Baltic Thunder | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

BA SCORE
87
very good
926 Ratings
Baltic ThunderBaltic Thunder
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States
victorybeer.com

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by akorsak on 01-05-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
926
Reviews:
539
Avg:
3.87
pDev:
11.63%
 
 
Wants:
60
Gots:
55
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 926 |  Reviews: 539
Photo of weeare138
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this bottle after a bottle of Baltika 6, and HW Perkuno's Hammer...
Appears a near black, dark brown with mahogany tones on the outskirts of the beer when held to the light. A small beige head of fluff slowly fades into a mild cap. Scattered spots of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of obvious cocoa, caramel, nuts, gentle smoke, with a hint of coffee...some green grass in there too with a touch of white grapes.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with some sweet chocolate milk coming to the forefront followed by some roasted espresso beans, cream, and grassy, florally hops that seem to be in the way of that chewy Baltic goodness that was there for the Baltika 6, and the Perkuno's.
Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, creamy, softly carbonated, with a somewhat odd, herbal, semi-dry finish.
IMHO, just a close relative of Perkuno that isn't as attractive and doesn't have the charm, or personality. I've heard that this particular bottling was a bit of a mix-match of a few different batches that the brew house ran. Perhaps future bottles will be more to my liking...not that this is that bad but when lined up side by side with the other aforementioned Baltic Porters, this one fell short of the mark.

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Photo of Globetrotter
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hand-carried from Pennsylvania to Vienna (thanks Jeff and Chris!), the bomber looks just like the picture here. The brew pours a very dark but clear cola brown under a two finger deep tan head that fades a bit too quickly and fails to muster any lace. The nose is rich and strong, full of caramel and nuts, with just a touch of smoke. The mouth is thick, but not sticky, leaving the palate rather clean. The taste is as a porter should be, but not knock-your-socks-off good. There's roasted nuts and caramel, plus a touch of plum in the opening, chased by a respectable, certainly not overwhelming hops presence that leaves a coffee bitter feel in the aftertaste. The fruit and coffee linger in roughly equal proportion long after the liquid is gone. This is a solid, but not a spectacular product.

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Photo of mntlover
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black with ruby highlights when held to the light. Thumb sized tan head falls quick no lace.

Aroma is lightly roasted malts some fruit hints of smoke and peat.

Taste is nice roasted malts good chocolate notes. Some fruity notes with hints of peat. Hops make an appearance herbal and grassy mixed. Flavor is good not quite up to baltic porter strength or body.

Mouthfeel is decent but only medium or so. Good mellow carbonation.

Drinkability is good its an enjoyable porter even if I was expecting more.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my faithful pint glass, this beer produced a three finger head over a clear, deep red-brown body. The head retention was pretty good, which made me look forward to the experience.

Aroma was of plums, roasted malts, burnt caramel, coffee, and hints of chocolate. Complex, layered, and good.

Fruitiness was not discernable in the taste, however. I got roasted malt at first, followed by burnt barley, coffee, and bitter chocolate. Better than average, but a slight letdown given the aroma.

This beer had a good body, not too thin but not oppressively thick or syrupy either. Better than average mouthfeel for a porter.

I would rate the drinkability of this beer as pretty good. I wouldn't mind having it again, and it was an enjoyable exploration of the style. A good beer to use as an introduction to porters.

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Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out with a small, quick to disappear head, minimal lace. The body is a nice deep brown with ruby highlights.
The smell starts with lightly roasted malts, some earthy hops and a little vanilla sweetness to finish it off.
The taste is pretty nice. You have the coffee/chocolate that you might expect followed by a nice bit of hops. More hops than I expected but it gives it a nice crisp finish.
A little thin on the mouth.
I liked this baltic porter. It isn't too complex but it has an all weather feel to it. If you can find it for under $5 I'd say try it out.

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Photo of jjayjaye
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark cola color with reddish hues and a shallow foamy tan head that fades slowly with little lacing. The smell is nice; a rich malted-milk ball and molasses. Lightly carbonated, the mouth feel is medium-light textured with a rustling tang (from the alcohol?). A real nice drinker, the 8.5% ABV is well integrated with a slight warming sensation on the way down. The NECCO chocolate flavor and malted milk thing in the nose is true to the taste. Not my favorite, but not bad.

