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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 bultrey
4.36/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This pours an opaque, deep, dark brown, just a touch on the lighter side of black. I get fine, dark Belgian chocolate in the nose, a bittersweet symphony. There is also a distinct medicinal aroma. And there's something else around the edges -- what is that? Dark, dark fruit, almost like blueberry or raspberry pancake syrup.
First sip -- ooohhhh, this is good. I was very much expecting that medicinal aroma to overpower as it does in so many imperial stouts, but instead, it makes the briefest of apperances before quickly yielding to a dry coffee roastiness, and then trasnforming back again to that bittersweet chocolate intermingling with raisins. This is very well-balanced for a style of brew that all too often swerves out of control. Alcohol is not that noticeable. Mouthfeel is smooth as silk, if not a tad undercarbonated for my taste. But that would be a hard feat to pull off with a brew of this body.
Drinkability -- do I want another -- yes, just not right after this one. I most certainly will, however, in a brandy snifter, sitting in front of a fire, when the first frost comes. Awesome.

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Photo of DrJay
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black beer with dark copper highlights, topped with a thick, tan head that just didn't disappear. Rich, malty-sweet aroma, with chocolate and a very light roasted character. Hop aroma was a little sharp (grassy/citrus) and provided a nice balance for the malts. Decadent malty flavour, with elements of dark chocolate, licorice, caramel sweetness, all balanced by a strong hop bitterness and floral hop flavour. The finish is bittersweet maltiness which lingers at the back of the palate. Very full body, thick and viscous, medium carbonation. Smooth texture with some alcohol flavour and warming present. As the beer warmed, some wonderful dried fruit flavours emerged, almost fig- or prune-like. Absolutely amazing balance for such a powerful beer.

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Photo of stcules
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Almost black, with a beautiful brownish head.
The nose is a triumph of roasted, liquorice, bitterness, a light chocolately note. Then again cocoa, bitter herbs, coffee. Almost some woody notes.
The taste is full, soft, smooth. It goes down like velvet. Again feelings of bitterness and roasted. Liquorice everywhere, chocolately notes that rise up.
The body is full and round.
A beautiful bitter aftertaste, very good. The alcohol is very well hidden, in the taste as in the smell.
But after a while, it warms... And you can feel it.
Maybe at least not the best in drinkability, but very good.

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Photo of AlexJ
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer has all the attributes I love in a strong stout. I'm from PA so I've known this stout for a long time and it always remains close to the top of the list. Huge chocolate and roasty coffe/espresso nose balanced by piney and floral hops. Toasty malts but not too sweet. It always pours w a big milk chocolate head. Taste is sweet chocolate, raisens, and coffee, countered by pine and citrus from the hops. Hoppier and less sweet than some Imperial Stouts. Medium bodied with a soft palate. It's quite inexpensive for beer of this calibur and ages well, but it loses a lot of the hop character as it does.

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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 baiser
4.53/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Ordered this at the Volo Caffe on Yonge St.

Poured a pitch black colour, with a moderate sized head, but was solid and dense, tan coloured. Not much retention. I guess I just didn't pour hard enough.

Smelled of chocolate, espresso, slight alcohol. Roasty.

This is hands down one of the best tasting beers I've had the pleasure of drinking. Initially, there's a chocolate sweetness that swirls around in your mouth. Then a sharp bitterness swooshes by, and it tastes like a sweet espresso. The hop bitterness is intense. Also, there was a slight ginger flavour in the after taste. There's just so much going on but different flavours peak at different times.

Mouthfeel is so damn smooth and creamy. You don't really feel the alcohol, until maybe after you finish the bottle.

I could drink this all night. Probably the best beer, not just imperial stouts, that I've had ever. I wish they sold this stuff here in Canada.

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Photo of Goldorak
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Sampled 11aug2004, bottle date 20jan2004

Black as night, with small café-au-lait head that sprang back to life after a few swirls.
Smells hoppy, with plenty of roasted malt, light smoke and a faint of sweetness, sort of prune and/or anise.
The hoppiness and malt shine through at first in the taste, and a huge bitter dark chocolate finish. This Beer looks like used motor oil and coats the mouth just like it. Awesome body, really thick, like melted Valrhona.
That 9% ABV is nowhere to be found at first, and only appears in the aroma near the end of the pint. Surprisingly drinkable, even in the summer.

