Dark Intrigue - Victory Brewing Company
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Ratings: 697 | Reviews: 295 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by nhindian:
2.93/5 rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5
750ml bottle generously shared by russwbeck, thanks Russ! Poured into a Victory tulip.
This beer is interesting, indeed. It is Victory's normal Russian Imperial Stout offering, Storm King, aged in bourbon barrels for a few months. While it's not an entirely new concept, it is a first for me for a RIS that is as hoppy as Storm King is.
A - It looks strikingly similar to Storm King, not surprising, but a bit softer around the edges. The body is still completely opaque blackness, but the head is creamier but also more wispy. The head is also less generous, only garnering about a finger's worth of the tan head on top and disappears rapidly. This affects the lacing as well, as there is almost none to be seen.
S - The nose is actually quite a bit more tame than I would've expected. I'm not sure exactly how long this beer has been in the bourbon barrels, but I can't imagine it being more than just a few months. Besides the bourbon, there are also faint traces of the vanilla and oak barrels. Much more sweet than Storm King that complements it's light roast.
T - The moment of truth. After first sip, I taste... nothing? It's strange, just got a ton of creamy smoothness but not much flavor at all. This isn't a by-product of being served too cold, either, as it was served just a bit chilled. The backend of the first taste is the signature Storm King hoppiness mixed with just a bit of bourbon. Try again...as the short-lived head finally succumbs, it's possible to salvage some flavor out of this. Slightly roasted, vanilla, oak. Not much and a bit watery. Disappointing.
M - One of the best things about this beer is its mouthfeel, unfortunately. It's incredibly smooth with a creamy texture that had me looking in the bottle for a Guinness widget. Not much carbonation. However, the mid-to-backend suffers from the watery notes from the flavor.
D - Drinkability is moderately low. I am surprised to say that this was a big disappointment for me and I greatly prefer regular Storm King. The smell is faint, the taste is barely there, and besides the mouthfeel, this doesn't have much going for it. Glad I didn't try to make a blockbuster trade for this.
Serving type: bottle
01-31-2011 22:43:38 | More by nhindian
More User Reviews:
4.1/5 rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4
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
3.81/5 rDev -1.6%
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
2.95/5 rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.25
Thanks to Duff27 for the bottle. "Bottled On: Nov 10 2011." 750ml brown glass bottle with unbranded gold hood-and-wire cap over a branded cork and appealing label art served into a Guinness stem-goblet in me parents' gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the brewery and the fact that this is a bourbon barrel aged version of Storm King - a beer I dug.
Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.
A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.
Pours a 2.5 finger wide head of khaki-tan colour. Not the rich dark tan colour that I love in an imperial stout, but is still appealing. Nice creaminess and thickness. Smooth even consistency. Complexion could be softer. Uneven inconsistent lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Head retention is good - about 5 minutes.
Body colour is an opaque solid black. No floating yeast particles are visible. Appears overcarbonated judging by the abundant cola-esque bubbles crowding the underside of the goblet.
Overall, it's appealing, but unremarkable - especially for a bourbon barrel aged imperial stout. I'd like it creamier, fuller, and darker. A better head would be helpful as well. I'm looking forward to trying it, but it's far from unique or special. There are no egregious flaws.
Sm: Dominant bourbon is the first thing I notice. It's aggressive without overwhelming the other notes. Light vanilla evokes neither true vanilla bean on the high end nor artificial vanillicin on the low end. Noticeable oak, but no toasty character or refined soaky wood notes. Obligatory dark malts and chocolate malts. Unfortunately, I'm not finding any roasted barley character, which is essential in a great imperial stout. Cocoa powder. Plenty of malty sweetness. A hint of insipid coffee. A very faint burnt character is detectable as well.
Certainly not a hoppy imperial stout. I don't get any yeast character or alcohol from the aroma. Frankly, it just isn't all that evocative; each note feels very shallow and surface. It's a bit reticent overall, but I'm optimistic given the base beer. It's a pleasant aroma of below average strength.
T: Hm. Unfortunately, the taste is as shallow as the aroma suggested. Very surface notes of dark malts and chocolate malts provide the body, with complementary notes of cocoa powder, light ash/burnt character, and some malty sweetness. The bourbon is well-integrated but fairly artificial; I wonder about the quality of the bourbon used. There are one-dimensional notes of artificial vanilla and reticent-as-hell oak (with no toasty or refined qualities).
Somehow though, there's no booziness or alcohol presence. I'm not finding any coffee either. There's also no yeast or hop character.
On the sweeter side overall, though the slight burnt character does curb that a bit.
It's damned simple. I'm a bit surprised; the base beer was pretty complex. Could age have muted the flavour profile? This beer lacks complexity, subtlety, nuance, and intricacy. It's balanced, sure, but there's not that much going on to balance. I wonder how this drank fresh. It's cohesive, but far from gestalt. I'm really disappointed. Painfully shallow for the style. Below average intensity of flavour. Average duration of flavour.
The key to a great bourbon barrel stout is using the bourbon notes to develop the natural nuances of the base beer. This is uncommon in that it isn't the bourbon overwhelming the base that is the issue, it's the fact that the base beer is nowhere to be found. This level of simplicity is staggering.
Mf: Chalky, with a strange muted presence on the palate. Smooth and wet. Too airy and light. It needs more body, weight, and thickness. Lacks punch. I feel like the texture doesn't fully facilitate each note from the flavour profile. Where's the oomph, victory? Sure, it's not boozy or hot, but an imperial stout needs to be more bold and assertive. It's a clean mouthfeel with no yeasty sediment, gushed quality, or harshness, but it comes off weak. Almost Guinness-esque.
The texture does not complement the taste well.
Dr: I'll finish the bottle with relative ease. The mouthfeel enhances drinkability because it's so silky and light, but the beer loses power and presence as a trade-off. The mouthfeel and simplicity of this beer really hold it back. I prefer regular Storm King and can see why they retired this brew. I'd like to see Victory re-try a barrel aged Storm King in the future, preferably with a superior bourbon and more care regarding the mouthfeel. I wouldn't recommend this to friends, but I'm glad I got to try it. Thanks, Duff27!
Bottom line: Serious missed potential from Victory, Dark Intrigue fails to use bourbon barrel notes to develop or enhance the notes of the base beer, and really commits a faux pas with the light airy texture.
Serving type: bottle
12-21-2013 07:23:29 | More by kojevergas
Dark Intrigue from Victory Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 697 ratings.