Victory Storm King Imperial Stout

The King is here! I’d been awaiting this beer with bated breath for months, ever since I found out that Global Beer Exchange was bringing in Victory Beer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Thankfully, not only did the King fail to disappoint, it totally blew me away.

Upon pouring into a snifter, the thin tan head dissipates quickly into one of the most opaque stouts I’ve seen, even more than Stone and Ballast Point Sea Monster. No light permeates through it. The nose was immediately hoppy accompanied by the standard coffee and roasted malts that can be expected with an imperial stout. Upon sipping, dark chocolate enters first, followed by coffee, then more hop bitterness. I love how the transition of flavors really comes alive in this beer, unlike in others where the different profiles manifest simultaneously. I found the Storm King very drinkable, and surprisingly thin for an imperial stout – medium rather than full-bodied. There was hardly any noticeable booziness, notwithstanding the 9.1% ABV, which is relatively low for a beer of this style. The alcohol was well-masked both in aroma and mouthfeel by the liberal chocolate, coffee and hop notes.

There are those who say this is more of a Black IPA than an Imperial Stout, and I wouldn’t object to such a classification. I’m more used to the highly-boozed Stone, Southern Tier and Ballast Point Imperials, and compared to those, the Storm King not only flows through the gullet more easily, but the hops are showcased much more prominently (granted, though, that Stone IRS is a notoriously hoppy beer, but the ones I tried had been cellared for at least a year). I loved this beer, and it’s easily one of my new favorites. I’d consider this an everyday stout, with the Stone IRS reserved for special occasions.

I tried this with a trio of cheeses – Danish blue, aged Edam (quezo de bola) and aged cheddar. The King really cut through the richness, especially with the aged cheddar. This was a meal in itself that left me quite satisfied. Heck, to just curl up alone with the Storm King would have made my night.

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