Baltic Thunder | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

very good
539 Reviews
Baltic ThunderBaltic Thunder

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

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.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 539 | Ratings: 926
Photo of jchow79
4.57/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opened a bomber at a friends holiday party.

Appearance: Dark as night - think of oil in a glass

Smell: Fragrance of chocolate and molasses and smoke. I love the aroma. Theres an earthy undertone as well - smells a bit like dirt was mixed in. Absolutely awesome.

Taste: High concentration of malt and chocolate. Delicious on the tongue with a long finish. Smooth and delicious.

Mouthfeel: Thick and oily in the mouth. Coats the tongue and smooth all the way down.

Drinkability: I probably could have finished this bomber on my own. Loved it. I think this is a really great offering!

 587 characters

Photo of wobblynoggin
3.77/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Pours very dark brown, light barely gets through this beer. A slight head that dissipates quickly, with no lingering lace or bubbles.

S - Coffee, chocolate, slight alcohol

T - Bitter dark chocolate, coffee, and the malt lingers in a bit of an aftertaste, like a good porter should taste. Not remarkable, but certainly very good.

M - Slight carbonation, with a crisp bite on the lips and top of your tongue. This beer has nice complexities that give you some sweetness in the front of your mouth, definitely works your bitter and sour buds especially on the sides of your tongue and mouth, and retreats into a malt that lingers on the roof of your mouth.

D - Might be a bit much in a growler size. You can taste the 8.5% alcohol content, and in this quantity it will not be overdone, but I think that is the limit to how much of it I would want to drink in a sitting. I would prefer 12 ounces, and then moving on.

I compare all porters to Perkuno's Hammer, which, in my opinion, is the gold standard for modern porters. This however, is quite worthwhile if you cannot get your hands on the Hammer. No Victory beers will let you down.

 1,144 characters

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

I admit I wasn't too familar with Baltic Porters and heard something about them which made me want to investigate. Luckily the very next day I saw the thunder at the store and grabbed it.

I gotta say I'm a fan of the style. I don't drink porters too often but when I do I usually wish they were "bigger" like this beer. It reminded me of a Lion stout - sweet dark fruit flavors followed by some alcohol kick. Definitely going to seek other other examples to do a comparison, but I liked this beer alot.

 503 characters

Photo of takeabrewski
3.74/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

D: I had no problem getting my mug down.

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

 603 characters

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

Pours a nice dark brown, no light coming through in the darkened room I am in. Big beige head that dissipates back into the beer but not too fast.

Smell does not overwhelm me but I did just consume a hop bomb so I'm not holding it against it. You can smell some malt which is good for me.

The taste has a bit of roast bitterness on the tongue with hints of chocolate. It's not overwhelming. The bitterness lingers on the tongue after the swallow.

The beer has a slightly sweet taste to it which is no surprise given the style. It's slightly thicker in the mouthfeel but too much.

All in all it's quite enjoyable and certainly something I would look forward to consuming again... and again.

 693 characters

Photo of jlpayne
3.76/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Sprightly. No head. Semi-opaque. Brown with deep red hues.

S - Limited nose. Muted scent of malts. Some sweetness.

T - Much more going on in the taste. Earthy. Malts and hops very well balanced. Alcohol is barely present.

M - Light carbonation dances on the palate. Wispy. Very enjoyable.

D - Extremely drinkable. The 8.5% abv is barely noticeable.

Another solid beer from Victory. Recommendable.

 406 characters

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

Bomber poured into a gobblet. Ruby brown in color, 1/2 a finger of head quickly fading to a thin presence around the glasses edge. Fruit and malt in the nose. Sweet, roasted coffee and a pleasant bitterness in the finish. Smooth carbonation. Overall, lighter than expected.

 273 characters

Photo of cmmprez
2.87/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer describes itself as, "exhibiting the enticing, toffee roast of the British Porters...and the smoothing subtle fruit nuance of contemporary brews." I've never had a Baltic Porter, so I went into this beer with the expectation of tasting a porter.

