Storm King Stout | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

2,636 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: 2,636 | Ratings: 5,895
Photo of canucklehead
4.63/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Malto for this sample. My god , the head looked like a Starbucks exploded into a full gale making me realize that this stout was for the big boys or girls. It smelled like a cross between Old Crusty and Rogue Imperial Stout mixed together; all plums, alcohol, hops and tobacco.

The taste was to say the least intense; big, nay huge hops with a backbone the size of Texas. I love Barleywines and so was not overwhelmed by the complexity and in your face profile of this beer.
Yeah, cellaring would smooth things out but I loved this beer.

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Photo of COBeerBuff
4.63/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours the darkest of blacks with absolutely zero light coming through. A gorgeous fluffy mocha colored head rests lightly above the storm below. The light fluffy head contributes wonderful lacing down the sides of the goblet. God, this looks yummy!

Smell: Sweet chocolate and coffee malty goodness. The roasted character is highly prevalent in the nose, and it smells delicious. Some hints of alcoholic esters fade in and out as well.

Taste: Roasted coffee and espresso goodness be found! The sweetness is well balanced by the bitterness of the coffee and the roasted malts. Some twinges of oatmeal also are present.

Mouthfeel: Thick and chewy. This is definitely a solid RIS. It coats the tongue and mouth, and leaves a very strong coffee and espresso aftertaste.

Drinkability: Its 9.1% ABV is on the lower side for some of the richer RIS's, and its coffee flavor is definitely on the high end as well. If either of these factors are not high on your list of wants, this might not be the RIS for you. Personally, it's exactly what I want from an RIS: rich, creamy, chewy, malty, bitter, yummy goodness!

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Photo of lostbearbrew
4.63/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark, opaque black with just a little allowance of light and dark tan/brown head.

Smell: Strong burnt malt/bittersweet chocolate with hints of both coffee and hops.

Taste: Caresses your tongue and coats your mouth with a thick, rich flavor that seems like all the best potential flavors ever in any stout have combined here. From rich expresso notes to the smooth chocolate tinge, this is one kickbutt stout.

Mouthfeel: Next to absolute perfection. Medium to Heavy body that goes down perfectly smooth. The smoothest and easiest quaffing imperial stout I've ever tasted.

Drinkability: Warming alcohol is quite well hidden. The 9+% alch can sneak up on careful - I won't have more than two of these in one sittng (anymore) as they do start to seem heavier after one..and as experience has shown, even more so, after two. A stunningly great beer, for certain, and one I always buy a case of on trips home to PA.

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Photo of CharlesRiver
4.63/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Just an outstanding beer what I could have time after time. This beer pours out solid black in color with a small tan head. The smell is coffee and chocolate all the way. Malty and grainy as well. The taste is like a strong cup of espresso. Complex and long, this is a beer to sip. Coffee flavors kind of die down but the chocolate richness comes through more. I am guessing this is a fresher keg as some hop notes come through at the end.

A world class beer that I could drink at ANYTIME!

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Photo of inebrius
4.63/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Whipped head paints the inside of a pint better than Behr premium plus. Rousing nose of vanilla cake iced in chocolate buttercreme and slathered with a fresh cherry sauce; some decorative toasted shortbread cookies thrown in for effect. A cup of espresso and a shot of wheatgrass on the side. Starts simultaneous sweet malt and roast petering into nutskin and ramping up lingering hop to finish. Hairless and almost too easy to drink.

Huge cheers to frank4sail for sending this one!

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Photo of KFaulkner
4.63/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Here it is; Storm King.

This is perhaps "the perfect beer." Of course, RIS's are a style beer snobs are partial to, but the storm king is amazing. When you factor in not just taste and drinkability, but also price and availability, you have a beer I would call "damn near perfect." Nothing flashy or fancy, this beer blows many bottle-conditioned corked Imperial Stouts out of the water.

