Storm King Stout | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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Storm King StoutStorm King Stout
5,983 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: 5,983 |  Reviews: 2,660
Photo of tedpeer
3.65/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce poured into a pint.

A - Slow pour resulted in half an inch of beer, and the rest of the pint foam. Mocha colored head. Quickly subsided to an eighth inch, no lacing.

S - Roasted malts and hops.

T - Some hop flavor along with an overall bitter flavor. There's some roasted to go along with that.

M - Thin to medium, high carbonation.

D - Did not enjoy this.

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

This bottle has been in my basement for about 3 years.

Poured into a wide-mouth chimay glass, this beer is quote dark. held up to the light you can't see anything throuhg it. A very thin but creamy tan head lingrs on the surface. Aroma is of dark chocolate milk, and mild fruity esters that compliment the chocolate quite well. I take a sip and it starts off with sweet chocolatey goodness, followed by a pervasive roasty flavor from the dark malts, and the a bitter hop finish blends in towards the end. The beer is full-bodied and smooth and silky, with just the right carbonation. You'd swear there were oats in this beer, to account for the creaminess. The drinkability is excellent, especially for a RIS, as they tend to get pretty robust and hard to handle much of. This is a unique RIS, as it isn't over the top, but is still a big beer with much complexity. I'd take it for drinkability over many others.

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Photo of petroos
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours almost completely opaque, dark chocolate brown with a dark tan 2 finger head. The head takes a couple of minutes to dissipate, and leaves some serious lacing. No carbonation to be seen through the hazy brew.

S: Rich dark flavors. Coffee, caramel and chocolate. Malts come through with some creaminess and a bit of alcohol on the backend. Smells almost like a cafe au lait.

T: Upfront bitter dark chocolate, then coffee overtakes the palate which is rounded out by burnt sugar and caramel and vanilla. The midpalate is cream and figuey sweetness with some red fruit. All coffee on the finish, with bitter hops coming through. I wish there were a bit more malt character.

M: Round, full mouthfeel. Has a lot of creaminess that's nice and the alcohol is well hidden. The carbonation is perfect.

D: Very nice drinkability, especially for an Imperial. The beer makes me want to come back for more, although I not crazy about the finish.

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Photo of COBeerBuff
4.63/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours the darkest of blacks with absolutely zero light coming through. A gorgeous fluffy mocha colored head rests lightly above the storm below. The light fluffy head contributes wonderful lacing down the sides of the goblet. God, this looks yummy!

Smell: Sweet chocolate and coffee malty goodness. The roasted character is highly prevalent in the nose, and it smells delicious. Some hints of alcoholic esters fade in and out as well.

Taste: Roasted coffee and espresso goodness be found! The sweetness is well balanced by the bitterness of the coffee and the roasted malts. Some twinges of oatmeal also are present.

Mouthfeel: Thick and chewy. This is definitely a solid RIS. It coats the tongue and mouth, and leaves a very strong coffee and espresso aftertaste.

Drinkability: Its 9.1% ABV is on the lower side for some of the richer RIS's, and its coffee flavor is definitely on the high end as well. If either of these factors are not high on your list of wants, this might not be the RIS for you. Personally, it's exactly what I want from an RIS: rich, creamy, chewy, malty, bitter, yummy goodness!

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Photo of Beejay
3.77/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A dark as motor oil black, with a head that gracefully shows up after an aggressive pour, then retreats slowly like flood waters leaving the plains.

S: Dark chocolate, bitter, with just a little bite from the alcohol. This must be what Willy Wonka smells like after an all night bender.

T: Not as sweet as I would have guessed. Bitter up front, followed by a burnt coffee aftertaste... This one could mellow out a bit and I wouldn't mind.

M: Thick, chewy, and coats the mouth. Thick.

D: Overall not my favorite stout, was looking for something a little smoother, and sweeter. Still good, and I bet it could make some killer half and halfs.

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Photo of kegger22
3.76/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very dark beer with a tiny head that didn't last long. Once again, I got very little aroma (I'm going to have to see a doctor about my sniffer). The predominant tastes were bitter, burned coffee; not horrible, but might be better if it lightened up. The feel was heavy and rich, but you're not going to drink many of these. Not a bad beer, just up against some heavy-weight competition in the Russian Imperial Stout category. Note: It did warm up nicely in regard to taste.

