Dark Intrigue | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Dark IntrigueDark Intrigue
Very Good
739 Ratings
Dark IntrigueDark Intrigue

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

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by stakem on 11-25-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 739 |  Reviews: 304
Photo of SteveRod
1/5  rDev -74.2%

Photo of Someguy1989
1.5/5  rDev -61.2%

Photo of mikey711
1.79/5  rDev -53.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A: Deep black with a mocha colored head that lingers at about a quarter inch. not much lace

S: heavy chocolate up front with some serious wood notes that have a very earthy tone. some bourbon notes and vanilla notes. some hints of coffee and roastiness. All the nots are somewhat subdued though

T: Very woody with hints of hoppiness and roastiness. some bourbon and vanilla notes and a heavy chocolate presence. oddly there is a bit of a metallic taste as well

M: Some what thin and slightly astringent.

D: This was a major disappointment for me. the bourbon characteristic was there but like drinking an extremely cheap and astringent bourbon. the woodiness is way to present and all of the flavors just seem to be muddled together. I dont think i had a bad bottle, i think this beer lacks a true identity as well as the typical qualities that i enjoy in more well put togther BA stouts. I dont think this has much aging potential because it seems to be poorly executed

 975 characters

Photo of mymrnngjckt
1.95/5  rDev -49.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Thanks to krisandajt for purchasing and sharing this bottle.

Pours a dark chocolate / black color with little to no head at all.

Smell is is very boozy with hints of molasses and chocolate.

The taste and mouthfeel is where this beer fails epically. The alcohol is way to overpowering on this brew and makes the beer very hot to point of it being undrinkable. Too much bourbon taste. No balance. The malt character that I love in the storm king has been completely removed by the bourbon.

I did not enjoy this at all.

 521 characters

Photo of MONKandTUCK
1.99/5  rDev -48.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A - Deep black, void if color. Tan, frothy head.

S - Nutty, tanin-rich, prune juice, fresh asphalt, cinnamon, mint, mylanta, paint-thinner. The aroma is all over the place, yet had to place. Not pleasing.

T - what is this!? Experiments are fun, but I can see why Victory made this a one-and-done. Pass!

M Carries well. Substantial but not chewy.

O - Not worth the try, yet I feel grateful to have tried it, regardless. Victory needs to reorient themselves. Do they wanna try to keep up with everyone else. Or do they want to make great beer?

 545 characters

Photo of rderedin
2.25/5  rDev -41.9%

Photo of PDXHops
2.41/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

750ml bottle poured into an oversized snifter. An initial pour of 8 ounces or results in a huge puffy tan head. Kinda fizzy, though, and within a couple of minutes it's a dense skim. Good retention from that. Not much lacing.

A comparison with the notes from my Storm King review.

Storm King:
Pretty straightforward nose- dark roasted malt, tiny bit of chocolate, bit of hops. Smells good, just not too exciting.
Dark Intrigue:
The base beer can't keep up with the big boozy blast of the barrel aromas. On the positive side, some cookie dough and dark fruity notes are coaxed out.

Storm King:
Flavor is also on the bland side. Dark malts accompanied by a bit of chocolate, a bit of coffee, a bit of hops.
Dark Intrigue:
Again, the base beer isn't quite up to the challenge here. In the sea of booziness, the chief malty notes are tangy and bittersweet. Oddly, it's the surprisingly potent underlying bitterness that provides the most contrast to the booze.

Storm King:
Body is on the thinner side of medium, but the combination of creaminess and moderate carbonation hides it pretty well.
Dark Intrigue:
The thinness really hurts things. Seems a tad watery at the swallow. Huge alcohol burn in the finish, and then some barrel notes creep in.

Storm King:
Smooth and about as sessionable as an RIS can be. Not sure if that's such a great thing, though, since there's none of the bold flavors I'm looking for in an RIS.
Dark Intrigue:
Certainly neither smooth nor sessionable. The base beer simply isn't robust enough to stand up to barrel-aging. I reckon some cellar time would smooth it out a bit, but I'm not inclinded to spend my limited cellar dollars on that particular experiment.

 1,694 characters

Photo of kzoobrew
2.41/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottled 11/19/10 served at cellar temp.

Poured into Darkness snifter. Body is black and opaque, even when held directly in front of a lamp light fails to breaks the surface. Three finger cafe au lait head is perched atop. The head recedes slowly leaving a broken ring of lacing surrounding the glass. A modest cap is left floating for the duration.

As of the first pour the aroma comes off a bit muted. The bourbon is apparent but not as strong as I would have imagined. A combination of caramel and chocolate aromas are fairly strong. The hops provide a strong floral element which really does not mesh well with the beer as a whole. I had hopes the aroma would meld a bit more with warmth, this did not happen. While certain smells blended a bit, I can not walk away being anything but disappointed.

The flavor transition is very interesting with this one. Caramel and chocolate flavors are the first to roll across the tongue. Shortly after and astringent oakiness which moves into a strong hop floral flavor. The bourbon flavor becomes more apparent on the back of the palate, I am a bit surprised this did not present itself earlier. The flavors and their progression is just a bit odd.

Mouthfeel is not a strong point. The body is a bit thin, though in many -bal stouts this can be overcome. The carbonation is dialed up a bit too high. The astringency of the oak revealing itself at the end further embellishes the overly dry finish. This is not what the mouthfeel of an Imperial Stout should be.

