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 Jeffo
3.37/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this bomber from kv84 and his mate in the summer. Thanks a lot for the brews gents!

From a bomber into a snifter.
Note: Strong Porter brewed with lager yeast.

APPEARANCE: A thin, transparent brown pour produces a 1+ finger, medium looking, light brown head with good retention. Dark brown and slightly mahogany in color, transparent body, and very active carbonation for the style. Head slowly fades to a good film cap, but only a ring remains and leaves no real lacing down the glass. Could be a little darker and the carbonation could be toned back a little.

SMELL: Dark malts, toffee and caramel, with some dark grapes and raisins. Medium strength nose, but quite nice.

TASTE: Dark malts and very fruity up front. Dark fruits with grapes, raisins and dates, then moves into a very spicy finish. Dark malts, sweet caramel and brown sugar with some bigger spicy notes linger on the palate. Aftertaste is mild yet persistent. Tasty enough, and bordering on a Belgian strong dark ale almost.

PALATE: Medium body with lower levels of carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes with a tiny bite at the swallow. Slightly mouth-coating. A good feel, and surprisingly low carbonation given the look.

OVERALL: The look kind of hurt this one, and it could be a little more forthcoming in the nose, but this one was tasty enough to be interesting. Bigger body helped out a lot as well. This porter uses lager yeast, and from my experience, lager yeast moves an imperial porter closer to the Belgian strong ale zone. This is a style of beer I really enjoy, so I enjoyed this one as well, but it didn’t quench my thirst for an imperial porter brewed with ale yeast, which is the type I enjoy more I think. That said, this is a quality brew in its own right and is worth checking out. Thanks again for the trade kv84.

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Photo of Mitchster
3.37/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

$6.49 for a 22oz bottle @ Siciliano's. Brewed with "imported 2 row German malts and whole flower German hops" per the website. 8.5% ABV.

Pours out to a slightly hazy very deep brown, forming a creamy light tan head with very good retention and lacing. Carbonation is moderate, ~2.5 carbs or so. The aroma is of C120/Special B, grainy sweet pils malt, figs and dates and cocoa powder. Not much roast character. Faintly flowery hops. Mouthfeel is smooth, sweet, lightly cloying (appropriate to style), with some chocolate malt astringency in the finish. The taste starts with carob, a touch of alcohol, figs and dates, mild herbal bitterness, and this peculiar roasty note, like toasted pumpernickel bread, leather and moist pipe tobacco. Herbal hops throughout are odd for the style.

Interesting. I don't think many people would disagree with me if I were to say this is not to style (light in color, minimal roast, no black currants, raisins, prunes, late addition hops), but it's still a good just tastes more like an imperial brown. Nothing like Sinebrychoff, Okocim, Zywiec, Baltika #6, Carnegie Stark or Aldaris, but I still enjoy it on it's own merit. Rated here "to style".

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Photo of popery
3.37/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle, home. Disappointing baltic porter. This beer pours a translucent mahogany with very little head and what's there dissipated quickly, leaving a liquid looking more like wine than beer. There's so little head that I have to wonder if this is an off batch or something (will re-review in the future). The aroma is just ok for the style. It's a malt fruity version without too much roast. There's some chocolate and caramel in the mix, but it's mostly apricots, apples, plums, etc. The flavor is rather average, sweet and lacks a hook. There's just no real oomph to the beer. It's not bad, per se, but a distinct disappointment for the brewer and style, both of which I quite like normally. The mouthfeel is thin. The beer is drinkable and hides the alcohol well, but it also smells and tastes like a smaller beer. Not sure what happened here.

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Photo of vacax
3.38/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours very dark brown with a thick tan head. Good retention, low lacing. Aroma has tootsie rolls, chocolate, cranberry, apple pie, and earthy hops.

Flavor is initially sweet, cidery and a touch chocolatey, with a moderate earthy hops bite. The earthy quality sticks, then the finish has a roasted character. Good, though surprisingly light and simple for a baltic porter. Fairly approachable considering the ABV. Mouthfeel is medium and silky with lively carbonation. As the beer warms the carbonation drops off and the feel is increasingly creamy.

This is decently tasty, but not as complex as expected. Easy drinking considering the 8.5% ABV. An enjoyable beer, just not something I would prioritize in my beer drinking agenda. Worth trying.

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

Snagged a bottle to try from Beaumont Market here in Portland...

- Nice blacked no-see-thru color.. some crisp bubbly head, but not at all foamy.... looks like a porter!

- Faint smell of roasted chocolate malt.. some sweetness.. not much of a hint of alcohol at all... bitter hopping in which is light.

- Most impressive part about the taste is its ability to hide it's unusually high strength. Other than that it really doesn't stand out much from your average porter. Basic chocolate malt flavors, light bittering hop.. and a smooth finish. Thick..

- Bit dry and sweet... but overall decent.

- Bit filling and hard to drink very much, smooth and hides its strength... overall just an 'ok' porter.. not very impressed.

