Baltic Thunder | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Baltic ThunderBaltic Thunder
Very Good
927 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 927 |  Reviews: 540
Photo of metter98
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer poured very dark amber (near black) in color with a finger high tan head that quickly faded leaving a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. A light to moderate amount of carbonation is visible from the rising bubbles.
S: The aroma is rather sweet and has notes of toasted malts. There are also some hints of dark fruits in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and also has notes of brown sugar, caramel malts, coffee beans and toffee.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very creamy and smooth on the palate. There is a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is very drinkable for the style; the alcohol is well hidden from both the aroma and taste.

 683 characters

Photo of DogFood11
3.37/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The pour is smooth and easily managed. Thin head sits above a dark brown body.

Malty and earthy. Charcoal, Mild Smoke, Toasted malts lean up against a sweetened molasses, licorice balancer. This is easy to drink but lacks any kind of hop presence to keep it fresh. Its rich and one sided. A bomber is a bit much in one sitting.

I'm usually into the style but this is not for me. I can tell its put together well for a desert type pairing but for gobbling during a ball game it does not fit. Save this one for a nightcapper with some rich cake etc...

 553 characters

Photo of Ryan011235
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter on 12/28/09

Enjoy by 3/26/09

Pours dark brown, settles black. Burnt crimson highlights. 1/2 inch tan/brown head dissipates rapidly to a thin wisp of foam on top. Very thin retention with spotty lacing. Swirling revives a little but not much.

Big malt aroma; robust & generally sweet. Lots of toffee with caramel, too. Roasted malt notes & hints of chocolate. Dark fruit undertones - prunes, raisins & maybe a hint of cherry. Nuances of molasses. Little bit of booziness.

Tastes very close to the nose. Sweet & roasted malts aplenty. Toffee & caramel upfront with roasted chocolate around the edges. Hints of vanilla. Undertones of baked dark bread. Toasty. Not picking out much in the way of fruit notes.

Full body with low carbonation. Creamy; very smooth from start to finish. Not a whole lot of residual notes lingering on the finish, just a little roastiness.

Drinks well for 8.5% abv. Solid flavor profile; quite enjoyable. Considering the bottle indicates it's nine months past its prime, it's all the more impressive.

 1,053 characters

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

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue IV:

Baltic Thunder is the resurrection of Perkeno's Hammer from the late Heavyweight Brewing Co.--man, we miss that brewery.

Dark brown, nearly black color. Smallish head, though the tan lacing does have some decent retention to it. Ripe blackberries, licorice root, soft charcoal and a very faint smokiness from the roasted grain make up the aroma. Just as smooth as it is creamy and it's pretty damn smooth, with a full malt jacket. A malt bomb is not saying enough; thick layers of sweetness and roasted character unfold. Suggestions of chocolate mousse, black cherry juice, toasted bread, hint of charcoal and mild roast coffee show off the complexities. Alcohol is a little hidden, with a small warming quality in the end. Hop bitterness and flavor both come in modestly and really only help to keep some balance. Finishes a little chocolaty, slight mocha, sweet.

Delicious. Very rich with pleasing malt complexities. Excellent for pairing with a dessert or even as a night cap.

 1,030 characters

Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.28/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance -- Pours into the glass like dark maple syrup. Dark in the glass, but when held up to light it is a clear, deep ruby hue. Beautiful, but not for a Baltic Porter.

Smell -- Raisin, caramel, dark roast, and baker's chocolate.

Taste -- Mild dark roast flavors are immediate: cocoa, char, some faint smoke. There's quite a bit of fruity sweetness, particularly raisin and date, as well as caramel and toffee. The finish is mildly roasty with some residual caramel/toffee sweetness. Overall, rich and dark, but more in the vein of a strong dark ale or old ale.

Mouthfeel -- Medium to full in body. Mild carbonation makes it creamy.

Drinkability -- I felt like I was docking this for points against my better judgement, but that's what happens when you rate to style. It misses a number of the hallmarks for an exceptional Baltic Porter, mostly in the appearance and flavor profiles. If you told me this was a strong dark ale, I would have believed you. I also would have graded this a B+/A-.

That said, it's a delicious beer, whatever it is. I enjoyed it considerably.

 1,079 characters

Photo of CooperEllis
3.81/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The very odd thing was nothing stood out but at the end of the glss I really wanted another one.