I looked forward to this one. I wanted to like this one. Dark Intrigue was simply hard to drink. I will say I believe this may benefit with age, but as it sits right now it is flat out hard to enjoy. I should have probably held on to this one for a bit longer.

I am very grateful to Biglobo8971 for sending this one my way. No matter if I enjoyed it or not, this was a very generous inclusion in this box.

 1,917 characters

Photo of womencantsail
2.49/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

"Thanks" to Bobby for sharing this. I suppose it's my fault too since I pushed the issue on opening it.

A: Pours essentially black with a finger or so of tan colored head.

S: Roast, roast, and more roast. This has a big time burnt/charred/ash thing going on and the acidity isn't helping anything. I smell some oak, but not really any bourbon. And there is definitely some chlorine.

T: Licorice, booze, and raisins seem to describe the front end of this well. The harsh roast/ash and alcohol continue the fun. There's a bit of vanilla toward the finish, but nowhere near pleasing enough to salvage this beer.

M: The body is medium with a moderate level of carbonation.

D: I was never the hugest Storm King fan, and I'm even less of a barrel aged Storm King fan.

 766 characters

Photo of KMcG
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

Photo of will1256
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

Photo of Lantern
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

Photo of JustinMatthew
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

Photo of ucis
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

Photo of TonyTalon
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

Photo of mothman
2.67/5  rDev -31%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours ½ finger of beige head. Color is pretty much black.

Aroma: Big oak, caramel, chocolate, vanilla, grassy hops, bourbon, some dark fruits. Nothing special.

Taste: Molasses, smoke, tannins, dried fruits, chocolate, oak, light bourbon. Not very good.

Mouthfeel: Warm and hot. Full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends really dry.

Overall, this wasn't too good for a bourbon -bal aged beer. Ok aroma, but all downhill from there. Not worth it. Get some BCS and save yourself the hassle.

 504 characters

Photo of largadeer
2.69/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Thanks, Barry!

Dark Intrigue appears a near-opaque black, capped by a tall tan head. The nose has a lot of charred malt, cigar smoke and coffee bean, along with a milder note of vanilla. Palate is decent; burnt toast, bittersweet chocolate and burnt coffee, a touch of vanilla and caramel from the barrel. The body is a little thin for the style, and the finish dry, tannic, moderately roasted. There isn't a ton of complexity here, but it's not completely awful; just all-around mediocre.

 490 characters

Photo of BikeChef
2.69/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Burnt-oak, chocoate nose. A warming sip brings more oak and chocolate, with a very abrupt finish.

I love Storm King, so was pretty excited about this. However, this isn't an improvement, unfortunately. I hope Victory will try more barrel-ageing experiments, though.

 267 characters

Photo of RodneyX
2.7/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This beer looks like a big stout with a tan head that no light comes through. You can smell a lot of vanilla and bourbon on it, it smells a little hot, but good. It tastes good initially, also a little hot as well, but finishes pretty horribly, with some astringent, bitter taste. These beer ended up being pretty bad, I don't like it.

 335 characters

Photo of Jeffo
2.74/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

In a recent trade with G311. Thanks again man!

From a 750ml bottle into a snifter.
Note: Drunk right after Storm King Stout for comparative purposes.

APPEARANCE: Pours out dark brown, almost black, and slightly transparent. Slightly thicker than Storm King. Pour yields a small, medium looking, beige head with decent retention. Black body with zero carbonation evident. Head quickly fades to a ring only. A minimal ring remains for a while, but looks flat by the end with no lacing down the glass. Eventually just looks like flat coke. Disappointing.

SMELL: Some oak and bourbon up front. Roasted malts and oaky vanilla notes as well. Some milk chocolate too, but mostly barrel on this one. A really mild nose that’s washed away most of the base beer, but still pleasant.

TASTE: Oak and bourbon up front, with some roasted malts and vanilla there as well. Slight milk chocolate though the middle, then quite a strong alcohol burst comes though at the swallow. Oak, bourbon, and boozy aftertaste is bold but relatively short lived. Flavor profile is alright, but it’s just too mild to be memorable and too heavy on the boozy qualities as well.

PALATE: Definitely light on the palate, perhaps even lighter than the base beer, with higher levels of carbonation. Slightly creamy on the palate, goes down with a bit of a burn and finishes slightly dry on the palate. Too light, overly boozy, and certainly lack-luster for the style. Not off putting, but below average for sure.

OVERALL: Well, there it is. A decent effort at a BA imperial stout, but I don’t think the base beer is good enough to really give a BA version the strong foundation it needs. The look and especially the feel were well below average for the style, and the taste profile simply too lack-luster to be memorable. Certainly glad I had the chance to try this one out, but will not need to seek out another bottle. Thanks again for the opportunity G311.

 1,938 characters

Photo of yankeepride
2.75/5  rDev -28.9%

Photo of ejimhof
2.75/5  rDev -28.9%

Photo of bvlaminck
2.75/5  rDev -28.9%

Photo of Overlord
2.76/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Huge thanks to Jerz for hosting an awesome tasting, and for so many generous beer connoisseurs who made the event possible.

Black, brown edges. One inch of light tan foam.

Smells lightly of malt, heavily of sherry and ... sad to say, cardboard. Heavily oxidized.

Taste is all over the place. There's some chocolate, a bit of ... bourbon? Or is that just alcohol? ... coming through. BUt, sadly, a bit of wet hair and cardboard. Prefer the regular version.

 459 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Dark Intrigue from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 739 ratings