Storm King Stout | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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Storm King StoutStorm King Stout
5,982 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:
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Ratings: 5,982 |  Reviews: 2,659
Photo of jkendrick
3.41/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark brown to black with minimal light on the edges. Thick and creamy head that sticks around for a while. Nice lacing when the head finally dissipates.

Aroma: Dark fruits and bitter coffee/espresso. The alcohol and hops aromas were present more than is typical for a stout, even an Imperial stout. Not particularly impressive.

Mouthfeel: More medium bodied than the full body I was expecting. It did have some creaminess, but the carbonation kind of overpowered the creaminess.

Taste: This is a dark fruits and bitter espresso stout. The alcohol taste was way too present for me and gives this thing a bite. I felt the overall flavor was way too bitter and not nearly balanced enough.

Overall impression: I have had this in the past and remembered it being a lot better. It's not BAD by any stretch, but it doesn't measure up to some of the best stouts I've had.

ETA: reading some other reviews, it looks as though this beer might have slipped in recent years. I don't know what you're doing differently, Victory, but please go back to your old methods.

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Photo of philbe311
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - two fingers of rich caramel colored head... Opaque tar black color... Really solid head retention... Coats glass well throughout the session...

S - Dark chocolate... Espresso... Roasted malt... Raspberry and dark fruit... Licorice... Earthy and grassy notes...

T - Yummy... Dark, rich, and complex... Baker's chocolate... Roasted malt... Dark raspberry... Licorice... Minor solvent from the 9.1% ABV... Brooding and developing with slight hoppiness kicking in at the finish...

M - Rich and creamy... Smooth... Slight aggressive with a little bit of a bite... Medium to full bodied... Sleek... Warming... Slight carbonation... Taste fills the mouth throughout...

D - This beer is an experience and another win for Victory... Solid all the way around... A stout worth many revisits... Wow!

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

I was surprised to see this on tap at one of our regular haunts.

A - Dark cola appearance with an eighth inch head.

S - It was served too cold, so the aroma took a while to show itself. Malty, chocolatey.

T - When it warmed, the tastes of chocolate, coffee, and some vanilla developed. Very little alcohol presence. Some lacing as it disappeared from the glass.

M - Less creamy than expected, probably due to recent tastings of nitro stouts and porters.

D - Much too drinkable than a 9% brew should be.

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

12 oz single purchased from Total Wine in Kennesaw, GA poured into a standard pint glass.

A: This is just about a picture perfect stout. It is a completely opaque black. It has a finger thick frothy brown head. The only reason I knock it down from a 5 is due to head retention not being excellent. The bubbles that do not dissipate leave sheets of lacing with each sip.

S: Roasted malts, hops, and a nutty aroma mix together to make this one pretty pleasing to the nose.

T: Roasted malt sweetness as you would expect from such a dark beer. It is balanced well with floral hops and dark chocolate flavors. This one is very balanced and tasty.

M: It is very creamy and smooth with a medium to thick body.

D: Most RIS beers are sippers for me. With the perfect balance and excellent taste I could easily drink a few of these. The alcohol is very well hidden.

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Photo of Casey10
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very good Imperial stout. High alcohol content makes this a beer that you want to take your time with.

Smell is chocolate mixed with raison. Taste is heavy and strong. Not a bad beer and if a stout type beer is what you are looking for this is not a bad choice at all !!

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

Pours black with no head whatsoever which I thought was a bit odd. The smell is a deep rich chocolate with a strong undercurrent of spicy hops.

The taste certainly does not disappoint! Roasted malts with a slight sweetness blends into hop bitterness. Definitely a unique beer. There is a bit of warming alcohol at the end, but overall a very tasty RIS!

Mouthfeel is a bit too thick and syrupy for me, it seems to clog a bit in my throat. However, the carbonation is well balanced.
Storm King is a bit more drinkable than any other Russian Imperial Stouts at this alcohol level.

Storm King is a bit of a strange beer. Very enticing in some aspects but it just doesn't blend into true greatness. To be honest it reminds me more of the Okocim Baltic Porter I had a few weeks ago then other Russian Imperial Stouts. Still worth a try, a nice hoppy RIS to have occasionally for sure!

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Photo of BierFan
3.55/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a tumbler glass.

