Storm King Stout | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

2,632 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: 2,632 | Ratings: 5,876
Photo of trep
3.57/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottled Nov. 05 - Nearly a Year Old.

Dark black body but doesn't completely block out the light. Glints of ruby at the edges when held to the light. Bubbly off white head quickly fades into a slight coating of the top of the brew. No visible carbonation or yeast. Rich, chocolately and roasted coffee aroma. Very pronounced hop presence as well. Some fruitiness in there as well.

Very quick from start to finish. Initially a coffee-bean bitterness with a chocolatey "melt" that hurries you to the hoppy finish. Aftertaste is bitter. Alcohol is definitely present throughout. Some cherries and plums as it warms. Kind of chalky and ashy as it warms. White grapes in the finish.

Medium bodied with light carbonation. This one isn't too drinkable due to the chalk and alcohol factor.

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Photo of aeminter
3.57/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Black as pitch with a lovely thick light brown head (dissipates over time) and thin lacing.

Very malty-sweet nose with some mild phenols.

Great mouthfeel...thick, viscous, but very light carbonation.

Bitter, kinda smoky, rich espresso at the back with...a hint of...cigar?

I keep giving this style a try in hopes that I'll acquire a taste for it. So far all I can do is appreciate it for what it is.

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Photo of SAxDRC5
3.56/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark black with a large tan head. The head lasted as long as the beer did. Leaves a nice lacing all the way down the glass as I drink it.

Smell: Hops, dark chocolate, a hint of coffee. more hops than I was expecting, everything else was on par.

Taste: starts a bittersweet chocolate, finishes with a hoppy bitterness that I was not expecting in a RIS. Reminds me quite a bit of the finish you get with an IPA. In fact if i were to try this blindfolded I would guess that it is a DIPA. No hint of alcohol which surprised me for a beer with more than 9%ABV.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, creamy texture but a bit too fizzy. None of the alcohol feel I was expecting.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. If I were to try this without knowing the ABV I would guess somewhere in the 4-5% range.

I had mixed feeling on this beer:
Good interpretation of a RIS? no
Good beer? yes

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Photo of SickGnar
3.56/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Jet black & totally opaque. Large just slightly dark tan head that dimples as it settles and does a nice cascading effect right after the pour. It retains okay & leaves decently good lace. Basic look, but very solid.

S: Dry roasty malts. Herbal hops are strong and forward. Hints of dark fruits, dark bitter-sweet cocoa, & molasses sweetness. Okay, but surprisingly minimal.

T: This is a touch better. Sweetness is a bit more forward & richer. Molasses, burnt toffee, scorched sugars. Dark fruits are more richly prune and raisin. Roast takes on a chicory note with hints of true coffee and then some burnt and ash notes on the backend. Still just a hint of bitter-sweet cocoa. Hops keep an herbal base but get very grassy, and also quite spicy with a touch of earthy & resiny pine. Hop bitterness is very firm. The finish is super long lasting. Grassiness from hops gets to be too much & clashes with other aspects.

M: A bit over medium body but not that much. Carbonation is fairly under-matched yet soft. Silky and wet. Not as thick as some big stouts. Just a few sugars and dextrins. Lots of roast drying. The hint of alcohol warming grows with each sip.

D: Not the most complexity ever, but nice depth and richness. Very well hidden abv, so be careful. It may be heresy, but I dare say that this has too much hop character – at least the grassy almost vegetal type. Nothing really stands out as amazing, but overall this is quite good. If just a bit rough at the edges.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.56/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty black, with a thin brown head. Nice and rich.

Smell is good, just not hugely pronounced. Faint roasty notes, coffee and chocolate. Pretty standard fair.

Taste is good, Bitter chocolate, roasted coffee and malts. Sweetness, and some dark fruits.

Feel is thick, pretty much full bodied, and creamy.

Pretty easy to drink, really tasty, and low enough on the alcohol to drink multiples.

Good RIS, but I think the Ten FIDY i had an hour or so early made this one hard to top.

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Photo of Anthony1
3.56/5  rDev -13.2%
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 tony223366
3.56/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A vigorous pour gave me two fingers of fluffy, thick tan heads. It's almost rocky. I see some lacing already which points to some hop oils. It's as black as can be, no light penetrates it at all.

