Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 115 | Hads: 573
Photo of DrDemento456
4.04/5  rDev +3.1%
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 -5.1%
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 +4.3%
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

Photo of AlexFields
4.01/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish brown color with a creamy, tan head with maybe a reddish tint. Am I imagining the red coloration in this because of the name and barrel type in the beer? I don't think so. Looks very unusual and very cool.

Smell is dominated by red wine. Some sweet and very lightly roasty malt character, but barrel first and foremost and not a great deal of complexity, smells really good though.

Taste is similar but more fully realized. Loads of wine barrel character, held up by fairly sweet chocolaty malt character. Some light acidity/bitterness from the barrels but this isn't really a sour. Very good.

Mouthfeel is wonderful, incredibly creamy, thickness is just right, they really nailed the feel on this.

Overall a great beer, might be barrel dominated but it works well anyway and I greatly enjoyed this.


 827 characters

Photo of Googs
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a teku glass

A: Deep red, mahogany body with medium sized off white head. Some lacing on the glass.

S: I love the smell that comes from wine barrel aged beers, and this comes through strongly on the nose. Smells similar to other American Wild ales, tart and oaky, Consecration is one that comes to mind. Some sweet, fruity, roasted malts, typical from Baltic porters, are coming through as well. Complex and great smelling brew.

T: Upfront the wine barrel really comes through again. A dry and sweet, lactic/tart grape flavor that is followed by the cocoa and dark porter characteristics. Nicely done, but the flavors need to come together a bit better

M: Medium body, but really creamy which is a big plus for. Good amount of carbonation, somewhat dry and roasty. A pretty drinkable beer all things considered.

O: I really enjoy beer thrown into wine barrels, and I'm eager to try more dark and heavy beers from either red or white oak barrels. I think a beer like consecration has flavors that blend together better which make for a better beer. Even so, Victory did a solid job on what they set out to do and for the price, this is awesome. I recommend this one.

 1,201 characters

Photo of wisrarebeer
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: deep dark copper/dark brown color, very nice thick rocky head, tan head
S: mild to medium nose, malt with some tannins noticeable from wine, almost like a Baltic Porter with some lambic undertones
T: nicely done, deep roasted chocolate malt, underlying tannins from wine
M: creamy and highly drinkable for ABV

 312 characters

Photo of russwbeck
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Black pour with a booming off-white head. The head builds up quickly, sticks around, and sticks to the sides of the glass. 4.5

S: The aroma is not unlike some American Wild Ales I've come across, which I attribute to the white wine barrels. Slightly tart, the aroma is sweet and fruity. I'm not noticing a lot of baltic porter characteristics, however. 3.5

T: The baltic porter is much more noticeable on the taste, but the white wine is still there as well. Not quite as tart, the wine is full of sweet grapes and crisp. The porter is there throughout, with roasted malts as an undertone for the wine, and then at the end the roast comes out in a big way to close the beer out. The taste is great to me, but the wine and the porter don't exactly mix. They more exist together. 4

MF: The body isn't as full as I would have expected, but the carbonation level is right on point. I found the beer to be very drinkable despite the disjointed taste. The finish is clean. 4.5

O: This was a strange beer that I'm still not sure how I feel about. Perhaps with more time this will turn into something great, but for now it was just...interesting. The flavors need to play together better. 4

 1,189 characters

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

750mL bomber poured into a snifter

A dark brown, near black body with a creamy off-white cap that fell to a faint collar rather quickly.

The nose is of cocoa powder, dark malt, cherries, damp oak, red wine, and some mild roast. A nuanced aroma, that is delicately layered.

This has mellowed out nicely. Cocoa notes are strong throughout. Red wine, damp oak, mild roast, and some cherries all poking through here and there. Subtle layers of flavor. The finish is dry with a mellow red wine influence.

Full-bodied. Smooth and lush.

A fine take on a red wine barrel aged porter. The flavors are very complementary and layered in complexity. A little too subtle to warrant a higher score, but this is pretty delicious.

 720 characters

Photo of ksimons
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-dark chestnut with ruby highlights and a fingers worth of light tan head

S-rich malt, chocolate, and red wine

T-taste starts with roasted malt, chocolate, and light coffee, and finishes with a bit of oakiness, and dry tart red wine flavor. Alcohol is well hidden.

M-medium body, light to medium carbonation, and a dry roasted feeling in the mouth

Overall I am glad I finally found this beer. I really like the combination of the porter and red wine, I think it really brings out some interesting flavors in the beer.

 522 characters

Photo of micromaniac129
3.51/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I'm assuming this is Baltic Thunder aged in wine barrels since you can't find any infomation on the website, which is odd.

