1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Dark Intrigue Alström Bros
Ratings: 705 | Reviews: 297 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

2.95/5  rDev -23.6%
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.

C

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2013 07:23:29 | More by kojevergas
Photo of XmnwildX12
XmnwildX12

Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

12-13-2013 05:20:00 | More by XmnwildX12
Photo of SalukiAlum
SalukiAlum

Colorado

3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

12-05-2013 05:58:12 | More by SalukiAlum
Photo of dfhhead25
dfhhead25

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +3.6%

11-30-2013 00:00:30 | More by dfhhead25
Photo of EliotTruelove
EliotTruelove

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

11-28-2013 04:01:36 | More by EliotTruelove
Photo of WillCarrera
WillCarrera

Ohio

3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

11-22-2013 03:49:54 | More by WillCarrera
Photo of Allurex
Allurex

Kansas

4/5  rDev +3.6%

11-13-2013 06:26:54 | More by Allurex
Photo of deonreds
deonreds

New York

4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

11-08-2013 10:38:40 | More by deonreds
Photo of Stephanieha
Stephanieha

California

3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

11-05-2013 07:14:25 | More by Stephanieha
Photo of Zaphog
Zaphog

Michigan

3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

11-05-2013 01:34:19 | More by Zaphog
Photo of beergorrilla
beergorrilla

Michigan

3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

11-04-2013 08:23:48 | More by beergorrilla
Photo of OKCNittany
OKCNittany

Oklahoma

4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

11-03-2013 03:05:03 | More by OKCNittany
Photo of 2beerdogs
2beerdogs

California

3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

11-01-2013 05:15:28 | More by 2beerdogs
Photo of firedwarftj
firedwarftj

Connecticut

4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

10-21-2013 23:14:56 | More by firedwarftj
Photo of random846
random846

California

4/5  rDev +3.6%

10-18-2013 00:15:06 | More by random846
Photo of Evarigan
Evarigan

New York

4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

10-14-2013 20:54:10 | More by Evarigan
Photo of Satchboogie
Satchboogie

New Hampshire

3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

10-05-2013 03:37:20 | More by Satchboogie
Photo of RWNay
RWNay

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

09-23-2013 15:42:48 | More by RWNay
Photo of mikereaser
mikereaser

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

09-19-2013 03:23:45 | More by mikereaser
Photo of atone315
atone315

Wisconsin

4/5  rDev +3.6%

09-15-2013 14:21:28 | More by atone315
Photo of Hopheadhiker
Hopheadhiker

New York

4/5  rDev +3.6%

09-10-2013 15:00:48 | More by Hopheadhiker
Photo of dogfishandi
dogfishandi

New York

3.34/5  rDev -13.5%
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....

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2013 19:20:46 | More by dogfishandi
Photo of shehateme
shehateme

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +3.6%

09-06-2013 23:33:13 | More by shehateme
Photo of Soto
Soto

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +3.6%

09-06-2013 22:25:43 | More by Soto
Photo of BMart
BMart

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

08-15-2013 20:51:55 | More by BMart
Dark Intrigue from Victory Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 705 ratings.