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Baltic Thunder | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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BA SCORE
87
very good
539 Reviews
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
Reviews:
539
Ratings:
926
Avg:
3.87
pDev:
11.63%
 
 
Wants:
61
Gots:
55
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 539 | Ratings: 926
Photo of Slatetank
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had a pint of this on draft at the Drafting Room - Exton, PA
A - Deep Brown almost black w/ ruby highlights and a thin tan head.

S - Deep malty odors that are roasty but only gently and a caramel note w/ light nutty and a slight lactic creamy cocoa smell. There is a slight floral hop aroma, but only if I inhale deeply and a subtle tinge of alcohol.

M & T - Dark malt w/ smooth milky chocolate feel w/ a hint of nuttiness. A light dry tinge w/ grainy notes and slightly boozy at room temperature. The texture and flavor is creamy smooth w/ moderate carbonation and a medium boy the creaminess lasts well into the finish. Rich and full of everything a Baltic Porter should have. The maltiness is subtle and this is a very balanced beer.

D - I remember loving Perkuno's hammer, but bummed that the only place nearby that carried it was 45 min away back then. I enjoyed the revival immensely. Kudos to Victory for bringing this gem back and to Heavyweight for allowing them to keep it alive. A great beer, nowhere near the flavor of an 8.5% beer, very nuanced and well blended. It gives credit to Victory for allowing nature to take its course lagering the big beauty. I was jazzed to try the reborn Perkuno's and found it to live up the memory.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.96/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: What a beauty! This one pours a deep, dark brown, bordering on black. There is (initially) a big fluffy off-white head, which dies down and leaves some nice lacing.

S: The nose is primarily roasted malt. There is also some coffee and mild chocolate.

T: The flavors are, thankfully, more intense and complex than the aromas. There is quite a bit of chocolate to go along with a great roasted maltiness. A subtle toffee flavor is present as well.

M: I was expecting a fairly thick, chewy beer. I was quite surprised to find that this beer was as thin as it is. Not necessarily bad, but it detracts a bit from the experience.

D: For a fairly big porter, this is surprisingly drinkable. The flavors mask the alcohol well and they are quite pleasant as well. I would definitely pick this one up again.

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Photo of russpowell
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cheers to Ding for this one!

Pours a brownish chestnut with ebony tinges & 1+ finger of tan head. No head retention & minimal lacing

S: Roasted malt & chocolate

T: Loads of roasty malt, dryness & a bit of coffee up front. Roasty malt dominates as this warms, along with brown sugar & dryness. Finishes with chcolatey sweetness, some fruityness (figs & raisins). A strong finisher with some hints of boozey warmth

MF: Light/medium body with low carbonation, plus a bit of stickyness & some great warmth

Drinks fairly easy, a fairly good Baltic porter. The 8.5% ABV is well concealed

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Photo of smcolw
4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown color where light shines through...barely. Solid two-finger finger that dissipates slowly and leaves nearly no lace

Mild aroma of soft semi-sweet chocolate; reminds me of fudgesickle.

Smooth, nearly perfect body. The carbonation is spot on and the brew is creamy. The flavor has all of the classic porter flavors--coffee, cream, dark chocolate. Great aftertaste of unsweetened espresso. Despite the abv, this has no alcohol warmth in the taste. That might give you an idea of the level of flavoring.

This is another great offering from Victory.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Pours a very dark ruby brown with about a finger of tan foamy head that dissipates fairly quickly. No real lacing is produced. The nose is dark malts, coffee, smoke, molasses, and chocolate. The taste somewhat follows, with notes of molasses, dark malts, brown sugar, light coffee, maple syrup, and some pine. The body is a heavy medium, with healthy carbonation and a thick, smooth feel, leading to a rather high drinkability.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.25/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is a great example of why hyping up a beer can be a bad thing. The amount of beergeeks excited to try this was insane due to the brewing press release, big news to see Tom Baker teaming up with Victory. Then the wait with all the legal bullshit, and what follows is a blend of trying to get this one right before the big release. Well, they didn't get much right in my eyes and I'm going to try it again. Had it thrice on tap and I will be investing in a bomber, but I'm weary. No many gripes with appeaance except for head retention, poured pitch black in body much like I recall the Hammer forming a thin tan head leaving thin scant speckled lacing. I remember the Perkuno's to have texture all day with lacing throughout each pint. I think the change of the beans altered the protein count therefore affecting head. Aromatics I'm getting sweet dried fruits with some tart acidic mild offensive tones going on, chocolate roasts play nice with figs and plum fruitiness. Some mild booziness with lingering herbal hop notes comes late. Flavors insert ripe or dried concentrated fruit flavor whether it comes off plum, fig, or raisin I'd definitely call it some what vinous. Dark dry roasted malt lacking the complex mix of flavors the Hammer always provided but my point is that fruit and dark chocolate with a mildy cloying dark chocolate syrup comes off one dimensional in the flavor. Mouthfeel is full bodied assertive carbonation a bit unnatural with words like thin and blah entering my brain. Drinkability, no doubt any brew from Victory is going to be a solid player, good dark beer but never try to relive a classic craft brew like Perkuno's Imperial Hammer if you're not going to truly bring it to the table. Definitely not our beloved Hammer but Baltic Thunder I'm sure will be getting better with some age, right now it really lacks complexity.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.51/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a chalice. Best by 1/27/2011. Oops.

