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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 926 |  Reviews: 539
Photo of LumpyGuitar
3.61/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this in the limited release bomber bottle.

Poured a solid dark brown/black with a ruby fringe when held in the light. About two fingers worth of tan fluffy head. Head faded a bit but when I finished the beer there was a good finger left.

Smells like malt and coffee.

Taste starts smooth, very reminscent of coffee and a darker milk chocolate. Roasted malts and grain, much sweeter than any porters I've had before.

Mouthfeel was about right. Not to much or to little carbonation, felt a bit syrupy in the aftertaste.

Drinkability for me is good. I like this and I'll get more as long as my store still has any. Had this with ribs, and I'd reccomend this with any barbecue.

 681 characters

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

22 oz bomber purchased at Colonial Spirits, Acton, MA

At first glance, this pour looks black. Upon further observation, it is actually a beautiful deep ruby. One finger of white head, falls off quickly.

Nose is malty and grainy, slightly astringent with a licorice component.

Flavor is sharp malt with a dry finish. Some astringency with that strong hint of licorice. Dark fruits also well represented. Overall, flavor is a bit mild, but there is plenty of complexity there.

Mouthfeel is thin, low carb.

Drinkability is good. It's an interesting sipper that hides it's ABV well.

 583 characters

Photo of MusicaleMike
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I first tried this beer at a beer tasting and it made me feel sick. It was so rich and heavy, and on top of all the beer I had already consumed, my stomach turned. However, I took a bottle away from that experience to sample later because I normally love Victory's offerings, and I wanted to give this beer a fair chance. The hideous label (orange, lavender and gray don't go well together) reads "Enjoy By Dec 31 08".

A: The beer pours a clear dark brown to black color with intense ruby highlights which cast beautiful color onto the floor. The head is sticky, tan and thick (at first). It soon dies down to a thin lace at the edge of the beer. Everything looks great, but I wish the head would linger around for longer.

S: The smell is somewhat subdued for such a big beer. Nonetheless, I can pick up notes of caramel, toffee, and lightly roasted coffee beans. It is very earthy. There is a very faint hop aroma, lending this beer a "fresh" smell. There are also noticeable fruity esters, like strawberries...

T: Then I get to taste this beer again and I a pleasantly surprised. That delicious smell accents the well-balanced flavor. Up front, this beer has an acridness that can be compared to roasted coffee. After this though, the mouth is quickly met by a strong malt backbone. It is sweet, with toffee and caramel playing around with a smokiness. The bitter hops help blend this beer into a smooth flavor profile. This is NOT a "hoppy" beer though. There are some delicious fruit notes in the taste as well, like ripe fruit (banana?).

M: This is a full-bodied, chewy beer. It really is heavy on the stomach, making this beer a substantial meal. The alcohol warms everything up a bit, and I can easily imagine drinking more of this come winter. For summer though?? I am not sure this goes well with that oppressive heat of summer.

D: It was not torture to finish off a 22 oz. bottle, but it took effort. The drinkability of Victory's Baltic Thunder is not going to rank very highly in this reviewers mind.

 2,018 characters

Photo of Murchmac
3.56/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shout out to ncvbc for putting this in a trade.

Pours from the bomber into a glass well if you dont spill it. Dark opaque, a coffee head that quickly goes away. Chocolate Thunder.

Not much of a smell. Faint coffee, raisins, some stingy alcohol smell. Was hoping for more of a smell.

Not a bad taste. Gets better as it warms. Burnt sugars, chocolate taste. Cocoa, caramel, some hops at the end? or alcohol? Maybe alcohol soaked hops? Stingy either way.

Mouthfeel is kinda weak. Was expecting more, but maybe I shouldnt. More carbonation than i'd want from a porter.

Overall not a bad beer, there are better ones. This beer is the equivalent of blue balls.