Ap - Similar to Guinness, though not as silky in the head.

Sm - Malt sweetness mixed with a lesser amount of roasted malt. No hops.

Ta - Unbalanced. I started drinking this straight out of the fridge and the roasted malt character came through but it was tempered by residual malt sugars. It made it difficult to enjoy because I kept wanting the dry, bitter, roastiness of a porter and never quite got it. As it warmed, the roasted malt faded and the sweetness developed into a fruitiness. At about cellar temp, it was all fruit and very little roasted malt. I began to enjoy it more because I could focus more on this sweet aspect of the brew.

Overall - This beer stands somewhere in between a porter/stout and a scotch ale/wee heavy. This could be an excellent example of a Baltic Porter because I've never had any others. For me, it rates a little better than average, although it never quite satisfied my tastes.

 1,176 characters

Photo of Mattysox
4.29/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bomber into a standard pint glass; ruby-tinted dark, dark brown color to the body, with a thin, tan head; head disipates fairly fast and leaves little lacing.

The aroma is full of aggressive notes of espresso and dark chocolate, with some sweet fruity, dark berry hints as well. Great smells, all around.

A very smooth, silky mouthfeel gives way to sweet roasty malt flavors on the palate; the coffee and chocolate flavors are still there, but they're much sweeter than on the nose. Everything is very well-balanced by a slight hoppiness on the finish. The 8.5% ABV is really well masked in this beer. An excellently long finish, too.

Overall, a very enjoyable, surprisingly drinkable porter. Looking forward to having it again.

 744 characters

Photo of iamntbatman
3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Extremely dark brown with very little light transmission. The beer has a small, thin head and leaves little lacing.

Smell: Not strong smelling at all. Smell is similar in character to a Russian Imperial Stout but much weaker. Coffee and malt flavors are just about the only thing I get out of this.

Taste: Much better than I expected based on the smell. The burnt malt dominates here, with hints of coffee and the whole thing wrapped in a nice, woody smokiness. No hops to be found.

Mouthfeel: A bit thinner than I'd like, but this is something I've come to expect of Baltic porters. The carbonation, however, is right on the money.

Drinkability: Good for the high ABV, but the smokiness makes this hard to drink quickly.

This beer is exemplary of the style. The typical smokiness is definitely present here. Definitely recommended to fans of smoked beers or those who find English or American porters to be too heavy.

 935 characters

Photo of WilliamLee
3.96/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color was dark black. There wasn't much of a head as hard as I tried to make one.

The aroma was from average to poor IMHO, but I did detect toasted malt and chocolate.

The taste was very good dominated by dark roasted malt that wasn't bitter or burnt. Chocolate adds to the flavor and it also has a slightly smoky taste with a note of sweetness and vanilla. It reminds me a wood aged beer even though it's not. However, it doesn't taste like toffee to me which even the brewer's web site mentions in the description.

Overall it is very smooth and easy to drink with nothing unpleasant and a lot to like.

 610 characters

Photo of garyc2112
4.92/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bought two bottles of this from Abe's in Allentown.
Has a dark chocolate appearance with a hint of chestnut. Almost a cola-like look. Poured a rich head that went away quickly. Smell has hints of malt that are not strong and very pleasing. Great smooth taste for being 8.5%, very drinkable. Wow! Very flavorful. Has a subtle toffee flavor with hints of fruit and spice. This beer is awesome! Very litle bite with a load of alcohol content. Great for an after dinner drink. I'll definitely be picking up more bottles if I can.

 525 characters

Photo of Sigurd
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to BA mudpuppet for the recommendation. Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

A: Very dark, but with a reddish brown color when held up to the light. A short tan head that quickly dissipates to lace.

S: Roast malt smell along with a touch of fruit that I can't really pinpoint.

T: Bready, with just a hint of coffee. Finishes with just a bit of cocoa.

M: Smooth and creamy. Not a lot of carbonation. Fills the mouth nicely.

D: Definitely do not notice the alcohol. The balance of flavors is just right for me to drink a few of these.

