Dark Intrigue
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

Dark IntrigueDark Intrigue
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Stout - Russian Imperial
3.9 | pDev: 13.59%
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Dark IntrigueDark Intrigue
Reviews: 305 | Ratings: 739 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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SABERG from Massachusetts

3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 750 ml cage and cork bottle dated 11/20/2011 into the small tulip glass
A - Dark and intriguing for certain, a quick top off creates a 1" off white cap. Throughout the experience lacing clings in cirrus patterns to the glass.
S - Even with 7 years on it, the bourbon jumps off the cap, followed by bitter chocolate, toffee, cinnamon, black tea and some fig.
T - Well, all the bourbon barrel elements are in play, but softer, Vanilla, toffee, toasted oak, then the base beer adds Bakers chocolate, some fudge brownie, a bit of black pepper.
M - Full in body, a bit slick, the alcohol is less hot and acts as a nice vaporizer, the linger is cocoa driven and semi sweet
O - Wow, a big offering that aged quite gracefully, as this is the only old bottle I have, it will be a long shared experience.

Mar 03, 2018
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AgentMunky from New York

4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 750mL bottle into a St Bernardus goblet. Bottled 10 November 2011. Best by November 2016.
A: Light cream-colored head with cola-black body.
S: Intoxicating. Boozy and ensorcelling. Whisky, licorice, a whiff of oxidation.
T: Comes in roasted and sweet, heavy on the malted barley, toothsome with molasses and bourbon. Spicy, and very oaky. Aggressively woody and tannic.
M: Not as thin as feared. Actually quite robust.
O: A solid whisky-aged stout. I'm still not sold on cellaring, but this isn't hot at all. Quite nice.

Dec 25, 2017
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nebula1999 from Connecticut

3.81/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled Nov 10, 2011. Too dry, too boozy. Too much wood, too much bourbon. If this were young it'd be undrinkable. Tone that down it'd be okay. Might try again. Maybe not.

Feb 15, 2017
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Boto from Connecticut

4.19/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bomber: 2011 bottle, been sitting in the fridge for a long time. This one pours an inky black color. There was a small tan head on it. Nice nose. Lots of different aromas. Some bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, molasses, roasted malts and fruits. The taste is superb! Just a hint of the bourbon, very smooth texture. Hope they make this one again!

Nov 20, 2016
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gopens44 from Virginia

4.21/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

My bottle was aged for four years and six days, yielding very impressive results.

Beautiful looking beer, great foamy head that sticks around and deposits sticky lacing all about.

Nose is a cacophony of aroma with leather, currant, molasses and caramel with a little sweet candy sugar for good measure.

Taste is initially bitter but quickly presents that same dark fruit, currant taste that was in the aroma with an addition of oak until that sugary sweet pulls in with a touch of baker's chocolate, and with it is the slow moving heat. Little alcohol taste but nothing overwhelming.

Very little heat or sweetness lingers, but there's enough there to compel another swig for sure.

Really wish they kept making this, or that I at least would have bought more, as this turned out very well.

Nov 17, 2015
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TheManiacalOne from Rhode Island

3.84/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 750ml bottle into an imperial pint glass. Bottled on date of 11/10/2011.

A: The beer is a very deep black color with a short dense brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains bourbon, chocolate, roasted malts, licorice and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with strong bite of bourbon and alcohol. Then some flavors of chocolate, licorice and coffee come in along with a hearty roasted malt character and a faint touch of smokiness. The hops presence is very mild as you would expect but it provides a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Flavorful, goes down ok, slightly filling, strong kick, good representation of style, it’s a decent beer but definitely not as good as the regular version of Storm King.

Oct 22, 2015
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Jadjunk from Georgia

3.41/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"Since it's arrival in 1997, our Storm King Stout has enticed folks to 'discover the dark intrigue' as its label suggests While enjoying that great imperial stout, we have been intrigued by the myriad of flavors it exhibits and encouraged to test the limits of perception and pleasure by adding to the rich experience of Storm King Stout. So here you have such an exploration, involving Storm King Stout aged in oak barrels that once matured Kentucky bourbon. Blended to perfection, this one is surely dark and intriguing!" Brewed in the style of a Russian Imperial Stout aged in Bourbon Barrels. Available as a limited release in 750ml. bottles and on limited draft.

