Dark Intrigue - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dark IntrigueDark Intrigue

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

725 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 725
Reviews: 298
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 66
Gots: 290 | FT: 10
Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.10% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: stakem on 11-25-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 725 | Reviews: 298
Reviews by MrHirschybar:
More User Reviews:
Photo of TCHopCraver
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Third beer in a tasting party on 12-11-10 with TCGoalie, BuckyFresh, and zoso1967, the bearer of the bottle. Thanks for a great time, boys.

Dark Intrigue pours intriguingly dark black with a light brown, subtle head. The lacing left on the glass is parabolic, sticky, and blobby. It is not very substantial, though, as I have noticed with other bourbon aged beers. The carbonation near the top of the beer appears to be rollicking.

The smell makes me think of a bourbon chocolate truffle. Raisin and fig make a strong entrance in the aroma and roastiness from the malt is very nice and complementary to the other aromas. Fresh wood lends a rather tannic scent. Other smells I can pick out are vanilla, toffee, cream, caramel, and some mustiness. However, the bourbon trumps all. The bouquet of this beer is definitely the strongest aspect.

At first taste, bourbon just leaks all over my mouth. This flavor tumbles into subtle dark chocolate, roasted malts, and a noticeable hop character. The finish consists of a bitter coffee acidity that combines with the hops and a faint alcohol burn. The bourbon is very heavy throughout the sip and masks the other flavors to a certain extent.

The mouthfeel is biting and bitter from the bourbon, hops, coffee flavor, and the fresh wood barrels. The body of the beer is light to medium for an Imperial Stout. I cannot emphasize how much of a liquor bite that the bourbon contributes to the mouthfeel.

I do not think Dark Intrigue is as drinkable now as it would be with some significant time in the bottle. The bourbon presence feels very virginal... older barrels and more bottle time would likely help this. Overall, it is a good beer, but not as complex as other bourbon barrel-aged beers that I have had.

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

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #48 (Jan 2011):

Storm King meets bourbon barrel. This black beauty gives off a towering brown-colored head. Lots going on in the aroma: subtle fusel-booze, hint of vanilla, toasted wood, burnt sugar, cooked raisins and chicory. Full-bodied and very smooth with a creamy slickness on the palate. Faint bourbon note quickly fades to let more of the wood side of the barrel aging through. Big roastiness from the malt marries with the barrel char for an intense burnt flavor that does not go overboard. Blackstrap molasses. The hops have been tamed with the aging yet still provide a balancing bitter- ness. Bitter-burnt-sweet finish. A job well done in transforming their Impy Stout into a barrel-aged sipper.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled Nov 10, 2011

Ebony black color with a medium-sized cocoa colored head.

Average aroma. Chocolate, coffee, and oak.

A lot more nuanced in the taste. Dark chocolate led the way, followed by an espresso taste. Some oak. Alcohol (whiskey) throughout, but complementary and not intrusive.

A smooth, creamy beer. Very enjoyable.

Photo of Beaver13
3.09/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml bottle, bottled on 11/10/11. Pours black-brown with a medium creamy brown head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet dark fruits, chocolate malts, some alcoholic bourbon and a bit of cardboard.

The flavor is sweet dark fruits with a lot of roasted malt and a strong alcohol finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, it seems a bit young and harsh. It's not very well balanced - overly sweet and alcoholic.

Photo of codysjb
3.56/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 bottle from 2011 release poured into my Duval Tulip.
A: Big double to triple knuckle head that takes a while to dissipate. Black viscous body.
S: Bourbon and roasted stout flavors. The bourbon is really overpowering, lots of alcohol.
T:Hey wow that’s a lot of Bourbon, too much imo. Tastes malty and there’s some alcohol but can’t get much besides that.
M: A little bit of chocolate creeps in here but again, too much booze and bourbon to taste much, defiantly thick.
O: Decent, would be a lot better in 2 years once the flavors round out. It’s not bad just really unbalanced where there’s a lot of hot alcohol and not a lot of flavor right now.