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Photo of oxmasterscream
4.85/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is unbelievable. Period. As others have mentioned, the price just seals the deal.

Appearance: Poured like a really dark espresso, with just a small tan head, which eventually became a tiny ring around the glass. If I angled the glass correctly, I could see a faint ruby brown glow at the bottom of the glass. It was beautiful.

Smell: A nice combination of burnt, sweet and spicy, with an emphasis on sweet especially as it warmed... hops, burnt malts, dark chocolate, raisins. I couldn't wait to taste it.

Taste: Sweet and spicy with a very mild and enjoyable, bitter and drying aftertaste. Tastes of raisins, prunes, molasses, and burnt sugar. As it warmed, it got sweeter and more tart. It left a nice tang on the back and sides of my tongue. Major Cascade grapefruitiness in the finish later in the glass. The alcohol, as with other big beers, began revealing itself about halfway through the glass.

Mouthfeel: Nirvana. It's full-bodied, silky, smooth, creamy and luscious. Feels like a cafe latte with bubbles.

Drinkability: For an imperial stout, to date, it's my most drinkable. I've had others that seem to get tougher to handle as you get closer to the end of the glass (e.g. Rogue Imperial Stout). Storm King doesn't seem to concentrate all of its energy so much on all things burnt; instead it seems to cater to the sweet tooth. It's like drinking sophisticated candy. My favorite to date.

<note: Just had a fresh bottle (dated 10/20/04), roughly one week old and it's much hoppier than I remember. My original review was of a bottle aged for at least 6-9 months. The hoppiness really mellows out with some aging. I think it's the way to go with this beer to get the most out of it. I don't think I'd give it a 5 for taste had I reviewed it fresh.>

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Photo of MattFrenzy
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm starting to love Victory Brewing Company more and more. This sealed the deal. Pours like motor oil, but darker. Photons enter, but none emerge. Taste is hops and spice, burnt coffee and chocolate but still very drinkable. Aftertaste of hops lingers for a while. This beer goes exceptionally well with spicy food, not something I usually do with a stout. Highly recommended, this is not only what a stout should be, but what a beer should be. Hunt it down.

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

Big, persistent, tan head. Sweet coffee and light chocolate smell. Opaque, dark brown.

Wow. Great burnt, dry flavor. Just a hint of sweetness that disappears into dry burnt grains. Bitter, pleasing aftertaste. No detection of alcohol at first. Toward the end of the glass, I do notice a very slight alcohol aftertaste. I would have never guessed 9.1% ABV.

This one goes to the top of my Imperial Stout list! A great buy for the money. I paid $8.99 for a six pack.

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Photo of danadeny
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bottled nov 18 2003. Pours very black with a small brown head. The smell is very surprising for a stout. The smell of floral hops is very unexpected, a hint of black licorice is there. The alcohol can be noticed through out the flavor time line, but it blended very well, like a light barlywine. The alcohol is balanced with the slightly bitter hops. The king is incredibly smooth for a hopy and a 9.1 ABV beer. A light coffee flavor is detectible in the after taste. A 6 pack spells a night of winter fun you probably wont remember the next day.

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Photo of EPseja
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one poured with the color of the darkest chocolate, finally settling with an espresso-like thin head. For such a dark (and powerful) beer, this one has a very clean, hoppy smell with faint tinges of licorice, acacia (like in Sen Sen), prune and raisin.

The taste is complex, containing elements of dark coffee, dried dark fruits (as mentioned above), and (get this...) Stilton Cheese. I have no idea what it is that gives this beer that last characteristic, but as a fan of the cheese, it's an interestingly welcome note! The alcohol is also prevalent in the taste (but not overpowering), and helps to keep the mouthfeel light. The finish is smooth and easy, with a pleasant dark mocha-cocoa bitterness, and lingers for a long, long time.

Overall, an amazing stout from a company that's really playing attention to the beers they bring to the market. This one definitely scores high on my personal best list.

