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Baltic Thunder - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Baltic ThunderBaltic Thunder

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

900 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 900
Reviews: 532
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 11.63%
Wants: 61
Gots: 45 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: akorsak on 01-05-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 900 | Reviews: 532 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Essentially an understated drinkable Baltic Porter. The normal sourness of the style is understated and balanced. Chocolate malt,Licorice/anise,a dash of coffee, its in the smell and the taste. Basically a decent porter with high abv (undetectable).Average plus mouthfeel.

Sammy, Nov 09, 2008
Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

t0rin0, Mar 05, 2013
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a semi-opaque dark crimson amber color with a 1 inch light beige head that fades to a small cap. A random distribution of lace spots forms here and there on the glass on the drink down. Smells of roasted dark malt, dark fruits, and some subtle smoky notes. Taste is of dark chocolate pudding, dark cherries, dark malts, and alcohol. A bit of cocoa nib bitterness on the palate after each sip. Slight alcohol warming in the throat. This beer is smooth and creamy with a medium body and a good level of carbonation. Overall, this is a solid baltic porter from Victory but nothing too exciting.

UCLABrewN84, May 19, 2011
Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev +3.4%

spycow, Mar 10, 2013
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +3.4%

djrn2, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

zestar, May 05, 2014
Photo of Thorpe429
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to ChrisPro for sending this out in Blind BIF #4. Served in a Hill Farmstead wine glass.

Pours a very dark brown color with a moderate off-white head that sticks around for a bit and comes back up with a good swirl. The nose brings forward a good amount of roast along with a bit of dark fruit. Mild chocolate there as well. Interesting. Taste brings forward quite a bit of dark fruits along with a hint of molasses. I would guess that there was some Special B used in this. Quite tasty and the yeast is bringing a nice presence. A touch of chocolate and roast as well. Medium body with low-ish levels of carbonation. Drinks really quite well. A touch of booze in the finish; I really like this beer. Drinks quite well and figuring out the style is a bit difficult.

Thorpe429, Feb 16, 2011
Photo of metter98
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer poured very dark amber (near black) in color with a finger high tan head that quickly faded leaving a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. A light to moderate amount of carbonation is visible from the rising bubbles.
S: The aroma is rather sweet and has notes of toasted malts. There are also some hints of dark fruits in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and also has notes of brown sugar, caramel malts, coffee beans and toffee.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very creamy and smooth on the palate. There is a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is very drinkable for the style; the alcohol is well hidden from both the aroma and taste.

metter98, Aug 04, 2010
Photo of brentk56
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a root beer brown color with luscious garnet highlights; the thick tan head persists nicely and dots the pint glass with lace

Smell: Dark fruit (prune, primarily) stands out, but there is also some leather, blackberry and chocolate, as well as hints of smoke, molasses and alcohol

Taste: As in the aroma, the dark fruit is prominent up front, with prune and blackberry flavors standing out with a bit of smoke and chocolate in the background; not much progression, and the finish lacks complexity

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; a little warmth after the swallow

Drinkability: A decent Baltic, but lacks the depth of flavor and complexity of the best examples of the style

brentk56, Apr 05, 2009
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Translucent hazelnut with an infusion of cranberry and bright orange borders. Since Perkuno's Hammer was opaque ebony, this doesn't seem to be the same beer right off the bat. The ecru colored crown is a little too soft and unsticky to grace the pint glass with much lace. I'm a little disappointed so far.

The nose gets things back on track to some extent. Truth be told, this 'homage ale' smells as much like a stout as it does a Baltic porter. Roasted malt provides more java than chocolate, with a little dark caramel riding shotgun. Better carbonation might have led to a better head and a bolder aroma.

Victory Baltic Thunder is good beer. Heavyweight Perkuno's Hammer (R.I.P.) was legendary beer. There's really no comparison. I did read that the high cost of Roman beans led to the use of black eyed peas in this offering. I wonder if any other changes were made.

The biggest negative is a shortage of malt. Thunder tastes and feels like the ABV is 6.5%, not 8.5%. That's a good thing only in the sense that alcohol is barely noted on the taste buds. At least half again as much barley would have broadened and deepened what is a pretty damn good flavor profile...

