Baltic Thunder | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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:
60
Gots:
55
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 539 | Ratings: 926
Photo of mikesgroove
4.11/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I was thrilled to get a bottle of this in a recent BIF. Having had the opportunity to try Perkuno's Hammer before, and being really pissed to be honest that it was not around anymore, when I heard that Victory was going to bring this gem back, I could not wait to get some. Now we get Victory down here, but I knew my chances of seeing this one come through down here were slim to none, so you could understand my elation when one arrived on my doorstep. Anyway, this lovely twenty-two ounce bomber was poured into a footed glass that has previously held the likes of Sexual Chocolate and The Abyss, I figured it would be in good company. Served right out of the cellar at a comfortable 50 degrees, it was ready to go.

A - Poured a very nice, and surprisingly clear reddish dark brown. A very deep and dark color, but it was definitely clear as you could make out the rustic brown tones as well as the hints of red with ease inside of it. Some carbonation was visible streaking toward the surface for a little while, not long however before it dies off. What struck me the most, and to be honest disappointed me the most was that there was no head on this one at all. Well let me rephrase that. When I initially poured it, a nice two finger high layer of tan foam rose up over top of it, however after a few seconds this was completely gone and was replaced by a layer of nothing, literally nothing. No side glass lace, no foam, no bubbles, just a dead in the water dark brown liquid. That was very odd as I would have expected the appearance to be a bit thicker, but I shall not judge it on looks alone, so onto the rest of it.

S - The aroma though was quite rich on this one, which was a pleasant surprise to say the least. The first wave to hit me was a deep rich chocolate, milk chocolate to be exact, as it was clearly evident by the sweetness that lay inside of it. Full on sugary niceness, okay that is not a word but it felt that way! Some caramel floating around in here too, which is always a welcome surprise. Up next was a nice touch of some dark fruit like thing floating in there, not sure maybe raisins or tart cherries, it was light and fleeting before being overrun by some light roasted coffee, again rather sweet and mixed in with a hint of vanilla and a touch of bourbon. Very well round aroma and really quite well done. It has been a while since I had a hammer, but if I remember correctly the aroma here was very close to the original. Very well done and I was looking forward to going in for a closer look.

T - Ok, so now the time has come to see if this can live up to the great hammer that came before it, sadly it does not, might as well get that out the way, however it is still a damn fine beer in its own right. The first flavor that rolled across was a deep sweet, milk chocolate malt that really set the tone for the rest of the session in terms of the darkness as well as the sweetness that was going to be exhibited here. There was a very nice touch of caramel now coming through on it as well, really nice with almost a slight nuttiness to it, almost like a brown ale. A bit of a tartness, perhaps cherry poling through, along with a very noticeable hint of coffee that was lasting on longer then anything else. The finish had a touch of alcohol in it, though not much, more of a hint then anything else and the long lasting flavor of coffee dominated the overall finish. Overall the flavor was pretty nice, very robust and deep, but not the Hammer.

M - I have to be honest here, and I really do not mean this as a slam on this in anyway, but the feel was a little thin for me. I was expecting it to come off a little fuller, and creamier, but it just felt thin. Not watered down mind you, two different things, this was just thin. Needed to be perked up a little, maybe a bit more carbonation would have done the trick, not sure, but it needed to be a little fuller overall to really get the point across.

D - Now, as far as being able to drink this one in good quantity, in that regard it was outstanding. I could have literally had this one again right after I finished it. In fact, it went down like water to me. The alcohol was very well blended, and the flavors were very nicely pronounced. Needed a bit more carbonation, but it was very drinkable.

Overall, I thought this was an excellent beer, though I will say there is just no way has it held a candle to the original. I really admire victory for putting this out, and attempting to resurrect one of the greats, however they just needed a little bit more and it would have been outstanding. Still a very good beer and one that I would definitely recommend trying.

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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Georgiabeer
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the Brick Store Pub a while back. I like this a little better on tap than in the bottle, but not by much. Pours black with a moderate head that fades to a thin ring. Smells vinous primarily, but there are also notes of prunes and some roasty notes. Tastes about the same- winey and roasty in about equal parts. Light chocolate and prune, a trifle sweet. The mouthfeel is a little thin, but smooth and still fine for the style. Nicely drinkable, but a bit on the lighter side for the style. I never had the old Perkuno's Hammer, so I can't compare the two. Quite nice on draft.

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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 flagmantho
3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: dark amber-brown hue with a finger of creamy tan head that dissipates pretty quickly. Head is limited and I prefer my Baltic porters a little darker, but this isn't too bad.

Smell: rich caramel malt aroma with a hint of chocolate around the outside. Reminds me a lot of a dark European lager (which, I suppose, it is). It is good, but doesn't seem robust enough for the style.

Taste: caramel sweetness with a little bit of toasty malt and a little bit of chocolate. Chocolate is a little more pronounced than in the aroma, but not a ton. This beer is not bad, per se, but it is boring. I'm not getting a whole lot out of the experience.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a good level of carbonation and a pretty good creaminess. I like it.

Overall: aside from the good texture, this beer is kind of blah for me. There's nothing really wrong with it, but it really doesn't tickle my fancy the way Baltic porters usually do.

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