From 220z bottle. Into .3l tulip.

Very nicely colored head, but thin, retreated but left a nice covering.
Initial smell was the cardboard after the pack of raisin's was empty. As it breathed a bit, distinctly malty.

the carbonation really crossed me up at first as the bite on the tip of my tounge I mistook for alcohol. With a more full, um, gulp? helping? the carbonation is not as severe.

Aside from the carbonation on smaller sips - very plain mouthfeel.

Again, nothing really stood out, but it was drinkable and paired very nicely with a dinner of cayenne sloppy joes w/ red beans and rice (made with crushed pepper and honey). I bought two of these and I'd certainly pick up more (but then, I'm a fan of porter's and 22oz suit me) and I'm actually going to cellar a bottle or two to review at a later date. I think with a bit of age this may go from run of the mill upper middle class to damn fine drinkin'.


 1,024 characters

Photo of misinformed
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle labeled "Enjoy by Jan. 27, 2011". Poured in to a pint glass.

A- Close to opaque, dark red/brown color. Poured with close to a 2 finger head that quickly disappeared. No residual head or any lacing at all.

S- Not strong smelling. Faint hops at first followed by roasted malts. The hops faded after the beer warmed a bit which pretty much just left a nice roasty smell.

T- Underwhelming at first. Malty, roasted malts. Faint smokiness. There was a small amount of sweetness as well, but it's not strong or even one of the major flavors. Some faint baking chocolate. As it warmed up towards room temperature the profile shifted a bit and some light hops came out. I also noticed some fruit notes (raisin, maybe apple). Mild bitter finish. Light alcohol occasionally.

M- Thin and watery. Very light, tiny bubbled carbonation on the tongue.

D- Smooth and not overly complex. I noticed hints of the alcohol now and then, but it doesn't show its higher alcohol content. I was quite surprised and enjoyed this beer a lot. Definitely drink it closer to room temperature otherwise you're not doing this brew justice. I don't know how often I would pick this up, but I would definitely drink it again.

 1,209 characters

Photo of connecticutpoet
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my faithful pint glass, this beer produced a three finger head over a clear, deep red-brown body. The head retention was pretty good, which made me look forward to the experience.

Aroma was of plums, roasted malts, burnt caramel, coffee, and hints of chocolate. Complex, layered, and good.

Fruitiness was not discernable in the taste, however. I got roasted malt at first, followed by burnt barley, coffee, and bitter chocolate. Better than average, but a slight letdown given the aroma.

This beer had a good body, not too thin but not oppressively thick or syrupy either. Better than average mouthfeel for a porter.

I would rate the drinkability of this beer as pretty good. I wouldn't mind having it again, and it was an enjoyable exploration of the style. A good beer to use as an introduction to porters.

 824 characters

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

Poured out with a small, quick to disappear head, minimal lace. The body is a nice deep brown with ruby highlights.
The smell starts with lightly roasted malts, some earthy hops and a little vanilla sweetness to finish it off.
The taste is pretty nice. You have the coffee/chocolate that you might expect followed by a nice bit of hops. More hops than I expected but it gives it a nice crisp finish.
A little thin on the mouth.
I liked this baltic porter. It isn't too complex but it has an all weather feel to it. If you can find it for under $5 I'd say try it out.

 567 characters

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

Poured from 22oz bottle.

A- Pours a very dark brown color. Light red hues when held to the light. One finger light tan head. Ringing lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Very light darker fruits in the aroma. Roasted malts with light toffee notes. Some chocolate malts in this make the beer overall a pleasant surprise in the nose.

T- Nice roasted malts upfront with light toffee flavors. Biscuty flavors in the middle with some darker fruits that are choice notes in here. Light bittering hops in the backend with roasted malts at the last second.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Roasted malts left on the palate of this with a light hopping in the aftertaste. Flavors were clean and mixed well together.

D- A very very drinkable porter. This is a smooth drinker and the ABV is the only limiting thing on this. I would have no problem drinking a couple of bottles of this.

