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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

709 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 709
Reviews: 297
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 13.95%
Wants: 61
Gots: 295 | 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: 709 | Reviews: 297 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
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.

Sammy, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of t0rin0
3/5  rDev -22.5%

t0rin0, Mar 05, 2013
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.

UCLABrewN84, Jul 01, 2012
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +3.4%

djrn2, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of zestar
3.25/5  rDev -16%

zestar, Jun 18, 2013
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.

Thorpe429, Jul 28, 2011
Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

acurtis, Feb 11, 2013
Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +3.4%

nmann08, Jan 30, 2012
Photo of metter98
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

metter98, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of brentk56
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

brentk56, Jul 05, 2013
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.

BEERchitect, Apr 06, 2012
Photo of mikesgroove
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

mikesgroove, May 18, 2011
Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -22.5%

ygtbsm94, Jan 12, 2012
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.

womencantsail, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of kylehay2004
4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: three finger milk chocolate head, some retention and nice lacing on a jet black body.

S: lots of chocolate and bourbon, chili pepper, black pepper and some roasted malt.

T: chocolate, roasted malt up front with bourbon dominating the finish. Pepper notes.

M: very thick and smooth, moderate carbonation.

Overall: Very drinkable for what it is. not too boozy, complex aroma with a fairly simple taste.

kylehay2004, Mar 08, 2012
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.

Knapp85, Jan 05, 2012
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).

ChainGangGuy, Feb 15, 2012
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

westcoastbeerlvr, Jan 09, 2013
Photo of JAHMUR
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

JAHMUR, Dec 09, 2011
Photo of largadeer
2.7/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Thanks, Barry!

Dark Intrigue appears a near-opaque black, capped by a tall tan head. The nose has a lot of charred malt, cigar smoke and coffee bean, along with a milder note of vanilla. Palate is decent; burnt toast, bittersweet chocolate and burnt coffee, a touch of vanilla and caramel from the barrel. The body is a little thin for the style, and the finish dry, tannic, moderately roasted. There isn't a ton of complexity here, but it's not completely awful; just all-around mediocre.

largadeer, Dec 17, 2010
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.

TMoney2591, Nov 28, 2011
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!

NeroFiddled, Jan 27, 2012
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.

StonedTrippin, Oct 19, 2012
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.

WVbeergeek, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of Kegatron
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

Kegatron, Dec 09, 2011
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Dark Intrigue from Victory Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 709 ratings.