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
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Reviews: 539 | Ratings: 926
Photo of 51mmz0rz
3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Not as dark as I expected, head is slightly dense a light brown that fades pretty quickly. Body is almost opaque, but there is a good amount of redish brown visible when held up to the light.

S: Smell is sweet, fruity and woody. Overall I like it quite a bit.

T: Sweet fruits like the smell up front, grape like finish followed by a roasty malt lingering. One hell of a malty beer.

M: Not bad, but i found it to be slightly syrupy at times.

D: Tasty and drinkable, alcohol is hard to detect.

Overall I think this one was a little too sweet; I was also thrown off a bit by the grape-like flavor. Not bad, but something I probably wouldn't seek out again.

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Photo of EStreet20
3.06/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 ounce bomber poured into a 20 ounce nonic.

As a longtime fan of Perkuno's Hammer I have been really excited to try this for a long time. Don't let me down Victory.

A - Pours out a nearly black dark brown. When held to light a tiny reddish tint is evident. The head fomrs nearly two fingers high but is rather fizzy and dissipates a bit.

S - A bit of a chocolate smell but pretty faint.

T - A very vinuous, fruity flavor. Some smokiness in there.

M - A tad thin and a little watery for the style. Too much carbonation.

D - Too sweet overall. Carbonation/watery feel make this one suffer.

Notes: I've got to think something was lost in translation here. The old feel of the Hammer, as well as the flavors, seem to be gone here. Oh well, R.I.P. Heavyweight.

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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.

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Photo of lpayette
3.86/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber purchased from table & vine in W. Springfield, MA.

dark black in the glass, but hues of red and orange as it pours. A hard pour produced about a finger of head that didn't stay around long, nor did it leave a trace of lace behind.

Smell is pretty much as expected with roasted malts mingling with a subtle citrus/acidic property. More specifically, the roasted malts produce point towards coffee, toffee, and some chocolate. Of the 3, probably chocolate is the strongest. Some mild fruit in the background as well.

Taste isn't much different from the smell. The nice chocolatey backbone is very nice. There's a bit of an herbal/medicinal quality at times near the finish.

Mouthfeel - malty and definitely clean - seems to be more filtered than most baltic porters, and this was evidenced in the appearance as well. I guess I'd describe the body as being more on the medium side... The malt provides some thickness, yet it's not as thick as you might expect, with the finish being thinner- yet this for me provides a nice attempt at cleansing the palate for the next sip and provides for a lingering bitter chocolate finish.

Drinkability was good. Overall a nice solid example of a baltic porter. I imagine this could be amazing on tap, but perhaps just a little bit overrated from my experience with the bottled version.

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Photo of timtim
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

deep, dark, mahogany black with a nice, light tan head that holds very well and leaves nice lace. nose is roasty malt, a lager yeasty smell, some sweetness (dark fruit/toffeeish), and a faint but pretty, hop scent. well balanced, and good representation of the style. a little thinner than i would have hoped for, but smooth and very enjoyable. i detect almost no booze in the taste or finish except a little warming sensation as it goes down. dangerously drinkable. i like this new baltic porter trend. gogo victory.

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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 AKBelgianBeast
4.43/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to Kegatron for the trade.

This porter pours black with a beautiful blood ruby tint in it and a nice fluffy off white head.

Smell is of roasted malt and lager.

The taste starts with a nice roasted malt flavor and then transitions into a good style signature slight creaminess. Malt flavors ride the whole way through. There is some very slight coffee notes in the middle and on the finish. slight sweetness on the finish as well.

The mouthfeel is a tiny bit thin, I would like it to be a little thicker for the style, but it does make it very refreshing, so I won't knock it too hard in this category. Carbonation is very evident.

Drinkability is incredibly good on this brew. Very refreshing for the style while maintaining alot of flavor. The 8.5% is NOWHERE to be found. I would have guessed 6%.

I have one bottle of Perkuno's Hammer in the cellar. If it is better (like most seem to think it is) it must be wonderful. Ill post my comparison in that review. Great beer, well worth the trade. Thanks again to Heath.

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Photo of pershan
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured a slightly opaque black with a dark brown head into a 12-oz pilsner glass. A slightly sweet caramel aroma, with undertones of roasted malt. The initial flavor impression was of alcohol, but transitioned into a very nice full-bodied roasted malt finish. The flavor profile highlighted the black and dark malts, with a fairly low hop flavor and bitterness presence, as it should be. Low carbonation and minimal lacing. Alcohol nicely masked. An excellent high-gravity porter.

