Storm King Stout | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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2,616 Reviews
Storm King StoutStorm King Stout

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

Style: American Double / 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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-10-2001

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Reviews: 2,616 | Ratings: 5,825
Photo of thekanna
3.43/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pitch black with a moderate tan head which rests on top and slowly dissipates.

S: Strong dark chocolate and roasted malt aromas. Charcoal and a generally burnt wood presence are also detected.

T: Extremely strong espresso and dark chocolate notes. Malts seem like they went through a smokehouse and just escaped, scathed, from the other side. Body has an undeniable sourness of prunes. Ends with an extremely strong, powerful, hop bitterness.

M: Thick, rich, and heavy.

D: This was more an assault to my palate than an enjoyable brew. It would be noticeably better if it weren't so rough around the edges.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.43/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served in a large snifter.

Appearance : Initially a brown pour from the bottle which turns into a dark chocolate colored body with 100% opacity. The head was almost gone by the time I sat down (which was about enough time to snap a picture and load it to Photobucket for WBAYDN; a 60 second procedure). It started out at about a finger high, which wasn't impressive to begin with. It has almost entirely dispersed across the top of the beer, and is even nonexistent in some places. Unfortunately I'll have to rate this just below the bar for par, normally a 4 for me.

Smell : Molasses and cookie dough. Burnt barley malts. Hint of hop leaf. Final note is scorched chocolate. The aroma overall is not really rich or decadent, but more funky and bizarre. Quite a few off-notes here.

Taste : Very roasted. The definition of roast in a stout. Coffee, torched chocolate, some hop oils, a pinch of tobacco, and a big finish of fresh coffee grounds. Set all of these flavors on fire, mix them together, and you have a good idea of Storm King. (edit : As it warms a bit, it becomes completely undrinkable. I'm pouring the rest of this one.) (second edit : had another one and it was burnt beyond drinking, dumped half of it. Adjusted scores accordingly.) 3rd trial : a bit better but mostly astringent with coffee and cocoa .

Feel : Fairly dense, mildly chewy, with a creaminess and zaps of carbonation to keep it lively.

Overall : This was not particularly enjoyable for me. The head on the beer disappeared quicker than the T-1000 regenerating from an injury. The aroma was not horrible, but was off in places. And the taste, while very big, was a bit too roasted and hoppy, taking away from the smoothness of an otherwise warming beer style. Once the beer had warmed a few degrees, a whole calvary of off-flavors surfaced and now it just tastes like fermented fruit and a mouthful of quarters soaked in motor oil.

Storm King needs some serious improvements to become even a decent choice for an Imperial Stout.

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Photo of bunn4funn
3.43/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11/10/05 bottled on 10/31/05 (fresh) reveiwed in my favorite snifter with my brother.

A- Black poured with a one finger head dimishing quickly to a slight oiling effect on the surface. nice little ring that stays ever so present all the way down. I also had a good amount of sedements floating around in the bottom of the three that i drank .

S- roasty malts is the first thing that comes to mind, brown sugar or something sweet in the background maybe it was a dark fruit like plums or something, coco , as the beer warms i definatly smell alcohol, thats about all i get out of it after a little over half the glass.

T- Whoa !!! That was a bitter kick in the mouth, didnt waste any time pronouncing the hops were present, this bitterness is then played down in the middle by a nice warm alcohol fuzzy to the sweetness and roasted malts taste. Very complex, as the taste comes on in chapters, bitterness goes away to sraight warm feeling everytime i take a sip even the last. Of course the roasted taste is still there but the alcohol is a lil to defining for my taste. This brew needs to be aged, I will set some aside and come back to it, but my first impression was ill stick with the Oak Aged Yeti (Great Divide).

M- Slick, heavy, and warm, slightly carbonated

D- Two was enough almost to much definately a night cap beer or for those cold bone chilling nights.

Overall- The Storm King is just that, Comes on like a raging storm then subsides to a shaken calm, nice brew very complex but ill seek out others before i try this one again, like i said maybe the cellering will help balance this out a little too. Definatly will be writing another reveiw on a more aged version.

