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Storm King Stout | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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2,622 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: 2,622 | Ratings: 5,847
Photo of jakdracula
4.8/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am lucky enough to live within stumbling distance of Victory, the 'shock and awe' brew pub.

I never leave without a growler full of this great world class beer.

Storm King pours well with a dark tanish head, and has a sweet, inviting smell of mostly dark roasted malts.

It's said that odors give us our best memories, Storm King kind of smells like the front row of a small town's club, if there are any musicians out there, they know what I mean: sort of damp and wet, with a hot gal flashing you.

The mouth feel is a bit like you've accidently got some bees in your mouth while riding without your helmet, which to me at least is a good thing, it gives me a feeling of freedom.

Let's be honest, the taste is really why we are here folks, and if you like great tasting 'fighting' beer, then this one's for you... This is easily one of the best, if not the best American Stout Beers avialable.

So, get it, drink it, love it.

Beer: it's what's for dinner.

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Photo of ColForbin
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on: Oct 29 02 Opened: Apr 5 04
[I cellared this beer for about a year before drinking.]

Pours with a thin dark tan head. Aroma is one of bittersweet chocolate, coffee and some bitter hops. A slight whiskey aroma as well. Smokey, chocolatey flavor with a bitter hop finish. Thick mouthfeel; coats the tongue as it goes down leaving a French roast aftertaste. This beer is a meal - it would be a challenge to have more than one. I've had this beer fresh as well, and I have to say that the fresh version is a little more lively and interesting. I do recommend aging a couple bottles - after a year the beer becomes incredibly smooth. But drink the majority of your six pack fresh.

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Photo of SeanChouffe
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Black opaque color with red highlights. No signs of effervescence in the body. A rich full tan head that diminishes rather quickly, but leaves a clingy lace. Aroma is of hops, roasted grains and chocolate. Mouthfeel is creamy like no other -- full bodied and smooth with low effervescence. The taste has a slightly sweet start roasted flavors in the middle and a welcome hop finish.

I can see what all the rage is about.

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Photo of DaveGood
4.37/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured pitch black with a thick light brown head out of a 12 oz. bottle. This is how a stout beer is supposed to look!

The aroma is mild on this. It contains a nice grassy hop scent but is primarily driven by the dark roasted malts. The alcohol is also fairly predominant in the smell.

What the aroma is lacking, the taste more than makes up for. It is a very thick, yet smooth beer with moderate carbonation. The taste is driven by the dark roasted malt flavors. There are dark chocolate and expresso flavors present, as well as a slight hoppy bitterness at the end.

Overall, this is a remarkable beer and I can definitely see what the buzz is about. It is extremely smooth and quite possibly the best stout that I have had the pleasure of experiencing.

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Photo of Mitchster
3.05/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours out to an opaque black with barely distinguishable brown accents, forming a rocky dark-tan head (but not as dark as say, a Kzoo stout or Founder's Impy). Retention is good as is lacing. The label says it is bottle-conditioned...there is a small amount of peppered yeast in the bottom of the bottle. The aroma is rich and inviting, predominantly hoppy (distinctly Cascades) with notes of grass, cocoa, charcoal, light molasses, vanilla, almond, and sweet milk chocolate. As it warms, alcohol is overwhelmingly evident in the nose. Carbonation is moderate. Mouthfeel is paint-peeling hops, abrasive at first and then becomes astringent with burnt grains and alcohol towards the finish. Medium-dense body. Taste is initially sharp with a ton of citric hops and deeply roasted grains, sweet almonds, vanilla, toffee, and lots of burnt sugar. Bitterness level is moderate. The wierd finish begins with firmly burnt grains (heavy on the black patent here), chalkiness, an everlasting burnt sweetness, citric hops with pungent acidity, and lingering leather and burnt wood. There is mild isopropyl alcohol in the aftertaste, but as it warms, it becomes nearly obnoxious. I get this wierd creamed sweet corn taste in my belches. The 9.1% ABV is more evident in alcohol than in body, dextrins or mouthfeel, indicating a high degree of attentuation and suggesting a warmer (>75F) ferment.

My first drink of this was from a bottle that was a year old and I was throughly unimpressed with how it aged. My notes indicate the mouthfeel was syrupy and flat, the finish was redolent with isopropyl and the rest was littered by odd off-flavors. This bottle is fresh and is much better. It's not a stand-out brew like the ratings would suggest, but then again, I'm used to Kzoo Stout as my everyday beer. IMO, this is overhopped and over-boozed, but some people may prefer the West-Coast style. I'll skip on this again.

BTW, this is not a typical Imperial Stout, but a West Coast style hop-bomb stout.

