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Dark Intrigue - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dark IntrigueDark Intrigue

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

705 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 705
Reviews: 297
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 13.99%
Wants: 60
Gots: 297 | FT: 11
Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.10% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: stakem on 11-25-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 705 | Reviews: 297 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Pahn:
Photo of Pahn
Pahn

New York

4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into Duvel tulip. Bottled November 19, 2010.

Note: This beer is bourbon barrel aged Storm King Stout. I reviewed the base beer a few days ago. I didn't like it very much.

Appearance: Free pour yields a one inch tan head that dissipates slowly and lacelessly. Pours a slick black with red brown highlights. It's Storm King minus all the beautiful lacing.

Smell: Popping the cork fills the room with the smell of grapes and raspberries--what the hell? In the glass, there's mild bourbon and lots of hops. Quickly gets oakier, with some grape coming out with lots of oaky vanilla. Some fruity hops (pineapple-y) and dankness underneath, but very subdued (that these aromas survive both the barrel aging process and a year in my cellar tells me that Victory really hops the shit out of Storm King).

The smell eventually ends up as lots of oak, with some caramel and chocolate-covered raisin, and slight medicinal hops and booze.

Taste: First sip hits me with the same outrageous hop attack as in the base beer, but quickly rounded out by decadent chocolate and vanilla bourbon and oak. The richness is cut by maximal hop bitterness leading to a lingering oak-flavored finish. My first thoughts are "This is Storm King alright," and "This is really good." Subsequent sips are the same, but the oak and bourbon help to bring out some of the subtler malt flavors, and give nice vanilla and pastry-like notes of their own. Aftertaste has some heat, and occasionally the oakiness goes a little overboard, but even then works as a pleasant counterpoint to the hops.

This beer tastes like what it is: an egregiously unbalanced Russian Imperial Stout that's been aged in bourbon barrels. It turns out that the barrel aging rectifies the problems I had with the base beer.

The resulting liveliness you get from such ridiculous hopping and heavy oak influence is unlike the usual barrel aged beer; it's decadent, sure, but it's punchy and active. The strong bitterness and somewhat herbal hop flavor sort of lift up the vanilla oak flavors, and the smoothness of the oak brings out the scant-but-good malt depth of the base beer. Each sip has a nice complexity... it's not "everything all the time," it's a couple smooth vanilla and chocolate covered raisin notes here, a couple caramel and almond liqueur notes there, all held up by maximum IBUs and a strong oak flavor.

Tempted to go higher with the "Taste" score... if this were a barrel aged "black IPA / American dark ale" I would, but compared to things like Parabola, this is a 4.0. It's really good, but it's a full notch below top tier.

Mouthfeel: Full side of medium bodied. Moderate carbonation. Heavy (but not "sharp") bitterness. Time and barrels have been good to the feel of this beer.

Overall: Great effort by Victory. This beer should be a real treat for fans of Storm King Stout (there's no question about what the base beer is here; it shines through brightly, not even close to being lost to the barrel influence), but it's also good for people like me who find the base beer a bit too hoppy and simplistic. It's a perfect use of barrel aging: the boldest aspects of the base beer have been reined in and balanced, and the oak flavors not only enrich but help showcase the underlying beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2011 02:37:22 | More by Pahn
More User Reviews:
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VRH

Georgia

4/5  rDev +3.6%

07-19-2014 22:54:12 | More by VRH
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oline73

Maryland

3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

07-15-2014 04:41:21 | More by oline73
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JimmyAloysius

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

07-14-2014 02:11:29 | More by JimmyAloysius
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superspak

Michigan

3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review 2400! 750 ml bottle into snifter, bottled on 11/10/2011. Pours pitch black color with a 2 finger dense and rocky tan head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lists. Nice dense soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, raisin, prune, vanilla, toast, toffee, oak, bourbon, pine, grass, and bourbon/oak earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt, bourbon barrel, and light-moderate hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, raisin, prune, vanilla, toast, toffee, oak, bourbon, pine, grass, and bourbon/oak earthiness. Fair amount of pine/grassy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, roast, raisin, prune, vanilla, toffee, toast, oak, bourbon, pine, and bourbon/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roasted malt, bourbon barrel, and moderate hop flavors; with a very nice malt/barrel balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, moderately creamy, and lightly sticky/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very good barrel aged imperial stout. All around good complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt, bourbon barrel, and moderate hop flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A nicely enjoyable offering.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2014 00:41:07 | More by superspak
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kscaldef

Oregon

3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

06-24-2014 19:51:45 | More by kscaldef
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SCbrewpubfan

South Carolina

3.64/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - 2011 Bottle poured into a HIghland Snifter. Pours dark brown with a finger of khaki head that dissipates quickly leaving a small amount of lacing.