S: Some milk chocolate notes. Some roasted coffee. I'm getting something akin to hops but it's muddled with the malts. I'm having trouble picking up much else.

T: Whoa! There's a distinctive hop profile! It's a bit jarring but interesting. The flavors start out as a smoky, roasted coffee and turn to that milk chocolate. It finishes with lots of hops. A bit muddled and confused but ok!

M: Slick and medium to heavy body. Light carbonation. Could use a bit more.

O: This beer is closer to an Imperial Black IPA than a Russian Imperial Stout in my opinion. Maybe slightly more malt forward instead of hop forward for a Black IPA though. That being said it was definitely interesting but if I'm looking for a beer along these lines I'll reach for a black IPA.

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Photo of seedyone
3.56/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From bottle at Home. Enjoy by 27 Jan 2121. Being a big stout fan, I figured I'd pick this up with no referral. There's the usual deep ebony hue with a sturdy, moderate head. The first sensation is a very strong coffee influence. The texture is less then the look or aroma has lead me to anticipate. The bitterness is way up front with a moderate coffee followup. Missing are the usual depth that toasty malts & any lacto traits would add. Some vague chocolate shows on warming but IMO, it's not enough.

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Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.56/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter.

A: Pitch black with a two-finger, off-white, fizzy, creamy head that lasted several minutes. Fantastic lacing.

S: Citrus hops and roasted malt.

T: Light sweetness and moderate bitterness. Mostly hops then some roasted malt.

M: Medium bodied with soft carbonation. Not warm going down, but sticky.

O: This Russian Imperial was very hop forward and lacked the roasted complexities I appreciate so much in other Russian Imperials. Not a bad stout, but I'm really not a fan.

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Photo of jman892
3.56/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Just black, very little head, moderate lacing as it goes down

S - Toasty, not getting much else

T - Tastes hoppy, bitter, faint lemony-orange citrus fruit taste comes through in the end.

M - strong carbonation for the style, and a moderately creamy mouthfeel

D - Alcohol is well hidden, and goes down easy. Overall a fairly straightforward stout, not the most complex or extreme, but gets high marks for drinkability

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Photo of photomike
3.56/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Close to pitch black with an explosion of beige head. Sticky lacing all the way up the glass, and infinite retention on the eventually short head.

Smell is hersheys syrup and espresso. A bit boozy.

As I go in for the first taste, I see an antelope standing up. Reminds me of this:

This beer, with 1700 reviews seems to be saying "FUCK YOU IM VICTORY STORM KING STOUT YOUR REVIEW DOESNT MATTER"

Regardless, the taste is of bitter chocolate, booze and black coffee. Very malty, very dry. Like a boozy porter.

Somewhat light in the body for an RIS, but this thing is velvety and smooth. Warm and boozy finish. Light carbonation.

The booze in this is noticeable enough to make me take pause about continuing beyond a single 12oz bottle.

A great beer, no doubt, but somewhat of a letdown with all the fuss about this beer. For the price, its an amazing RIS, but objectively, merely a very good one.

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Photo of katan
3.56/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz into a goblet

A- Pours very black, thick looking. Opaque. Head formation is moderate, coming in at about 1mm. Well retained.

S - A fairly hoppy note for a RIS - with some floral and grapefruit notes coming through. Chocolate and malt play a background note for once.

T - Starts off pretty bitter, dry. Some yeast notes, some light roasted barley and chocolate. Midstream shows the light amount of hops. FInishes with an extremely bitter, almost acidic bite with only a hair of bittersweet chocolate. Strong aftertaste of burnt flavors.

M - Thick and strong bodied. Carbonation is also well conveyed in the mouthfeel, leaving a sting to the tongue. Bitter oily texture hangs around long after finishing the drink.

D - Moderate drinkability. RIS is manageable but high for the style. A bit filling due to its carbonation.

I have to admit disappointment with the Storm King. Victory is one of my favorite breweries, so its too bad when one of their beers doesn't quite hit the mark for me. I'd go to a Rasputin or a Bear Republic first.

