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

Very dark ruby body that looks dark brown at first. Resists head formation, but it retains enough of it to remind you that it isn't flat. Oaky vanilla and sugar right away, hints of coffee and plumb closer to the finish. Light anise flavors come and go. It all works together very nicely. Definitely some roasted qualities, but not as much as I was expecting. Just enough booziness to remind you that you are drinking a baltic porter. Not bad at all. Bubbly mouthfeel, with a little viscosity. Alcohol gets to your head before you even realize it.

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Photo of Bung
3.87/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Clear black pour with nice dark brown around the edges. Minimal head. Roasty malt, chocolate aromas. A fair of carbonation in the mouth. Very nice standard porter flavors. Malt, peat, chocolate and a small amount of coffee. I wouldn't say this is outstanding as a baltic, but a really good flavored standard porter with some extra alcohol. Should be heavier bodied. A bit of a dangerous drinkability for the abv.

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
2.47/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

22oz bomber poured into an imperial pint glass.

Deep dark brown with black highlights, topped with a two finger thick head that disappears into a thin ring. Aroma is not as creamy as I was expecting, I mean it smells creamy but in a chemical sort of way. Husky sweet malt, bits of chocolate chips. Slightly boozy, a bit grainy, just feels lacking all around, like a watered down version of a Baltic porter. there are a lot of just plain old porters with a bigger body and flavor profile than this beer. Frankly I am disappointed in this beer because this style is one of my recent favorites. Would not recommend, many better options available for the same price or less.

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Photo of corby112
3.69/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Zot in Philadelphia, PA.

Pours pitch black with a huge frothy beige head. Aroma of roasty malts, chocolate and coffee. A ton of oatmeal up front followed by roasted coffee and chcolate maltiness. Hints of caramel and toffee with a sweet yet bitter dry finish.

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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 biegaman
4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Despite a wash of cola and glints of russet brown, the beer decidedly settles on wearing black. It's a wonderful looking inky tone with the gloss of new, finely polished marble. Even more colour is revealed to the light. Its walnut stained head is fully capable of covering the top in entirety but seems insistent on residing only around the perimeter.

Victory seems to have captured all the eccentric peculiarities of the Baltic Porter style. Its full bodied aroma is complex with a very rich malty sweetness and notes of bitter smoked chocolate. With further traces of dark caramel, roast toffee, black licorice, nuts, cold coffee and dark currants you can pick your favourite feature and sniff it out all you like.

All these wonderful scents arise from the flavours that lay beneath them. An identical cast of ingredients can be tasted even more vividly than they are smelt. A bunch of thick, syrupy blackstrap molasses, a dash of roast coffee, a touch of black licorice, hazelnut and brasil nut, hints of cocoa coated dark caramels and a trace of dark fruits and currants. Sound good?

Although a few pats on the back are well deserved already by this point, I commend Victory most for hitting that delicate - but necessary - level of roast just right. It's a deep, deep toast rather than a sweltering, full out fry and it adds just a perfect amount of caramelization and nutty character. Oh, and those hops didn't go undetected either - again, nice touch!

One last kudos to Victory for putting this into bombers, a decision which I could not be happier about. With plenty of flavour (but still no alcohol) coming with warming, this sized serving is perfect to cuddle up to on a cold, rainy night. I'm a big fan of Baltic Porters and this is not only true to style, but also one of the best examples I've come across.

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Photo of jwinship83
4.31/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- black body with a finger of beige colored head..

S- lots of milk chocolate, some alcohol, and licorice.

T- very chocolaty. licorice can be tasted too. not a hint of booze. coffee or maybe hops on the finish

M- thick and almost chewy. very smooth and mouth coating.

D- this one almost drinks itself. very easy to finish and im kicking myself that i only got one bomber of this. another win for victory, check this one out of you get the chance. a great example of a decently rare style. too bad this one isnt year round.

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.52/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber from the Liquor Shop in Tyngsborro, Mass. My first Victory beer! Pours a nearly opaque black body with ruby-red highlights and a quarter inch of short-lived light tan head. Hints of chocolate, caramel, and coffee characterize the aroma. Chocolate, coffee, caramel, toffee, a tinge of grassy hops. Full-bodied with ample carbonation. Way too drinkable for the flavor and ABV. Wow. A phenomenal beer; flavorful, balanced, one sip definitely invites another. The best Baltic porter I have ever had.

