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Storm King Stout | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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Storm King StoutStorm King Stout
BA SCORE
4.05/5
Exceptional
6,032 Ratings
Storm King StoutStorm King Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States
victorybeer.com

Style: American Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Emerging from the deepest shades of darkness, a rolling crescendo of flavors burst forth from this robust stout. The thundering, hoppy appeal of Storm King subsides into the mellow subtleties of roasted malt, exhibiting an espresso-like depth of character in its finish. An exquisite blend of imported malts and whole flower American hops merge harmoniously in this complex ale. Discover the dark intrigue of Storm King, as it reveals the rich, substantial flavors that it holds within.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#6,299
Reviews:
2,680
Ratings:
6,032
pDev:
11.85%
 
 
Wants:
233
Gots:
972
Trade:
12
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,032 |  Reviews: 2,680
Reviews by Tarheel219:
Photo of Tarheel219
3/5  rDev -25.9%

More User Reviews:
Photo of mig100
3.2/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Definitely a black IPA rather than a stout. If being judged as a stout it fails miserably, buts it's a good black IPA. I'm confused, but the bottle clearly says Stout.

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Photo of hopsbreath
1.86/5  rDev -54.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Short and dirty..did not like this. I love Impy stouts and this one disappointed. There was too much hops on the front and bitterness with no point. The malt was in its own right one dimensional. Coffee came through a little bit but was overwhelmingly beat back by bitterness and alcohol. Not pleasant and very hard to drink. Of all the Stouts I have had this was my least favorite. I tried to give it a chance, but after choking down four of these in an attempt to better appreciate it, I gave the final 2 away to a friend of mine who is a macro drinker because he will drink anything to catch a buzz. Not only will I not seek out again, I will advise against trying it.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.81/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Can't believe I've never reviewed this beer, so I figured it was time. Best before June 6th, 2016. Served in a Surly Darkness glass.

A - Pours with a finger of dark than foam that slowly settles to a thick, creamy, cap, leaving behind glass-coating lacework. Body is black, with maybe the faintest dark brown shade to it.

S - There's a lot of hops here - plenty of earthy pine and grapefruit character. Underneath, there's some semisweet chocolate, caramel, roasted malts, licorice, and a touch of char.

T - Taste is a mixture of tobacco, baker's chocolate, caramel, roasted malts, and a hefty dose of herbal hop bitterness in the finish mingling with some espresso and char. The transition from sweet mid-palate to bruising bitterness is somewhat abrupt.

M - Carbonation is too high - please turn it down. Body is medium, and somewhat light for an RIS, although it's not unreasonable for a 9.1% brew. Otherwise the texture is smooth and the finish is sticky, with some obvious resinous hops lingering as well. Light warming alcohol presence.

D - I imagine this was really unique and provocative six years ago. Unfortunately there are many Imperial Stouts that do the same trick better these days. Easy to drink, and certainly one of the 'classics', but Victory seems a bit like a dinosaur these days.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A straggler from a cross-border jaunt this past summer, being saved for a "wintry day". By jove, I think that day has unceremoniously arrived...

This beer pours a solid black, a light vacuum - no edges, nada, with two fingers of thick foamy dark beige (ok, tan) head, which steadily settles, leaving some nice striated lace around the glass. It smells of citrus hops, roasted malt, a bit of chocolate, and some faint coffee grounds. The taste is big sweet roasted chocolate malt, more of a bitter cocoa than the confectionery sort, a soft underlying cafe au lait essence, and bitter citrus and pine hops, double-dipped in the aforementioned chocolate. 9.1% ABV, and it barely registers a warming tickle - wow. The carbonation is very soft, the body full, dense, slick and creamy. It finishes clean, the sweetness ebbing a stitch, allowing the doused hops more room to maneuver.

A warmer that does not come across as one, beyond being big everywhere else. As for its actual style, it succeeds on all counts. Tasty chocolate, big, and well integrated hops and alcohol - what's not to like here?

