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Storm King Stout | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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Storm King StoutStorm King Stout
5,944 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,944 |  Reviews: 2,655
Photo of mdaschaf
4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass

A: Pours very black with a large tan colored head. Very nice staying power, slow dissipation to a ring of foam on the top. Beautiful sheets of lacing down the sides. Looks amazing.

S:Get a slight hop kick up front which gives way to some roasted grain. I also get a little chocolate and a slight hint of the alcohol.

T: Lots of roasted flavor up front. This transitions to some chocolate and molasses and finishes with a heavy hand of coffee flavor. There is a little bit of dark fruit in the middle somewhere as well. Has a bitter finish.

M/D: Very thick, but smooth. Overall very enjoyable. THe abv is not noticeable at all, and I like the hoppiness it has for an RIS. I like this one a lot.

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Photo of orangesol
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on cask into a Victory lager mini-pint at the Victory brew-pub.

A - Pours black as night with a strong one finger brown head that leaves minimal lacing down the glass.

S - Plenty of dark, roasty, aroma's in this one. Coffee, chocolate, and other earthy flavors and most prevalent. Faint hints of herbal hops and a bit of booze hide well but are present. Even a bit of spice?

T - Dark goodness. Similar to the nose with coffee, chocolate, oak, black licorice, and plenty of other earthy flavors. Finish is dominated by tons of dark roasted flavors. A little bit of booze creeps in once it begins to warm up a bit. A very nice stout.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Very smooth feel with a strong roasted finish.

D - I like this version a little bit more than the normal version. The feel of this one is much better than the normal version and it seems to help bring all the flavors together into a more well rounded offering. Very nice for a mass produced stout.

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Photo of crosamich
2.71/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

dark & roasted, VERY astringent. way too much high-roasted malts here for my taste. Rather than smooth, chocolately flavors from a balanced use of malts I had to choke this one down. Had this several times in the bottle and remember generous hops but that was missing here. drinkability was low due to acrid, dry, and harsh taste.

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Photo of Bendurgin
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured this into a pint glass. The beer pours black with tan highlights and about a finger of creamy looking well retained mocha colored head. The aroma is simply rockin' on this one! Big roasty malts right up front with dark fruits (dried plumbs come to mind) and a kind of grassy aroma probably from the hops and a bitter espresso undertone. Really nice flavors to follow the aroma. Big and roasty, kind of a semi sweet bakers chocolate flavor. Dried fruit, leather and espresso round out the flavors on this. All what I really want in an imperial stout. Solid mouthfeel, decent carbonation, smooth robust full body. Enjoyable all around. Honestly, I'm really enjoying this one, but I get a bit of alcohol burn going down and I've been nursing this for quite a while now and haven't gotten very far in it. Definitely a sipper.

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Photo of musicforairports
3.82/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a pretty fresh bottle, best by September 2015.

Pours black, with a brown head that leaves some good lacing.

Smells like chocolate and roasted malt, as well as some other piney or metallic scent i can't quite pinpoint. Kind of strange.

Taste is very much that of a stout, but there's a mild citrus hop twang to it. It doesn't get in the way of the roasted chocolate flavors, though, but they're a bit subdued for the style. Taste has substantially more of a bite to it than many other imperial stouts. I expect this beer would taste a lot different a year or two from now, as the hops will have fallen out.

Slightly creamy mouthfeel, seems like more carbonation than is typical for the style.

About as drinkable as a 9+ percent ABV imperial stout will ever be. It's not so heavy that it's a complete sipper.

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

Very interesting IS. Out of the snifter it has a strong hop presence. Aroma of grapefruit and caramel with hints of coffee. Pours a dark black color with an off-white foam head. Slight citrus sweetness up front. Then the bitters hit with the carbonation. The carb level is quite high. Immediately after, the coffee pinch kicks in and then a velvety malty, chocolate finish. Very complex brew. Very tasty. The timing of the carbonation and the coffee spice don't hit at the exact right moments. Perhaps with age the carbonation will lessen and this would be a bit more smooth. There is a harshness that could use some mellowing. But overall this is a unique and tasty IS.

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

on cask at the brewery

Pours a completely clouded blackness with a very thick, buoyant, creamy tan head. Great retention and collar, leaving patches of tan lacing all over the place.

Semi-sweet chocolate, coffee, dark malt, and a bit of nuttiness in the nose.

