Baltic Thunder | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

very good
926 Ratings
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 Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 926 |  Reviews: 539
Photo of ZeroSignal
3.18/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a DFH Snifter

A - Ruby brown pour with a fizzy, one finger, two-toned head (medium brown and toasted marshmallow). Head dissipates rapidly and leaves very little behind...almost makes me think I cleaned my glass wrong (but I didn't). Lacing minimal.

S - Malty nose has bits of brown sugar, molasses, caramel, and something of a somewhat spicy quality

T&M - Big caramel and dark roasted malt hit with a defined sweetness. Hops are on the lighter side, as they should be, and bring a bit of balance with an earthy, herbal and somewhat peppery bit. Alcohol is well hidden, with just a touch of solvency in the finish, with a lingering, almost sticky finish. Seems a bit thin...lighter medium body

D - Honestly, I think I was expecting a bit more from this one. It feels very "minimal" to me, and the solvency seemed to build over the course of the drink. Sweetness also seemed to build over time...not a bad beer by any stretch, but one I'm not likely to revisit

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Photo of Chyren
3.82/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark dark ruddy brown and clear with a minimal head. The smell is quite nice, reminds me of winter with some alcohol warmth, roastiness, caramel, molasses molasses molasses. Tastes similar to its smell, it is sweet but not syrupy, with hints of black cherry, something of a thinner body, bubbly as opposed to frothy, with a dark malt bitterness to it. It is fairly easy to drink and it warms the belly but it would nice nice with a little more thickness. A nice cold weather brew. Would buy again.

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Photo of MadCat
4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have to start off saying, this bottle is a month past the "expiration date" (1/27/11) but I figured thats more of a CYA/Bottle Date kind of thing. BA says Baltic Porters can be cellared, and a Victory rep said the age should have a positive effect on it. I would like to try a younger version to compare.

Appearance: Dark reddish brown, very clear. Minimal head, no lacing.

Smell: Light roasted coffee, hints of roasted malty goodness, hints of smokiness.

Taste: Light roasted coffee, roasted malt, some malty sweetness. Some smokiness, some toffee notes, some dark chocolate. Some bitterness, but only really enough to keep it balanced.

Mouthfeel: Very light carbonation, feels appropriate. Somewhat thick.

Drinkability: Goes down easy, hides the abv. Enjoyable.

Overall: Quite good, very complex. It seems like all of the flavors have married well. I wish there were more Baltic Porters available so I can compare and see how this falls within the style.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to ChrisPro for sending this out in Blind BIF #4. Served in a Hill Farmstead wine glass.

Pours a very dark brown color with a moderate off-white head that sticks around for a bit and comes back up with a good swirl. The nose brings forward a good amount of roast along with a bit of dark fruit. Mild chocolate there as well. Interesting. Taste brings forward quite a bit of dark fruits along with a hint of molasses. I would guess that there was some Special B used in this. Quite tasty and the yeast is bringing a nice presence. A touch of chocolate and roast as well. Medium body with low-ish levels of carbonation. Drinks really quite well. A touch of booze in the finish; I really like this beer. Drinks quite well and figuring out the style is a bit difficult.

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Photo of VMWhelan
4.29/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

Pours a dark reddish brown with very little head and average lacing.

Smells of sweet roasted malt, caramel, toffee, chocolate, and coffee.

Taste is sweeter than I expected. Very pleasant, well balanced mild flavors. All of the aformentioned smells are there in the flavor, with sweet chocolate standing out the most. Some slight fruitiness in the middle and a little bit of bittering and alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel is slightly carbonated and semi-viscous/chewy. Right on point.

Drinkability is good. Everything about this is good, but its a little filling, though it may just be my stomach at the moment.


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Photo of mikem0487
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16oz bottle poured into an ale glass

A-Two finger head that dissipated quickly, leaving very little lacing. Dark brown with a slight red hue to it.

S-Toffee and coffee dominate. Has a small hint of tart cherry licorice after the toffee/coffee smell.

T-The coffee/toffee taste are right there dominating your palate. Very good. Slight alcohol taste, very minimal. Can't tell its 8.5% ABV though.

M-Smooth with little carbonation. Very low viscosity, flows right over the tongue.

D-High drinkability for a porter. Could drink a couple of these through out the night. My dad who does not know that much about beer said that it was a very drinkable beer and hes right!

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Photo of theo871
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into perfect pint. Stamped with an enjoy by 01/07/12 freshness date, so I'm guessing this is pretty fresh.

