Baltic Thunder | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

very good
539 Reviews
Baltic ThunderBaltic Thunder

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

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by akorsak on 01-05-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 539 | Ratings: 926
Photo of Knapp85
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This porter chugged it's way out of the bottle as a dark brown color with some red hues along the edges. The head was pretty thick looking for a little while until is settled down and left just a thin brown coating over top of the beer. The lacing wasn't too bad here, kind of sporatic. The smell of the beer has some old wood aromas, some earthy and smokey aromas as well. There's even a touch of sweetness on the nose too. The taste is pretty good, mostly of brown sugar and some roasted malts. The mouthfeel was on the thicker side and had a light carbonation, just enough to keep it interesting. Overall it's not a terrible Baltic Porter, but not the best I've had either.

 676 characters

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

Many thanks to Mdaschaf for the chance to taste this. Poured into my dfh snifter, pours a murky dark brown color, but not completely opaque, about 1 finger of white foam that quickly recedes, but stays around the circumference of the glass. Smell- toffee, some grainy notes, with chocolate, maybe an oaklike quality. Taste- definite milk chocolate notes, some roastiness, nutty flavors. Some hops are present at the end and I get a roasted lightly bitter finish. This is my first Baltic Porter, so I'm not sure how to judge it on style characteristics, and will judge it purely on taste and experience. Mouthfeel- nice carbonation, and with the medium body, this is pretty smooth and easy to drink. Drinkablity- at 8.5 percent, I get absolutely no alcohol warmth here- I would say that this is about 5% if I didn't know better. It actually reminds me of CCB Maduro Brown in its nutty characteristics more than anything. This is an interesting beer, I would have it again.

 971 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a semi-opaque dark crimson amber color with a 1 inch light beige head that fades to a small cap. A random distribution of lace spots forms here and there on the glass on the drink down. Smells of roasted dark malt, dark fruits, and some subtle smoky notes. Taste is of dark chocolate pudding, dark cherries, dark malts, and alcohol. A bit of cocoa nib bitterness on the palate after each sip. Slight alcohol warming in the throat. This beer is smooth and creamy with a medium body and a good level of carbonation. Overall, this is a solid baltic porter from Victory but nothing too exciting.

 597 characters

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

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

 644 characters

Photo of vfgccp
4.06/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A – Deep, ruby mahogany and black-berry juice. Gorgeous color - remarkable when held up to direct sunlight. Off-white head sits low, but the color alone scored this a 5 for me.

S – Cranberry juice, prunes, toffee and black tea leaves. A really interesting combination. It’s definitely not what I’m used to, but I dig it.

T – Sweet, fruity opening with plum and tart cranberry. Coffee builds around the fruit and keeps it from spiraling into a confection. Soft malt backend with an oaky dryness, which now that the profile has uncluttered a bit, I think might have been contributing to the cranberry note up front.

M – Mildly tart/bitter finish with a residual dark fruit sweetness. Medium/light body.

O – Touch sweet. Would pair well with spicy dry rubbed ribs.

 780 characters

Photo of NorCalYeti
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

taste- roasted malts, chocolate notes, nutty toffee flavors, bitterness and residual sugar in the finish

color- chestnut brown

clarity- pours clear but is opaque in the glass

smell- wood, malt, wet socks, baby powder in the finish

body- hoppy bite at the front of the mouth, lean mouthfeel, medium weight and length finish

appearance- craziest carbonation i've ever seen. imagine the top of the beer divided into four equal sections in the shape of a four leaf clover with two of the opposing leaves rotating in one direction and the other two in the other direction...looked like a satellite image of a!? once the freakshow ended, the dirty carbonation was nowhere to be found with no lacing in the glass

overall impression- was a bit let down with this beer, hoping it would be a unique and strong interpretation of the style...a little light weight and uninspired

notes and comments- label says enjoy by january 7, 2012

beer spy- bottle barn, santa rosa ca, 3/24/11, $4.99, 22oz

glassware: tulip

 1,023 characters

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

Served on-tap at the La Jolla Brewhouse in CA. The beer was poured in a pint glass, and it presents a darkened amber coloring, brown in the middle, with a thin, filmy head. Slight chocolate and coffee nose, with some dark cherry notes. The flavor is a bit cherry and a bit coffee, and the bitter and the sweet balance pretty well. It tastes a little bit like Cherry Coke. The body is light, but syrupy at same time. Dark caramel and coffee on the aftertaste with a mid-length linger to the finish.

 497 characters

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

A: Very dark brown and murky in color with almost no head. There was a bit of a head at first, but it disappeared pretty quickly.