S - All bourbon on the nose. Some underlying vanilla, and a touch of sweetness like burnt sugar.

T - Taste follows the nose pretty closely. Bourbon up front with some vanilla in the background. Chocolate and roasted malts come through on the back end, w/ a bit of acidity and alcohol in the aftertaste.

M - Not overly thick, but oily. It coats the mouth, but could use some more body. Medium carbonation, which feels right for the beer.

O - This isn't a bad beer, but it's sorely lacking in complexity. The dark fruit aromas and tastes that I've come to love in this style of beer are not present. No real coffee flavors either. The bourbon is definitely present, but so is the alcohol even after a few years in the cellar.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2014 00:39:25 | More by SCbrewpubfan
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JMBSH

Colorado

3/5  rDev -22.3%

06-07-2014 23:10:14 | More by JMBSH
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Shandycan

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

05-19-2014 15:00:21 | More by Shandycan
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afsdan

Colorado

3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

04-16-2014 02:45:21 | More by afsdan
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devilfluff

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

04-02-2014 18:44:33 | More by devilfluff
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Phobicsquirrel

Oregon

3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

03-30-2014 20:11:41 | More by Phobicsquirrel
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anteater

Oregon

4/5  rDev +3.6%

03-30-2014 06:59:51 | More by anteater
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Brewski

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

03-23-2014 12:34:12 | More by Brewski
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morebeergood

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

03-23-2014 04:16:45 | More by morebeergood
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Twig2848

Connecticut

4/5  rDev +3.6%

03-13-2014 17:00:23 | More by Twig2848
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jnardone235

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

03-12-2014 00:41:30 | More by jnardone235
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KVNBGRY

Florida

4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Bottle
Bottled on Nov. 9, 2011

Ap - Fluffy, khaki head that comes back to life after a quick swirl.there is very minimal lace. Deep space black body.

Ar - Oak, dark chocolate, notes of bourbon. Vanilla cones through as it opens up.

T - Very similar to nose. It's very simple, yet complex. I think the flavors are all blended together. Roast/Char malty character is present, too.

M - Thick, viscous, near perfect for a stout!

O - Bitter, bourbon, oaky, chocolate bomb. A great RIS. This one just seems to have too much of a good thing for me. (Is that possible?)

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2014 15:31:11 | More by KVNBGRY
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bcrossan

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

02-12-2014 23:53:45 | More by bcrossan
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Andreias21

Florida

3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

02-10-2014 01:09:50 | More by Andreias21
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GreesyFizeek

New York

3.81/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2011 vintage, 22 oz, purchased at Nathaniel Square Corner Store in Rochester, NY.

Pours a dark, intense black. Not much head or carbonation present here.

Smells like dark roasted malt, and some grain alcohol.

Taste is pretty similar, very roasty and delicious, but somehow, this 2.5 year bottle is still boozy. Medicinal alcohol is present at the end of each sip, dropping the drinkability with astringency. Additional flavors include woodiness, vanilla, and chocolate.

A little bit thin for a BA beer, but well carbonated, and creamy.

Not one of Victory's best beers, and it might be past its prime here. Nonetheless, it's pretty tasty, and I'm glad I picked it up.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2014 02:57:26 | More by GreesyFizeek
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Zach1251

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

01-21-2014 16:04:54 | More by Zach1251
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flyersfan900

Virginia

4.75/5  rDev +23.1%

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cjohns73

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

01-01-2014 21:30:30 | More by cjohns73
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yankeepride

New Jersey

2.75/5  rDev -28.8%

12-27-2013 04:33:04 | More by yankeepride
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Dark Intrigue from Victory Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 705 ratings.