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: 5,886
Photo of soulgrowl
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: This is the best-looking head on an RIS I've seen in a while, nougaty in texture and hazelnut-coffee in color with remarkably good retention. Body is a perfect jet black.

Smell: Sumptuous chocolate fudge, figs, grape juice, prunes, molasses, honey, and licorice - all the good stuff you'd hope for in an RIS. The malts are perfumed with spicy alcohol combined with a very interesting cinnamon tone reminiscent of Churros. Hops are quite fruity, grapefruity to be precise, though the bright citric quality also calls to mind limes. The sweet-spicy-booziness of it all reminds me of brandy or port.

Taste: Mmm... loads of coffee and chocolate, plus a lovely smoky/burnt flavor. Not as fruity as I anticipated, just supremely rich and dark. Molasses, honey, and prunes round out the sweetness, while mellow alcohol (with a whiskey-like burn) and pithy, zesty hops fence everything in. Finish is dry and predominantly bitter, with lingering Campari and burnt sugar flavors.

Mouthfeel: Fantastically smooth and full, yet still dry.

Drinkability: This is good stuff! A very impressive, balanced yet endlessly flavorful RIS.

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

Oh my.... She is a classic beauty. A graceful body shrouded in blackness, wearing a vintage antique white hat. Her vanity is alluring, and I am helpless.

Closer inspection reveals a fragrance dominated by dark chocolate & sultry molasses. I have never smelled a sweeter scent, or one less subtle. The effect on the tongue is similar, but with a sassy bitterness and a smokey aftertaste.

The feel is milky smooth, but firm. Don't get out of line though, or you'll get a smack in the mouth. She's a lot of things, but timid is not on the list. I suggest you tread carefully and show a lot of respect, because she will kick your ass if you don't.

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

This is a really good imperial stout, and certainly the best bang for the buck where I'm located (Columbus, OH), at $10 per 6-pack. I have to drive across town to get it, and it's well worth it.

Although drinkable, this beer is worthy of being sipped, as the taste and mouthfeel evolve rather than simply fading. The initial vanilla hit fades, followed by a noble cola/coffee bitterness truly worthy of the stout designation, followed by alcohol. The head could be darker for an imperial and it could last longer, but the taste is solid and full, on par with what a stout should be. Unlike some other popular imperial/Russian imperial stouts, there's nothing overdone about Storm King. Because Great Lakes' Blackout Stout is seasonal (Feb/Mar), the Storm King is my stout standard for ten months out of the year, when available.

Unlike most beers, my cat actually wants to drink this one rather than just lick the side of the glass--I see that as a compelling endorsement. Too strong for kitty, though. But just right for me.

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

Pours jet black with modest, dissipating off-white foam and a bit of lace. Nose is slight ale fruitiness with a good amount of espresso backed by alcohol. Fairly full-bodied and ultra smooth, there is a TON of flavor that leaps out immediately with this brew. Plenty of espresso is backed by very dark chocolate with a very faint fruity complexity. Again, quite smooth and a bit slick, there's an astringency and lingering bitterness that balances all the big malts. This is definitely one of my favorite beers regardless of style. Excellent!

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Photo of altctrlsdelete
4.66/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Storm King on cask reminds me of why I'm proud to be an American. Served from the engine directly in front of me, the glass is an opaque obsidian the likes of which is to be feared. A foamy tan head tops it off, and leaves incredible lacing behind as I work my way through this masterpiece. This is an exceptional beer out of the bottle, and it is something to be honored and cherished on cask. Nothing touches it, stout or otherwise. Without hesitation, I would order a Storm King on cask before I'd order anything else (that I've already had).

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.66/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a jet black color with a 2 finger tan head that falls to a quarter inch cover over the beer. The nose is deep chocolate and dark figgy fruit with a really apparetn alcohol. The flavor is very chocolatey and roasty, finishing strong on coffee tones. There is also a creamieness in the flavor as well that make it so smooth. The feel is as smooth as a can be, almost velvety. There is a little bit of syrupy feel that keeps the beer on my tongue. Fantastic beer. For a beer above 9%, this one doesn't let me know anything about it except in the nose. Victory, you do very good work.