Photo of Mora2000
3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a black color with a tan head. The aroma is full pf piney hops with some roasted malt. Not surprisingly, the beer smells a lot like Storm King, or in other words, like a hoppy Black IPA. The flavor is where the barrel aging is very apparent. I get a lot of bourbon notes, as well as some chocolate. The hops are present and add some pine to the flavor, but they are much more hidden than in the aroma. Medium to thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of jondeelee
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark Intrigue pours almost pure black, with barely a hint of translucency even near the edges, and opens with a surprisingly hop-forward aroma, at least at the bottle's cracking. Once the opening layer of hops fades, the nose delves into darker notes, including, first and foremost, a lovely slab of dark fruit esters such as fig, black cherry, prune, and raisin. Large streams of vanilla and caramel support these fruit slabs, and the bourbon barrel aging brings not only these latter two aromas, but solid bourbon tones. Some chocolate and dark malts linger in the background, but are hard-noticed against the dark sugar onslaught. As a whole, the nose is intoxicating, and while it may need just a touch more grain and ash flavors to help offset the sugars, the result is still stunning, and begs to be imbibed.

On the tongue, the beer proves far darker and more ashen than the nose let on. Good layers of chocolate malt, coffee, and tobacco rest thickly on the tongue, as well as faint touches of ash and black malt. The bourbon barrel aging likely contributes to the charcoal notes, as well as brings a solid vanilla bourbon undertone to the brew. There are still a fair bit of sugars here, and the fig and raisin fruit esters come through strongly. There's also a good bit of dark cacao, as in 85% cacao chocolate bars. The 9.2% ABV does come through more strongly than I would have expected, and while the bourbon flavors mix well with the beer, there are remnants of a vodka-like tinge from the alcohol vapors. Hops are barely noticeable in the main mouthful--mainly providing bitterness--but do come through in the aftertaste, providing pine and plant stem flavors. Otherwise the aftertaste is a long-lingering continuation of the darker flavors found in the main mouthful, many of the sugars having died off. Mouthfeel is medium-heavy, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, there's a lot going on inside this beer, and in less capable hands it could prove an utter mess. But Victory blends the many layers and flavors together with such skill that they catalyze each other, building in a lovely generative swirl. The beer does have a bit of a strong alcohol bite, but this marks one of its few weaknesses. Excellent fare, and I hope Victory decides to crank out another few batches of this in upcoming years.

Photo of dogfishandi
3.35/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

750ml cork and caged bottle at fridge temp poured into a snifter. Bottled on NOV 10, 2011 (almost 2 years of age)

Nice appearance. Completely opaque black with a nice 3 fingers or so of beige head off the pour. Eventually fades to a thin but retentive layer. Spotty lacing.

Initially smells just a touch faded and oxidized. Also some dark chocolate, deep roasted malt, a touch of dark fruits and a little booze, but more solvent like than bourbon. A bit of oak and bourbon as it warms.

Tastes a bit oxidized, but not as much as the aroma, also the slightest bit tart. Bourbon, caramel, dark chocolate, some dark fruits. Finishes with a roasted malt/ hop bitterness. As it warms some sweet sugars and raisiny fruits come out.

Smooth and creamy with minimal carbonation. Could use a bit more body, but not bad.

Maybe this was better fresher...maybe not....

Photo of ehammond1
3.2/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle (2011)

Thanks for opening this with me, DarthKostrizer!

(Aged for 6+ months)

Nearly black throughout with a small brown head that leaves spots of lace down the glass. Unremarkable, though appropriate.

The aroma is somewhat hoppy for the style, with some pine aromas pushing through the bourbon, oak, and big roast character. Appropriate enough, but there are much, much better smelling bourbon barrel-aged imperial stouts.

The flavor is more reminiscent of a woody black IPA than a big, barrel-aged stout. There's decent amount of pine hop flavors, along with wood, roast, moderate bitterness, and some mild bourbon. The flavors don't come together particularly well.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

One of the poorer (non-infected) barrel-aged stouts I've had, though by no means a bad beer.

Photo of mondegreen
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml poured into a Founders tulip. 2011 Vintage, purchased for 11.49 @ The Cellar in Athens, Ga.

