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:
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Reviews: 539 | Ratings: 926
Photo of Hawksfan79
3.91/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Glass: Mug
Pours a dark brown with a thin white head That quickly dissipated. Smells very fruity reminiscent of plums. Slight alcohol aroma with a slight hint of toffee.
Fruity, strong raisin flavor. alcohol, and slight hints of cherry. Very similar to a barleywine as its sweet an alcoholic. Wonderfully complex, one of those beers that changes on your palette and gives you different character as you drink.
Light to medium bodied, much lighter than expected almost watery in texture. Alcohol warming followed lingering roasty malt finish.

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Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Poured bomber into 34oz mug. Dark brown, slightly cloudy, showing lighter brown at the edges. Fizzy medium head from a careful pour that dissipates leaving no lacing so far. Smell is heavy on bitter chocolate, with the other roasted/coffee scents as expected. Taste is like the smell; coffee and chocolate, heavily roasted, a bit acidic/sour. Mouthfeel is a bit fizzy, but very full-bodied. It's a perfect example of the style as described.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.1/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

I picked up a bottle of Victory's Baltic Thunder a couple weeks ago for $6.49 at The Lager Mill. I've been liking the Baltic Porter's lately and since I really liked the last bomber I got from Victory I decided to take a chance on this one, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date, 2012 Vintage. Poured from a brown 22oz bottle into a snifter.

A- I like the label on this beer, it's well done and it has a cool look to it. It poured a darker brown color that took on some dark ruby hues when held to the light with two and a half fingers worth of tan head that quickly died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and left a little bit of lacing behind. This beer looked ok, but the color was a little light for the style.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness followed by a good amount of malts that are caramel and medium roasted and also impart some chocolate aromas. After that comes an earthy and grainy aroma followed by a familiar lager yeast aroma. The aroma was ok, but it wasn't as roasty and robust as most Baltic Porters, the yeast seemed to stick out a little too much also.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma and it starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness along with a good amount of caramel and roasted malts that impart some grainy, caramel, chocolate, and some lighter roasted flavors. Up next comes an earthy flavor followed by some of the yeast that I picked up in the aroma. On the finish it had a lighter amount of bitterness with no trace of alcohol and it had a lightly roasted and sweet aftertaste. This was a pretty average tasting Baltic Porter, it wasn't as roasted and rich as it should, it tasted watered down.

M- Pretty smooth, a little creamy, on the lighter side of being medium bodied with a good amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was pretty average, it was going in the right direction but when it came to the body it was just too light and thin for the style.

Overall I wasn't too impressed with this beer and I thought it was an average at best example of the style, all the aspects of this beer seemed to be much lighter then they should be and it didn't come together the way that a good Baltic Porter should. This beer had ok drinkability, it was pretty smooth and on the lighter side, but the flavors just didn't hold my attention and one is enough for me, I wouldn't want any more than that. What I liked the most about this beer was price, if this was $10 I would be very disappointed, but I think it's priced reasonably. What I liked the least about this beer was how much lighter most of the aspects of this beer were compared to most Baltic Porters, it just seemed to be lacking in every aspect. I wouldn't buy this beer again, I would much rather have a Thirsty Trout Porter and it's a way better Baltic Porter and it costs less, I wouldn't recommend it to my friends. All in all this beer left me wanting more and I don't think it did the style justice. IT seems like Victory is pretty hit or miss for me and this was another miss, better luck next time guys.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: dark amber-brown hue with a finger of creamy tan head that dissipates pretty quickly. Head is limited and I prefer my Baltic porters a little darker, but this isn't too bad.

Smell: rich caramel malt aroma with a hint of chocolate around the outside. Reminds me a lot of a dark European lager (which, I suppose, it is). It is good, but doesn't seem robust enough for the style.

Taste: caramel sweetness with a little bit of toasty malt and a little bit of chocolate. Chocolate is a little more pronounced than in the aroma, but not a ton. This beer is not bad, per se, but it is boring. I'm not getting a whole lot out of the experience.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a good level of carbonation and a pretty good creaminess. I like it.

Overall: aside from the good texture, this beer is kind of blah for me. There's nothing really wrong with it, but it really doesn't tickle my fancy the way Baltic porters usually do.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.01/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark mahogany color with 1/2 a fingers worth of head

S: Solid earthy presence along with the lager yeast and some chocolate notes, light fruitiness, and some caramel/toffee as well

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with a earthy stone fruitiness which flows into some lightly roasted malts that impart the toffee and caramel notes. Alcohol nowhere to be found

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Soft and smooth

O: A really nice dark lager with plenty of flavor. Easy to drink, especially given the 22 oz. format, and priced very well at $3.99. If you like baltic porters, I'd recommend trying this one

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

A: Beautiful ruby red in color with a light brown, fluffy head that recedes quickly leaving behind no retention or lace at all but great legs as this is one boozy beer.

