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 hwwty4
2.73/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks, received from Akorsak in a trade.

Poured this beer into my Val Dieu goblet (3 pours altogether). When I poured this beer, all I could think was that it looked just like Pepsi when it came out. Its cola brown with a lot of carbonation, and leaves no head or lacing. There are big bubbles that burst when they hit the surface but don't agitate a head. The aroma is very smoky off the bat. Meaty, like bacon comes through overwhelmingly. There are also notes of toffee and a bit of coffee. The taste again is really smoky. The coffee comes through much more in the taste then in the aroma. A salty, chocolate flavor is also in there. Mouthfeel is fuller then most porters but the carbonation kind of throws it off. I am glad that I was able to trade for this beer, but if it were released again I would pass.

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Photo of tayner
2.8/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle

cola colored with mild head, not much lacing.

smell was very savory, meaty smelling.. almost like raw meat that has marinated in a sweet marinade.

Taste was a sweet grape koolaid i find prevalent in all baltic porters i try, a flavor i cant seem to get past. this one is very savory and would pair well with a grilled steak of you like baltic porters. i cannot get past the odd flavors of grape i tend to pick up from this style though.

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Photo of number1bum
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber pours a dark brown that shows some clarity and reddish hues when held to the light. Gets about a finger and a half of light tan head, which is a little thin. Retention is not very good and it leaves zero stick.

Big malt aromas have some chocolate, lots of caramel, molasses and a bit of toffee. Good dose of fruity hops in there, too, and a bit of a smoky aroma.

Taste also has a lot of malt flavor, especially the caramel, molasses and toffee. Not as much chocolate as first came to the nose, but there is a bit of smokiness. There was a lot of fruity hops in the nose but I'm not getting that in the flavor so much. There is some bitterness that mingles with some smoke through the finish. The alcohol really isn't apparent at all.

Mouthfeel is on the heavier side of a medium body, not terribly creamy or rich in the mouth, though.

Pretty solid beer that's definitely worth a try. Quite tasty with lots of malt flavor.

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Photo of RedHaze
3.77/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to smellysell for this beer. Been wanting to try this ever since I heard that Victory was making it. I only had one chance to try Perkuno's Hammer and It definitely on the old side, but it was obvious it would have been great fresh.

Pours a dark brown with ruby highlights and a thin quarter inch head that fades quickly to a thin ring. The resulting lace is thin, only leaving little specks of foam behind.

Smell; mildly roasted malts with a little bit of molasses and brown sugar. Some dark fruits are evident, but it's hard to discern any particular ones, and touch of coffee to top it all off. Despite the higher abv, it's not noticeable in the aroma.

Taste; the fruitiness is a bit more defined in the flavor with a bit of raisins and dates that mix very well with the brown sugar and molasses. The roasted malts stay on the mild side, and without a real hop presence, there's not much bitterness in here. Overall I have to stay this is very much on the tame side, and while not quite what I was hoping for, still a very enjoyable beer.

Mouthfee is medium bodied with a relatively low carbonation, and a good drinkability.

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

Thanks to BA mudpuppet for the recommendation. Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

A: Very dark, but with a reddish brown color when held up to the light. A short tan head that quickly dissipates to lace.

S: Roast malt smell along with a touch of fruit that I can't really pinpoint.

T: Bready, with just a hint of coffee. Finishes with just a bit of cocoa.

M: Smooth and creamy. Not a lot of carbonation. Fills the mouth nicely.

D: Definitely do not notice the alcohol. The balance of flavors is just right for me to drink a few of these.

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Photo of Derek
3.49/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Reddish-black with a light tan head; no retention or lace.

S: Big fruity/bubble-gum aroma, bready malt, brown sugar and booze.

T: Dark bread, dark fruit, light spicing, booze.

M: Moderate body has some residual sweetness but the alcohol leaves a dry finish.

D: It's not overly enticing, but it's not harsh either.

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Photo of goschool
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: The pour is a not quite opaque black with red highlights, topped by a large, but quickly rescinding foamy tan head.

Smell: The nose has a kiss roasted malts, a light smoked aroma, and a hint fresh cut grass.

Taste: The flavor profile is less intense than I was expecting. Gentle smoke, roasted malts, and Pacific Northwest espresso, lead into dark chocolate and a finish with sweeter cocoa and a touch of hops.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium-bodied, which is fine for a porter, and there's lots of carbonation.

