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Baltic Thunder | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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Baltic ThunderBaltic Thunder
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 926 |  Reviews: 539
Photo of merlin48
4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber pours a clear chestnut body that sits opaque in the tasting glass. Small tan head has good patchy lacing.

Aroma opens with fruity figs and dates. Black pepper and milk chocolate notes quickly follow.

Mouthfeel has a medium body with a soft, low medium carbonation.

Taste is pleasantly complex, as per style. Sweet fruity prunes and figs, milk chocolate, toffee and caramel, a touch of coffee(thankfully just a hint) and just a whisper of warming alcohol.

One of the better American examples of a Baltic porter, certainly, but doesn't equal its mythical ancestor, Pekuno's Hammer.

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

Pours black with an off white head. Smells of chocolate, licorice, dark fruits, and coffee. Tastes of chocolate, cherries, coffee. Sweet and smooth with medium body and carbonation.

A great Baltic Porter especially after it warms up.

I tried this side by side with Perkuno's Hammer(Thanks Beerloco!) and it wasn't nearly as good as Perkuno's, which reminded me a bit of Okocim. It could have just been the age on the Hammer though.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The 'Thunda' is a medium brown color with a tan creamy head, good retention and average lacing.

Roasty, chocolaty nose. I get some dark fruitiness in there as well. Fairly light nose for such a big beer.

Has a roasty, toasty hoppy flavor. Why does the label claim this is a lager? Not sure, but the light nose and the thin body would make more sense. Alcohol taste is pretty prevalent, a bit too boozy for me. Alot of fruitiness comes forth as the beer warms. I also get some oak chip like lingering effect in the throat. Has some astringency as well. It's a decent enough beer, but I cant say that I love it.

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Photo of sleazo
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A_Pours a very dark brown, slightly opague with some ruby red highlights when held to the light. A tan soapy head sits there for about a minute before dissolving into a wisp of cap. Lacing is minimal.

S_A bit mild but pleasant combination of deep roasted malt with coffee and dark chocolate highlights.

T_A sweet roasted coffee hits at first followed up by a good dose of astringency. Some alcohol heat is present and the finish somehow manages to be fairly dry. Licorice and spicy hops are also present in varying degrees throughout.

M_Medium to medium rich body with an aggressive carbonation. The dry finish is a nice touch for a beer that starts out sweet.

D_Pretty spot on style-wise. Another good brew from Victory and on par with some of the better Baltics.

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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.

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Photo of Jayli
3.26/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a clear dark DEEP brown, that when held to the light has some reddish tinge to it. A thick light tan head forms with decent retention. Lacing is left the entire way down the glass. Smell is of caramel, light chocolate, very malty, aroma is subdued for its strength though. Taste leaves a bit to be desired. It is a bit nutty, caramel, a bit of sourness in the finish, malty but really bland. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with light to medium carbonation. Not a bad beer, but not one that I will pick up again.

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Photo of MrMonkey
4.34/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an extremely dark brown, almost black, with ruby highlights when held to the light. A two-finger tan head fades slowly to a thin cap. No lacing.

Smell is dark chocolate, cherries, figs, lightly roasted coffee beans, brown sugar, and a hint of vanilla.

Taste begins with chocolate covered cherries, toffee and some vanilla. Prunes and burnt sugar lead to a strong bitter coffee finish.

Medium-bodied mouthfeel. It feels a little thin for the style.

Great drinkability. Very tasty and very smooth. Wish I had a couple more of these.

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Photo of SLeffler27
3.87/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An average, taupe froth blooms over a dark brown beer and quickly settles to a sparse lace while a leggy film coats the tulip glass.

Nuts and maple syrup are followed by mold and butter with hints of port wine.

Toffee and butter upon entry with heavy sweetness followed by a light tartness and a bitter finish.

Baltic Thunder is a full-bodied beer that occupies the palate, has soft carbonation and a notable presence of alcohol.

A fine beer as an aperitif or possibly an ice cream float.

Date consumed: 25 August 2008

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Photo of BeTheBall
2.88/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Dark brown and opague, nice head but quickly dissipated; little to no lacing.

S: Nice roasted malt aroma

T: Too sweet, not well balanced and out of style IMO.

M: sort of flat and not very satisfying

D: probaly won't go back for another due to my not liking the taste very much and lack of mouthfeel.

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Photo of tpd975
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Sea Bass for this one.

A: Pours a very deep dark black hue with a small head. Not retention or lace.

S: Very malty up front with a nice roasted quality. Notes of chocolate and coffee.

T: Very similar to aroma. Bold blast of roasted malt. Bitter coffe melds into chocolate with a bit of dark fruit in the finish.

M: Medium in body with great carbonation.

D: Good, a solid example of the style.

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Photo of scruffwhor
2.95/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a pretty dark brown with garnet highlights. Just a quick film of head after the pour that goes down to nothing in a flash. Muted roast, maybe some black currant nuances. Just a touch of bandaides though. Maybe some marshmellows, roasted pumpenickle bread. But some medicinal flavors sour the atertaste. The palate is a little bitter and choppy. The alcohol breathes some warmth through the nose. A little hard to drink.

