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Storm King Stout | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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Storm King StoutStorm King Stout
BA SCORE
4.05/5
Exceptional
5,955 Ratings
Storm King StoutStorm King Stout
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#2,691
Reviews:
2,657
Ratings:
5,955
pDev:
11.85%
Bros Score:
3.8
 
 
Wants:
224
Gots:
931
Trade:
12
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,955 |  Reviews: 2,657
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew poured out as a nice deep black color with a brown colored head. It doesn;t look as thick as some RIS' I've had in the past. The head leaves a decent lacing on the glass and keeps a good retention too. The smell of the beer is deeply roasted and burnt smelling with a light sweetness on malt coming through. The taste of the beer is a rich with chocolaty malts and roasted grains. The mouthfeel is a little thinner than I was hoping for but still had enough body to keep in within reason. Overall I felt this was a really good beer for the price.

 556 characters

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.62/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A damn good russian imperial stout. Not much to say about it then to say it's almost perfect. From a beautiful black with a tan head appearance, a very aromatic nose, and full of flavor to the smoothness and balance of the beer overall. It's a great beer and I'll be warming myself up in the cold winter months with this stuff.

 327 characters

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3/5  rDev -25.9%

Photo of metter98
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: It poured jet black into a snifter glass with a mocha-colored head. The head slowly settled down, but a thin layer of bubbles consistently covered the surface.
S: There are complex aromas of dark roasted malts in the nose along with notes of chocolate, espresso and floral hops.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has lots of flavors of dark roasted malts. There's a substantial amount of hop bitterness for this style, which makes its presence in the finish.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and there is some warming from the alcohol.
D: This beer does a very good job at hiding the alcohol from the smell and taste. The complex aroma and flavors make this a beer that I will definitely have again.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Has all of the ingredients for the perfect Stout. An Ideal color with a viscous texture and strong head retention. Ideal blend of espresso and bittersweet chocolate and a lightly powdery roasted grain quality. Enough in the nose and flaovr to demand respect. Enough heat to recognize it's potency. Still, no off balanced characters at all. No fusal alcohols, dominating hops, astingency, harshness, or accessive acidity. It grabs the throat a bit on the way down, but to be expected. Very clean for style. Difficult to criticise.

 529 characters

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

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

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

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

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Photo of kojevergas
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

9.10% ABV confirmed. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a 5 oz taster glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed from notes taken about a month ago.

A: Pours a one finger beige-khaki colour head. Nice cream and thickness. Pretty good retention (~2-3 minutes). Body colour is a solid dark ruby-black. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Nontransparent. Opaque. Right on the money for an imperial stout.

Sm: Chocolate/cacao dusting. Caramel. Dark malts. Chocolate malt. Cream. Mocha. Hazelnut. Miky. A moderate strength aroma. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable. Good for the style. Appealing. I'm excited to try it.

T: Chocolate. Some bitterness from the chocolate too. Cacao. Caramel. Mocha. Cream. Dark malts. Balanced, if imperfect. Not a whole lot of complexity here, but it's damn tasty. I like it. Milky, with light hazelnut. Burnt - a characteristic I quite like here. Not great depth of flavour, but the flavour that does come through is enjoyable.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Good thickness. Good carbonation. Suits the flavour profile well.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable. Hides its ABV well. I could drink another; this is tasty stuff. An impressive beer from Victory. I quite like it. I'd definitely get this again. Exceeded expectations.

B

***
12/10/16: I've wanted to revisit this beer for years, so I picked up a 4-pack in Brooklyn for $10.99 USD.

Pours a classic khaki tan colour head. Creamy and soft with an impressive 10+ minute retention - not too shabby for a 9.10% ABV brew. Body is a true to style opaque black. A nice coating of lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Aroma brings a lovely mix of potent roasted barley, charred malts, burnt sugars, chocolate (malt), black patent malt, and espresso-redolent bitter roasty coffee grounds. No traces of booze at all. Contrary to most imperial stouts, this does feature some hop aromatics - primarily floral. Aromatic intensity is average for the style. Suggests a roasty dessert beer more in line with a Russian imperial stout than an American imperial stout per today's style conventions. I dig the commitment to roast .

Taste: Classic imperial stout flavour. Roasted barley harmonizes with specialty chocolate malt and dark malt (schwarz malt/black patent malt) sweetness to good effect, with burnt sugars and charred malty harshness bringing a leveling balancing bitterness to all that malty sweetness in tandem with a surprisingly forward floral hop presence. The result is a beer that hangs in delicate balance in spite of its big bold flavours, and a beer that in hindsight was evidently the blueprint for almost every imperial stout that's followed (American or otherwise).