Taste: This reminds me a lot of a local beer, Craftsman Smoked Black Lager. On one hand, I wish this was smokier and more chocolaty, yet Baltic Thunder, as is, is a dangerously quaffable dark beer- much more drinkable than anything coming in at 8.5% has any right to be.

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle

Pours a rich dark mahogany brown with a small tan head that fades. No real lacing to speak of.

Nice, although rather light, aroma of roasted malts and dark fruits.

Roasted malts upfront that lead into a flury of dark fruit flavors. A light hint of dark chocolate hits toward the finish. Medium bitterness. Finishes dry with a light lingering fruitiness.

Medium-full body, decent carbonation.

A nice Baltic Porter, as expected from Victory. No problems drinking the entire bottle, and will certainly get this one again. Not quite the same as the Hammer, but at this point my memory of the Hammer may not be entirely accurate.

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Photo of JDV
2.68/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of DrJay
Pours a clear dark brown to black color with a light tan head. Smell is cardboard like stale dark malts and not much else. Flavor is roasty with an ashy flavor component as well. Higher than average hopping as well, but the flavor of this didn't do anything for me unfortunately. Wouldn't recommend.

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Photo of MerkinMan
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Not jet black, but a very deep red / brown. Small head that stuck around pretty well.

S: No immediately noticeable or discernible scents. Smells clean and fresh.

T: Hoppier than most Euro or American porters, but this is good in this example. The hops do not taste musty like they do in other Baltic porters.

MF: A little thin, but quite effervescent.

D: A very drinkable beer. I would recommend this to someone who likes Baltic porters. I am becoming more and more of a fan of Victory Brewing.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber poured into a Victory Nonic glass.

Deep, deep brown - with dark tan head. Just a 1 finger that faded quickly to a paper thin coating which impressively hung around 'til the tasty end.

Smell reminded me of a dubbel, with rich fruits, sweet maltiness, some syrupy notes, and phenol alcohol as it warmed.

Flavor was of sweet raisins and figs (similar to Dogfish's Raison D'Etre), some dark chocolate - more sweet than bitter, but both sides played nicely with each other.

Some twang in the mouthfeel, with a light coat on the tongue.

Rather filling, but that was expected from this 8+% ABV porter. My first of this style, and I found it quite enjoyable.

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

22 oz. bottle to enjoy by Jan 2, 2009.

Dark maple syrup brown body. Frothy, thick, cocoa brown head. Good lacing. Sweet and roasty nose. Dark fruits (raisins, plums), roasted barley, milk chocolate, a whiff of vanilla and peat.

Roasted coffeeish bitterness up front. Sweetbread and milk chocolate sweetness follow. Some dark fruits come through with a little warming alcohol. Tobacco, leather, and vanilla accent a mildly dark chocolate bitter finish. Medium-bodied with a slightly over-carbonated feel. It's been a long time since I've had a Perkuno's Hammer, one of my favorite beers of all time, and although this is good, it's no Hammer!

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Photo of jmalex
4.11/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I was one of the lucky few to attend the release of this beer at The Drafting Room in Exton. Though I never got to have Perkuno's Hammer, I still came away pleased with Baltic Thunder. In celebration of baseball's opening day today, I'll be drinking a bomber of this.

APPEARANCE: Pours into a Victory becker a deep brown to black with brown highlights. The head is a few shades browner than white and starts at around one finger high. It eventually drops to a full layer of bubbles across the surface of the beer.

SMELL: The aromas aren't terribly intense, and what's there seems like a cross between American and Baltic versions of a porter. Chocolate is definitely there, as is a mild roastiness. Some dark fruits come out, though nowhere near the levels that European versions have.

TASTE: The taste is far roastier and definitely features more of the dark fruits, raisin, and licorice. Chocolate and caramel are there, but the roast character comes up and meets it before dominating through the finish.

MOUTHFEEL: This is a real winner here. The body is chewy and thick, and the carbonation is at a nice average level. Wonderful.

DRINKABILITY: Wow! 8.5% ABV? You wouldn't know it drinking this. Definitely an easy drinking porter if ever there was one.

Just as good as I remember it back in January. I'll be buying this again for sure, especially since it supports one of my favorite local breweries.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.43/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark coppery brown in color with ruby hues, and a big fluffy tan head that stays healthy a good long time.

Toffee and woody roasted aromas...something kind of grape-like, even a trace of peat. Leans toward a Scotch ale in the nose.