Pours a deep auburn brown color with a thin head on top after a vigorious pour. Fades to froth on top.
In the aroma I get a big toasted malt smell followed by oak barrel or church pews. The oak is light and sutle and you need to draw in deeply to smell it.
Taste was really disappointing. Perhaps this is just a malt beverage in wine barrels.
Taste of oak and wine barrels are there but where is the beer. I'm not getting any evidence of a porter style beer.
Mouthfeel is thin and watery with a husky bitter finish.
To me while this beer drinks smooth and easy it lacks in flavor. One can hardly notice any beer at all. I would thick that Baltic porter was aged in wine barrels to give the beer sutle hints of wine and oak perhaps leaning towards a port. Not the case here, and since I can't find any info on the website maybe they know it too.

 969 characters

Photo of jhartley
4.26/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cork and caged 750ml. bottle poured into a poco grande flute glass.

A-Poured a ruby red to brown color with a tan 1 finger head which had real nice tight bubbles but it dissipated quickly.

S-Cherries, booze, coffee, really picking up on the red wine and something like leather.

T-Decent porter and wine flavors from the barrel. Real light sweet and tart cherry flavors. Smells boozy but I don't really pick up on as much as the smell implies. Really starts to come into its own as it warms.

M-Nice and dry finish with a lingering red wine flavor. Sweet, but not cloying

O- I really like this beer. I wasn't able to get any of the Dark Intrigue release last year and was happy to hear that Victory and produced a lot more of this so it would be out in a larger distribution for a longer period of time. I really like the red wine flavors matched with the porter, it's awesome to see Victory trying more with barrel aging.

 925 characters

Photo of Jonada
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 750ml corked and caged bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with hints of ruby red. Nice carbonation streaming through the glass. There was about 1 finger of a light tan head that dissipated to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Red wine, chocolate, tart cherries, oak, booze, red berries. This smells surprisingly tart, but that's not a bad thing.

Taste: Porter characteristics are more apparent in the taste. Chocolate, roasted malt, slight coffee. More oaky and vinous notes as well. Finishes dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, creamy mouthfeel. Moderate carbonation. Very drinkable.

Overall: Interesting stuff. The red wine characteristics were much more prominent than I was expecting and added some additional complexity. I really would liked to have seen more of the base beer shine through, but this was still a solid brew. Glad I picked this one up, and I wouldn't be opposed to revisiting it in the future.

 964 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

 698 characters

Photo of claspada
4/5  rDev +2%
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.

 966 characters

Photo of Ryan011235
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Founders snifter on 1/1/13

Dark brown with an ample two and a half finger head. The foam thins after several minutes. Lots of webbed, crackling lace remains. Lace becomes solid further down.

The wine barrels add a dark, vinous overtone to the base of chocolate and roasted grains. The aroma is simple and smooth. I'm impressed by its subtlety.

Roasted grains and chocolate are at the fore in terms of taste. Notions of red wine creep in around the mid-section. Hints of earth, too. Over time, the focus shifts toward smooth chocolate working in conjunction with the wine. The finish has a wood note and is rather dry.

The body is on the upper end of medium, accentuated by smooth, plush carbonation. It's all a bit surprising since carbonation started off kind of rough. Very east to drink.

I was a little hesitant to buy a bottle of this. Thankfully, it worked out in my favor. The wine barrels don't come across as being over the top and a Baltic Porter seems like a decent style to wine barrel; several I've tried had dark fruit notions as they were.

 1,072 characters

Photo of stakem
3.71/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged into a snifter. The brew appears brown in color with a khaki head. Strings of oatchy lace stick to the glass. Some ruby clarity is seen running through the body without even holding it up to the light.

The smell is roasty with coffee. Some raw oaky barrel presence with vanilla and toast. A mild tangy alcohol inclusion is present before a bit cheesy aspect emerges when swirled mixing with sulfur.

The taste is roasty with fruity alcohol and some barrel tannins. Raw oak and almost hints of incense-like spicy character maybe like cedar. A bit of vanilla and herbal hops break things up a bit and increase the overall complexity of the brew.

This is a light bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is easy drinking and crisp in the feel. Overall not bad, the barrel presence really took hold in this brew and it is nice. Nothing ground breaking here but worth a try. It is a pleasant offering and at a very reasonable price point.

 970 characters

Photo of srandycarter
3.56/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Murky dark brown, with red notes. Light tan head, stays for some time. Some cling lace.

S - Metallic, coffee, malt and some chocolate.

T - Very coffee, small amounts of chocolate at finish. Somewhat bitter.

M - Creamy, good carb, medium to full body, finishes to overcooked coffee.

D - Good to try. Not a favorite.

