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Baltic Thunder - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Baltic ThunderBaltic Thunder

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

898 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 898
Reviews: 532
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 11.63%
Wants: 62
Gots: 44 | 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: 898 | Reviews: 532 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Billolick
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bomber, "enjoy by Jan. 2 '09" (almost 2 years away) dating on the label. Pours very dark, near black, under a dark tan head, showing retentive powers and leaving thick ringed sheeting and respectable lacing. Nose of sweet malt, powdered sugar and a hint of cocoa. Smooth and tasty on the tongue, with notes of dark grains, mild coffee, chocolate and hints of vanilla. Very easy drinking and enjoyable porter, the label calls it a lager (?) hmmm. Well worth getting a few bottles and enjoying.

Billolick, Feb 16, 2008
Photo of nriech
4.9/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow, I have been waiting for this since Perkunos Hammer disappered and have not been disappointed.

S: Great aroma consisting of coffee, chocolate and a little sweetness(maybe light molasses)

A: Good dark brown. Some head and lacing. Appears to have plenty of carbonation.

T: Insanely good. Balanced. Chocolate, roasted nuttyness. Good malt flavor thats toasted just right. A little sweet but just as a teaser. Some vanilla notes come off in the end and a clean roasted malt backbone that stays clear through the whole drink.

I suggest anyone that finds this should try it. Its not too far off in left field so that anyone would enjoy it. Baltic porters are among my favorite styles and this is a perfect example of that style

nriech, Feb 15, 2008
Photo of Mattysox
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bomber into a standard pint glass; ruby-tinted dark, dark brown color to the body, with a thin, tan head; head disipates fairly fast and leaves little lacing.

The aroma is full of aggressive notes of espresso and dark chocolate, with some sweet fruity, dark berry hints as well. Great smells, all around.

A very smooth, silky mouthfeel gives way to sweet roasty malt flavors on the palate; the coffee and chocolate flavors are still there, but they're much sweeter than on the nose. Everything is very well-balanced by a slight hoppiness on the finish. The 8.5% ABV is really well masked in this beer. An excellently long finish, too.

Overall, a very enjoyable, surprisingly drinkable porter. Looking forward to having it again.

Mattysox, Feb 15, 2008
Photo of CrazyMacHarris99
4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Been waiting for this one for some time. It finally came in to the bottle shop yesterday.

Pours a dark brown with a hint of ruby. There was hardly any head on this one. Smelled very sweet. There was a hint of roasted malts as well as licorice and molasses. Taste started out very sweet. Caramel coming through and very well balanced with roasted flavors and hops. The flavors play off of one another which makes this brew very pleasing to the palette. The wait was worth it. I could drink more than one of these at one sitting. Even though its 8.5% there is harldy no alcohol present in the smell or taste. I will definitely be getting some more of this.

CrazyMacHarris99, Feb 15, 2008
Photo of GotHood
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap at Stuff Yer Face in New Brunswick

Apearance: Darm brown, almost black, with half inch tan head

Smell: Roasted malts and a bit nutty with hints of caramel, chocolate, and dark fruits

Taste: Roasted malts and nutty up front, finishes w/ sweetness of caramel, chocolate, and dark fruits that remain on the tongue. Touches of more earthy hop bitterness come out as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation and body, very smooth on the tongue.

Drinkability: High, full flavored and very smooth, no lingering bad aftertaste. Was surprised to see beer was 8.5%.

GotHood, Feb 14, 2008
Photo of kkipple
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Brick Store.

Arrives in a nice tall goblet, and I'm immediately surprised by how clear and red this beer is. I was expecting something dark and sludge-like, but instead I've got a pleasing red-walnut brown beer with loads of bubbles and a low, laceless, wimpy off white head. Ah well, you can't win them all.

Smells sufficiently malty, with milk chocolate, nuts, and a very tempting caramel streak running through it. Baltic Thunder is in turns roasty, sweet, bitter and smooth. A lot more restrained than I imagined.