Appearance - A fairly transparent brown body with a small head and no lacing. It's red in the light and definitely doesn't look like a porter to me, especially a big porter.

Smell - Sweet caramel malts and some fruitiness. It has a hint of coffee and roasted malts, but it honestly smells like a baby barleywine. Looks like a barleywine too.

Taste - Sweet caramel malts, initially, but then it hits with a roasty bitterness. It finishes with a dose of coffee and the bitterness lingers. Not a good finish, but the other flavors are ok.

Mouthfeel - It's very astringent in the finish and it doesn't leave a pleasant flavor around. Low carbonation, but light in body so that it's still easy drinking. Too easy, maybe.

Overall - It tastes good, but it's not what I expected at all. Not a lot of porter character. In between a porter and a barleywine, without the best characteristics of either.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with a tan head. Thick malty nose with tones of coffee. Just loads of malts in there. Flavor is thick. Very full body. Easily noticed malt presence that keeps a firm control over things. Minor coffee tones. Thicker earthy edge. Mild tar going on. Very smooth on the liquid. Very easy to drink. It's definitely good, but I have had a chance to sample a lot of the eastern European baltic porters and there are several others that shine a bit brighter than this one. Still a damn tasty beer though.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz Best by Dec 31, 2008 Sampled 09/04/2009

So its past the best by date, but its a Baltic Porter so it should be ok. Pours a dark brown with deep ruby highlights when held to light. Smallish bubbly beige head recedes but never really dissipates completely. Smells rather uninspiring. I pick up some toffee, slight cherries, and some alcohol. Taste is chocolate and toffee with a lingering roast hop bite and alcohol burn in the finish. Moderate carbonation, medium body, creamy mouthfeel. Not offensive, but uninspiring. I thought it was okay, but I've had better Baltic porters.

Best by 01/07/2012 Sampled 10/21/2011

Pours a solid dark brown color with a deep ruby highlights and a small tightly bubbled tan head that shows poor retention. Smells of chocolate, toffee, caramel, cherries, ethanol. Taste is caramel and toffee up front. Chocolate and fruit come out midway but give way to a bit of warming heat and a long lingering caramel toffee on the palette. Fairly dry finish is a bit surprising. Medium to thick body, light level of carbonation, sweet creamy mouthfeel. I think I enjoyed this much more this time around. I guess fresher is better with this brew.

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Photo of jwc215
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best by Dec. 31, '08:

Pours dark brown with ruby highlights. A thin tan head gently settles, leaving some trailing lace sliding down the glass.

The smell is of lightly roasted dark maltiness (some smoky notes) with an earthy background.

The taste is of chocolate and a hint of coffee with smoky notes and a subtle dark fruit backing. Sweet with some astringency in the finish.

Light to begin with, it reaches medium as it progresses. Quite a bit of carbonation for the style, but it mellows as it progresses.

It's nice overall, but not quite as full as I was hoping. The touch of carbonation and astringency slow it down more than the alcohol, which is pretty well covered for the abv level.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Victory Baltic Thunder. Baltic Porters are one of my favorite styles, and I was glad to see the very capable Victory Brewing Company bringing out an interpretation.

Utterly black, nicely roasted head.

Aroma, bittersweet, roasty-toasty, dark fruit, nicely burnished...gets more sweet and less bitter, but always keeps the balance.

tons of flavor boards the palate...we get the figs and date, some raisin, a bit of chocolate, some licorice, too, a little maple syrup...dark rum...mmm, a perfect combination.

Hearty, full-bodied, rich, and delicious. Mmmm. Bitter meets malty and smooth, roasty meets sweet, ...it does represent the Baltic Porter style admirably. "tempered with a touch of turmoil", eh...someone likes alliteration with their hyperbole. In this case, it works. Damned good.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.06/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A – Deep, ruby mahogany and black-berry juice. Gorgeous color - remarkable when held up to direct sunlight. Off-white head sits low, but the color alone scored this a 5 for me.

S – Cranberry juice, prunes, toffee and black tea leaves. A really interesting combination. It’s definitely not what I’m used to, but I dig it.

