Storm King Stout | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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2,616 Reviews
Storm King StoutStorm King Stout

Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States | website

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: 2,616 | Ratings: 5,813
Photo of auntfloyd
3.52/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter glass. "Enjoy By Sep 27 11", thanks, will do.

Pours a perfectly opaque jet black, with two fingers of tan head that stays around for a while. Very, very dark -- even when held up to a light this shows nothing.

The nose is kind of metallic alcohol, not too pleasant. Some chocolate hints are present, but overall, I'm disappointed here.

Taste is roasted coffee, alcohol, chocolate, and hops... more hops than you normally see in a Russian Imperial Stout. The start is very strong, and very stout-y, but the finish is bitter hops. Interesting, and makes for a nice contrast on the next sip.

The mouthfeel is good. This is a well-carbonated stout, and that adds some heft to it, but not too much. This is definitely a bit lighter, and way more drinkable than most beers of its class.

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Photo of ElijahCSkuggs
3.52/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Will this Storm King be as good as it's Death Metal Brethren?

Good looking tan head, nice lacing, and black as sin. Drink if you're in the mood for murder.

Good sniffin' beer. I sniffed some fruit, some hoppy goodness...but I'm struggling with the chocolate. Maybe the old shnozola is off today. Oh! I think I smelled it...way in the back.

Just like it's appearance, the taste does not hold back; strong. It's akin to the smell, but way stronger. The smell is pleasing, whereas the taste may push you over. That doesn't mean bad either; it's just very punctual. A punctual punch. It's a roasted brew for sure, with just a lot of harsh, dark characteristics; coffee/chocolate/wood. Serious aftertaste as well.

The mouthfeel is a beast as well. It stays. And if you're not digging the beer, you'll have to wash your mouth out. Medium body that's creamy and smooth. Feels like I drank a charred beer of old time goodness.

The drinkability, for me, is very mood defining. If I'm having a good time, and looking to drink it up, there's no way I'd choose this. But if I have a pal who's looking for a new Stout to try, Storm King is the way to go.

Bottom line is the beer is solid, heavy and likable. And would you guess it! It fits incredibly well while listening to the Pittsburgh Death Metal band of the same name. It's definitely fitting to being a 'Keeper of the Shadows'.

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Photo of TexIndy
3.51/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle with a best by date on the front label. It was a solid black with a thick brownish head that stuck around for a long time before settling to a thin foam. The smell was very weak and without any dominant trait. Even the dark malts were muted. The taste was good but nothing stellar. It had a pretty bitter end that kept my score down. It's my first RIS so maybe that's the style but missed the mark for me. (3,RB,ML,O)

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Photo of tvv375ia
3.51/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass

A-dark brown /black with no light getting through about 1 finger head that leaves quite a bit of lacing as it fades to a decent cap

S-a little burnt coffee and carmel smell

T-like the smell, some burnt taste with some earth mettalic hop finish

M-thinner than I was expecting light to medium bodied

O-this is a ok not quite as good as I was hoping. I think the thinness of it is the biggest drawback for me. I would drink it again but not go looking for one.

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Photo of drmeto
3.51/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.25

-pours the darkest of brown with no light coming through and a medium to big,frothy,khaki head
-chocolate,big coffee,grapefruit
-High hop bitterniss
-low to medium carbonation
-full body
-faint alcohol warming
I wished for some more complexity here.
Decent overall

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Photo of BB1313
3.51/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Finally had a chance to try this one. The thing that stands out is the drinkability. This is a RIS that doesn't force you to sip. I was able to drink it like a lager. The color was pitch black and the lacing and head was nice. The smell was hoppy although faint for a RIS. A nice beer w/ high drinkability bc it's thin, not thick. I never found this as hoppy as some say, oh well.

Good beer, but dare I say Imperial Porter? It's a unique take on the style, it's just not as bold as others.

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

Appearance: Black? yes, of course.

Smell: Alcohol and prunes, figs perhaps and a little bit o' chocolate, though not as good as me old rasputin arrrrghh!

