Dark Intrigue - Victory Brewing Company
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Ratings: 706 | Reviews: 297 | Display Reviews Only:
2.93/5 rDev -24.1%
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.
01-02-2011 18:30:14 | More by MasterSki
3.05/5 rDev -21%
Bottle provided by the now defunct Agentzero, poured into a perfect pint glass...Dark brown pour with amber on the fringes. A big, medium tan head, good retention. The head is interesting to look as it bubbles fiercely and the the bubbles are light tan at the bottom and much darker as it rises...The aroma gets this off to a great start, sweet bourbon, lots of oak, vanilla, maple syrup, lactic accent...The taste starts off pretty nice with a combo of oak, vanilla and chocolate, its tastey. Then all of a sudden everything comes crashing down and makes this a borderline bad beer. The carbonation is totally off, way to high, your palate is attacked by bubbles, it feels as off their are pop rocks in my mouth. Then as you swallow seconds later you get huge amounts of bitter chocolate that is not how this should finish. Very unbalanced and the carbonation are huge problems.
A good start, but this is nothing special, can't believe the hype.
01-01-2011 22:16:34 | More by jrallen34
2.6/5 rDev -32.6%
This beer looks like a big stout with a tan head that no light comes through. You can smell a lot of vanilla and bourbon on it, it smells a little hot, but good. It tastes good initially, also a little hot as well, but finishes pretty horribly, with some astringent, bitter taste. These beer ended up being pretty bad, I don't like it.
01-01-2011 19:43:31 | More by RodneyX
4.43/5 rDev +14.8%
Enjoyed this at the Victory Holiday Dinner paired with dessert.
Appearance: Pitch black with a thin mocha head.
Smell: Heavy bourbon flavor, oak, vanilla, coffee and chocolate.
Taste: Bourbon, vanilla, chocolaty fudge brownie, coffee.
Mouthfeel: Full bodied and smooth.
Drinkability: Very enjoyable version of Storm King which I think is a really great stout. The bourbon barrels add some more complexity to this beer.
12-31-2010 23:38:18 | More by Axic10
4.35/5 rDev +12.7%
From a bottle missing the cage, a bit tough to get the cork out, but once poured there was no lack of carbonation. Really pretty 3/4 inch of tan bubbly head on top of pitch black...even in light, it's opaque. Smell is very sweet, roasty and I can catch some of the bourbon.
Intense flavors, a ton of coffee bitterness from the roasted malt. Heavy on the chocolate and on the tail end, can get the vanilla from the bourbon. Very thick, even with an appropriate amount of carbonation. Bitterness lingers. Although I'm not a big chocolate/coffee guy, I can very much appreciate what is going on here, as well as the transformation from Storm King to this. Mouthfeel is appropriate for the style. I appreciate that even with the bourbon barrel aging (and starting with Storm King) that the ABV is still single digit!
12-27-2010 03:19:28 | More by dborginis
4.15/5 rDev +7.5%
Appears a rich, black with a dark brown edge. A thick tan head slowly fades into a gentle 1/8" head and an intense collar. Scattered lacing is webbed around the entire glass.
Smell is of roast, oak, vanilla, bourbon, caramel, butterscotch, and cocoa.
Taste is of the aromas with bourbon and vanilla standing out with cocoa, roasted nuts, and creme brule sweetness highlighted with vanilla, cream, and burnt sugar.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, sweet, sticky, and mildly boozy yet balanced.
