AMERICAN CRAFT BREWS
Victory "Storm King"
Stouts are black ales that take their distinctive coffee-like flavors from blackened barley malt. The most popular — dry Irish stouts like Guinness — are on a par with "light" beers in alcohol. However, Imperial Stouts are the pinnacle of the black beer family; strong, rich and densely malty. They take their name from historic popularity with the Russian czars and their court. Thanks to this style, "imperial" has entered the beer lexicon, implying boosted concentration, strength and sweetness. As black as espresso with a creamy café-au-lait-colored head, Victory's Imperial Stout is an American benchmark of the style. Easier to drain than its alcohol content would suggest, each sip manages to satisfy and pique the appetite at once. Decadent mocha and molasses flavors dominate, while playful fruit notes emerge in the finish, reminiscent of brandied cherries or cassis liqueur. "Storm King" is a noble choice for sipping after dinner, alone or accompanied by Roquefort cheese or a flourless chocolate cake.