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.36/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick, pitch black with a HUGE 3 inch chocolate milk colored head. Dense head that lingers for the duration of the beer. Sticky ring lacing on the way down. Absolutely beautiful. Smell is of dark fruits, sweetened coffee, and cocoa powder. Taste is of burnt espresso/coffee, bittersweet chocolate, and slightly sweet cherry/plum. A lingering bitterness on the back of the tongue after each sip that stays with you for a while. Carbonation is good and does not take away from the thick, creamy feel of this beer. Overall, this is an absolutely delicious RIS that I will be revisiting again. I am glad this comes in 12 oz. bottles as the 9.1% ABV can sneak up on you.

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Photo of largadeer
2.33/5  rDev -42.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: Black with a quarter-inch chocolate-colored head.

Taste and smell: Malty and roasted, espresso, brown sugar, surprising hop kick in the finish. Pretty acrid and harsh.

Mouthfeel: Not as chewy as other Imperial Stouts; somewhat thin. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Not a fan of this beer, it's rather acrid. I recall it being enjoyable a couple years ago, but I can't say that I like it anymore.

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Photo of CAbeerCAbeerCA
1.5/5  rDev -63%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I have been waiting a long time to try this beer but never got around to picking up a bottle until recently. I regret the decision to finally pick this up the other night, but I am very thankful I only picked up one, rather than the whole six pack.

The beer looked good enough: dark, nice head

The beer smelled only slightly better than it tasted. Smelled like charcoal, alcohol, and maybe a hint of berries (which is the reason for the extra .5 over taste).

The beer tasted terribly - I choked this thing down. Alcohol and charcoal awfulness.

The beer had mouthfeel that was disappointing- much, much too thin for a stout of this alcohol content. I might be scoring it higher here, since he taste and aroma were so bad and the mouthfeel, by comparison, was much better.

This beer was just not good. I wil never try it again, and I recommend that you do not either.

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Photo of Bran_1914
2.02/5  rDev -50.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 1.25

Black coffee is all I got.

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Photo of SterlingNass
2.08/5  rDev -48.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Had a very nice head that stayed until the last few drinks.

Had a very nice nutty coffee smell to it. Head was a dark milk chocolate look to it.

First taste had a very coffee hops bitter taste that gave a very hard kick to my taste buds, probably from the 9.1% alc. Every drink after that became much more bitter to where I couldn't almost finish the last few drinks.

Seemed very thin and had no point to the bitterness.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.6/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Black, good tan head. Kinda comic-y font and unappealing label. W/e.

S &T: Nice thick roasted chocolate malt. Minty pine sticks to the background on the nose, but jumps up to the lead role on the palate (why??). The chocolate is still there, but irreparably marred.

M: On the thinner side, but still has that nice oily quality without too much prickly carbonation.

O: Good, but why the big hops? Can't we have a totally non-hoppy beer nowadays? Keep hops where they belong! Or at least let me know that I'm verging on black IPA territory.

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Photo of KinkyEconomist
3.16/5  rDev -22%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Look: Absolutely wonderful. Pours like Guinness.

Smell: VERY pungently spiced, bitter, strong.

Taste: Like a kick in the mouth! Perhaps its the very high ABV, but this beer is a VERY pungent, very sharp, robust flavor. You take a sip and need some time to recoil.

Feel: VERY thick and little carbonation, like a Guinness, but leaves a strong hoppy aftertaste.

Overall: I'm not sure. It's far too pungent for my taste in stouts/porters, but if you like really bold, intense beers, this may be for you.

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Photo of kalosjakar
3.39/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Brownish/black.. definitely not inky.

Small tan head.

Moderate carbonation, bummer. Fizzy upon sipping.
Getting roasted malt and not much else, bitterness on the finish.

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Photo of beercam
2.54/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Ouch, a very harsh beer. There are remnants of something big here, a overlooked work of high art, a great dream... but no more than remnants.

