Red Thunder - Victory Brewing Company

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Red ThunderRed Thunder

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BA SCORE
88
very good

112 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 112
Hads: 568
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 8.14%
Wants: 17
Gots: 78 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 112 | Hads: 568
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
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. (308 characters)

Photo of avalon07
3.15/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a mahogany brown color and a thick texture. There was an inch of tan-colored, fairly long-lasting head. No lacing to speak of.

S: A very muted aroma of chocolate, malt, and dark fruit.

T: Tasted of malt, fig, cocoa, and a slight vinous quality as well. This is an unfortunate flavor. It has some OK qualities, but it, like the smell, is quite underwhelming. It felt as though the brewer held back while making it.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: A disappointing beer. I've had worse, but I expected more from this one. (607 characters)

Photo of Etan
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
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. (599 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter, the beer is a dark brown-to-black coloring, with a thin, filmy, light brown colored ring on the surface. Aromas of bittersweet chocolate and bitter coffee in the backbone, with heavy merlot and cab wine characteristics all over the place. Very rich and layered, with a decent balance. Flavors are wine-like as well, with a dry, red wine forward flavor on a bitter, roasted coffee backbone. Subtle bittersweet baker's chocolate character builds towards the end of the palate. The body is light, but robust and slick. Chocolate and wine blend in the aftertaste once again, with a dry, red wine linger into a slick, dry, lingering finish. Tasty beer, with robust flavors and a slightly increased ABV that make it a sipper. (756 characters)

Photo of philbe311
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
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... (1,532 characters)

Photo of cyclonece09
3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a 12 oz glass. Pours black with a reddish tint with a small head. Smells of coffe and mulled wine. Tastes of chocolate coffee with a nice merlot after tone. Beer is full bodied and is a sipper but to be expected. Overall a very good beer. (250 characters)

Photo of CloudStrife
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
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. (1,128 characters)

Photo of BEERMILER12
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a deep dark mahogany brown color with ruby hints. A fingers worth of tan head quickly fizzles down to nothing

S: A bit of roast, dark fruits, earthiness, and light barrel notes come through. Quite nice

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with lightly sweet dark fruit notes and roast and slowly goes into some earthiness and definite red wine characteristics with a bit of tannins and woodiness from the barrel. The dryness and barrel character flow well into the finish

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Drying and smooth

O: An already great beer made even better by wine barrels. The wine characteristics very nicely and provide quite a bit of complexity towards the back end. Good price point at under $9 for a 750 mL C&C bottle. Definitely recommended along with the original (803 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
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 (743 characters)

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
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. (431 characters)

Photo of weonfire
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
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. (635 characters)

Photo of Pencible
4.04/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: This poured a nearly opaque dark mahogany with a little light tan head.
S: It smelled like roasted coffee and tannic oak, with some bitter dark chocolate and sour cranberries.
T: It tasted like sour oak and bitter dark chocolate and dry roasted coffee, with a little sweet molasses and fig. It had a clean, bitter, sweet and sour aftertaste.
M: It was watery with a little carbonation. Fitting body.
D: This was a really interesting and well done beer. I was skeptical of a red wine barrel porter, but somehow the scents and flavors ended up bring complimentary. The result was complex and bold and tasty. The body was decent but not great. It had a reasonably smooth finish, and well hidden alcohol, so it was pretty easy to drink. Not sure how it would age, but I really liked it fresh. (791 characters)

Photo of Oakenator
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: On the lighter side for a porter, but still a deep brown with a hint of amber. Off colored head is ample at pour but retains well for a strong beer. Solid lacing.

S: Malt and wine grape smell. Nice twist.

T: Dark, sweet malt and wine barrel presence definitely. Nice mix of quality porter in the red wine barrell.

M: Relatively medium bodied for a barrel aged brew.

O: Really enjoyable and wish I had bought more. (424 characters)

Photo of metter98
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
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. (749 characters)

Photo of Chaney
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served in a DC Brau tulip.

A: Not black... or even dark for that matter. Kinda dark, dark brown actually, with a nice mocha head to boot.

S: Definitely smokey, bordering on ash tray territory. Definitely got the wine barrel in the middle.

T: Much more coffee-like than I was expecting. I usually don't associate that with a Baltic Porter at all... more like licorice. After a few more sips, this damn near becomes a Flanders Aud Bruin. Very odd, yet enjoyable in a curious sort of way.

M: Lots of lacing here, not thick and snot-like like I was expecting, and the carbonation is pretty good.

O: One would have to have a microscope to detect any Baltic Porter characteristics here, but that doesn't mean it's bad. (717 characters)

Photo of da_beers
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this in a trade (again, traded Heady Topper, living in VT has its definite Craft Beer related advantages) in a 750 ml Bomber. Best by 11/8/2015.

