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Baltic Thunder - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Baltic ThunderBaltic Thunder

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

911 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 911
Reviews: 535
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 11.66%
Wants: 61
Gots: 46 | 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:
Beer added by: akorsak on 01-05-2008

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 911 | Reviews: 535 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kylehay2004
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
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

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.2/5  rDev -17.1%
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.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.92/5  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.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.11/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

Photo of Knapp85
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of womencantsail
3.96/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Photo of largadeer
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
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!

Photo of oberon
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
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!

Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

Photo of JAHMUR
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

Photo of nickfl
4.29/5  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.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a short off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick on the glass.

S: The aroma contains coffee, honey, dark fruit, roasted malts and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of honey, dark fruit and milk chocolate followed by a hearty roasted malt character. There are background flavors of black coffee and some smokiness. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, although there are better beers in the style, this is still a solid porter worth drinking for a long time.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is a great example of why hyping up a beer can be a bad thing. The amount of beergeeks excited to try this was insane due to the brewing press release, big news to see Tom Baker teaming up with Victory. Then the wait with all the legal bullshit, and what follows is a blend of trying to get this one right before the big release. Well, they didn't get much right in my eyes and I'm going to try it again. Had it thrice on tap and I will be investing in a bomber, but I'm weary. No many gripes with appeaance except for head retention, poured pitch black in body much like I recall the Hammer forming a thin tan head leaving thin scant speckled lacing. I remember the Perkuno's to have texture all day with lacing throughout each pint. I think the change of the beans altered the protein count therefore affecting head. Aromatics I'm getting sweet dried fruits with some tart acidic mild offensive tones going on, chocolate roasts play nice with figs and plum fruitiness. Some mild booziness with lingering herbal hop notes comes late. Flavors insert ripe or dried concentrated fruit flavor whether it comes off plum, fig, or raisin I'd definitely call it some what vinous. Dark dry roasted malt lacking the complex mix of flavors the Hammer always provided but my point is that fruit and dark chocolate with a mildy cloying dark chocolate syrup comes off one dimensional in the flavor. Mouthfeel is full bodied assertive carbonation a bit unnatural with words like thin and blah entering my brain. Drinkability, no doubt any brew from Victory is going to be a solid player, good dark beer but never try to relive a classic craft brew like Perkuno's Imperial Hammer if you're not going to truly bring it to the table. Definitely not our beloved Hammer but Baltic Thunder I'm sure will be getting better with some age, right now it really lacks complexity.

Photo of Kegatron
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ the VBC on 6/27/09. 10 oz or so pour into a stemmed glass.

Pours a deep, deep, (yet clear) amber, with a near finger of smooth tan head. This stays pretty frothy, leaving back some rich lacing on the sides of the glass. The aroma smells like an even mix of roast, hops, and malt. Herbs & spices, chocolate, toffee, pervasive dark roast, some dark fruits, and a maybe a touch of licorice in there. It's complex enough I guess, as I could pick up a bunch of flavors, but it is overall just lacking a certain pop and deepness to it.

The taste is pretty roasty feeling, with darkened malts, a bit of coffee, and some aggressive hopping giving this a bitter feel throughout. This is tempered somewhat by some sweeter notes of cocoa, toffee, and ripe fruits. A fairly spicy and firm bitterness runs the profile like a spine, with the other flavors hanging off of it. Tang and hops pull up the back. Once again, and much like the aroma, the flavors are there but they just aren't standing out and being assertive enough. The mouthfeel is medium to fuller bodied with a sharper feel up front and then a thicker feel underneath. There's only a touch of alcohol to this and actually drinks pretty darn good for a nearly 9% beer.