Poured from a 750ml. bottle to a snifter glass. Served above 57 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a frothy foam head of a toasted chocolate brown color over a near jet black body. Retention is good and lacing is light and spotty. 4

(Smell) Moderate acidity, tangy fruits, smooth undertones of chocolate and roasted grain, little to no bourbon character nor any discernible alcohol. More funk than roast, smells indicative of potential infection. 3

(Taste) The flavor is more accurate of expectations, very smooth chocolate and moderate roast forward, light oak and faint bourbon, alcohol is very well concealed. Tangy and tart fruit characters are still noticeable but more in check in the flavor. Finishes smooth and very dry. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, residual, smooth and very dry. Carbonation is light, generating a modest frothiness and a lightly crisp finish. Body is shy of medium for the style, medium/heavy overall. Balance is slightly tart and tangy over sweet. Alcohol presence is light and there is a higher than expected wild fruit presence in this beer, indicative of potential infection, although it is not severe, adding more to the beer than it takes away. 3.5

(Overall) My greatest criticism of Dark Intrigue is the overall docility of the Russian Imperial Stout flavors, with delicate roast, chocolate and especially bourbon barrel character. To this effect, Dark Intrigue allows potential infection flavors of tangy fruits to creep in and be ever-noticeable. I'd like to give this beer another shot if it were to be brewed again, but as the freshest bottles approach 5 years of age, I advise against purchasing any of even the latest vintage, unless it is to expect the unexpected. 3.5

Victory Brewing Company's
Dark Intrigue

Jun 23, 2015
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superspak from North Carolina

3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review 2400! 750 ml bottle into snifter, bottled on 11/10/2011. Pours pitch black color with a 2 finger dense and rocky tan head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lists. Nice dense soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, raisin, prune, vanilla, toast, toffee, oak, bourbon, pine, grass, and bourbon/oak earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt, bourbon barrel, and light-moderate hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, raisin, prune, vanilla, toast, toffee, oak, bourbon, pine, grass, and bourbon/oak earthiness. Fair amount of pine/grassy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, roast, raisin, prune, vanilla, toffee, toast, oak, bourbon, pine, and bourbon/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roasted malt, bourbon barrel, and moderate hop flavors; with a very nice malt/barrel balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, moderately creamy, and lightly sticky/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very good barrel aged imperial stout. All around good complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt, bourbon barrel, and moderate hop flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A nicely enjoyable offering.

Jul 08, 2014
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SCbrewpubfan from South Carolina

3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - 2011 Bottle poured into a HIghland Snifter. Pours dark brown with a finger of khaki head that dissipates quickly leaving a small amount of lacing.

S - All bourbon on the nose. Some underlying vanilla, and a touch of sweetness like burnt sugar.

T - Taste follows the nose pretty closely. Bourbon up front with some vanilla in the background. Chocolate and roasted malts come through on the back end, w/ a bit of acidity and alcohol in the aftertaste.

M - Not overly thick, but oily. It coats the mouth, but could use some more body. Medium carbonation, which feels right for the beer.

O - This isn't a bad beer, but it's sorely lacking in complexity. The dark fruit aromas and tastes that I've come to love in this style of beer are not present. No real coffee flavors either. The bourbon is definitely present, but so is the alcohol even after a few years in the cellar.

Jun 09, 2014
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KVNBGRY from Florida

4.11/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Bottled on Nov. 9, 2011

Ap - Fluffy, khaki head that comes back to life after a quick swirl.there is very minimal lace. Deep space black body.

Ar - Oak, dark chocolate, notes of bourbon. Vanilla cones through as it opens up.

T - Very similar to nose. It's very simple, yet complex. I think the flavors are all blended together. Roast/Char malty character is present, too.

M - Thick, viscous, near perfect for a stout!

O - Bitter, bourbon, oaky, chocolate bomb. A great RIS. This one just seems to have too much of a good thing for me. (Is that possible?)

Feb 14, 2014
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GreesyFizeek from New York

3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2011 vintage, 22 oz, purchased at Nathaniel Square Corner Store in Rochester, NY.

Pours a dark, intense black. Not much head or carbonation present here.

