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Red Thunder - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Red ThunderRed Thunder

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

115 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 115
Hads: 573
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 11.73%
Wants: 18
Gots: 79 | 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

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Aged in Wente Vineyards red wine barrels.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 115 | Hads: 573
Photo of madelfonatree
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled August 6, 2013 and enjoyed September 14, 2015 in a Hopslam tulip/snifter.

Look - Dark reddish brown. Very thin tan head. No lacing. Bubbles are large the ones that form. Tasty for a beer I expected to be light.

Smell - Heavy booze smell, more like bourbon as opposed to wine. Weeds (not the kind you light and smoke). Sweet. Dark fruits.

Taste - Sweet and boozy but subdued. I really wish I had a fresh one to compare this to. It is good. I will not lie and say there is no skunked taste, but only slightly in the finish.

Feel - Very smooth. Heavier than water with no harsh carbonation. Fluffy.

Overall - I opened this as a $3 or so discount special expecting to pour it down the drain. This held up well. Label says malt beverage but is a baltic porter!

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

From tasting notes. L: It pours brilliant red highlighted chestnut under a 1” quickly receding white foam collar. S: Raisin and wine aromas rise from the glass. T: The attack starts with wine and fruit flavors, primarily plum and then it goes through an array of flavors such as light coffee and chocolate to the finish where the hops are in the background. F: The body is medium to full carbonation is a little below medium. O: A big, bold Baltic Porter.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A: Boring bottle art, but sexy lace. Dark mahogany body.

S & T: The nose is primarily molasses and grape skin with a background of sour dark red fruit. Outright oak also makes an appearance. The flavor switches things up and puts the faintly sour/tart fruit notes in the front, punctuated abruptly by the molasses/roasted husk porter characteristics. Moderately dark chocolate is thrown in there, too. Tannic finish.

M: Light-medium body, slightly filmy, restrained weak carbonation. Exactly what I would seek in a barrel-aged Baltic porter.

O: The flavors are individually great, but end up clashing. There were some glimpses of genius but weren't integrated well with each other, and it ended up being a confusing beer. I'm impressed, howoever, with the patience they must have shown when aging this; the wine characteristics were not an afterthought. Commendable.

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Photo of mlockman
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Very interesting aroma and flavor, doesn't taste much like a porter at all. Rather, it tastes exactly like a red wine but without the unpleasant tannin aftertaste.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
4.37/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage bottle served in a tulip glass at cellar temps.

Appearance: Nice bottle artwork. The beer poured pretty thin and didn't appear to have my ch body to it. There was a nice dark tan head that disappeared quickly. Bubbles are rising to the surface so there is still a fait bit of carbonation in there. Deep brown with hints of red gleaning through.

Nose: alcohol, fruity, cherries, raisins, coconut, oak, fresh cut lumber

Taste: thin, very little body, no alcohol presence, fruity, balanced, dominant red wine acidity and tannins.

Overall: This is a great beer. I really like the wine notes with the Baltic porter base. I wish it had more body but it is to be expected from a beer that is 2 years old. I'm surprised I found some of the oaky notes in there as well; especially ones that I would expect from a fresh barrel. Great find and another winner from Victory.

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Photo of jjboesen
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Having allowed the finely corked bottle to sit for about 20 minutes, it began with a quick rush and slowly settled into a dark ruby body capped with a heavy foam crown. There is a nose heavy on spice and wood. The palate receives an intense miasma of black cherry, malt and nut, supplemented by a boozy finish that suggests a tanic red wine. The balance could be better and the mouthfeel more weighty. Add a plate of Irish cheddar and ..... yes! All in all, a nice quaff to while away a snowy March afternoon.

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Photo of SierraFlight
3.39/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Bottle poured dark brown with thin head and small bubbles. A floral aroma with vanilla and coconut. Flavors were coconut, hazelnut, onion, and caramel. Did not get the barrel or wine flavors that others are noting. Maybe need a second try as I was 10 beers into a tasting. Mouthfeel was nice with light body and a dry finish.

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Photo of stortore
3.84/5  rDev -2%
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.

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Photo of StArnoldFan
3.02/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was sent this as an extra, even though I can go buy it at my local bottle shop tomorrow if I wanted. Went in with low expectations and the beer didn't change my mind.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

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.

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Photo of Shroud0fdoom
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

25.4 oz. bottle corked and caged.