As said before, not much else to say. It's gorgeous, smells great, hoppy yet malty, sweet yet complex and the alcohol is not just hidden, but necessary to add to the complexity of the package. Notes of espresso and, as the bottle says, "character" round it out.

Get it... now.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.63/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a rick, opaque, nearly black brown with a thick tan head. Aroma is wonderfully dark and smoky. Flavor does not disappoint - it is decidedly stouty with strong burnt overtone and coffee hints. Drinking this is almost like drinking spiked cold coffee. Rich and smooth, it has a fierce finish that is a little fiery and very pleasing. I strongly recommend it to all stout lovers.

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Photo of pharmer
4.64/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a SA pint glass. Pours like syrup and creates a 2-finger light brown creamy head..The head diminishes into a thinner one..however it is enough to cover the beer throughout the drink..Lacing is evident on the walls of the glass

Smells of citrusy hops, coffee and roasted malt..with a very light alcohol smell in the back.

Feels silky smooth in the mouth with a nice tight carbonation.

Tastes intially of coffee and roasted grain...some nice bright citrusy hops in the middle...and finishing with a bitterness that remains on seemingly forever.

Simply put, the finest stout I've enjoyed to date(I look forward to trying to find a better one). What's scary is that it has over 9% ABV and I could drink a sixer of these very easily. This is a must try for any true beer lover.

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Photo of zeff80
4.64/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Coutresy of dertbert.

A - Poured out a clear, jet black color with a small, caramel colored head that dissipated quickly. It did leave some lace.

S - Wow! A ton of chocolate aroma! There are also notes of caramel and toffee.

T - It has a very sweet chocolate taste. It had an espresso-like flavor.

M - It was soft and smooth with a warming alcohol presence. A medium to heavy-bodied beer.

D - This is a very good beer. The aroma was simply outstanding and that carried over into the taste.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.64/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours super dark black with a small 1/4" head of tight tan bubbles. The beer has quite a few bubbles rising, but this doesn't maintain the head. The head falls within about 30 seconds to end up as a small ring around the top of the glass. Later the beer looked pretty still.

Aroma: Wow! I get clean chocolate malt along with some roast and a good dose of floral hops in the mix, and this is only the first sniff. There is some serious alcoholic notes coming out as both spice and a oxidative plum-like effect from the malt. As you swirl the beer, there is some alcohol as well as a good bit of fruitiness, but the beer doesn't have an overly acidic edge as some Russian Imperial Stouts do.

Taste: The flavor doesn't hide the strength as it gives you a warming effect pretty much right away. There is a good bit of roast as well as some toasty notes in there, but the alcohol is probably the biggest player here. There is a bunch of hops in this beer. They come across as lending a dry bitter edge to the finish as well as a bouquet of floral flavors that fade in and out throughout the flavor profile. After the hops get through, there is some alcohol that warms up the finish and stays a contender long into the finish.

Opinion: This is an excellent beer, and I am so glad that it is available in the Houston least for now. This beer has complexity and balance so that it is pleasing to the palate at just about every turn. It is very difficult to come up with any flaw in this beer. If you were to twist my arm, I would probably think that the hops should play a bit smaller role and that some toasty malts should take its place...other than this, I have nothing to contribute and I would drink this beer just about any time the opportunity presented itself.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Jet black beer, thick as pitch, thin mocha crown, decent stickiness and retention. Very syrupy looking.

Nose: must and earth, citric acid, rosted grains, coffee and chicory.

Taste: Complex malt character. They’re big and roasty. Coffee, dark chocolate, bitter chicory, molasses, dirt, and dank wood. Subtle dark fruit comes through the finish.

MF: Thick yet smooth as silk worm’s cocoon. Hints of citrus balance out the big malts.

Drinkability: Really dangerous. This one goes down too easy for the ABV and style.

