Red Thunder - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Red ThunderRed Thunder

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

565 Ratings
THE BROS
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Ratings: 565
Reviews: 112
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 11.66%
Wants: 19
Gots: 77 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: confer on 11-23-2012

Aged in Wente Vineyards red wine barrels.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 565 | Reviews: 112
Reviews by bishopdc0:
More User Reviews:
Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into snifter, bottled on 8/8/2013. Pours nearly pitch black color with a 2 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, brown bread, tannic red wine, oak, raisin, plum, fig, vanilla, light char, and roast/oaky earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of roast/bready malt, wine barrel, and yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, brown bread, tannic red wine, oak, raisin, plum, fig, vanilla, light char, and roast/oaky earthiness. Slight roast/oak bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, brown bread, red wine, oak, raisin, plum, fig, vanilla, light char, and roast/oaky earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity and robustness of roast/bready malt, wine barrel, and yeast ester flavors; with a great malt/barrel balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth, moderately creamy, and lightly chalky/tannic mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent wine barrel aged Baltic porter. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of roast/bready malt, wine barrel, and yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

Photo of MadScientist
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: A very dark brown beer with a deep garnet hue. The persistent head is made of fine brown bubbles.

S: Moderately-strong cocoa and oak aromas with the oak bringing cinnamon and a bit of vanilla along with a bit of the red wine aromas of dark stone fruit. There is subtle alcohol sweetness.

T: There is a moderately light malt sweetness with a medium cocoa flavor. The oak is moderately strong but doesn't overwhelm. There is only a light hops bitterness but the balance is about even although the the oak and alcohol assist in countering the sweetness. The finish is medium with an aftertaste of oak an stone fruit.

O: A creamy beer with moderate cocoa flavor and an unmistakable red wine oak character supporting the porter with notes of currants, cherry, oak and cinnamon. I was really impressed with this on tap, it hold up well in the bottle but well worth finding on tap.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a teku glass this beer was a nice black color with a tiny tan head.

Aroma primarily chocolate and roasted malt. Some fruit and alcohol.

Chocolate taste, charcoal. Vinous.

Dry, smooth.

I thought this was an interesting combination of a porter and wine. It worked well for me, and I will buy this again.

Photo of hagbergl
4.21/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I had Red Thunder on draft at Washington, DC's Smoke & Barrel, a barbeque, beer, and bourbon joint in the Adams Morgan neighborhood. A red wine barrel-aged imperial porter? Yes, please!

Appearance (4/5): Dark black body and a thin, light tan head. Completely opaque.

Smell (4.25/5): Red Thunder may look innocent enough, but one whiff and you know you're in for a very interesting drinking experience. On smelling the beer, you're hit with an interesting melange of black cherry, oak tannins, and the typical roasty, malty porter notes. No booziness to speak of.

Taste (4.25/5): The taste follows the smell. The first taste on the tip of the tongue is oak, sherry, and black cherry notes mixed with a high purity, dry dark chocolate flavor. The wine barrel and dark fruit flavors end up fading towards the end, giving way to the typical dry and roasty porter flavors. Well-balanced, the sweet and roasty elements are in good equilibrium; neither dominates the other. Again, as with the nose, Red Thunder is remarkably un-boozy despite the high ABV. Unexpectedly good with a nice bit of complexity.

Mouthfeel (4/5): Full-bodied, medium carbonation, and creamy. A beer that, despite its richness and complexity, is easy drinking. I could probably drink a full 750 mL bottle of this.

Photo of CloudStrife
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml corked and caged bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a very dark ruby brown appearing black in the glass. Minimal white head rings the outside of the glass. Spots of lacing on the glass.

S: Nice complex aroma going on here. A blend of sour cherry, chocolate and roasted malt. Can certainly get some red wine character. It could be considered a tad faint but is a enticing blend.

T: Quite the enjoyable beer. The wine barrels add a good amount of flavor as does the wood. Provides some tart fruity tones as well as a mellow notes. Roasted malt is of course a dominant flavor being the basis of the base porter. Lingering roastiness and chocolate makeup the aftertaste. Dark fruits, coffee and smokiness in there as well.

M: Medium body with low to average carbonation. A bit watery but doesnt feel too thin. Is a bold enough beer to sip on yet retains the mouthfeel of something lighter. A bit on the dryer side due to the red wine.