Smells like dark roasted malt, and some grain alcohol.

Taste is pretty similar, very roasty and delicious, but somehow, this 2.5 year bottle is still boozy. Medicinal alcohol is present at the end of each sip, dropping the drinkability with astringency. Additional flavors include woodiness, vanilla, and chocolate.

A little bit thin for a BA beer, but well carbonated, and creamy.

Not one of Victory's best beers, and it might be past its prime here. Nonetheless, it's pretty tasty, and I'm glad I picked it up.

Feb 07, 2014
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Jugs_McGhee from Texas

2.95/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to Duff27 for the bottle. "Bottled On: Nov 10 2011." 750ml brown glass bottle with unbranded gold hood-and-wire cap over a branded cork and appealing label art served into a Guinness stem-goblet in me parents' gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the brewery and the fact that this is a bourbon barrel aged version of Storm King - a beer I dug.

Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a 2.5 finger wide head of khaki-tan colour. Not the rich dark tan colour that I love in an imperial stout, but is still appealing. Nice creaminess and thickness. Smooth even consistency. Complexion could be softer. Uneven inconsistent lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Head retention is good - about 5 minutes.

Body colour is an opaque solid black. No floating yeast particles are visible. Appears overcarbonated judging by the abundant cola-esque bubbles crowding the underside of the goblet.

Overall, it's appealing, but unremarkable - especially for a bourbon barrel aged imperial stout. I'd like it creamier, fuller, and darker. A better head would be helpful as well. I'm looking forward to trying it, but it's far from unique or special. There are no egregious flaws.

Sm: Dominant bourbon is the first thing I notice. It's aggressive without overwhelming the other notes. Light vanilla evokes neither true vanilla bean on the high end nor artificial vanillicin on the low end. Noticeable oak, but no toasty character or refined soaky wood notes. Obligatory dark malts and chocolate malts. Unfortunately, I'm not finding any roasted barley character, which is essential in a great imperial stout. Cocoa powder. Plenty of malty sweetness. A hint of insipid coffee. A very faint burnt character is detectable as well.

Certainly not a hoppy imperial stout. I don't get any yeast character or alcohol from the aroma. Frankly, it just isn't all that evocative; each note feels very shallow and surface. It's a bit reticent overall, but I'm optimistic given the base beer. It's a pleasant aroma of below average strength.

T: Hm. Unfortunately, the taste is as shallow as the aroma suggested. Very surface notes of dark malts and chocolate malts provide the body, with complementary notes of cocoa powder, light ash/burnt character, and some malty sweetness. The bourbon is well-integrated but fairly artificial; I wonder about the quality of the bourbon used. There are one-dimensional notes of artificial vanilla and reticent-as-hell oak (with no toasty or refined qualities).

Somehow though, there's no booziness or alcohol presence. I'm not finding any coffee either. There's also no yeast or hop character.

On the sweeter side overall, though the slight burnt character does curb that a bit.

It's damned simple. I'm a bit surprised; the base beer was pretty complex. Could age have muted the flavour profile? This beer lacks complexity, subtlety, nuance, and intricacy. It's balanced, sure, but there's not that much going on to balance. I wonder how this drank fresh. It's cohesive, but far from gestalt. I'm really disappointed. Painfully shallow for the style. Below average intensity of flavour. Average duration of flavour.

The key to a great bourbon barrel stout is using the bourbon notes to develop the natural nuances of the base beer. This is uncommon in that it isn't the bourbon overwhelming the base that is the issue, it's the fact that the base beer is nowhere to be found. This level of simplicity is staggering.

Mf: Chalky, with a strange muted presence on the palate. Smooth and wet. Too airy and light. It needs more body, weight, and thickness. Lacks punch. I feel like the texture doesn't fully facilitate each note from the flavour profile. Where's the oomph, victory? Sure, it's not boozy or hot, but an imperial stout needs to be more bold and assertive. It's a clean mouthfeel with no yeasty sediment, gushed quality, or harshness, but it comes off weak. Almost Guinness-esque.

The texture does not complement the taste well.

