Baltic Thunder | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

Baltic ThunderBaltic Thunder
BA SCORE
72.4%
Liked This Beer
3.87 w/ 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
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
539
Ratings:
926
Liked:
670
Avg:
3.87/5
pDev:
11.63%
Alströms:
4
 
 
Wants:
60
Gots:
55
Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 926 |  Reviews: 539
Photo of wethorseblanket
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of smithj4
4/5  rDev +3.4%

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.

 780 characters

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

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 ChainGangGuy
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark brown body with a small, short-lived beige head.

Smell: Dark malty aroma with notes of chocolate, toffee, molasses, smoked figs, and green herbs.

Taste: Roasty dark maltiness with hints of chocolate and toffee with a fair amount of sweetness. Thinned out molasses. Figs and black cherry fruitiness. Taste of spearmint. Hint of smoke. Bright floral hoppiness with a medium bitterness. Flavor of fruit and mild coffee with plenty of alcohol warmth on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Moderate carbonation. Slight stickiness to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Pretty good. But don't take my word for it - drink and enjoy!

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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 ZEB89
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

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.

 4,664 characters

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.

 1,249 characters

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 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.

 803 characters

Photo of orangesol
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of atlbravsrno1
3.25/5  rDev -16%

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 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.

 1,172 characters

Photo of BMart
4/5  rDev +3.4%

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.

 1,859 characters

Photo of InspectorBob
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of ejimhof
3/5  rDev -22.5%

Photo of JAHMUR
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of imperialking
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of rab53
3/5  rDev -22.5%

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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Baltic Thunder from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 72.4% out of 100 with 926 ratings
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