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Photo of Sycodrummer
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bomber into a snifter, the beer is a very dark brown, near black in color with hints a of ruby near the edges. Slightly more than one finger of white head was quick to form and soon to fade. Some sticky white lacing around the edges with few other signs of carbonation.

The nose is big on liquorice, malt, coffee, dark chocolate, some hints of mollasses, coffee grinds and pipe tobacco.

The taste hits with big rubust flavors of tobacco and liquorice upfront. Some anise with semi-sweet chocolate. A helft malt backbone with little to no hop presence. Taste of coffee syrup and an ever so slight dark roasted coffee bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium in body with slight prickly carbonation. Semi-viscous mouthfeel at warmer temps and a real palate coater at room temperature.

A very nice midly warming porter. Tobacco flavors a bit strong for my taste, but not so as to detract from beer. A style to which there is not much to compare, but an overall enjoyable beer.

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

I poured a bomber into a 23 ounce glass. It is a pretty impressive pour, jet black with a thin white head. I enjoyed the smell, rather boozy. There are hints of chocolate, but alchohol wins the day. This is a true malt bomb. There are hints of chocolate, coffee and alcohol in this brew. The finish is crisp and smooth. This beer is a medium bodied sipper and a damn enjoyable one.

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Photo of leif86
4.47/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drink by Dec 31, 2008.

Admittedly I haven't had many Baltic Porters to compare this to, but here goes.

A: A cola like head, that is to say, frothy and light brown and short to live. No lacing. The brew is near black but when held up to light allows a tiny bit of dark, dark ruby glow to appear on the edges.

S: Molasses much? Also some general maltiness. Beyond that I can't truly identify because of all the molasses.

T: Molasses, as can be expected, but with a slight fruitiness I wasn't expecting. Also, deliciously balanced at the end with some an oh-so-nice hoppy bitterness. Alcohol level is barely decipherable. Again, balance is the name of the game here.

M: Smooth yet creamy and crisp all at the same time. All the benefits of lager done well. Carbonation is near perfect.

D: Holy crap, give me some more. I could drink this all night and that's something I can't say about nearly any other porter - usually all the sweetness gets to me after a bit. Finally, a delicious winter brew without all that spiciness.

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

Essentially an understated drinkable Baltic Porter. The normal sourness of the style is understated and balanced. Chocolate malt,Licorice/anise,a dash of coffee, its in the smell and the taste. Basically a decent porter with high abv (undetectable).Average plus mouthfeel.

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Photo of nasty15108
3.76/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a goblet.

A - Poured black with slight ruby hues along the edges. The pour produced a head of tan foam that subsided into a thin ring of foam.

S - Hints ripe fruit an old black coffee, but dominated by a strong alcohol aroma with hints of something metallic.

T - More of the same. A good amount of coffee, smoke, and hints of vanilla detected. Much better than the aroma. Lots of heat from the alcohol presence.

MF&D - Overall a pretty nice porter. The ABV is high preventing this one from being good for a session. Much better warmed that straight from the fridge.

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

A Finger of a foamy light brownish white head that quickly dissipates to a very thin ring.

S Really smooth sweet chocolate, caramel, coffee roasts, vanilla, plum and dark cherries. Some sweet malt come through, making this a beautiful smell.

T Fruits and chocolate come first, and are fairly bold. Caramel and sweet malts to follow. Finishes with the bitter roasted coffee tastes that are seen in the scent. There is a lot of flavors here, just not presented in the smoothest manor. A little pepper on the tail that sits in the after taste.

M a little too carbonated for the style, a little too bitter.

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

Appretiation to IDateTheFormula for sending this bottle my way.

A - Pours a very dark brown with nice garnet highlights. The tan head topped out at just over one inch. Retention and lacing are average at best.

S - Starts out with chocolate (milk then bittersweet). Roasted notes follow rather quickly. Light charcoal aromas show up about midway. Warm alcohol finishes it up. Not bad.

T - Roasted notes really come through in the flavor. Kind of smoky with some burnt grain. Espresso starts to shine midway. Sweeter chocolate flavors round it out. Alcohol is present throughout and and stays pretty warm. Not bad at all.

M - Lighter in body than expected. Carbonation is on the low side and works well for this beer. Finish is sweet at first and ends on the dry side. Clean and smooth overall.

D - Drinkability is very good and where this beer truly starts to shine. This one does not come across as even close to 8.5 %. That, along with the relatively light body make this go down way to quick. No problem at all recommending this brew.