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Photo of TheodorHerzl
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Received from RutgersBeerGuy in the top 100 Bif.

A- A very very dark brown with copper highlights
S- Roasted malt with coffee and sweet toffee and maybe even slightly nutty
T- Bitter chocolate and coffee upfront with some slight grassy earthiness on the back of my palate.
M- Full bodied beer. I never got the alcohol in the taste, but the alcohol warmth is there.
D- I would drink this if it were available to me.

overall this is a nice beer, but wasn't that above average, but is a tasty offering if available to you.

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Photo of AltBock
4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I was able to get this fine Victory beer on-tap on 2/29/08 at High Street's Leap Day Victory promotion event. They served it to me in a Victory labeled standard American pint glass.

It poured a deep dark mahagony brown that had a few dark ruby red highlights along the edges. It had a foamy 2 inch head of tan colored foam that had good retention. When it receded all the way, it only left behind a handful of tan colored foamy rings along the edge and just a few spots of tan lace around the glass. It had a strong cocoa based aroma to it. Behind the cocoa was some sweet caramel, dark roasted malts, a tiny pinch of roasted hops, a dab of sweet alcohol, and the slightest touch of rust toward the end. I thought it had a very interesting taste to it. In the beginning it just had a heavy taste of cocoa powder and rust. Somewhere in the middle the taste had completely changed. The cocoa powder had turned itself into dark chocolate and the rust had left the taste all together. After the cocoa powder had transformed into dark chocolate, more flavors emerged from the background. What came out was dark roasted malts, dark fruits, roasted coffee beans, crispy roasted hops, and the slightest touch of alcohol. It you couldn't tell already, it was a full bodied beer that had a delicious full flavored thick aftertaste of dark chocolate, roasted hops, and a pich of alcohol. It was a great beer to have on-tap, but I'm sure it's the same story if you get it from a bottle.

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

Saw it and had to buy it. I'm a sucker for Baltic Porters

A - dark, shows some brown when held up to light, nice tan head which subsides

S - roasted malt, chocolate, toffee, coffee

T - nice roasted malt againk, chocolate and coffee come through but aren't overpowering, bit of hoppiness comes through

M - medium bodied, somewhat smooth, bit of carbonation

D - pretty solid. As I said, I really love Baltic Porters and I'm a big fan of Victory. This goes down quite well and I look forward to finishing the bottle. Definitely hides the 8.5% pretty well. Would drink again.

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Photo of jwolfie70
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at the Flying Pig in Malvern, PA. Poured into a pint glass, it was a reddish black pour with no head by the time it reached my table. The smell was of burnt malt, sweet molasses, with some metallic twange to it. The taste was a roasted malt flavor that was rather dry. Not overly sweet at all, like a lot of porters it was dominated more by the dark roasted malt flavors. A good beer that I was excited to try on tap.

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

Served in a tulip at Publick House.

Poured a very dark black with brown highlights, no real head to speak of. Nose was very reserved, but there was some roastiness and some vanilla apparent. Taste was a little more upfront than the nose, but not by much--some burnt chocolates, hops clear up the malt nicely, moderate sweetness. Mouthfeel was very even and smooth and not overly viscous...right on for a porter (even an imperial).

Overall, this is a dangerous brew. Fairly high ABV coupled with incredible ease of drinking means a few of these might end up going down without being moderated. I think Victory really did a nice job balancing everything in this one.

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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 IBUnit63
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2-finger coffee ice cream head comes and goes a little quickly without a whole lot of lacing. Out of the bottle it looks like a good root beer; in mug with volume it's much more opaque and strcitly dark.

Tones of a dry Irish stout in whiffs; hop profile and chocolate extra-roasted malt are both fair and balanced. There's a little alcohol tinge here with a hint of brown sugar sweetness.

At first, aftertaste is a little tinny but what emerges is a powerful balance between slightly grassy hop bitterness, very dry roasted malt, the brown sugar and a velvet alcohol blanket.

The finish here is actually a little shallow and clammy, even at normal cellar temperatures, but there's counterbalanced yet separate warmth here also.

For the ABV level it's rather light and easy drinking.

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Photo of blitz134
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've always had mixed feelings about Baltic Porter...sometimes I think they are good but sometimes not. I remember really liking Heavyweight's Perkuno's Hammer and I know this beer has some ties with it, although I'm not sure how the story worked out in the end.

Pitch black looking, but red shines through when held to the light. Half inch of slightly fizzy tan head on the pour. Reduced to a thin layer with some spotty lacing.