 906 characters

Photo of bruachan
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

not opaque, which is a bit of a surprise. deep rootbeer gernet, and some good foam at the beginning

deep n' roasty smelling: touch of toffee aromas, with chicory and a proto-chocolate

fruity, toffee dry chocolate (you know, not a chocolate bar but the cooking stuff) flavors. deep roasts with some astringency add depth. the mouthfeel is robust enough but feels a little flat at the end

 388 characters

Photo of emmasdad
3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown with some reddish highlights and a fluffy, white tan head. Aromas of dark and caramel malts, Hershey's cocoa and hints of dark fruit. Good flavors here, chocolate, plums and molasses. Well balanced, with the alcohol hidden, and a nice dry finish. Glad I got to try this one, but I doubt I will go out of my way to track down another.

 357 characters

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

 340 characters

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

appearance: pitch black with some good head rentention and lacing

smell: roasted malt, coffee/chocolate and sublte saltness

taste: nice ikperial porter. sublte sweetness, nice choclate flavor

mouthfeel: medium bodied and on the light side for a imp porter. a few nothces above guinness

drinkability: good overall impy porter

 330 characters

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

I got this in what was probably my first FedEx assisted trade. Many thanks to Alex (BeerBeing) for helping out this n00b. Labeled as best enjoyed by 02 Jan 2009, I don't expect too much.

Pouring a deep mahogany red with a dense, light brown head, this beer has excellent clarity. Retention is great and there's some patchy foam for lace.

The nose is quite excellent, and surprisingly so. With a very pleasant oxidation, there's plenty or figs, raisins and plums. As a Baltic Porter, this probably isn't top notch as their isn't much going on behind the oxidation, which also mirrors my experience with this beer fresh. Just a touch of alcohol is present too, but for the life of me, I can't pick out anything apart from dark fruit oxidation.

The palate is similar, but a little more expressive (and for the worse). I'm immediately confronted with the oxidation with raisins and plums, but behind that is a faint reflection of oxidation's evil step-brother - a papery, thin, cardboard-like character. I can see some cocoa, but really, all the character has been wiped out. Roasted malt bitterness lingers on the finish with some alcohol. A little licorice root is also present. Medium-light in body, this has moderate carbonation. Drying on the finish with a lingering fruity oxidation character and mild bitterness, this is decent. Now, do I want to drink an entire bottle? Not really, especially since I've got to get to work on a paper that has the potential to send me on an all expenses paid trip to Breckenridge this September.

To summarize - if you like oxidized beer with a ton of dark fruit character, you will like an aged Baltic Thunder. If you want more - probably not. Having tried this side by side with the Perkuno's Hammer, there really is no comparison, this beer is inferior in every possible way

 1,818 characters

Photo of beertunes
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed this on a recent visit to Whidbey Beer Works: . Poured a nice brownish red, much redder than I expected. There was just a thin cap of light tan head that dissipated at a moderate pace and left scant lacing.

The aroma was a nice malty combination of scents, roast, coffee, toffee and a bit of spice. The flavors fit those descriptors pretty closely as well.

The body was good, perhaps a bit thinner than I anticipated, and smooth. Drinkability was very good for a beer of this strength.
Overall, a very nice beer that I look forward to having again.

 592 characters

Photo of OlRasputin989
4.09/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint...

A: pours a very dark mahogany with a 1 finger head of tan foam.

S: a rich and sweet, toffee, and chocolatey aroma with a hint of raisin and plum

T: a sharp, roasty, biscuity flavor upfront, then becoming sweet with more toffee and dark fruits. finishes with bitter, roasted malt, biscuity hops, and plum skin.

M: a really heavy body with a good carbonation considering the abv. finishes dry

Overall, a very tasty porter with a nice fruity character. I like the dark fruit character and the bitterness of the roasted malt and hops. The heavyness of this one makes it a good beer for the end of the night.

 630 characters

Photo of far333
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mahogany colored with medium clarity and copper highlights where the light comes through. Low head of oatmeal colored foam that doesn't rise up too much and settles out quickly, but leaves a fine cap.

Aroma of cocoa and raisins. Flavors of cocoa and roasted malt, notes of caramel and marshmallow. Moderate sweetness, offset with a balancing moderate bitterness, a bit roasty. Coffee emerges in the finish.

Thin mouthfeel, lacking body. Above average drinkability, well balanced but could use more character.

 510 characters

Photo of biglite351
2.96/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A year or so ago this was the FIRST porter that I ever had. It introduced me to the world of porters and stouts. This brew will be forever associated with that for me.