 661 characters

Photo of Iceman77
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black with reddish tint along the edges of the glass, thick, soap bubble, latte colored head. The aroma is an inviting mix of malts and spices. The flavor was very nice, had only tried a very aged draft of the Perkuno's Hammer, but can see what sets this style apart. There are bold flavors of coffee, chocolate and molasses on top of the traditional porter style. The mouthfeel was surprisingly smooth, thought it would have had a little more bite as an ale with a higher abv, very pleasant though. I could drink these all night, i heard they had to blend this first batch so am really looking forward to how the new batches come out, this one was a solid offering from good ol Victory.

 700 characters

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

A fat carmel brown three finger head shows active carbonation and dances down in about 3 minutes. Body is bold jet black and lets no light through. Nose is full of spicey zest, minerals and some roasted nuttiness, and maybe a hint of sweet alchol laced toffee. Enters the mouth very smooth with some zesty smokiness and then a layer of flat burnt crust buttered biscuit like sweetness. There are some dark dry fruit notes that show themselves on the second half of the palate. A dark alchol feel mixes with a dry bitter on the end of the palate to create a rather thick mouthfeel. Good drinkability overall.

 607 characters

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

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle - very dark with garnet/red highlights, nearly opaque, the highlights make for an appealing beer. Small tan head that dissipated fairly quickly. A malty, roasty, toffee aroma with some chocolate notes.

Flavor follows the aroma - roasty, malty, with hints of chocolate, low hop bitterness. No harsh astringency, very smooth.

Creamy, full bodied, almost chewy mouthfeel. Very slight hint of the alcohol, but not at all hot.

A very enjoyable beer. Rich, and full-flavored, but smooth. Could pair nicely with some chocolately desserts. Definitely recommend.

 585 characters

Photo of soupyman10
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Didn't this was a one-shot; I feel far more privileged than I did three minutes ago. It looks how a porter should: a deep brown color with a big three finger tan head that takes it's time dissolving and leaves solid lacing as it goes. Nose is tons of roasted malt, with nice swirls of dried fruit on top. Sweetens up a lot as it warms. Some light spiciness in there as well. Flavor's similar, and quite delicious. Tons of chocolate malt, with a good bit of caramel, and then all kinds of fruit flavors: raisins, prunes, and maybe even a little apricot. Not even a hint of alcohol. Definitely starts drier, with coffee bitterness, then gets more fruity and complex as it goes down. Body is nice and thick, with a near perfect carbonation level. I hadn't really considered it before, but I guess the Baltic style of porter is really the "Imperial" version, what with the high alcohol and the huge flavors. This one really is delicious, and an excellent offering from Victory (although their track record is pretty impressive, in my book, so it doesn't really come as any surprise).

 1,079 characters

Photo of Risser09
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into a Riedel goblet - 2007 bottling - Fridge temp

Appearance: Pours pitch black with a 2" tan head. Decent retention, minimal lacing.

Smell: Musty toasted malt, robust coffee and some cocoa nibs. Earthiness of leather and tobacco.

Taste: Sugary espresso and lots of silky dark chocolate. I love the chocolate flavor of the brew. It is much richer than the aroma leads you to believe. Fantastic.

Mouthfeel: Creamy smooth with lots of decadence. Some bitterness from the chocolate flavors.

Drinkability: The got surprisingly better from what I remember tasting upon it's release. Still not as good as Perkuno's Hammer. A good brew!

 655 characters

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

Served in a new style Sam Adams glass. Pours a deep reddish brown. Opaque unless held to the light. It is topped with a medium thick tan head of dense bubbles which quickly dissipate. No real lacing to speak of as the foam recedes after each sip.

On the nose are aroma's of hazelnut, molasses, burnt sugar, bready yeast and roasted malts.

Sweet burnt sugar and molasses flavors which are followed by roasted malt. Espresso like notes as well as bitter baking cocoa. Very slight earthy hop twang in the finish.

Medium body with a slick thin mouthfeel. Drinkable for the abv. A good beer for the style. But in my honest opinion, not quite as good as the now extinct brew it tips it's hat to.

 692 characters

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

Thanks to beerbeing for giving me a chance to try this beer.

two fingers of foam disappears quickly leaving a thin film in a rich tan color. black color with some brown around the edges.

chocolate and toffee just a hint if hops

hoppy bitterness, black malt chocolate toffee coffee this is big beer

good mouthfeel not too heavy of sticky

Very drinkable for such big beer even on a warm night

Very good beer, im a big fan too bad it's not available in minnesota

 466 characters

Photo of mpyle
4.02/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

App - very dark, ruby red color. Tannish head, without great retention.