Showing up fellow tried-and-true classics like North Coast's brilliant Old Rasputin or Great Divide's now downtrodden Yeti, Storm King is a titan of a beer in terms of its inspiration and effect on contemporary expressions of the style, but can still run with the best of the contemporary big dogs. Hearkening back to an era when balance and harmony of flavour were enough and you didn't need the excesses of vanilla bean bourbon barrel aged coffee espresso marshmallow fudge explosion (or whatever extreme adjunct flavour the kids are deeming in vogue) to brew a good beer, Storm King is a must-try for any discerning drinker and a cornerstone of American craft beer. Many may dismiss it now as the worse-for-wear crotchety old grandfather of imperial stouts (or skip buying it because it isn't part of a limited release), but for my money it was a hell of a beer when I got into beer and it's a hell of a beer now.

Yet, there's room for improvement in terms of intricacy of flavour. With such a delicate balance already in play, it's hard to imagine being able to add more vivid deep flavours without ruining it, yet other imperial stouts have succeeded.

It just works, ladies and gentlemen.

B+ / VERY GOOD

 3,978 characters

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of emerge077
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, the 1000th review...or does BA stop counting after 999? Guess not.

Well, this hefty stout pours black into a chalice, an inch of dark tan foam rises to the rim of the glass. Head is dense, fairly aromatic notes of hops and roastiness.

Taste is burly, rich burnt malts, bitter baker's chocolate, and dry bitter hops linger in the finish. Alcohol is expertly hidden. Mouthfeel is big, not exactly viscous, but getting there. Coats the palate going down.

I've got a couple more lined up, this is a perfect winter sessioner. 3" of snow in Chicago, and I feel like hibernating with some of this...

'99 vintage courtesy of Steve, thanks man!
Really amazed by how this has held up. Very rich and chocolatey, somewhat mellow but remarkably no signs of age. Still massive, bittersweet chocolate fullness, some tobacco, just sublime. Age this beer!

 849 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of brentk56
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Muddy brown body with a tan head and a blanket of lacing

Smell: Both the roasted malt and fruity hops are present on the nose

Taste: Rich and malty dark chocolate flavor with the fruity hops making an early appearance and building through to the finish

Mouthfeel: Heavy bodied with plenty of alcohol

Drinkability: Massively complex and very well-balanced

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Photo of oline73
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on cask at Max's, served in an imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Pours almost black with hardly any light coming through at the edges. There is a finger of thick creamy tan head that leaves just a ring around the edge.

Smell: Sweet roasty malt with a hint of dark chocolate.

Taste: Again, sweet and roasty flavors dominate. I'm picking up hints of dark chocolate and warm alcohol with a bitter and hoppy finish. There is a really nice balance between the hops, sweetness, and roast.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy body with mild carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a really nice beer. The balance is amazing, I love the hops along with the other flavors. Really nice finish.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle - Poured a dark black brew with a huge foamy dark head. Aroma of roastiness and coffee are very present. Strong body with subtle taste of alcohol. Very complex, taste of coffee, caramel and chocolate are mix very well. One of the best Imperial Stout I had the chance of drinking.

 286 characters

Photo of zeff80
4.64/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

 494 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of LXIXME
4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Big thick light brown head covers an almost black colored stout.

Dark bakers chocolate roasted malts aroma.

Dark roasted chocolate malts almost like a mocha taste.

Smooth slightly dry aftertaste on a full rich bodied beer.

On a cold day this will warm you up a bit.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter, best before 12/11/2017. Pours pitch black color with a 1-2 finger dense tan head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice dense soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toffee, toast, dark bread, citrus zest, pine, floral, grass, light smoke/char, and floral/roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt and moderate citrus/pine hop notes; with great strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toffee, toast, dark bread, citrus zest, pine, floral, grass, light smoke/char and floral/roasted earthiness. Fair amount of pine/roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toffee, toast, dark bread, citrus, pine, light smoke/char, and floral/roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice complexity and robustness of dark/roasted malt and moderate citrus/pine hop flavors; with a great bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a smooth, creamy, and lightly sticky/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Russian imperial stout style. All around great robustness, complexity, and balance of dark/roasted malt and moderate citrus/pine hop flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,566 characters

Photo of Boone757
4/5  rDev -1.2%

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

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

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

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

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

 412 characters

Photo of Kurmaraja
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of mothman
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into New Belgium Globe Glass. No freshness date on bottle.

Poured was so thick and only a small amount of tan head arrose. From the small amount of head it left great lacing. Color is dark dark brown, nearly black.

Smell is of dark chocolate and coffee. There is also a syrupy smell to it. Slight hops are present.

Taste is heavy on the coffee side. The malts are highly roasted. Very chocolaty There are some earthy hops present as well.

Mouthfeel is very rich and smooth. For an beer at 9.1% abv, I really couldn't taste the alcohol level at all. It leaves a pretty clean aftertaste, just a little dry.

Overall, this is one easy to drink stout. I was pleasantly surprised how thin bodied this beer stout was compared to others; it was a nice change.

I would definately recommend this beer!

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Storm King Stout from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 5,955 ratings
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