Beer Review: Storm King Imperial Stout

Today, I picked up four bottles of Storm King Imperial Stout.

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Beer Packaging: The packaging features some kind of creature. I’m pretty stupid and on my first look noticed only the top part of the creature, so I spent a good 20 minutes trying to figure out if it was a kingly pinniped or an agitated owl. Then I realized that the crescent “under” the creature is actually its lower beak, and determined that it must be an kingly, agitated owl.

Each bottle’s label contains some classic beer purple prose: “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.” I never thought of espressos as having depth of character—I always assumed they were just CAFFEINE CAFFEINE CAFFEINE—but who am I to argue with such proselytizing?

Beer Style: Storm King is an American imperial stout. Generally, when it comes to beer, “imperial” translates to “be careful or these will get you hammered.” American imperial stouts are typically quite strong: According to BeerAdvocate, their “alcohol ranges vary, but tend to be quite big, and bigger than traditional Russian Imperial Stouts.” Suck it, Putin.

The Brewery: Storm King comes from Victory Brewing Company, a confidently named outfit based in Downington, Pennsylvania. If the brewing thing ever falls through, these guys could probably get a job naming other people’s beers: St. Victorious Doppelbock, St. Boisterous Hellerbock, and Red Thunder join Storm King on Victory’s roster of beers with badass names.

Storm King in One Text: “I bought an imperial stout and got some kind of IPA-stout thing.”

Storm King, Elaborated: Storm King is very hoppy for a stout, and to me tastes halfway like an IPA (India Pale Ale, a beer known for its hoppy bitterness). But with its 9.1% ABV and stoutish body, Storm King backs up the imperial stout label well enough. If one day you’re craving both an IPA and a stout, you could either A.) buy both and try to figure out how to hide your out-of-control alcohol consumption from your loved ones later, or B.) buy Storm King. Choice A will keep you busier, but B is plenty satisfying.

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