... that consists of chocolate-covered toffee, coffee with cream, a dollop of molasses, fruity figs and a few ripe blackberries. Another valid description would be creme caramel with dark chocolate and berry sauce. Since almost 5 years have passed since I last had Heavyweight's masterpiece, any flavor comparisons are bound to be unreliable. That said, I still don't think that BT, as good as it is, can hold a candle to PH.

Warming helps the mouthfeel a little. It's still no larger than light-medium for the style and isn't anywhere near as creamy as it should be. Maybe those Roman beans were worth it after all. Incidently, Perkuno's Hammer had one of the most luxurious mouthfeels that I've ever the pleasure to... uh... feel. Top-5 at least.

Baltic Thunder has the misfortune of being compared to one of the best beers of all-time. Even so, I've given it a more than fair shake when it comes to scoring. It's a shame that this big ale couldn't have recaptured the magic of the original, but then life doesn't always work out the way it should.

BuckeyeNation, Nov 25, 2008
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.23/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a black color porter with an average size foamy head with average retention and some light lacing. Aroma is a mix of roasted malt with light bitter notes and medium black chocolate. Taste is also a nice enough mix between some roasted malt with notes of black chocolate. Body is about average with no apparent alcohol and some good carbonation. I was expecting a lot more character and must admit to having been slightly disappointed.

Phyl21ca, Mar 20, 2009
Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

GRG1313, Sep 24, 2014
Photo of mikesgroove
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I was thrilled to get a bottle of this in a recent BIF. Having had the opportunity to try Perkuno's Hammer before, and being really pissed to be honest that it was not around anymore, when I heard that Victory was going to bring this gem back, I could not wait to get some. Now we get Victory down here, but I knew my chances of seeing this one come through down here were slim to none, so you could understand my elation when one arrived on my doorstep. Anyway, this lovely twenty-two ounce bomber was poured into a footed glass that has previously held the likes of Sexual Chocolate and The Abyss, I figured it would be in good company. Served right out of the cellar at a comfortable 50 degrees, it was ready to go.

A - Poured a very nice, and surprisingly clear reddish dark brown. A very deep and dark color, but it was definitely clear as you could make out the rustic brown tones as well as the hints of red with ease inside of it. Some carbonation was visible streaking toward the surface for a little while, not long however before it dies off. What struck me the most, and to be honest disappointed me the most was that there was no head on this one at all. Well let me rephrase that. When I initially poured it, a nice two finger high layer of tan foam rose up over top of it, however after a few seconds this was completely gone and was replaced by a layer of nothing, literally nothing. No side glass lace, no foam, no bubbles, just a dead in the water dark brown liquid. That was very odd as I would have expected the appearance to be a bit thicker, but I shall not judge it on looks alone, so onto the rest of it.

S - The aroma though was quite rich on this one, which was a pleasant surprise to say the least. The first wave to hit me was a deep rich chocolate, milk chocolate to be exact, as it was clearly evident by the sweetness that lay inside of it. Full on sugary niceness, okay that is not a word but it felt that way! Some caramel floating around in here too, which is always a welcome surprise. Up next was a nice touch of some dark fruit like thing floating in there, not sure maybe raisins or tart cherries, it was light and fleeting before being overrun by some light roasted coffee, again rather sweet and mixed in with a hint of vanilla and a touch of bourbon. Very well round aroma and really quite well done. It has been a while since I had a hammer, but if I remember correctly the aroma here was very close to the original. Very well done and I was looking forward to going in for a closer look.

T - Ok, so now the time has come to see if this can live up to the great hammer that came before it, sadly it does not, might as well get that out the way, however it is still a damn fine beer in its own right. The first flavor that rolled across was a deep sweet, milk chocolate malt that really set the tone for the rest of the session in terms of the darkness as well as the sweetness that was going to be exhibited here. There was a very nice touch of caramel now coming through on it as well, really nice with almost a slight nuttiness to it, almost like a brown ale. A bit of a tartness, perhaps cherry poling through, along with a very noticeable hint of coffee that was lasting on longer then anything else. The finish had a touch of alcohol in it, though not much, more of a hint then anything else and the long lasting flavor of coffee dominated the overall finish. Overall the flavor was pretty nice, very robust and deep, but not the Hammer.