12-26-2010 03:33:51 | More by weeare138
4.05/5 rDev +4.9%
Poured into a snifter with a pitch black body that shows no light and has a cascading, dense, 2-finger brown/chocolate head. Smells like vanilla, chocolate, molasses, floral hops and earthy oak. Taste is dominant vanilla and dark cocoa followed by rich coffee and caramel flavors and a bitter floral hop characteristic. Warms with a bit of alcohol bite/burn. Mouth is very heavy and thick with mid to low carbonation, coating and full. Drinks easy for a bourbon aged stout and has great flavor and aroma. Not quite world-class yet, but I think that in a year or so it will be absolutely perfect and I'm eagerly waiting for graduation to open my other bottle. Another great job by Victory
12-26-2010 03:30:11 | More by kbanks13
4.1/5 rDev +6.2%
Another beer where I decided to pull out my craftsman "cork remover" since it was clearly giving me problems when I used my hands. Once out there was a generous pop and healthy amount of carbonation gases seeping out of the neck. Poured straight on in my Mad Elf snifter and upon coming out this baby pours a jet black like 10W-30 motor oil. I was greeted with a one finger thick cocoa powder colored head that hung around. I gave a generous swirl and noticed there was a medium amount of lacing, not overly syrupy.
Right out of the gate there is a bouquet of vanilla, bourbon, sweet caramel and oak tannin notes. There is a lot of aromas going on here but they do seem to work well together becuase nothing takes dominance. Also, I am noticing black cherries, plums, and of course heat alcohol. Lets not forget roast and coffee.
Ahh the hoppy reminiscent of the regular storm king but with a whole new twist. Huge amounts of oak and vanilla are on the tip of the tongue as well as burnt coffee and bourbon. One thing that I wish victory would have done was leave the beer in the barrel longer becuase don't get me wrong the bourbon is there but I prefer the flavors much stronger. Also, I wish they would have dubbed the early addition hops down a bit becuase they are trying to fight the barrel flavors. In the finish there is milk chocolate, nougat and of course heat alcohol.
A little thinner than I like but still a really great beer to sit back and sip on. No need to nit pick here, very enjoyable
12-22-2010 00:37:53 | More by Bmoyer0301
4.58/5 rDev +18.7%
Received this bottle in trade from knarf231. Thank you, Franklin!!!
Shared with gwuilliums at Camp Lawrence last night.
A: Pitch black, semi-viscous pour. Excellent head formation and retention. Beautiful lacing persists as the drink continues.
S: There is bourbon here! Very dark roast aroma with definite enhancements of bourbon, wood and some slight vanilla. It doesn't have as "deep" of an aroma as say, a KBS, but it is pretty close.
T: Wonderful dark roast and espresso notes followed on immediately by a pleasant, strong burnt wood taste. It took me a few drinks to determine if there was too much wood, but I finally decided that the wonderful raoasted, sweet malt backbone held it's own and balanced it all out in the end.
M: The reason this gets the highest score is that for the first time ever, I have found a beer that gives an enormous amount of wood without becoming a dry, tannin bomb. Perfect body and carbonation complete the package.
D: The alcohol is well hidden and our glasses disappeared way too quickly...
12-20-2010 17:33:01 | More by Spica66
3.95/5 rDev +2.3%
Third beer in a tasting party on 12-11-10 with TCGoalie, BuckyFresh, and zoso1967, the bearer of the bottle. Thanks for a great time, boys.
Dark Intrigue pours intriguingly dark black with a light brown, subtle head. The lacing left on the glass is parabolic, sticky, and blobby. It is not very substantial, though, as I have noticed with other bourbon aged beers. The carbonation near the top of the beer appears to be rollicking.
The smell makes me think of a bourbon chocolate truffle. Raisin and fig make a strong entrance in the aroma and roastiness from the malt is very nice and complementary to the other aromas. Fresh wood lends a rather tannic scent. Other smells I can pick out are vanilla, toffee, cream, caramel, and some mustiness. However, the bourbon trumps all. The bouquet of this beer is definitely the strongest aspect.
At first taste, bourbon just leaks all over my mouth. This flavor tumbles into subtle dark chocolate, roasted malts, and a noticeable hop character. The finish consists of a bitter coffee acidity that combines with the hops and a faint alcohol burn. The bourbon is very heavy throughout the sip and masks the other flavors to a certain extent.