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Photo of grynder33
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep blackcolor, small head, creamy soft malt chocolate aroma, sweet chocolate light taste, soft aftertaste with a little bitterness. Nice blended taste, but I thought it would be bolder. A very, very good stout, but not number two overall. Wish they would distribute to Wisconsin

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Photo of merlin48
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This Victory product pours an opaque, ebony color with an immense, rocky, four finger tall, light brown, head. Retention was good, and lacing was superb.
I've enjoyed more profound stout aromas before, but this one hits the mark, spot on, for style. Bigtime roasted malts dominate the nose, with coffee, chocolate, some smoky nuttiness, and a note of the 9.5% abv.
Mouthfeel is robust and full bodied, and is smooth all the way down.
Taste is awesome. Chocolate and roasted coffee, in just the right meld of flavors, with a burst of fresh McIntosh apples midway through. A solid, funky, hops presence lends a pleasant, bittery, nut balance. The high abv which I noted in the nose, is curiously absent in the taste, affording this stout a high drinkability mark.
This is one of the five best American stouts on the market. Goes down smooth and easy, with an exceptionally smooth character. Very enjoyable paired with a sharp cheddar, or strong blue cheese like English Stilton. I could kick myself for buying a single bottle, instead of a case. Victory is quickly becoming one of my favorite American breweries, and Storm King is another excellent reason why this is so.

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Photo of PatandDavid
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of those: this isn't my favorite style of beer, but it's time to see what the fuss is all about...and Storm King delivers! 10.5 pour enjoyed at Redbones last Friday. Very very dark, opaque. The head had the color of dark latte and was nice and frothy. Grassy hop aroma was intriguing. Taste was like roasted coffee meets hop, very interesting and well done. The mouthfeel was definitely full...I knew the alcohol was there, but they almost got away with it. I thought the finish was like dark chocolate. This beer deserves it's fine reputation.

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Photo of drewbage
4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle that was bottled on December 9th 2002 into a straight side pint glass.

Dark black bodied beer with a low creamy tan head,

Aroma is dark black roast, currants and a grassy herbal hop aroma. The faintest touch of diacetyl lurks deeply behind the other aromas only become apparent around the edges behind a brandywine alcohol.

Flavor is roasted and thick with caramel and an acrid black burnt carbon finish to the brew boosted by CO2, The final impression os chocolate and port in a beer that roundly clears itself off for the next sip.

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Photo of Ellbert
3.26/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

12oz. bottle dated March 18 2003

Appearance: Perfect, very very dark with a large pillowy head that leaves plenty of sticky lace and leaves a thin layer of foam all the way to the last drop of beer.

Smell: Very mellow compared to what I have had before. The hops are much more subtle after a year. Alcohol is more promident and the malts are more subdued. I can smell some mollasses and caramel though. Some roastedness also comes through.

Taste: Very sweet, almost too sweet. It leaves a string of over the top sweetness, almost sour in your mouth as the roasted malt and mollasses come in. The hops are subdued in the taste as well. Not very pleasant now.

Mouthfeel is great. Very thick and rich. Perfect amount of carbonation to add some tingling on the tongue.

Not very drinkable. The flavor has really taken a dive here, at least on this aged bottle. I prefer this fresh.

Initial tasting:

Apperance: The apperance of this beer is very good. It had a small head though which took away from the marvel of it. However it poured a drak brown but looks as black as night in the glass.

Smell: One thing that took me with this brew so far is that the hops are right up front in the aroma. I'm not used to that in the imperial stout style however it is very pleasing. There is also the smell of roasted coffee, a sweet malty smell is there too.

Taste: The taste seems to fade in, there is many flavors to this. There is a roasted flavor that sticks but there is a hop bitterness that shows itself towards the end. It leaves your mouth dry with a warming of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Excellent, nice mellow feel, very thick and rich with just the right amount of carbonation. Leaves your tongue with a nice coating.

Drinkability: A very drinkable stout in the sense where I would love to have one. Definitely one of the better Imperials I have had but as to more than one sitting, I will have to pass. This is far to rich and to high in alcohol, and the alcohol is very evident.

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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 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 HappyHourHero
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Froathy coffee colored head had faded to a film by the time I got the beer. The beer was dark opaque black in color. Sweet burnt malt aroma. Rich, creamy smooth bodied beer with flavors of burnt chocolate and coffee with a little hop bite in there. A tasty, flavorful beer that's just a pleasure to drink.

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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 Shiredave
4.58/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As black as a cave at night with a firm cap of light brown foam, the lace caramelizes on the glass.
Aromas is sweet blacked malt and floral hop - notes of espresso and wood smoke. Soft scents that dont overpower but draw you in.
Flavors explode up front with seamless blend of scorched sugars from the roasted malts, balanced almost perfectly by strong, piney hop sharpness. Awsome!

Mouthfeel is smooth and supple - you know its full bodied but it just doest feel it.
The chalky chocolate and coffee flavors stay in the finish along with long, warm bittering. Alcohol just along for the ride, reminds you of its presence in the burps.
An awsome brew for the BIG stout lover. As deserving of BA #2 status as any I can think of. ( which would be at least 20 )

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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 gentlebubbles
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

on tap at Redbone's.

Black, black, black with a sweet sharp scent. Served with no head. Syrupy, smoky, winey, sharp and strong, smooth and silky--this bad boy doesn't mess around. I could sip this one all night, but I'd be wrecked if I had more than one.