T – Sweet, fruity opening with plum and tart cranberry. Coffee builds around the fruit and keeps it from spiraling into a confection. Soft malt backend with an oaky dryness, which now that the profile has uncluttered a bit, I think might have been contributing to the cranberry note up front.

M – Mildly tart/bitter finish with a residual dark fruit sweetness. Medium/light body.

O – Touch sweet. Would pair well with spicy dry rubbed ribs.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap at the La Jolla Brewhouse in CA. The beer was poured in a pint glass, and it presents a darkened amber coloring, brown in the middle, with a thin, filmy head. Slight chocolate and coffee nose, with some dark cherry notes. The flavor is a bit cherry and a bit coffee, and the bitter and the sweet balance pretty well. It tastes a little bit like Cherry Coke. The body is light, but syrupy at same time. Dark caramel and coffee on the aftertaste with a mid-length linger to the finish.

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Photo of Billolick
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bomber, "enjoy by Jan. 2 '09" (almost 2 years away) dating on the label. Pours very dark, near black, under a dark tan head, showing retentive powers and leaving thick ringed sheeting and respectable lacing. Nose of sweet malt, powdered sugar and a hint of cocoa. Smooth and tasty on the tongue, with notes of dark grains, mild coffee, chocolate and hints of vanilla. Very easy drinking and enjoyable porter, the label calls it a lager (?) hmmm. Well worth getting a few bottles and enjoying.

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Photo of tempest
3.14/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On-tap at Bocktown Beer and Grill

A nice beer, but I can't say I'm impressed. Maybe the hype just raised the expectations too high, but I rather think this beer just doesn't quite match the other baltics I've had.

At first I got a big, juicy sweet cherry flavor, followed by chocolate (chocolate covered cherries maybe). Then there was a little bit of toffee grains and a bit of alcohol. I also pulled some vegetal DMS aroma out of here and didn't get much of an aftertaste. Overall, I was disappointed, but this found it to be an agreeable beer.

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Photo of Gavage
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a black color with a 1/2" light tan colored head. Some mild lacing sticks to the glass during the session.

Smell: light roasted malts and soft chocolate tones are pleasant.

Taste: roasted malts, mild chocolate flavors, prunes, a hint of old coffee, and some warming alcohol make up an enjoyable beer.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied but a bit thinner than expected. Lightly crisp at the start, smooth and a bit dry at the finish. Short roasted malt and chocolate filled aftertaste.

Drinkability: a nice version that is easy to quaff despite the alcohol levels. Defintely worth picking some of this up.

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Photo of WesWes
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark brown/black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a robust black and roasted malt scent that's dry, but with some sweetness. The taste is great. It has a silky smooth flavor that goes down easy and finishes a bit on the sweet side. It hides the 8.5%abv well and provides a complex array of malts. It's complex and quite rich. There are hints of roasted malt as well as chocolate and crystal malts. Damn, this is one smooth drinker. The mouthfeel is awesome. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. I've been waiting for the release of this beer for some time now. It definately lives up to the hype.

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Photo of DoubleJ
2.71/5  rDev -30%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

November is here! And so is Baltic Thunder. On to the beer:

At the bottom of my weizen glass, it has a dark cola color, while further up it creeps to...a darker cola color. The slightly beige colored head, which is an inch thick and holding up well. The aroma is low on intesnity and excitement. Random cereals hit the nose in an unpleasant way....it's like....badly mingled hops with dry husky dark malt.

The body is big and smooth. That's the highlight to this beer. And the alcohol is hidden well too. That being said, the flavors seem very shallow. It tastes like some of the malt was left out of the fermentation. Very dry tasting malt. Dry unsweetened chocolate and a touch of charcoal are as exciting as it gets on the palate. The alcohol shows itself as each sip draws to a close.

I love porters, I enjoy baltic porters, and I have enjoyed baltic porters poured into weizen glasses. Baltic Thunder must have gotten lost during the storm, because this beer is not working for me.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to 5000 for sending me this bottle.

The beer pours a dark brown color with a tan head. The aroma if full of coffee and roasted malt with some dark fruit mixed in. There is also a little bit of alcohol in the aroma. The flavor is more of the same. I get a lot of coffee and chocolate up front, with some roasted malt and dark cherries and prunes in the background. There is also some nice mint characteristics in the flavor which I really enjoy. The alcohol is present but doesn't hinder the drinkability. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very nice Baltic porter.

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Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to davide169 for this brew.

Pours a nice dark brown/black color, nice carbonation, little fizzy off-white head, minimal sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, nice little touch of toffee/chocolate/caramel. The taste is sweet on the lips, malty, slight bitterness, with the nice tones of toffee/chocolate/caramel. Medium body. The alcohol is hidden very well with this one. Drinkable, this is a pretty tasty brew, recommended.