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Photo of cubedbee
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle bottled 9/27/05. Pours a dark oil black, absolutely opaque, a thin beige head, some small amount of lacing. Nose is a combination of roasted malt, chocolate, caramel and big floral and piney hops, very appetizing. Taste is more of the same hoppy roasted goodness, espresso, dark chocolate, roasted malt, chocolate covered cherries, lots of great stout flavors, all infused with wonderful resinous bitter hops. I've just gotten into hoppier dark roasted beers, and this is the best balanced of the lot I've tried (Alpha Klaus, Black Sun, Yeti), really showcasing the hop flavors, but still allowing the dark roasted stout tastes to showcase. Excellent beer, can't believe I haven't tried this local stuff before, need to stock up immediately.

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Photo of guitarmage
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: One of the blackest beers I've seen, a coffee tan lacing sits on top, foamy, thin, inviting.

Smell: Clean and crisp, gentle roasted malt, coffee, unsweetened chocolate, some aromatic herbal or spiciness, pine and cream.

Taste: Big nuttiness and coffee beans, brown bread, fresh baked, then comes the herbal hops, medium intensity and balanced out with a milky creaminess, hops hang on the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and creamy, carbonation is very light, but the beer is very drinkable and goes down easy.

Drinkability: Delicious, one of the best stouts hands down, very complex, not too sweet, tastes like a meal. I'd like this with a hearty meal.

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Photo of grub
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a deep black with a thin brown head.

smell is nice. roasty and malty. slightly vinous, with just a hint of alcohol. dried fruit, like raisin or date.

taste is great. roasty. biscuity malt. bittersweet chocolate and espresso. nice bitterness in the finish. the dried fruit coming through again.

mouthfeel is great. carbonation level is moderate, which works great.

drinkability is excellent. higher than i thought it would be on a 9.1% beer, but it's really well balanced and hides its alcohol well.

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Photo of Derek
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled Sep 27 05.

A: Dark, dark black. Tan head, only a little retention (not really enough for a stout), but it does leave some lace.

S: It smells bitter, oily and somewhat alcoholic. Some citrus & pine with a dark, burnt, maltyness.

T: Dark, bitter chocolate. Orange and pine from the hops. A little molases with a slight spicyness, like jaggery. Dark fruit (raisin and prune) with some dark, burnt caramel. Slight acidic tartness in the finish. The bitterness and hop flavour are assertive, but they're not over-powering. The alcohol is apparant, but it takes a back seat to all the other flavour. I really like this one... though I do think it would benefit from some more fruity esters (from a British yeast).

M: Thick, somewhat syrupy body with a chalky finish. Light to moderate carbonation. It's a mouthful, so the lighter carbonation is nice.

D: Awesome for a RIS.

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Photo of animal69
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

w/ my Jags leading at halftime, i figured it was time for this ; pours a darkest black only letting a touch of dried-blood red light through the edges, a thick light brown head slipped away a bit quick, but left a good lacing in my pint ; a full-on malt assault w/ a nutty, roasted malt smell up front followed by a strong, suprisingly pleasant floral hop nose w/ some dark fruit and poss. munich-type malts lingering ; the flavor is almost identicle to the smell, but w/ a stronger hop influence, just, wow, it's really good (how do you describe that ?) "awesome" maybe a better word ; a robust, almost full, dry mouthfeel, this is prob. the best stout i've ever had, beats Sam Smith's impy by bottle lengths, victory never ceases to amaze me, i'd drink this forever if God would let me, this is a "must try" for stout lovers....