Appearance: Very large(for the style) thick chocolate-milk colored head and a black body. The head drops kinda fast. Once the head disappears I'm able to see small bubbles erupting from the surface, so it has good carbonation.

Smell: Alcohol and roasted malts. Not as smooth as other RIS's I've had.

Taste: Roasted and burnt malts and some alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel is kinda thin, but I expected that with the poor head retention.

Overall this feels to me like it's more of a baltic porter than an RIS.

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Photo of superdedooperboy
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A freezing cold night brings out this 9.1% Imperial Stout.

Poured into a snifter glass, this one pours a deep dark nearly-opaque brown, setting off a great thick, creamy tan head. Retention is superb and lacing is decent.

Aroma is surprising -- instead of the expected roasty, chocolately malt notes, there is a big fruity/herbaceous hop bouquet, with more surprising notes of clovelike spiciness.

Body is medium-full, with a flavor that mimics the aroma to a certain extent, beginning with a roasted malt character up front with a faint suggestion of dark chocolate moving into a middle of mildly bitter hop flavors, finishing off with more sweet, chocolatey, roasted malts. Though high in ABV, the alcohol is very well-masked and never makes an overt appearance, even as the beer warms closer to room temperature.

The nice, balanced character of this stout, combined with its well-hidden alcohol, makes this a rather drinkable beer, but that can be a dangerous thing as the 9.1% will eventually kick hard, and drinking a few of these would certainly be a knockout.

Oh, but what a way to go.

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

Enjoy by date of January 24, 2012. Sampled November 2008.

A sooty, lusterless black that gives into light only around its edges which brighten to a roasted chestnut. It is largely opaque, minus that top part of its trim. You might not notice those light tones, however, due to the thick sepia stained crown which it adorns.

Judging by smell, I would guess the brewing process went something as follows: the barley was first heavily roasted, just shy of the point of singeing. Boiled until it became as sweet as possible, the malt was then basted with hot fudge, smeared with scorched caramel, tossed with dark berries, sprinkled with hops and finally mixed into a pot of strong java.

Taste and mouthfeel are both exceptionally mellow considering the character of their contents - one might imagine these flavours of dark caramel, bittersweet cocoa, black licorice, and roast espresso to lean to the intense side but they are actually quite delicate. What adds more soothing sensation are generous notes of hop cones and a savory hint of dark currants.

Roast, bitterness, and alcohol are all curiously smooth at first, but do enhance throughout the tasting. I definitely enjoy the beer better with a couple more degrees of warmth into it; the alcohol and flavours both gain a little more body. It drinks near sessionably. This isn't overly rich for a RIS, but it doesn't leave too much more to be desired either.

When I first tried Victory's Storm King Stout I thought I had found the best stout ever (which I'd wager is a fairly common reaction). Although I would continue to consider it so for some time after, I've long since found other stouts to better fulfill my need for indulgence. I doubt there's room anymore for it in the highly competitive group of favourite Imperial Stouts.

That said, there will always be room for it in the cold cellar where it certainly earns a spot. There will also always be a found memory of the first time I tried this beer, which I had saved for the first true snow storm of the year, after spending a cold day walking through my city, smothered in white mist and slowly then sipping it while watching the white flakes fall outside.

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Photo of antilogic
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aged several months in my cellar, this beer pours asphalt black with an impressive tan head. The aroma was inviting and smelled of a little hops and a little nuts and biscuit. The taste was crisp, but surprisingly bitter with some citrus and a kick of hops, and not overly sweet. I'm left slightly disappointed, but still enjoyed the beer. Usually a 9% isn't going to be this crisp or refreshing.

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Photo of PaleAleHater
2.69/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I sampled this brew on a cold New England evening. Paired it with a dill havarti cheese and artisan crackers. Notes of asphalt, gum base, and chocolate. Immeditely boozy and diacital. Hints of lavender and buckskin leather linger, unwanted. Its mouth feel is puzzling and thick, reminiscent of authentic Italian soda syrups but wrought with an overabundant hop presence.

