Dark Intrigue | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

Dark IntrigueDark Intrigue
Liked This Beer
3.87 w/ 735 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.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 735 |  Reviews: 302
Photo of plumcrazyfx
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of Thickfreakness
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

200th review... congrats to my liver!

A- Pours a licorice stick black into my Bruery Tulip. Three fingers of dark brown head that floats and sticks all over the glass. Has a nice, thin pool of tan creamy head that keeps floating and perculating on the surface.

S- Citrusy and charred. Nice notes of orange, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, and licorice. Has a nice bit of alcohol in the nose that complements and highlights the flavors. I really like the depth that the bourbon has added to the base nose of Storm King. It subdues some of the piney citrus while adding creamy vanilla/marshmallow tones.

T- Really punchy citrus flavors of grapefruit and orange zest. Huge charred chocolate malts, dark roasted coffee, and hints of licorice. Nice balance of vanilla, charred wood, and piney citrus. More like a HUGE Imperial Black IPA/Cascadian Ale than a traditional bourbon barrel aged stout.

M- Really all about the citrus and the char. Medium thickness. Wishing it had more bourbon and vanilla tones in the taste, not just the nose. Lots of citrus, alcohol, and charred wood.

O- Basically Storm King with some undertones of vanilla and perhaps a touch thicker. This one is still on the verge of being an Imperial Black IPA. Really nice brew. I wanna grab a couple more and open them at various times over the next few years to see how it develops, mellows, and what it becomes.

 1,382 characters

Photo of Gosox8787
3.18/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: Picked up this corked and caged 750 mL bottle about a week ago. Poured in my Kate the Great tulip glass at around cellar temperature.

Appearance: Almost completely black in color with a nice, creamy medium brown head. Recedes into a nice lacing. Really nice retention for a barrel aged stout.

Aroma: The hop aromas are still pretty aggressive here even though this has been aged in barrels. The pine and citrus notes blend nicely with the chocolate notes of the stout. Some vanilla and caramel, maybe even a touch of bourbon, but it is mostly hidden beneath the hops and heavy alcohol.

Taste: Big, bitter pine notes from the hops are really the first thing to hit. The barrel doesn't really provide the smooth, sweet notes I would hope. Instead this is pretty harsh and medicinal tasting. The booze is not well hidden at all considering it is not high at all for the style. There is some vanilla, caramel and bourbon beneath the hops and alcohol, but it is really overpowered. The barrel really doesn't add anything other than a harsh alcohol note.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied, with a bit higher than average carbonation.

Overall, the barrel aging treatment here just doesn't add anything great to this beer. It's not even that this is a bad beer, it is just that it is not as good as the base beer. The hops and bourbon barrel do not meld at all. A dissappointment for sure, especiialy considering how good the base beer is.

 1,451 characters

Photo of IheartTomorrow
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of RespetoCerveza101
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of BEERchitect
3.56/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The ever-delicious Victory Storm King undergoes a bourbon barreled face lift. It seems that every time that a world class Imperial Stout meets a bourbon barrel that the end result is miraculously better than the original. Does Storm King yield the same benefits?

Pouring a volumnous froathy pour of dark, dark brown (maybe black) and with a foamy tan head, the beer nearly billows with assertive carbonation. Stubborn carbonation and confident lace are hallmarks of a well made Stout.

Sharp aromas of grain and hops deliver an aggressive attack on the nose in the forms of burnt grain, coffee grounds, weedy hops, scorched caramel, and booze. The balance is superb as to never allow one element command the others.

Roasted malts demand early attention to the taste buds as the flavors of strong coffee, cocoa powder, scorched toffee, and burnt embers. Low lying sweetness keeps the beer's flavor focused on roasty elements. The counter of hops deliver a sharp and spicy flavor of grasses, weeds, and pine sap. Without the bridge of malt sweetness to connect the roast to the hops, the beer's roast and hop flavors seem to battle for attention in much conflicting demeanor.

