Red Thunder | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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Very Good
592 Ratings
Red ThunderRed Thunder

Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Aged in Wente Vineyards red wine barrels.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 592 |  Reviews: 122
Photo of sweemzander
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Dragginballs76
3.77/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.62/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L- Pours a dark cherry red, with a thin, creamy, off-white head. A decent amount of carbonation. Nice lacing.
S- Sweet cherries and grapes, wine barrel, and slight sour funk.
T- Chocolate malt and coffee up front, with the dark cherry appearing. Finishes with a red wine, dry, slight pepper. Very interesting and complex.
F- Smooth, complex mouth feel. Alcohol is well hidden with a slight warming feeling.
O- An interesting and well enjoyed offering.

 461 characters

Photo of liquorpig
3.81/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BEER88
4.29/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ONUMello
3.77/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750mL bottle poured into a pint glass, bottled 8/7/13
A: Translucent reddish brown with a one-finger tan creamy head that lingers
S: Chocolate, red wine, cream/vanilla, chocolate malt
T: Matches the nose in the same order
M: Full-bodied, a bit smooth but doesn't feel fresh
O: A good lesson to check freshness dates before taking the bottle home. I'm sure the aromas/flavors pretty much match what they were when fresh and it hasn't aged poorly, but it does taste tired

 469 characters

Photo of Huffs
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Davepoolesque
3.72/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Chocolate, red wine, tannins and malt. Dry and oaky. Little to no sweetness. Not much flavor but it's ok. Not the worst. This is definitely past it's prime.

 157 characters

Photo of TH28
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle. No apparent bottle date. Appearance: Dark brown and opaque with a light khaki head that dissipates. Aroma: Complex blend that starts with strong red wine and charred oak, with an underlying chocolate, roast, and vanilla. Wonderful aroma. Taste: Rich malt sweetness upfront that quickly hits a tannic red wine and light oak flavor that dominates the taste profile. Roast and chocolate show up on the back end at the swallow. Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy body with some viscosity and low carbonation. Finish: Roast and chocolate malt character linger from the swallow thru the finish. A touch of oak and toffee as well. Overall: An interesting beer here. Starts with an amazing complex aroma that blends the characters of the red wine barrel, chocolate, and roasted malt beautifully. The taste doesn’t quite back it up though. The wine barrel charter really dominates, and it’s not until the swallow and finish that the true Porter malt characteristics come thru. Perhaps a little less barrel exposure would provide better balance.

 1,045 characters

Photo of bushbeer75
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

poured from a 25.4 fl. oz. brown bottle

Red Thunder has a very dark auburn almost black body producing a 1 1/2-finger bubbly tan head that dissipated to a collar of foam. The aroma is of roasted malt and some coffee and chocolate. The taste begins sweet, with flavors of dark fruit and a little chocolate followed by some hops. Then a good amount of malt is present helping to balance the hops. Mouth feel is smooth, with a medium body and carbonation. A nice alcohol warming at the finish.

Red Thunder is flavorful and not too filling.

 545 characters

Photo of JMS1512
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of calcnerd
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of gobuccos
4.06/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of StoutAtTheDevil
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of ckollias
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Stillyman11
3.39/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of matt_duthie
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled Aug 07 2013, drank tonight.
A: Pours pretty thin and a little lighter brown/dark amber than expected, but in the glass it's nearly black with just hints of ruby coming through the light. Sticky webs of lacing. Pretty good.

S: Red wine just dominates here, but not in a bad way. Faint hint of roasted malt and a chocolate tone are present, but only once you get past the in-your-face grape, oak, and tannins.

T: Tart and fruity (grapes, cherries), but not overly so. Definitely reminiscent of wine, not sure if that's attributable to the ago on this one. The middle allows some of the base porter roasty malt and a bit of cocoa to come through, then it's oak on the finish, lingering slightly but basically dry. Delicious. Aftertaste of some sweet malt as well; damn, better than I remember the other bottles tasting, though I've always enjoyed this beer.

F: A little slick, but with some creamy qualities. Carbonation is pretty right-on (i.e. a little, but not spritzy) especially considering the age. No complaints.

O: This has always been a go-to for wine-barrel-aged beers for me, and as I stumbled across a 2.5 year old bottle today I figured it was time for a review. Solid as ever, maybe even better with age (not that I paid attention to how old the others were...). Maybe not representative of the baltic porter style, but it certainly fits in there and would be a treat for anyone who appreciates a good stout/porter/red wine.