S: This is going to sound strange, maybe because I'm more than halfway through the bomber after a previous beer, but it smells like how I picture the Baltic Sea to smell. Seriously. Sharp, pungent, spicy, earthy, salty, boozy, with heavily roasted malt, cold and clean air, and more alcohol. This is getting weird...

T: Booze really comes out when the beer is warm and complements the strong flavors of roasted malt, smoke, dark chocolate, dark and poached fruits, and a faint hop presence in the finish. It is actually slightly acidic as the style description states.

M: Great, strong flavors with a bit of a cloying malt/lactose presence that is found in most Porters. The body is nearly full preventing the lakey/watery feel (surprisingly not here even with my Baltic Sea comparisons).

O: I obviously need to visit, swim in, and take a sip of the Baltic Sea to affirm my comparisons. I'll get back to this review in the future. Until then, if you're reading this, buy this beer when you see it. It's a delicious beer by itself and a great representation of the style.

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Photo of jmarklan
4.14/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a deep mahogany with decent clarity. Head doesn't stick around very long and leaves no lacing.

S: Dark malts, complex, very roasty.

T: Touches of chocolate and coffee with vanilla, toffee, and dark fruit. The malts are very well roasted and add a balancing bitterness to the sweetness. The alcohol blends in very well.

F: Medium body, very smooth, a bit chewy even.

Overall: A complex malt bomb of a beer, and a quite good one at that.

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Photo of kemoarps
3.52/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep mahogany pour, but looks a little thin. Some head, but it fades, not really any lacing.

Nose is dark fruit sweetness, with roasty backbone.

I'm getting primarily burnt malts in terms of the bitterness, but there's more of a fig aftertaste. Dark fruits, roasty malts bordering on smokey. Solid.

A well crafted beer, just not one that necessarily appeals to me. Can't knock it, but probably wouldn't get another one. Would certainly drink it if offered, though. I think my mom would like this if she could drink it...

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

Poured into a snifter, the color is very dark brown/black with a garnet hue when held to a light. There is a khaki colored moderate head that diminished to a ring around the glass. The aroma is moderate-high sweet, roasty malt with some chocolate and ash, a nice nose. The flavor is roasty, chocolaty with a slightly ashy, dry finish. The hop bitterness is moderate and blends well with the acidity of the malts. There are hints of the alcohol toward the swallow as well with a long lingering, bittersweet, roasted malt flavor. The body is medium with moderate carbonation; the beer drinks fairly easy. Overall a flavorful, complex, yet not tiring beer, well done.

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Photo of falloutsnow
4.14/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Friar Tuck's in Savoy, IL
Best by January 7, 2012
Poured into a tulip glass

Victory has an excellent recipe for their baltic porter, able to merge the roasted, chocolate components with the fruit esters of the two major versions of this style. Neither component is over-pronounced in regards to the other, and they both work well together. This is one to seek out and enjoy when available.

Pours a 1.5cm head of dark tan bubbles, small to large in size (small on bottom, large on top) that rather quickly fades to a thin ring around the glass and a small island of foam atop the body. Head leaves no lacing in its decline. Body is a transparent dark amber brown, nearing black. Active carbonation is visible streaking along the sides of the glass.

Aroma has mild roasted malt and mocha scents along with some more subtle nuances of toasted nuts and mild dried fruit (blackberry, blueberry) esters.

Tip of tongue picks up delicious, dessert-like, dense (flourless) chocolate cake with dried blueberry and blackberry sauce. Front of tongue still picks up the dessert chocolate berry cake, but also adds some roasted malt acrid sweetness to the mix. Mid-palate continues to pick up roasted, charred malt, chocolate, and dark, dried berries along with some mild ethanol. Ethanol presence becomes more noticeable towards the back of the palate, but isn't ever too strong as it sits alongside fruit esters and mild chocolate. Washes out with a flash of ethanol, leading to a lingering flavor of semi-acrid roasted malt.

Beer is medium bodied with medium intensity carbonation that creates a slightly foaming sensation on the palate. Resulting mouthfeel is primarily smooth and a bit creamy. Ethanol presence becomes noted by mid-palate, with warming sensation in the nostrils and later in the back of the throat: it is never particularly boisterous or annoying. Closes out with a slightly dry finish, not particularly so, and with a bit of stickiness on the tongue and lips.

