Upon pouring, Storm King emerges as a clear sepia elixir from the bottle, transforming into an opaque jet black spectacle in the glass. A generous tulip glass fill results in an impressive, billowing foam that nearly overflows—a characteristic I find quite appealing. However, the absence of a packaging date leaves me questioning Victory’s attention to detail.


Storm King’s aroma delivers a classic Black IPA experience, evoking images of a damp forest floor, ionized air post-rain, pine needles, toasted chestnuts, and hop resin. This melange harmonizes with a dry hop character, introducing notes of grapefruit rind, grilled pineapple, and lemon zest. It’s a captivating olfactory journey.


This imperial stout’s flavor profile is a dance of complexities. From an 80% cacao chocolate bar to waxy black crayon, chocolate-covered blueberry, high-end espresso with lemon acidity, and torched ruby red grapefruit—Storm King achieves a perfect blend of sweetness and savory elements. The 10 out of 10 bitterness rating, driven by whole flower hops, delivers an intense experience for hop enthusiasts.


Storm King strikes a balance between aggression and balance, with a body that, while not overly heavy, boasts a rich interplay of roasted malt, coffee, and potent kettle hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is soft and silky, allowing for a direct, head-on approach to consumption. Remarkably, the 9.1% ABV remains well-masked until halfway through the glass, a testament to the beer’s bold flavor profile.


This imperial stout, with an alcohol content of 9.1% and an IBU range of 85-100, manages to be both extreme and approachable. It defies the conventional expectations of its ABV and bitterness level, making it a standout in the Black IPA category. Whether it’s the juxtaposition of wet forest notes and hop resin in the aroma or the delightful interplay of bitter, sweet, and savory on the palate, Storm King stands as a testament to black IPA perfection. While the recipe details may be elusive, the beer’s remarkable characteristics make it a strong contender for inclusion in any beer enthusiast’s Top 10 list. Storm King is more than a beverage; it’s a dessert course fit for a Michelin-starred experience—a testament to Victory Brewing’s mastery in crafting bold and memorable brews.