Review of Victory Dark Intrigue

26 Mar
Hello again.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying a Victory Dark Intrigue produced by the Victory Brewing Company located in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.

I want to give a special thanks to The HungryDuo (Adam Hudak and Stephanie Suratos) for sending me this beer.  I have never had the opportunity to try any brews from Victory and they were gracious enough to hook me up.

From the website,, I found this description of the Dark Intrigue:

Our Storm King Stout spent the summer in bourbon barrels from Jim Beam and Heaven Hill Distilleries, and has finally emerged as Dark Intrigue. (It’s like Clark Kent going into a phone booth and coming out as Superman, only more delicious and less crime-fighty.)

Since its arrival in 1997, our Storm King Stout has enticed folks to “discover the dark intrigue” as its label suggests. While enjoying that great imperial stout, we have been intrigued by the myriad of flavors it exhibits, and encouraged to test the limits of perception and pleasure by adding to the rich experience of Storm King Stout. So here you have such a exploration, involving Storm King Stout aged in oak barrels that once matured Kentucky bourbon. Blended to perfection, this one is surely dark and intriguing!

Nice!!!  Let’s drink it.

The Dark Intrigue has an ABV of 9.1% and it comes in a 25.4 oz. bottle.

It poured very black with no highlights showing at all.  A thick, dark tan head stood atop the liquid.  It was very creamy, smooth, soft and frothy.  The retention time was excellent and the lacing looked pretty darn good too.  Lots of alcohol legs were left on the sides of the snifter for a few seconds after every tilt.  A beautiful looking beer to be honest.

The nose was heavily roasted with a light “minty” tone.  Toasted malts and breads with hints of oak were dominant.  A very light fragrance of vanilla with some dark chocolate added a touch of sweetness while charred wood, very relaxed Bourbon and tame espresso notes added the “earthy” components.  I found no dark fruits to speak of, but I did begin to pick up a subdued ethanol type of smell deep within.  Hmm.  It wasn’t really distracting or anything.  Just noticed.  Either way, It was a very robust, strong and solid bouquet…. and I liked it.

The taste brought forth a ton of deep, dark earthy malts.  Charred wood, charcoal briquets, espresso and burnt toast.  Some vanilla undertones and bitter dark chocolate could not be denied.  The Bourbon started to kick in at the very back end.  The woodiness really appeared to come on strong as the brew warmed to room temperature.  Again, like the aroma, very big and boisterous, but balanced significantly well for such strong characteristics.

The mouthfeel was full bodied, smooth, dry, chewy, thick and slick.  The carbonation was of medium standing.  An outstanding warmth and burn was felt for the entire drink, which, in turn, left a copious amount of flavor behind on the palate long after each sip.

I’ll tell you what.  We have a pretty darn good beer right here.  It’s big, bold and strong that’s for sure.  It’s full of personality too.  It was a little tough to drink, but it was still very enjoyable nonetheless.  It’s probably best reserved for cooler weather, but when relegated to small sips and a full nights attention it was easily tamed on this balmy evening.  I would definitely recommend you guys giving it a try if you can find it.  Plus, if you favor Stouts aged in Bourbon Barrels, the Dark Intrigue would not leave you disappointed I don’t think.  I doubt that I would advise someone that’s just beginning to explore craft beer to try this, but for someone who may have tried a few along this vein… don’t hesitate and go for it. 

Once again, I want to thank Adam and Stephanie for the gift.  It was a great gesture by them.

Also, a big thanks to everyone for reading and commenting on the reviews.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.05 out of 5
Grade:  A-    

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Posted by on March 26, 2012 in Country: USA, Victory


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