Pours a dark brown with hints of red. Thin head quickly dissipates and leaves behind very little lacing.

Smells of roasted malt, smokiness and chocolate.

Tastes roasty, sweet, little alcohol on the finish.

Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, smooth.

Drinkability is quite high for such a high ABV. Goes down smooth, almost too smooth.

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

Don't remember when I picked this bad boy up, but glad I did. 22oz bottle poured into an oversized snifter glass during #snowmageddon 2011. A ridiculous winter blizzard calls for a beer like this.

Dark brown/ruby appearance with a thin layer of tannish-head. Vanishes to form a thin ring around the glass in a minute or two.

The smell of this brew is outstanding, definitely true to the Baltic porter style. An heavy amount of smoke and sweetness pairs with a slight tone of dark fruits. I'll say I'm not a huge fan of smokey beers, but this aroma is stellar.

The taste of Baltic Thunder is a mix of smokey, chocolatey and toffee. The smokey aroma mentioned before doesn't dominate the taste, thank god. A tinge of candied fruit dances around the tongue mid swallow, but again doesn't dominate the overall flavor.

Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, medium to full body. Just the right consistency. A lip-smacking chewyness invites you to keep drinking.

It's 8.5%abv is masked nicely. Not sure I'd have more than 2 at a time, but the alcohol is just not persistent with this one. As far as Baltic porters go, this one is a winner in my book.

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Photo of JayS2629
3.87/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tried at a tasting in a sample glass.

A- Deep dark brown with reddish hints, creamy tan head that fades fast and leaves little rings of lace.

S- Chocolate and coffee balanced well with hint of earthy hops and licorice notes.

T- Malty, porter taste with cocoa and coffee notes. Hint of licorice.Slight mineral notes.

M- Medium bodied, a little watery for a porter

D- Easy to drink, but nothing stood out

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Photo of engagechad
4.45/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I brought this beer home from Capital Ale house last night in a growler - poured into a Victory tulip glass (how fitting)..

Although my experience with pouring from a growler is limited to this one occasion, I did manage to get some good head on this beer with moderate lacing. This beer smells incredible! A lot of sweet malts and maybe some brown sugar notes in there which I love and the taste backs it up. When I was drinking this brew I forgot that I was having a porter for a minute so I had to take into account this deviation from the style when reviewing. The beer is sweet and malty, almost like a big brown ale so that was a little misleading, however I loved the beer.

This beer is amazing on the mouth and under the tongue, and VERY drinkable for it's ABV. I had about 22oz of this beer within about 15 minutes and I usually never do that, it was just that dern delicious.

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

Poured into a large mug (full bomber in a single pour).

Pours a cola color with a touch of red, making a mahogany-lie color.

Surprisingly, the first thing that hit me in the aroma was vanilla. A little bit of nuttiness as well, with a slight sense of alcohol.

Taste was pretty nice. Lots of roasted malts, with a dark-roast coffee bitterness. The sweetness comes in the form of a little bit of vanilla and a bit of toffee, both mild in comparison to the coffee.

Mouthfeel is nearly perfect for the flavors. Just a bit of stickiness, but mostly clean. The coffee bitterness goes fairly quickly, which is a nice quality.

Drinkability is solid. The flavors are interesting yet mild.

This was my first experience with this style; I didn't even realize there was a "Baltic" Porter style. Really nice style, though. Sweet, complex porter flavors but with a lager cleanliness to the finish.

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

A fine, serviceable Baltic-type porter. I actually attended the "premiere" of this beer at some peculiar, misguided, gothic-smeared, carved-out crater of a "beer bar" in the Tropicana in AC, NJ - look up the spot if you want. No one was there...

I'll admit that it, for better or worse, adheres remarkably close to the description of the style outlined in the BJCP guidelines ( - minus the dark, dried-fruit prominence and licorice/molasses characteristics.

I mostly get mildly coffee(nutty)-roasty, chocolate malt dominating the taste and a clean, smooth ale/lager hybrid feel. Comes across primarily as a porter, but with a moderately light, almost Dunkel bent to the experience. Hops are subdued in aroma and overall taste - the soft bitterness likely derived from the dark malts.

This is a decent drinking beer, for sure. The 8.5 is hardly noticeable and, therefore, this can be enjoyed in mass quantity.

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Photo of flannelman808
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a columbian coffee brown brown with a heaping portion of raspberry syrup and in the light the red shines through as does the light... this is a rather clear beer. A very light tan head tops it off and has poor retention. I will say oddly it seems to be sticking to the glass rather well (ie good lacing).