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Photo of wcintula
3.43/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This was pretty nice, poured into a small glass coffee mug with a black body and a big brown head. Smells of strong roasted flavors, it has a good hop bite to the flavor. I was a little disappointed with the mouthfeel because I found it a bit too carbonated. Too prickly for an RIS in my tastes. All in all, a good beer, gets nicer as it warms and as you drink on, but I found it with a high acidity as well.

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Photo of gnoff
3.42/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from 12 fl oz bottle courtesy of a friend, traded from the USA.

Dark brown color, thick beige head.
Hoppy and alcohol scent, still fresh.
Sweet taste with lingering bitterness in the aftertaste.
Medium mouthfeel with low bitterness initially.

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Photo of dandandan79
3.42/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This does not taste like a roasty coffee laced stout. This is a hoppy IPA tasting beer. Not really what I want when I want a stout. If it said IPA well than okay. For an IPA its good. For a stout its bad.

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Photo of jkendrick
3.41/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark brown to black with minimal light on the edges. Thick and creamy head that sticks around for a while. Nice lacing when the head finally dissipates.

Aroma: Dark fruits and bitter coffee/espresso. The alcohol and hops aromas were present more than is typical for a stout, even an Imperial stout. Not particularly impressive.

Mouthfeel: More medium bodied than the full body I was expecting. It did have some creaminess, but the carbonation kind of overpowered the creaminess.

Taste: This is a dark fruits and bitter espresso stout. The alcohol taste was way too present for me and gives this thing a bite. I felt the overall flavor was way too bitter and not nearly balanced enough.

Overall impression: I have had this in the past and remembered it being a lot better. It's not BAD by any stretch, but it doesn't measure up to some of the best stouts I've had.

ETA: reading some other reviews, it looks as though this beer might have slipped in recent years. I don't know what you're doing differently, Victory, but please go back to your old methods.

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Photo of JamesS
3.41/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out nice and dark, although with little head for a stout and almost no lacing. It has a nice deep scent, with nice chocolate and roasted scents, although not as strong as many stouts. Good coffee taste with a nice deep flavor. Although this stout has a high ABV, the alcohol flavor is extremely slight, not overshadowing it’s nice taste at all. It goes down smoothly and is a good imperial stout, well worth a try or six.

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Photo of fountainofyouth
3.41/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Opaque brown-black and tan head. Good deal of lacing.

Smell: Strong scent of flowery hops with typical dark malt following behind.

Taste: Too hoppy! I'm inundated with floral hops, almost totally covering up the roasted barley.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied feel, lightish carbonation.

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Photo of BigBlacke
3.4/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I actually had a bottle of this given to me from the victory rep for northern Florida.
Appearance is a deep dark brown on the border of blacke. Nice foamy 1/2 inch head that dissipates slowly. Smell is of toasted malt, nuts, and a wave of floral hops. First thing I noticed about taste was the big upfront hoppiness. Not used to that so much in a stout. Dark chocolate, nuts and hops. Mouthfeel is nice and smooth. Taste of hops lingers for a while. Drinkability is about average for me. Wouldnt want to taste this one on the way up. Nice though.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.4/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

12oz bottle
Served in snifter.

A - Very dark brown to black. Topped with two inches of mocha head.

S - Initially on the pour I got chocolate, molasses, and some prune. Then some floral hops creeps in.

T - Roasted malt and grapefruit. This is the hoppiest RIS that I have had.

M - It's thick like it should be.

D - This is too hoppy for my liking in this style.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.4/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: The pour is just a deep, viscous, black liquid with a small mocha colored head.

S: The smell is hoppy, a good amount of earthy and citrus hops. There is also a fair amount of booze that comes though. There is also some nice chocolate and roasted malt.

T: The taste offers some nice roasted malt flavor, and some hops. The finish is very bitter and leaves a sort of unpleasant lingering bitterness on the tongue.

M: The feel is a little lighter than other RISes that I've had, but still good. Low carbonation and a medium to full body.