Dr: I'll finish the bottle with relative ease. The mouthfeel enhances drinkability because it's so silky and light, but the beer loses power and presence as a trade-off. The mouthfeel and simplicity of this beer really hold it back. I prefer regular Storm King and can see why they retired this brew. I'd like to see Victory re-try a barrel aged Storm King in the future, preferably with a superior bourbon and more care regarding the mouthfeel. I wouldn't recommend this to friends, but I'm glad I got to try it. Thanks, Duff27!

Bottom line: Serious missed potential from Victory, Dark Intrigue fails to use bourbon barrel notes to develop or enhance the notes of the base beer, and really commits a faux pas with the light airy texture.


Dec 21, 2013
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dogfishandi from New York

3.35/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

750ml cork and caged bottle at fridge temp poured into a snifter. Bottled on NOV 10, 2011 (almost 2 years of age)

Nice appearance. Completely opaque black with a nice 3 fingers or so of beige head off the pour. Eventually fades to a thin but retentive layer. Spotty lacing.

Initially smells just a touch faded and oxidized. Also some dark chocolate, deep roasted malt, a touch of dark fruits and a little booze, but more solvent like than bourbon. A bit of oak and bourbon as it warms.

Tastes a bit oxidized, but not as much as the aroma, also the slightest bit tart. Bourbon, caramel, dark chocolate, some dark fruits. Finishes with a roasted malt/ hop bitterness. As it warms some sweet sugars and raisiny fruits come out.

Smooth and creamy with minimal carbonation. Could use a bit more body, but not bad.

Maybe this was better fresher...maybe not....

Sep 08, 2013
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brydeen from Minnesota

3.87/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Reviewed as part of the Blind BIF round 8

A: Pours a deep dark brown, with just a slight bit of light creeping through the edges. A nice creamy tan colored head forms, almost an inch thick, but quickly fades, leaving just a sticky ring around the edge of the glass.

S: Sweet aroma of molasses, candy sugar, and dark fruits. A faint roastiness is hiding behind the sweetness. On first guess this is some type of Quad, or at least an interpretation of one.

T: Bittersweet decadence right off the bat. A surprise bitterness from some hops or bittersweet chocolate, mixed with a rich sweetness. Raisins, dates, and molasses follow nose. Some sweet RIS qualities, I think I'm changing directions. A faint warming sensation from the alcohol, but not boozy. Despite being very sweet, it's oddly easy drinking.

M: Luxuriously thick and creamy. A big full-bodied brew, with just the right amount of carbonation. Alcohol is hidden extremely well, with just the faint warming finish.

O: This is a very tasty beer, although I'm not sure at all what it is. Continues to get better as it comes to room temp, and really is a sweet treat.

Jul 11, 2013
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brentk56 from North Carolina

3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottled in Nov 2011

Appearance: Pours a fudge brown color with a rather modest head that quickly fades to a ringlet leaving some squiggles of lace behind

Smell: Fudge and Bourbon, with undertones of oak

Taste: Fudge, up front, with the Bourbon developing mid-palate along with a rather harsh bitter quality from what is left of the hops; a touch of fusel alcohol appears, after the swallow, though the finish brings back the chocolate and Bourbon tones

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low to moderate carbonation

Overall: I was surprised to find this at Once Upon a Vine South (there is another bottle I left behind in case anybody wants it) so long after its release date; I truly expected more from Victory but having read the reviews I can now see why they retired this beer - it didn't start out great and while it may have mellowed out somewhat by now, it hasn't matured into anything to write home about either

Jul 05, 2013
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dbrauneis from North Carolina

3.99/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled November 10, 2011

A: Pours an opaque yet clear jet black in color with light to moderate amounts of visible carbonation and some very dark amber highlights. The beer has a half finger tall dark tan head that quickly reduces to a medium sized patch of very thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of oak, bourbon, vanilla, and dark roasted malts. Lighter amounts of chocolate are also present - the overall aroma strengthens as the beer warms.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of roasted malts with some lighter notes of dark chocolate. That is followed by some light to moderate flavors of vanilla, bourbon, and oak. Light to moderate amounts of bitterness that fades slowly.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth with light amounts of alcohol heat in the finish.

O: Over time with the aging, the booziness of this beer has really mellowed and the bourbon/barrel flavors have improved. I think this beer is actually better with a little age on it than it was when it was first released.

