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Red Thunder - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Red ThunderRed Thunder

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

114 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 114
Hads: 572
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 8.4%
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: 114 | Hads: 572
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 champ103
3.59/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a dark brown, nearly black with a bit of ruby highlights. A two finger tan head forms, and recedes in a minute. Light lace is left behind.
S: Light wine, tart fruits, and chocolate all intermingle. Nothing wants to take over, which makes it balanced in a sense, but not sure if I really dig it?
T: Like the nose, everything intermingles. Slightly tart fruits like cherries, and a vinous, grape flavor. Mixed with the roasted malt and chocolate. Interesting, and certainly not bad. Just missing something IMO.
M/D: A medium body with moderate carbonation. Fairly smooth. Not hard to drink at all. Enjoyable for the most part.

This is unique and interesting. Though nothing really jumps out as being exceptional. The tart fruit/wine character with the roasted malt are balanced, just not something I particularly think is a good combo. Worth a try, but probably a one time purchase for me. (906 characters)

Photo of ColForbinBC
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
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 Darkmagus82
4.34/5  rDev +10.4%
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. (2,409 characters)

Photo of maximum12
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle after having this on tap at a place we were not nearly cool enough to be in, & paying a massive premium for it. 750 ML skeet-shot split with my wife.

C&C comes off handily enough, with a foof gentle enough for a wine bottle. Looks like dark, thin blood just exposed to the air, with roughly the same amount of carbonation. I end up with a wet face before I get much off the surface - not much aroma at all, vague wine & oak, but that could be just because I read the label.

Red Thunder might hit about sixty decibels, but not much more. Wine is nice up front, good red kick with a ton of burnt, oaky tannins running all the way through the beer. Middle consists of mild smokiness, water-softened malts, unvarnished quarterstaff, Very dry. So easy to drink, I'm mulching it down like crazy.

This almost seems like a wine without the alcohol & acetic bite to it. A gentle beer that seems to spit in the face of the over-the-top crowd, this grew on me as my expectations took a break. Enjoyable, & a good beer. (1,032 characters)

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 dar482
3.79/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The beer comes in a brown Coca Cola color.

The aroma has roasty malt, some cocoa powder, and then this red wine barrel character of oak and red wine.

The flavor has lots of wine character. There's a good melding of the lightly roasted malt and cocoa notes. Lots of toffee sweetness. A bit of alcohol drying on the end.

This is not a robust porter, but the sweetness balances well with the medium amount of wine barrel character. (431 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 EgadBananas
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
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 DavoleBomb
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

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. (996 characters)

Photo of jzeilinger
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very dark cherry mahogany color with a one fingered thick head, dies down within minutes to a thin, but thick and creamy lacing ring. Very viscous when the glass is swirled.

S - Oak, warm roasted chocolate/cocoa, cherries, plums, and prunes. Malt forward with chocolate cream filling the nose.

T - Once again, malt forward with very little bittering which comes at the very end in the form of mild bitter chocolate. Tart red wine nips the tongue immediately followed by a noticeable shot of oak tannins. Midway through the wine-like character mellows and morphs into roasted chocolate and very faint coffee beans for a mild finishing bitterness. Light complexity and assertive oak character. Some alcohol warming but overall stays well hidden in the mix.

M - Heavier side of medium body with a bone dry finish, velvet smooth, and slick.

O - It's different but the flavors blend and play well together, 'sort of like having wine and chocolate together. I cellared a second bottle and it will be interesting to see how it evolves and hopefully the oak will diminish some, it's a little too up front right now. (1,123 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 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 Boto
4.21/5  rDev +7.1%
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. (411 characters)

Photo of srandycarter
3.56/5  rDev -9.4%
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 thecheapies
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
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 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 KTCamm
3.34/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Served on tap at Morris Tap and Grill on 10/12.

Pours Really dark red. Light malt bread nose. Sweet caramel taste. Sweet trumps the bitter, which backs the flavor, but not enough. Could use more bite. Light carbonation mouthfeel. Good but not outstanding. 35 325 35 3 325 (272 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 KYGunner
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Just underneath a mounting head of off white fizz lay a deep brown coloring with the shadows of Cabernet red.

The scent is filled with the wine barrel aromas like cabernet wine, red grapes, vanilla, wood and cork.

The taste holds many of the same properties of the nose, like the vanilla, wood and cabernet wine but then there is some nice chocolatey malt, some creamy sweetness and then oakey barrel wood.

The feel is a bit astringent and though I didn't detect any hop flavors or aromas I did get some of the tinny metallic hop sensation. There was also a light warmth and a tinge of fizzy soda. (600 characters)

Photo of micromaniac129
3.51/5  rDev -10.7%
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 DIM
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
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. (459 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 Jas45678
3.84/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into tulip

Pours a mahogany brown with a small tan head. Smell red wine, chocolate with a little tart cherry and coffee. Taste is red wine, chocolate and oak. Medium body with decent amount of carbonation and a little dry. Overall it is an interesting take on a porter, worth a try a least once. (310 characters)

Photo of mfnmbvp
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
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. (1,452 characters)

Red Thunder from Victory Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 114 ratings.