Taste is quite balanced, fairly sweet but a good amount of roast grain and hop bitterness saves the day. Chocolate and smoky notes, nutty and somewhat brown ale like. Finish is lingering malt and hop bitterness and clean.

Mouthfeel is a little thin, but "bright", if ya know what I mean. Pretty drinkable considering it's 8.5%! Sure didn't taste like it.

Baltic Thunder is sort of like a baltic porter with a shot of brown ale... it's thin and accessible but doesn't quite reach greatness. Glad to see Victory resurrecting this classic brew in any case.

kkipple, Feb 12, 2008
Photo of Dodo2step
4.58/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer at the Knickerbocker on tap in Altoona. This was the first i have heard of the thunder and i love anything that comes from a Victory. Now it has been 3 days sincei had so bare with me on the review.

It poured a dark thick smoky black and left a little bit of head but not too much.

S- i didnt have a chance to actually smell it but i could smell it briefly as i toko a sip. A roasted yet lightly burnt flavor.

T- taste was great and i could get a hint of the roasted malted hops that is in there. It was delicious.

D- i would def recommend a six pack of this beer. It has full flavor yet it goes down pretty smooth. No bad aftertaste and it is a victory brew.

Dodo2step, Feb 12, 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
Photo of ajr24
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Monk's, pours a dark, inky brown with thick, tan head aft first, but shrinks into a very faint covering. No lacing here, the head all slides ride down into the beer. Smelled like chocolate and coffee-- like mocha or something. Tasted like chocolate and caramel malts, really malty and sweet. Smooth, not very carbonated mouthfeel. A rich drink, somewhat drinkable though.

ajr24, Feb 11, 2008
Photo of edskirk3
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Finally had the opportunity to buy a bomber of Baltic Thunder this week. There's a lot of hype around this stuff. The Thunder is apparently a reincarnation of Heavyweight's Perkuno's Hammer which I've never had the opportunity to try.

I poured into a Samuel Smith pint. Inky, opaque black with ruby highlights that appear when backlit. Beautiful whitish head, a full finger in depth, with plenty of staying power.

The nose is soft, reminiscent of toasted chocolate malt and dark bread. No detectable alcohol.

Sweet at first tongue contact and then a sharp acidic tang, like that of pure dark chocolate. A pleasant and dry roasted malt character. Whispers of dark fruits. Still not noticing the alcohol.

I would most certainly have another. It's a great beer to take your time with, to blow an afternoon with. If I had to describe BT with one word, I'd choose "smooth." It's not a startling, in-your-backyard thunder but rather a distant low-rumbling after the storm thunder. This is the smooth jazz of beers.

edskirk3, Feb 10, 2008
Photo of wheelinshirt
3.08/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Been waiting to try this one for a while, didn't come in to the local bottle shop but a friend showed up with a bomber to split with me, so i finally got to try it. Very cool looking bottle.

Poured into a snifter, very dark with nice chocolate head that disappears very quickly, actually left a tiny bit of lace.

Smell was much less bold than i expected. It was an odd combination of roasted and bready malt smells. Not bad, but very unusual. I also am not sure what kind of a contribution the beans were making.

Taste is, again, very subdued. I was expecting a lot, but i was disappointed. Pretty similar to the smell. At least it wasn't an alcohol bomb. Very smooth. Pretty drinkable, but boring. I wouldn't refuse another, but i am going to stop looking for this one, especially since now i have the bottle.

wheelinshirt, Feb 10, 2008
Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured right from my cellar at a temp of 50 degrees. Pours with a healthy head & jet black. Smells mostly of roasted malt. It has a lovely roasted malty flavor but it has a sweetness to it. This is a very smooth & drinkable brew which is dangerous with its ABV. I am thrilled that this beer has resurfaced & it will be a part of my drinking rotation from here on out.


SkinnyElvis, Feb 10, 2008
Photo of marcpal
3.23/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap poured into tulip at Stuff Yer Face, New Brunswick.

