Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Victory Storm King Imperial Stout

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (1235) - Albany, New York, USA - DEC 10, 2014
I expect imperial stouts to have a significant hop character to them in order to balance out the sometimes ridiculously cloying malty sweetness. However, I don’t expect the hops to be the centerpiece outside of a Black IPA, yet that seems to be the case with Victory Storm King. It’s not so much hoppy in terms of hop flavor as it is hoppy in terms of bitterness. Though the overall palette is enjoyable, it seems unbalanced to me.

I poured a 12oz bottle into a goblet. It had an enjoy by date of 4/28/19 (which I assume is five years from the bottling date). It cost $3.65 ($0.30 per ounce).

Appearance: Ink black color; completely opaque. Pours to a two-finger, tan, frothy head which laces and retains extremely well.

Smell: Familiar nose of dark malt with light notes of confectionery flavors. Has a surprisingly strong hop presence as well, especially of flowers.

Taste: The first thing I notice about this beer is the assertive, dry bitterness. Akin to the aftertaste of coffee, or maybe even French Roast coffee flavor. Burnt toast, dark chocolate and some other bittersweet characteristics are noticeable as well. I keep waiting for a rich sweetness, but it only seems to show up in passing. Hints of caramel or toffee on the second half, but they’re upstaged by more dry, astringent bitterness which lingers in the aftertaste. All complaints aside, I have to say I do enjoy this palette as a whole and I do appreciate its uniqueness.

Drinkability: Imperial stouts with weighty bodies like Victory Storm King’s 9.1% ABV tend to be thick, tepid and cloying. Though the mouthfeel is definitely full-bodied and smooth, I also detect a noticeable crispness as well. Some alcohol warmth as it goes down, though it is not harsh. I’m not too crazy about the aftertaste, but it’s no challenge to drink this beer at all. 
Grade: 7/10

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