 556 characters

Photo of hitokiri
4.57/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Maybe it was the way i poured, but I didn't get much head at all, other than that it is dark black and holding it up to light shows just how black because the light doesn't shine through.

S: Smell is deceiving to me. It smells like a RIS and I get a hop scent. I get roasted malts, dark dried fruits, maybe some coffee. I know it is not wood aged, but I get a hint of wood in there. Also get a little smell of alcohol.

T: Taste is very balanced, more on the sweet and roasty side, but the bitterness is there. I actually prefer it to not have an in your face bitterness. Taste some smokiness/roastiness. A little alcohol tase too. Reminds me of very dark chocolate.

M: It had a good amount of carbonation in the begining but as it heated up it became more slick, not bad though, the alcohol seemed to make up for the lack of carbonation.

D: I could drink it all the time.

 878 characters

Photo of Supersweetshirts
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Victory has come a long way with their beers. When I opened the bottle there was a definite, delicious, smokey aroma. When pouring into a glass, it's color was a deep, dark, brown with a nice darker thick head that quickly dwindled to nothing after a few minutes. I tasted hints of fruits, but was mostly a roasted malty flavor. The alcohol percentage of this beer is 8.5% which was surprising because it didn't at all have a taste that would have indicated this. It was a very smooth and filling beer. Overall, while this wouldn't be something I would seek out, it was a beer that I did enjoy but would not be at the top of my list of Porters.

 644 characters

Photo of GotHood
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap at Stuff Yer Face in New Brunswick

Apearance: Darm brown, almost black, with half inch tan head

Smell: Roasted malts and a bit nutty with hints of caramel, chocolate, and dark fruits

Taste: Roasted malts and nutty up front, finishes w/ sweetness of caramel, chocolate, and dark fruits that remain on the tongue. Touches of more earthy hop bitterness come out as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation and body, very smooth on the tongue.

Drinkability: High, full flavored and very smooth, no lingering bad aftertaste. Was surprised to see beer was 8.5%.

 573 characters

Photo of beergeekjoey
3.37/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Chocolately brown pour, dk tan head. Foam dissipates rapidly, leaving light lace, moderate collar, moderate legs. Nice garnet highlights when backlit.

S: Earthy initial aroma - I originally thought yeast-related. Rich toasty & chocolately aromas with slight roasted notes. As it warms, the earthiness appears to be hop-related, and the underlying malt is clean. Some vinous alcohol notes appear with the warming.

T: A bit high on roast -- hits the tongue up front, and is the most prominent flavor. Missing the expected dark fruit, caramel, toffee -- chocolatey rather than complex malt. Fairly bitter and some earthy hop flavor showing through. Slight alcohol tang. Either bitterness or alcohol bite lingers in aftertaste.

M: Medium full body, medium carbonation. Alcohol warming is pleasant and fairly significant.

D: Smoooth but fairly heavy.

Overall: Fairly one-dimensional -- pleasant, but without the malt complexity that normally characterizes style. Roast is a little overwhelming -- needs a lighter touch.

 1,022 characters

Photo of bamsdealer
3.71/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a- poured a very dark brown. Head disappated quickly with no lacing.

s- nothing special here. a hint of carmel tones.

t- Strong nutty malt flavor with carmel undertones. Alcohol very noticable in this brew.

m- One of this beers best attributes. Just creamy enough to let the taste and alcohol hang around.

o- A solid porter at a reasonable price for a 22oz bottle... something I plan to try on draft next time I visit their brewery. Another good brew from Victory.

 468 characters

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

My first reveiw!

Anywho, here goes...

So I cracked open the Thunder last night and I thought it was quite tasty. Much milder than I thought it would be… little tastes of maple sugar, caramel and chocolate throughout. Mild nose and I thought a pretty clean finish for a “porter” – I drank the first ½ pint out of the fridge (my patience stinks once the bottle is out) and finished the rest of it at just under room temp – I think a little warmer is the way to go.

Very drinkable and enjoyable.

 502 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.