Since its inception in 1997, Victory Brewing’s Storm King Stout has been an alluring invitation to “discover the dark intrigue,” as the label aptly suggests. The imperial stout has consistently tantalized taste buds with a rich array of flavors, prompting the brewers to delve deeper into the realm of perception and pleasure. The result? Victory Dark Intrigue Batch 1 – a unique exploration featuring Storm King Stout aged in oak barrels previously inhabited by Kentucky bourbon. Meticulously blended, this offering promises a journey into darkness that is both rich and intriguing.

Appearance: A Veil of Darkness

Pouring from a 750 ml. bottle into a goblet in October 2011, Victory Dark Intrigue Batch 1 presents itself with a dark allure. The liquid emerges black, adorned with creamy tan edges that invite anticipation.

Aroma: Dark Symphony

The olfactory experience unfolds with notes of dark chocolate, accompanied by a subtle presence of booze barrel and a touch of dark fruit. The aroma sets the stage for what promises to be a symphony of flavors.

Taste: A Melange of Dark Delights

Upon sipping, the taste profile reveals a harmonious blend of roast, wood, dark fruit, and chocolate. While the elements are present, they come together in a balanced yet somewhat reserved manner.

Mouthfeel: A Creamy Embrace

The mouthfeel contributes to the overall experience, offering a creamy texture and a full-bodied sensation. The carbonation, though modest, adds a nuanced touch to the beer’s character.

Overall: Tempered Intrigue

As a devoted fan of Storm King, the expectations were high, anticipating the bourbon barrel notes to elevate the experience. However, Victory Dark Intrigue Batch 1 falls on the more restrained side of bourbon barrel Imperial Stouts. While it doesn’t quite reach the anticipated heights, it still offers a mellow exploration into the darker realms of flavor.