Taste & Mouthfeel: Thin for the style, with a wee bit of chocolate in the front and heavy on the burnt malt in the back end, mouthfeel is a little thin. The pruny sweetness has no chance, though at least the alcohol is muted. Overall a big dissapointment from those guys who make Prima.

Drinkability: Wack.

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Photo of IMincedTheKing
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque dark brown with a one finger tan head and decent lacing.

The smell of bitter hops jumped from the bottle before I could even pour it. There's also a faint hint of sweet chocolate.

Tastes of hops, chocolate and coffee with a sweet finish. The rindy hops detract from the flavor. In the mouth, it's crisp and thin, but holds up a very strong flavor.

Overall, I think it's overhopped and overcarbonated. Not a bad beer, but not for me.

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Photo of CrookedStill
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into Dogfish Head signature glass.

Pours oil black with a thick 2-3 finger mocha head that leaves a nice lacing as it falls.

Lots of chocolate and roasted malts upfront. Fairly straightforward.

Follows the aroma. Roasted and hints of chocolate hit first and then hops make themselves present. Finishes slightly bitter. No trace of the 9% alcohol.

Medium bodied with med/low carbonation.

Overall I'm glad I've tried it. Wouldn't go far out of me way to pick it up again.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

On tap at the Victory Brew-Pub in Downingtown, PA.

Very dark brown with some ruby hues, coffee colored head. Very good lacing.

A definite roasted/smoky aroma comes off of this beer, followed with lots of malt.

Big smokey flavor right off the bat. Fills your entire mouth. Followed by just a slight sweetness and then big malt. Chocolate malts stay in your mouth.

Good mouthfeel.

I couldn't drink much of this beer. I felt full after one.

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Photo of Donnie2112
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

appearance: black with quickly dissapating head

smell: vanilla, coffee, alcohol, a bit of chocolate

taste: I taste a bit of chocolate and some alcohol. finishes kind of harsh with sort of a burnt toast flavor, the sweet malt that is there is nice but it just seems a bit unbalanced against the slightly unpleasant bitterness of the malt, maybe it needs some time in the cellar?

mouthfeel: Another point of interest, I perceive this as a bit thin and a bit too carbonated in combination of being slightly astringent the finish is rather heavy

drinkability: not bad, the mouthfeel and the bitterness are the only things I dislike, otherwise it's pretty good

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Photo of velo343
3.49/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours absolutely black with a nice milk chocolate head. I'm a little disappointed with the smell of this beer--there's not as much there as I had hoped. A faint scent of chocolate, but it's pretty hard to make out. The taste is a bit bolder, with the chocolate coming out again. Almost no noticeable hop flavor, but there certainly is a bite from the alcohol. Leaves a nice creamy taste in the mouth.

I felt it was a good stout, but I've found a few others that I certainly like more. It seemed to be lacking in the deepness and complexity that others seem to showcase so well.

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Photo of BrewerB
3.49/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to tpd975 for the hookup!

This beer poured a deep black color with a 1/2 finger, tight, medium-tan head. Some reddish highlights when illuminated, it left a pleasant lacing when swirled in my half-pint glass.

Aroma included plum-like esters, deep roasted grains that focused on dark chocolate and espresso. Mildly nutty with a lower-than-expected amount of floral hops. Missing some oxidation/sherry like qualities that I find pleasing in other examples of the style.

Flavors of burnt malt, coffee/espresso, and chocolate. Bitterness was moderately-high and lingered on into a dry finish. An unwelcome level of astringency is present and lasted into the finish. Needed to have a second beer to clear that up. Malts are overly focused on the burnt character. Harshness from the dark malt and dry finish really detracted from what is typically one of my favorite styles. Missing out on some counterpointed sweetness.

Medium-full bodied, moderately carbonated. The astringency from the dark malts was a detractor.

Overall, the harshness from the dark malt astringency and dry finish combined to drive down the drinkability on this beer. Lacked some residual sweetness that would have helped. Oxidation could have brought in some sherry-like qualities to increase complexity. Missing the dark-fruit type flavors I find in other examples of the style. Clean fermentation, appropriate level of bitterness and coffee-chocolate character. It just lacks the drinkability of an Old Rasputin, Black Chocolate Stout (Brooklyn), Expedition Stout, etc. One of the rare times I'm hesitant to finish even a modest 12 ounce serving.