Let me break it down. I've seen this brew for a year now, just chilling on the shelf. I bit the bullet the other day. Im glad I did. I'm going to inform those who might be thinking of picking this up. I popped this baby's cork, but no paazaz it just made a subtle "clock" sound. Well, that part doesn't matter, what is inside the bottle is what counts. Red Thunder pours gorgeous per Porter style. Dark brown body thats opaque with very dark red hues that shines as an aura for this beer. Very nice light khaki head thats made up of tight fizzy bubbles. Looks outstanding to me!

How can a beer at 8.5% be this full of depth? This aroma is very rich, almost intoxicating to the senses. The first waves of aromas from this brew can be described as very vinous with a slight vinaigrette edge. Behind the scenes there's a roasted malt sweetness that is full of chocolate and toasted nuts. Almost roast coffee airiness that fills in for your enjoyment. Fantastic smelling brew!

Continuing with the flavor is going to be a chore, I see. The brew first hits the palate with milk chocolate sweetness that quickly followed by a nice blast of roasted almonds and coffee. The barrel notes closes the deal right before the brew is swallowed.Slight vinegar touches the sides of the palate giving through with some tart vinous quality. Red Thunder finishes dry, fruity with very low bitterness making you want to consume a next sip. Lingering roasted malts giving notes of toasted bread and toasted almonds. Very delicious. The way the brew feels on the palate is light with some very active carbonation. The carbonation feels like its massaging the palate and keeping the beer alive.

Overall: Why haven't I bought this brew before now? This brew is very intriguing and simply put, Delcious. This was 2013's vintage I'm going to have to see how this year's holds up. The vinegar tartness is a refreshing factor to this brew, IMO. It adds a depth that makes this malt beer not too cloying nor syrupy on the tastebuds. Back to basics, this brew is Recommended!

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Photo of buzzarooski
3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

LOOK: Brown to Rusty Red in Color, Not much of a foamy head

SMELL: Fruity Plum and Chocolate Scents

TASTE: Smooth Mild Porter Taste with definite hints of Red Wine, there is the Subtle Sweetness similar to Prunes in every Smokey Sip

FEEL: Smooth with Mild Carbonation

OVERALL: Another Solid Effort by Victory Brewery...Well Made but.....Not My Type of Porter

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Photo of babaracas
4.21/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Aug '13 bottling. Pours a brown tinted clear dark red with thick fluffy light brown head. Thick sheet for a few inches. Smell: ripe plum, grapeskin... oaky red wine, tart peach, dark chocolate, light roast. Taste: mildly tart peach, mild tannic bitterness, chocolate brownie batter... moving into the finish some toasted brown bread and plum. The wine barrel certainly adds a lot with the tart stone fruit and oaky vinous notes cutting through the chocolaty sweetness. This is well done.

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Photo of JamieDuncan
4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Split a bottle with my beer guru, could not remember where I had picked it up. Outstanding appearance, very interesting to the nose, kinda of a mix of the porter with the wine which is very interesting. Very good taste, the same mix of porter with the wine sweetness and chocolate, plus there is not bitter aftertaste. Plus bonus points overall for the drinkability with the ABV. Surprisingly tasty, Victory has done it for me again, hope to buy more of this little surprise.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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Photo of brureview
4.06/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark coffee color with a 1F head in a snifter. Serving temp about 50°F.

The aroma: strong oak and wine-unusual in a Baltic Porter.

The mouth feel is quite different for the style- a wine consistency which I taste on the back of my tongue.

The aroma is also unusual- wine and chocolate.

I am a fan of this style. This approach is different- I prefer Baltic Porters aged in Bourbon Barrels such as the Framinghammer from Jack's Abby. However, this beer is worth checking out- especially for a different approach to the style.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Interesting beer. To some it might be a case of even if you can barrel-age something it doesn't mean that you should. Has the Baltic porter twang to it. And with the combo of the barrel aging, an even higher level of it than is typical. Woody fruit thing going on. Smooth feel. Easy to drink. There are aspects of this beer that I think are interesting. But I'm not sure if Baltic Thunder is the best beer to be aging.

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Photo of yuenglingfan101
4.68/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Very unique beer. Poured into pint glass. Dark black color with medium thick head. Smells like a porter and taste like Porter mixed with a sweet red wine. Not a bad combination Easy drinkability. Overall an above average beer. Worth trying for both Porter and sweet red wine fans

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Photo of kaufmaal
3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown with some deep amber highlights. The head's a solid, dark tan that fades quickly. Ripe fruit, very subtle, and some hints of chocolate and smoke on the nose. The initial taste is more intense ripe fruit: cherries, plums, especially; some vanilla and chocolate. And then it tastes like sweet vermouth and the heeltap of a Manhattan. If you like that, well, this one's a winner. I do like it, but in small quantities, so a whole bottle may be best divided amongst like minded friends. The feel is perfect - they really have the carbonation just right. It's not sticky, not too watery, either.

