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Dark Intrigue - Victory Brewing Company

Dark IntrigueDark Intrigue

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

697 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 697
Reviews: 295
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 13.95%

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: 697 | Reviews: 295 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2012 05:08:15 | More by Sammy
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to DarthKostrizer for sharing this one at NoSignsOfPain's birthday bottleshare hosted by mrbubbler.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a thin cap on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, herbal hops, wood, and slight bourbon aromas. Taste is much the same with an alcohol kick and woody finish. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but nothing all that great in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2012 07:56:09 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a very deep dark brown, essentially black with a big full three finger high head of tan colored foamy lace on top. Great retention eventually settled this down to about a one inch high layer of foam across the top. No real side glass lacing to speak of, which kind of suprised me to be honest.

The aroma was full of chocolate, deep dark chocolate with lots of hints of sweetness, lactose sugar perhaps, maybe a touch of vanilla. Laced in throughout were some small hints of alcohol which nicely thickenend up the aroma. First flavors to break through were nice deep chocolate notes with hints of vanilla and coffee beans laced in throughout. Most of the alcohol has long mellowed out by now and really all that remains of it was some tiny traces down through the middle. This was a very full bodied ale, with a huge rich creamy texture. This was absolutly made to be a big dessert beer. The carbonation had held up very nice as well, giving it that silky smooth creamy feel you find in the best of Impy stouts

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2011 03:36:10 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of womencantsail


2.48/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

"Thanks" to Bobby for sharing this. I suppose it's my fault too since I pushed the issue on opening it.

A: Pours essentially black with a finger or so of tan colored head.

S: Roast, roast, and more roast. This has a big time burnt/charred/ash thing going on and the acidity isn't helping anything. I smell some oak, but not really any bourbon. And there is definitely some chlorine.

T: Licorice, booze, and raisins seem to describe the front end of this well. The harsh roast/ash and alcohol continue the fun. There's a bit of vanilla toward the finish, but nowhere near pleasing enough to salvage this beer.

M: The body is medium with a moderate level of carbonation.

D: I was never the hugest Storm King fan, and I'm even less of a barrel aged Storm King fan.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2011 01:34:55 | More by womencantsail
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottled in Nov 2011

Appearance: Pours a fudge brown color with a rather modest head that quickly fades to a ringlet leaving some squiggles of lace behind

Smell: Fudge and Bourbon, with undertones of oak

Taste: Fudge, up front, with the Bourbon developing mid-palate along with a rather harsh bitter quality from what is left of the hops; a touch of fusel alcohol appears, after the swallow, though the finish brings back the chocolate and Bourbon tones

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low to moderate carbonation

Overall: I was surprised to find this at Once Upon a Vine South (there is another bottle I left behind in case anybody wants it) so long after its release date; I truly expected more from Victory but having read the reviews I can now see why they retired this beer - it didn't start out great and while it may have mellowed out somewhat by now, it hasn't matured into anything to write home about either

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2013 00:47:18 | More by brentk56
Photo of BEERchitect


3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The ever-delicious Victory Storm King undergoes a bourbon barreled face lift. It seems that every time that a world class Imperial Stout meets a bourbon barrel that the end result is miraculously better than the original. Does Storm King yield the same benefits?

Pouring a volumnous froathy pour of dark, dark brown (maybe black) and with a foamy tan head, the beer nearly billows with assertive carbonation. Stubborn carbonation and confident lace are hallmarks of a well made Stout.

Sharp aromas of grain and hops deliver an aggressive attack on the nose in the forms of burnt grain, coffee grounds, weedy hops, scorched caramel, and booze. The balance is superb as to never allow one element command the others.

Roasted malts demand early attention to the taste buds as the flavors of strong coffee, cocoa powder, scorched toffee, and burnt embers. Low lying sweetness keeps the beer's flavor focused on roasty elements. The counter of hops deliver a sharp and spicy flavor of grasses, weeds, and pine sap. Without the bridge of malt sweetness to connect the roast to the hops, the beer's roast and hop flavors seem to battle for attention in much conflicting demeanor.

Roasty dry and full bodied, the abundance of carbonation gives a fuller-than-expected and airy feel. The beer makes quick work of its champagne-like carbonation and quickly ushers in an arid and ashy-dry finish of astringency derived from both grain and vegetation. The boozy burn extends from warmth and into harshness in the finish. A linger of coffee and pine lasts deep into aftertaste.