Smell - dark malt, a bit of a dark fruit raisin/plum kind of smell. Some coffee and chocolate, but overall a fairly clean aroma profile. Alcohol as it warms.

Taste - A dark malt sweetness to start, a bit smoky, with some coffee/chocolate notes. Sweetness is nicely bittered, and never approaches cloying. Finishes with a gentle roasty bitterness, and maybe a hint of clean alcohol.

MF - Med-full body, and moderate carbonation. To the extent that there is alcohol warming, it is very subdued and nicely controlled. No astringency - very nice on the tongue.

D'ablity - a bit subdued compared to some examples of the style, but a highly drinkable 8.5% porter. Almost more of a big robust porter, without lots of crazy "Baltic" character. Not a shining example of the style, but a very nice beer.

 872 characters

Photo of RomanW70
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown/black with a medium tan head. Aroma of chocolate, toffee, and malt. Very nice taste with dark chocolate sweetness blending nicely with with hops. Notes of dark fruit too and winter spices too. Beer is very big, but the tastes are on point. Very nice, very flavorful beer.

 288 characters

Photo of Matty1918
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice dark color with an huge tan creamy head. The head faded fast. Not much lacing to speak of.

A nice aroma of chocolate, raisons and alcohol.

A fine tasting porter. Toasted, plums, slight chocolate. You can also definetly taste the alcohol.

Very smooth mouthfeel but the alcohol is very present.

I can drink one as a night cap or for desert.

A very fine porter.

 394 characters

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

P: 22oz bottle, cool label
A: dark brown, light comes through the glass, initial frothy head quickly settles to a thin but dense creamy head
S: currants, raisons, toffee, a whif of alcohol
T: Really nice, not much hop to speak of up front, brownies, dates, subtle bitter in the aftertaste
M: Just right, not too thick, not too thin
D: 22 oz is about right for me, a little too heavy for more than one
Notes: A very, very nice porter from one of my favorite breweries. Good dessert beer as the malt sweetness is dominates. Would recommend and will definitely try again.

 568 characters

Photo of kwakwhore
3.91/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this from jcdiflorio via trade.
Black pour with tan head which has decent retention.
Not much going on in the aroma. A little malt not much else.
Flavors are better. Chocolate malt, almost like a milkshake then bitter chocolate takes over with a nice long finish. Really excellent, especially as the beer gets warmer.
Mouthfeel is a bit thin for the style but the flavors make up for it.
Goes down pretty easy. Alcohol is not really noticeable .
Good example of the style but not quite up to Sinebrychoff or Duck Rabbit. Still, this is a worthy brew. I certainly wouldn't turn it down if I could get another one.

 619 characters

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

Aprilluvsbeer hooked me up with this one as a bonus in a recent trade. thanks april!

22oz bottle. sampled may 28/08.

pours deep brown, not quite opaque, with a wisp of very fine tan head. the head disappears fast and leaves no lace.

aroma is nice. caramel, slightly sweet. fruity - cherry, date. whole wheat bread. alcohol. slightly toasty. bit of baltic character.

taste is ok. not what i expected, more bock than porter. just over medium bitterness level, which seems a bit high. no sign of roast. bit of toasted multi-grain bread. cracker. bittersweet chocolate. bit of smoke. big bock-like lager character. butterscotch. bit of fruit.

mouthfeel is ok. just over medium carbonation level, too much for a baltic in my eyes. medium body.

drinkability is nice. the alcohol is fairly well hidden, but the bitterness a bit high. malt profile is decent.

this one threw me a little. doesn't really smell or taste like any baltic i've ever had. carbonation is high. blindfolded i'd swear it was a decent doppelbock, but not even a great one. pretty disappointed in this one as i was really looking forward to it and it just didn't deliver.

 1,141 characters

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

Had this ontap at their brewery/pub, and I flew a 22oz home to Oregon with me and ended up polishing it off the other night.