S: Roasted malts, caramel, toffee and brown sugar.

T: A quick hit of coffee bitterness, then a lot of roasted malt flavor with some good caramel and toffee sweetness. Mouthfeel was a little thin, but I got used to it and it seemed to thicken up a bit as the beer warmed.

 404 characters

Photo of Brenden
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Notes, as usual, are a little old but good.

This is a dark brown beer, very dark and thick without quite reaching black and with a touch of opaqueness and reddish tinges in the light. The light brown head is just about one finger high with good retention and a good amount of sticky lacing left behind.
This is strongly malt-backed, as expected, with some coffee grounds, barley, some bitter chocolate, and just a hint of sweetness of caramel and something like dates. A roasted note, nearly charcoal mixed in with grains, lingers.
A bit of chocolate, both milky sweet and dark bitter, are first on the tongue. Following are coffee grounds mixed with caramel and tart cherry, and behind that is a bit of nuttiness and alcohol.
This has a very nice feel, thick, rich and robust in a big, full body with lots of smoothness and just the right amount of carbonation.
Being a bigger beer, this is easier to drink than one might expect for the style and the ABV, which I attribute to it being, while not lacking in body, not overly filling, and with a flavor easy to swallow.

 1,070 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this with my Groupon at my local Beer Nutz. Priced at a typical 5.99 means I got this bad boy for 3 buckz!

A - From the look of the bottle expected dark but poured a see through dark brown with a half inch of head. Looks kinda like a Dopple bock than a Porter.

S - Nothing offensive here. Alcohol smells well masked and really the only thing I am getting is soft coffee, chocolate, and toasted grain. Pleasant.

T - Wow it drinks amazing for almost 9 percent. I would assume if I didn't read it here it would be around the typical 6 or maybe even 7 percent range. Flavors start off with a soft toasted malt, bit of chocolate which amazingly gets better as it warms, mild underlining coffee and finishes rather sweet and with caramel and toffee that never really gets cloying. Mild taste overall but surprisingly complex!

M - Light to medium on my end! Alcohol is only noticeable after consumed.

Overall wow I can't believe how awesome this beer is! Great flavors subtle but many and the overall great price. Worth picking up if you like well masked high ABV porters. May have to go back and grab a second...

 1,115 characters

Photo of AdamBear
4.37/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A-dark brown, a lot of bubbles, some floaties. has a thin tan head that reminds me of soda.

S-smells like creamy chocolate. a bit malty as well. medium strength

T-wow i like this a lot. comes in with good grains and coffee/chocolate malts. the ending has a bit more coffee to it. the after-taste is really thick and good with chocolate and fresh ground coffee. this one just goes down so smoothly.

M-has a carbonation that reminds me of a soda float with a good creamy finish

D-well i drank this for awhile before seeing the ABV and I could not believe my eyes. this honestly drinks like a 4% beer. i am so amazed with how drinkable this is. it is definitely filling but wow so good. the tastes just become more and more complex as well.

 741 characters

Photo of robhunta
3.91/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - a dark purple/redish color, pretty unique as I was expecting brown/black. not much head though; pours to a thin cm of head which dissipates quickly.

S - This beer had me wondering if my nose was working (or wondering if I shouldn't have tasted it first out of excitement/expectation). there isnt much of an aroma at all, not until I cover my glass with my hand, stick my nose in the crack and inhale deeply do I get a nice sweet malty maybe fruity aroma. very nice, but hard to find.

T - fantastic! sweet, matly, a bit of alcohol. there is certainly a nice complexity to this beer but I'm having trouble putting my finger on any particular flavor.

M - clean and pretty smooth, a bit sticky.

O - Overall I like this beer very much, I would certainly buy it again and may be a favorite porter for me.

 806 characters

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

My first real experience with this style.

Appearance is a bit above average, but the smell is better. Sweet malt dominates, toffee and chocolate. Roasty-ness comes through as well, but in the background. Dark fruits mixed in as well.

Taste is soft and lightly sweet malt, watery coffee, cherry. Some bitter hop presence balances things out. Finish brings out the background roasty-ness. Feels nice in the mouth. Heat from the alcohol builds up after several sips. Definitely a sipper.

 486 characters

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

 975 characters

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.

 503 characters

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.

 964 characters

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.

 778 characters

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.


 686 characters

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!

 669 characters

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.

 463 characters

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.

 1,143 characters

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

 408 characters

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.

 887 characters

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.

 891 characters

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.

 957 characters

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

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

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

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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