In the end, the bourbon barrel aging attributes more harshness than benefit. The tannin and woody vegetation causes too much astringency, and the added alcohol fails to deliver the more gentlemanly caramel, vanilla, and mature oak flavors that make bourbon so wonderful.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2012 04:13:50 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Thorpe429


3.05/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a SAVOR snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a very, very dark brown color with a thin tan head and a few spots of lacing as it goes down to a thin collar. The nose brings loads of bourbon that overpowers most everything, save for the roasted malt, which is highly present. The two combine and basically shape the entire nose of the beer, and not a super-favorable way. The same can be said for the flavor, which is overly bourbonized (that's a word, right?) with too much roast. Faint coffee in the background. Medium, dry body with some heat. Decent, but I would have expected better from Victory.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2011 23:38:10 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98

New York

4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a half finger high light mocha head that slowly died down, leaving a ring of bubbles on the surface around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of bourbon in the nose along with hints of roasted malts and chocolate; the smell becomes stronger as the beer warms up.
T: The taste has flavors of vanilla and oak with notes of bourbon and hints of chocolate and roasted malts. The complexities imparted by the barrel aging become even more apparent as the beer warms up, and leaves flavors of bourbon lingering in the aftertaste.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is some warming from the alcohol in the finish. It seems like it should have a little more of a fuller bodied for a beer of this strength.
O: The beer goes down smoothly and is very easy to drink because the alcohol is well hidden to the taste. There is a good flavor between the flavors from the stout and the barrel aging.

Note: Bottled 11/10/2011

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2011 14:57:24 | More by metter98
Photo of ChainGangGuy


3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle - Olde Crabapple Bottle Shoppe in Alpharetta, Georgia. Bottled On: Nov 10, 2011. BT6.

Appearance: Pours a black body with a tanned mocha head, fairly foamy, and fairly lasting. A little bit of lace action going on here, but just a little.

Smell: Roasted malts, very distant chocolate, grapefruit segments, and cracked charred oak barrels still slightly damp with bourbon. Maybe a little mint rising up with the alcohol wafts, too.

Taste: A blend of roast and dark chocolate powder with a sugared sweetness that's soon curtailed by a kick of twangy road tar and, maybe, a hint of barrel tannins. Fairly mild, very mellow bourbon inclusion, leaving me wanting those subtle, enjoyable hints of coconut or vanilla. Moderately bitter. Faint mint accent. Some grapefruit, some pine hop hints. There's a necessary pinch of alcohol on the dry, roasted finish. A lingering astringency begins to emerge as it warms and opens up.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. A bit smooth, a bit sticky.

Overall: Never a keen devotee of the original, long-standing Storm King, I was curious to see how the bourbon barrel aging had affected the base beer. While a bit more effusive in the nose, in the taste it's as neat and folded into the standard flavors as a deceased grandmother's favorite doily stored in a box in the attic (she's gonna haunt your ass for that, you know).

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2012 20:59:51 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of TMoney2591


3.15/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a stemless wine snifter.

Big thanks to the Central PA group of the Gang Bang BIF for this bottle!

2010 vintage. I'm a decent fan of Storm King, so I jumped at the chance to try the barrel-aged version thereof. It pours a vaguely translucent black-brown topped by a finger of dark tan foam. The nose comprises balsa, very light roasted malts, and light whiskey. This is very unsettling, as I could hardly tell that i was sniffing a stout here... The taste brings in more of the same, though the roast is happily increased and some light cocoa makes its way in there as well. The barrel is still absolutely dominant here, but at least the stout is coming through at all. The body is a light medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, this thing was too barrel-y, too thin, and not stout-y enough for my liking. Gotta say, I was greatly disappointed by this stuff.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2011 22:40:55 | More by TMoney2591
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!

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2012 14:30:59 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of MasterSki


2.93/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Thanks to AgentZero for this one. Served in a Sam Adam's Perfect Pint glass.

A - Big light mocha foam that has great retention and solid lacing. Body is near-black with some transparency at the fringes - could stand to be a little darker.

S - Big earthy bourbon, wood, chocolate cake, cherry cordials, some faint residual hop character from the base beer, and a mild alcohol. Quite good!

T - The taste starts of promising, with some nice marshmallow and vanilla, roasted malt, wood, and smooth bourbon. However, the finish is among the worst I've encountered - stale espresso and hop bitterness, solvent and fusel alcohol is just a weird combination and becomes totally off-putting. I'm averaged an initial taste score of 4.0 with an aftertaste score of 1.0

M - Body is a bit thin, but still manages to clock in at medium. Very smooth, with zesty carbonation. Finishes harsh, overly tannic, and astringent. The barrel really thinned this already lower ABV beer out.

D - I was really excited, especially after the delicious aroma, but things went south in a hurry. The finish and aftertaste was so bad I couldn't finish my pour. Either be ready to chase this with a superior stout, or don't bother.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2011 18:30:14 | More by MasterSki
Photo of WesWes

New York

4.43/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a pitch black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is awesome. It has a rich, chocolatey scent along with a moderate hop bitterness and a killer bourbon aroma. It has a wonderful vanilla character that really sets off the aroma. The taste is great as well. It has a damn fine RIS flavor, rich, bitter, earthy, along with a full bodied bourbon character. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an excellent RIS that's elevated to another level with the bourbon barrel aging.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2012 01:34:40 | More by WesWes
Photo of drabmuh


4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle receive din a BIF recetnly, had never had it so I was thrilled to get it. Thanks.