Heavily roasted malt up front with caramel, notes of mocha and coffee with some chocolate sweetness. Bits of molasses and a hint of booze poke through towards the middle. Finished with a pleasant splash of bitter hops and a slice of alcohol.

Full body, incredibly velvety smooth feel with silk touches and superbly pleasant on the palate. Delicious, not quite ground breaking, and the alcohol is hidden well considering the higher content. A solid, quality stout.

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Photo of BillHaverchuck
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

beautiful dark stout color with a minimal tan head of foam
smells of coffee and roasted espresso
roasty taste, chocolate espresso beans with a tad bit of hop bite at the end of the sip
the alcohol mask here is great, actually had no idea it was a 9% until I looked at the ABV at the top of the page
well rounded stout

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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 CliffBrake
3.22/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Wow - I don't think I have ever seen such a dark beer. Essentially opaque with the darkest head I have ever seen. Light lacing.

The balance of hops and roasted malt in the aroma is enticing, but the flavor is a bit too much for me. The aggressive hop bitterness and the roasted flavors seem to be fighting with each other.

My sample was a bottle dated with best before July 15, 2015. Maybe I robbed the cradle and should have waited?

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Photo of BBP
4.04/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours black with good carbonation, impressive full creamy head and good retention. Laces nicely as well. I thought this was exactly what a good RIS should look like.

S- Roasted malts. A bit of cocoa and coffee as well. Far too light of an aroma however.

T- Bittersweet cocoa from the beginning. Notes of coffee accompany this. Has a ton of cocoa flavor to it, but not in a chocolate way. It's in a dry spicy cocoa way. There's a smoky flavor initially in each sip which quickly leans into a very burnt flavor. As a kid I remember making chocolate chip cookies, and ever now and then a chocolate chip would fall off a cookie, and cook on the oven tray. This is the best way I can describe the taste of this beer. Burnt chocolate.

M- Fairly dry mouthfeel. Just on the verge of being sticky. Medium/full body leaning towards medium, and good carbonation.

D- Considerably drinkable, especially for a 9.1% ABV beer. The only thing that lessens the drinkability is the dry/burnt aspects of it. Aside from that I could easily drink a few of these in no time. All in all I was excited trying this as it was one of the top 100 beers, and it didn't live up to it's hype. It was still a good/great beer, but I don't think it should be on the list.

I wouldn't mind having more of these, and I am enjoying it, but I feel it's over-hyped.

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Photo of stingrayvr6
4.6/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Paired with some coffee ice cream. Poured into a pint glass, dark brown, dark thick head with good retention and lacing. Smell of roasted malts, smokey, coffee and dark chocolate. Taste incredibly smooth and malty up front then sweet dark chocolate and coffee like finish that clings to the mouth. Excellent desert beer, incredibly drinkable, hides the alcohol very well.

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Photo of comfortablynumb1
3.15/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle into a Ballast Point Brewery Pint glass. Bottle reads 'Enjoy by Sep 10 2014...

A - Pours black with a 3 finger light brown head. Lots of lacing, to be found here...

S - Coffee, chocolate, and a sour milk scent, followed by the fairly pungent smell of feet. Can't say I am overly excited about the way this one smells...

T - Tastes alot better than it smells. Lots of roasted malts, dark chocolate, and a good dose of bitter hops come through. Abv is very well hidden...

M - Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation...

D - Have tried this beer a few times, and I feel like I am disapointed everytime. To much hoppiness for an RIS in my opinion. If you are a hop head and an RIS fan; this one might be for you. Otherwise, I would not recommend...


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Photo of TheBrewo
3.66/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

We pour a syrupy brew of the deepest brown color, with the half finger head only a few shades lighter. The head dissipates quickly, but leaves a fair bit of creamy lacing. The primary component of the aroma is hops, which masks the subtle hints of burnt coffee and suggestions of roasted malts. The taste takes off with an immense, coiny hoppiness. The sip peaks with dark coffee and an apparent alcoholic warmth, quickly descending to carry those flavors into the aftertaste. The brew is highly carbonated and thickly full bodied, leaving the mouth a bit dry. The unexpectedly huge hop character and high abv make this a slower drinking brew.

Overall, the deep rich color of both the brew and the head make it an attractive prospect. The most surprising aspect of the beer is certainly the dominance of the hops, which pushes many other desirable flavors to the back.

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Photo of TCHopCraver
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes made on 11/3/10.

A: Into a giant snifter, Storm King pours black with just a hint of brown, with a two-finger dark khaki to light mocha head. Retention of the head is splendid, headlined by puffy clumps. The lacing forms in various shaped clumps.