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Photo of pd360
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours dark, almost completely black with a thin caramel head that lasted for the whole tasting. I was surprised by the lack of aroma, it had just the faintest scent of hops. Upon tasting, the first surprise is the pine hops flavor followed by a more familier coffee and bitter chocolate stout flavor. Overall a very nice beer that I would drink again.

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Photo of SykDoc
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 edition, poured from a bottle into a snifter. It pours a very deep, dark brown and forms a 1 inch mocha colored head that sits around forever. Opaque when held to the light.

The aroma is good but a hair mild. This in one of those beers with a unique combination of piney/citrus hops up front and then a healthy blend of bitter coffee and dark chocolate.

The taste is quite good, again with the citrus/pine hops up front and then followed by a good dose of coffee and dark chocolate, and a bit of caramel. Just a twinge of alcohol is noticeable.

The mouthfeel shows a full body. Carbonation is just a little foamy to me. A pleasant dryness lingers at the finish and although sturdy as all get out, still smooth.

This is an easily drinkable beer although it would be hard to have more than 2 because it is strong and masks the alcohol well. Pleasant and flavorful, I will save the next for a winter 6 months to 1.5 years from now. Very good.

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

Part of a trade with ritzkiss...thanks!

An aggressive pour yields an equally aggressive head; mocha coloured and thick like whipped cream. Great retention and lots of lacing. The beer itself is a deep, dark, opaque brown; not quite black, which is nice for a change.

Its complex nose includes espresso, caramel, molasses, cream, minerals and hops. Smells like a great cup of cappuccino.

Woah! This is awesome. Tons of quality, bitter espresso, strong dark chocolate and a solid showing of hops rounded out by sweet caramel malt in the background. It tastes very much like coffee without being overwhelming. Amazing. You can feel the alcohol in there but in a good way; it's only complimenting the other flavours.

A little thin in the feel for my preference though still a solid medium-bodied stout. The light carbonation is well-suited to the feel.

This easily ranks as one of the best stouts I've had. The ABV isn't listed on the bottle, but if this is really 9.1% it's incredibly drinkable for its strength. I could down a few of these in a short period of time. The only bad part about drinking this beer is that this is my only bottle.

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Photo of nicnut45
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- pours a jet black color with a brown head. There is about a fingers worth of foam. Reminds me of coca cola with head.

Smell- I smell vanilla, bourbon, tobacco, maybe even a bit of soy sauce. Smells great very well done

Taste- A bit bitter then what I expected almost too much as it over powers the malt. This beer showcases the harsher things in life that we love. It is salty, there is some whiskey flavor, oak, soy, and bitter dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel- this is thick and musty. More then you would expect a pleasent bitterness lingers on the mouth

Drink- Its a bit rough for me but nonetheless complex and flavorful. I bet this would go great with a cigar.

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Photo of Arbitrator
2.7/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Chilled bottle into a glass. Courtesy of a trade with Uwftke26.

A: A brown-colored body that pours a pitch black in the glass. Has a huge, foamy tan cap that recedes into thick clumps on top of the brew, and leaves substantial lacing with register marks down the glass. Exquisite.

S: Chocolate, espresso, smoke, and rotting citrus. Yuck.

T: Starts off with huge espresso, smoke, and roasted malts. Remains mostly bitter, although the mid-taste sees a slight sweet contribution of dark chocolate. The finish is again smoky, with citrus hops rounding it out. Leads into a bitter espresso aftertaste. Wow, kind of a clashing taste.

M: Full-bodied. Slightly high carbonation that prickles the tongue a bit. Well hidden ABV.

D: Surprisingly hoppy for an imperial stout, and the hop variety isn't one that blends particularly well with the traditional RIS flavors. I could see this aging into a well-rounded stout in a year, after the hops fade a bit. But it's fairly harsh as a young brew, and the experience is not spectacular enough to make me seek it out again.

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Photo of thekanna
3.43/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pitch black with a moderate tan head which rests on top and slowly dissipates.

