Monday, November 3, 2008

Victory Storm King Imperial Stout review

Victory Storm King Imperial StoutWhen Fall is in the air, it's time for the darker brews to make themselves known once again. I chose a brew to review based on a friend's recommendation and found it here in Colorado. I'm talking about a beer from Victory Brewing Company from Downington, PA called Victory Storm King Imperial Stout. Now while I'm very loyal to my local brews, I still love trying beers I hear about, especially when they are available here in Colorado. I'm particularly fond of anything labeled an imperial stout so I couldn't pass this up.

Normally, this kind of brew is considered a Fall / Winter seasonal beer, but this Victory beer became so popular they decided to brew it year round. Storm King is a hefty brew that weighs in at 9.1% ABV and comes in 12oz bottles so you can easily have a small bottle without having to resort to a big bomber. Personally, I wish all breweries who put out any beer above 8% ABV would consider offering smaller bottles. This particular beer blogger frequently reviews beers alone and doesn't always have the luxury of polishing off a 22oz bomber with others.

Lately, I've forced myself to try a beer at least twice and on different occasions before writing up a review and I did just that with this one. I tried the first Storm King about two months ago and then had the second one just last week. It's interesting to note the differences between tasting sessions. Sometimes sessions are about the same, but at other times, the differences really come out.

Seeing how this is a "cellarable" type of beer, the difference that just two months made was quite noticeable. I found the second tasting even more enjoyable than the 1st so I'll write about my most recent experience with it.

Appearance: Victory Storm King beer poured a dark dark brown, nearly black, with a rich three finger tan foamy head. It reminded me of an old A&W root beer head. It had a brief Guinness-like cascading foam action during the pour. I hadn't seen that from a bottle before, but this one had it for just a moment. Initially when this was opened and the beer was still very cold, the hop aroma hit me up front. I had the feeling that this beer was a bit too cold to sample or smell, so I let it warm up for several minutes.

Aroma: Once warmed up a bit, I could smell a roasted chocolatey malt aroma. The alcohol aroma had subsided nicely over the last 2 months it had been cellared.

Taste and Feel: Storm King had a nice rich, thick feel. The dark roasted malts really came through. This beer had really mellowed quite a bit since late August and had actually improved in taste. Normally, I'd expect an imperial stout to take a bit longer to mellow in the cellar, but this one had done very well in just 60 days!

It was good cold and got even better tasting as it continued to warm. Victory Storm King was semi-sweet and the alcohol was not too dominant as it was before but you still knew it was there. The bitterness was balanced well in this beer. This was a very good representation of the imperial stout style. This beer begs to be paired with toffee ice cream!

I'm going to give this beer a big Thumbs Way Up! I'm so glad I've still got 4 more of these left in the 6-pack as I'm going to age this beer even more to see how well it does. My gut feeling is that it won't take long to hit it's peak. So another 2 to 4 months ought to be just about right.

Like Victory Brewing beer? Check out my reviews of Victory Prima Pils, Victory HopDevil IPA and Victory Golden Monkey.

Related articles:
- Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout.
- Stone Imperial Russian Stout.
- Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout.
- Oskar Blues Ten Fidy Imperial Stout.

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