Had this beer on Tap at Capone's in Norristown, PA.

A: Dark brown almost black with a dark tan head.

S: Coffee and chocolate malts. Some alcohol here.

T: Sweet and chocolatey, didnt really catch the coffee that was in the smell. Very little hops and have to admit to being a bit let down.

M: Somewhat oily for the style and the alc did have a warming effect.

D: Not a favorite and a bit too chocolatey and chewy for my liking.

marcpal, Feb 09, 2008
Photo of WesWes
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
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.

WesWes, Feb 09, 2008
Photo of dsa7783
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1 Pint, 6 fl oz bottle copped from Oak Tree in South Plainfield... pours a jet-black, ebony hue with minimal reddish-tan head that soon dissipated and lacked staying power... smell is replete with toffee, caramel, and dark lattee nuances... taste complements the aroma with a dark espresso, cocoa, butter, caramel, slight vanilla, and chocolate flavor... nice, smooth, rich mouthfeel that really satisfies... another top-brew from Victory... a good beer for the Winter with a nice, warming 8.5% ABV... good drinkability and the alcohol is hardly detected behind rich dark, roasted malts, and cocoa flavors... I really liked this one... Recommended...

dsa7783, Feb 08, 2008
Photo of brantadid
2.93/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured black with a huge three finger light tan head. Head diminished over a 5 minute period and left behind an average amount of lacing.

I got some off aromas in the nose. A little funky. It makes me wonder if I just got a bad bottle. Some chocolate and tar with a mild hop aroma.

Tasted somewhat malty with very little hop bitterness. The hop flavor seemed like an afterthought. I also got a lot of alcohol in the taste which was surprising because it didn't present in the nose.

Mouthfeel was light, almost watery. Lighter than normal for a porter. Finish was fairly long but not complex.

I love Victory. They make two of my favorite beers. This was a disappointment, I have to wonder if I just got a bad bottle.

brantadid, Feb 08, 2008
Photo of Gavage
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a black color with a 1/2" light tan colored head. Some mild lacing sticks to the glass during the session.

Smell: light roasted malts and soft chocolate tones are pleasant.

Taste: roasted malts, mild chocolate flavors, prunes, a hint of old coffee, and some warming alcohol make up an enjoyable beer.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied but a bit thinner than expected. Lightly crisp at the start, smooth and a bit dry at the finish. Short roasted malt and chocolate filled aftertaste.

Drinkability: a nice version that is easy to quaff despite the alcohol levels. Defintely worth picking some of this up.

Gavage, Feb 08, 2008
Photo of sjohansen
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I made a day trip out of the release for this beer, and I wasn't disappointed. I've finally gotten around to dipping into the bottle I brought home from the release, and again, not disappointed. Pours very dark, but it refuses to stand up to the light around the edges. The light releases a brown color that almost becomes a dark red where the brew meets the snifter. A thin light-coffee colored head quickly disappears leaving a half moon on top of the dark sea. It leaves sticky, spotty lacing through the session.

You can smell the thunder from about a foot away, but I couldn't pinpoint the nose until I was right in front of it. Even then, there are definitely notes in the brew that I couldn't put a finger on. It's like smelling 20 different things that create their own unique combination, which is close to heavenly. The strongest notes were those of dark fruits, similar to raisins or dates. Also rich breakfast blend roast coffee and an open box of crunchy toffee.

There is definitely fruit in the taste. Not so much sweet, but smooth and the smallest bit tart. If there was a fruit called dark bananas, that's what I would call it. Not overripe, but this is what dark bananas would taste like. The sweetness comes from the toffee flavor, similar to a sweet coffee. The sweetness to it is all on the front of the tongue, giving way to a strong malt backbone that is slightly bitter on the back. Very slight peppery aftertaste, which is the only sign of the strength that the Thunder is bringing.