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Photo of diablo14
4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

ah the storm king stout. for so long rated not just the finest stout in the good ol US of A, but the finest stout full stop. thanks to that legend of beer advocacy, the one and only malto, i have been able to taste this brew and sample its qualities for the first time. and while i wouldnt say i was disappointed with this stout, i will certainly say that it didnt quite live up to the wraps put on it.

dark, viscous appearance with charging bubble action and a limpid light brown head that didnt hold on for long. rich chocolate malt nose, hints of coffee, toffee and a stinging blast of zesty hops to finish the deal. the taste was rich, sweet, malty with bold coffee and chocolate tones, with a suprising element of stone (cherries, peaches, plums) tropical (banana, passionfruit) and citrus fruits (orange, grapefruit) in there. astonishing probably a better word. actually seemed a lot like a roasted pale ale to me in a lot of ways. everything was quite delicious and well balanced to this point, until the overuse of hops came to the forefront very early on in the peice. i love my hops as much as anyone, but this brew (and others i tried on the night) were downgraded simply because there seemed to be this obsession with getting as much hops into the beer as is humanly possible. they arent balanced with the flavor, and overwhelm the whole thing in the end. the hops are also far too dry, to the point of raspy. victory just didnt need to go this far.

alas, i suspected it would be this way. funny thing with the storm king is that if they did tone down the hops, it wouldnt be a top ten beer any more. having said that, i for one think it would be a much better beer. but im only one man. its still a four star beer tho no doubt.

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Photo of ngandhi
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled November 4, 2003; tasted July 23, 2004

Fruity, unintegrated hops dominate this beer. They fail to complement any showing of significant roast -- as Cascades function so successfully in Rogue Shakespeare Stout, for example -- because there hardly is a discernable roast in this beer. What is there is cut by a deficient medium body and sharp, thinning carbonation. The finish is far too dry.

Though there is nothing wrong with this beer, it is based on a style dedicated to hedonism; and, in a world filled with many mighty gods, Storm King Stout is mortal.

Licorice, coffee.

[This final rating is comprehensive and considers the past two tastings of the November 4 bottling.]

Relax, relax.
Bottled November 4, 2003; tasted March 23, 2004

I couldn't resist trying this brew again. The hoppiness has died down on the nose and this is now discernable as a stout. In the past three months, SKS has picked up a deep roast that gives this brew some real stout character, but overall it has grown dull. The flavors are deep and classic with burnt malt and balanced bittering. Though the carbonation is still too sharp and tongue-numbing, it highlights a nice aftertaste of licorice, coffee, creamy oak, and yeast. The alcohol has calmed down, but this bottling of Storm King is still too volatile and physically abrasive to the tongue. A great stout, hopefully it will develop richer characteristics as time goes on and become more identifiable as an imperial. Imperial stouts are the gutsiest of all beers; Storm King desperately needs to grow a pair. I think it will.

Second Rating: 4.05

Relax, relax.
Bottled November 4, 2003; tasted December 6, 2003. Many thanks to Drew and his persistence at The Corkscrew in Urbana, IL for this very special opportunity.

The nose is an opus. Green and spicy with hops, with an revolver of dark chocolate/fudge, alcohol, and some kind of earthy funkiness. Can beer have terroir?

This beer drinks very young, and I'm not altogether confident in its potential to age. Up front is flavorful hopping mixed with (but not at all balanced by) a hop-based plummy, dark fruit and currant character. This quickly yields to fumey alcohol, and a fruity bitter finish with a touch of espresso. The bittering is handled well. Like a young port, however, this brew is all over the place, but without reason. For a 9abv brew, Victory's done a miserable job in controlling the alcohol. I think I taste a little woody/medicinal/alcoholic note; whatever the hop is, it wasn't properly utilized and serves only to call attention to the alcohol.

Though viscous, the body is cut by sharp carbonation that, though perfect for a pale ale, is completely against style. At times it bites the tongue.