Overall I'd love to get another bottle of this beer. Great complexity and complimentary flavors going on here. Starts off as one beer and finishes as quite another. Pick one up.

Photo of weonfire
3.67/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark mahogany, light head, opaque, tiny amount of lacing.

S - Red sour grape, cherry, carmel

T - Dry red wine, chocolate, carmel, cherry, oak

M - carbonation is good, low/med body, grape tastes lingers for a bit

O - This was a bit strange and also a bit of a let down. Initially it smells and tastes likes a sour - or heading that direction. But in an instant I felt fooled. What you may think is about to be sour cherry is actually dry red wine which turns to mild sweetness as the chocolate and carmel flavors come through. Mouth is avg at best being too watery but the 8.5 ABV is hidden quite well and is very easy to drink.

Photo of KTCamm
3.34/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Served on tap at Morris Tap and Grill on 10/12.

Pours Really dark red. Light malt bread nose. Sweet caramel taste. Sweet trumps the bitter, which backs the flavor, but not enough. Could use more bite. Light carbonation mouthfeel. Good but not outstanding. 35 325 35 3 325

Photo of KYGunner
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Just underneath a mounting head of off white fizz lay a deep brown coloring with the shadows of Cabernet red.

The scent is filled with the wine barrel aromas like cabernet wine, red grapes, vanilla, wood and cork.

The taste holds many of the same properties of the nose, like the vanilla, wood and cabernet wine but then there is some nice chocolatey malt, some creamy sweetness and then oakey barrel wood.

The feel is a bit astringent and though I didn't detect any hop flavors or aromas I did get some of the tinny metallic hop sensation. There was also a light warmth and a tinge of fizzy soda.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoy by 11/05/15.Consumed 2/22/13. C&C.

A: Dark plum coloring has a dense rise of effervesce that rapidly ascends up along the inner walls. A one finger barley tinted head has a marshmellow like texture with a spledily lengthy hold you dont want to wait around for. Waverly stratified rings of lace condesend down the vessel.

S: Hints of oaky sherry with a small tartness can be had on the nose.

T: Cocoa with creamy chocolate and toasty oak with some creamer-laced coffee. Vanilla, soft hazelnut, and a caramel sweetness with some soft fruity accents of berry skins. Sweet plums, a soft yeastiness and tartness concludes things.

M: Creamy textured, playful carbonation presence, medium-full bodied with a tart finish.

O: Overall a good complexity with a silky smooth tartness that is gentle, A good easy blend that works smoothly together and doesnt seem forced.

Photo of emerge077
4.24/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

More Flanders-style than the the base Baltic Porter, and pretty nice actually.

Reddish brown in the glass, dark but with good clarity. Thin layer of tan foam on the surface with minimal lace. Foam has a creamy surface texture and a slight audible crackle as it ebbs away.

Funky barrel aromas of leather and wet wood, toasted staves, a little roast malt from the base at room temperature.

Tart and tannic, plenty of dry oak barrel character, some vinous berry and leather, red wine and roast malt are seamlessly blended. Super dry tannic aftertaste with a hint of grape. Medium bodied, supple carbonation. A nice wild sipper.

Photo of bluejacket74
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml corked and caged bottle. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours a dark reddish/brown color with almost an inch tan head. There's a decent amount of lacing. The brew smells like roasted malt, dark fruit, chocolate, nuts and oak. It tastes like nuts, roasted and grainy malt, dark fruit/red wine, and some chocolate and oak. It's a mostly sweet tasting brew, but there's some tart fruit noticeable too. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's slick and creamy with a good amount of carbonation. I like this brew, but I think I like the regular Baltic Thunder more. But this is still worth trying, $7.99 a bottle isn't a bad price for this at all.

Photo of philbe311
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - A fairly vigorous pour yields a full finger's worth of highly dense slightly lush and creamy bone white colored head... Modest at best retention gives way to a full thick and rich lacing... The color is a dark brow with some faint notes of reddish hue... A few stray streaks and bubbles of moderate paced carbonation can be seen towards the top of the glass... Rather sophisticated looking... A bit of lacing clings to the sides of the glass...

S - The red wine barrel aging is at the forefront... That being said, it isn't overpowering in any way... Quite contrary, it's rather appealing and pleasant... There is also a slightly vinegar presence... Some raspberries and cherries as well... Any notes of of the base baltic porter seem to be missing... That's not necessarily a bad thing, it's just an observation...