The mouthfeel is biting and bitter from the bourbon, hops, coffee flavor, and the fresh wood barrels. The body of the beer is light to medium for an Imperial Stout. I cannot emphasize how much of a liquor bite that the bourbon contributes to the mouthfeel.
I do not think Dark Intrigue is as drinkable now as it would be with some significant time in the bottle. The bourbon presence feels very virginal... older barrels and more bottle time would likely help this. Overall, it is a good beer, but not as complex as other bourbon barrel-aged beers that I have had.
12-20-2010 00:10:05 | More by TCHopCraver
3.45/5 rDev -10.6%
Bottle courtesy of a great trader. Thank you Alex.
Split with steepH20 over a little light hearted banter over our impending fantasy football show down while recovering from a nice long snowshoeing through the woods with the wives.
Looks like a stout with nice sticky legs.
Hershey's kisses, mild roast, hops and subtle hint of barrel. Not overly potent but nice.
The nose is quite evident on the taste, but there's a lack of harmony here. The best of what Storm King brings to the table, mainly it's nice in-your-face hoppiness, doesn't work well with the barrel aging. Or possibly, it just isn't there yet. While steepH20 loved this, I was left wanting more. Maybe with some time this will reach it's potential, but at the moment it's inferior to the base beer, and that's too bad.
12-19-2010 23:48:25 | More by BarrytheBear
4.15/5 rDev +7.5%
Fortunate enough to have picked up a few of these in the past month, so reviewing 1 now and saving 1-2 for some cellar action.
Served at cellar temp into a Chimay goblet. Pours with a short tan head over the expectedly opaque black body. Decent lacing.
Aromas are full of hops, dark chocolate, anise, molasses (lots of it as it warmed), and just a touch of bourbon and barrel.
Wow, SOOO much lighter on the palate than expected. Flavors are full of prickly hops, molasses, bittersweet chocolate, good charred woody notes, touch of ginger-like spice, and with a finish of fresh floral hop bite. Very interesting.
Mouthfeel is full of carbonation and clean as hell for a RIS. I was expecting a thicker version of Storm King, and got a cleaner one.
Drinkability is nice - not your typical RIS, for sure, but quite nice.
12-19-2010 16:56:26 | More by BeerImmediately
3.2/5 rDev -17.1%
I was very excited to try this beer as I love Strom King and also love bourbon barrel aging. Sadly, my overall take away is that these two elements didn't meld together very nicely. Bottom line for me is that the assertive hop nature of Storm King doesn't lend itself to the types of flavors that bourbon brings to the party.
Nice creamy tan head with decent retention and a typically dark beer.
Aroma is floral and hoppy mixed with charcoal notes. There is a sense of the barrel aging but this is the first time I sense a bit of lack of synergy.
Nothing wrong with the flavor and no flaws detected, just a lack of harmony. Floral green hop flavor kicks off and immediately mixes with the charcoal and ash flavors. Then as the hops make a second wave you get the mismatched floral hop notes mixing unsuccessfully with the barrel notes and a subtle sense of bourbon. Just seems out of whack. Mostly pine flavors from the hops.
Slightly dry and course. Fairly bold body.
A bit disappointing to be honest.
12-19-2010 15:08:30 | More by Reagan1984
3.95/5 rDev +2.3%
Consumed on 12/11/10 at a pre-wedding tasting. Congrats TCGoalie!
Pours a very dark brown that lets a bit of ruby hued light shine through when held up to a light. The head is light tan, and like many bourbon barrel aged beers, it fades fairly quickly. Lacing also seems to suffer from the barrel ageing, but this is a nice looking beer for the style.
The aroma sports some major bourbon notes. Quite hot with some nice bitter chocolate and caramel. It also has some nice vanilla notes and a bit of earthiness, as well as some charred character. The aging seems to have taken the hoppy edge off of the Storm King base.