Pours a midnight black with a frothy tan head. Nice lacing for a barrel aged stout.

Nose is similar to Storm King - slight dark chocolate, roasted notes, and a HUGE American hop aroma. The barrels add a extra element of oak and bourbon sweetness to the nose. The aroma is inviting, but I'd like to see the barrel character more pronounced.

Taste is huge on hop bitterness with everything else taking a back seat. I've always thought Storm King walked a thin line between Imperial Black IPA and RIS, and Dark Intrigue drives that point home convincingly. It's a really tasty beer, with a good deal of complexity and a bit of barrel aged character, but it leaves me wanting a bit more.

Mouth is very nice. Moderately full, carbonation is spot on for the style.

Overall, I'm a little torn on this one. Victory did a fantastic job of getting their barrel aged imperial stout into wide distribution at a respectable price point. And it is a really nice beer, especially if you are already familiar with Storm King. However, as BA Stouts go, it doesn't hold up to more expensive (and less available) offerings from around the country. In the end, it's absolutely worth a try, and I hope Victory reconsiders abandoning this beer, as I think they could do some special things if they keep hammering away at the barrel program.

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

Dark black abyss stout barrel aged, it's one of our favorite houselhold name Storm King stouts aged on whiskey barrels. Dark tan mocha head forms thick with fine even layered lacing around my chalice. Aroma has whiskey barrel hints of charred oak, vanilla, and hot whiskey nose. Soft fruit coffee and chocolate follow close behind the whiskey barrel notes. Flavor explodes with layers of intense, barrel effects, including vanilla, charred oak, and hints of leather. Mouthfeel is warming throughout with dark roasted malt bitterness and big harsh layers of charred oak and whiskey booze, definitely lacks the creamy textures that Founders has in the KBS. Overall I'm not a huge whiskey fan especially when it doesn't do much for the base beer, I love the regular Storm King Stout and I can't say that the whiskey barrel has done anything that makes the barrel aged version superior to the base beer.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review form notes. Thanks to BeerThursdays for this bottle.

A: Pours a very dark brown, almost black, with a very dark tan/brown colored head, about one finger in height. Decent retention and some spotty lacing.

S: Surprisingly hoppy, some pine and a bit of citrus. Deep roasted malt, some vanilla, a definite alcohol presence, chocolate, and bourbon.

T: The bourbon flavor hits right away, some oak, vanilla, and chocolate as well. There is a big dark fruit presence some raisins and figs. As it warms a bit more alcohol comes out. There is a roasty flavor on the finish.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Didn't have a problem with the alcohol presence, but could see it getting even better with another few months.

O: Was surprised at how much I liked it considering I am not a Storm King fanboy, I like it, but don't love it. The bourbon flavors integrated well and drank smoothly. Definitely a bottle to share though.

Photo of Cenosillicaphobe
4.02/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Storm King is my go-to 6-pack these days, so I was super excited for this. Poured fairly gently from a corked and caged 750ml bottle into my trusty Dogfish Head signature glass. November 10th, 2011 bottling.

The pour is jet black with a luxurious, thick, creamy khaki head that sticks around forever.

The nose is what it is for me...essentially nonexistent...c'est la vie.

The flavor is milk chocolate and roasty coffee, with hints of vanilla and dark fruit. The hop profile is slightly diminished, as compared to Storm King's assertiveness, but it still makes itself known. One dislike is the burn of the bourbon, which really spikes as it warms, though I would guess some cellar time will smooth things out, glad I'm sitting on half a case.

Mouthfeel is delightfully creamy and viscous, not syrupy, a tad chewy, with moderate carbonation.

Overall, I'm digging this, and I see a ton of potential with a couple of years or so in the cellar. This will be a much better beer with time.

Photo of asabreed
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Caged and corked bottle into a Brooklyn tulip glass. Storm King, in recent years to me, has declined a bit, but it was one of my first beers that got me into beer, so when I saw this, I had to pick it up.

Appearance: As expected with pure darkness going on, and a dark mocha-colored head at first that sticks nicely to the sides of the glass, though it dissipates as it warms.