S: Some mocha qualities though they are rather played down. Perhaps a minor fruity note as well... Once again I'm going with raspberry, perhaps milk chocolate covered.

T: Ok so this is sort of a weird brew. Seemingly subtle and then flavors sort of develop late. Milk chocolate, and a subtle boysenberry comes to mind. All of this is followed by some boozy hoppy bitterness. This beer is a great example of why we don't always use the tip of our tongue to taste sweetness. It's flavors effect the mid and back palate of ones mouth and argue if you... simply not the front.

M: light onset yet heavy finish

D: um... a little boozy and sweet for me.. this is lower than avg.

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

When I visiting friends in Tallin, Estonia in the late '90's I remember how easily the Estonians made winter seem; jackets unzipped, mini-skirts & high heels slushing through the late winter's dirty black snow. Farmer's markets in near freezing conditions. Life goes on and this is just how it is when you live in a cool temperate climate. That hardened, unblinking look in people's eyes; This coldness is nothing compared the unbearable frozen world from which we have just thawed. It made me appreciate the wind on my cheeks; an affirmation of Life, freedom.

This bottle of Victory - Baltic Porter brings me back to that time; bus trips through Latvia and Lithuinia, friendly chats in ancient stone carved Estonian bars over Irish coffees, Baltic porters & lagers. The sense of human kindness (and alcohol) warming any cold-front or downtrodden spirit fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to cross it's path. Discovering family in forms of temporary friendships, bonds of energy wrapped up in moments, unforgettable and only once.

With these memories resurfaced I pour the dark reddish brown liquid into my glass. A thin head arrives, as a greeting, then quickly disappears.

The distinct smell of a Fluffernutter sandwich brings me back to being 8 and lunchtime at my Auntie Di's house; taking a break from swimming in the above-ground pool with my cousins, all sun burns & baby fat. Toasty marshmallow & crunchy peanut butter make strange, but interesting (and delicious) bed fellows.

The taste here is all toffee and weak coffee (aka: hot brown). Yummy and easy-to-drink with a slight natural sweetness and solid roasted backbone. This would be quite session-able (and I wished I had another) if it wasn't hovering at 8.5% ABV. The high alcohol volume is well hidden and it is to blame for my ramblings.

Enjoy this on a cold night with a head full of memories.

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Photo of EkimGram
3.69/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark roasty brown with a thin head that dissipates fairly quickly. No visible carbonation.

Smell: Sweet, roasty malts, a slight hint of alcohol.

Taste: Lots of the roasty burnt flavour. Some bitter notes in the middle. Finishes slightly boozy and sweet.

Mouthfeel: Slight to moderate amounts of carbonation. Semi-medium body that is smooth and silky.

Drinkability: A very solid beer. The hop presence is rather strong but it is balanced pretty well with the roasty flavour profile. A fuller body may be nice.

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Photo of stewart124
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark ruby red with a centimeter of tan head.

Toffee and hazelnut in the nose some coffee

Plenty of roasted malt character with milk chocolate mousse notes. Medium bodied with a nice toffee/caramel and for lack of a better description 'milkyway candibar' finish. This is all malt for sure. Layers and layers of sweetness.

Mild bitterness with little to no hop character. Alcohol is slightly warming but fairly subdued and after 2 years in the basement these layers mellow. In the finish I get some cherry and currants.

This is a very nice baltic porter.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.62/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First note a distinctly graham cracker nose that shortly leaves, but was nice while around. Darker malt, a little alcohol, darker fruit.
Head seems to leave abruptly. Dark largely clear beer with red highlights.
Flavor with strong toastiness and very dry. Some dark fruit and an apparent alcohol taste.
Soft and filling carbonation, yet still a thinness to body.
Drinks fine, but somehow this beer isn't as satisfying as I desired or hoped for.
Thanks Bry.

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Photo of pants678
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The deepest brown, no head to speak of just a light beige.

The hops come off first then toffee, coffee--sorta mocha-y.

Same as the nose, the hops are prominent. So bitter it's hard to to tell the back from the font, not necessarily bad. A lack of chocolate, nuts and toffee are most prevalent. Hits the edges of the tongue and it's quite pungent. Not staining, but striking.

The hop presence keeps the weight down. For a porter, I could keep this glass full.

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Photo of bsp77
3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from bomber into Snifter.

Appearance: Rich, dark mahogany with thick initial light brown head but just leaves a few whispies.

Smell: Chocolate, caramel, cherry and noble hops. A little restrained.