Roasty dry and full bodied, the abundance of carbonation gives a fuller-than-expected and airy feel. The beer makes quick work of its champagne-like carbonation and quickly ushers in an arid and ashy-dry finish of astringency derived from both grain and vegetation. The boozy burn extends from warmth and into harshness in the finish. A linger of coffee and pine lasts deep into aftertaste.

In the end, the bourbon barrel aging attributes more harshness than benefit. The tannin and woody vegetation causes too much astringency, and the added alcohol fails to deliver the more gentlemanly caramel, vanilla, and mature oak flavors that make bourbon so wonderful.

 1,840 characters

Photo of jwat
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of JayS2629
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful, dark black with a huge tan head. Great retention and big rings of chunky lace.

The aroma is heavy on rich bourbon and oak with dark chocolate, earth, and roasted malts.

Huge boozy bourbon up front throws the balance off. I have to compare this with other bourbon barrelled stouts, and it isn't balanced well. Nice underneath flavors of chocolate, coffee, roasted malts and bitter hops to balance....but too much roast and boourbon.

Very warming, thick, full bodied

Overall a little aggressive. Definitely a sipper. Pehaps will improve with some cellar aging.

 581 characters

Photo of HattedClassic
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark chocolate black with a vigorous brown head that lasts for a while as well as some nice lacing on the glass afterwards.

A slight alcohol smell to it with hints of roasted malt and dark chocolate.

A strong alcohol taste with bits of vanilla dominate the pallate with undertones of dark chocolate and roasted malt. I also got some milk chocolate but it was largely masked by the vanilla.

Biting carbonation with a full bodied feel to it. The beer had a slightly thick texture to it.

A very good imperial stout and one that I might buy again the next time I see it. It was definitely worth drinking during a cold night.

 687 characters

Photo of CBPAS
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of airbag11
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of Corkpuller
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of originsbrewery
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of badbilly30
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Semi-aggressive pour leading to a huge tan head that leaves thick lacing on the glass as it slowly craters out. Aroma is rich bourbon, fresh oak, dark malt, marshmallow, vanilla, and light coconut. Smells very good. No noticeable hops in the aroma. Taste is heavy, wet bourbon right up front followed by chocolate, bitter coffee, bitter hops, roasted malt, some subtle raisin/date notes as it warms, and a fairly heavy handed boozie tingle through the finish. The bitterness/boozie tingle through the finish is a bit much but perhaps this beer will come into its own with some cellar time. Still a very good beer as is.

 619 characters

Photo of JohneHoodlum
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Abe_Froman
4.75/5  rDev +22.7%

Photo of jneiswender
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 750 ml bottle into a chalice. Served cool.

Pours a thick tan head and a very dark brown to black body.

herbal, minty, vanilla,

Strong bourbon front. Light chocolate, light coffee, boozy finish.

Full body. Fairly carbonated.

Nice beer. Not over the top, makes me want to wax poetic beer, but a good representation of the style. Probably one of the more accurate representations of the style.

 412 characters

Photo of drwolfe
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Flounder57
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle was poured into a snifter. This bottle survived the trip in my suitase back from Denver.

Appearance: The beer poured a one finger head that has reduced to a thin layer and left some nice lacing. Pitch black with some tiny little bubbles coming up the side of the top part of the glass. There is also nice lacing on the glass too.

Smell: bourbon, oak, vanilla, maple syrup, mocha, and boozy alcohol on the nose too.

Taste: whoa, super delicious. All of the above and some. Super bourbon and vanilla. Crazy good.

Mouthfeel: smooth, boozy, full bodied, medium to high carbonation, delicious, and easy to drink.

Overall: This is a very solid beer. The maturation in the bourbon barrels make this a treat. Will be enjoying more of this in the future.

 765 characters

Photo of mfrederick
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My 1st review:

Poured jet black with one finger of brown head. Has a chocolate/coffee smell with bourbon, malt, and alcohol undertones. Strong alcohol taste with chocolate, coffee, rich malts, and bourbon. Felt thick with subtle fizz going down. Overall a great beer for the price but not as refined as other BBA Russian imperial stouts I have sampled. Definitely worth a second round.