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Photo of DESTRO
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

my roomate who works for an airline brought this back from a stop in new york and i will forever love him. this stuff glugs out dark as dark can get. aromas of roasted malt, sweet molasses, licorice and alcohol. sounds like a strong mix, but unlike some other motoroil stouts it does it in a welcoming gesture that is more pleasant than most. taste is alot like the nose, sweet and strong. roasted coffee beans, dark chocolates, sweet malt, a perfect hop bitterness...the works. slight alcohol tug at the end. thick and rich in the mouth, creamy and coating. this is a big beer, but what makes it so awesome is that it is so drinkable its scary. this gets a full blast zepplin "black dog" tribute and an attempt at the splits.

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Photo of NiceGuyMike
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

To be honest I wasn't expecting much from this beer. What I was expecting was in your face hoppiness or some other "American" (read high alcohol) style attribute. When I saw it in the store I was pleased to see something new, so I gave it a try.

The first pour showed me that I was up against a true stout with an impossibly dark body. A fine tan head formed with a touch of lacing. My initial sniff reveal my fears. Hops and a lot of hops. I like the smell, but get tired a big taste of hops so I was concerned. Further smells reveals hints of smokiness and coffee and chocolates. I'm impressed with the smell.

My first taste gave a some hopiness along with the expected smokey stoudness. This is soon followed by a decent amount of bitterness in the back of the mouth. Alcohol is evident too which is expected. The hopiness is perfect. It is ubundant, but necessary for this brew. Further tastes provides great depth of flavors already described.

I drank the first brew with a burger and fries (left overs). What a combo, this is truely something goes well with food. It also goes well on it's own as well as on it's own as my second glass showed me the next day. This is a near perfectly drinkable beer.

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Photo of Erix
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pint glass filled from bottle.
Appearance: Looks Delicious. Extremely dark, with a khaki colored head.
Smell: Hops come through in a big way. Smells malty too, and less burnt that I expected. Maybe a little too cold? Less luscious than the Black Chocolate Stout I just had last night. I've had to raise the rating for the smell as the beer warmed. Now dark chocolate and fruit are apparent, like a cherry cordial.
Taste: Starts with dark malt and its burnt bitterness, met by the hops and their herbal bitterness, and counters this bitterness with the sweet malt and alcohol, and refuses to go away even after there is no beer left to drink. I get such a mass of flavor out of each sip that I have trouble picking out more than a few threads... coffee, chocolate, toast, sweet something or other..
Mouthfeel: Drying, warm (almost hot if held in the mouth too long) thick, but not as thick as what I have become accustomed to with the style. Very coating, helping to keep the taste going long after each sip.
Drinkability: As often happens when I start on a beer that is strong in both flavor and alcohol, my opinion of the drinkability has increased as I emptied my glass. The astringency makes this a rather easy beer to drink, prompting a self perpetuating need for more libation. Good stuff.

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Photo of soupyman10
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Jet black pour, a finger of tan head. Scent is really sweet maltiness, dried fruit, apricot, grapes, maybe some raspberry. Taste is strong roasted malt first, molasses, brown sugar up front. Hop presences as the beer drips down. A good amount of dried fruit, specifically raisins. Coffee, with those hops again the background. Feel is thick and creamy, good carbonation. An excellent beer, great Russian Imperial, although not quite up to the Bell's Expedition Stout I had a bit ago, IMO.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first ever Russian Imperial...happy happy joy joy.

Pours nearly pitch black with a cappuccino colored head that vanishes nearly instantly. After a quick whiff, smells very caramelly, and also of coffee. Absolutely beautiful scent. After the first taste, very get used to it after awhile, and can enjoy the tastes of very dark chocolate, caramel, and coffee. Very light in the mouth, doesn't feel heavy at all. It has a pretty high ABV however, so you won't be able to put back more than a couple in a night. Its a very nice sipper to have beside you in the winter.

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Photo of TheodorHerzl
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received from RutersBeerguy in the top 100 BIF. Thank you Sir!