Beer is black, with a thin tan head of small bubbles, some lacing, low retnetion, low carbonation.

Aroma is really sweet, like syrup, no roast or other malts detected.

Beer is also big bodied and quite sweet, mildly bitter finish. Not a lot of liquor in this one, at least not as much as other big barreled stouts but overall it is a nice beer. I'd have it again. I really don't understand the love hate relationship people have with this beer, there is nothing bad about it.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2011 23:06:35 | More by drabmuh
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2012 01:56:13 | More by Mora2000
Photo of jlindros


4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours super dark and rich and thick, a darker colored 1 finger fluffy head fades at a medium pace with a bit of lacing, and the beer is pitch black with some decent legs as well.

Nose rolls out some light roast, dark chocolate, fluffy nougat, and some caramel as the main bodies of aroma. The roast is light adding a touch of coffee, some nice fluffy nougat and chocolate with a bit of baker's chocolate and powdered chocolate milk, plenty of caramel, hints of vanilla and earthy hops.

Taste starts fairly rich and fluffy, nougat again with a slight chocolate candy bar, again chocolate with some baker's and mild chocolate, the hops come on strong this time, spicy and earthy hops add some bitterness and lots of chewy hop flavors, a bit of roast and hint of coffee, again more caramel, a bit of vanilla, fairly creamy. Finishes with a bit more bitterness again with some spicy and earthy bitter hops, almost like chewing on hop pellets, and some bitterness from the roasted malts, slightly dry but a bit sweet, and lingering dark malts and caramel.

Mouth is heavier bodied, decent carbonation, very slight booze.

Overall pretty good, the hops are pretty big compared to the malt flavor but nice, a bit more roast would have helped it balance and come through with the malts more. A nice rich body though.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2011 01:51:31 | More by jlindros
Photo of Gueuzedude


3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours with a rich, dark black color that sits underneath a nicely browned head that starts out two-fingers thick and even leaves some thin lacing on the sides of my Lost Abbey Teku glass. The beer smells of toasted coconut, soft Bourbon alcohol notes, spicy oak and some soft woody notes. The alcohol gets a bit more hot towards the finish of the aroma. While a bit harder to notice, there is some dark, roasted malt character to the nose that contributes a solid burnt whole-grain toast aroma as well as a roasted, noticeably quite burnt nutty note. The beer is quite aromatic, and I like that the Bourbon contributes lots of smooth coconut rather than the really spicy Bourbon alcohol spiciness; the long finish can “burn” the insides of my nose sometimes though.

Somewhat sweet tasting, though not overly so for an Imperial Stout, but it has a rich nutty character as well as a bright coconut note that are accentuated and accentuate the malt sweetness. There is a roasted, toasted malt character to this beer up front that contributes flavors reminiscent of burnt chocolate, darkly roasted espresso and toasted whole grain bread. The finish has a toasted roasted whole grain character to it that is somehow distinct from what you get from bread. The finish also sees a lingering, almost sweet, toasted coconut flavor that ultimately succumbs to a bitter roast character and some warming alcohol notes. The body of this beer definitely has a lightness to it; as does the base beer, at least for an Imperial Stout, but seems even further lightened up by the time spent in the barrel. The bourbon provides a fruitiness of some sort to the flavor that melds into the coconut character. The carbonation accentuates a cola like flavor in this beer in my second pour.

This could use some more malt and body to stand up to the Bourbon character, which can be a little hot at times. This is still tasty enough for a Bourbon Barrel aged Imperial Stout though.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2011 13:50:37 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Knapp85


4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured out as a dark black color much like the regular Storm King. The head was brown and had a light amount of retention. the smell of the beer had some minimal aromas of the bourbon barrels but had mostly roasted malts on the nose. The taste of the beer was sweet, with some vanilla bourbon like flavors in there with a roasted bitterness in the finish with some vanilla remaining on the tongue as well. The mouthfeel of the beer was good, it had a good amount of body to it and I still thought that it was highly drinkable. Overall this brew is quite good, I'm glad that Victory did it... This is probably one of their best beers in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2012 01:01:59 | More by Knapp85
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2011 00:22:23 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

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

Appearance: pours a black color with a one inch milk chocolate colored head. Mild lace develops.

Smell: pasted malts, chocolate, bourbon, and a hint of alcohol.

Taste: roasted malts, dark chocolate, hints of vanilla, bourbon flavors, some woodiness, nice bitterness, and a warming alcohol tone.