Much like in the nose, the flavor is very bourbon-centric. The Kentucky spirit character is bolstered by dark chocolate and astringent roasted malts. The piney hops seem to show through a little, but are definitely in the background. Other flavors include vanilla, charred wood, earth and some molasses.
The mouthfeel is surprisingly thin. Medium, but not as thick as one would expect from a stout like this. It is smooth and has a definite slickness to it. The finish is mostly roasted malt and bourbon.
This is a pretty drinkable bourbon barrel aged stout, but it strikes me as pretty raw. The bourbon plays too big of a role, and while I think this was a very good first shot at barrel aging for Victory, they do still have a bit of perfecting to do.
12-18-2010 00:59:21 | More by zoso1967
2.7/5 rDev -30.1%
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.
12-17-2010 04:29:16 | More by largadeer
3.7/5 rDev -4.1%
Pours a almost pitch black with good amount of head and lacing around the corners. When held to light, some deep ruby light shoots around the rim of the glass.
Nose is a little weak, but I just took this thing out of the fridge so I gotta let it sit for a few. I'll revisit at the end of the brew.
The front and end of this beer is straight bourbon. Tastes like it's Jack Daniels, and I love it. There is vanilla in the middle with a strong chocolate malty characteristic. Finishes great with a bourbon aftertaste that lingers at the back of the mouth. A really good hop flavor that balances really well with the bourbon.
Okay, it's warmed down and it smells awesome. Woody with the bourbon. Vanilla with chocolate, not so much of a hop oil smell, but smells sweet and delicious.
Overall, a pretty good beer. Alot of complexities that I think will blend well together as time passes. I was a little disappointed in the mouthfeel. Really thin that bubbles in the back, but I was hoping for a little more thickness, because I remembered Storm King being thicker. I have two more in the basement that I'm thinking will be phenomenal as time passes.
12-16-2010 01:25:22 | More by mjsheehan08
2.4/5 rDev -37.8%
Bottled 11/19/10 served at cellar temp.
Poured into Darkness snifter. Body is black and opaque, even when held directly in front of a lamp light fails to breaks the surface. Three finger cafe au lait head is perched atop. The head recedes slowly leaving a broken ring of lacing surrounding the glass. A modest cap is left floating for the duration.
As of the first pour the aroma comes off a bit muted. The bourbon is apparent but not as strong as I would have imagined. A combination of caramel and chocolate aromas are fairly strong. The hops provide a strong floral element which really does not mesh well with the beer as a whole. I had hopes the aroma would meld a bit more with warmth, this did not happen. While certain smells blended a bit, I can not walk away being anything but disappointed.
The flavor transition is very interesting with this one. Caramel and chocolate flavors are the first to roll across the tongue. Shortly after and astringent oakiness which moves into a strong hop floral flavor. The bourbon flavor becomes more apparent on the back of the palate, I am a bit surprised this did not present itself earlier. The flavors and their progression is just a bit odd.
Mouthfeel is not a strong point. The body is a bit thin, though in many -bal stouts this can be overcome. The carbonation is dialed up a bit too high. The astringency of the oak revealing itself at the end further embellishes the overly dry finish. This is not what the mouthfeel of an Imperial Stout should be.
I looked forward to this one. I wanted to like this one. Dark Intrigue was simply hard to drink. I will say I believe this may benefit with age, but as it sits right now it is flat out hard to enjoy. I should have probably held on to this one for a bit longer.
I am very grateful to Biglobo8971 for sending this one my way. No matter if I enjoyed it or not, this was a very generous inclusion in this box.
12-16-2010 00:31:46 | More by kzoobrew
1.75/5 rDev -54.7%
A: Deep black with a mocha colored head that lingers at about a quarter inch. not much lace
S: heavy chocolate up front with some serious wood notes that have a very earthy tone. some bourbon notes and vanilla notes. some hints of coffee and roastiness. All the nots are somewhat subdued though
T: Very woody with hints of hoppiness and roastiness. some bourbon and vanilla notes and a heavy chocolate presence. oddly there is a bit of a metallic taste as well
M: Some what thin and slightly astringent.