Smell: Classic Storm King aroma coupled with wood, vanilla, and burnt sugars. Some dark berries are in the mix also, along with some citrus. The bourbon-esque nose-hair singe goes on as it warms, and it's a good thing, as those bourbon flavors do really well with the dark berries and charred malt aromas from everything Storm King has to offer.

Taste: I wonder what this would do in the cellar, since I'm not sold on how this would get any better. I think what you get in this state is initial bourbon, vanilla, and wood sweetness, along with some kind of charred brown sugar flavors, mixing with the back-end charred malt. So there's a nice amalgam that's almost two waves here, and I like that about it -- in the sense that everything doesn't mesh together haphazardly. Finish is pretty nice, with lingering vanilla, sweetness, and some citrus hops and char and berries.

Mouthfeel: Heavy-bodied and awesomely velvet-like and not cloying like I thought it may be.

Drinkability: I think the bottle was around $14, but the nice, mellow buzz after nearly three hours sipping on it was worth every penny. It's not going to make you not want to try others, but I really like what they did with what's already a pretty awesome brew. Check it out if you're down with what it's bringing to the table.

Photo of nkersten
2.91/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle shared by Mike, thanks! Reviewed from notes. Poured into a Lost Abbey tumbler, pitch black liquid with a mocha head that fades fast to a collar, no lacing. Smell is strong oak, black licorice, some alcohol, chocolate malts. Its hard to get past the massive oak presence. Taste starts off pretty good, lots of bourbon barrel vanilla, some marshmallow, chocolate and roasted malt, but then finishes with a boozey astringent, harsh wood medicinal quality. A heavy body and light carbonation. Not much of the base beer is present in this one, definitley not an improvement on the original. The finish and aftertaste are pretty terrible on this beer and absolutely kills the drinkability.

Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not as good as straight out Storm King. Bourbon corn taste is stage front and centre and offset the more tasty Storm King, though still getting some coffee. Chalky finish. Average mouthfeel.OK Drinkability. Black bodied. This was intriguing, thanks John.

Photo of TheSupremeAJ
3.41/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle intoa St Bernardus chalice. Dark chestnut color with a thin head. Aroma is of bubble gum- definitely a strong estery aroma. Taste is very dark, smokey, and fairly bitter. I liked Storn King a lot better. Mouthfeel is moderately thick with a nice aftertaste, a little burnt for my taste and I like BOLD Starbucks Coffe for Pete's sake.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.47/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Victory "Dark Intrigue"
750 ml bottle, corked and caged
Bottled on Nov. 10, 2011
$10.99 @ Wine Legend in Cherry Hill, NJ

As it was the only beer available (beyond a few of my regulars), I pulled this out of my fridge without really looking at the label. "Dark Intrigue"? Hmmm.

I wasn't sure of what glass to use so I went for a large Belgian tulip. That turned out to be an excellent choice as an Imperial pint (my usual glass) of Imperial stout is sometimes not a good idea, but also because it actually fits the beer quite nicely - Dark Intrigue is more of a sipper than anything else, and the bowl of the glass helps to collect the aromas for you. But I actually chose it initially because I was expecting a Belgian influenced dark ale - how wrong I was!).

I poured it carefully, noting that it was quite dark and rich, all the while smelling notes of chocolate and roastiness - this was not a simple dark Belgian! I let it sit for a few minutes while I got some work done, and then returned to take a sip. I thought, 'well this beats Kentucky Breakfast Stout as a breakfast beer', followed by 'but it tastes like Storm King. Why would they duplicate one of their own beers?'. At that point I had to know more, so I retrieved the bottle and read the back label, learning that this is, indeed, Storm King matured in used Bourbon barrels. It all makes sense. And with that said, the only questions are, how much does the Bourbon barrel aging affect the beer, and does it improve of detract from the original Storm King?

The two questions actually intertwine. The Bourbon flavor is quite solid. It's not to the point that it overtakes the beer, but it's very clearly there - you can't miss it. Sometimes in these beers the Bourbon is a little hard to find, and sometimes it's over the top, but this is perfect. As to the second question then, the Bourbon is so distinct that the question it's really negated. You can't determine whether or not it improves or detracts from the original because it becomes a completely different beer in its own right. Apples and oranges, so to say.