 386 characters

Photo of KnightRider
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of DCon
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received a 1 PINT 9.4 FL. OZ. (750ml) bottle of this from amcmaho1 in a trade. Poured from the Caged/Corked, Purple/Black Labeled bottle w/ a Owl blended on top of a Black Barrel into a Shaker Glass. Has BOTTLED ON-NOV 19 2010 on the front of label.

Aroma- Tons of deep chocolate and light booziness. Has a definite barrel note and hits the nose hard. Nothing soft in this aroma!

Appearance- Pours a 1 finger, bubbly head that has average retention. Has the deepest brown body with legs. Leaves nothing behind on the glass.

Flavor- Barrel, Malt, Bourbon, espresso, and chocolate flavors are all blended together but enjoy their presence! Medium-High Bitterness.

Mouthfeel- Full Bodied, Light Carbonation, Smooth, Bourbon, and strong, sweet malt finish.

Overall Impression- Wow! I'm glad I traded for this one. Quite the barrel aged beer with tons of complexity and flavor. I specifically enjoyed how many characteristics there were but none were dominant. Also was a good choice to age this one for 2 years. Thanks again for the great brew Alex!

 1,050 characters

Photo of rudzud
4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle of this Russell's in Amherst last year. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a nice, rich oily black with a big, fluffy two finger mocha head that faded to a nice thick creamy quarte rinch blanket. Some light side lacing on this.

S - Nice aromas here. Rich roasted malts, chocolate, and earthy barrel notes. The bourbon is very smooth and mellow. The mingling of oak and chocolate roasty malts is creating a bit of a coconut aroma for me that is quite pleasant.

T - Hmm. Nice roasted malts, very creamy almost milky lactose. Good chocolate notes with alot of semi hot bourbon notes. Eh, not so much hot as it is prominant. Good barrel notes, tasty vanilla, and more of a slight coconut.

M - Mouthfeel is good for a stout, nice and creamy. Would stand from some age though to have the bourbon mellow out a bit more.

O - Overall this is an enjoyable stout for me. Really like the bourbon in this. Overpowers just a little bit, but its still quite enjoyable. Glad I have another bottle of this to cellar.

 1,026 characters

Photo of ZombiesAteMyDog
3.77/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Thick, sticky blackness of night with a small, tan head.

S - Highlight for sure... very complex. I get some chocolate, berry, vanilla, peppercorn, burnt wood, bourbon... sweet and spicy.

T - It's a sipper for sure with a big bitter finish. Wood takes over from the bourbon barrel aging, but there's still some bourbon present. Big roasted malts almost take over, but the charred wood of the bourbon helps to fight it

M - Carbonation seems a bit too high for my taste. Seems a bit too thin for me, too. Pretty smooth for the size of this beast.

O - I planned on letting this one age a year or two, but I wanted a stout tonight. I probably would have been better off letting it age longer than 4 months. Good but not great. For the price, I wouldn't bother getting it again.

 780 characters

Photo of sulldaddy
4.52/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampling a cellar temp bottle poured into a plastic cup. It was what was available.
The beer pours dark brown to black color with a very large creamy tan head foaming up even with the cup tilted almost parallel to the floor.
Aroma is molasses, brown sugar, and dark chocolate, I also get vanilla and bourbon mixed in for good measure. RIch robust nose makes this start off nicely for a malt lover such as myself.The foamy head tickles my nose with each sip and it recedes very slowly to sturdy surface layer.
First sip reveals a smooth silky texture and fine rolling carbonation.
Flavor is all malt with bourbon and vanilla mixing with molasses and some dark chocolate. I dont get any real booze notes and the beer drinks very easy. As it warms up a little I do get some darker fruit flavors maybe some raisin.
Overall I really enjoyed this brew and would definitely buy another bottle if given the opportunity. Great Imperial Stout + bourbon barrels = YUM!

 958 characters

Dark Intrigue from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 68.7% out of 100 with 735 ratings
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