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Photo of elliot23
3.48/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A. Nice and dark... as a stout should be. Very little head, but a nice light mocha in color, dissipates quickly.

N. Roasted malts. Some nice chocolate, possibly milk. A little bit of coffee bean in there. A slightly bitter nose with a few other notes I am unable to identify.

T. Bittersweet chocolate as well as a burned and bitter malt taste. A touch of pine in there towards the end... maybe something citrus, interesting. Finally a long and bitter finish, a hop forward RIS... unique.

M. Smooth and creamy. Very light carbonation and fitting for the style.

D. Though, the alcohol is not really noticed, this is still a slow sipper and not something that I would drink more than one of. 12 oz is plenty for this bottle.

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Photo of jbphoto88
3.48/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark, dark brown beer with a light tan rocky head.

Smells of dark roasted malts, hard alcohol and some coffee. Not bad except for that sharp alcohol smell. It smells like someone dropped a shot of everclear into my stout.

Taste has hints of chocolate, coffee and dark fruits. There is a roasted malt flavor as well but its overshadowed by a rough alcohol taste. Not a great mouthfeel, its average at best in fact it leaves me with a dry almost chapped throat feeling.

I would pass this one up next time. I think its an above average beer but a below average russian imperial stout.

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Photo of zdk9
3.48/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours black with a half finger of head that leaves some pocadotted lacing.

S- Some roasted coffee notes hinted among a base of grain husk, not increadibly strong.

T- The taste is roasty and toasty- a good amount of coffee and a small amount of licorice and liquor soaked cherries. I'm not getting much on the hops end and I really wish there were more.

M- For a beer this has a decent mouthfeel. For a stout, I am rather underwhelmed. Not very creamy or mouthcoating.

D- I had quite high expectations for this beer. And it's decent- it reminds me quite a bit of the Edmund Fittz porter from Great Lakes. But that's sort of the problem- it reminds me of a porter. The taste isn't RIS strong, and the mouthfeel certainly leaves something to be desired. My expectations were not fulfilled with this one.

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Photo of coldmeat23
3.48/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

GLASS: Imperial Pint Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees

Super dark brown liquid. Two finger head of chocolate brown foam. Retention is decent and lacing is fairly good.

Good amount of maltiness in the nose. Some sizable chocolate presence. Unexpected hop presence, for the style. Piney and citrusey. You can tell that this one is a 'new' interpretation of the style. Slight espresso notes, with hints of caramel.

Big dark chocolate malt backbone. Roasted grains. Burnt espresso. Slight undertones of piney hops. Not as prominent as in the nose.

Smooth. A little weak, though, IMO. I like my Stouts, especially Imperials, to be quite abit thicker and full-bodied than this. Not near the level of creaminess that I would expect.

Yes, it's pretty drinkable. On the other hand, I think it's for a select group of people. I'm glad I was forewarned about the hoppy quality to be found in this. If I hadn't been, I'd be pretty disappointed with this one. I don't like big hop notes in my stouts.

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Photo of Jimmys
3.48/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: pitch black, practically can see my reflection, with a deep mocha hued head.

S: roast, rich cocoa. sweet dessert fruits. tobacco. cigar wrapper. a touch of vanilla.

T: cranberries. chocolate bomb. deep roasted coffee. really leaves a lingering bitterness/acidity.

M: silky and creamy. standard

D: honestly, i expected a little more from this one. i love the brews that come out of victory and i have seen a little hype around this one, but to me this seems like a pretty standard RIS. im sure ill give it another shot and hopefully have a more positive review.

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Photo of KelsoSaaz
3.47/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured into snifter

A: Pours a motor oil brown-black with a thin, quickly dissipating tan head.

S: Dried tobacco leaves, musty-earthy smell, coffee, smoke, slight sweet malt

T: Bitter baking chocolate, burnt coffee, wood ash. Tons of roasted bitterness that is almost too much. Hints of smooth malt richness, but not enough. Too harsh.

M: Burn from the alcohol and harsh bitter notes overwhelm the palate. Viscous mouthfeel and mild carbonation.