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Photo of Jayli
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours pure opaque black with just the slightest purple edges, 1 finger brown head that dissipates in to a thin film that remans throughout. Lacing throughout. The scent is of coffee/espresso and roasted malts aroma. The taste has roasted malts, dark chocolate and gives a very chocolaty and expresso like impression. Good bitterness at the tail end, and some slight acidity. The alcohol is apparent but not overwhelming. Heavy in nature, not sure an entire evening could be spent with these, but it is definitely worth picking up.

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Photo of mnstorm99
3.3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pretty nice black pour with a small tan head that goes away pretty quick. Lacing is nice as expected for the style.
Aroma, this is good nice roasted and chocolate malt aroma's which are par for the style, nice floral and citrus aroma hops come through well.
Taste goes down to an average RIS for me, much of the same roasted malts and a touch of chocolate. Hops are mostly floral with a hint of orange peel.
Mouthfeel is full, but not oily which is the way I like an RIS. Drinkability is good, but I will grab many others before this one.

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Photo of Greggy
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Pours a very nice thick tan head on top of a black body. As the head receives, it leaves some nice lacing.

S- Very nice dark sweet chocolate, graininess, cocoa notes, graham cracker, sweet cream, balanced hopiness. I'd recommend a snifter for this one. When your nose isn't right on the beer, the nose is quite tight.

T- Starts out with notes a light chocolate and coffee, some earthiness, and plenty of hop oil notes. The finish is mainly hoppy notes with a bit of residual dry chocolate. Alcohol can be felt on the finish.

M- For this much alcohol I would have like quite a bit more body. Low carbonation. Seems a bit simplified.

D- For the alcohol level, it's really lacking some body. For the money, there are much better Impy's out there.

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Photo of Optimat0r
4.37/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

been wanting to try this famous stout for years now, and they have finally appeared in texas!! picked up a bottle tonight, havent been drinking stouts in a long time but couldnt pass this one up.

look - standard heavy stout; super dark opaque brown/caramel in color, minimal foaming with dark brown bubbles.

smell - chocolate, hoppy stout

taste - all i can say is its an ideal blend of all the standard stout features; malty start and hoppy finish, but not too hoppy.just right. just right amount of everything. nothin really mindblowing, but just an ideal imperial stout as it should be.

drinkability - VERY good for an imperial stout. not as overly bitter and more drinkable than shakespear stout, not as extreme as yeti,not quite as hoppy as old rasputin. id say this is the best and most drinkable imperial stout ive yet found.
storm king lives up to its reputation as a solid, well-balanced, drinkable imperial stout, an ideal example of the style.

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

This is an imperial stout that lives up to its name. Pours with a five+ brown head that fades very slowly leaves a good lace. Black color. Roasted coffee nose. Light-medium carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Excellent mix of hops and roasted malt, chocolate and roasted coffee flavors; very smooth and too easy to drink, the high ABV is hidden. $1.75 for a 12oz from Barb's Beer Emporium Concord, NH.

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Photo of beckje01
2.91/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Dark black can't see through some tan head but its lacking.

S- Boozy nose with some malt in the back.

T- Nice malt flavors some bitterness but its from the malt no hops I could clearly taste.

M- Good thickness and nice activity.

D- Ok not great but it's worth picking up. I would like to try a bottle version to see how it stacks up.

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Photo of Finkel
2.69/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

It pours very nicely and is an attractive looking beer. The beer is onyx in color and is topped with a chunky, milk chocolate colored head. Lace surrounds the glace when swirled and retains nicely. Although I am not a stout guy myself, I have to admit that it looked very pretty.

The nose was much weaker than I thought it would be. Chocolate and toffee as well as a fair amount of hops were identifiable, but were not powering in any way.

The taste was a crescendo of flavor and grew progressively stronger as it went down. Hops were definitely noticeable as well as a burnt popcorn flavors at the end of each sip. The strong coffee aftertaste is gross to me, which is the reason why I'm a tea drinker.

The mouth feel was clearly thick, which is one characteristic of stouts that deters me from drinking them. Furthermore, I disliked that it was astringent - it made me feel slightly dehydrated.

Admittedly, I didn't finish the beer, which was only delight to my friend. My rating will definitely be skewed due to the fact that I'm not a fan of this style. However, if you're one that likes stouts, this is a very well composed beer and it might be the brew for you.

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Photo of deanwilson
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A. Rich dark brown with little to no head.