A - Pours a dark brown, thin tan head. When held up to light, can see the red from the oak red wine barrels used to age it. Decent lacing.

S - Chocalatey and nutty notes. Some spice notes in there that reminded me of the Holidays. Huge on the nose, get slight dryness of red wine in smell.

T - So interesting - starts as somewhat traditional Baltic Porter, but rapidly evolves into something quite unique. Finishes quite dry, like a Merlot.

M - Smooth and warming. Leaves dryness at end.

O - Overall good beer. Couldn't have multiples, not that drinkable. Leaves me very intrigued and wanting to try more beer/wine collabs. (777 characters)

Photo of rfgetz
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a murky and dark brown with some red highlights, plume of dense tan head, gone quickly. Scent is big on the red wine character - vinous and oaky. Base beer is underlying with notes of brown sugar, chocolate, fruit, spice, alcohol. Taste again bold with the red wine notes, base beer hidden a bit underneath and that is tough to do with such a bold base. Felt a bit thinner than expected, moderate carbonation and dry. Solid beer, but heavy on the wine which clouds up a very good base beer. (496 characters)

Photo of bonkers
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a snifter, reddish brown pour, creamy white head. Tannic notes, oak notes, on the nose. The flavors of red wine and oak are overlaid with chocolate malts, slight acidic taste. The beer is creamy, full bodied, no discernable ABV. Decent beer, actually enjoy the base beer more. (302 characters)

Photo of emerge077
4.24/5  rDev +7.9%
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. (628 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
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. (872 characters)

Photo of Tucquan
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on 2013-02-28 in Columbia, PA

A - Reasonably clear dark brown with a touch of ruby. 1.5 finger head at first fades to a skim coat quickly and leaves nice lacing.

S - Red wine, oak, light vanilla, medium roasted grain. Nice but not overly-complex.

T - Reminds me of a barleywine aged in a red wine barrel. Dark fruit, burgundy, raisins, medium roasted grain, oak, some caramel, vanilla. Finishes spicy with some citrus, sweet-yet-charred-malt, alcohol and decent bitterness.

M - Medium body and carbonation. Thinner than I expected but not watery by any means.

O - I enjoyed this brew but wasn't blown away. Something a bit different for sure, which is always nice. I'd have it again. (700 characters)

Photo of Morey
4.51/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Reddish-Brown in the glass (perhaps a bit thin for the style).

Aroma: Big dry red wine notes, subtle roasted char, dry.

Taste: Huge notes of dry red wine. Subtle roasty flavors underneath.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with low to moderate carbonation.

Morey's Bottom Line: This is an Amazing beer IMO. I feel that it's underrated in a big way.

Full Review here.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfsXFnzKTto (419 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
4.04/5  rDev +2.8%
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. (705 characters)

Photo of corby112
3.72/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Draft at Capones in Norristown, PA.

Pours a very dark copper color with mahogany edges and a two finger frothy head that slowly fades into a lasting ring.  Streaks of lace left behind.

Roasted dark malt aroma with an earthy barrel and dry vinous notes integrated into the base beer.  Toasted oak and dark grapes complimented by smokey, roasted malt.  Hints of dark chocolate and burnt toast along with some charcoal and smoked meat but the oak and vinous fruit notes overpower the smoke beer characteristics a bit too much for my taste.

Full bodied with a moderate barrel presence that's nicely integrated into the base adding another dimension to the intense smokiness.  Dry, toasted oak with vinous red wine notes countered by smoked/burnt malt, toast, charcoal and dark chocolate.  Sweet up front from the barrel presence followed by smoke and roasted malt before finishing dry.  Decent job barrel aging this beer but the wine and barrel notes take away from the smokiness that I like so much in the base beer. (1,025 characters)

Photo of stephenjmoore
4.09/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A- Pours a brown color with a red hue. Settles into the glass as a cola color with a thin beige head. The head fades quickly and leaves a ring of carbonation bubbles around the edges of the glass.

S- Tons of aromas with the red wine and roasted malt coming through the most. There is also a strong oaky aroma as well as chocolate. A hint of sour funk is noticeable too.

T- The taste showcases the Baltic porter more than the red wine barrels. Big roasts and chocolatey flavors up front with the red wine flavors hitting in the middle and the finish. Nice funky red wine finish with a hint of sour and oak .

M- Medium bodied, medium carbonation, smooth and roasty with a somewhat dry and tart finish.

O- Interesting combination of flavors that work to a certain extent. I would like a little more from the barrel, but with a big roasty porter, it can be difficult. Worth a try. (880 characters)

Red Thunder from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 112 ratings.