A -- Pours a deep black hue with one finger of mocha colored head. spotty lacing on my snifter
S - wonderful roasted malt smell with undertones of espresso and chocolate. A good amount of hop presence as well.
T - this is the winner on this beer for me. Bold upfront flavors of roasted grain, coffee, and bitter dark chocolate. All flavors meld so well together.
M- So super smooth and creamy almost silky on my mouth.

D- If i could buy this stuff locally I would stock my beer closet with it. Fantastic brew.

A big thanks to RutersBeerGuy for this. Fantastic beer.

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Photo of isaac
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured fom a 12oz bottle into my standard pint glass.

A - dark. dark. dark brown, basically black. looks like very dark coffee. pours a small, one finger head that sinks into thick bubbles and clumpy clacing down the glass

S - a very pleasing aroma. take an IPA or DIPA (citrus hops) and mix it with chocolate and roasted coffee.

T - whoa. the hop content of the smell is lessened up front by the big malty flavors (chocolate, roasted grains, earthiness, and mild sweetness). after that, the hop bitterness, with hints of lemon or orange (perhaps, might i say, grapefruit?) rind, kicks in and pushes the sweeter flavors from off the palate, but a hint of dark cocoa powder remains in the finish. high amounts of gut and throat warming from the alcohol.

M - not as thick as i would have thought - i'd say this is perhaps even thinner than the big DIPAs (such as moylan's beers), but it seems to gain more volume in the finish, becoming somewhat syrupy (which is good, i think, for this style and other big beers). the carbonation is a bit strong and burns the tongue, but it isn't awful.

D - very high. besides the slightly-overdone carbonation, i can't think of much wrong with this beer. another A+ from victory. i wish i had more, but, with the 10% ABV, maybe it's good that i should lay back; got to get up early tomorrow, afterall.

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Photo of cretemixer
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The deepest, darkest, brown with ruby highlights that is possible without being totally black. A thick tan head rests atop this delicious looking brew as light carbonation rises from the dark depths of my imperial pint glass.

Dark chocolate and hops are the most dominant aromas with hints of mochaccino and alcohol.

The taste is in line with the nose. I'm getting a nice nuttiness too. Very malty with a subdued hop presence. Very well balanced. This beer has a bittersweet quality that many Imperials strive for.

Thick and smooth, not too sticky and nicely carbonated.

Would I drink another? Hell yes! Do I want another? Hell yes! Do I have another? Unfortunately no, but I will be seeking this one out again. A huge thanks goes out to aaronh for this awesome beer, the last survivor of our beer trade. It has lived up to the hype IMHO.

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Photo of 57andcounting
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This highly regarded beer is even better from the cask. The dark head moves to a ring as time goes by. The smell is caramel, chocolate, tar, hops and a slight alcohol. The taste reflects the smell. Very, very smooth.

The balance between the heavy flavors, alcohol and hops is the best. This is the most drinkable stout beer. The mouth feel is light and clean.

This is a beer to enjoy with a good meal, on a cold, damp evening, or for that matter, in place of food. There is enough of body here that after a few glasses of this you wouldn't be hungry or cold.

Great beer, buy it every time you see it in the cast.

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Photo of corby112
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sampled at Resurrection Ale House on 12/04/2009. I've had this beer many times in bottles but this was the first time I've sampled it on cask.

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with very faint mahogany edges and a one finger foamy chocolate brown head that slowly settles into a lasting cap which leaves streaks of lacing behind.

Roasted chocolate malt aroma with a surprisingly prominent hop presence as well as some roasted coffee bean, bitter sweet dark chocolate, booze, caramel, toffee and more chocolate.