Apr 20, 2013
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DrJay from Texas

3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Very dark and nearly opaque with a faint reddish/brown hue. It poured with an inch of fluffy brown foam that showed good head retention and left sticky lacing on the glass. Aromas of bourbon, vanilla, caramel, roast, slight booze. Pretty nice overall with the sharp edges rounded out. The flavour was mostly bourbon and caramel with some roast, booze, and malt presence, bitter alcohol finish, and faint vanilla. Full bodied with creamy, lowish carbonation, smooth but boozy, leaving it a bit rough on the palate. Pretty good overall, but a little heavy on the bourbon.

Mar 17, 2013
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jmarsh123 from Indiana

4.57/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a decent sized beige head that recedes quickly leaving some clumps of lacing.

Lots of oak in the aroma. Good charred oak notes along with bourbon vanilla and roasted malts. A few dark fruits peak in as well with an earthy hop presence. The barrel really stands out on the aroma.

..and on the flavor. Flavor follows closely with a good roasty malt profile along with some earthy hops. Tons more charred oak, vanilla and a good smooth bourbon profile alongside.

Medium to thick bodied with a good creaminess. Carbonation is a bit higher than most BA stouts, but it works well with the hops.

A very nice surprised and bummed to hear they don't make this anymore. Never been a big fan of non-lager Victory stuff, but this was one of my favorites of the night. I usually prefer my BA stouts, bourbon heavy. It's present here, but let's the good charred oak steal the show.

Feb 28, 2013
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elgiacomo from Georgia

3.84/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottled November 2011. Served at cellar temperature.

Pours black with a three finger light brown head that leaves some clumpy rings of lacing and holds a good cap.

Aroma is oak, charred oak, bourbon, vanilla, roasted malts, some coffee & chocolate, burnt marshmallow, dark fruit, earthy hops. Good to very good strength.

Flavor follows suit, roasted malts, vanilla, oak, bourbon, burnt malts, coffee, chocolate, dates, raisins, dark fruit, marshmallow, anise, Storm King’s signature hop bite, mild to moderate sweetness, good bitterness, some alcohol. Pretty oaky. More oak than bourbon.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, creamy but with a good carbonation bite.

A nice step up from the regular Storm King, although it retains a lot of the base beer’s character. A lot of charred oak presence and the bourbon is there but not overpowering. There are certainly better barrel-aged Stouts out there, but this is pretty solid.

Feb 27, 2013
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micromaniac129 from Pennsylvania

4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Possibly my first and last time with this brew since it since has retired.
While pouring into my yeti tulip a tall desent head was produced. It had a beige mocha head, dense and left some sticky lacing on the glass. The color was super dark brown.
Aromatic aere sweet malts with hints of roasted malts. Oak barrels are light and warming alcohol that clears the senses.
A well tasting beer with balanced flavors. Most promiment is the roasted malts followed by church pews and bitter coffee though the coffee is quite sutle. Ididn't pick up much bourbon in the taste but I did taste the oak. The alcohol is quite present and has a lingering warming effect which is perfect for standing around the hearth on those cold winter nights. Drinks smooth on the palette with a bitterness that gripes the tongue.
This beer sat in my garage for a long while before i got to it and i wonder if it has mellowed.
Judging by other reviews i would say yes.

Feb 02, 2013
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prototypic from Ohio

3.47/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Bottled November 10, 2011

Dark Intrigue pours a very dark chocolate fudge color. It’s pitch black and very ominous looking. No light cuts through at all. A tan head covers the top and rises to about a finger and a half in height. Retention was pretty impressive. It hung around for a while. Lacing was definitely sticky, but lighter. Looks good.

The nose is good. It kicks off with a strong chocolate malt scent. It certainly smells sweet and sugary. It’s somewhat reminiscent of a Milk Stout in that respect. There are some roasted malt notes, but they clearly take a back seat to the chocolate variety. Bourbon is easily noted. It smells moderately strong. It’s a nice complement to the other elements smells pretty good. Secondary scents of vanilla, light dark fruit, and alcohol round it out. The alcohol comes through, but doesn’t seem overbearing. Smells good to this guy.

