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Jul
17

Victory Storm King Imperial Stout

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storm-king-bottle-and-label-detailSince I’ve had three strong stouts this week, I decided to make it an even number with Victory Bewing Company’s Storm King Imperial Stout.

This yearlong challenge has introduced me to some great craft breweries, and Downingtown, PA’s Victory has emerged as one of my favorites. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed their HopDevil, Prima Pils, Golden Monkey, and Moonglow Weizenbock. And tonight, I’m adding Storm King to that list.

The 9.1% ABV beer demonstrated a near-oily pour as it splashed into my Duvel tulip glass. Storm King created a phenomenally huge head. The mocha-colored foam sat stubbornly atop the stout, slowly bubbling down, determined not to go quietly into the night.

Not much aroma at first. I feared the beer was too chilled, so I left it to rest for several minutes without much improvement. Gradually, delicate hops emerged, wrapped around espresso-scented roasted barley malt. After I was halfway through the beer, I gave the glass a vigorous swirl and the agitation released a sweet smelling caramel malt, piney hops, and piercing alcohol awe.

storm-king-beer-detailSweet malt had a brief moment during my first sip, stretching daintily through the beer’s almost silky mouthfeel before being trampled by roasted malt and bitter hops. The charred malt quickly gives ground to the piney, oily hops. The hops cling first to the back of your tongue, but march forward to claim the rest of your tongue. Syrupy-sweet flourishes mark a few sips, chocolaty and rich, but as you drink the hops seem to control two-thirds of the experience. The finish is long and bitter, punctuated by that piney-green hop taste.

Victory’s website describes Storm King as follows:

With a huge, Pacific Northwest hop aroma & character upfront, Storm King subsides into massive, roast malt complexity. More flavor than mere words can adequately describe. Rich and substantial, it will warm your heart.

storm-king-beerThe “more flavor than mere words can adequately describe” is quite the cop-out, as the description on the label confirms. The poetic label reads:

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. Cheers!

I liked this beer — there’s a tremendous about happening with the flavor — but I wouldn’t use the word “balanced” to describe Victory’s Imperial Stout. There’s a bit of King Lear present in the Storm King; powerful but growing crazier at every turn.

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Categories : Beer a Day

6 Comments

1
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Victory Storm King Imperial Stout is one of my favorite imp stouts. It was very flavorful and rich. I save this brew for the colder months of the year. I highly recommend this brew. Good thing it’s available here in Colorado. Competes well with Oskar Blues Ten Fidy, Great Divide Yeti, Stone Russian Imperial Stout and North Coast Old Rasputin.

2
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General inquiry here: I’m attempting to procure a nice bottle of liquor for each of my groomsmen for my upcoming wedding but one groomsman doesn’t drink that much and when he does, he drinks Newcastle Brown Ale. Do you know of a comparable ‘exotic/interesting’ beer that I could pass off as a groomsman gift since I don’t want to just hand him a sixer of Newcastle? I’m spending $35-50 on bottles of liquor for the other guys for price comparison purposes.

Any help would be appreciated!

3
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To the Groom — you pose a very interesting question.

Since he likes brown ales, try a HUGE, 1.5 L bottle of Chimay Grande Réserve. If you live in a location where beer can be shipped via the mail, you can purchase a 1.5 L bottle of Grande Réserve for $27 at Sam’s Wine (a favorite store of mine in Chicago). 750 ml bottles should be available anywhere around the country for about $12 or $15 — but if you want to make a big impression the 1.5 L bottle will be a visual hit.

You can also find a 1.5 L and an ENORMOUS 3 L bottle of Duvel at Sams, for about $23 and $62, respectively. I’m a big fan of Duvel; it’s a delicious Belgian “Strong Pale Ale” – but your friend will either love it or hate it.

The penultimate in rare, interesting beer is arguably Westvleteren 12. Like Chimay, it is a Trappist ale made in limited quantities and technically only available for purchase at the Abbey where it is brewed. A gray market has sprung up, and you can sometimes find a single 11.2 oz bottle online for about $25 plus shipping. I’ve just checked the most reliable sources, but the supply seems to have disappeared. Perhaps that’s well enough because, please forgive me, I cringe at the thought of your buddy chugging such a rare beer!

Good luck, congratulations on the impending nuptials, and do let us know what you pick and how it is received!

4
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There are certainly some great brews out there that you could buy, but what about making some homebrew with your groomsman. A few homebrew stores actually will let you brew on-site. The gift is great beer made by hand plus a crazy experience.

5
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How about an all-around bigger version of a brown ale, such as Tommyknocker Imperial Nut Brown Ale, Legend Imperial Brown Ale, or Nogne-0 Imperial Brown Ale (maybe a “sampler” of all 3 if you can find them)?

6
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I love this beer. It has such a deep rich taste and body.
A bit bitey (sp) but I like that. Adds to the taste

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