Baltic Thunder
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

Baltic ThunderBaltic Thunder
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Porter - Baltic
3.9 | pDev: 11.54%
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Baltic ThunderBaltic Thunder
Notes: Truly a worldly beer. Baltic Thunder represents the Baltic Porter style admirably. Exhibiting the enticing, toffee roast of the British porter that originated the style in the 18th century, and the soothing, subtle fruit nuance of contemporary brews that flourish from Helsinki to Vilnius today, this dark lager honors the Baltic god of thunder. Created by an inspired collaboration of brewers and tempered with a touch of turmoil, Baltic Thunder rolls on to bring you enchanting light as the darkness fades.
Reviews: 541 | Ratings: 927 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by shbobdb:
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shbobdb from Indiana

4.76/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Mmmm. Thanks Muenchenerkindl. Just for full-disclosure, I haven't had the original Hammer, but this bad-boy is absolutely amazing as it is. Everything Victory touches is gold, and this is no exception.

Pouring a nice rich black that becomes something between a deep garnet and a nice tawny, with a faint brown, almost white head that quickly collapses into a nice ring-around-the-glass with a few small islands of foam.

The smell is quite muted. A whiff of chocolate blending with a nice, light blast of alcohol, but nothing too in-your-face.

Which is what makes the taste so surprisingly wonderful. It isn't an extreme porter, the chocolate/roast presence is certainly the dominating aspect of the flavor but it isn't harshly acidic. Instead it ends in a pleasant mixture of prunes and plums, rather reminiscent of a good doppelbock or munich dunkel. Basically, it combines the best aspects of the Germanic and British brewing traditions. The hops are certainly present, but I couldn't tell you which hops they are. They basically stand in the background adding a nice note of complexity without trying to steal the show.

The mouthfeel is pleasant. Nice and silky smooth.

And the drinkability is insanely good. As I said, the best of two great brewing traditions in one. Soooo good.

Feb 16, 2008
More User Reviews:
Photo of gpcollen1
gpcollen1 from Connecticut

3.81/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one pours nice and dark with a half-inch cocoa head into my Carlsberg Imp Pint. Aroma is light and roasty sweet with hints of caramel.

Taste is better than the nose. Hits the mouth with a mild sweetness that grows into a bit of roasted fig and chocolate. Some dark chocolate with a mild bitterness runs through the mouth and down the tongue.

This medium bodied brew is chewy enough and has some nice carbonation. Nothing mind blowing but all around pretty good. I enjoyed this but just nothing over the top good as far as my palate goes.

Apr 25, 2008
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chefduff2 from New York

3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Jan 05, 2013
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takeabrewski from New Jersey

3.74/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a beer mug as I split a large bottle with my wife.

A: Very dark. Almost no head when poured out of the bottle, to my disappointment.

S: Nice coffee, chocolate, and almost a brown bread aroma.

T: Fair representation of the style. I was expecting something bigger and bolder considering the alcohol content. Coffee and chocolate notes predominate, with bitterness but little hop aroma as expected.

M: Very smooth and silky, easy on the tongue.

D: I had no problem getting my mug down.

Porters are my least favorite style, but I did enjoy this one. Victory is one of my favorite breweries.

Sep 20, 2010
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brandoman63 from Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Nov 18, 2011
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bum732 from Lesotho

3.86/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

S: Light, pleasant roastiness, some slight dark fruits.

L: Dark brown, slightly hazy, light tan head, creamy with just a bit of retention, good lacing.

T: Dark chocolate mostly right off the bat with just a hint of dark fruits. Medium clean bitterness with more dark chocolate. Finishes with some alcohol head and clean light roastiness.

M: Medium bodied, medium low body.

Solid, really enjoyed the subtle chocolate notes. Creamy smooth.