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Photo of MSchae1017
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep brown, nearly black, with hints of amber. The beer is somewhat translucent, not nearly opaque. The head is cream colored and fizzles down to a thin film quickly before disappearing altogether, leaving no traces of lace, although a hard pour to finish off the bottle does produce a significantly improved head which leaves some lace.

The smell has slight chocolate and roast characteristics, but is mostly caramel sweetness.

The taste is very clean up front, with sweet and bitter roast flavors dominating along with some chocolate. The sweetness seems to be reminiscent of Munich malts. The beer finishes with a significantly balancing hop bitterness, keeping this beer from being quite as sweet as most in its style. Finally, there is a significant alcohol presence as the beer exits the mouth.

The mouthfeel is characterized by a medium body with full carbonation. This is not quite as thick or as creamy as an American Porter, rather it is well attenuated by the lager yeast.

Overall, this is an enjoyable beer. Not the most complex of the style, but certainly one worth picking up again

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Translucent hazelnut with an infusion of cranberry and bright orange borders. Since Perkuno's Hammer was opaque ebony, this doesn't seem to be the same beer right off the bat. The ecru colored crown is a little too soft and unsticky to grace the pint glass with much lace. I'm a little disappointed so far.

The nose gets things back on track to some extent. Truth be told, this 'homage ale' smells as much like a stout as it does a Baltic porter. Roasted malt provides more java than chocolate, with a little dark caramel riding shotgun. Better carbonation might have led to a better head and a bolder aroma.

Victory Baltic Thunder is good beer. Heavyweight Perkuno's Hammer (R.I.P.) was legendary beer. There's really no comparison. I did read that the high cost of Roman beans led to the use of black eyed peas in this offering. I wonder if any other changes were made.

The biggest negative is a shortage of malt. Thunder tastes and feels like the ABV is 6.5%, not 8.5%. That's a good thing only in the sense that alcohol is barely noted on the taste buds. At least half again as much barley would have broadened and deepened what is a pretty damn good flavor profile...

... that consists of chocolate-covered toffee, coffee with cream, a dollop of molasses, fruity figs and a few ripe blackberries. Another valid description would be creme caramel with dark chocolate and berry sauce. Since almost 5 years have passed since I last had Heavyweight's masterpiece, any flavor comparisons are bound to be unreliable. That said, I still don't think that BT, as good as it is, can hold a candle to PH.

Warming helps the mouthfeel a little. It's still no larger than light-medium for the style and isn't anywhere near as creamy as it should be. Maybe those Roman beans were worth it after all. Incidently, Perkuno's Hammer had one of the most luxurious mouthfeels that I've ever the pleasure to... uh... feel. Top-5 at least.

Baltic Thunder has the misfortune of being compared to one of the best beers of all-time. Even so, I've given it a more than fair shake when it comes to scoring. It's a shame that this big ale couldn't have recaptured the magic of the original, but then life doesn't always work out the way it should.

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Photo of kwakwhore
3.91/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this from jcdiflorio via trade.
Black pour with tan head which has decent retention.
Not much going on in the aroma. A little malt not much else.
Flavors are better. Chocolate malt, almost like a milkshake then bitter chocolate takes over with a nice long finish. Really excellent, especially as the beer gets warmer.
Mouthfeel is a bit thin for the style but the flavors make up for it.
Goes down pretty easy. Alcohol is not really noticeable .
Good example of the style but not quite up to Sinebrychoff or Duck Rabbit. Still, this is a worthy brew. I certainly wouldn't turn it down if I could get another one.

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Photo of EricCioe
3.91/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark brown with a one finger espresso crema head that fades into a nice foam. On the nose it's a pretty distant but pleasant group of notes, mostly roasted malt and burnt coffee, some dark, wet grass. On the tongue those flavors come out much more distinctly, a big roasted presence up front with some combined hop and roast bitterness at the back. In the mouth it's a good deal thinner than I associate with the style, but pleasantly fuzzy on the way down. It's plenty drinkable and the price isn't outrageous. An up and down beer but pretty good.

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Photo of Hawksfan79
3.91/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Glass: Mug
Pours a dark brown with a thin white head That quickly dissipated. Smells very fruity reminiscent of plums. Slight alcohol aroma with a slight hint of toffee.
Fruity, strong raisin flavor. alcohol, and slight hints of cherry. Very similar to a barleywine as its sweet an alcoholic. Wonderfully complex, one of those beers that changes on your palette and gives you different character as you drink.
Light to medium bodied, much lighter than expected almost watery in texture. Alcohol warming followed lingering roasty malt finish.