Taste: Very malty and sweet, with chocolate, toffee, cherry and just a touch of coffee and spicy noble hops, especially toward the finish.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, fairly smooth lager body.

Drinkability: Nice sipper but comes across as more of a sweet Doppelbock, as the roasted qualities are a little too restrained. Not Victory's shining moment, but still quite tasty and good to try.

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Photo of Sudsy89
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle, chilled.

Pours a dark brown, almost black. Has a low level of carbonation, average-size head. Looks nice, like an Imperial Stout but perhaps not as dark. Aroma is similar, lots of roasted malts and coffee/chocolate in the taste as well. I think it was less bitter than I expected, and at 8.5% abv, it seems surprisingly drinkable. I enjoyed the flavors, although as other reviewers have said, it is on the sweet side. This is a good porter, would be a good intro to the style or perhaps before trying an Imperial Stout.

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Photo of sraimondi
2.72/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had not had this for quite some time, so I was very interested in revisiting it, especially during our first snow storm of the year.

A--Marginally on style, as it was just a bit too light in color when compared to the seminal Baltics from Northern Europe.

S--Malt is prevalent, with some very faint fruity esters. While the style doesn't call for much hops in the nose, the malt breadiness was a bit too much, IMHO, for the style. The benchmark BPs also have more alcohol in the smell.

T--As with the smell, malt is the prevalent feature. Unfortunately, it was right on the boundary of cloying, hence my low rating here, given the style. BPs need to have some hops characteristics, which may be masked in the end. This beer is just way too malty/sweet for the style.

MF--Nice and full with some carbonation, quite good.

D--The ABV is well masked, no hotness, although I think, given the style, in the end, this is a shortcoming.

This is an odd brew. On the one hand, it is a very well made beer, although a bit out of balance; too sweet. On the other hand, it is just not on style and doesn't closely resemble the benchmarks for this style.

Personally, I think it is closer to a doppelbock. Anyway, an enjoyable drink, especially in a snow storm, just not on style.


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Photo of crossovert
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle.

It pours a dark brown with a quickly dissipating off-white/tan head.

The smell is reminiscent of an American porter because it has a huge coffee scent along with some cocoa.

The taste reminds one more of Baltic porter. It has a subtle fruitiness, still a bit much with the coffee flavor. There is some chocolate and caramel in there as well.

The flavor perhaps doesn't go as far as it could with a Baltic porter and it is a bit over roasty for the style, but it is a very nice beer.

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

Poured from a bomber into a Duvel tulip. Dark but with red hues and light passes through the beer as I near halfway through. Tan head with big bubbles faded and left lacing which eventually disappears. Still a nice looking pour. I'm really excited about this beer. Even the bottle is cool.

The smell is of chocolate, dark fruit and even some wild cherry. Taste is rich in malty flavors with a complementary spiciness from the alcohol and some welcome bitterness on the finish. There's a light smokiness and some fruitiness in there as well. The alcohol contributes to the flavor rather than detract like some higher ABV ales. Not too much of anything here, a really balanced flavor. Less of the burnt coffee taste than some other porters, but the alcohol and hops serve that purpose and keep the sweetness in check. This should be a taste that almost all porter lovers will enjoy to some degree. I find it delicious. It was a perfect complement to my wife's homemade Southern fried chicken.

The mouthfeel is right on the money, kind of medium to rich and full, and not a bit of wateriness. Light carbonation is appropriate for the style. Oh goodness is this drinkable! I had some before dinner, during and now after with a pipe of aged Virginia/perique. No problem at all finishing the bomber all by my lonesome.

I am really impressed with Baltic Thunder, as I have been with all the Victory beers I've had. This one is right up there with all my favorite porters and Baltic porters. I'll be buying more that's for sure.

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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!

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Photo of TheHoppiest
4.47/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a deep mahogany brown with glints of garnet. A very modest head disappears almost instantly, leaving a wisp of soapy tan floating up top.

Smells oaty, with pleasant biscuit-malt overlaid with a nose tingle of alcohol. Toffee and coffee notes are also present.

Tastes very nice; has a nice, roasted coffee taste, mellow yet distinct, with hints of chocolate and toffee. An almost bready malt gives this a full bodied taste. Ends slightly bitter for a nice finish.

Full mouthfeel, smooth yet bold, with a slight bitter feeling around the tongue and inside of the mouth.

This is an excellent porter, certainly one of the better I've had this year. Full and delicious, I would absolutely have this brew again.

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