Sep 14, 2011
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burnheartsMKE from Wisconsin

4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When I visiting friends in Tallin, Estonia in the late '90's I remember how easily the Estonians made winter seem; jackets unzipped, mini-skirts & high heels slushing through the late winter's dirty black snow. Farmer's markets in near freezing conditions. Life goes on and this is just how it is when you live in a cool temperate climate. That hardened, unblinking look in people's eyes; This coldness is nothing compared the unbearable frozen world from which we have just thawed. It made me appreciate the wind on my cheeks; an affirmation of Life, freedom.

This bottle of Victory - Baltic Porter brings me back to that time; bus trips through Latvia and Lithuinia, friendly chats in ancient stone carved Estonian bars over Irish coffees, Baltic porters & lagers. The sense of human kindness (and alcohol) warming any cold-front or downtrodden spirit fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to cross it's path. Discovering family in forms of temporary friendships, bonds of energy wrapped up in moments, unforgettable and only once.

With these memories resurfaced I pour the dark reddish brown liquid into my glass. A thin head arrives, as a greeting, then quickly disappears.

The distinct smell of a Fluffernutter sandwich brings me back to being 8 and lunchtime at my Auntie Di's house; taking a break from swimming in the above-ground pool with my cousins, all sun burns & baby fat. Toasty marshmallow & crunchy peanut butter make strange, but interesting (and delicious) bed fellows.

The taste here is all toffee and weak coffee (aka: hot brown). Yummy and easy-to-drink with a slight natural sweetness and solid roasted backbone. This would be quite session-able (and I wished I had another) if it wasn't hovering at 8.5% ABV. The high alcohol volume is well hidden and it is to blame for my ramblings.

Enjoy this on a cold night with a head full of memories.

Jan 13, 2011
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countrocula from New Jersey

4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served into a 20oz Foster's pint glass. Auburn hooker wig in color. Head isn't as dense as I was expecting but beautiful nonetheless. Don't notice much lacing.

Nose strikes me as faint sherry, malt, raisins and slight cocoa.

taste is slight coffee, semi-sweet cocoa, barely perceptible liquor warmth. Not too much of the sour towel bacteria that I like in porters, but nice anyhow.

Mouth is mild. Slips down well with low carbonation which I guess is par for the course but I expected more with all the sugar going on. As the 22oz warms, things become more balanced and flavorful, something I adore with this style

The ABV is 8.5 which surprises my tongue, yet not my brain. Fuzz crept in nicely which could be scary if I had 3 of these around. Definite keeper, yet a "treat" brew.

Nov 13, 2009
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DmanGTR from New York

4.25/5  rDev +9%

Jan 31, 2013
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chim52chim from Pennsylvania

2.5/5  rDev -35.9%

Mar 03, 2012
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nlmartin from Ohio

3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer was served in a pint glass. The beer is lightly chilled. I will do my best to review this beer as it is not as I remember The Hammer. This is the 6th bottle of Baltic Thunder I have drank.

Appearance: The beers body is a ruby opaque black coloration. The head is a light tan coloration. Very poor retention and very little lacing on my glass.

Smell: The aroma of the beer is dark burnt roasted caramel. I think I get faint notes of fruit currants perhaps and a bit of chocolate. Just not blown away by this beer.

Taste: I am a sucker for the dark roasted and charred flavors in a stout and a porter. A bit of chocolate couples with a boozey flavor. Its improving as it warms.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkablity: The beer seems to have an anemic body. I need a porter with some back. I am like Mixalot in this. Baby has to have back. The beer isnt a total chore to drink. I wouldnt have had 6 of these except in the excitment of Hammer reborn hype I got a case. Hoping the next 6 gather more character with a year in the cellar.

Oct 11, 2008
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popery from California

3.37/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle, home. Disappointing baltic porter. This beer pours a translucent mahogany with very little head and what's there dissipated quickly, leaving a liquid looking more like wine than beer. There's so little head that I have to wonder if this is an off batch or something (will re-review in the future). The aroma is just ok for the style. It's a malt fruity version without too much roast. There's some chocolate and caramel in the mix, but it's mostly apricots, apples, plums, etc. The flavor is rather average, sweet and lacks a hook. There's just no real oomph to the beer. It's not bad, per se, but a distinct disappointment for the brewer and style, both of which I quite like normally. The mouthfeel is thin. The beer is drinkable and hides the alcohol well, but it also smells and tastes like a smaller beer. Not sure what happened here.