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Photo of robhunta
3.91/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - a dark purple/redish color, pretty unique as I was expecting brown/black. not much head though; pours to a thin cm of head which dissipates quickly.

S - This beer had me wondering if my nose was working (or wondering if I shouldn't have tasted it first out of excitement/expectation). there isnt much of an aroma at all, not until I cover my glass with my hand, stick my nose in the crack and inhale deeply do I get a nice sweet malty maybe fruity aroma. very nice, but hard to find.

T - fantastic! sweet, matly, a bit of alcohol. there is certainly a nice complexity to this beer but I'm having trouble putting my finger on any particular flavor.

M - clean and pretty smooth, a bit sticky.

O - Overall I like this beer very much, I would certainly buy it again and may be a favorite porter for me.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
3.91/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of bruachan
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

not opaque, which is a bit of a surprise. deep rootbeer gernet, and some good foam at the beginning

deep n' roasty smelling: touch of toffee aromas, with chicory and a proto-chocolate

fruity, toffee dry chocolate (you know, not a chocolate bar but the cooking stuff) flavors. deep roasts with some astringency add depth. the mouthfeel is robust enough but feels a little flat at the end

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Photo of beertunes
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed this on a recent visit to Whidbey Beer Works: http://www.whidbeybeerworks.com/ . Poured a nice brownish red, much redder than I expected. There was just a thin cap of light tan head that dissipated at a moderate pace and left scant lacing.

The aroma was a nice malty combination of scents, roast, coffee, toffee and a bit of spice. The flavors fit those descriptors pretty closely as well.

The body was good, perhaps a bit thinner than I anticipated, and smooth. Drinkability was very good for a beer of this strength.
Overall, a very nice beer that I look forward to having again.

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Photo of indiapaleale
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark and slightly oily. Its head diminishes quickly and yet the carbonation is quite apparent compared to other strong porters i've had. It smells malty, sweet, slightly fruity and I don't get any alcohol from the smell alone.

The taste is, well, similar to the smell. Its nice and smooth. Its malty, sweet and the carbonation adds something to the taste as its going down. This is yet another beer that has a high ABV, but its not abrasive whatsoever.

I am kind of a novice when it comes to Baltic porters, its a style that I've rarely had the chance to drink. This is a very good beer and a great opportunity to try out the style.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.89/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoy by Dec. 28, 2012.

Poured into a 12oz mug.

Translucent dark brown with a stiff little lip of head.

Rich roasted malts with slight acidity from an implied hint of black cherry and some alkaline chocolate. Toffee note mixes in with some sweetness to the nose.

Roasted grains, chocolate malt, black cherry, wet soil, and a pleasing acidic finish. A little leathery. Prevalent hopping with earthy tones and bitterness. Exactly what you might expect from a decent Baltic Porter.

Low carbonation keeps the body smooth. Not much heft, however. Just a medium viscosity. Well-disguised strength.

Pretty decent brew. Not the showiest of styles, and this one keeps it on the straight-and-narrow. But, it’s well executed.

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Photo of PCampbell
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Saved this about 6 months after purchasing it. Pours a deep black with a thick light tan head that goes down to a thin strip.

On first smell it gives off a little bit of toffee, some dark malts and some chocolate. Not very pungent. The taste is much stronger with some coffee, bitter chocolate, a bit of sweetness and some warming alcohol mixed in. Has a medium mouthfeel to it, is quite smooth and has low carbonation.

A pretty solid baltic porter, definitely worth a taste if you like the style.

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Photo of Zorro
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled through ClockworkOrange and CA - PA BIF.

Clear deep brown colored beer with lovely ruby color when held up to the light. Medium sized light brown head forms but doesn't last.

Smell is sweet and malty with licorice, grape, fig and chocolate scents. The spicy sensation is from the ethanol but it isn't really peppered to the nose in this case.

The taste starts out sweet and chocolate with a good malt roast after taste, it is quite different from the smell. Malty yet light on the tongue there is a faint mint taste here. Definite Italian Coffee soda flavors here.

Mouthfeel is good.

Quite easy to drink, if it has one flaw the taste could be a bit more complex. Still this is a good beer.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a short off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick on the glass.

S: The aroma contains coffee, honey, dark fruit, roasted malts and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of honey, dark fruit and milk chocolate followed by a hearty roasted malt character. There are background flavors of black coffee and some smokiness. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, although there are better beers in the style, this is still a solid porter worth drinking for a long time.