Silky chocolate malty body that again is surprisingly hop forward. Much more so than in the bottled version. Very smooth and well balanced with a lot of silky malt flavor and subtle roastiness. Hints of caramel, toffee and subtle roasted coffee bean accompany the luscious lactic creamy darrk chocolate flavor and the subtle hops up front provide a nice balance without providing too much bitterness. A lot of Imperial Stouts I've had lately have been way too aggressively hopped taking away from the creamy sweet maltiness that I like so much but this one is balanced perfectly. The cask conditioning gives this body an incredible quaffale smoothness that takes the roughness off of the bottled version. Dangerously drinkable with an almost undetectable high ABV. I had to slow myself down because I was drinking it entirely too fast. Highly recommended in any version but especially if you have the chance to sample it on cask.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Vintage Bottled 04 of November 2003, Sampled February 2004
Pours a pitch black color, and with a thick creamy brown head. Dark fruit, roasted malt, coffee aromas waft from my glass. The roasted characteristics are not overwhelming in any way though, seem to be well in balance. A thick creamy mouth feel to this beer. Definitely reminiscent of a rich coffee concoction, perhaps with a bit of chocolate in it too. It is quite interesting how the flavor hops contribute to a beer when it is so thick & dark. In a lighter beer you would be able to detect the over the top hops immediately, here they just seem to add another dimension to the beer. The hops help to soften the effects of the roasted malts and they help to boost the perception of a dark fruitiness, They also add a citrusy tingling sensation to the tongue. This beer is so well integrated I cannot imagine how it will get any better with age, but I do have a 6'er which I plan on aging to see how this changes. I do still love the fact that this beer is not too heavy, for an Imp-Stout it is nice, light, and easy sipping (note that it is still quite the sipping brew though).

Bottled Oct 15, 2002. Sampled October 27, 2003
This beer is a deep black color, when held up to the light it is seen to be quite clear. When roused a thick dark brown head appears. Notes of burnt raisin waft from the glass. Roasted malt is quite evident in the nose as well. The taste is very good, it is all over the place, not one dimensional at all. Not over the top in its roast character (like some Imp-Stouts), this is wonderful as it allows lots of the other flavors to come through. There are notes of a rich port, and a slight bit of sherry in the finish. The Storm King is fairly light bodied for this style of beer. It is fruity tasting, which is accentuated by the hop flavor that has been put into this beer. Quite novel to me to pack an Imperial-Stout with flavor hop additions, I really like this idea, especially in this relatively 'light' bodied example. One could easily drink a couple of pints of this, and regret it later. The more I drink the more I like this beer, I wish that I had more. I can't wait to get a fresh sample of this beer.

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Photo of aforbes10
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

this was a good night for me. a storm king (courtesy of dispholidus1), then a founders breakfast stout. wow. this one poured black but some light penetrates the liquid so its not the thickest i've seen. lots of nice lacing and head retention. chocolate, some hop odor. hoppy taste, lots of coffee flavor, sweet roasted chocolate taste. nicely bitter. this is a very good, top of the line stout. not disappointed despite high expectations.

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Photo of maundythirsty
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Black like midnight, with a wet off-white head that comes down to a thick ring and adheres to the glass in a veins. Rich, powerful smell is parts roasted malt, dried fruit and light citrus hops.

Exquisite divergent dancing sweetness and hefty, tasty burnt coffee and hop bitterness. I do love a balanced beer. Thick and creamy in the mouth, and very capable of supporting more carbonation than the average Russian imperial stout.

A real luxury. So disappointing to hear it's a seasonal, so necessary to stock up. Buy it. Put it away. I'm nervous that I only have a few left, and my friends have had a taste. We may just turn on each other...

EDIT ...
Storm King is apparently now a year-round Victory offering. Hooray.

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Photo of godfathermg57
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very dark stout with little head. The alcohol is certainly present, but this is one of the more drinkable dark stouts I've had. Taste is quite exceptional and so is the aftertaste.

Overall I would highly recommend this brew. While it is fairly alcoholic, this is still a smooth drinkable stout.

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Storm King Stout from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
4.1 out of 5 based on 5,895 ratings.
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