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Photo of MiScusi
3.55/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle with an enjoy before date of 3/22/11

Pours a deep deep black brown with a tan frothy 2 finger head. The smell jumps out quite nicely with lots of roasted barley and lots of chocolate too. A thin tan cap stays for a very long time.

The taste has lots of roasted bitterness, and lots of hops up front too, and a coffee finish. Alcohol is noticeable right away and kinda lingers in the finish with some acidity.

The mouthfeel is medium but surprisingly not too thick, which I think works well for the flavor profile of this beer. This imperial stout is more "stouty" than other imperial stouts I've had, with Storm King being more heavy on the roasted character and less on the chocolate and coffee. As far as imperial stouts go this wasn't my complete cup of tea.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.55/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours black with a small, dark tan head.
Nose shows chocolate, roasted malt, espresso, floral notes, grapefruit and lots of pine. I'd have preferred more emphasis on the roasted malt rather than the hops.
Same issue with the flavours, with the initial chocolate and caramel quickly dominated by a huge grapefruit and piney hop hit which continues to overpower everything right through to the finish.
Too much carbonation.

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Photo of BierFan
3.55/5  rDev -13.4%
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 joezak5
3.55/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Poured into a Duvel sniffter; black as night with an overflowing dense tan head. OK retention, good lacing.

Smell: Espresso roast malt, dark anise and surpisingly oily hops.

Mouthfeel: The hoppiness hits you right away in a medium body with medium carbonation. This has the feel of an IPA.

Taste: Espresso hoppy malt with a little anise sneaking in, bittersweet chocolate when left on the tongue.

Drinkability: For me the hops overpower this one. I like deep roasted malt in an RIS, and perhaps this one (best by 1/24/12) just needs a bit of mellowing.

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Photo of BeerCon5
3.55/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured black in color with a pretty thin coffee colored head with poor retention.

The scent was of toasted malts and dark frut.

The taste is of dark fruit, chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, molasses, and roasted malts, alcohol is not very obvious.

Full bodied, very smooth and very creamy, also a little thin.

This wasn't nearly as flavorful as it was out of the bottle, the balance was still good and there was complex flavor, but I would take the bottle over cask.

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Photo of Ohiovania
3.55/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Really looking forward to trying this one. It smells great and looks fantastic. The head laces very nicely and takes a bit to go down but it the rest of the beer doesn't lace well or maybe I was too thirsty. Feel of it was a bit too lightly weighted for an imperial stout. Hardly any alcohol taste what so ever so it's easy to down these things and not realize it. Taste is a little sweet with some lightly roasted coffee and just a vestige of bitterness. An all around good beer but probably won't be picking it up again for a little while at least.

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Photo of maltiavelli
3.55/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Black hole dark, as it should be. Light carbonation and a medium level of lacing.

S - A slight hint of esters which is balanced by a sweet coffee/chocolate aroma.

T - Sweet balanced with malty with a kick of hops. There is no alcohol burn with brew.

M - Mouthfeel seemed a little light for a RIS. A more "chewy" beer was expected. Overall it made it seem like a smaller beer than it was.

D - I enjoyed this beer especially the hop level. If I find it again I would definitely pick it up again.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.55/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

To get myself through the fiasco known as Corona Light, I have called upon a bottle of Storm King. On to the beer:

The semi-tan head is about a finger thick, the body jet fuel black. Lacing was dissapointing. Aroma is tame and not very strong; mostly charred chocolate. The taste is big on bitter flavors; bitter dark chocolate with a high level of hoppiness. It sweetens up as it warms; from thisn comes a release of dark choclate, molasses, and subtle fruity flavors. Giving it time to warm up makes a big difference in this beer, otherwise you're left with a bitter black beer. In short, a dissapointment for what I was expecting.

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Photo of kajerm
3.55/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours with a thin, dark tan head and a little lacing. There is no way in hell that a single photon is passing this monstrous black gravity well of a beer.

The nose is alcohol and strangely astringent hops. This is going to be interesting...