S. Sweet, malty, and very rich with hints of chocolate.

T. Full of flavors including rich malt, bitter hops, chocolate and coffee.

M. very smooth, full bodied, and creamy.

D. Very good with a meat based meal. Every mouthful is a taste experieince, but it is almost like a meal in itself. I had 2 bottles and that was perfect for the evening.

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Photo of TrevorGW
2.44/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Black body. Typical imperial stout with the paper thin, tan-colored head that leaves a few laces here and there.

Aroma was of pungent bleu cheese. Heavy funk that was very off-putting.

Taste was big on the warm alcohol, with the roast and chocolate holding their own. The bleu funkiness was only mildly detectable on the tongue, but the aroma spoils at the start and finish of each sip.

Chewy mouthfeel, not very creamy.

Probably the 6th or 7th imperial stout that I have tried and unfortunately the worst. It may have been a damaged bottle, but I won't be ordering this again any time soon.

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Photo of petitearvine
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a chalice glass (Chimay)

Appearance - Pitch black, pours a dark, creamy, think head, with nice lacing and medium retention

Smell - Coffee and roasted malt, with a hint of hop. Aromas develop further as the beer nears room temperature. Choclolate quite noticeable on retro-olfaction.

Taste - Thick mouthfeel, black coffee and roasted malt, dark chocolate, low carbonation, alcohol hardly noticeable, lasting enjoyably bitter aftertaste

Drinkability - enjoyable, but definitely a sipper as it is a bit of a heavy beer

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Photo of imperialbigswig
3.46/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Alright, now this brew I'm a little touchy about.
A- thick dark black-good
S- maltiness, but oh no, what's that, Do I detect a heavy hoppiness to this highly acclaimed RIS- NOT COOL!
T-There are great chocolates, malts and slight coffee here, BUT a huge influx of hops, ARGHHHH.
M- rich and crispy, could be heavier.
D- could have a couple.
Is this a Russian Imperial Stout or a Russian Imperial Pale Ale dyed black?
I just don't think RIS should taste so hoppy and crisp.
All that said I still enjoy the beer, I just don't think its labeled correctly.

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

Poured into a pint glass. This dark blackish brown beer has a nice lingering foam and lacing. There are a lot of coffee notes with a hop flavor tasting of cooking chocolate. There is a very strong taste as the coffee hits you first. Also there is a molasses sweetness, but on the whole the beer tastes bitter.

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

Poured into a 20 oz. pint glass.

Appearance - Very dark, almost pitch black, with a good foamy 1 finger head.

Smell - Get a lot of coffee notes, some hops, a little bit of chocolate.

Taste - Very strong taste. Coffee hits you first and you can definitely notice some of the alcohol - but it is not a sweet tasting alcohol like other high ABV beers. Also get a little bit of molasses/syrupy sweetness, but on the whole the taste is slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel - Decent carbonation, but not too much. Very thick tasting and frothy.

Drinkability - Very thick, so you can't drink very fast. I feel that it gets better as it warms. Would be hard to have more than two or three at a time.

One of my favorite beers, especially during the winter. Amazing full taste and excellent apperance...another great brew from Victory. Ride with the king today!

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Photo of schellsbeer
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

THICK AS MOTOR OIL. Love the appearance. Black as night. AWESOME

Smell - Good, like a good strong stout should smell.

Taste - Good to Very Good for a Stout. Something that I will have again and again. I did enjoy this beer much more the warmer it got. Became more enjoyable as it approached room temperature. That is not saying much since it is 25 F on October 27 in Southern Minnesota at the time of this review. One thing that this Imperial Stout has going for it is the alcohol is not present in the taste at all. Very well hidden. I did like this quality.

Sip time....excuse me for a few seconds...

Ok. Back to the review.

Yes, it definitely gets better the warmer it gets. I am now going back and changing my taste to 4.5 on the BA scale. Much better. I wonder if I could speed the process up using the microwave....just kidding other BA members. I would never harm this beer.

Mouthfeel is excellent. Very thick like a good stout should be.

Drinkability - Average. I say this because at this high of an alcohol content with limited taste, I would move on to a more favorite stout.

I am looking forward to sampling other Victory beers. Thank you.

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Storm King Stout from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 5,982 ratings