Good but not great, this offered a solid drinking experience but just doesn't compare to some of the better Baltic Porters out there. I was a bit disappointed in this, considering the pedigree that it came from.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with a tan head. Thick malty nose with tones of coffee. Just loads of malts in there. Flavor is thick. Very full body. Easily noticed malt presence that keeps a firm control over things. Minor coffee tones. Thicker earthy edge. Mild tar going on. Very smooth on the liquid. Very easy to drink. It's definitely good, but I have had a chance to sample a lot of the eastern European baltic porters and there are several others that shine a bit brighter than this one. Still a damn tasty beer though.

Photo of Slatetank
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had a pint of this on draft at the Drafting Room - Exton, PA
A - Deep Brown almost black w/ ruby highlights and a thin tan head.

S - Deep malty odors that are roasty but only gently and a caramel note w/ light nutty and a slight lactic creamy cocoa smell. There is a slight floral hop aroma, but only if I inhale deeply and a subtle tinge of alcohol.

M & T - Dark malt w/ smooth milky chocolate feel w/ a hint of nuttiness. A light dry tinge w/ grainy notes and slightly boozy at room temperature. The texture and flavor is creamy smooth w/ moderate carbonation and a medium boy the creaminess lasts well into the finish. Rich and full of everything a Baltic Porter should have. The maltiness is subtle and this is a very balanced beer.

D - I remember loving Perkuno's hammer, but bummed that the only place nearby that carried it was 45 min away back then. I enjoyed the revival immensely. Kudos to Victory for bringing this gem back and to Heavyweight for allowing them to keep it alive. A great beer, nowhere near the flavor of an 8.5% beer, very nuanced and well blended. It gives credit to Victory for allowing nature to take its course lagering the big beauty. I was jazzed to try the reborn Perkuno's and found it to live up the memory.

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of russpowell
4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cheers to Ding for this one!

Pours a brownish chestnut with ebony tinges & 1+ finger of tan head. No head retention & minimal lacing

S: Roasted malt & chocolate

T: Loads of roasty malt, dryness & a bit of coffee up front. Roasty malt dominates as this warms, along with brown sugar & dryness. Finishes with chcolatey sweetness, some fruityness (figs & raisins). A strong finisher with some hints of boozey warmth

MF: Light/medium body with low carbonation, plus a bit of stickyness & some great warmth

Drinks fairly easy, a fairly good Baltic porter. The 8.5% ABV is well concealed

Photo of Rifugium
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Mugs, Brooklyn, NY

Poured a dark cola brown with a dense crown of tan bubbles. Good head retention and decent lacing. Roasty malts in the nose, tones of coffee, chocolate and leather. Taste of dark, roasted malts, dark chocolate, licorice, plums, coffee, and some smokey leather. Very nice and complex. On the heavier side of medium-bodied, and very drinkable.

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Victory Baltic Thunder. Baltic Porters are one of my favorite styles, and I was glad to see the very capable Victory Brewing Company bringing out an interpretation.

Utterly black, nicely roasted head.

Aroma, bittersweet, roasty-toasty, dark fruit, nicely burnished...gets more sweet and less bitter, but always keeps the balance.

tons of flavor boards the palate...we get the figs and date, some raisin, a bit of chocolate, some licorice, too, a little maple syrup...dark rum...mmm, a perfect combination.

Hearty, full-bodied, rich, and delicious. Mmmm. Bitter meets malty and smooth, roasty meets sweet, ...it does represent the Baltic Porter style admirably. "tempered with a touch of turmoil", eh...someone likes alliteration with their hyperbole. In this case, it works. Damned good.

Photo of WesWes
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark brown/black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a robust black and roasted malt scent that's dry, but with some sweetness. The taste is great. It has a silky smooth flavor that goes down easy and finishes a bit on the sweet side. It hides the 8.5%abv well and provides a complex array of malts. It's complex and quite rich. There are hints of roasted malt as well as chocolate and crystal malts. Damn, this is one smooth drinker. The mouthfeel is awesome. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. I've been waiting for the release of this beer for some time now. It definately lives up to the hype.

Baltic Thunder from Victory Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 911 ratings.