S: Strong dark chocolate and roasted malt aromas. Charcoal and a generally burnt wood presence are also detected.

T: Extremely strong espresso and dark chocolate notes. Malts seem like they went through a smokehouse and just escaped, scathed, from the other side. Body has an undeniable sourness of prunes. Ends with an extremely strong, powerful, hop bitterness.

M: Thick, rich, and heavy.

D: This was more an assault to my palate than an enjoyable brew. It would be noticeably better if it weren't so rough around the edges.

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Photo of BarrelO
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a goblet. Best by 3/11/2014.

A: Very black. Huge tan head that eventually fades to nothing.

S: Roasty and chocolatey aromas that unfortunately have to fight for attention with the citrusy hops.

T: Typical coffee/chocolate notes, but again, the hops are a bit too prominent. They become more bearable as it comes closer to room temperature. Rather complex, but not necessarily enjoyable.

M: As thick and syrupy as it should be.

D: This definitely has potential, but it's a bit harsh this fresh. This might really be something about a year out.

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Photo of MrIncognito
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Had on cask at Victory Restaurant in Downingtown, PA. Deep brown, almost black body with a fluffy and sticky 2-finger brown head that leaves great lacing. Not much visible carbonation at all.

S - Highly roasted and burny malts with chocolate undertones followed by a sweet alcohol presence.

T&M - Very much like the smell. A bit more chocolately in the taste and the hops really shine through here. More bitter than expected with espresso bean notes. Alcohol provides a smooth mouthfeel with some warmness. A bit sticky on the lips and tongue.

D - A very nice beer but I'm not sure I could have more than one in a sitting. Not only is the alcohol high but the beer is a bit sticky and leaves a bitter taste from the burnt malts. At some points the aftertaste is quite like eating coffee grounds.

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Photo of kdoc8
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to kkulacki for finding this one. Question though: did anyone else find that their 12oz bottle of Storm King Stout contained noticeably less than the expected volume?

Anyway, hopefully some bottling error hasn't affected the deliciousness factor.

The appearance is dark black with a thin bubbly head. A little flat, which makes me wonder about this bottling aspect further. In any case, it smells great - very sweet with mostly chocolate tones being prevalent. The taste is not as sweet as the smell would indicate with a lot of bitter coffee taste up front and then almost pure roasted flavor on the finish, with a very small touch of alcohol taste. The aftertaste is pure coffee.

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Photo of Teeter
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanx to fellow BA DasFreak scoring a case of 24 12oz bottles I poured one into my best tulip glass. This stuff may stain my glass it is so dark.A small tan head forms and settles quickly.
The Aroma is black coffee and semi-sweet chocolate combined.
One sip and already I am supprised with this one.Not the smooth creamy flavor that was expected.yet not at all dissapointing.a slightly bitter bite most likely due to the 9.10%ABV mixing with that roasted coffee and chocolat I mentioned earlier.
The mouthfeel is everything I want in a RIS, Light carbonation with a thickness and density of the body that makes this a quality stou that I could find myself enjoying often.

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

This is a pretty mean-ass imperial stout, and deserves to be held up as one of the leading examples of the style. Thanks to Viggo for sharing. Deep black pour with a stiff mocha head. Good lace and retention. Roasty nose, with lots of cocoa and coffee, but with a good splash of citrus. Flavour is solid as all hell, with coffee mixing in with chocolate providing a decent base and citrus hops providing the laurels. Full body and low carbonation.

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Photo of dismal
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours fairly thick and pours a black color with a pretty big fluffy light tan head. After a couple minutes the head goes down but still has some good retention and leaves some lacing down the glass but not to much. The smell is coffee, some chocolate, and some roasted malts. Pretty typical of an RIS, pretty good but it doesn't stand out as being really great but it could just be me. Taste is pretty good. There is some chocolate but mainly I taste coffee especially in the aftertaste. Pretty good, and has a good mouthfeel as it's pretty thick. Has a high ABV but it's still quite drinkable. I probably wouldn't do more than a couple in a night but those would be drinkable. Overall a pretty nice RIS, I've had this one a couple times now and I'm sure I'll pick it up again.