D: The beer is easy to drink, even for 9.1%. But, the unpleasant bitterness that sticks around after the sip is not welcomed.

I had high hopes for this beer, but was not impressed. It might just be a bad batch/bottle, but I don't know if I'll have this one again.

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Photo of mjrtoo
3.4/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

While I feel this beer has promise, the alcohol seemed to take center stage over the subtle stout flavors that are begging to be tasted.

Close your eyes, let the brew sit on your shelf for a half year, and it may have mellowed the alcohol kick enough to be one of the very best stouts ever made.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
3.4/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 bottle into a snifter. Black with a short lived tan head that settles to a thin ring along the edges. No lacing and emaciated supermodel legs make this sort of weak eye candy.

Initial predominant scent is rubber hose. Picked up from numerous bottles, this doesn't seem to be an anomaly. After a few minutes of time spent in the glass this off scent fades mostly to the background and what remains is bittersweet dark chocolate and dark roast.

Leafy and slightly sour hops dominate up front. There is a tree bark and lime quality that lingers long on the back end and overshadow much of the chocolate qualities promised from the nose. Maybe my memory is faulty, or my palate has changed, but this seems quite different from the bottles that really pleasantly surprised me a few years back. Seems at odds with itself.

Medium bodied with soft carbonation that manages to hide the bite well. Still, there's something off in the way the core aspects of this beer seem to battle each other more than seeking to live harmoniously. Am I alone in thinking this is a shell of what this beer once was? Verdict: uncertain.

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Photo of Crundy
3.4/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Very dark, poured a very dark brown, dark mocha colored head, sticky lacing

S: Dark roasted malt, dark fruits, dark roast coffee aromas

T: Pine hop bitterness, dark fruits, roasted malt, roasted coffee flavors, black licorice

M: dry, very bitter, well carbonated, very thick, full medium full bodied beer

O: Its pretty good, though it is a bit too bitter for my liking. This is a very surprising RIS because of the hop presence, its throwing my taste buds for a loop. It is a quality beer and very complex. Definitely worth the purchase.

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Photo of sommersb
3.4/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tasted On: 11-14-2011
Freshness: Best by 04-25-2016
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle
Glassware: Snifter
Purchased: Received in a trade

The color is jet black, with no light getting through when held to the light. The tan head is a modest one finger, but given the alcohol content is not a surprise. Retention is low but there is a good amount of lace.

Powerful, aromatic hops of pine and woods, plus a heavy amount of roast in the malts.

Big flavors of burnt, roasted grains, as in a strong coffee. This is a very bitter brew, between the hops and the roasted malts, to the point of being astringent. The alcohol makes itself known as well.

The mouthfeel is highly carbonated, with a medium body. Aftertaste is of hop bitterness and coffees. Finishes pretty harsh.

Overall a very potent stout, but in my opinion the strong hop character overshadows everything else to it's detriment.

Thanks to wyatt for this one

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Photo of pants678
3.4/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the bottle into a normal pint glass, but there's no ahead, my fault on the pour. Not doing so hot on those. Still, this stout is opaque black.

First wiff is oak. And I don't get more than that.

Tastes of a very dark chocolate, charred malts and coffee. It's hoppy for a stout, but I don't mind, it fits well with the burnt flavor. Bitter, real bitter and it lingers. A tough beer.

More carbonation than I expected, but that's okay. It's harsh but not off-putting.

Drinkable, despite how bitter it is. I could handle a few of these, I think.

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Photo of mobrado
3.4/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I wanted to like this more than I did. As others are saying, intense roast, very hoppy, aggressive carbonation. The nose was very unappealing with a strange barnyard top note.

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Photo of craytonic
3.4/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours black with a small head; little lacing.

Smell: Coffee, chocolate, caramel, toffee, hops.

Taste: Mocha/espresso chocolate, coffee, dark malts, caramel, toffee, bitter hops. A little too bitter. Too much coffee and bitter chocolate. Acidic element, and the alcohol is not hidden.