It begins with the visual claim to and bold evocation of the form of the imperial stout. Perhaps ,to some, the imperial stout is unsurpassable, known as a grand effort and gesture in brewing, the longest throw. Storm King's owl icon art paired with the Victory Brand label deliver a formidable nod in this deep, dark beer tradition and aesthetic, one shared and partaken of by many, as evidenced by the thousands of hads on this drink. This beer is opaque, dark, black. It fills any drinkware quickly, and like oil. At pour, a 3 inch, tense, dense, slow boil of foam appears, tan-brown and perpetually lingering. Smell-wise, there is much promise here. Familiar, metallic, astringent aromas bound forth, heavy hops and malt, very complex and balanced, leaning here towards Russian Imperial style in figgy, oaky, vanilla smokiness yet still aggressively hoppy. Taste is where it all goes down for me in this Pennsylvania beer, and not necessarily in a good way. The flavor, if you will, comes on very well, very strong, porter-esque and buildling, and then just kind of flops. Pine, hops, malt, and brazen, syrupy, molassesy, yeasty, worty tastes take center-stage here. Unfortunately, despite summoning all of these exciting notes, what came next to tongue and mind was a seriously unpleasant, out-of-control black pepper, and way over-roasted malt. Now, again, I like the olefactory elements of this beer, which pulled the taste up from a serious 0 to a 1.5, but where the smell promises, the taste under-performs. The alcohol scrambles and overwhelms to compensate and fails. The taste itself brings nothing to enjoy for me over the course of one of these 12 oz'ers. The flat, thin, sourness both introduces and gives way to a slick, pulpy, rind-y mouthfeel, with a bit of an elmer's glue problem of an after-presence.

Speaking of bottles, considering the notably low carbonation of this beer, I thought if poured into a nice new can-glass (maybe foolish), maybe it would mellow out towards something like a nitro feel? Nah, it just went flat :(.

By now you may have gathered that I didn't love this beer, and after a 4-pack, I didn't really have any beatific experiences to relate from or while drinking it. But look, just because I don't love it, doesn't mean I hate it. In fact I even like it, because I like all beer, but in this review's frame, I would not considerate to be among the pleasurably drinkable strong beers. Overall, this is not really a recommendable imperial stout, by me, at this point in time. Maybe tweak this one, Victory? Thanks for reading, and keep on, fellow stout/imperial stout lovers!

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Photo of Beginner2
3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is a tough category in that it pleases lots of reviewers who give them top reviews.
Well marketed with wide distribution, Storm King is easy in the top 10 reviewed, yet its ratings are not in the top 100.
Despite having a 92, I find it undistinguished... principally because the burnt malt and hops steal the show.

This is listed on the "1001 Beers" and, arguably, should not be there.

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Photo of Whey2Hoppy
4.89/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L- Pours a beautiful deep black color with only very slight red tinting around the glass. 1 inch creamy, espresso colored head.

S- Roasted coffee, dark chocolate, burnt brown sugar.

T- Follows the nose, with some bitter roasty hops coming in and pairing with that deep, rich chocolate sweetness in a decadent, bittersweet glass of heaven for stout lovers. Very very bitter, the kind of bitterness that lingers on the tongue for hours afterward, and a pleasurable palate wrecker. Hides the ABV very well though. This isn't a beer for the faint of heart, but there's an amazing layer of sweetness hidden beneath the bittering hops.

F- Fairly thick body, much more full bodied than expected. Slight carbonation, pretty creamy.

O- One of my top 5 stouts of all time, and possibly my favorite when all factors are considered. This is an absolutely beautiful creamy, sweet, bitter masterpiece that is a bit more like a black IPA than a traditional stout. I don't care what you call it though, I just think it's amazing.

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Photo of HomrQT
2/5  rDev -50.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 2.25

Very bitter, we were highly disappointed due to all the incredibly high ratings. Bought 12 and handed them out. No one in the office liked them. Don't believe the positive hype on this. This is a beer for IPA and other bitter beer drinkers. If you don't like hoppy/bitter beers, avoid this.