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Photo of Fcolle2
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark cloudy brown with some deep crimson color coming out near the bottom of the snifter. Head is a thin tan film over te top that fades to a ring around the edges.

Aroma has lots of oaky barrel aromas forward. Wood is the first to hot followed by some vanilla tannins from the barrel. Very faint tart smelling dark fruit is hard to miss before a big chocolate malt presence finishes with a mild earthiness.

Taste follows the aroma. There is a solid oaky barrel presence forward followed by a much more mellow vanilla tannin and good amount of acidity from the dark fruit. chocolate malt is on the finishes with a good cocoa flavor, mild amounts of detectable alcohol and more acidity from wine.

Mouthfeel is good. Medium bodied, medium carbonation and some bitterness from the charred malt are all balanced nicely.

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Photo of DIM
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

a: Deep ruby tinted chestnut color; poured with a small fizzy head.

s: Fairly muted; vinous oakiness, a trace of vanilla, and tart sort of cocoa.

t: Lots more going on flavor wise. Some vinous fruit from the barrel, but cherry from the original beer as well. Oaky cocoa at the finish and a lingering dry tartness. Grew on me as the bottle dwindled.

m: Smooth and gently carbonated.

o: Barrel treatment worked extremely well, much better than the original.

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Photo of jwhancher
3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bought 2 corked & caged bottles from Victory 's retail shop at the brewpub. Roughly $10 a piece. Poured into a snifter for review. Light pop of the cork. Bottled on date reads August 06, 2013. Pours a very dark garnet red, almost brown in complexion. Nice foamy head after a generous pour. Smells of dark malts with very noticeable tannin character from the wood. Red wine is there - very subtle but appears more as it warms. Seems like a complex nose of chocolate malt, red wine,and wood. Tastes of dark malts with oaky tannins and a very light red wine presence. Slight burn in the back of the throat from alcohol. Feels medium full with nice carbonation and an even bitterness. Overall, a nicely subtle foray into a used red wine barrel program. Red wine isnn't in your face, and that's fine. This one seems to be about more quieter complexities rather than a tongue punch full of flavors. Will be curious what another few years do to the other bottle. Will likely save for another 2-3 years.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
4.34/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from corked 750 ml bottle into a snifter

Appearance – The beer pours an almost deep brown, bordering on black color with a one finger of tan colored head. The head has a decent level of retention, fading to leave a light level of bubbly lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is quite heavy of a roasted malt smell as well as some other darker aromas of cocoa and some sweet buttery toffee. Along with the these smells are some notes darker fruits mixed with a big red wine smell and a little bit of a woody aroma which with the roasted, dark and sweeter smells produces a nice warming aroma overall.

Taste – The taste begins with a roasted malt flavor with some bready flavors and a rather strong caramel and toffee taste. Upfront there is also a nice chocolate flavor that is soon nicely complemented by some flavors of vanilla and some darker fruit flavors of raisin, plum, and prune. The red wine that was detected in the nose starts coming to the tongue more toward the middle of the taste, with it growing stronger as the flavor moves on to the end of the taste. The red wine flavor never gets too strong through and hence just adds nice subtle grapey notes all while not adding the off tannin flavors that are experienced with a higher level of red wine flavor. The grape red wine taste complements wonderfully the roasted flavors, the other darker fruit flavors, as well as the chocolate flavors of the brew. A little bit of a woody flavor develops right at the end of the taste and when mixed with all the wonderfully robust porter and nice subtle red wine flavors, it leaves one with a very robust and warming flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the thicker and creamier side with a carbonation level that is on the lower side. The lower carbonation and thicker body are wonderful for the roasted and sweeter dark flavors of the brew, allowing all the tastes to linger on the tongue all while bringing out the more subtle wine flavors and accentuating them nicely, allowing them to meld in a very nice fashion with the big Baltic flavors.

Overall – Fantastic!! I quite liked Baltic Thunder by Victory, and after the aging in the wine barrels, it only gets better. The combination of the big robust porter flavors with that of a subtle but pleasant red wine flavor really creates a wonderfully tasty and enjoyable drink.

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Photo of Boto
4.21/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle: This one pours a fairly opaque, dark mahogany brown color. There was just a wisp of head on it. It has a nice nose. I definitely can smell a bit of oak and red wine. I get some cocoa too, as well as some faint roasted malts. The taste is very good. Just a bit bitter. Taste is some cocoa, roasted malts and a bit of a dry red wine. A touch of the oakiness comes thru too. This is a very nice brew.

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Red Thunder from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 115 ratings.