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Photo of jlandis
3.43/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a deep dark brown and settles to black. Thin to almost non-existent head. A very rich sweet malty aroma. Roasted aromas are also very prevalent.

A nice rich mouth feel. Some friends have said they thought it felt thin, but I thought it was pleasant. Subtle carbonation.

Non-existent hop flavors and aromas, but with this style that is expected. Picked up some subtle fruity aromas from the yeast. Couldn't really pinpoint the exact flavors.

There was definitely a lot of warm alcohol flavors from this one. I think this is actually what was most different from the tap version. I don't want to call it hoochy, but the alcohol presence made me think I was drinking something stronger than 8.5%

All around not a bad baltic porter at all. I do think it was much better on tap, so I'll have to try that again sometime soon.

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Photo of SixpointJMH
3.44/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The Hammer returns! Well, sort of. Ever since local brew master extraordinaire Tom Baker closed up shop on his Jersey Shore based Heavyweight Brewing Company in 2006, a legion of die-hard fans has been clamoring for Baker to unveil his next project, an eco-friendly brewpub and restaurant on the outskirts of Philadelphia.

In the meantime, Baker enthusiasts are now able to get their hands on Baltic Thunder, a Baltic Porter created as a new interpretation of his wildly popular Perkuno's Hammer Imperial Porter from his Heavyweight days. While the recipe for the Baltic Thunder is said to be all new, it has also been noted that said recipe was heavily influenced by the original Heavyweight beer. So, let's see how the "New Hammer" stacks up against the old, shall we?

Baltic Thunder pours an average looking dark brown color with lighter brown highlights coming through when the pint glass is held up to light. Quite honestly, I found the color to be a bit light for the style and was expecting this one to be much darker than it is. While still relatively dark, I'd have to say that this is one of the lighter colored porters that I've seen. The liquid body of the beverage is topped with a head that is bubbly and semi-creamy, with a light tan color to it. Head retention time is moderate before settling in to a very thin lace. Somewhat surprisingly, no residue is left on the glass after each sip.

Dipping your nose into the glass to inhale some of the aroma presents a nice blend of roasted malt, chocolate, raisins and some other general dark fruit and berry notes. I am fairly certain that I even picked up a slight note of Belgian candy/sugar as well. The aromatic presentation is well done, indeed.

And now on to the star of the show: the flavor. The first sip presents the flavor as being very much in line with the aroma, with all of the above characteristics blended quite nicely throughout the balance of each sip. A bit more of a sharp flavor comes through here with the introduction of a healthy dose of alcohol (it does weigh in at a hefty 8.5% alcohol by volume, so this was to be at least somewhat expected), which leads to a bit of hotness and sharpness on the tongue. The alcohol is noticeable primarily toward the end of each sip and is rarely, if ever, invasive of the other flavors. Still, dark fruit and a bit of bitter chocolate seem to be the main stars here and they blend together quite nicely for a fairly balanced overall flavor.

The mouth feel is medium bodied and, again, a bit lighter than anticipated, especially given the style. The "heft" of the body should of course not be pushing into the full bodied territory of a stout, but I still would've liked to have seen a bit more muscle behind this one.

Overall, this isn't a bad beer by any means, and is actually quite good at times. The problem is largely that it doesn't hold a candle to the original Perkuno's Hammer, justified criticism or not. Yes, they are two different recipes as noted, which makes them two different beers, but the influence of one on the other is so great that one can not help but compare the two. The original came at you with a near jet-black, engine oil color and balanced the dark fruit notes with more of a coffee base and even threw in a fair amount of smoke flavor. There's just none of that here anymore. I'd liked to have seen them tweak this one a bit more here and there for a more dynamic brew overall, especially in regard to the appearance and mouth feel. It's certainly worth a try and shows promise here and there, but Baltic Thunder is perhaps a bit over-hyped in the end.

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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 yesyouam
3.46/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Victory Baltic Thunder is a red-brown lager with a small off-white ring of a head. The aroma is of deep, sweet malt, dark wood, cherry and resin. It is medium-bodied, quite smooth and a little syrupy. It tastes much like the aroma. It's resiny, dark and oaken. Nice, unique beer.
(rated May 29, 2008)

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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.

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

22oz Bomber
Wine Warehouse, Charlottesville

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of malcontent
3.47/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Excellent example of a Baltic Porter that has been lagered correctly; clarity is excellent, not murky and dense like its British brethren. Imposing two fingers of tannish head top off a really nice looking brew.

Softly roasted barley notes do their best to shine through but are unfortunately stamped out by an incessant soapy odor. I'd love to blame the glass but it's the second beer I've had out of it today and I've only rinsed, not washed. Biscuity qualities do surface after a while but I'm not sure a nice out-of-place aroma makes up for an iffy aroma profile.

Flavor is a vast improvement over the nose with a thick rush of chocolate and dark (prune) fruit immediately. Roasted qualities surface but the emphasis is definitely on the molasses-like sweetness that is such a major component of the style.

Thickness is good but they downplay the carbonation a bit too much for their own good. Still, a nice and unexpected stab at the style from one of my favorite breweries.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The 'Thunda' is a medium brown color with a tan creamy head, good retention and average lacing.