Very tasty beer, very poor style example. It tastes dry, shockingly hoppy with some phenolic character-- unusual to say the least. There is a solid dark malt backbone that sits in the background owing to the powerful hop flavor. There's some very slight mid-palate biscuity flavor; so slight that I might be hallucinating it. Finishes strong, with hop bitterness. Not what I expected from an imperial stout, but holy shit, it is delicious.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly thin and carbonated, but it's somehow fitting for the beer, especially given the strong hop character.

There are about a thousand reviews of "dangerously drinkable" beers. At 9.1% ABV, this beer borders on a date rape drug in its drinkability.

RERATE: Apparently this review was written back when I valued style over substance. The truth is, this review liked the beer way more than I did-- it actually turned me off hoppy stouts until Darkness came along and rocked my palate. I saved a bottle for over a year now with one, and only one purpose in mind-- ruthlessly kill all the hops in this beer. So down to business.

The aroma tells me one thing-- I succeeded. It's coffee, chocolatey, and sort of musty with a heavy background of dark malts. No lupulin in evidence. Flavor profile opens up malty, and finishes a bit more astringent than I would have liked, but nowhere near, say, Old Rasputin or Nogne Ø. Every flavor has mellowed out nicely-- this beer tastes like an imperial stout that has gone into retirement. It's not bad at all, and pretty drinkable. My main gripe would be with the body, which is closer to beer than molasses-- not what I look for in my impies.

This isn't going to become my favorite beer anytime soon, but if I ever happen to get a hold of more, now I know what to do-- lay it down.

(Damn, I'm a wordy bastard today.)

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Photo of TheTrevor
3.55/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured jet black with a dark tan head. The scent is of roasted malts with hints of mocha and coffee. The taste starts off with some bittersweet coffee taste that is cut rather quickly by some rather agressive hops and then finishes with some warming from the alcohol. The mouthfeel is fairly thin and a little slick with some warming from the alcohol. This is an interesting beer, but it sits a little heavy for me to reach for more than one at a time.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.55/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 7/8/08. Bottle. Pours black with a small tan head that dissipates quickly. Aroma of roasted malt, bitter hops, and coffee. Flavor of weaker sweet roasted malts, bitter hops. The mouthfeel is nice and full and richens as the beer warms. The flavors are a bit weak for a top notch imperial stout. Rather bitter as well. The first time I had this beer I wasn't particularly impressed and the same holds true in this revist. It lacks the rich intensity of the great imperial stouts and reminds me of a regular stout with a full-bodied palate. Still a good beer to try, but it's nothing great.

Update 7/10/08: Had this beer again on gravity keg at Blind Tiger. The flavor is completely dominated by coffee and roasted malt. Very roasted. A little tastier than the bottled version, but there's still not a lot going on here.

8/4/6/4/15 (3.7/5)

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Photo of gcamparone
3.54/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Samuel Adams pint glass. Purchased at Wakefield Liquors in Wakefield, RI.

A- Pours a thick, oily, opaque black body with a frothy 2" brown head with medium-low retention. Medium lacing.

S- Interesting. Milk chocolate, booze, heavy roasted malt, slightly plastic. Not the most aromatic stout. Let's taste it.

T- Deep roasted malt upfront. Bitter cocoa and hops that linger on the tongue for a while. Slight booze on the tongue, but nothing offensive.

M- Medium carbonation, thick consistency.

Overall, I wasn't hugely impressed. For the ABV and thick mouthfeel, I expect a little more flavor. Slightly harsh.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.53/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a CBS snifter. Best by 11/22/2016.

Appearance - Pours a dark brown with a significant khaki head. Good retention and lacing, but it is quite light for a stout.

Smell - Hops galore. The hops cover up most of the stout. A fair bit of coffee emerges behind. The hops come off as rather vegetal.

Taste - The taste is extremely hoppy, but markedly better than the nose. Not as vegetal. Still hoppy, but more chocolate and coffee come through. Not much of the boozy comes through.

Mouthfeel - Thin. Quite thin. Not boozy, but exceedingly bitter. The aftertaste is hops, not stout.

Overall - It's not bad, but it's so aggressively hopped that it's lost. More stout, please.

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Storm King Stout from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
4.1 out of 5 based on 5,876 ratings.
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