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

From a 22 oz bottle. Deep brown in color not black but close. Tan head of tiny bubbles fades quickly.
The smell is on the weak side. Toasty almost roasty malts.
Taste is wonderful starts with a little roastiness and finishes with a sweet fruity aftertaste. Lingering bitterness after taking a drink.
Thick on the feel but very smooth going down.
I'm sorry I waited so long to try this beer, next case will come along shortly.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: single finger head with poor retention on a deep murky brown body.

S: light on the nose with dark chocolate, mild roasted malt.

T: lots of chocolate, only minamly smokehy. Some roasted malt.

M: medium body and moderate to high carbonation

Overall: very drinkable and perfect degree of sweetness

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet. Best before 27 December 2012.

A: Creamy off-white head. Darkest brown, with a hint of translucency. Good lacing.

S: Sweet milk chocolate malt. Not much else.

T/M: Oh, my, this is nice. Perhaps the best I've had since Alice Porter. Fruit -- blueberries? -- and chalky bitterness. Light chocolate, medium, a touch of...chicory? Creamy, mostly smooth (with a kick of spice and/or carbonation just before I swallow), and full-bodied. Rich and complex. A highly rewarding beer.

O: This is an excellent beer. Drinkable, delicious, and excellently balanced between fruity and bitter. Utterly delicious.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.89/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoy by Dec. 28, 2012.

Poured into a 12oz mug.

Translucent dark brown with a stiff little lip of head.

Rich roasted malts with slight acidity from an implied hint of black cherry and some alkaline chocolate. Toffee note mixes in with some sweetness to the nose.

Roasted grains, chocolate malt, black cherry, wet soil, and a pleasing acidic finish. A little leathery. Prevalent hopping with earthy tones and bitterness. Exactly what you might expect from a decent Baltic Porter.

Low carbonation keeps the body smooth. Not much heft, however. Just a medium viscosity. Well-disguised strength.

Pretty decent brew. Not the showiest of styles, and this one keeps it on the straight-and-narrow. But, it’s well executed.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
4.26/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz bomber into pint glass

Appearance – Pours a deep brown color with a small tan head. The head fades fast to give almost no lacing.

Smell – There is a big presence of roasted malt with toffee and chocolate infused within. These are mixed with a lighter dark fruit aroma, overall giving the brew a nice sweet brown bread smell.

Taste – A big wallop of sweet toasted malt flavor meets the tongue. This brown bread flavor mixed with a toffee sweetness forms the base for the remaining flavors of the taste to mingle with. Toward the middle, the fruits that were detected in the nose came to be tasted; being of a lighter plum and cherry taste. As the taste went on to the end, the fruit seemed to fade, but a light cocoa flavor took its place. This cocoa, when mixed with the toffee and sweeter malt, created a sweeter roasty flavor. The finish to the taste was also complemented with a smooth increase in alcohol flavor, leaving just a little bit of a pleasant dark rum like flavor on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – A nice and creamy body gives all those sweet, dark and rum like flavors a chance to soak into the tongue. The body when coupled with it’s just below average level of carbonation (accentuating the taste penetration of the flavors) makes for a very nice mouthfeel.

Overall – This is a very nice example of a porter in my opinion. Nice robust sweeter and darker flavors with hints of fruits and booze. It makes a great drinking experience overall and is a beer I would recommend.

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

Enjoyed a couple beers with my wife at the new Victory Beer Hall at Xfinity Live! in Philadelphia before a Nickelback concert. This beer was one of many Victory beers available on-tap.

Served in a clear plastic solo cup

A - A very dark, deep amber/reddish, brown color. A thinnish, beige-colored head when served.

S - A nice aroma of roasted malts with a caramel-like sweetness.

T - A really nice brew. A mix of roasted malts along with a distinct toffee-like sweetness. As the beer warmed up, a bitter chocolate taste is also noticeable. Very creamy and quite tasty. The alcohol is barely noticeable.

M - A smooth creaminess coats your mouth. A medium consistency. Light carbonation.

O - This is my first Baltic Porter so I can't say how close this is to style but based solely on taste, I would recommend that you give this brew a try. Good job, Victory!


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Photo of jifigz
4.32/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer appears dark brown with ruby highlights when held up to the sunlight. The head died rather quickly and was off-white. The beer smells very malty and chocolatey with tiny wisps of alcohol in the aroma as well. The taste is big and full of bitter chocolate and cola. It is heavy and flavorful on the palate, rich and creamy. This beer is a delicious dark brew.