A - a bit more light showing through than I usually like, but it has a very tight lasting head.

S - not bad but very mild. Not strong enough to add or detract from the brew.

T - malty with a hit of chocolate. Bitter after taste.

M - coats the whole mouth. Mild tingle on the back sides of the tongue and top of the throat.

D - I am in for one every now and then for history, but that is about it.

 570 characters

Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.19/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ok, first, I will start with the disclaimer. This is the first baltic porter that I have tried. Anyway, I will try to review this as objectively and "to-the-style" as possible. Poured into a red wine glass, since I wasn't in the presence of my snifters.

The color is a beautiful deep garnet that shows a full body of ruby that is about as crisp and clear as they come. Beautiful! Topped by a somewhat disappointing fleeting head that leaves wispy traces of bubbles atop my beer with no lacing, the body is far more impressive than the cap on this one.

I was expecting an Imperial Stout-like flavor but with the smooth and refined flavor of lager yeasts instead of the ale yeast. While I was a bit off-base with this assumption, I wasn't too far off the mark. Toffee, caramel, hints of cocoa, and light roasty malt aromas are extremely well-balanced in the nose. They are complemented nicely by dates and raisins in the dark fruit department. Very nicely done.

On the palate, the dark fruits come through a bit more, giving a slightly sweet character to an otherwise dry and malty body. Toffee and caramel are accentuated, but the real surprise here is how great the roast is. This is almost porter-like in that regard.

There is some mild carbonation that gives a little bit of tingle early in the sip, but the finish is smooth and almost creamy. I don't doubt that there are better baltic porters out there, and I may have to return to this one later to re-review it to update my evolving palate and understanding of the style, but for now, this is pretty darn solid, and I look forward to really digging into this style. This is not a bad place to start.

 1,659 characters

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

Lot of complexity in this beer. Pours a very dark brown that allows a bit of light through at the edges. Head isn't impressive though. Nose has roasty components with a suggestion of dark chocolate. On the palate there's ample malt and roasted malt to sweeten things, with again some dark chocolate, and some balancing hops. Overall I'm surprised of the malt slant. Finish is roasty.

 383 characters

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

Poured from a bomber into a Sam Smith's tulip glass. Wikipedia informs me that the color of the beer is called falu red, with a dense though only finger deep, khaki colored head.

Nose is of Malts, and caramel, and dark fruit. Tastes of well roasted malts, a hint of coffee, and a kind of dry after taste. Not too terribly complex, but fairly easy drinking. Not a beer that you have to chew on by any means, it's fairly light bodied.

It isn't a terribly complex beer, but I still found it to be quite enjoyable. The wife likes it too, which is always a plus.

 560 characters

Photo of DerBayer
4.31/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yumm - I did not know that Baltic Porters were Lagers and they are amazing at least this one is - think Doppelbock means Stout - could you go any better as far as taste goes?

Hardly so - one of the tastiest beers I have had in my life but unfortunately a slightly faint smell of chocolate and coffee malt and not much else.

The body is a bit heavier than in a Doppelbock and lighter than in an English Stout - think IRS maybe...

Drinkability was high although I would have preferred a slightly less stout beer.

 513 characters

Photo of silentjay
3.57/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a translucent yet dark mahogany. lighter than i expected. small tan head, not a lot of lacing either. disappointed in the appearance.

smells very fruity. bit of toffee, black coffee, brown sugar, but more raisins and dates than anything in the aroma.

tastes more like a porter than the aroma and appearance suggest. but still, very fuity. a lot of toffe, much more than in the aroma. some molasses, cocoa powder, dark roasted coffee, licorice. roastiness comes through in the back end and in the aftertaste. no real hop presence. makes me think a bit of an english porter or brown ale.

light-medium bodied with just enough carbonation for the style. lacking a bit of body.

drinkability is fine. strong beer, but alcohol is very well-hidden behind the fruit and toffee sweetness.

different take on the style with the strong fruity scent and flavors that add a bit of complexity to an otherwise average beer. not my favorite porter (I like stronger coffee flavors that come close to being classified as a stout), but one that I wouldn't have a problem revisiting or suggesting to others.

edit almost a year later: this one resembles an old ale in some aspects. leathery and fruity (dark fruits)

 1,205 characters

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.

 847 characters

Baltic Thunder from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 927 ratings