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Photo of jtierney89
1.65/5  rDev -59.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a deep brown with a giant head which is receding slowly but surely. The head is a light tan color, sticky in some places and quick to recede in others.

Smells super hoppy and oily. Barely getting any malt character at all on the nose. Getting dark malt scents now that i've let it breathe for a bit. Head is really really sticky in some spots. Not a bad looking brew.

Slight malty sweetness up front with touch a caramel but besides the mouthfeel, the rest of this beer tastes like a double ipa. Lots of oily and citric hops present on the back of the tongue along with a good amount of bitterness.

The hops actually lend to a good deal of the beers flavor, i'm getting grapefruit and even pineapple notes. Alot of flavors are present, but i dont think they all blend well at all.

Am I wrong for not wanting a hop bomb out of a stout?

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Photo of QMaguire
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

I was not expecting the bitterness you would expect from an IPA. Besides that, I really liked this beer, and could only think of pairing it with a nice slice of chocolate cake.

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Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into glass. Label is stamped for best by date as '21 AUG 2023'.
Black colored body, with ruby red highlights when back lit. One finger of light tan head settles and sticks around as thin cap and thicker ring. Leaves behind some strings of lacing.
Aroma is roasted malts and floral hops. Has some chocolate and dark fruit smells.
Taste is roasted malts, some mild char, dark chocolate, and prominent floral hops. Some sweet dark fruit and vanilla participate. The end is, as described, the espresso darkness, not really bitter, but rich and thick.
Medium to full mouth feel. Good carbonation for style. Quite smooth throughout.
A hop heavy, rich tasting stout that provides some complex layers of taste.
It has been a few years since I sampled this, but previously, this was my favorite heavy hopped stout. The experience is as I remembered.

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Photo of carl009
1.83/5  rDev -54.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

IN a snifter at Flying Saucer Austin.
I CAN ONLY ASSUME that this was a bad keg. I know it wasn't me because i had everyone at the table sample my glass.

Appearance -The pour was ok. Nice head. Dark chocolate appearance.
Smell - Like a wet Juggalo that's been festering in the back seat of a taxi without air-conditioning for a few hours.
Taste - Imagine the same Juggalo in the middle of a field of burning tires, you open your mouth to breath and swallow the Juggalo-tire smoke. Stayed with me for way longer than it should have.
Feel - Like greasy black death slid down the backside of a Juggalo and attached itself to the roof of your mouth.

I will try it again just to make sure this was a one off.

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Photo of Beer-Revelry
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Duvel snifter glass.

A - 4.50 - Pours jet black with a decent head potential, forms a finger of medium tan colored head. Low head retention, dissipates quickly. Spotty lacing left on the glass.
S - 4.50 - Malts, dark chocolate, currants, black strap molasses and a touch of coffee.
T - 3.25 - Too much hop profile, needs to be aged out. Medium sweet malt, chocolate and currant upfront which is pleasant, but quickly fades into a black IPA reminiscent hoppy bitterness that lingers for quite a long time on the palate and in my opinion, quite frankly has no place in an imperial stout. Really takes away from the experience for me.
F - 4.25 - Good mouthfeel. Decently thick.
O - 3.75 - Fresh, this thing drinks more like an triple imperial black IPA than an imperial stout. It has the qualities of a stout upfront, but sadly the hoppy finish really takes over. I feel this one needs a lot of time to age out that hop profile and may be revisiting this review a year or two down the road from now.

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Photo of pootz
4.52/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I like a good Baltic or XX porter so trying this Victory stout was done on a friend's advice. I'm glad I took the bait. The first thing one notices about this porter is the incredibly complex aromas. The balance is almost perfect between chocolate-fruity sweetness and bitter hopping. The mouth feel is full and rewarding and it has a dry-ish tart finish as the hops take over the delicious complex musty body.

Comes in a long neck brown pint impressive label with freshness date.
Poured a dark smokey mahogany that denies light to be seen through it (like a malted black hole). Smallish brown head dissipates quickly and goes to a thin ring that clings to the sides of the glass for the rest of the drink.