Mouthfeel: Not as full or creaming as other russian imperial stouts

Drinkability: I'm not a fan, would not drink again.

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Photo of CraftBeerTastic
3.39/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Ba Review #250
Served On: 1/30/2013
Glassware: Duvel Glass
Labeled ABV: 9.1%
Date/ Code: 7/20/12

This 12oz bottle was from a sixer I found at Ye Old Spirit Shop in Frederick.

Look: Poured a super black color with some dirty brown tinges along the edges. Initial head was 2-fingers of a frothy tan foam. Some spotty lacing, but nothing too crazy. Carbonation level seemed sort of low.

Smell: I could smell the hops right after cracking open the bottle. Sweet juniper and a sharp sassafras hop note. Also a roasted coffee character was behind the hoppy bouquet.

Taste: First up was an herbal hoppiness that gave way to a coffee-like bitterness. The bitterness continued into the finish where some malt sweetness seemed to set in. The aftertaste was fairly dry with the hops returning with that sharp resin quality.

I would consider this beer more of an Imperial American Black Ale instead of a RIS. The use of hops basically dominated both the aroma and the palate. This was defiantly a Stout brewed for hop lovers.

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Photo of StarlightSeraph
3.39/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter

Appearance: Very dark brown with a creamy light brown, two finger head. Very nice, and just how I would like a stout to look. A decent bit of the head lingered for most of the glass, with a high amount of lacing.

Smell: The alcohol is definitely evident in the aroma. Fruit seems to be the dominant aroma, but I can't place it exactly (maybe plums?). Hints of hops - must less than I expected, considering the taste.

Taste: Fruity, bitter, and sweet. A very nice hoppy kick in the aftertaste. Coffee also comes through. The taste doesn't linger nearly long enough, however. Despite smelling it, I don't taste any of the 9.1% ABV. Hops are the most prevalent flavor, and become more dominant as the beer warms. A tiny bit of the alcohol kick also comes through as the beer warms. Not very balanced.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly thin. Highly carbonated, but a very thin mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Dangerously easy to drink, as the alcohol is masked very well. It did warm my stomach after awhile, even though it didn't come through in the taste. However, I was kind of disapointed by this. It has the hoppiness of an IPA, the color/alchohol content of an imperial stout...but doesn't really succeed at being either.

This was my first really 'hoppy' dark beer, so maybe I'm just not that in to the style - I would prefer either hoppy or dark, but not necessarily one at the same time.

For me, this was a case of looks being decieving. It poured beautifully, but that was the most enjoyable part of this beer. I doubt I would buy it again, but I wouldn't necessarily refuse it. It wasn't bad, but I guess it's just not a beer I prefer.

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Photo of gatorlove
3.39/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is almost like a black ipa. All I got was hops on the nose. Non of the notes you would expect from an Imperial stout. The same thing with the taste.

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Photo of yobeerman
3.39/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Very dark coffee colored with a thin mocha lacing. Great looking beer.

S - Not a strong aroma but what is evident are scents of Coffee and Roasted malt, with a slight hoppiness.

T - Roasted Malt is dominant but a strong hoppy bitterness follows. The bitterness becomes increasingly stronger as you drink this beer - the taste of coffee fights for its part.

M - Medium bodied and smooth, with little carbonation. The bitter roasted flavor was overwhelming though and stays with you long after your last sip.

D - The bitterness was to much for me - overwhelming. One's enough.

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Photo of SisuPride
3.39/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Black, not much of a head
S - I consider this to be a little spicey smelling - it will wake your nose up.
T - Almost too spicey in flavor for me. A beer I have to be in the mood for paired with the right meal and beer to precede it.
M - A little creamy and relatively rich. Not oily - more clean.
D - I would drink two of these at most. I would say it lingered in my hand longer than most beers - maybe because I wasn't wild for it. Better than most beers because I am a fan of stouts in general but I would place it in the bottom half of stouts I have had.

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Photo of kalosjakar
3.39/5  rDev -17.3%
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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Storm King Stout from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
4.1 out of 5 based on 5,825 ratings.
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