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Photo of macster
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

In recalling Heavyweight's Perkunos Hammer I must say, although I am a big fan of Victory's beers, this one falls a bit shy of the original.

Pours an opaque black producing a big, dense tan head which fades to a thin wisp of foam. Some spotty lacing as glass drains.

Presents aromas mostly of dark roasted malts, molasses and chocolate along with whiffs of vanilla and smoke.

Mouthfeel was surprisingly on the thin, watery side for a big Baltic Porter. Not enough chewiness or body for my liking relative to this style.

Flavors were much in line with the aroma and a tad more assertive. Tastes of burnt caramel, roasted malts, dark chocolate, molasses, toffee and a touch of charred wood came to mind. Overall a sweet flavor profile with a nice mild warming ethanol finish.

Not bad, but plenty of better Baltic Porters out in the market to sample.

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

Many thanks to hoppymeal for the bottle.

Appearance: It pours a nice dark brown color with some really nice ruby highlights around the edges. Sitting atop is a huge mocha colored head that stands two and a half fingers tall. Retention was good, but only left a light coat of lace on the glass.

Smell: The nose is relatively straight forward, but does have a nice smell. It features a solid blend of roasted and chocolate malts intially. The roasted variety seems to more prominent. There's a bit of a smoky quality to it that's subtle, but is nicely done and adds some character. Coffee is apparent but seems pretty well restrained. Light cherry and dark fruit aromas emerge late. Alcohol is lightly noteable, but doesn't offend.

Taste: Roasted and chocolate malts are the primary flavors. Roasted malts are indeed more prominent. It does feature a smoked taste that's very well done and adds a lot despite the fact that it's somewhat subtle. Cherry and dark fruit (raisin and plum) are secondary but complementary and flavorful. A coffee flavor is faintly noteable. Alcohol is easily noted, but well blended overall. It really doesn't present itself as strong even though it is 8.5%. Impressive.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It features a medium body and is nice and smooth. If it were a little thicker, it'd be more silky or creamy. As it is, simply smooth. Carbonation is very light. Drinkability is good, but one bomber is enough for me. At 8.5%, it's strong enough to respect, but it is nice and easy drinking.

Victory did a nice job with this one. It really doesn't have any glaring flaws and is an all around solid beer. It's not one of those beers that "wows," but it is so straight forward and solid that it impresses. Easily recommended.

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Photo of oakbluff
3.16/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bomber- pours a dark ruby with two finder beige head. Nose- sweet dark fruits, faint sweet malts. Taste- earthy, medium roast, stale sweetness. Light to medium body, roasty finsih. Nothing too exciting here, but drinkability isn't too bad. Not picking up the beans that have been added

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Photo of joe1510
3.47/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz Bomber
Wine Warehouse, Charlottesville

Victory's Baltic Thunder pours the darkest of browns with a hint of garnet showing through thinly along the sides of the glass. When backlit this beer lightens considerably with bright mahogany highlights throughout. The beige head grew to two fingers on the pour and quickly fell to a skim coat, a few seconds later there was nothing but a couple tiny islands of foam here and there with a small ring around the glass. The lack of head is a disappointment on this beer.

The aroma doesn't quite live up to that of a Baltic Porter. There's a subtle roastiness, as a matter of fact the entire aroma of this beer is subtle instead of the big robust aroma I like to find in the style. Mild dark fruits like plum and blackberry show up ghost-like but don't make much of a stand. Floral hops are noticeable, although mild, and bring some of that tea leaf like quality to the aroma.

The flavor follows the aroma pretty closely although there is a little more complexity involved. Roasty malts bring about a somewhat watery coffee bitterness as quick flashes of dark chocolate and barely noticeable dark berries. There's fusel alcohol that warms the throat and the nose after each sip. The flavors are a little on the weak side while the alcohol is a little on the big side.

The mouthfeel isn't bad but isn't where it should be. There's not enough chewiness or density to the body to fit the style of beer. The carbonation feels lazy while the body feels much too light.

This bomber goes down easy enough but that's plenty for me in a sitting. The alcohol is a little too noticeable for the subtle flavors, subtle for a Baltic Porter.

I have been looking forward to this beer since it's been released. I've had my eye on the Heavyweight version since I've joined this site and was expecting a lot out of this beer. I have to say I was let down. Baltic Thunder doesn't live up to Victory standards or the standards of the few Heavyweights I've sampled.