More roasted/burnt wood in the flavor...something like charred grape skins follow, with char coming through in the finish. Coarse coffee bitterness seeps in through the other rough flavors. Dark fruit flavors (plum, pomegranate, grape, fig) want to come in, they're here, but so very faint. Cherry and chocolate arrive after this sits awhile, and that really helps offset the rougher elements..

Decent carbonation, not overpowering, but I prefer this style to be chewier and slicker.

A bit coarse and not as rounded/creamy as other better versions of the style, so I wouldn't drink it often. Decent stab at the style, but it never goes in for the kill. Not as bad as my lousy wordplay, but far from the most enticing Baltic porter.

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Photo of ericj551
4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Baltic Thunder pours a clear red black with a foamy brownish head that fades quickly. The aroma is chocolatey dark malt with a hint of caramel and some dry, metallic hops. The flavor starts with dark toasted malt flavor with a nice balance of astringency and bitterness from the hops. Sweetness and dark caramel come through in the finish with just a touch of fruitiness. The beer is smooth and the alcohol is almost completely hidden.

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Photo of indiapaleale
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark and slightly oily. Its head diminishes quickly and yet the carbonation is quite apparent compared to other strong porters i've had. It smells malty, sweet, slightly fruity and I don't get any alcohol from the smell alone.

The taste is, well, similar to the smell. Its nice and smooth. Its malty, sweet and the carbonation adds something to the taste as its going down. This is yet another beer that has a high ABV, but its not abrasive whatsoever.

I am kind of a novice when it comes to Baltic porters, its a style that I've rarely had the chance to drink. This is a very good beer and a great opportunity to try out the style.

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Photo of ATPete
3.54/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

8.5%, Dark Lager/Baltic Porter

22 oz sample bottle

The first thing I noticed about the brew was an almost nonexistent white head but yet an almost soda-like effervescence upon the pour. The colour is a deep brownish red with beautiful bright highlights, it reminds me of a small batch birch beer when held up to the light. The nose is not an attractive one in that of mocha/toffee, ash/burnt wood and metal.

Aside from an initial whiff the porter drinks wonderfully for being 8.5%. The soda-like carbonation really helps mask the alcohol content and really pushes the flavors of the yummy malts used by Victory in this 18th Century recipe.

(i take another sip) Yea, this beer is mighty tasty, the fresh hops make their appearance on the finish as well as some nice subtle chocolate and rich fruit notes. Baltic Thunder has a real big profile and mouth feel, but is very simple in over-all complexity, there's not too much to really break down on this one, but believe me that is not a bad thing in this case for i am really enjoying this brew, aside from its lingering metallic smell...

(original date of review: 1/13/08)

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

I picked up a 1pt 6oz bottle from Table & Vine in Springfield MA, about $6-7. The beer was dark brown, almost black, with a very thin tan head. The aroma was mostly roasted malts, similar to some dry stouts. The flavor was similar but included a hint of fruity esters and a pleasant sweet after-taste. Mouthfeel is more thick than thin, helping to keep the drinkability as above average.

I guess I thought this was the collaboration to make Perkuno's Hammer, so I went for it. Overall it was very good but not quite the same as my memory of the hammer.

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Photo of BeerSox
3.35/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber into a nonic.

Dark, nearly opaque brown except for some ruby red lines at the bottom of the glass. When held up to light, there is also a slight red glow toward the bottom of the glass where it is the thinnest. A thick one finger frothy head slowly settles to a thick cap.

Light chocolate and coffee aromas on top of a burnt malt base. The aroma is a little weak for the style. Generally these are heavy, almost like an Russian Imperial Stout. Stringy lacing along the glass.

Unfortueately, the flavor is a little weak in this one. Instead of the thick, oily, coating, and heavy feel inside the mouth, you get a medium bodied mix of burnt malt and maybe some mild chocolate. The beer is getting up there in terms of %ABV, but the alcohol is pretty tame (which is a good thing, in my opinion). The finish is some lingering grain, and maybe a touch of hop bitterness.

This isn't a bad beer at all, it's just a little bland for the syle. From my experience with the style, I feel a Baltic Porter should be a thick and chewy lager version (although Porters are generally ales, most BPs use lager yeast) of an RIS. That being said, it's still enjoyable, and it's sure to please someone's palate. Recommended (barely).

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Photo of callmemickey
3.08/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Rich chestnut brown on the verge of black.. thin tan head.. no lacing...

S: Roasted malts... mostly caramel.. a dash of chocolate.. not much else.

T: Bitter chocolateness paired with some sweet caramel malts... pretty balanced, but i couldn't find much to get behind and dive into.