D: This was a major disappointment for me. the bourbon characteristic was there but like drinking an extremely cheap and astringent bourbon. the woodiness is way to present and all of the flavors just seem to be muddled together. I dont think i had a bad bottle, i think this beer lacks a true identity as well as the typical qualities that i enjoy in more well put togther BA stouts. I dont think this has much aging potential because it seems to be poorly executed
12-14-2010 01:28:34 | More by mikey711
4.1/5 rDev +6.2%
750 ml corked and caged bottle poured into a large snifter.
A: Incredibly dark black with a very creamy, dark tan head. Stayed up at around two fingers worth for a while but is now settling to a thin layer. Not a striking difference in appearance from Storm King.
S: Vanilla and bourbon hit right up front, lending a wonderful sweetness on top of a huge roasted malt base. Still a bit hot, being bottled not even a month ago. The large hop aroma found in Storm King is also found here. Leafy, earthy hops. The bourbon worked very well with this beer as the vanilla sweetness just adds further complexity to a very complex beer. Very nice!
T: Well this beer is CLEARLY bourbon barrel aged. Huge bourbon up front and throughout. Nice bitterness to go along with it in the form of bitter chocolate and deeply roasted malts. Not a significant alcohol burn, but noticeable on the back of the throat. I get notes of tobacco, burnt wood and a leafy hop flavor. Sweetness of vanilla and brown sugar as well. Think this beer will mellow out nicely with some age.
M: Carbonation is a bit thin and the overall body of the beer feels a bit light, but I am chalking this up to being barrel-aged. I am assuming this one will mellow and develop a heavier body over time. The drying from the roasted malts is very nice and the lingering sweet bourbon notes is pleasant. Gives the impression of an RIS followed by a sip of bourbon.
D: Always found Storm King to be a very drinkable RIS, but the addition of bourbon to the mix makes this one a sipper for sure. Can't wait to see how this one turns out after a year or so. Very nice barrel-aged RIS.
12-09-2010 02:04:03 | More by kiddynamite920
4.22/5 rDev +9.3%
A bottle poured into a duvel tulip. Thanks to sourbatchkid for the hook up.
A- two fingers of creamy coffee and cream color head from a hard pour that settles slowly leaving a few spots of lace and a decent cap. Black and all hell in color. No light makes it through the dark storm.
S- the bourbon hits your first with some vanilla then rolls into bakers chocolate and robust roasted malts. Hints of licorice, molasses, some pumpernickle bread.
T- super roasty and rich with espresso and dark chocolate. The barrel shines beautifully and brings a new level of flavor to the storm underneath. Touches of vanilla and brown sugar with some smoke and char. The hops that are so present in storm king are significantly mellowed in this adding a deep earthiness that plays very well with the roast of the overall flavor. As the brew comes to room temp a fruity portwine like character comes forth. Long roasty finish.
M- on the fuller side of medium body, not thick or chewy. Nicely carbed, maybe a bit more then most in this style but not too much, helps keep it extra drinkable. A slow swish and chew of the beer brings a really nice creamy feel. Almost no heat at all on the palate.
D- this is a really good brew. I'm really glad I got to try this one and I hope to get some more to lay down. Paired with some great icelandic 70 percent dark chocolate. I think I'd like a little more body but maybe that's just me.
12-08-2010 03:01:54 | More by oglmcdgl
4.35/5 rDev +12.7%
Big thanks to Axic10 for this 750ml bottle.
Pours a viscous, oily black with a big, thick mocha head that recedes really slowly and leaves fantastic lacing.
Aroma has the deeply roasted black malts, licorice and espresso, much like regular Storm King in that respect. But the bourbon comes in with a light sweet vanilla character and starts to become more noticeable after a few whiffs.
