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Red Thunder - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Red ThunderRed Thunder

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

540 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 540
Reviews: 106
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 11.89%
Wants: 15
Gots: 73 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Aged in Wente Vineyards red wine barrels.

(Beer added by: confer on 11-23-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 540 | Reviews: 106 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of nmann08
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of Texasfan549
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of metter98
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
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 kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of brentk56
3.61/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A pretty dark pour, verging on black, with a very modest head that disappears quickly though it leaves a smattering of dotty lace

Smell: Dark fruit, black bread, red wine, oak, vanilla and chocolate shavings

Taste: Dark fruit (prune, primarily) followed by charred black bread, vanilla and chocolate shavings; the vinous character builds in the middle and dominates the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: I was expecting a bit more, frankly, though I never thought the base beer was a top flight Baltic Porter, either; the wine barrel tends to clash rather than complement; wine barrel aging is a tricky thing and I have tasted some hits and some misses; this one is OK but a bit of a miss

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Knapp85
2.83/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This poured out as a dark brown color with some highlights of red in it. The head was thin and didn't leave much evidence behind on the glass. The smell of the beer gives off a roasted malt aroma which is decent. Nothing too exciting really. The taste of the beer gave off some chocolate like flavors, some roasted malt and a slight bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel was thin, not much body as all, the carbonation was fine but not much depth at all. Overall this was a disappointment, I didn't get much of the wine barrel characteristics at all from this beer. This beer seemed entirely different from the original version of Baltic Thunder... I'm not sure if this beer was old or if it was just a flop from Victory but I wasn't much of a fan of this at all.

Photo of emerge077
4.24/5  rDev +9.6%
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 TMoney2591
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a shaker pint glass.

I so thoroughly enjoy the base that a wine-barreled version piqued my interest greatly. Expectations were high. It pours a deep garnet topped by a finger of dusty tan foam. The nose comprises cinnamon, brown sugar, lightly-vinegar-y red wine, and light cedar. The taste brings in more of the same, along with some dark chocolate and some extra red wine for the sake of it. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, this turned out to be pretty tasty, though it falls quite short of the base, if you ask me. It's thinner and not quite as robust as the base would lead you think it'd be. Still, fairly good times here.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.93/5  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.

Photo of nickfl
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

Photo of Slatetank
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of mendvicdog
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of beernads
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of DrunkinYogi
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of kojevergas
3.45/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

750ml brown glass bottle with understated label art and hood-and-wire cap (aka cage) over a cork acquired at me local bottle shop and served into an Independence Brewing pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the brewery and style. 8.5% ABV confirmed. Reviewed as a Baltic Porter because the label identifies it as a porter and notes that this is the red wine barrel aged version of Blatic Thunder. I don't notice a bottle date on the label, but I do find it curious that this is a winter seasonal and I was able to purchase it in early October...

Served cold, straight from me fridge, and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as I pour.

Pours a one finger wide head of khaki colour. Nice creaminess and thickness. Nice soft complexion. Head retention is pretty decent for the highish ABV - about 3 minutes. Little lacing clings to the sides of the glass when I tilt the glass, and none really sticks.

Body colour is an extremely dark auburn, bordering on black. Opaque. No yeast particles are visible. It's an interesting colour for a baltic porter.

Within style conventions. Overall, it's pretty standard fare for a baltic porter and I'm looking forward to trying it. Not unique or special, but there are no obvious flaws.

Sm: Faded red wine with accompanying tannic character. A kiss of lactic sourness, but it doesn't seem infected. Slightly acetic. A biteen vinous. Restrained oak lacks the toasty/vanilla notes I've come to expect from a good oak-aged beer. Cocoa. Chocolate malts. Dark malts. Some vague dark fruit - maybe prunes or dates. Cinnamon. Raisin.

No hop character, yeast character, or alcohol is detectable. You wouldn't know it was a baltic porter just off the aroma; there's no evidence of lager yeast per se.

An appealing aroma of mild strength. I'm looking forward to trying it.

T/Mf: I do get a hint of red wine up front, but it's far from pronounced. Surprisingly, there's a pleasant acetic and lightly acidic character on the open, with even a hint of lactobacillus sourness - and no evidence at all of infection. I'm a bit taken aback, but it's a nice introduction to an interesting beer. The body is comprised mainly of dark malts, chocolate malt, cocoa dust, and some minor spicing - primarily cinnamon. A biteen vinous and raisiny, but neither is overpowering and never affects the mouthfeel detrimentally. Some very buried cherry skin; I'd like much more of that in particular.

It's got a powdery, smooth, and wet texture with enough coarseness to coax out some nuance from the flavour profile. Unrefreshing. Good body and thickness, supporting the flavour profile well. Good presence on the palate. Lightly soft feel. It complements the flavour profile quite well. Good execution. A biteen overcarbonated, though.

The chocolate is interesting, but isn't as rich or evocative as it could be; I don't get any deep chocolate notes like you'd find in some of the best baltic porters. The oak is also lacking; I hardly pick up on it at all, and then only via the tannic wine qualities. No vanilla, roast, or toasty character here. I do think the barrel aging is complementing and adding to the base beer, which is more than I can say about many barrel aged beers. I really have to dig deep to find any dark fruit notes, but I do pick up on some timid prune.

It's got interesting complexity as well as some limited subtlety; the buried red wine character plays well against the more conventional dark baltic porter base. Well balanced but not gestalt. It's got good cohesion; the barrel definitely blends with the base and they never feel separate. I like it.

There is some alcohol presence, but there are no other off-notes. No real hop presence is noticeable.

Not oily, harsh, astringent, gushed, hot, or boozy. Could be softer on the palate.

I dig the cocoa powder; that's a highlight for me. I also like the subtle acetic character.

Dr: Quite drinkable for the high ABV, though it is something of a sipper. This wasn't exactly what I expected when I opened it, and in some ways it's better. A very interesting winter seasonal that seems to have developed with age. I'd be interested in trying a bottle with even more age on it in the future (~2-3 years of age seems ideal). Definitely worth trying. Victory is quickly rising in my mental ranking of breweries. I'll have to seek out more of their other offerings. I'd recommend it to friends provided the price isn't ridiculous. A well-executed Baltic Porter with worthwhile barrel aging; there are relatively few breweries currently attempting this premise.

I doubt the pilsner glass is doing this justice; I'd recommend a snifter, goblet, or teku.

High B-

Photo of InspectorBob
4/5  rDev +3.4%

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

Appearance: pours a dark brown color with a one finger head.

Smell: chocolate, oak, and somewhat of a wine aroma rises from the glass.

Taste: nice malty profile here. Chocolate, a hint a coffee, prunes, and a nice woody and earthy flavor arrives late. Bitterness is moderate and alcohol is noticeable. Alcohol is noticeable here.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Ligh crispness throughout with a bit of dryness late.

Overall: this a slow sipping beer that has some nice oak and wine characteristics to it. Definitely worthy of a try.

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Red Thunder from Victory Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 540 ratings.