Saturday, December 12, 2015

Storm King Imperial Stout

Beer Review #65

Having previously reviewed the hoppy goodness that is HopDevil and DirtWolf  from Chester Co Pennsylvania based Victory Brewing, i thought it should get around to tasting one of their dark offerings, which lead me to today's review of Storm King Imperial Stout.

Though visually an Imperial Stout - impenetrably black, a finger of brown foam - Storm King has been Americanized (read as: MORE HOPS!) to become, according to the brewers (video), almost a Black IPA. The side of me with a B.A. in English scoffs at the idea of describing something as a "Black India Pale Ale," though we all know what they mean. American born and bred hop varieties, and consequently the beers they are used in, are known for their intense flavors and aromatics, or in other words the 'backbone of the craft beer revolution.' So even as some American craft brewers have painstakingly replicated their favorite 'old world' styles of beers, they've simultaneously brewed new American hybrids imbibed with the flavor sensibilities of these shores. If this were wine you might call it 'terroir. '

As I've been alluding to, this is a relatively hoppy Imperial Stout, and you'll get a whiff of that from the start. There is an upfront citrus fruit note on the nose that indeed says 'IPA' before giving way to more common roasted coffee and chocolate, along with perhaps a slight ere of ethanol - not altogether unexpected from a beer clocking in at 9.2% ABV.

The taste is less 'sweet,' and more bitter than most other Imperial Stout's I've have had thus far, thanks to that ample dosing of whole flower American hops. After that its dark kilned malts, coffee, coffee, coffee, a lingering hop bitterness followed by alcohol warmth on the back of the throat.

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