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Photo of ClevoPiwo
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was happy to pick up a bottle of this when the Victory rep came to Whole Foods for Cleveland Beer week - don't usually see this one on the shelves.

Pours as near to black as can be without being entirely opaque. Back lighting exhibits a very deep reddish hue similar to that of cherry wood. The head pours a nice 3 finger's width and is an off white, nearly khaki, color. Dissipates down to a creamy frothy ring around the edges.

The smell is pleasant and complex. Notes of toffee, chocolate, roasted malt and toasty grains are dominant. The initial smell reminded me of the smell of grinding crystal and chocolate malts, with hints of coffee and dark fruit.

The taste is similar to the smell. Sweet dark fruit and chocolate up front. The finish is a bit quick, and is sweeter than the typical porter, with more a molasses, dark fruit and chocolate sweetness dominating. The mouth feel is fantastic and creamy - very rich for a porter, but all the more enjoyable.

Overall a fantastic beer. The only qualm I have with this particular offering is that there is little variation in flavor from start to finish. The initial malty sweetness that hits the palate initially is what continues to linger into the aftertaste.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours a dark brown cola colored liquid. the head is a light tan color that is thin and fluffy. It has very solid retention and leaves a nice lacing on the glass.

S-the nose is fair in strength but not big. roasted barley and dark chocolate come in ample amounts with the first sniff. Toffee and a touch of coffee bean acts as a foundation towards a shift into a fruity aroma that brings fig and a touch of plum.

T-the taste follows the nose, roasted barley with copious amounts of dark chocolate. The coffee bean is quite subdued with the toffee acting as the taste that transitions into the dark fruits. the sweetness is accompanied by a hint of hop bitterness at the finish.

M-this is quite smooth and creamy with a medium body and a nice bit of carbonation.

D-this is a pretty easy drinking beer for all of the alcohol, it is not present at all. it doesn't really stand out, it takes a pretty standard attempt at the style; but manages to do standard quite well.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a semi-opaque dark crimson amber color with a 1 inch light beige head that fades to a small cap. A random distribution of lace spots forms here and there on the glass on the drink down. Smells of roasted dark malt, dark fruits, and some subtle smoky notes. Taste is of dark chocolate pudding, dark cherries, dark malts, and alcohol. A bit of cocoa nib bitterness on the palate after each sip. Slight alcohol warming in the throat. This beer is smooth and creamy with a medium body and a good level of carbonation. Overall, this is a solid baltic porter from Victory but nothing too exciting.

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Photo of Stunner97
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Very dark beer black to dark dark brown, heavy carbonation along side of the glass with some bubble across it, a thin to moderate white foam head quickly disappates away,

Smell- Dark roasted malts for sure, slight chocolate, carmel, slight espresso, not a bad nose but not overwhelming either,

Taste- very interesting beer, the most impressive thing I would say is that it has a very long finish, mostly of coffee and roasted malts flavor, has a slightly bitter hop presence as well that really checks in nicely against the malts, slight chocolate as well,

Mouthfeel- Medium to full bodied, very thick and chewey, a nice feel

Drinkability- This beer has a decent drinkability considering how big the alcohol is you dont have that much of a sense of it, you get a bit of back end warmth but its certainly drinkable, really more of a sipper and one you have to savor the complexity of the finish, not the greatest porter I have ever had but still a very respectable example of the style, kind of walks the line very closely between you making you feel your having a stout or porter, worth a try as a fan of victory they usually never do you to wrong : )

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Photo of DevilDogBeer
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Baltic porter pours a great porter brown in the glass with a thick, tan head. The head has good staying power and laces for the duration of the pint. The smell is malty and nutty with a definite alcohol nose in the background. There is no detectable hop aroma. The taste is sweet up-front followed by a toasted malt character. The aftertaste is a bit earthy with a distinct alcohol warmness. The mouthfeel is thick and rich, but actually sits kind of heavy do to the high gravity. I could drink the 23 oz. bottle of this over the evening just relaxing but this beer is heavy and one bottle (about a pint and a half) would be my limit.

Baltic Thunder is definitely worth a try, especially if you are a dark beer drinker or someone looking for a well balanced recipe on the non-traditional side. Lagering this porter certainly mellowed out the roasted notes, but the high gravity gives this beer an intense character.

Enjoy!

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Baltic Thunder from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
3.87 out of 5 based on 926 ratings.
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