Mouthfeel: heavy in body. Lightly crisp to start, smooth and a bit dry at the finish. Long lasting aftertaste as the chocolate and bourbon flavors last.

Overall: bold flavors keep this interesting while the glass empties. Slow drinking but very satisfying. Nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2012 20:27:29 | More by Gavage
Photo of mactrail


3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Big nose of bourbon and vanilla. Attractive dark brown, darker than coffee, but amber colored when you get down to the last finger. Robust head with fine lacing.

After the vast mouthful of wood and booze, the surprise is how dry this is. Quite intensely flavored. Seriously hot with alcohol. It smells and tastes even stronger than the ABV would indicate. One of the least sweet Imperial Stouts I've had. The flavors are all on the dark side, with a good dose of charred grain and burnt sugar. Fairly modest bitterness. It's hard to taste any hops between the heat and the blackened malt. Quite an impressive brew to sip, though it's hotter and thinner than I like for an after-dinner drink.

From the 750 ml bottle bought in Denver. The label reads "bottled on Nov 10 2011."

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2012 04:55:33 | More by mactrail
Photo of StonedTrippin


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

a bottle from last year. are they even still making this? in any event, it pours a coffee black color with a bold tan head that slowly dies. it smells a lot like whiskey, maybe even too much so. its trumping the dark smokey malt profile and the subtle dark chocolate notes almost completely. the flavor is good, but again, its dominated by the whiskey character. charcoal and vanilla and booze are what i taste here, hardly any room left for the chocolately storm king to be recognized. i like this beer, but the proportions are off a little bit. the storm king is a huge complex beer and its being totally covered up by the whiskey. the beer has a nice feel though, with a full but not too thick body, and a gentle bubbly vibe. the alcohol is intense in this one, especially as it gets warmer. an impressive brew all up, but id like to see it maybe spend a little less time in the barrels so as to retain more of the storm king's best features.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2012 18:49:24 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of mdfb79

New York

4.28/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Missed the 2010 release so was very excited to see this hit shelves in Virginia this year; been wanting to try it for almost 2 years. Picked this up at Rick's in Alexandria. Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Cigar City snifter. Bottled on

a - Pours a very dark brown color, almost black, with one finger of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Head lasts for about two minutes and leaves no lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of whiskey, wood/oak, roasted malts, sweet chocolate, vanilla, sweet dark fruit, light smoke, and bakers chocolate. Bourbon is up front but not overpowering, and there is a ton of chocolate which I love. Very nice nose.

t - Tastes of bourbon, oak, sweet chocolate, vanilla, roasted malts, bakers chocolate, light coffee, light dark fruits, caramel malts, toasted malts, and raisins. As it warms up more coffee comes out. A little more whiskey than the nose and still a lot of chocolate, which I enjoy on both counts. I think I like the taste a little bit more than the nose.

m - Full bodied stout and low to moderate carbonation. Thick and creamy, and very smooth. Surprisingly easy to drink. A tiny bit more carbonation and this could be perfect.

o - Overall I really liked this beer, seems moreso than most people. To be completely honest, I was disappointed in Storm King but I think this is much better. Nose is very nice and the taste is even better; the bourbon is up front and present but really doesn't dominate, and a ton of chocolate still comes through. Really nice to be a BA RIS under 10% ABV as well. Great body to it and a beer I'd love to have again. Have 1 bottle left and will hold onto for a few months and see if anything happens, but very much so worth drinking right now.

EDIT: Like a lot of BA RIS's, this is a beer that improved as it warmed up a bit. Some coconut comes out in the taste, as well as more caramel. Very nice.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2011 03:34:25 | More by mdfb79
Photo of kojevergas


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
Photo of akorsak


3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to foofaa for the bottle. Shared with Mike, Jen, and ksak.

A: The stout is imperial, a dark enveloping color that absorbs every other hue. Opaque, the ale supports a tan head (lighter though than the Acer Quercus head).

S: The nose has oaken strength, not much in the way of sweet bourbon aromas though. Storm King base is undeniable, dark and well-roasted with a surprising hop presence that I didn't expect to encounter. The Storm King aromas alone warrant a high rating, offset partially by odd barrel notes.

T: More Storm King paired with decadent bourbon. I'm not seeing anything wrong with a beer that imparts bourbon flavors on Storm King. Dark roasted malts and a still-strong hop profile mesh nicely with sweet bourbon flavors, never getting too boozy. Nuttiness, coffee and chocolate all spring forth from the morass of the imperial stout. Bourbon adds sweet vanilla to the otherwise stark beer. I like that the bourbon is more prominent taste-wise than it was aroma-wise.

M: A big mouthfeel, one of the best stouts aged in a barrel. What's not to like? The bite of the stout and sweetness of the bourbon are nice together.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2011 12:49:34 | More by akorsak
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Dark Intrigue from Victory Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 697 ratings.