate and roasted malt taste. This is one heavy duty brew! Finished bitter and dry. Floral and citric hops present throughout to provide a wonderful balance. Very complex and satisfying. Mouthfeel is smooth and full.

A superior stout all around and an excellent choice for a cold winter's night. Very warming and comforting. Surprisingly drinkable for 9.5%. (713 characters)

Photo of WesWes
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a thick black color with a thick brown head. The aroma is of roasted and black malts. It also has a great hop aroma that really sets it apart from other stouts. The hop aroma is quite floral; exceptional! The taste is good. It is a thick beer with lots of hop flavor. It also is quite malty and high in abv. There is a good mix of dark malts and hop characteristics. The mouthfeel is good. A full bodied beer with low/medium carbonation. It is a great drinking stout; a true masterpiece. This could be the best stout I've ever had. (546 characters)

Photo of CBFanWish
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a thick deep black color with a dark tan head with a wonderful lace effect. A nice coffe, chocolate malt mixture made for a graet tasting beverage. It also didn't seem to have a strong after taste. A great winter brew. Very smooth and easy going down. I would and will buy this again. (291 characters)

Photo of mschofield
4.52/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pure opaque black with just the slightest purple edges, 1 finger mocha head settles to a film. Laces in webs.
Expresso and roasted malt aroma with alcohol esters
Roasted malt, toast, raisin and licorice, dark chocolate and brandied cherries. Gives a very chocolaty and expresso like impression. Good bitterness in the back, and some acidity probably from the roasted malt.
Smooth, with a medium full feel, robustly flavored, and nicely drinkable for 9.5 ABV. This was bottled on 11/18/03 it may be too young for drinking when I had it (12/20), I put a couple up to age. (572 characters)

Photo of canoehornpoint
4.53/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours completely black. No chance of any light getting through this. Had a nice thick brown head with a burnt and toasted malt nose. This is a stout that is packed with flavors, toasted malts, burnt malts, chocolates, finishing with a sweet maltiness. This starts lighter than i would expect and finishes full. This is a great beer but a filling beer. I would have trouble putting down more than a few of these, not because I didn't like it but due to the fullness. (465 characters)

Photo of RoyalT
4.6/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This poured an amazing pitch black color with the most beautiful Imperial head that I have ever seen. It literally took 15 minutes to go down. It pitted impressively and left the most detailed lacing on the planet. The head itself was very dark, well beyond tan, and absolutely gorgeous.

Smell – Man, this has it all. The hops come out right away, letting the drinker know that this is a well-balanced IS. The rich espresso bean is top notch, and the chocolate compliment is very exciting. This is not your typical corner store candy chocolate. This is more of your hard to find someplace in the heart of San Francisco type of chocolate. The espresso is very rare as well, making this Victory offering a find indeed.

Taste – Man, is this a big-un! The huge espresso and absence of coffee is very unique. Somebody worked pretty hard to put this brew together. It is extremely rich, and the espresso flavors are underscored with a beautiful vanilla and oak tinge as well as a monster sugar profile that only the Gods could love. This is quality at its finest.

Mouthfeel – Close to full-bodied in the mouth and very chewy. This one was very quenching and dry yet enticing and cloying. Absolutely no sense whatsoever of the high ABV.

Drinkability – Can I drink one SKS every night for the rest of my life and not be too offending to other BAs? This stuff was awesome and definitely lives up to the hype.

Comments – I did a trade with OldFrothingSlosh and this was just one of several beers that he sent me. I couldn’t believe the exclusive “Top 50” membership included in this swap. Big, huge, thanks to a true BA who filled my coffers (and cellars) with some of the best beer on the planet.

PS: This marked my 500th review, and I was glad to share it with the BA community via a beer provided to me by a wonderful standard-bearer of the site. Cheers & Beers!

Update – As I am now well past my 1,000th review and over a year has passed since I rated The King, I thought I’d give it another thoughtful taste.

It is still one of the most drinkable “big beers” on the planet, and its balance is impeccable. Although I’ve had other stouts that have caused me to rethink my idea of “full-bodied” (I’d say this is definitely not full-bodied now) I’m raising the Drinkability rating by 0.5 and officially calling this one of my favorite beers of all time. (2,400 characters)

Photo of Ieatlambfries
4.73/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The last batch I drank was bottled on Oct. 23 2003.
Strangely enough it seemed *slightly* different from the first which was bottled on Oct. 7th 2003. But maybe it's just me.

Onward, in both batches the color was super opaque, almost black. If held up to light in a pilsner glass you can see the slightest tint of red where the bottom of the glass graduates. The head in my first batch seemed to form thicker, about 3/4 of an inch. The second batch about 1/2 inch. Both were a nice tan color and dissipated quickly.The smell was like roasted caramel and espresso, slight hint of chocolate. I didn't detect any hints of fruit.
Mouth feel was excellent the first batch but (and it's most likely just me) seemed thinner the second time around. As to taste, amazing, both batch's. Roasted malt, espresso, chocolate, actually more like chocolate coated raison, notes. Some hoppiness also. Very satisfying, each sip is like letting a piece of fine dark chocolate melt in your mouth. Very drinkable, the only things holding me back are the 9.5 abv and the richness of it. To drink more than a few would be like trying to eat a tub of chocolate mousse.

An amazing experience to say the least. (1,193 characters)

Storm King Stout from Victory Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 2,567 ratings.