The carbonation from the mouthfeel tickles the tongue. It leaves the tongue and throat slimy and sticky like taffy, slightly more like syrup then I enjoyed.

Like nothing I've tried before. The Thunder makes me dream of trips to Downingtown.

sjohansen, Feb 08, 2008
Photo of SixpointJMH
3.43/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The Hammer returns! Well, sort of. Ever since local brew master extraordinaire Tom Baker closed up shop on his Jersey Shore based Heavyweight Brewing Company in 2006, a legion of die-hard fans has been clamoring for Baker to unveil his next project, an eco-friendly brewpub and restaurant on the outskirts of Philadelphia.

In the meantime, Baker enthusiasts are now able to get their hands on Baltic Thunder, a Baltic Porter created as a new interpretation of his wildly popular Perkuno's Hammer Imperial Porter from his Heavyweight days. While the recipe for the Baltic Thunder is said to be all new, it has also been noted that said recipe was heavily influenced by the original Heavyweight beer. So, let's see how the "New Hammer" stacks up against the old, shall we?

Baltic Thunder pours an average looking dark brown color with lighter brown highlights coming through when the pint glass is held up to light. Quite honestly, I found the color to be a bit light for the style and was expecting this one to be much darker than it is. While still relatively dark, I'd have to say that this is one of the lighter colored porters that I've seen. The liquid body of the beverage is topped with a head that is bubbly and semi-creamy, with a light tan color to it. Head retention time is moderate before settling in to a very thin lace. Somewhat surprisingly, no residue is left on the glass after each sip.

Dipping your nose into the glass to inhale some of the aroma presents a nice blend of roasted malt, chocolate, raisins and some other general dark fruit and berry notes. I am fairly certain that I even picked up a slight note of Belgian candy/sugar as well. The aromatic presentation is well done, indeed.

And now on to the star of the show: the flavor. The first sip presents the flavor as being very much in line with the aroma, with all of the above characteristics blended quite nicely throughout the balance of each sip. A bit more of a sharp flavor comes through here with the introduction of a healthy dose of alcohol (it does weigh in at a hefty 8.5% alcohol by volume, so this was to be at least somewhat expected), which leads to a bit of hotness and sharpness on the tongue. The alcohol is noticeable primarily toward the end of each sip and is rarely, if ever, invasive of the other flavors. Still, dark fruit and a bit of bitter chocolate seem to be the main stars here and they blend together quite nicely for a fairly balanced overall flavor.

The mouth feel is medium bodied and, again, a bit lighter than anticipated, especially given the style. The "heft" of the body should of course not be pushing into the full bodied territory of a stout, but I still would've liked to have seen a bit more muscle behind this one.

Overall, this isn't a bad beer by any means, and is actually quite good at times. The problem is largely that it doesn't hold a candle to the original Perkuno's Hammer, justified criticism or not. Yes, they are two different recipes as noted, which makes them two different beers, but the influence of one on the other is so great that one can not help but compare the two. The original came at you with a near jet-black, engine oil color and balanced the dark fruit notes with more of a coffee base and even threw in a fair amount of smoke flavor. There's just none of that here anymore. I'd liked to have seen them tweak this one a bit more here and there for a more dynamic brew overall, especially in regard to the appearance and mouth feel. It's certainly worth a try and shows promise here and there, but Baltic Thunder is perhaps a bit over-hyped in the end.

SixpointJMH, Feb 08, 2008
Photo of Lupe
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown with a nice sized cocoa colored head. Pretty good retention and some sticky lace gets left behind.

Malty aroma with roasted malt, chocolate, toffee, and dark fruit. Mild spice and hops lay in the background.

Starts sweet with toffee and caramel malt. Roasted malt, mild coffee, and chocolate step in next. A load of fruit comes in, dark and tropical fruits and well as leafy and citrus hops. Gets more fruity as it warms, with plum leading the way. Well balanced, nice and malty but never too sweet.