Pungent smells of musty chocolate and cherries and alcohol....deeelicious!

Starts with a strong surge of full bodied sweet maltiness with smoky- chocolate accents and hints of fruit then thins out a bit on the back of the palate as the hopping kicks in and becomes a well balanced taste of bitter sweet mustiness then finishes tart with a tinny hop aftertaste...marvelous!

This is a really good beer if not a great beer. I’ll be back for more.

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Photo of stewart124
4.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A deep black body with a thick mocha head, almost like coffee. The smell is of chocolate malts with hints of espresso and well balanced hops. Hops are more noticable in this brew than in most stouts. A little something different that Victory likes to do. The alcohol is well hidden within this brew. A very smooth-thick body packed with taste. The chocolate/coffee flavor is quite distinguishable. This is a very rich beer that only gets better as it warms. The blend of grains and hops is outstanding in this beer and you wouldn't think it's 9% abv. Victory came through again.

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Photo of BuckSpin
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: c.2004 11oz bottle (Bottled date of 12/23/04) cellared in my possession for 2 years, in a classic conical pint glass

Before the review, a little story:

In March of 2005 I joined BA. During that month I went to Philadelphia for software training. On my way back I stopped at Victory and bought six 6 packs of various Victory beers plus a few wiretops. The Storm King I am about to enjoy and post as my 199th review is the lone remaining survivor of those original 36 beers. It has been cellared for 2 years, plus survived trips from Philly to Western PA, then to midcoast Maine. Its time...

Poured thick but not viscous, slick, oily. Nose is still hopped very nicely, sticky pine resin, warming alcohol, soft grapefruit, warm raisins. After resting & opening, faint, dull malts are noticeable, slightly mineral, lukewarm leftover coffee and even leathery tannins, the citrus fruits ripen and sweeten as the hops fade some. Head, even after all this time and the inherent high ABV, did not disappoint as it was a beautiful 2 fingers of tight, various sized latte hued foam that lasted for minutes before settling to a 1/8" covering that laced nicely in rings, very sticky. After a while it reduces to just a glass ring and sporadic lacing.

Color is almost black. Imagine the darkest blood red rose you've ever seen, and now imagine trying to see it by moonlight and thats close to what the glass edges barely review. Interior is opaque & black in a good mood, uber dark burnt umber.

Oh, this is nice. The hops have taken on a lovely grapefruited-citrus, oily, sticky quality. The tangy bite (not obnoxious but definitely demanding attention) rides over a pleasing, warm raisin quality. I can tell after one taste this is going to require, ney, demand a slow sipping session....cool. Mild bitter coffee tones are also present on the tongue, but the oily, citrused hops are the star. As it warms on the palate the hops give way to a very pleasing black coffee & milk chocolate taste (not mocha, but both noticeable and unique) that is welcomingly creamy and almost dairy like.

With some more blooming the initial citrusy hops become sweeter, amazing qualities of warm semi-sweet apple (Macintosh), overripe apricot, but in very hushed tones. The palate continues to get creamier and sweeter with chocolate, earthy malts, even some nuts.

The finish is odd yet nice - a wet, slightly syrupy, hand in hand joining of the initial oily hops and the semi-sweet, creamy chocolate palate. The sensation is unusual yet pleasing (chocolate & citrus go surprisingly well together). Aside from the alcoholic echoes each swallow induces into my sinus cavities, its a pleasing, very warm, coating and chewy bittersweet sheen covering my entire mouth. A final comment is some noticeable sediment on the glass bottom.

Very unusual & very enjoyable. Its amazing after 2 years the hop profile remains such a dominant role, but its evolution into the oily, citrus style is very nice. Cellaring certainly didn't hurt this in the least, and I am very curious as to how it would handle longer cellaring periods. Based on this one I feel pretty confident it could go 3-5 no problem, and it would be interesting to see how long before the hops do tone down to really allow other flavors to shine. A fine Imperial Stout, and excellent candidate for long term cellaring.

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Storm King Stout from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 6,032 ratings