T - A light merlot presence to start... It's subtle and rather pleasing... A light acidic character... Dark chocolate and raspberries... The only sign of Baltic porter, other than the chocolatey notes, are some very minor roasted malts that rise on the finish...

M - On the lighter side of full bodied... Sleek and smooth... Even and consistent.... Well rounded... Limited carbonation... The finish is a touch on the try side...

D - Having never had regular old Baltic Thunder, I wasn't quite sure what to expect... The red wine components dominate in all facets, but they never overpower... Interesting enough and pleasant enough, but not stellar... A very good beer that wine lovers would likely enjoy...

Photo of EgadBananas
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark ruby color. Surprising with the base Baltic porter... Nonetheless, there's a tan head and it looks nice, though its somewhat perplexing, The aroma makes you thing what the wine barrels have done. Heavy on the vinous notes, some smoke, some work, some sweet grape. Tastes smoky, malty, with a boozy wine note, caramel and peated wood. Body is pretty much full, creamy, and a touch coating. It's a good beer. Unique, and perplexing.

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

appearance: Very dark brown. Nearly opaque. Average tan head and lacing.
smell: Just out of the fridge smelled like an average Baltic Porter. mostly roasty, a bit of char. As it warms the wine really cuts through, fruity and sour. Not stellar but interesting to be sure.
taste: Much like the nose. a little chocolate comes through. The finish is almost like a cordial. Again, not stellar but interesting.
overall: nice brew to try.

Photo of metter98
4.06/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is quite hazy brownish red in color. It poured with a thin beige head that died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of oak tannins are present in the nose along with notes of red wine.
T: Like the smell, the taste has lots of flavors of oak tannins along with hints of red wine and vanilla.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. Bits of dryness are perceptible.
O: The red wine barrel aging completely changed the dynamics of this beer so it no longer tastes like a Baltic Porter, but like more like an oak aged ale with some red wine flavors. The beer is quite drinkable and hides its alcohol very well.

Photo of mfnmbvp
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, with no apparent bottled on date present, but I am going to assume that this is a 2013 vintage. A new beer to me, and my first big bottle from Victory Brewing Co. I have not yet tried the base beer Victory Baltic Thunder, so I can't comment on how the two compare.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - Pours a dark cola brown colored body; nearly opaque in the glass with one finger of creamy tan head. Leaves behind good spotty lacing. Looks very nice.

S - The smell is very nice - the dry wine-like notes are noticeable first, but then they sort of fade off into the background. Oaky barrel character, chocolate, vanilla, cherry, & some band-aid. Smells like it has some sort of herbal holiday spice rack notes in there also, but I'm not sure which ones.

T - Taste follows the nose - there is the initial puckering red wine tartness / dryness, mild alcohol warmth, chocolate, mild roastiness, some tart cherry, silky vanilla, and oaky barrel notes. There is really a lot going on here, and all the flavors are in good harmony with one another. Delicious.

M - Feel is smooth and creamy. Medium-full bodied with wonderful carbonation. Nice red wine tartness / tannins, and a dry finish.

Overall, a wonderful wine barrel aged effort from Victory, probably one of the best that I have had from these guys in recent memory, and they have been cranking out some real winners lately. Highly recommended.

Victory Red Thunder ---4/5.

Photo of plaid75
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On draft at Tap and Barrel, Smithtown, NY.

Poured a deep brown hue with a one finger off white head.

The smell featured a vinous sweetness from the red wine barrels with the accompanying vanilla and butterscotch.

The taste offered an upfront vanilla and butterscotch with a drying roasted malt.

The mouthfeel was toward the drier side of the style and finished a bit too dry.

Overall a tasty barrel aged porter.

Photo of stortore
3.84/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750 ml into a snifter.

Lighter color than expected, kind of thin looking. Small head, some lacing. Smells a bit winey with a little tang. Getting a kind of sulpher smell- and damn, it kind of grows on ya. Tastes of a lot of malts, some chocolate. The wine barrel aging is noticeable, a very nice highlight. Nicely carbonated. A little thin, but has a good mouthfeel.

This is a decent beer, but really not as good as I was hoping for. I thought the wine barrel aging was good, but not as forward as it could be. I think my real issue is that the base Baltic porter just is not that great.

Photo of Etan
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml into a Maine Beer Company wine glass.

A: Pours a glassy black body with a moderate light beige head. Lacing sticks around the glass for a while.