M: Rather carbonated, medium bodied.. balanced from start to finish.

D: It was decent, but lacking the complexity of the more interesting baltic porters

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Photo of Longstaff
3.1/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Was interested to see how this compared to Heavyweight's Perkunno's Hammer since the Hammer used to be one of my favorites (before the 2nd or 3rd revision anyway) and although this was not a bad beer, didn't live up to my expectations even though my scoring was compared to other baltic porters.

Nice thick mouthfeel but lacking that creaminess that the Hammer had, decent fruity flavors from the malt/yeast, but dark malt flavors were a bit one dimensional (carafa?). A bit unbalanced for my tastes since it was laden with sweet malt without having good balance from hops or alcohol which made it cloying after a half a pint. Couldn't finish the bomber, but saved the rest to make french onion soup.

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Photo of tempest
3.14/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On-tap at Bocktown Beer and Grill

A nice beer, but I can't say I'm impressed. Maybe the hype just raised the expectations too high, but I rather think this beer just doesn't quite match the other baltics I've had.

At first I got a big, juicy sweet cherry flavor, followed by chocolate (chocolate covered cherries maybe). Then there was a little bit of toffee grains and a bit of alcohol. I also pulled some vegetal DMS aroma out of here and didn't get much of an aftertaste. Overall, I was disappointed, but this found it to be an agreeable beer.

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Photo of MSchae1017
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep brown, nearly black, with hints of amber. The beer is somewhat translucent, not nearly opaque. The head is cream colored and fizzles down to a thin film quickly before disappearing altogether, leaving no traces of lace, although a hard pour to finish off the bottle does produce a significantly improved head which leaves some lace.

The smell has slight chocolate and roast characteristics, but is mostly caramel sweetness.

The taste is very clean up front, with sweet and bitter roast flavors dominating along with some chocolate. The sweetness seems to be reminiscent of Munich malts. The beer finishes with a significantly balancing hop bitterness, keeping this beer from being quite as sweet as most in its style. Finally, there is a significant alcohol presence as the beer exits the mouth.

The mouthfeel is characterized by a medium body with full carbonation. This is not quite as thick or as creamy as an American Porter, rather it is well attenuated by the lager yeast.

Overall, this is an enjoyable beer. Not the most complex of the style, but certainly one worth picking up again

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber on a beer run in New Jersey...
Pours from the bottle a deep, dark mahogany with amber hues on the glass edges. Head is 1 finger thick upon pouring but dissipates quickly and there is no lacing on the glass.

Smell is of light roasted malts, a little sweet, nothing impressive.

Taste is of a deep malted sweetness with an earthy finish. I cannot pick up on the alcohol, surprising for this ABV.

Mouthfeel is very lightly carbonated, somewhat smooth in the finish, which leads to it being quite drinkable. Nothing impressive on the appearance, taste and mouthfeel side but it is pleasant in mouthfeel and is quite drinkable.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.25/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is a great example of why hyping up a beer can be a bad thing. The amount of beergeeks excited to try this was insane due to the brewing press release, big news to see Tom Baker teaming up with Victory. Then the wait with all the legal bullshit, and what follows is a blend of trying to get this one right before the big release. Well, they didn't get much right in my eyes and I'm going to try it again. Had it thrice on tap and I will be investing in a bomber, but I'm weary. No many gripes with appeaance except for head retention, poured pitch black in body much like I recall the Hammer forming a thin tan head leaving thin scant speckled lacing. I remember the Perkuno's to have texture all day with lacing throughout each pint. I think the change of the beans altered the protein count therefore affecting head. Aromatics I'm getting sweet dried fruits with some tart acidic mild offensive tones going on, chocolate roasts play nice with figs and plum fruitiness. Some mild booziness with lingering herbal hop notes comes late. Flavors insert ripe or dried concentrated fruit flavor whether it comes off plum, fig, or raisin I'd definitely call it some what vinous. Dark dry roasted malt lacking the complex mix of flavors the Hammer always provided but my point is that fruit and dark chocolate with a mildy cloying dark chocolate syrup comes off one dimensional in the flavor. Mouthfeel is full bodied assertive carbonation a bit unnatural with words like thin and blah entering my brain. Drinkability, no doubt any brew from Victory is going to be a solid player, good dark beer but never try to relive a classic craft brew like Perkuno's Imperial Hammer if you're not going to truly bring it to the table. Definitely not our beloved Hammer but Baltic Thunder I'm sure will be getting better with some age, right now it really lacks complexity.

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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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