There's also a bit of oak to it... a nice, woody dryness. It's smoothing, but also a little touch raspy, and drying. And it's surprising that so much came through given the intensity of the Storm King. I guess it's surprising that so much Bourbon was able to come through as well. And there's some vanilla to boot! Wow! There's so much added to its complexity, and it seems even more polished and rounded.

So, I was impressed with the Storm King, but I'm even more impressed by the Dark Intrigue. The one thing that I found unusual about the Storm King, stylistically, was that it was so hoppy - which was good in a way, because it was unique, and it became it's own beer, it certainly stood out from the pack. With the Dark Intrigue, the hops are much more subdued. It's more of what I think of as and Imperial stout as far as the base beer goes, but now there's added complexity from the Bourbon barrel aging. And let's face it, you can't combine the fresh hoppiness with the Bourbon barrel aging - it just doesn't work, physically or taste-wise.

On the other hand, the alcohol shows clearly here, whereas the Storm King cloaked it pretty nicely; and I think it hurts the head retention and lacing. That's a drawback.

Still, it's very nicely done, and certainly worth seeking out!

Photo of prototypic
3.47/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Bottled November 10, 2011

Dark Intrigue pours a very dark chocolate fudge color. It’s pitch black and very ominous looking. No light cuts through at all. A tan head covers the top and rises to about a finger and a half in height. Retention was pretty impressive. It hung around for a while. Lacing was definitely sticky, but lighter. Looks good.

The nose is good. It kicks off with a strong chocolate malt scent. It certainly smells sweet and sugary. It’s somewhat reminiscent of a Milk Stout in that respect. There are some roasted malt notes, but they clearly take a back seat to the chocolate variety. Bourbon is easily noted. It smells moderately strong. It’s a nice complement to the other elements smells pretty good. Secondary scents of vanilla, light dark fruit, and alcohol round it out. The alcohol comes through, but doesn’t seem overbearing. Smells good to this guy.

The flavor starts out with a nice mix of chocolate and roasted coffee flavors. The chocolate flavors are a mix of cocoa, bittersweet dark chocolate, and sweet milk chocolate. It is sugary and sweet. I stand by the Milk Stout comparison. Roasted malt notes and burnt coffee come through very strong in flavor. Honestly, that bit’s just okay. Not great. Bourbon is noted, but isn’t all that strong. It plays a complementary role well. Unfortunately, the strong roasted and burnt notes tend to suffocate the bourbon flavor a bit too much. Vanilla, dark fruit, and alcohol finish it off. Alcohol is a bit strong and warm. Finishes roasty, burnt, and a little boozy. It’s just okay.

The body is definitely on the light side of medium. Feels thin and insubstantial. More body is definitely needed. It goes down alright. It’s a bit big and boozy. Tastes just okay. Finishing off this 750 will be a chore.

Dark Intrigue is definitely intriguing. I had high hopes, but it’s just okay. In my opinion, it’s not nearly as good as Storm King. The bourbon flavor seems a little too muted by the strong roasted and burnt notes. Alcohol is also a bit strong. It’s okay, but is ultimately a missed opportunity.

Photo of mikey711
1.79/5  rDev -53.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A: Deep black with a mocha colored head that lingers at about a quarter inch. not much lace

S: heavy chocolate up front with some serious wood notes that have a very earthy tone. some bourbon notes and vanilla notes. some hints of coffee and roastiness. All the nots are somewhat subdued though

T: Very woody with hints of hoppiness and roastiness. some bourbon and vanilla notes and a heavy chocolate presence. oddly there is a bit of a metallic taste as well

M: Some what thin and slightly astringent.

D: This was a major disappointment for me. the bourbon characteristic was there but like drinking an extremely cheap and astringent bourbon. the woodiness is way to present and all of the flavors just seem to be muddled together. I dont think i had a bad bottle, i think this beer lacks a true identity as well as the typical qualities that i enjoy in more well put togther BA stouts. I dont think this has much aging potential because it seems to be poorly executed

Photo of nickd717
3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle thanks to largadeer.