Dark brown going into the glass, then black with reddish highlights upto a light. Good tan head.

Nice complexity in the aroma. Vineous grapes, dark chocoa, burnt wood, and only a touch of coffee.

Dark fruit becomes prevailent as this one warms up, and so does the alcohol!

Malt takes the foreground, which is dry and almost smokey. THere's a good coating of dried fruit ontop of that. Rasins, fig, dates, etc. Then a bitterness takes over and this one finally finishes with a good dry red-wine like ending.

OVerall a very nice baltic porter and pretty faithful to the style.

 707 characters

Photo of brewcrew76
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to kegatron for trading this one.

A - Dark cola brown with a very thin tan head that disappeared immediately.

S - Very faint aroma with toasted malt, coffee and just a touch of earthy dark fruits.

T - Bittersweet chocolate, coffee, roasted malt and a very soft mix of dark fruits.

M - Somewhat on the thin side and watery.

D - Not a bad beer but somewhat boring and lacking a little in each area. I was disappointed expecting it to be similar to Perkuno's. I cracked open my last Hammer for comparison and the 3 year old Hammer is still much better and much more flavorful. I am really going to miss the Hammer.

 623 characters

Photo of smcolw
4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown color where light shines through...barely. Solid two-finger finger that dissipates slowly and leaves nearly no lace

Mild aroma of soft semi-sweet chocolate; reminds me of fudgesickle.

Smooth, nearly perfect body. The carbonation is spot on and the brew is creamy. The flavor has all of the classic porter flavors--coffee, cream, dark chocolate. Great aftertaste of unsweetened espresso. Despite the abv, this has no alcohol warmth in the taste. That might give you an idea of the level of flavoring.

This is another great offering from Victory.

 559 characters

Photo of joezak5
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured into a Duvel sniffter; perfect pitch black with an overflowing loose tan head, minimal retention and lacing.

Smell: Syrupy soaked prunes and smoky coffee.

Mouthfeel: Suprisingly light and sweet, very low carbonation and excellent malty ball feel.

Taste: Slight smoky roasty malt with coffee sweet and bitter pruny hints, alcohol well hidden with a nice bitter warmth finish.

Drinkability: My first of the sytle, I enjoyed it a great deal. I was trying to split the 22oz bomber between lunch and dinner but found myself yearning for the last half long before dinner. Another winner from Victory.

 620 characters

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

Pours a one finger light tan head that fades quickly and leaves a little lace. Deep amber almost mahogany color. Strong carbonation and medium bodied. Malty nose. Flavor is almost burnt, sweet coffee, slight bitter finish. Decent Baltic porter. $6.20 for a 22oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

 301 characters

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

Almost black in color with ruby highlights around the edges. Not much of a head and no visible lacing. Coffee and dark fruit come through in the nose augmented by a musty earthiness. Full bodied, smooth but not slick. Flavors are muted up front but build, coffee and bitter chocolate mostly, but again a slight dark fruity sweetness also contributes to the party especially as it warms. The warmness of alcohol accumulates while the bottle is drained.

Not a bad beer, but a little more character in the flavor profile would be welcome. Nonetheless drinkable and enjoyable.

 573 characters

Photo of turbine2475
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to EGledhill for this trade:
A - Pours an nice cola brown with some light ruby hints with a two finger cream head that dissipated slowly leaving a light ring.
S - Smells of toffee and dark sweet fruits.
T - Toffee, soured caramel, mild hints of butterscotch, piny hops, and a mild alcohol burn.
M - Smooth but a little watery and a low carbonation.
D - Good brew. EGledhill was gracious enough to send me two bottles so I'm anxious to see how this ages.

 460 characters

Photo of thequeen711
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer came highly touted as the reincarnation of the now defunct Heavyweight Brewery's Percuno's Hammer. And anyone who's had the pleasure of Percuno's Hammer would certainly want to compare. I found the beer pours nice and dark with an almost invisible head, Tastes of fruitiness abounds with a slightly hoppy taste. I'd recommend this brew to any fan of Victory!

 368 characters

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

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

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