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Photo of twilight
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The first time I had this was two months ago, and I *hated* it, so I think I might have had a bad bottle before, or I'm having an exceptional one now. Pours black as midnight, and seemingly thicker than normal beer into a nonick pint with virtually no head. Still, the color is dead on for an imperial stout, and the blackness just makes me want to drink it now. Aroma is of roasted barley with hints of belgian sweetness. I'd say plums, but it's only what I imagine plums to smell like. The smell is thick, is the best way to describe it. Taste is overwhelmingly roasted mixed in with some slight fruity sweetness that finishes into this slight sourness that that is holy on the palate. Though I may not agree with the fruityness in the beer, it is amazing. The coffeelike textures of the flavor, and the portlike sweetness. It's to die for. Carbonation is a moot point. I mean, it's there, but the full richness in the mouth. It's too delicious to be quaffed all night, but if I find this on tap. I'm going to be a rider on the storm. An excellent offering from Victory, and an addition to my trinity of Imperial Stouts (this, Samuel Smith and Rogue) so far. I'm going to have to look for another sixer to be able to enjoy this until it comes out again.

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Photo of jabocu
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Mike at Brawley’s in Charlotte, NC for hooking me with one of these!

Very dark coffee color with a one finger dense tan cap. Cap diminished to lacings along side and surface within a minute. Lots of aromatic citrus hops. Nice caramel sweet maltiness with notes of coffee and dark chocolate. Alcohol is in the nose. This very robust flavor starts off as sweet caramel toffee, coffee and chocolate. Transforms into a very biting citrus hop bitterness. The bitterness clings to the back of the tongue as all the flavors mellow. However, the aftertaste is gone fast and leaves a charcoal bitterness leaving you wanting more. Full-bodied with light-medium carbonation. Very excellent beer! I just hope I can find some more.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5


Pours as thick as melted wax, a black bitumen looking liquid that effervesces and settles with a nitrogenous looking separation that Guinness would be proud of. The head forms readily into a large brown mass, is well aerated, very crusty, bubbly and it laces the glass sides with eloquence. Head settles to a creamy 1/4” – but as thick as a “Navvies Slice”.
Nose, hold on – I get Chocolate Rice Crispies, the chocolate is so prevalent in the nose that I am now imagining a bowl of Rice Crispies sat in a pool of cool brown milk. Other aromas are malt, and er, well, erm… chocolate again. Hmmm. Tastes are chocolate at the beginning; cocoa powder in the middle, hoppy at the end, and the finish has a burnt roast twist and a lovely coffee bitterness. This must be what Cold “Hot” Chocolate tastes like.
I was so embroiled in drinking this beer that I took few Notes – so that’s it. One of my shortest Reviews.

Liquid Coffee Walnut Whip in a Glass. Young’s Chocolate Stout – eat yer heart out!!

9.1% - are you kidding me! Really!! Awesome. Very High Drinkability regardless.

“A bloody reet gud Staarrrt”, as we would say in Yorkshire, England.

Updated 12/25 : According to Rotsaruch, who knows much more about these things than me, as the bottle is undated (I checked several times) it was therefore a 2001 Vintage. So There!!

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Photo of DmanGTR
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - pitch black with very slight garnet hues in the light with 1/2" tan head that left a ring of bubbles and laced minimally in my pint glass.

S - dark chocolate, coffee, slight waft of burnt toast and smokiness. Somewhat floral.

T - very dark malts, chocolate, and coffee with a mild breadiness. No alcoholic taste detected despite the high alcohol content.

M - full bodied, light/medium carbonation. A little chewy and thick on the palate. Quite pleasant.

D - very drinkable. Extremely smooth but the alcohol may catch up to you.

Overall - This is in my opinion one of the greatest stouts available out there. It is rich, flavorful, and you do not need to drink a lot of it to be satisfied (even though you'll want to slam down a few of these in one evening). If the alcohol wasn't so high I'd say it would make an excellent session beer, much like Guinness Extra Stout, but since it is quite potent, I'd like to savor one or two of these on a cool evening with an irish cream cigar. Will buy again ($12/6 pack at Wegmans)

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Photo of khiasmus
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Looks like thick coffee. Pours a dark brown with a light tan head that settles to a thin lace quickly.