The flavor starts out with a nice mix of chocolate and roasted coffee flavors. The chocolate flavors are a mix of cocoa, bittersweet dark chocolate, and sweet milk chocolate. It is sugary and sweet. I stand by the Milk Stout comparison. Roasted malt notes and burnt coffee come through very strong in flavor. Honestly, that bit’s just okay. Not great. Bourbon is noted, but isn’t all that strong. It plays a complementary role well. Unfortunately, the strong roasted and burnt notes tend to suffocate the bourbon flavor a bit too much. Vanilla, dark fruit, and alcohol finish it off. Alcohol is a bit strong and warm. Finishes roasty, burnt, and a little boozy. It’s just okay.

The body is definitely on the light side of medium. Feels thin and insubstantial. More body is definitely needed. It goes down alright. It’s a bit big and boozy. Tastes just okay. Finishing off this 750 will be a chore.

Dark Intrigue is definitely intriguing. I had high hopes, but it’s just okay. In my opinion, it’s not nearly as good as Storm King. The bourbon flavor seems a little too muted by the strong roasted and burnt notes. Alcohol is also a bit strong. It’s okay, but is ultimately a missed opportunity.

Feb 02, 2013
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jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

3.67/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750 mL bottle, corked and caged. Bottled 11/19/10.

Had it fresh, now drinking one of the bottles from the cellar. appears jet black. thin tan head that fades. a lot of whiskey in the nose. boozy, vanilla, oak. slight roast. the taste has none o f of the hops of Storm King. bittersweet roasted malt, bourbon finish and aftertaste. thick body, but good level of carbonation to ease drinkability. overall - it's probably an improvement over fresh, I still prefer regular Storm King.

Jan 31, 2013
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beerdrifter from Germany

4.09/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 10 Nov 2011. Black-brown pour with a two finger beige head with decent retention and great lacing. Big woody nose is dominated by the bourbon and oak along with hints of booze, roasted malt, coffee, and a touch of vanilla. The bourbon and oak remain the stars in the taste. Sweet roasty malts, tobacco, vanilla, bitter chocolate, subtle citrusy hops, and just a touch of peat round out a nicely complex beer. The mouthfeel started out a bit fizzy for a stout, but as it came to temperature it became smooth and creamy with a great tangy, bitter hop finish. Extremely drinkable for a big beer. Overall this one surprised as I had read some disappointing reviews. The only possible fault I can find with it is that it's just a bit sweet. Other than that, this is a great beer. It's a shame Victory is retiring it.

Jan 25, 2013
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beer2day from North Carolina

4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 11/10/11.

Dark black pour with maybe a slight hint of brown around the edges. 1-finger of dark mocha head atop the glass. Decent head retention and light lace strands.

Nose is oaked bourbon with light coffee and citrus hops coming through. Complex enough and the bourbon has mellowed out very nicely.

Much more coffee with the addition of dark chocolate than in the nose. Bourbon is a little stronger here, especially on the exhale. Alcohol is definitely felt in addition to the bourbon burn. Roast malt balance. Nice citrus hops on exhale. Very much to my liking.

Just a bit thin for an RIS. I'd like more malt body here.

Overall, nicely done and aged well with a year on it. I have one more in the cellar and will break that out towards the end of 2013.

Jan 09, 2013
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Profchaos20 from Pennsylvania

3.39/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750 ML bottle, served in a snifter. Bottled 11/10/11, reviewed 12/23/12.

A - Pours a deep black with a two fingered tan head(aggressive pour), dissipates into a thin cap that has some staying power. Leaves some lacing.

S - Malty with some whiskey, stale bread/crackers, oak and wood, alcohol. Something else thats pungent, reminds me of a peated irish whiskey that I had before. Peat moss?

T - A lot going on in the flavor. Roasted malt, coffee, bourbon, oak, finishes with a citrusy/piney hop bitterness. Alcohol heat in the flavor and warms your chest on the way down. Notes of chocolate.

M - Full bodied, medium carbonation. Very thick and heavy, I probably should be sharing this bottle.

O - Okay overall. Something in the aroma and taste that I'm not enjoying that's affecting the good aspects.(realized later that this is the peated whiskey flavor/smell I mentioned above.) I wish I had tasted a fresher bottle so I had something to compare it to.

Dec 28, 2012
Dark Intrigue from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 739 ratings