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Photo of jwilli7122
4.36/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours jet black with no clarity, and a medium-sized tan head that lasts forever.

smell is roasty sweet and hopped up. chocolate raisins, coffee and achohol

taste is similar - roasty, hoppy, (bitter from both) chocolatey, buttery and dark fruity sweet with a little bit of sour kick. superbly thick, smooth texture - maybe the best mouthfeel i have experienced. this drinks extremely well for a 9.5.

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Photo of ark57
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It is opaque black with a tan head. The aroma is very hoppy (some citrus and mint), but also has quite a bit of roasted malts (coffee and chocolate). The taste is pretty much what is advertised in the aroma. It is full of roasted goodness and finishes with a good smack of hops. It is warming from the high alcohol content.

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Photo of ManekiNeko
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle served at cellar temperature in a Trois Pistoles goblet. Bottled on 3/18/2003.

Appearance: Like a black hole that absorbs all light.. perhaps it's that elusive dark matter cosmologists are scouring the sky for? A small brown head with the lifespan of a mayfly forms and leaves thin remnants of lace on the glass... dusky remains of the day.

Smell: Heavy roasted malts, dark and bitter espresso, slightly tart and sweet dark dried fruits. Aaah sweet harmony.

Taste: Roasty, toasty, charred, and burnt malt sweetness. Quite bittersweet. Espresso flavors kick in and then the beer finishes off with some light prune-like fruitiness. Light hints of hop bitterness on the tip-of-the-tail-end.

Mouthfeel: Alcohol is very well masked. Hearty and robust sensation in the mouth. A burly beer with the equivalent of 5 o'clock shadow at 7 am.

Drinkability: It's hard to find a better imperial stout than Storm King. I hoping the mid-March bottling of last year will be repeated this year so's I can get a fresh 6-er or three for the cellar.

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Photo of Bierguy5
4.55/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on Nov. 4, 2003. Pours a dark, practically black thick liquid with an incredible tan creamy head. This is the best head on a beer I have seen in a long time. The lacing on the glass was outstanding. The smell is of coffee, like a great dark roasted almost burnt smell. The taste was even better. Strong coffee-like flavor with what I thought was a hint of vanilla. Good amount of hop bitterness at the end. Tastes even better as it warms. This is a beer you want to sip for a while. I have found that the higher alcohol content is somewhat hidden. Good mudium-full body. This, despite being high in alcohol is a fairly drinkable beer, as imperial stouts go. I have had this beer in a bottle, and on draft, and so far I actually prefer the bottle version. I look forward to Storm King every year, and this year is no exception. This is one remarkable imperial stout. I can clearly see why it is rated so high.

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Photo of soper2000
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a 12 ounce bottle, bottled in December of 2003.

This beer poured a deep deep black with a tan head which lingers for quite a long time. The smell is faint but some hoppy aromas are definately there. My first sip of this sweet nectar revealed that this is the hoppiest stout I have ever tasted, but the bitterness was balanced perfectly by notes of chocolate and malt. This beer is strong at 9.5% but the creamy mouth feel makes me want to keep drinking more. This is an excellent stout and I would be interested in cellaring some.

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Photo of jtfest
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a beautiful beer. It pours black as tar with a creamy chocolate/coffee head -- thick at first, then settling into a foamy layer leaving heavy lacing on the glass. The aroma is roasted and nutty with big malt undertones. The mouthfeel is exceptional: thick, soft, "meaty" and just a hint of carbonation. The taste? Others have described it far more eloquently than I can, but let me confirm there admiration. Slightly sweet, with woody and toasted hints that either compliment or mask the alcohol. Dangerously drinkable considering the 9.5% -- Storm King Stout lives up to its reputation.

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

This beer is sampled at room temp.
I pour the brew into my snifter. The beer pours pitch black with a 1 inch creamy tan tightly packed head foaming up easily. The head also fades slowly to a surface layer in my glass. Aroma is a mixture of grassy hops and roasted malt, very balanced nose!
First sip gives me a creamy texture and slightly bitey carbonation. Flavor is twangy sweet like a baltic porter up front and then earthy hops in the middle, while the finish is roasted malt and even brief hits of chocolate. This beer is incredibly well balanced and easy to drink. No hint of the ABV. A great beer that is even better than I remembered!

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Photo of ppoitras
4.7/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12ozer, purchased at Main St. Liquors, Monson, MA, as part of do-it-yourself mixed 6 pack. Foiled cap.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, foamy half inch medium brown head formed on top of motor-oil opaque liquid, no light getting through this baby. Good lacing, with the beer almost thick enough looking that it seems to flow like oil as well. Great aroma, plenty of hops, yet the underlying malt strength and alcohol make their presence known. Strong coffee and burnt malt tastes, which quickly are well balanced by a hop bite like most stouts are missing. Taste of alcohol isn't present nearly as much as you would expect for a beer this size, just sort of lurks in at the end. Actually as good as I had heard it was, no false rumors here...

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Storm King Stout from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
4.1 out of 5 based on 5,847 ratings.
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