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Photo of tone77
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 22 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of roasted malts, a bit sweet. Taste is malty, sweet, some smokiness, a touch of chocolate. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall this is a quality brew worth checking out.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-Tap at Earth Bread & Brewery.

Baltic Thunder is a very dark brown that appears black, but it's not, you can see some redness when held up to light. Either way it looks like a baltic and comes with a pretty foamy dark tan head up top with slight stickage. Smells include deep roasted malts, chocolate, peat, licorice and some olde porter qualities. Very refreshing, I've been staying away from the dark beer lately and this is a nice welcome back. It's not very gooey thick, like alot of baltics out there. The feel is pretty much medium, it's not that huge, carb is no problem here. While the body is a bit thin per style, the taste is not, Chocolate, traces of vanilla, cocco beans, roast, malt, peat, a touch of dark fruit and some licorice. A bit high in alcohol, I could probably drink two pints of this stuff. The lighter body makes for easier drinking here.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.33/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Victory Baltic Thunder pours the darkest of browns, with a small off white head. No lace to speak of really.

Smells of bready malt with a vague roastedness.

Tastes fruity upfront, reminiscent of a port wine, with a charred toasted malt aftertaste. This charred flavor became more prominant as the beer approaches room temperature. Slight alcohol finish at the end along with a more smokey, tobacco like flavor.

Mouthfeel is smooth and a bit slick on the palate.

This is a pretty decent offering from Victory. Drinks easy enough at 8%. Worthy.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.6/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Enjoy by Date January 2009; Sampled August 2008
A vigorous pour yields a three-finger thick, lightly browned, full tan colored head in my 25cl tulip glass. The beer is almost black and when held up to the light shows a brilliantly clear, dark ruby hue. Rich notes of blackened toffee, molasses, some tamari, broiled raisins, at times some notes of candied cherries and candied figs are lightly offset by toasty notes of toasted grain, a medium roast coffee and a slight vegetal note that I sometimes get from roast grain. I definitely like the mix of concentrated, dark fruit and dark sugars that is found here in the aroma.

Rich and creamy up front with a touch of carbonation that lightens things up a bit in the middle. This is actually somewhat light feeling, as it does not have a huge body, but does have enough of one to feel a bit viscous and to allow it to stick to the palate a bit. Lightly sweet tasting, but not overly so, this accents rich fruit flavors, some touches of chocolate, a spike of molasses and a rich, dark, almost burnt, but not quite, caramel note. Fruit flavors are not as accentuated as in the aroma (due to the reduced perception of sweetness in the flavor compared to the nose), but still play a significant role in the flavor with notes of toasted figs, caramelized raisins, some prune notes and something a bit like chalky blueberries. Other flavors of chocolate beans, dusty light roast coffee, cocoa and some concentrated malt notes that lean towards an umami richness that is a bit like tamari or a hint of soy.

This beer is actually quite quaffable, which can be a little dangerous in a beer of this strength. A tasty beer, but it perhaps doesn't quite live up to the original; perhaps it is that extra 1/2% of attenuation, as this seems like it could have used just a touch more body and malt richness.

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Photo of biegaman
4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Despite a wash of cola and glints of russet brown, the beer decidedly settles on wearing black. It's a wonderful looking inky tone with the gloss of new, finely polished marble. Even more colour is revealed to the light. Its walnut stained head is fully capable of covering the top in entirety but seems insistent on residing only around the perimeter.

Victory seems to have captured all the eccentric peculiarities of the Baltic Porter style. Its full bodied aroma is complex with a very rich malty sweetness and notes of bitter smoked chocolate. With further traces of dark caramel, roast toffee, black licorice, nuts, cold coffee and dark currants you can pick your favourite feature and sniff it out all you like.

All these wonderful scents arise from the flavours that lay beneath them. An identical cast of ingredients can be tasted even more vividly than they are smelt. A bunch of thick, syrupy blackstrap molasses, a dash of roast coffee, a touch of black licorice, hazelnut and brasil nut, hints of cocoa coated dark caramels and a trace of dark fruits and currants. Sound good?

Although a few pats on the back are well deserved already by this point, I commend Victory most for hitting that delicate - but necessary - level of roast just right. It's a deep, deep toast rather than a sweltering, full out fry and it adds just a perfect amount of caramelization and nutty character. Oh, and those hops didn't go undetected either - again, nice touch!

One last kudos to Victory for putting this into bombers, a decision which I could not be happier about. With plenty of flavour (but still no alcohol) coming with warming, this sized serving is perfect to cuddle up to on a cold, rainy night. I'm a big fan of Baltic Porters and this is not only true to style, but also one of the best examples I've come across.

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