M - I have to be honest here, and I really do not mean this as a slam on this in anyway, but the feel was a little thin for me. I was expecting it to come off a little fuller, and creamier, but it just felt thin. Not watered down mind you, two different things, this was just thin. Needed to be perked up a little, maybe a bit more carbonation would have done the trick, not sure, but it needed to be a little fuller overall to really get the point across.

D - Now, as far as being able to drink this one in good quantity, in that regard it was outstanding. I could have literally had this one again right after I finished it. In fact, it went down like water to me. The alcohol was very well blended, and the flavors were very nicely pronounced. Needed a bit more carbonation, but it was very drinkable.

Overall, I thought this was an excellent beer, though I will say there is just no way has it held a candle to the original. I really admire victory for putting this out, and attempting to resurrect one of the greats, however they just needed a little bit more and it would have been outstanding. Still a very good beer and one that I would definitely recommend trying.

mikesgroove, Mar 01, 2008
Photo of womencantsail
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: What a beauty! This one pours a deep, dark brown, bordering on black. There is (initially) a big fluffy off-white head, which dies down and leaves some nice lacing.

S: The nose is primarily roasted malt. There is also some coffee and mild chocolate.

T: The flavors are, thankfully, more intense and complex than the aromas. There is quite a bit of chocolate to go along with a great roasted maltiness. A subtle toffee flavor is present as well.

M: I was expecting a fairly thick, chewy beer. I was quite surprised to find that this beer was as thin as it is. Not necessarily bad, but it detracts a bit from the experience.

D: For a fairly big porter, this is surprisingly drinkable. The flavors mask the alcohol well and they are quite pleasant as well. I would definitely pick this one up again.

womencantsail, Nov 12, 2009
Photo of kylehay2004
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: single finger head with poor retention on a deep murky brown body.

S: light on the nose with dark chocolate, mild roasted malt.

T: lots of chocolate, only minamly smokehy. Some roasted malt.

M: medium body and moderate to high carbonation

Overall: very drinkable and perfect degree of sweetness

kylehay2004, Jun 14, 2012
Photo of Knapp85
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This porter chugged it's way out of the bottle as a dark brown color with some red hues along the edges. The head was pretty thick looking for a little while until is settled down and left just a thin brown coating over top of the beer. The lacing wasn't too bad here, kind of sporatic. The smell of the beer has some old wood aromas, some earthy and smokey aromas as well. There's even a touch of sweetness on the nose too. The taste is pretty good, mostly of brown sugar and some roasted malts. The mouthfeel was on the thicker side and had a light carbonation, just enough to keep it interesting. Overall it's not a terrible Baltic Porter, but not the best I've had either.

Knapp85, Jun 07, 2011
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark brown body with a small, short-lived beige head.

Smell: Dark malty aroma with notes of chocolate, toffee, molasses, smoked figs, and green herbs.

Taste: Roasty dark maltiness with hints of chocolate and toffee with a fair amount of sweetness. Thinned out molasses. Figs and black cherry fruitiness. Taste of spearmint. Hint of smoke. Bright floral hoppiness with a medium bitterness. Flavor of fruit and mild coffee with plenty of alcohol warmth on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Moderate carbonation. Slight stickiness to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Pretty good. But don't take my word for it - drink and enjoy!

ChainGangGuy, Feb 27, 2008
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

westcoastbeerlvr, Jan 10, 2013
Photo of oberon
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

There seems to be quite an influx of Baltic Porter style beers showing up on the beer shelves lately...not that Iam complaining.This poured into a .5 liter stein a deep dark brown with creamy-like beige head atop that settled slowly leaving a minimal amount of lace behind,heavy on the espresso roast coffee in the nose with lighter notes of caramel and molasses.Nice full mouthfeel very lush,flavors are dominated by the dark roast coffee with the sweetness held in check well just a little caramel that goes well with the heavy handed roastiness,a mild dark fruit note comes thru but its rather mild.A solid Baltic Porter quite roasty and sustaining with a great mouthfeel.

oberon, Feb 23, 2008
Photo of largadeer
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Brownish-amber in the pour, nearly opaque by the time it hits my glass with a tan head that quickly recedes to a ring.