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Photo of Soonami
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Chalice from hand-pumped cask at Local 44 in Phila

A- The beer from the pump was tar black with an inch of mocha colored foam. The head dissipated quickly but left a respectable cling of lace on the glass

S- A little hoppy, but mostly coffee and chocolately with a little port or oak like earthiness

T- Smooth, sweet caramelized malt with scalded coffee and hop bitterness. Alcohol spice and dark fruit/wine flavors

M- very creamy and full

D- Not overpowering but the high alcohol makes it prohibitive to drink more than a couple

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Photo of NODAK
2.08/5  rDev -48.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Aroma is of hops and very thick, coffee-like malts.

Hoppy upfront with a dose of floral hops smacking the palate at first. This gives way to the aforementioned roasted, coffee malt that was on the nose. However, the malt is pushed aside by a burst of hop bitterness on the finish surprisingly...leaving the palate with a bit of grapefruit, astringent bitterness that slowly increases in intensity and hits the back of the throat. I must say I was expecting a beer that leaned more to the malts versus hops here and am somewhat surprised. Also, the mouthfeel is thinner than I thought for style.

The aftertaste, as was mentioned, is rather bitter...the sides of the tongue want to pucker for quite some time after the swallow. The malts, by that time, are a distant memory.

I just don't find this to be very drinkable at all. I wanted to chew the rich malts here...I wanted a thick, creamy mouthfeel abounding with malty goodness...and I just didn't get it. The bitter finish and aftertaste detract from drinkability and really, this isn't something I'd drink again.

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

12 oz bottle poured into a Dogfish Head snifter

A - pours pitch black with one finger of frothy brown foam. From the top it looks like a chocolate milkshake. Almost no lacing.

S - strong coffee aroma, tannic dark malts dominate

T - charred coffee flavor, strong bitterness attacks the back of your tongue

M - creamy, viscous, very nice

D - a very nice sipper, the 9.1% ABV hardly pokes through at all.

A little more tannic than I remember, but amazing nonetheless. A great beer.

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Photo of Monsteruss
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The foam was about 2" thick, dark wheat in color, slow dissapation, smooth and thick with staying power till the end and not lacey. The color was brown opaque. The smell wasa molassis, coffe/espresso, roasted barley overtone with deep and faint cherry accents. The taste was a firm and dominate deep roasted barley overtone with wood and chocolate/coffee undertones and some spicey fruit accents. Mouthfeel - deep full-bodied and thick palate feel. Drinkability - just like a barley wine - intended for slow sippin' to enjoy all it has to offer.

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Photo of Anthony1
3.56/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured into a snifter

pours a very dark color with a nice thick (after a vigorous pour) caramel colored head. the head hugged the rim of the glass until the end, and the lace was great.

smelled very of super hops, roasted malt, and perhaps dark chocolate or caramel.

tasted hops hops hops. with a bit of dark coco. a fell bodied feel that was silky.

good beer, but wont be buying again

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Photo of righthereisay
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is exceptional considering the high alcohol content.

I ordered this beer at Mad Mex in Pittsburgh after the Victory Prima Pils. This had a great smooth full-bodied feel, and was impressive.

Again, considering the alcohol content, it was really great.

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

12oz bottle pours a dark black though still some light coming in through the edges. A slightly over-eager pour results in 3 fingers of mocha head that drops down to a nice blanket on the top of the beer. Some light lacing.

The first smell I get is surprisingly a hint of dark fruits which quickly fades in a dark roasting malts, hints of milk chocolate, definitely some ethanol.

Man, this beer enters smoooth. But the entry is quickly forgotten when the bitterness of the roasting/burnt malts kicks in, followed by a leathery, herbaceous hop bitterness and then continues on with the heavy-handed malts. Hints of espresso and a fair bit of bitter chocolate weave their way through, a faint sweetness is also there. Some alcohol warming in the finish. This is a serious beer and I am thoroughly enjoying it but it doesn't have the nuances of some of the other big RIS's out there.

Nothing fixes a dreary, rainy day like a big stout. Thanks to Tyler (piclee) for helping me get this one!

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Storm King Stout from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 5,983 ratings