Mar 28, 2010
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random846 from California

3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Aug 15, 2013
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kkipple from South Carolina

4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Brick Store.

Arrives in a nice tall goblet, and I'm immediately surprised by how clear and red this beer is. I was expecting something dark and sludge-like, but instead I've got a pleasing red-walnut brown beer with loads of bubbles and a low, laceless, wimpy off white head. Ah well, you can't win them all.

Smells sufficiently malty, with milk chocolate, nuts, and a very tempting caramel streak running through it. Baltic Thunder is in turns roasty, sweet, bitter and smooth. A lot more restrained than I imagined.

Taste is quite balanced, fairly sweet but a good amount of roast grain and hop bitterness saves the day. Chocolate and smoky notes, nutty and somewhat brown ale like. Finish is lingering malt and hop bitterness and clean.

Mouthfeel is a little thin, but "bright", if ya know what I mean. Pretty drinkable considering it's 8.5%! Sure didn't taste like it.

Baltic Thunder is sort of like a baltic porter with a shot of brown ale... it's thin and accessible but doesn't quite reach greatness. Glad to see Victory resurrecting this classic brew in any case.

Feb 12, 2008
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Phillyduke from Pennsylvania

4.32/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The bottle's label pays homage to the Perkuno's Hammer it is replacing by using a God-of-Thunder "Thor" hammer motif. The former comic book reader in me smiles.

Appearance: Pours thin and a deep dark brown, almost black. The thin, tan head fades quickly, but has some nice viscosity and lacing as I drink.

Smell: Strong, toasted malt smell with hints of chocolate.

Taste: Initially hits the palate as full-bodied and slightly sweet. Chocolatey malt flavor lingers after each sip. Hints of fruit (oranges? raisins?) peek out here and there. Surprisingly, the alcohol and strength isn't as noticeable as I would have thought with a name like "Baltic Thunder/Perkuno's Hammer". All the write-ups I read on this beer's predecessor made it out to be a real tail-kicker, which it isn' least not overtly. Although it doesn't taste "strong", this is a beer that will sneak up on you if you're not careful.

Mouthfeel: Tingles the front of the tongue and coats the mouth well, leaving a very nice warm feeling after each sip. I wish it were snowing out right now.

Drinkability/Final Thoughts: Another winner from Victory! Overall a very well balanced, smooth, surprisingly easy-to-drink beer. Not nearly as monstrous as it's made out to be. I could easily enjoy 2-3 bottles over the course of a winter's evening with a couple good cigars.

Feb 27, 2008
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aorloski from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +2.6%

Jan 16, 2013
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lpayette from Vermont

3.86/5  rDev -1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber purchased from table & vine in W. Springfield, MA.

dark black in the glass, but hues of red and orange as it pours. A hard pour produced about a finger of head that didn't stay around long, nor did it leave a trace of lace behind.

Smell is pretty much as expected with roasted malts mingling with a subtle citrus/acidic property. More specifically, the roasted malts produce point towards coffee, toffee, and some chocolate. Of the 3, probably chocolate is the strongest. Some mild fruit in the background as well.

Taste isn't much different from the smell. The nice chocolatey backbone is very nice. There's a bit of an herbal/medicinal quality at times near the finish.

Mouthfeel - malty and definitely clean - seems to be more filtered than most baltic porters, and this was evidenced in the appearance as well. I guess I'd describe the body as being more on the medium side... The malt provides some thickness, yet it's not as thick as you might expect, with the finish being thinner- yet this for me provides a nice attempt at cleansing the palate for the next sip and provides for a lingering bitter chocolate finish.

