Sunday, September 20, 2009

Victory Storm King Imperial Stout Review

Brewery: Victory Brewing Co. | Beer: Storm King Imperial Stout
Style: Russian Imperial Stout | ABV: 9.1% | IBUs: 75
Serving Method: 12 oz. bottle poured into tulip glass

Victory Storm KingTwo Victory beers, HopDevil Ale and Hop Wallop, have been reviewed thus far on PintLog, and both garnered very high scores. Those brews were similar styles (India Pale Ale and Double India Pale Ale respectively), so it remains to be seen if the amazing quality they exhibited carries through the rest of the range. Hopes are high then for Storm King, their Russian Imperial Stout.

Storm King has become a heavyweight in the American beer scene, consistently showing up in "best beer" lists and winning the title of "Best American Beer of the Year" from the users of BeerAdvocate in 2003. The beer has a reputation for being more hop-focused than most Russian Imperial Stouts, and with how well the brewers handled hops in the beers I've tried already, that bodes very well.

Here's how Victory describe Storm King:

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.
Sounds pretty damn appetizing—let's see how it measures up, shall we?

Appearance: Just about solid black with a two finger tall caramel head that leaves great lacing. It certainly looks the part.

Aroma: Lots of roasty malt, as you'd expect. But unlike many stouts, there are definite hop notes to be found here.

Taste: Huge roasted malt body with lots of big semi-sweet chocolate and roasted coffee notes. Definite hop splashes at times, a very welcome addition. The alcohol is hidden rather well under the big malt body, but raises its head from time to time. Lots of coffee and some nice hop bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: A very thick body, almost reminiscent of a milkshake. Perhaps a little chalky at times, but it works. Medium carbonation with nice alcohol warmth in the mouth.

Drinkability: As you'd expect from a Russian Imperial Stout, this is firmly in sipper territory. A beer to be savored.

Verdict: A very solid Imperial Stout with a unique hop flourish that really sets it apart. Well worth the hype, this is a beer that delivers (especially at this price point). As hard as it is to not drink them now, I'm cellaring a few bottles to see how it ages and how the hops hold up.

Grade: A

1 comment:

Jamie Hunt said...

I love this beer. You described it perfectly.