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Red Thunder - Victory Brewing Company

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Red ThunderRed Thunder

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BA SCORE
87
very good

541 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 541
Reviews: 106
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 11.89%
Wants: 15
Gots: 72 | 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: 541 | Reviews: 106 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BKotch
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of jheezee
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Carpentiere
3.25/5  rDev -16%

Photo of Bunuelian
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of DillanWeems
4.14/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark with a bit of red on the edges. Minimal head and lacing.

S: Red wine, sweet fruit, cherry, vanilla. Slightly savory smell, and a bit woody.

T: Follows smell. More wine and savory flavor than in the smell. Great wood aged flavor as well.

M: Just enough carb. A bit light, but not too much so for the style.

Overall a really tasty beer. The wine barrel flavor is excellent and not too overpowering. Nice complexity and hints of fruit and wine, but not enough to take away from the flavor a Baltic Porter should have. Well balanced all around. I'm usually not a big Victory fan, but they made a great beer in this case.

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4/5  rDev +3.4%

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3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

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3/5  rDev -22.5%

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4/5  rDev +3.4%

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3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of buckyp
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Atlas1
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The weather finally got a little cooler in SA today (high in the 60s), so I figured I could start breaking out some of the proper seasonal drinks. It's just a bit hard to drink a Baltic Porter when it's 90 degrees outside.

Poured into a snifter, it's a nice dark brown color. Looks like a proper porter should. Not much head or lace. The nose is strong and all over the place. Dark fruit, molasses, cocoa, chocolate, various spices. I love this aroma. Really pleasant. Complex without being overbearing. The taste is nice as well. Cocoa again, with some faint vanilla. Cherries. With the distinct hint of wine in the finish and aftertaste. Mouthfeel is thinner than expected, but doesn't detract too much.

I've never head a wine barrel-aged porter before, but this was a solid beer. I doubt many other examples of this aged Baltic porter exist, but I'd be happy to try others to compare. Cheers to the folks at Victory for experimenting.

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 ScaryEd
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of Evarigan
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of horshamguy
4.28/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle poured into a pint glass.

A--Dark brown, almost to the point of black, but when tilted and held to a light, it was brown. Creamy, tan head that dissipated quickly and left no real lacing.

S--Cocoa, cherries & maltiness are foremost on the nose. A bit of coffee and some alcohol/booziness are noticable.

T--Some cherry cordial. A minimal amount of burnt malts. A bit tannic/oaky. Excellent, excellent stuff.

M--Creamy with good carbonation. Pretty heavy, but still makes me want more.

O--Tremendous. Another home run for Victory. If it wasn't 8.5%, I'd drink this all day/night long.

Photo of Rekrule
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of LI_PO12
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into tulip.

Appearance- Very dark brown, with a light tan head that hangs on for a while.

Aroma- Woody, complex malts, light hay, some caramel, slight booze but not much, its hard to fully descrie the smell on this but its awesome.

Flavor- Rich malts, caramel, toasted bread, woodsy and dry tanic bite of the wine barrels is more balanced than I thought it would be. slight booze.

Mouthfeel- Creamy, medium-full bodied, medium-high carbonation.

Overall- Was more impressed with this than I thought I would be. The original is great in its own right, and the wine/wood blends nicley into it. Initially reading the description I was worried it would be a mess but its def worth trying.

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4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

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4/5  rDev +3.4%

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5/5  rDev +29.2%

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3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

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4/5  rDev +3.4%

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4/5  rDev +3.4%

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4/5  rDev +3.4%

Red Thunder from Victory Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 541 ratings.