Smell: Chocolate, a bit of fruit and toasted nuts, hints of marshmallow. Not exceptionally bold, but very pleasant.

Taste & mouthfeel: Molasses and baker's chocolate, roasty and acidic. Coffee flavors toward the finish, faintly raisiny. Pretty dry for 8.5% ABV, though there's an undercurrent of sweetness. Fruity (plums, figs) and slightly acrid in the finish. Doesn't quite live up to the aroma.

Drinkability: Doubt I'd want to finish a bomber alone; a good beer to split with someone.

Notes: Got this one as an extra from Azurelimits, a great new trader. Thanks!

largadeer, Jul 23, 2008
Photo of JAHMUR
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

JAHMUR, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Pours a very dark ruby brown with about a finger of tan foamy head that dissipates fairly quickly. No real lacing is produced. The nose is dark malts, coffee, smoke, molasses, and chocolate. The taste somewhat follows, with notes of molasses, dark malts, brown sugar, light coffee, maple syrup, and some pine. The body is a heavy medium, with healthy carbonation and a thick, smooth feel, leading to a rather high drinkability.

TMoney2591, Mar 22, 2010
Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev +3.4%

zeff80, Feb 23, 2014
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm going to try a different kind of review for this beer and just do it stream of conscious: Forgetting the history, nice label. Resolution could be better. Bill should have seen that. 7:04 pm. This one will put me to sleep. Imperial pint glass. Thinnish brown caramel as seen through the stream of beer at the pour. Yeah, somewhat light in color in the glass as well. Nice creamy tan head. Excellent retention. Smells like an average dark-roasty stout. Kind of smokey in the flavor. Lots of fruit upfront. Brown sugar across the middle. Alcohol. Background notes of thin black coffee. Somewhat similar to Perkuno's but not nearly as rich. Smooth, but also a touch raspy with alcohol. Bitterness is as I remember Tom's. Balanced. I'd like more malt though. Surprising medium body. Perhaps a bit too much zest on the tongue as well - but the carb's OK, I guess it's just lacking body. Dark fruits... is it that burnt currant I'm looking for? Yes, a little. Also bitter, sticky prune skin. Again, smokey or deeply ashen-roast in the finish. It seems something's lacking across the middle. Head retention is average - it's high alcohol so that's expected. Nice rings of thin lace at the outset. Decent spots and splashes. A ring of orange and ruby can be seen peeking through the foam at the surface along the glass. Hmmm, a kind of a burnt chestnut in the aftertaste... like that acrid note that you smell on the streets of Manhattan in late November and December. I'm not feeling like I want to finish this first glass. There's not enough malt to balance the alcohol. The fruit note is nice though. Lacks body, malt balance, complexity.

NeroFiddled, Jan 23, 2008
Photo of nickfl
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - One finger of light brown head on a black body with ruby highlights. Not much in the way of head retention or lace.

S - Rich, nutty roasted coffee aroma. Notes of raisins, licorice, bananas, and rummy alcohol.

T - Lots of dark chocolate up front, with toffee and rum/ bourbon like alcohol backing it up. Fruity banana and raisin esters follow with nutty caramel and notes of vanilla and tobacco. Lingering roasted malt/ tobacco flavor in the finish, complimented by grain bitterness and warming alcohol.

M - Somewhat thick body with moderate carbonation and some lingering sweetness.

D - Quite drinkable and unusually complex. This is easily the most interesting of the handful of baltic porters I have tried. I think this could benefit from a few months of aging that might mellow out some minor fusel alcohols in the flavor.

nickfl, Feb 11, 2008
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Baltic Thunder from Victory Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 900 ratings.