A little watery at first but the creaminess builds as it warms. Medium bodied overall, smooth and slightly prickly. Alcohol shows up towards the end, but this beer is very easy to drink. Goes down very smooth and easy.

A little too hyped and not as good as Perkuno's Hammer, but still a very good beer.

Lupe, Feb 07, 2008
Photo of jasonjlewis
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice 2 finger head into my huge mug. Nice retention on the glass that fades after a while. Nice full slightly dark brown color.

Mint comes out strongly on the nose. Licorice, chocolate, and tofee are also apparrent. Citrusy piney hops are barely detectable.

Sweet tofeeish and caramel malt notes upfront followed by a mintiness. Licorice and slight coffee notes lie underneath. This is followed by a chocolate sweetness. Some roasted characeristics come through as well.. Hop bitterness is very citrusy and helps to balance the beer out. As the beer warms characteristics of plum and grape come through.

A little bit overcarbonated. However, there is a slgiht creaminess and fullness from the malts. Tiny astringency from the alcohol. Not bad though.

Nicely done baltic porter. Hoppy and sweet. One I would seek out again.

Thanks to Deuane for the nice extra.

jasonjlewis, Feb 06, 2008
Photo of Jerzdevil1116
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer on Tap at Capone's in Norristown, PA.

A- Dark brown body with a tan head. Nice lacing left on the glass.

S- Roasted malts. Hints of coffee and dark chocolate. A bt metallic.

T- Sweet and malty up front. Roasted malts with coffee and dark chocolate flavors. A bit of hop bitterness and alcohol in the finish as it warmed.

M- Medium bodied. Pretty smoothe.

D- easy drinking with no aftertaste. I could enjoy a few of these in a sitting.

Jerzdevil1116, Feb 05, 2008
Photo of blackie
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: Gives a one-finger light mocha head that leaves a healthy ring behind. The beer is a deep chestnut brown in color.

s: Roasty, earthy nose with a nice creamy quality to it. Big, husky grain body. Good hop aroma, on the earthy side. Light alcoholic cocoa and burnt nuts.

m: Smooth carbonation on the high end of medium, just a touch prickly at first. Body on the full side of medium.

t: Dominant roasted malt flavor gives notes of medium roast coffee beans...not overly roasty, so I assume a large part of the backbone is husky caramel or something else light. Lighter notes of bitter dark chocolate. Very earthy with a moderate hop presence. Finishes long and very roasty with a medium bitterness and notes of well-roasted nuts.

d: easy...Carries many characteristics of a standard porter instead of going all-out (eg Duck-Rabbit Baltic), which makes this bomber very drinkable.

extra in a trade with BeerBeing, bottle states a best by date of Jan 02, 2009

blackie, Feb 05, 2008
Photo of rajendra82
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Solid black in color, and opaque, the body had a smallish head, and unlike several other Baltic Porters I've sampled, the head was not brown in color. The smell was roasty and somewhat hoppy. Some chocolate aroma was present, but it was mostly light. The taste was sweet and sour in a classic Porter manner. Chocolate was more prominent in the taste as were notes of lightly roasted coffee. The astringency was mild, but the carbonation was a little prickly. Well done representation of the style IMHO.

rajendra82, Feb 04, 2008
Photo of oelergud
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown glass bottle 1 pint 6oz. pry off cap. Purple label with red lettering and an anthropomorphic thunderstorm.
Opaque body with just the slightest maple coming through at the edges. Nice looking tan head of tiny to small bubbles. The head falls fairly quickly and leaves a little lace.
That classic delicious baltic porter smell of sweet, slightly burnt, coffee and cocoa beans with a handful of mild hops, earth, molasses and abit of nut.
Strong semi-sweet chocolate malty flavor tempered by almost equally powerful hops. The aftertaste is even stronger in both hops and malts, very pleasant and long lasting.
Full body with some coating and alot of residual sugars.
Very drinkable, mellow and easy going.


oelergud, Feb 03, 2008
Baltic Thunder from Victory Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 898 ratings.