Taste is also big on the bourbon, which just blasts the taste buds up front. The backbone is dry cocoa powder, black malts and dark fruit. Finish has a big bourbon burn with some oak and vanilla hints.
The mouthfeel is medium bodied and certainly a little slicker than the regular SK. Lots of oak and bourbon on the palate.
I'm a big fan of the regular Storm King and this is a very good treatment which has plenty of bourbon and oak but definitely has all the textbook RIS flavors that I like so much. Well crafted and balanced beer.
12-07-2010 03:05:04 | More by gford217
4.5/5 rDev +16.6%
A: Pours black with a small amount of chocolate brown head.
S: Lots of Bourbon scents coming from this brew, some dark fruit flavors on the finish.
T: Lots of Bourbon, Vanilla, Oak, roasted malt, dark chocolate, and some sweet dark fruit round out the flavors of this beer. I love the barrel aging of this beer as it mellows out a lot of the alcohol taste that Storm King usually has.
M: Creamy mouth feel, not too much carbonation.
D: I loved this beer although I am a bit of a homer because I enjoy Storm King a ton. I think that this beer takes Storm King to another level with a new complexity to the flavor but also fine tunes the original recipe as the barrel aging mellows it. It's a bummer that this was a limited release because everyone should try this beer, and I hope Victory does something like this again.
12-06-2010 04:46:26 | More by SiepJones
District of Columbia
4.13/5 rDev +7%
Shared a corked 750 mL bottle with a friend. Bottled on 11/19/10.
This was an impressive barrel aged RIS, exceeding my expectations in flavor and balance. Pours a viscous, opaque rich chocolate brown with a retentive, long lasting mocha colored head. Aroma and flavor begin with a potent, smooth bourbon and vanilla punch before subtly transitioning to a dry roast malt and mildly citric hoppy finish. I didn't have an issue with the level of carbonation as others have mentioned, though this isn't as thick and chewy as some other stouts. This was a pleasant surprise and I particularly enjoyed the strong hop presence.
12-05-2010 01:50:48 | More by yourefragile
4.35/5 rDev +12.7%
Poured almost half of a 750ml into a Portsmouth Brewery tulip.
A - Jet black with minimal coffee colored lacing.
S - some licorice undertones ,but mostly a bourboney alcohol aroma (Just how I like it).
T - Toffee, vanilla, bourbon oakey goodness
M- Low carbonation, not to viscous ,but the flavors sure stays on your tongue until the next sip.
D- Excellent, time to refill with the 2nd half. I'm glad I bought 6 of these.
12-04-2010 23:21:32 | More by nevins
4.58/5 rDev +18.7%
After tasting this beer, it was completely worth the hour I stood in line to purchase it.
A - It pours out darker than the night and refused to allow any light to pass through. There was very little carbonation, but that is most likely due to be being in the bottle for about a week.
S - When brought up for a smell, vanilla and bourbon are very prominent. There was a subtle fruity smell along with dark chocolate. I did not get an alcohol burn up the nose, which surprised me due to ABV of the Dark Intrigue.
T - I could not get over how delicious tasting this beer was. It was everything I expected from a Storm King, but oh so much more. You are able to experience the woody, earthiness that it acquired during it's 97 days in the bourbon barrels. The bourbon taste was not as prominent as I expected it to be from the smell, along with the vanilla. It was a very nice surprise.
M - There was almost no carbonation that I experienced while drinking it. It did not have a heavy body, but it is heavier than a medium body beer. It almost had a creamy texture to it.
D - This was a very smooth beer to drink. It's high ABV was hidden under the flavors, especially the bourbon. It would be very easy to keep going back for bottle after bottle.
Overall, exceptional. Congratulations to Victory. I do hope Victory will make another batch of the Dark Intrigue in the years to come. I would also like to see Victory do something with their Golden Monkey.
11-30-2010 01:07:10 | More by PABeerHiker
Dark Intrigue from Victory Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 706 ratings.