O: Not the tasty RIS that I was expecting this. Victory went overboard with the roasted bitterness and the alcohol is too harsh. Not a great beer from a usually very good brewery.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.47/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep, dark brown. Head is light tan and leaves a small ring. Creamy with some faint hints of lacing. Pours on the moderate side.

Smell: Faint smoke and char. Grainy malts. Sweet with a solid punch of cocoa powder. Roasted malts. Burnt malts. Day old fire that's been watered down. Touches of new leather. Charcoal.

Taste: Smoke and an ashtray. Big charred charcoal flavors. Burnt malts push flavors of dark cocoa, old coffee grinds, and burnt meat edges (without the meaty component). Pure char. Lingering sweetness and a touch of roasted malts round out the back, but it's all about the char. Faint hints of citrus on the back. Alcohol asserts itself, but mildly.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy without ever being full. Carbonation is minimal and works well with the burnt malt assault.

Overall: Every time I try this beer it reminds me of a fire or an ashtray. It's easily one of the most burnt tasting beers I've ever encountered. This is by no means a bad thing. Loads of flavor, but finishing a whole bottle becomes taxing.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.46/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap into a snifter.

Why do I bother with the appearances. It's a stout. It's black.. moving on.. okay but seriously folks... The bubbles on this one are actually kind of a soapy consistency the fall at a decent clip buy not too fast. The bubbles are a faint brown.

Aromas of faint malt and a strange almost dare I say watery wetness, a "clean" sort of smell as if you were smelling just opened tap water from your kitchen sink. That's the only way I can describe it.

Taste improves after the bouquet even thought the watery sense comes forward. A 'soft' tobacco chew like comes in the taste almost like... chewing tobacco, leaving a bitter dark chocolate aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is actually good with a small bitterness balanced by the easy wet taste.

Drinkability I'd rate just a fraction above average, there are things worth exploring in the stout, it is not a waste of time to have one.

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Photo of Vendetta
3.46/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Original Rating Date:
October 18, 2008

Pours deep black and thick, like tar. Not much head, but the head that's there is dark brown, like the color of milk chocolate. Not too much nose, what's there is a sweet chocolaty smell. Tastes rich, dark, sweet, dark fruits. Roasted, dry finish. Thick, creamy, rich palate. Very good stout.

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Photo of imperialbigswig
3.46/5  rDev -15.6%
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 KFBR392
3.46/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured a very dark brown stout that was pitch black when attempting to see through the glass. Carbonation was very present throughout, probably the most I've seen in this level of a stout. Appropriate amounts of lacing stuck to the glass as this beer was drank. Enjoyed out of a snifter.

Smell: The aroma gave a mysterious mask for this beer. The hops are in the front but the roasted malt character is buried. You can tell other characters of this beer are trying to burst through in the aroma but cannot overcome the hops.

Taste: An incredibly powerful hop attack out of this stout. I feel like the hop character is trying to be like that of Nightstalker from Goose Island but to me is not on the same level. The aroma leads the drinker to expect a creamy hop lacing but comes off as over the top bitter. The darkness of this beer is hidden. Very little malt or coffee/espresso presence in this beer.

Mouthfeel: The sticky hops hand around for a long time with this beer. The creamy texture is there but at the same time leaves me wanting some more. Hops create a dryness which clings to the palette

Overall: Not a memorable stout. Its direction seems lost on me. I had high expectations for this beer and it did not live up to them. Worth a try but for the price tag I would recommend many other Stouts.

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Photo of jstilwell
3.46/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Since getting into the RIS(s) this seemed like the next likely target, picked up a sixer for $11.

A: Dark Black, strong brownish off white head, great glass lacing, good look so far

S: Strong alcohol, earth and hops

T: Strong alcohol earth and hops, this has a burnt dark piney taste with a bit of a jasmine like finish.

M: Chewy and voluminous, a bit of frothiness, definitely a winner in the mouthfeel category.

D: Very low, this is one bitter strong ass RIS. I would have a hard opening two consecutive.

A quality example of the style but a bit too bitter for m

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Storm King Stout from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
92 out of 100 based on 2,616 ratings.
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