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Photo of NoLeafClover44
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle poured into Weyerbacher cuvee.

A - Pours a dark brown, nearly black with ruby highlights in the light. A two finger almond head settles to one finger then stays put. Great tiered lacing.

S - Smells like oats, black coffee, toasty malt, very nutty. A little bit weak for an imperial porter.

T - Much more robust than the smell. Strong flavors of dark fruits, coffee, and toasted malt. A caramel/toffee sweetness rises above the traces of bitter coffee and burnt toast flavors on the finish for an impressive complexity. No alcohol.

M - Medium bodied with average-low carbonation. The flavors really hold this one up so no complaints in this department.

O - I was very impressed by the full flavors in this beer. In my experience Baltic Porters have left something to be desired in this category. Great sweetness, while not being overwhelmingly so. I bump up the overall category a half a point for the $5 bomber price. Unheard of in PA for a beer this good with 8.5% ABV. I highly recommend it.

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Photo of bnes09
3.64/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Milk chocolate color. Weak head and poor retention.

Dark, rich aroma. Figs, nuts and a slight alcohol spice.

Dark fruit sweetness is the predominant flavor. Mild roasted flavor of almonds. Enough earthy hop bitterness to balance. Alcohol burn in the end.

Medium, bordering on full bodied. Creamy in the middle and drying in the end from the alcohol. Good carbonation.

Descent. Less roasted flavor and hop bitterness than expected. Tastes a lot like a wee heavy. Still good though.

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

Dark mahagony color. The malt aroma is light, has a hint of cookie, and caramel. The hops are lemony, and the yeast has a tinge of cheese. The body is medium, the texture is thick, no carbonation, and the flavor’s duration is long; sweetness is light, as is acidity and bitterness. Perhaps a hint of coffee in the taste as well.

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Photo of justintcoons
3.44/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter.

A: Pours an extremely dark ruby red which appears transparent black. Has 1 finger of tan head that dissipates quickly revealing webbed lacing. Moderate carbonation with some sediment settling at the bottom of the glass.

N: Coffee with cream, toffee, sweet roasted barley and maybe some dark fruit.

T: Watered down coffee, roasted barley and overripe plum. Mid-palate brings in roasted sugars along with notes of toffee and molasses. Finishes with bitter dark roast coffee and hints of charcoal.

M: Medium bodied, silky, smooth, sticky and dry.

O: Not too complex and is overall a collection of roasted sugars and coffee. What is does have going for it is its easy drinkability. The 8.5% abv is hidden extremely well.

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

Bottle shared with Alucard4

Look: Black with red highlights and totally opaque with a 1/2 inch tan head and just ok retention

Smell: Roasted malt cocoa nibs and slight coffee notes

Taste: Almost identical to the nose this beer is. The only difference is it has a bit of a vanilla sweetness mid palate

Mouthfeel: Medium body and mild carbonation

Overall: Pretty damn good beer will drink again

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

Nearly black with a creamy tan head.

Smell contains a unique ripe fruit/berry quality followed by roasted smokiness and coffee.

Smoked, caramelized malts..dark fruits, mild coffee, somewhat syrupy sweetness.

Chewy, oil, smooth with light carbonation. Very nice.

Pretty good!

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

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a clear pint glass. Enjoy by April 06 2012. Paid $5.99 at LifeSource Natural Foods.

A-Pours a chestnut-dark brown hue with a one finger, thin, creamy tan head with weak retention and scant lacing.

S-Predominantly toffee and bready with some faint fruit as in figs.

T-Toffee sweetness balanced will by the hop bitterness. As it warms, the taste definitely improves as coffee, chocolate and dark fruits manifest. Can't taste the alcohol, which at 8.5% ABV it is masked well.

M-Very smooth, with a medium body.

O-This is decent. Taste and aroma is more like a normal porter. Expected this to be more robust and complex, but it improves as it warms.

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

A: Deep brown choclate color. Rich, creamy thick head. Looks fairly thin at this point. Inviting.
S: Malty, bready, definitely chocolate. Maybe some slight hops in the background lurking.
T: Rich malt all the way up front. Buttery in the middle. The finish has some light chocolate followed immediately by drying alcohol and warming going down. It is very cold outside, and this is nice.
M: The mouthfeel on this beer is very good. Definitely has a good sense of body, but not too filling. The carbonation is just right as well, just a bit prickly but overall smooth.
o: This is a nice beer. I haven't had many baltics and I can't say this blew me away, but definitely made well. I would have preferred a bit more chocolate taste and a little less alcohol burn.

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