Roasty, chocolaty nose. I get some dark fruitiness in there as well. Fairly light nose for such a big beer.

Has a roasty, toasty hoppy flavor. Why does the label claim this is a lager? Not sure, but the light nose and the thin body would make more sense. Alcohol taste is pretty prevalent, a bit too boozy for me. Alot of fruitiness comes forth as the beer warms. I also get some oak chip like lingering effect in the throat. Has some astringency as well. It's a decent enough beer, but I cant say that I love it.

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Photo of thecarster1
3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a- bomber poured into a snifter, one plus fingers of head that fade slowly leaving uneven lacing and a ring around the glass, very dark brown black color.

s- roasty, sweet malts, some coffee, a bit toasted.

t- nice, roast, coffee bitterness, toast, some nuttyness, touch of alcohol in the backend, sweet touch to it.

m- little thin, was expecting a bit more to the body.

d- okay, decent beer, i wouldn't seek this one out probably, but i'm glad that i had the chance to try this.

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Photo of pburland23
3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a dimpled mug.

This was my first foray into the Baltic Porter style. Having always enjoyed Victory in the past, I figured they were a safe choice.

Poured a pleasing deep, dark brown with an almost non-existent head. Not totally opaque. Smelled of chocolate and coffee. The taste was not as bold as I was anticipating. The mouthfeel seemed thin. It didn't feel like a stout in my opinion. As for drinkability, it was a little rough around the edges while cold. The beer mellowed as it warmed in the mug, but it was not the most pleasing introduction to the style. Would I drink it again? Maybe, but I wouldn't go out of my way for it.

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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 kenito799
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into a pint glass.

Clear black-brown brew, ruby highlights when held to light. Nice little head recedes to a ring, very little lacing.

Roasted malt dominates the nose, hints of black coffee, burnt sugar.

Medium body, not really creamy, carbonation somewhat forceful. The flavor is all about roasty toastiness, with a bitter coffee aftertaste that lingers nicely. Not sweet at all, which improves drinkability. Not as complex as one might hope but solid and well made.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle, 8.5% ABV. Best before Jan 09. Dark brown to mahogany in color, with some ruby highlights. Thin tan head disappears immediately. A bit disappointing.

Nose starts with some chocolate, and stops short of being roasty. A strange grainy aroma in the middle, followed by some floral notes. A bit of bread going on here as well.

Darker chocolate, maybe a hint of coffee, followed by not much of anything. There is only a bit of grainy flavors in the middle before it moves into a floral, almost herbal hop finish.

Medium body. Alcohol is well hidden for the strength. This beer just seems to be missing something in the middle that could make it special.

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

Pours a brownish black with a 1/4 inch head that basically dies.

Smells of dark fruits with possibly a touch of diacetyl (smelled slightly buttery at first but I am not smelling that now).

The taste is decent. Dark fruits mixed with small amounts of roasted malts and some bitterness on the end. A bit acidic. Had I not had other Baltic Porters, this would do alright. However, stacked against the good ones, this is definitely a step or two down.

Mouthfeel and drinkability are both acceptable. Biggest problem is the mouthfeel seems too thin for the style.

Overall, not bad - but I don't see myself coming back to it either.

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

poured into nonic pint glass from 22oz bomber
A - dark reddish brown with a thin whispy head that clings around the rim
S - malty, nutty aroma, with a slight note of hops
T - a little coffee and chocolate, but not overly complex.
M - lower carbonation, thinner body for a porter
D - fairly easy to drink, no hint of the slightly higher abv

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nothing really stands out here. Deep brown with ruby and scarlet tones. A small whispy thin head of tannish mocha appears and forms into a ring with a foamy oceanesque topper.

Mixed milk and dark chocolates, unmalted barley, somewhat of an pungent ester with a anise black licorice aroma. Black truffle, and black teas as well. Earthy with an almost terroir driven aroma.

Hmmm. A little light in body with a hop bitterness on the finish. Again more unmalted barley with a chocolate, caramel malt middle. Black tea again with a black licorice feeling. Prickly carbonation that I don't really think fits the style.

Too be honest I'm dissapointed. I was expecting much more from this. But what can you do.

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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.

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

Poured from 22oz brown bomber into a Duvel tulip. No freshness date. Purchased at Market Street Wineshop (Charlottesville, VA) for $5.99.

A: Pillowy off-white head caps a very dark brown brew. Lace is scattered and fine mainly at the top of the glass.

S: Aromas are most roasted malt and sweet chocolate. Coffee aromas are not present. Hops are vague and mostly earthy.

T: Flavor is not big or bold but decent with Sweet roasted malt and chocolate flavors. This brew does not present the big roasted flavors the best baltic porters possess. The hoppiness is also understated, earthy, and herbal.

M: Feel is also above-average but nothing spectacular. Medium-full body with active carbonation which hurts the feel a little bit overall. Aftertaste is sweet roasted grain.

D: Not up to snuff for Victory offering but not terrible -- it just seems uninspired.

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