This beer needs age to calm down the hops and maybe supress some of the alcohol. My guess is that, when it does settle down, the malts won't be there to back it up and the carbonation will always be a problem. Victory Storm King Stout is unprepared to take a leap beyond the basic parameters of an American imperial stout.

First rating: 4.1

Relax, relax.

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Photo of bigbeerdrinka
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice deep black with no light penetrating through. A firm offwhite chocolate head pours about an inch high with a nice lace. This looks really good. A nice roasted malt aroma is present with hints of coffee, alcohol, and a bit of cocoa. For taste this beer hits initially big with the malts showing off a nice roasted flavor along with some bittersweet chocolate. There is only a slight hint of coffee but a nice hop bitter finish and a little more roasted flavor. This beer has a nice full body and a crisp carbonation. Overall I am definetly impressed with this beer, the malts go great and the alcohol is nicely masked by them.

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

I had this out of a 12 oz bottle that was dated Jan. 20 2004. Served the Storm King Stout in a pint glass.

The appearance is a very, very dark jet black. There is really cool cascading going on after the pour and sip on the side of the glass. Instantly there were smells of chocolate and mocha aromas.This brew smells sweet and plentiful.

The taste of this stout is delicious. Beautiful blend of hops and malt. Robust dark chocolate flavors burst through with complimentary sweetness. This imperial stout (9.1% ABV) is so smooth and drinkable. I can't believe how fast I drank this beer. Stouts of this power usually take a little bit of time to consume, but this was very enjoyable.

Highly recommended for fans of imperial stouts....this beer has all the bases covered.

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

I don't have much more to add, which hasn't already been said. Nice bottle design. You notice after pouring that the beer is actually darker than the bottle.

Pours a deep dark black. Cascading effects are cool, ending with a thick tan head. Very...slowly...dissipates into a creamy ring that laced the glass to the bitter end.

Thick and juicy, like a homemade coffee drink. Charcoal, chocolate and the roasted malts come rushing in, just to get a rocket punch from some hops that tame them so nicely.

Chewy greatness.

Yes I would have a couple. Happily, I bought a six-pack this week. Has gone well with dessert, by itself, and with a thick steak.

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Photo of Truh
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Closed the storm shutters on this one on 4/22/2004.

12-ounce bottle poured into shaker glass. Golden-black pour with light root beer touches. Light film on head, with no retention and verging on ebony in color; not nearly as pitch as others in this style. Oak scents with pine sap undertones, and an alcohol shortness. At taste were all the aforementioned attributes as found in the bouquet, but also a slight smokiness or burnt umber, although not as deep as others within the style. Clean finish for an imperial as a result of the finely tuned recipe. Much more drinkable than the DFH World Wide Stout offerings.

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Photo of mattcrill
4.41/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a fantastic Imperial Stout! Pours syrupy black with a nice two-finger head that retains well. Beautiful lacings down the glass. Smells of roasted malts and espresso predominates. Beautiful balance of espresso, dark chocolate, dried fruit, and a splash of alcohol make this a top notch stout. The predominance of hops is amazing. You can really enjoy the hop bitterness of this beer without it invading on the style of this wonderful stout. The hope presence is truly remarkable but in no way interferes with the integrity of this beer. Feels great on the palate...not too overpowering even with the 9.1% ABV. Really easy drinking. This is a great stout. One to be sipped and enjoyed.

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Photo of Billolick
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Lazy Boy in WP, NY. Poured black and studly. Dark tan head, excellent retention. Roasted malt and heaps of hops in the nose. Heavy body, engine oil comes to mind. Tons of roasted malt and burnt notes. Rich flavors, chewy mouthfeel. Coffee, chocolate, coffee. The flavors keep on coming. This is wonderful stuff, nice to enjoy on tap. Seek and enjoy this classy sipper

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Photo of necoadam
4.9/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Eli Cannon's

Oh boy, I know how this beer is in the bottle, but on-tap? Couldn't wait. Served in a pint glass. Color was pitch black with a nice amount of carbonation. Smell was a little hoppy, some ripen fruit, chocolate, and some coffee in there. Taste was out of this world. So smooth and creamy it was amazing. Some roasted flavors hit the palate along with some hops and then the bitter chocolate hits along with some coffee and dark fruit. But they all blended in so well it was amazing. After having some of this I don't know if I could go back to the bottle verison. This was just stunning on-tap.