Drinkability was good. Overall a nice solid example of a baltic porter. I imagine this could be amazing on tap, but perhaps just a little bit overrated from my experience with the bottled version.

Mar 06, 2008
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SLeffler27 from New York

3.87/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An average, taupe froth blooms over a dark brown beer and quickly settles to a sparse lace while a leggy film coats the tulip glass.

Nuts and maple syrup are followed by mold and butter with hints of port wine.

Toffee and butter upon entry with heavy sweetness followed by a light tartness and a bitter finish.

Baltic Thunder is a full-bodied beer that occupies the palate, has soft carbonation and a notable presence of alcohol.

A fine beer as an aperitif or possibly an ice cream float.

Date consumed: 25 August 2008

Jan 04, 2009
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westcoastbeerlvr from California

3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Jan 10, 2013
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Oxymoron from Colorado

3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

What exactly is that a picture of? Pours a mostly black color with ok clarity and brown-red hues around the edge. A good thick tan head with good retention and lacing. Some viscous but not over the top.

The nose is mostly malty but some hints of astringency as well. A light roast and chocolate note that is enhanced with a light lactic quality. More of a milky (versus oatmeal). Some nice esters, plums and raisins specifically. Some minor wood notes and a hint of plastic, although a slight smoke (which I confuse for some reason).

The taste is complex. A nice malt backing with some hints of darker malts. A light roast and black malt. Not as astringent as expected, would like a bit more (but minor). Some chocolate notes but not as much as the nose. The esters are there but also limited compared to the aroma. More of a plum backing but the raisin notes do come out in the finish. Some yeasty notes but not over the top. Some minor earthy hop note but subtle. Some minor fusel note but mostly clean.

The body is moderate. I would like a bit more depth there. But the complexity from the malt helps out. Carbonation is a bit low but ok for style. Overall some really nice malt notes but could be a touch more astringent and would like more body but still a very good beer.

Oct 17, 2009
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Brenden from Ohio

4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Notes, as usual, are a little old but good.

This is a dark brown beer, very dark and thick without quite reaching black and with a touch of opaqueness and reddish tinges in the light. The light brown head is just about one finger high with good retention and a good amount of sticky lacing left behind.
This is strongly malt-backed, as expected, with some coffee grounds, barley, some bitter chocolate, and just a hint of sweetness of caramel and something like dates. A roasted note, nearly charcoal mixed in with grains, lingers.
A bit of chocolate, both milky sweet and dark bitter, are first on the tongue. Following are coffee grounds mixed with caramel and tart cherry, and behind that is a bit of nuttiness and alcohol.
This has a very nice feel, thick, rich and robust in a big, full body with lots of smoothness and just the right amount of carbonation.
Being a bigger beer, this is easier to drink than one might expect for the style and the ABV, which I attribute to it being, while not lacking in body, not overly filling, and with a flavor easy to swallow.

Mar 29, 2011
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BMart from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +2.6%

Apr 09, 2012
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burnstar from Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear very dark brown with a good sized head. Nice lacing on the surface. Smell is malty with fruit notes. Toffee. Taste is sweet. Caramel and dark fruit flavors. A little balancing earthy hop bitterness in the finish provide some balance. Quite tasty. Full bodied with a creamy mouthfeel. Easy to drink. Very nice overall.

Dec 31, 2009
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tclapper from Maine

4/5  rDev +2.6%

Dec 05, 2011
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JayS2629 from Alabama

3.87/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tried at a tasting in a sample glass.

A- Deep dark brown with reddish hints, creamy tan head that fades fast and leaves little rings of lace.

S- Chocolate and coffee balanced well with hint of earthy hops and licorice notes.

T- Malty, porter taste with cocoa and coffee notes. Hint of licorice.Slight mineral notes.

M- Medium bodied, a little watery for a porter

D- Easy to drink, but nothing stood out

Jan 29, 2011
Baltic Thunder from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 927 ratings