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Photo of NCSUdo
3.67/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle

A: Deep brown under a tiny off white head. No lace, no retention.

S: A roasted kind of nutty aroma. Maybe some chocolate and coffee sprinkled in but really and underwhelming aroma.

T: Again, mostly a light roasted character. Bit of toffee and maybe some caramel. Mild bitterness to finish with some chocolate and nuttiness.

M/D: Full bodied and a bit prickly. Drinkability is alright. Overall, just a better than average beer for me, but the taste does carry the beer somewhat.

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Photo of JRed
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a black drink with a dissipating cinnamon head. A flavorful creamy chocolate aroma flows very well. Flavors of chocolate covered black cherries, malty, toffee, alcoholic burn. That alcoholic burn lies in the aftertaste and lingers at the back of the tongue for a while which is a big turn off. Heavy, milky body with an alcoholic sting. Not my bag baby but some palates could love it.

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Photo of TMB0424
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

1 Pint 6 fl oz. bomber. Poured into pint glass

Pours a clear, amber brown body with a light tan head that quickly depleted into a fine ring. Amber/mahogany hue when held to the light. Left virtually no lacing.

Smells of sweet, sugared malts. Dark candied fruits. Expecting this to be very sweet, but smells delicious nonetheless. A hint of nuts, barley thrown in the background as well.

Taste is of sweet malts, like the smell. A nice little hint of smoke as well. An oak-like, dark cherry flavor hits after the malts fade away. The malts, as well as the other flavors, are very subdued (not over the top at all) and meld very well together. No hop presence, as expected. Very good.

The mouthfeel is somewhat lacking, however. It's a very light porter, what I think they were going for, but I think if it was a little heavier on the palate it would be a lot better.

The lighter mouthfeel only makes this brew easier to drink. Especially since the alcohol is completely masked. I literally don't detect it at all - even in the finish. Very easy to drink, sip on. In my opinion, Victory is hit or miss - this is one of their hits. Recommended.

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Photo of Globetrotter
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hand-carried from Pennsylvania to Vienna (thanks Jeff and Chris!), the bomber looks just like the picture here. The brew pours a very dark but clear cola brown under a two finger deep tan head that fades a bit too quickly and fails to muster any lace. The nose is rich and strong, full of caramel and nuts, with just a touch of smoke. The mouth is thick, but not sticky, leaving the palate rather clean. The taste is as a porter should be, but not knock-your-socks-off good. There's roasted nuts and caramel, plus a touch of plum in the opening, chased by a respectable, certainly not overwhelming hops presence that leaves a coffee bitter feel in the aftertaste. The fruit and coffee linger in roughly equal proportion long after the liquid is gone. This is a solid, but not a spectacular product.

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

Aroma is rich and smoky, and has hints of coffee and molasses. Color is a barely translucent dark brown with a thick, tan, fairly persistent head. Flavor has quite a strong nip to it, like hard liquor. Other than that, it is somewhat typical of a good porter, like roast coffee with hints of molasses and unsweetened chocolate. Texture is smooth and tingly, very pleasant to swallow.

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Photo of ccrida
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Victory night it is, after a long weekend in PA, it seems appropriate! 22oz bottle (thx again gpcollen1!) that I've cellared for about 8 months (enjoy by Jan 2, 09 - about 1 year old?) poured into my large St. Feuillien goblet, Baltic Thunder is a dark, blackish brown with a small tan head that leaves no lace.

Smell is slightly sweet, roasted malts and raisins, loads of oats. Atypical but nice.

Taste really hits the spot, it could be that I've been drinking sugary Belgians all night, and had low expectations for whatever reason, but it's not bad. Not really a classic BP though, the grainy, oatiness from the nose follows though on the taste, lacking the rich depth I'm looking for...really tastes like an (granted rather nice) oatmeal stout to me, light on the roast, which suits me just fine.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, average viscosity but with a creamy, supple carbonation.

Drinkability is pretty good, even if this isn't the greatest example of a BP, it's very smooth. Haven't had it fresh, but it certainly seems to have held up well after almost a year, though I'm not sure I'd let it run to much longer, but who knows? Not a great BP, but a tasty beer. I followed the hype on Heavyweight redoing this one at Victory, living in PA in the past, and then the discord on this rendition...while I wish I had the first version, and love a real deal BP, I enjoyed this, and if it was in a more reasonably priced 12 oz. package, I'd probably pick it up again. I grade everything else by style, but not here - it's a very good beer.

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Photo of yesyouam
3.46/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Victory Baltic Thunder is a red-brown lager with a small off-white ring of a head. The aroma is of deep, sweet malt, dark wood, cherry and resin. It is medium-bodied, quite smooth and a little syrupy. It tastes much like the aroma. It's resiny, dark and oaken. Nice, unique beer.
(rated May 29, 2008)

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Photo of Greenlabel
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For some reason, I've been intimidated by the label on this product. I'm not a fan of Porters or of high alcohol products so this one seemed like it might be daunting.