S- Wonderful. Piney hops with thick, sweet malt that leaves a heavy sensation in the nose, one that makes you want to smell it and savor for hours before you drink it.

T- The only reason this doesn't get a 5 is the slight metallic note. That's the only reason. Strong hops, strong malt, perfect balance but dense and intense.

M- Well carbonated but smooth, thick but light. This mouthfeel is perfect.

D- One of the easiest imperial stouts around to drink. Dangerous for the alcohol content.

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Photo of itcomesnpints
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I finally got to try this one, and it was better than I expected. I never truly enjoyed a RIS until Storm King came along.

The pour is a dark vacuum with a feisty tan head that quickly dissipates. Lacing is minimal. Right out of the fridge the aroma is mostly refreshing hop bitterness, but as it warms, the smell consists more of roasted coffee and dark chocolate. The taste is simply perfect. Deep roasted coffee and chocolate, followed with a crisp bitter hop aftertaste. A full-bodied brew that feels just right. Storm King Stout easily deserves all the hype.

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Photo of cakebread
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottled Sep 27, 05

A - Dark as night, two finger head that quickly faded leaving almost no lacing.

S - Roasted malt with a hint of the hops to come with a bit of a prune scent.

T - Dark bittersweet chocolate with coffee at first. Then come the hops and just the right amount of sweet to make this so balanced.

M - Almost creamy but not as full-bodied as I'd expect for a double stout at 9% ABV.

D - I pondered knocking off half a point because its just too drinkable for me, but would that be fair?

Postnote: I love stouts with hops that stand out, like Sierra Nevada's Stout. I find that incredbly drinkable for a stout and consider this the double stout evil-twin of SN Stout. I usually find double or imperial stouts to be "sippers", but I find myself having to slow way way down when drinking Storm Kings.

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Photo of ski271
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark brown with hardly any light passing through. Head is medium-sized, creamy, light tan and slowly diminishing leaving some light lacing.

Smell: BIG roasted malt aroma! Cherry, alcohol, milk chocolate, slight coffee, and a hint of banana. Very complex and wonderful.

Taste: Big and bold malt presence with dark, fruity, coffee undertones. As it warms up a bit, it reveals even more complexity. Resin, molasses, vanilla and… is that licorice? The finish is long, bitter and wonderful.

Mouthfeel: Everything about this beer is big and heavy, including the mouthfeel, but its creamy texture and soft carbonation make it much more drinkable than one would expect from such a robust beer.

Drinkability: See above. This beer is absolutely marvelous. A must try!

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Photo of egajdzis
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

(9 months old – 9/16/03) Poured a black, opaque color with a medium sized tan head that did leave some lacing on the glass. Aroma of sweet chocolate malts and a slight hint of dark fruit in the aroma as well. Bitter coffee, sweet chocolate taste, slightly hoppy. No alcohol can be noticed, considering this is 9.1 Pure heaven!.

(Cask 8 months old – 7/26/04) Opaque black with a small tan head and beautiful lacing. Roasted and floral hop aroma. Chocolate soaked hop taste with a strong roasted coffee finish. Dark fruits (berry and plum), nuts, and just the slightest bit of alcohol. This was a cask so it was not carbonated, and it was simply incredible!

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Photo of CJfromPhilly
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pitch black with a fluffy light tan/beige head thats sticks around for a minute & clings to the glass with every sip. Aroma is of malt & light smoke. Taste, ahhh. Roasty, toasty malts mixed with light smoke, coffee (black, no cream or sugar), and unsweetened chocolate. Hop bitterness, & a slight hint of alcohol which is almost TOO well hidden for a beer packing a 9.1% abv punch. The mixture of coffee, chocolate, & hops clings to your tongue well after the last sip is gone. Overall: this is the stout that made me appreciate stouts!