S: The aroma is very unique and distinct. A heavy roasted malt smell harmonizes with a pretty fresh hop bitterness. This results in myriad aromas - espresso, dark chocolate, plum, cherry, roasted peanut, soy, vanilla, and caramelized sugar. This is a sharper aroma than most RIS's that I have had.

T: Roasted malt lands firmly on the flat of my tongue while bitter hops work the sides of my mouth. There are obviously a ton of hops in this beer - probably far more than style average. Notes of bitter coffee and mocha chocolate emerge as the beer warms. There is a decent amount of citrus bitterness playing off of the darker malt flavors, as well.

M: The feel starts medium to full and creamy and finishes with a biting hop bitterness. The carbonation is on the low side.

D: Storm King is certainly an interesting take on the style and one that I will be trying again. The large amount of hops made it maybe a little less drinkable then other RIS's of this caliber.

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Photo of cratez
4.37/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from a six pack purchased at Ryan's Party Store in Port Huron, MI.

Pours a completely opaque, midnight black with a thin mocha cap and generous webbed lacing on the tulip.

Smell is baker's chocolate, fig, burnt grains, dried fruit, doughy yeast, liquor, mild estery note, and floral-resiny hops.

Taste is an intense onslaught of fresh ground coffee, espresso beans, dark unsweetened chocolate, roasted malt, oak wood, cream, warming alcohol, spicy and bitter hops, and a sweet, chalky palate to end.

Silky mouthfeel is full bodied, rich and smooth, syrupy middle with a pleasing, bone dry finish.

This is similar to Bell's Expedition Stout but not quite as robust and flavourful. Nevertheless, Storm King is one of the best impy stouts I've had and well worth the price tag. Awesome stuff.

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Photo of UTCengOwl
4.57/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served out of a 12 oz. bottle poured into a Great Divide balloon glass on 11/14/10.

This beer pours very black with a nice tan head. The head stays around for a while, but it's not quite as creamy as I'd like to see.

The dominant aroma is roasty. Some hints of coffee and chocolate. Maybe a bit of milk? Also some American hop notes.

The taste is incredibly well balanced. The hops, roastiness and booze are all fighting to be the dominant flavor, but they end up being fantastic complements. This reminds me of a thicker India Black Ale, with appropriately restrained hops.

This beer is far, far too drinkable for how big it is. Did I really just finish that bottle? This was an excellent beer and I wouldn't mind having another in the near future. I'm a native Coloradan and I'd reach for one of these over a bottle of Yeti... which is some darned high praise for an imperial stout, IMO.

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Photo of stonermouse
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I pulled this one from the cellar after a year of aging. Poured into a Sam Adams glass.

Appearance is quite nice. Nearly black as night, as expected. Really nicely-colored head; chocolate brown. Dwindled more quickly than I would've liked.

Smell is potent, and has an unanticipated fruitiness to it. Otherwise there's a slightly smokey malt aroma. Nice.

Flavor here is a wallop, and is seriously smooth. Toasty and mildly sweet malts, and none of the fruity sort of flavor that came out in the aroma. There's a little alcohol warmth, but it's perfect for the style and compliments the flavors.

Mouthfeel is really nice. Dense and not at all syrupy. The flavors envelop the palette, and the soft malt sweetness is the only flavor that hangs around for a while.

Drinkability is high, if only because I can think of many different times I would love to have this beer. As a dessert beer, or while celebrating Christmas, or while sitting inside during a snow storm. Not my personal favorite style, but the flavors in this beer are beautiful.

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Photo of tewaris
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with a best by date of Jan 2015 poured into a Duvel tulip on 11/11/2010.

Appearance 4.5/5
Clear and the darkest of brown; looks jet black in the glass sporting a dark mocha colored head. Decent retention and lacing.

Aroma 4/5
Dark molasses, dark fruit, roast, chocolate.

Taste 4/5
There's some sweetness in this beer, yes, but it is mightily crushed by the huge roast and hoppiness that is the USP of this beer. Tastes like heartily roasted coffee beans covered in the darkest of chocolates; so dark a roast that there's no acidity perceived! Finish is medium with subtle alcohol warming.

Mouthfeel 4.5/5
Silky with low carbonation which might be because of the warm serving temperature too. Could use some more body, seeing as the bottle I had is quite fresh.