Pours, well, just about jet black with a lasting two finger tan head.

The aroma is pretty nice, roasty with vanilla notes
and slight bourbon.

The flavor has substantial -bal notes to it. Roasted malt, chocolate, anise, oak, vanilla, and bourbon. Storm King is evident.

Smooth and slick on the mouthfeel with fairly full body.

Good stuff, about what I expected it to be. Good for the style, but doesn't hold a candle to some of the best.

Photo of Alieniloquium
2.98/5  rDev -23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

750 mL bottle poured into a CBS snifter. Bottled on 11/9/2011. Consumed immediately after a similarly-aged Storm King.

Appearance - Better khaki head than Storm King. Better retention and nicer lacing. It's still a bit light, but it's a very nice looking beer.

Smell - Hops more subdued. Huge oak aroma. Not a lot of bourbon or other barrel notes. Boozy.

Taste - Ok here's where it falls flat. Oak is tremendous. Bourbon is light. Lots of coffee. A strong medicinal flavor. Very bitter hop finish.

Mouthfeel - Boozy. Bitter. Medicinal. Doesn't deliver enough good flavors to justify its difficulty to drink.

Overall - I'm contemplating a drainpour. It's not terrible, but I'm having difficulty finishing my half of the bottle.

Photo of Kegatron
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ the Victory Brewing Company (Downingtown, PA) on 11/23/11 during the Dark Intrigue release. 5 or 6 oz pour served in a half pint glass for a whopping $7 a piece. Wow, what a bargain…

Pours black with a thin dark mocha head. This retains with some creamy bunching and throws up a rich and foamy cascade that creeps down the sides. The aroma smells of smooth whisky notes up front, being warm, burnt, sweet, and a little spicy in the nose. This is layered on top of sweeter notes of sticky vanilla, chocolate and toffee, as some darker roasted aspects also work themselves into this off the sides.

The taste is all Storm King up front, with notes of rich chocolate and dark burnt roast. There is even maybe a touch leftover green citrus brewing around in here as well. The backend of this is all barrel flavors, with dry charred wood, warmth, and spiciness all trailing into the finish. As this warms, the barrel character does start to integrate a good bit more with the Stout base and things aren’t quite as segregated feeling. The spice and char do add some aggressiveness to this though overall but the middle of the profile feels downright smooth at times. The mouthfeel is full bodied and while not exactly explosive feeling on the palate, does have a sharpness to the carbonation that fills out the mouth a bit. This smoothes out as things warms into more of a mellow chewiness that helps bring out the chocolate and vanilla sweetness of this. The alcohol does start to show itself as well after a bit (mostly coming from the barrel) and gets a little wearing at times. I could have gone for a few more ounces of this during this sitting but not much more than that.

Like I said in my original bottle of this. It is what it is. Storm King isn’t the best candidate for barrel-aging and this is proof of that. Despite some of the flaws with this beer, I still find it to be a unique and interesting drinking experience for myself. I’m actually glad though that this is the last batch. It was an interesting experience while it lasted but it’s time to move onto something else.

Photo of Vonerichs
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown color with an aggressive cinnamon colored head. Good head retention and spotty lacing.

Smell is heavy roast, light vanilla. Not much to the smell.

The bourbon aging definitely mutes the hops of the base beer, but I found this to still be very enjoyable. Heavy roast, light vanilla and chocolate.

Mouthfeel is a little thin, but alcohol is well masked.

I found this to be a very enjoyable beer. It's not as good as Storm King, but still very good.

Photo of hdofu
4.53/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow this is one powerful beer... I'm a bit of a sucker for bourbon barrel stouts... this beer is definitely an example of the beer being heavily impacted by the barrel it was living in. It pour dark brown with a thick tan head...It smells of chocolate, fruits, bourbon. The first sip is like 90% dark chocolate with minimum amounts of sugar added, it finishes with a bourbon flavor. There a heat that builds as you sip it. It also gets sweeter too. It has a suppressing amount of hops flavor for a stout but I like that in a beer. This is definitely an enjoyable brew.

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Dark Intrigue from Victory Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 725 ratings.