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Photo of QXSTER1
4.68/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This beer in a bottle is great, on tap it's magnificent. A dark, rich brown topped with a dense, quiet tan head it pours thick like an Imperial Stout should. The mouthfeel of the first sip is impressive with full bodied chewiness and surprising complexity. Roasted malt and barley assault your taste buds and then mingle with the resiny hops for a truly complex brew. This is one great stout.

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Photo of bditty187
4.68/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Absolute blackness, there is no “hue” to it, opaque and dense. The brunette head reached a quick finger in height before shrinking to a loose soapy collar, which clung well. As I quaffed it slowly it laced decently. Magnificent looking, if for no other reason that the black body it possesses. A shallow whiff produced a pleasant roasted maltiness, I knew there had to be more, I went in for seconds, this time I noticed strong piney hops behind the malts. Imperial Stout no doubt, Americanized as well. The potency was strong enough to be tempting, so why wait to sip? The palate on Storm King surprised me, I wasn’t expected such a well-blended beverage. The roasted malts were far deeper and long lasted that I anticipated and when the hops were introduced to the tongue there wasn’t this epic battle for bragging right, but a sensuous dance that awoken my tastebuds. The roasted malts, with its own coffee-like bitterness, led the tango but the piney, bitter hops had its own moves. It was scrumptious and magical with an aftertaste of complex maltiness with a splash of hoppy bitterness that seamlessly allowed for a smidge of alcohol to round off the ale. I’ve witnessed Storm King reign on BA for over a year and now that I’ve finally tried it, thanks to sulldaddy, I understand why. The taste is aggressive and welcoming, powerful and yielding, stylish and blunt. I am impressed. Full bodied, thick in fact, with moderate carbonation. The mouthfeel is dead-on and truly lovely. I’m not gushing folks, this beer is awesome… and I hate every one of you who can drink this on a regular basis. No seriously, I do. It is going to be very difficult to cellar the other two bottles, thanks again sulldaddy you made my day!

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Photo of hyuga
4.68/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First of all, a big thanks to fellow BA francisweizen for this sample, my first Victory beer, which I've been looking forward to for ages. This is a beautiful beer, I have to give it a perfect 5 in the looks department. The mocha brown head stays exceptionally and impressively well, which seems to be a tough thing for many imperial stouts to pull off. The aromas I'm getting are delicate, sweet chocolate, smooth and quite creamy mocha, toffee chips, and a hint of hop leaves, maybe some floral hop character. Very subtle and delicate aroma, but certainly complex and pleasing. On to the actual tasting. This is by far the smoothest imperial stout I've ever tasted. A subtle yet ever-present leafy hop character is the only thing that really stays the same character-wise all the way through this beer. In the front, there's dark chocolate and coffee, in the middle, sweeter chocolate and more intense hop character, very leafy with a good amount of bitterness. excellent contrasting of flavors. In the back, hop bitterness subsides a bit in favor of more chocolate sweetness. It has a mocha feel to it overall, but this characteristic is not always so noticeable. This beer is just mellow and smooth all the way through. It's rather relaxing. No tremendous assault to the taste buds, but complexity is still in profusion. Magnificently crafted. I really wish Victory would start distributing here in Arizona, but for now I'll treasure and savor every last drop of what I can get of this masterpiece. To those of you who can grab this at your local store, count yourselves lucky and appreciate what you have!

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Photo of techdiver
4.68/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dense brownish black with nice two finger head that leaves nice lacing behind.

Not much nose to it. What's there is usual roasted malt with hints of coffee and licorice.

Taste is right up there with Expedition, and Stone. Well balanced with just the right touch of sweetness.

Mouthfeel is so smooth and carbonation enough to add crispness that makes it feel lighter.

Drinkability quite good as well, probably the most drinkable IRS I've had.

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Storm King Stout from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
4.1 out of 5 based on 5,886 ratings.
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