S: Aroma is very vinous, with slightly acidic grape and plum notes rising up first. Baker's chocolate and mild charred grain underneath.

T: Taste brings semisweet cocoa, coffee roast, figgy and vinous, pleasant oak tannins around the edges.

M: Medium-bodied with light carbonation.

O: I was expecting either the wine to wash out the porter or the porter to wash out the wine, but this is well-executed and relatively balanced. Quite enjoyable.

Photo of Gryphon69
4.39/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750 bomber
8-7-2013

A- Pours a dark brown with a deep red hue, has a off white head that fades fast but leaves a ring around the glass, light lacing up the sides. Visible small bubbles up the sides.

S- When I brought it out of the 18degree truck it was mostly Oak, smoke and wine. After it warmed to room temp - Dark roasted malts, strong oak, burnt sugar, some smoke, some vanillas. Much better warm.

T- Much like the nose but strong oak up front with a nice earthiness at the finish, taste is pretty damn good, all sorts off stuff going on. Not much alcohol presence.

M- Very easy to drink, medium to full body with a soft smooth feel that borders creamy. Not as much bubbles as was seen in the glass imo.

O- Victory is still keeping my interest, and this beer is wonderful. From the deep oak aromas to the full body taste, they have put out a damn good drink with this one. I plan on going and getting a few more for my shelf and would suggest you do the same lol.

Photo of claspada
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark brown color with bright ruby highlights and a small tan head that slowly recedes to leave some decent lacing.

Aromas begin with chocolate and lightly roasted malt initally. Then I get some oak, light vinous notes and some toffee sweetness as it warms.

The tastes begin with the same roasted and dark cocoa maltiness up front with hints or red vinous wine and oak creeping in mid-sip. The red wine imparted flavors aren't jumping out as much as I would have liked but they are still there enough to balance the dark roasted base beer.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Finish is pleasantly balanced between the roasted base beer and the oaky, vinious sweeter notes.

Overall I enjoyed this beer as it is very drinkable due to the lesser ABV (compared to most American barrel aged beers these days). The red wine flavors should have been bumped up to really make this special but it was still above average how it currently is.

Photo of CMUbrew
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown-black pouring into the glass and black when the glass is full. Small head doesn't stick around long.

S: Definitely a red wine aroma with some roasted malt in the background.

T: Red wine flavors that are slightly acidic. Porter flavors are also evident and blend nicely with what the barrel is providing.

M: Smooth porter body with an appropriate fullness.

O: A really nice offering and a nice change in the barrel aged department.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Poured into a snifter.

3.25 A: Pours a deep brown color. One and a half fingers of frothy/creamy tan head. Retention is below average and a few wisps of lacing are left.

3.75 S: Wow does the wine barrel come through. The nose is surely centered around it. Vinous grape, big vanilla and oak, and moderate supple tannins. The base beer almost gets lost in there, but it does bring forth the barrel elements. Roasty malts, cocoa, tangy caramel, molasses. Again I'll emphasize that this is heavy on the barrel, which isn't such a bad thing.

3.75 T: Like the nose, the barrel stands strong, but the base beer does come through better. The same barrel elements and grape as in the nose. Roasty malts, big caramel, molasses, dark fruitiness underneath. Quite tasty.

4.0 M: Lighter heavy body. Good moderate carbonation. Good creaminess and super smooth. Good here.

3.75 D: Seems like everything gets better when Victory puts their beers into barrels. Pick this one up, it's good.

Photo of DrDemento456
4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Baltic Thunder aged in Wine Barrels

A - Has a fairly dark ruby brown hue, mildly hazy with a full inch of mocha head.
S - Very sour and funky and it seems to have lost any roast or chocolate in the aroma.
T - Very interesting I get some sour cherry and grape at first, then the roast comes center with some smoky favor and then I get the a bit of chocolate. It finishes with some herbal hops and some grape skins. Definitely the most interesting beer I had all year.
M - Medium, chewy, sour, and bitter. Roast and hops cling to the palate after every sip.
Overall at times it does seem too wine like but its fairly balanced and easy enough to finish the bomber. The best wine influenced beer I ever had.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On-tap 10/31/2013 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub, in Pawtucket, RI served in a tulip glass.

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

S: The aroma contains dark fruit, roasted malts, some hops, some coffee and some chocolate.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of dark fruit and some chocolate. Then a strong hops presence for the style comes in. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good variation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while.

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Red Thunder from Victory Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 565 ratings.