I find the aroma to be a bit light. Slight chocolaty and roasted hints, a touch of that Baltic porter sweetness.

Taste is much the same except a little more pronounced roasted edge at the end. Touch of sweetness and some hints at dark fruits, but not what I would call a caramel sweetness. Very clean in the yeast department.

Medium bodied brew. Decent carbonation level. Easy to drink. Nicely lingering flavor that is just a subtle hint of roastiness. A pretty good beer, I like this one more than most other Baltics.

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Photo of Minkybut
3.05/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured this big beer into my tumbler at 50 degrees. The beer was really black with a dark head that did not last very long at all. The smell was of coffee and roasted nuts smelling also and sour slightly. The taste was kinda flat and had a harsh alcohol burn aftertaste. I will not buy again.

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Photo of Phillyduke
4.32/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The bottle's label pays homage to the Perkuno's Hammer it is replacing by using a God-of-Thunder "Thor" hammer motif. The former comic book reader in me smiles.

Appearance: Pours thin and a deep dark brown, almost black. The thin, tan head fades quickly, but has some nice viscosity and lacing as I drink.

Smell: Strong, toasted malt smell with hints of chocolate.

Taste: Initially hits the palate as full-bodied and slightly sweet. Chocolatey malt flavor lingers after each sip. Hints of fruit (oranges? raisins?) peek out here and there. Surprisingly, the alcohol and strength isn't as noticeable as I would have thought with a name like "Baltic Thunder/Perkuno's Hammer". All the write-ups I read on this beer's predecessor made it out to be a real tail-kicker, which it isn' least not overtly. Although it doesn't taste "strong", this is a beer that will sneak up on you if you're not careful.

Mouthfeel: Tingles the front of the tongue and coats the mouth well, leaving a very nice warm feeling after each sip. I wish it were snowing out right now.

Drinkability/Final Thoughts: Another winner from Victory! Overall a very well balanced, smooth, surprisingly easy-to-drink beer. Not nearly as monstrous as it's made out to be. I could easily enjoy 2-3 bottles over the course of a winter's evening with a couple good cigars.

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

I grabbed a case of these from Victory on release day and I've been drinking them on and off for the past few weeks. Poured a clear, deep brown with a thick cap of brown/beige bubbles. Good head retention, thick lacing to start, becoming more spotty towards the end. Nutty aroma, some caramel and cocoa, light roast with a hint of grassy hops. Same in the flavour, but with more sweetness, milk chocolate, more grassy hops (surprisingly), and a bit more roast. Nicely balanced, with bitterness and faint tartness lingering, along with a delicate spicy warmth. The body was just above medium, carbonation was moderate, decent texture. Alcohol is well hidden. Highly drinkable, especially given the abv. It's definitely nice having (part of) a case kicking around the house.

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Photo of BeerTruth
4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber poured into a nonic.

Pours a dark brown/black with a ruby outline. Creamy one finger light khaki colored head that slowly descends to a thin frothy layer. Some thin layers of stickiness left behind, not a whole lot though. Smell consists of butter, milke chocolate, and dark fruits. Some woody scents with a touch of vanilla extract as well. Very smooth aroma, and very enjoyable. Sweet coffee flavors up front with hints of vanilla and maple syrup. Caramel malt and a slight citrus hop bite find their way on the tongue as well. Brown sugar and molasses in the aftertaste. Smooth light to medium body with a tingling carbonation. I'm not a huge fan of the style, but this beer is pretty damn good. Very solid brew from Victory, I'm curious as to what some age would do to this one.

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

thanks to Apriluvsbeer for the chance to try this beer!

A - dark auburn, almost black in color with a huge billowy tan head.

S - bakers chocolate, caramel and coffee notes dominate.

T - similar to the aroma but with a touch of tartness at the end of the sip.

M - medium bodied, smooth and nicely carbonated.

D - nice approachable brew.

I have had the chance to try the heavyweight version that inspired this beer. the young version was to raw, the aged version (6 years) was spectacular. This new brew seems to cut down the middle and produce a nice baltic porter.

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

Appearance: deep dark black with hints of brown, but nearly opaque. Viscous looking, decent lacing.

Smell: Surprisingly timid for a BP. little hints of vanilla and maple as well as roasted grain.

Taste: Somewhat sweet upfront with the maple flavor and also some fruity flavors as well. The hops have a quick pop in the middle and then it just kind of fades.

Overall: Very easy drinking for the style, although this beer left me wanting more. For a BP it just wasn't bold enough in my opinion, still an enjoyable beer.

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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.

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