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Photo of sethmeister
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber bottle; best by 12/31/08 which leads me to assume the bottle has had some time to age.

An aggressive pour yields a fizzy two finger tan head on a dark reddish brown body. Looks black in the glass but is a clear red held to the light. Head falls to a ring quickly leaving no lace.

Scent is roasty. Chocolate and molasses. Wet earth.

Taste is sweet, roasty, earthy. Chocolate, molasses, dark fruit. A hint of smoke. Chocolate covered cherries, as a previous reviewer notes. Vanilla.

Mouth is weighty, oily and slick.

Drinkability is exc. High abv is very well hidden. My glass emptied disturbingly quickly and I rue not having purchased a second bottle.

This is a delicious porter and I'd love to get my hands on more of it. Typical high quality well crafted Victory beer.

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Photo of SilentSabre
4.27/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a wonderful example of the style. Poured up extremely dark, but when held to a lamp, lit up a dark burgundy colour. Smell was faint chocolate, coffee, whiskey, freshly sawn oak, and a bit of a damp, black, soil smell. Very nice. Most of these were reflected in the taste, too, with the addition of a smokey flavour that isn't really detectable in the smell. Mouthfeel was better than average, but in a Baltic Porter, and an 8%abv+ Baltic Porter,I would have liked to have seen this substantially thicker. Over all, though, I found this to be a wonderful American example of one of my favourite styles.

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Photo of nlmartin
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer was served in a pint glass. The beer is lightly chilled. I will do my best to review this beer as it is not as I remember The Hammer. This is the 6th bottle of Baltic Thunder I have drank.

Appearance: The beers body is a ruby opaque black coloration. The head is a light tan coloration. Very poor retention and very little lacing on my glass.

Smell: The aroma of the beer is dark burnt roasted caramel. I think I get faint notes of fruit currants perhaps and a bit of chocolate. Just not blown away by this beer.

Taste: I am a sucker for the dark roasted and charred flavors in a stout and a porter. A bit of chocolate couples with a boozey flavor. Its improving as it warms.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkablity: The beer seems to have an anemic body. I need a porter with some back. I am like Mixalot in this. Baby has to have back. The beer isnt a total chore to drink. I wouldnt have had 6 of these except in the excitment of Hammer reborn hype I got a case. Hoping the next 6 gather more character with a year in the cellar.

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

Poured from the bottle into a standard pint.

Body is jet black with a beautiful head which sadly diminishes rather quickly to nothing but a tightly bubbled ring around the top of the beer.

Nose holds lots of Earthy roasted malt. Hints of sweet toffee and faint elements of grape.

Dark roasted malts with hints of coffee. Alcohol is quite hidden. Dark fruitiness and creamy bakers chocolate.

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.66/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The final beer in a trade I got from Aprilluvsbeer. Victory really surprised me - what a great brewery! Surprisingly, my least favorite in the bundle was Storm King. Te others were HopDevil and Hop Wallop.

Appearance: Deep, dark brown with shades of red when held to light. Thin tan head quickly dissipates to a ring of tight bubbles around the edge of the glass. No lacing.

Smell: Dark chocolate-covered cherries soaked in alcohol. A bit of merlot, some barbeque/smoke, wiseman Justin says meat. Very floral for a porter. I'd give it a 5, but wiseman Justin likes 4 instead. He's not a fan of fruity beers. Solution: compromise. EDIT: Wiseman Justin didn't finish his beer - Wiseman Nick takes control of this review.

Taste: Again with the dark chocolate, alcohol-soaked cherries. Some charcoal-burnt malts, oily hops, and a touch of alcohol finish it off. Great balance - flavors meld together perfectly. I almost gave it a 5... but... well, I don't know. 5's should be definite - this one teeters on the edge. Wiseman Nick thinks this is fantastic! Justin wasn't a fan, but screw him - he's done!

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy with a somewhat dry finish. Medium carbonation and lots of chewiness.

Drinkability: Big time flavor and fantastically smooth. Watch out for the ABV, but other than that, DRINK UP BABY!

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Photo of Boto
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber: This one pours an opaque dark brown. there was a decent tan head on it, but it dropped away rather quickly. It leaves no lacing. Really rich aroma. Chocolate and maple are predominate. The taste is quite complex. Hints of chocolate, roastiness, coffee, some dark fruits. There are some hops in there that balance out the sweetness nicely. This is a really good brew.

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