I bought a 22 oz. bomber back in February and its been sitting in my refrigerator until now watching the parade of IPA's, Octoberfests, Bocks, etc. go in and out. Tonight I noted it had a "Best By" date of 12/08 so decided it was now or never. Surprise - I enjoyed it.

Doesn't have a long-lasting head and the smell is less than what I would have expected. However, the malty/coffee taste was appealing. The biggest surprise of all was the lack of a higher alcohol feel even though it was 8.5%. Obviously not a session beer but, despite my preference for IPA's, one I might purchase again particularly if it came out in 12 oz. bottles rather than bombers. If nothing else, I'm no longer intimidated by the label.

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Photo of SaucyA
3.6/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a rather transparent deep brown into the snifter. The head is basically non-existant, and what is there for a brief moment quickly vanishes into the brown mass below. Opaque as it gains volume, I can't help but be a little underwhelmed. No lacing. No legs.

S - Roasty malts are about as far as this one wants to go. Walnuts and flavored coffee waft about, but this is basically a giant malt bomb. No discernable alcohol. Not standout, but not bad. Molasses as it warms.

T - There's something in here that I'm not 100% on, and I like it. Lots of rich dessert flavors like mocha, toffee, chocolate, vanilla (?), no booze. Maybe a little bit of prune. Nothing very smokey, and no real "beat-you-in-the-face" malt profile. It's light, and a good drinker, but could stand to be a little bigger all around.

M - Good mouthfeel. Carbonation is smooth and limited, and the body is rather big without going overboard.

D - Drinkability is up there due to lack of alcohol, and lack of boldness. Almost sessionable... which is kinda retarded for a Baltic Porter.

Notes: Never had Perkuno's Hammer but I can only imagine how good it was.

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Photo of Vendetta
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Original Rating Date:
December 7, 2008

Pours thickly, black, medium head, quickly dissipating. Aroma is malty. Flavor is roasted, coffee beans, some chocolate sweetness. Thick mouthfeel, creamy, good finish, a tad bit too much carbonation. Very good, worth the try.

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

pours a black with a red tint when held up to the light, thin tan head, good lacing.

smell is of cocoa, oats, hay, and some roasted nuts.

taste is of chocolate, coffee, some nuts, touch of licorice, and malt in the back, ends a little bitter and somewhat dry.

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Photo of yossarian14
2.92/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22oz Bomber with a "Enjoy by Dec 31, 08"

Poured into a tumbler with poor results. I swear it looked just like a Coke. Same light-cream colored fizzy little bubbled head, which vanished almost immediately. Smells like caramel and coffee with sweetness dominating. Tastes malty with caramel and toffee flavors and an light background tang that proves to be the most interesting component. The mouthfeel full-bodies and smooth finishing prickly. It seems flat but still has a corbonated feel.

I was looking forward to this beer and feel disappointed. I took this from a 60 degree cellar and only refrigerated for a half-hour. I think it should have been served a little colder, but I don't think it would have changed everything. I'm not against trying this one again, as I am usually happy with the Victory line on beers.

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Photo of IgnatiusReilly
3.57/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a pint glass.

Pours dark chocolate brown with a thin tan head - retention is minimal. Not too much lace on the glass at all, and the head reduces quickly to nothing. Hint of black cherry and toffee in the nose, a little bit of licorice. Full of flavor: chocolate, licorice, plum, roasty malt, finishing dry with the 8.5% ABV coming out. Full body as well, big and slightly viscous. Goes down smooth. Little to zero carbonation bite. Fairly drinkable, not fatiguing at all on the palate, the entire 22oz goes down very easily.

Admittedly I'm not very familiar with this style. It was a full beer, tasty and easy to drink. I enjoyed it, but one is good for now.

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

With a label adorned with a fuzzy, optometrically-incorrect image of the "Baltic God of Thunder" blowing a gale at the drinker, the 22-ounce bomber bottle from Victory is decanted into an imperial pint willi glass. The resultant close-up glamour shot features a dark-brownish ruby body with a finger-deep cap of light tan foam atop. The sheet of bubbles gracing the surface of the drink retreats very quickly, resting at a ring that leaves no lacing to speak of.

The smell is perfumey and darkly fruity with bitter mocha and the grainy twang of sour molasses. A slightly-burnt note lingers underneath, toiling amiably with a mild floral sweetness.

The taste is darkly malty with bitter coffee, mild caramel and crispy toffee layered in. Flavors of undersweetened milk chocolate and alkaline, dusty cocoa complement an indistinct green fruitiness that sweetens the profile.

The drink is on the lighter side of medium-bodied with nice carbonation and feel. The alcohol is well-hidden and the beer quite drinkable.

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Baltic Thunder from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 926 ratings
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