Drinkability 4/5
Good. The overall impression is of a one-dimensional beer that is well done, but nothing exceptional.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle from the 2008 vintage, so it looks like this one is two and a half years old. Enjoy by date of Feb 13 13. Pours an opaque black color with a fine-bubbled brown head. Retention is average and lacing is terrific.

Nose does not show much sign of oxidation and the hops are still kickin like a chicken. Roast, chocolate and licorice make up the malty portion of the aroma.

Mmmmm, oh wow. Two years on this beer has done absolute wonders for the beer. So smooth, chocolate flavors really starting to shine and there is still enough hop bitterness to have a 'fresh' taste. Not much oxidation, maybe just a touch here and there. Some mild, dark fruit adds to the complexity. Just enough sweetness and body is medium-full. I think this is a pretty decent beer fresh, albeit a little hoppy, but with some age on it is wonderful.

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

The beer is black with hint of brown, a tan, nearly brown head, no lacing but good curtains.

The smell is earthy, wet clay, cheese. A faint sweet odor.

Upfront it is tasting sweet, a bit vinous, then roasted tones, nuts and licorice.

Small carbonation, a big and complex body, a dry finish.

A good balance, and this is a much more rewarding stout than e.g. a Guinness, sampled at beer tasting at De Klomp.

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

Had this on cask at Smokin' Joe's. Poured into a pint glass.

4.0 A: Pitch black. Half a finger of creamy tan head with some whitish blotches.

4.0 S: Herbal and citrus hoppiness. Lightly roasty, woody, and yeasty.

4.0 T: Less hoppy than regular (or perhaps my palate has changed since I last had the regular a couple years ago). Decently roasty and rather sweet. Healthy bitterness, woody, and yeast.

4.0 M: Medium body. Lowish carbonation, creamy, and smooth.

4.0 D: Could use a bit more carbonation even for cask, but that's the nature of the beast. You never really know how far into the cask you are and how much it's changed since tapping. Still, tasty and I'm definitely glad to try a solid stout in cask format.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
5/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've been drinking and adoring this stout for countless years now. One of the best moves Victory made was moving this from a seasonal offering to a year-round celebration. Storm King has so much going for it - a striking display, a bold aroma, a dynamic, complex flavor, and highly competitive "drinkability" (can we come up with a synonym for "drinkability"?...considering it's mainstream reference point)

What a perfect beer to enjoy from my favorite serving type - the growler (on-tap/cask, I love you, but I can take growler home, it looks hot, and I can have my way with it - without peeeeople around). This might pour one of the most gorgeous, busty heads I've laid eyes on - uber-full, chocolate(-colored) mousse-creamy, filthy-thick stains of lacing spattering the middle-man (pint glass) - stark-dark onyx. Ultra-smooth, lightly bitter cocoa/roasty, blue-green fresh-pungent hop aroma - pounds the sinuses with sultry loveliness. Other notes in the scent - black licorice and booze - carry over into and explode in the taste, which, with all said descriptors combined, plus a soft coffee undertone and a silken cream liqueur feel and Irish dry finish...(pause)...make quite possibly the most all-quality-encompassing strong stout in existence. I've gushed over this on-tap, on cask, from growler (3 times), from bottle, and siphoned from the belly of the storm king bird itself. Stellar.

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Photo of climax
4.61/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The color is a deep deep brown with a massive mocha head. The retention is so good, I'm almost wishing it would subside so I could pour the rest... Notches all the way down, lovely.

There is a definite hop presence up front in the aroma. Herbal and a touch of bubblegum citrus notes are quickly matched and taken over by roasted nuts and sweet brown sugar.

Definitely a flavor explosion going on! The taste buds are sent into a frenzy of astringent burnt malt flavor, sweetness, and a powerful bitter finish. In what ever order they hit, they battle throughout the aftertaste. Burnt coffee and nuts eventually break into sweet molasses and caramelized sugars. Some ripe fruit notes and a grassy dry finish add to the excellence.

The body doesn't seem all that heavy, but it really is pretty thick and sticky. The carbonation is mild.... perfect. How can a beer with this much spunk be so easy to drink??? Victory says it all, Bravo.

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Photo of LittleDon
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A half pint served in a short pilsner glass at the Gingerman in Austin, TX.

Jet black with a dense mocha head and good head retention. Aroma speaks of coffee, dark chocolate and raisins. Good amount of carbonation up front. The middle brings out the coffee and chocolate with a bit of the alcohol noticeable. Long bittersweet finish. Medium mouthfeel, maybe leaning toward heavy.

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Storm King Stout from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 5,944 ratings
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