 322 characters

Photo of EgadBananas
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

 443 characters

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a semi-hazed mahogany. Easy to see through the body. Light for a Porter. Head is full and creamy and light tan in color. The whipped head leaves long, droopy hanging curtains of lace. Glowing body.

S-Starts off initially quite tart. Vinous notes. Lactic. Porter aromatics are dull. Keeping into account the light Porter notes, this brew smells a bit like a raspberry flavored chocolate. The tartness is far more expressive than I was expecting.

T-The beer's base comes out more here. A bit more coffee and a bit more chocolate. Even some hoppy bitterness. The wine barrel lends some awesome tart and tannic dimensions. You can even taste the oak from the barrel. I would love to know what type of wine was in these barrels…Cabernet? Syrah? Pinot Noir? Meritage barrels? Reminds me of cherry cola a bit. A pleasant mixture of beer and wine.

M-Pretty drinkable. The sourness almost increases the beer's drinkability. It definitely does leave a lot hanging on the tongue however. Medium bitterness. Alcohol masked very well.

O/D-I borderline loved this. Great hybrid brew. The barrel aging really, really, really morphed this brew into a new species. A 750ml (I think) for $8 is a pretty legit price too. When was the last time you bought a wine-barrel aged brew in this size bottle for well under $10? I am very happy I went after this one. A big time success in my book.

 1,383 characters

Photo of Gavage
4/5  rDev +2%
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.

 536 characters

Photo of jjchristiano
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Always love all Victory products.
Christmas Eve dinner with family and my brother-in-law pulls this out of the fridge.
Supposedly the story is that this is Baltik Thunder that is aged in wine barrels.

Definitely can pick up on some tannins at first sip but then the malt sweetness takes over.
High alcohol content subdued in flavor. Nice Porter flavors develope with further sips.
Great beer to start the night with and with my Christmas Eve appetizers

 454 characters

Photo of thecheapies
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Red Thunder, poured into a snifter glass.

Pours opaquely dark brown. Very dark, and with a light tan-colored head that looked much better in my girlfriend's glass (she's using a chalice). The head in my glass fell pretty quickly to a thick-walled ring. A few floaties rest along the surface.

All kinds of vinous notes in the nose, which is precisely what I was hoping for. Red wine, cereal grains, tobacco, prune, and saltwater. I'm already fascinated.

Big-time red wine notes fill this up. Cabernet, leather, stouty malts, dry roasted grain, some salinity, red currant, and finishing booze. Flavors are a little hard to pick out, as everything seems to conglomerate. Light raisin and coffee notes flutter on the tongue, but this beer is heavily influenced by the barrel aging. A delightful spin on a Baltic Porter, if I may say so myself.

Drinks with softness. Carbonation is light and the body is milky. Disguised strength.

I love this brew. It's still Baltic Thunder, at heart. Just aged to a near-souring point with some effective cab barrels. Brilliant stuff. Recommended.

 1,082 characters

Photo of fdig23
3.91/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL Bottle

Appearance: Nice dark mahogany body with a perfect coffee colored head

Nose: Coffee forward with dark fruits lingering in the background. A malty chocolately-ness is present as well.

Taste: Somewhere between chocolate covered coffee beans and raisinettes. The coffee and chocolate flavors from Baltic Thunder really complement the plum and raisin flavors from the Cabernet Sauvignon barrels, but everything feels kind of subdued.

Mouthfeel: Feels sweet, not as heavy bodied as it should be.

Overall: Different and definitely enjoyable. The fruity red wine and dark chocolate flavors are a perfect pairing. The flavors do feel kinda muted, especially compared to the original Baltic Thunder.

 709 characters

Photo of lovindahops
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Giving red thunder a try

A- dark and opaque with a foamy head that subsides. Some good lacing on the edges

S- dark fruit, candied sugar, black coffee, cocoa, and strawberry scent. The wine and oak emerge as well.

T- It's definitely different. The porter flavor us basked in a sweet wine flavor the leads way to the cocoa flavors. The red wine swings in for the finish. Very different With the oak flavors chiming in

M- smooth but lingering red wine flavor

O- not for everyone, but red thunder is unique with the combinations. Might change a little more over time

 568 characters

Photo of Hopfenpeter
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured a deep clear red brown and produced a tan creamy head, about two fingers high. It dissipated, leaving nice lacing.
It smells of roasted malt, dark chocolate and red wine oak barrels.
The taste is of roasted malts and earthy oak barrel tastes builds the front. The red wine character stays throughout the middle, mixed in with more bitter earthy hops.
The finish is a mild red wine infused, earthy oak barrel feel.
A medium bodied, interesting brew, which deserves respect for the idea! Great job!!

 513 characters

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