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Photo of NEhophead
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A mellow, burnt brown/tan head giving way to some very intricate lacing that sticks and holds to the glass' sides. The imperial's color is black as night (really can't describe it much more). Very noticeable carbonation.

Burnt hazelnut and chocolate aromas. A malty sweetness balanced nicely with coffee tones. A faint milky smell as well, that is not too fitting for the style.

Chocolate espresso, burnt almonds/hazlenuts with a nice chewy maltiness. Very flavorful; no subtleties here! A very nice bitterness (to combat the sweetness) that rounds out the sip. Also a nice added roasted nut-like character.

A rather smooth and balanced imperial with a lot of carbonation. At 9.1% abv this is virtually like drinking a meal. More like a five course meal given the variety of flavors all of which pack a solid punch.

Very drinkable whose abv is very hard to detect. With that said, knowing the abv probably would keep me from having too many in one sitting. The only knock that I have on this beer has to do with the amount of carbonation. Personally, I love imprial stouts that have a very syrupy mouthfeel and this one's not in that style.

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Photo of cypressbob
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml, bottled on Jan 03

Pours with a foamy tan head. Fairly good retention. Dark brown/black body.

Smell, hoppy aroma, coffee kick and dark chocolate finish

Taste, smooth as silk, beautiful bitter coffee taste, strong hops (perfect)

A fantastic beer, my kinda strong stout, better than the much too sweet stone offering

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

It was a dark and stormy night!

This, the tongue-in-cheek beginning of many a Peanuts Snoopy novel, now seems completely apropos of my experience with the Imperial Stout from the court of Victory called Storm King.

A thundercloud of foam the color of dark coffee stain sits brooding over the inky black liquid I've just poured from bottle to glass. The beer below the thunderhead is an absolutely opaque black velvet. Even held up to the lamp the only discernable highlight is a sliver of garnet tracing the conjunction where beer meets glass. Some carbonation is visible rising through the column of obsidian brew, just barely enough to counteract a cloying sensation later on.

I'm totally unprepared for the aggressive surge of fresh hop fragrance that assails my nostrils followed by a pleasing wave of roasted malt aroma. The effect of this is impressively suggestive of broiled grapefruit covered in caramelized brown sugar recently pulled from the oven.

As the foam recedes leaving a swag of lace I raise my glass and sip the sable libation. Immediately I'm embroiled in a tempest of complex, luscious flavors of strong, rich dark espresso with bitter chocolate shavings, assertive grapefruit hoppiness, malted chocolate milkshake and burnt toast with black currant jelly that conceals the high abv. The mouthfeel, if there is a fault to this beer, is almost syrupy. It is huge, satisfying, and oily and goes down slick leaving a stickiness on my lips and a splendid, showy, bitter coffee aftertaste that is surprisingly smooth, demanding and utterly captivating. It lingers on the palate for what seems an eternity.

This is a storm I'll be happy to weather again and again.

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Photo of TagoMago
4.88/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 12 oz. bottle poured into pint glass.

Appearance: This beer pours as black as storm clouds at night (hence the name). It's completely opaque - if you were to shine a flood light into it, it would not pass through. This beer pours with a beautiful light brown head and has superb retention, leaving a beautiful foam lace on the glass. The body of the beer is very thick, almost syrupy.

Aroma: An intense floral hop and chocolatey malt assualt on the olfactory. There is also an aroma of currant and/or juniper berries.

Taste & Mouthfeel: This beer is incredibly smooth, it's almost like velvet going down. The body of the beer is very thick and creamy. The flavor of the beer is that of roasted malt - coffee, chocolate. And berries (possibly currant). The beer leaves a lingering hop/malt taste on the palate.

Overall: Words cannot adequately describe this beer. This is a world-class beer in every way, and is quite possibly the best beer ever made in the US of A. This is, by far, the best example of an Imperial Stout I have ever tasted. Drinking this beer is like floating through heaven on a majestic cloud of hops and malt.

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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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