 1,460 characters

Photo of lochef81
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of chrismattlin
4.65/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of MacStinson
4.17/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Jadjunk
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

"First brewed in England in the 18th century, porter-style beers were transported to Baltic maritime cities in oak casks. As the style roamed through Europe, it picked up flavor influences along the way. We guessed that this drifting, vagabond style would enjoy a bit of downtime, so we gave it a new home for a few months. We filled oak barrels that previously held red wine with our Baltic Thunder and waited patiently for results. Subtle and seductive, the burnished cocoa creaminess of this beer is now accented with the tannic dryness that the wood imparts. Like our Baltic Thunder, Red Thunder honors the Baltic god of heavenly rumblings, as the ever-changing porter is as unpredictable, yet romantic, as an evening storm." Brewed in the style of a Baltic Porter, aged in Red Wine Barrels. Available in 750ml. bottles and on limited draft.

Poured from a 750ml. bottle to a snifter glass.

(Appearance) Pours a foamy frothed head of a medium tan color over a dense, dark brown body. Retention is above average and lacing is light and patchy. 3.75

(Smell) Potent aromas of tangy red grape juice and barrel tannins over smooth notes of lightly roasted grain, caramel malts, smooth cocoa and dark fruit. The barrel treatment in this body certainly influences the aroma of this beer, as the base beer is far more transparent beneath it all. Potency is moderate. 3.75

(Taste) Tangy fruit character comes forward up front, but quickly subsides as the beer transitions to the expectations of a Baltic Porter style, with roasted barley, chocolate malts and toasted caramel bread taking the lead in the second half of each sip, with a trailing hint of grape skins after the finish. Very enjoyable and a surprisingly welcome and unexpected transition for a Baltic Porter. Despite not picking up on much barrel aging character, the red wine does clearly leave an impact on this beer. 4

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, lightly chewy, smooth, medium dry. Carbonation is medium, generating a medium frothiness and a moderately crisp finish. Body is medium for the style, medium/heavy overall. Balance is slightly tangy and acidic over grainy and sweet. Alcohol presence is light and there are no off characters. 3.5

(Overall) A surprisingly pleasant delivery for an unusual combination of style and barrel treatment, I did not expect the results to be as enjoyable as they are, to my delight. The red wine barrel aging brings an incredible amount of fruit to this beer to make the flavor much more complex than just a Baltic Porter. The increased acidity and tanginess is welcome as a compliment to this beer. I wouldn't mind revisiting this one in the future as I enjoyed it quite a bit. 3.75

Victory Brewing Company's
Red Thunder Malt Beverage Aged In Wine Barrels

 2,771 characters

Photo of madelfonatree
4.4/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled August 6, 2013 and enjoyed September 14, 2015 in a Hopslam tulip/snifter.

Look - Dark reddish brown. Very thin tan head. No lacing. Bubbles are large the ones that form. Tasty for a beer I expected to be light.

Smell - Heavy booze smell, more like bourbon as opposed to wine. Weeds (not the kind you light and smoke). Sweet. Dark fruits.

Taste - Sweet and boozy but subdued. I really wish I had a fresh one to compare this to. It is good. I will not lie and say there is no skunked taste, but only slightly in the finish.

Feel - Very smooth. Heavier than water with no harsh carbonation. Fluffy.

Overall - I opened this as a $3 or so discount special expecting to pour it down the drain. This held up well. Label says malt beverage but is a baltic porter!

 771 characters

Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

From tasting notes. L: It pours brilliant red highlighted chestnut under a 1” quickly receding white foam collar. S: Raisin and wine aromas rise from the glass. T: The attack starts with wine and fruit flavors, primarily plum and then it goes through an array of flavors such as light coffee and chocolate to the finish where the hops are in the background. F: The body is medium to full carbonation is a little below medium. O: A big, bold Baltic Porter.

 457 characters

Photo of Osulou92
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A: Boring bottle art, but sexy lace. Dark mahogany body.

S & T: The nose is primarily molasses and grape skin with a background of sour dark red fruit. Outright oak also makes an appearance. The flavor switches things up and puts the faintly sour/tart fruit notes in the front, punctuated abruptly by the molasses/roasted husk porter characteristics. Moderately dark chocolate is thrown in there, too. Tannic finish.

M: Light-medium body, slightly filmy, restrained weak carbonation. Exactly what I would seek in a barrel-aged Baltic porter.

O: The flavors are individually great, but end up clashing. There were some glimpses of genius but weren't integrated well with each other, and it ended up being a confusing beer. I'm impressed, howoever, with the patience they must have shown when aging this; the wine characteristics were not an afterthought. Commendable.

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Red Thunder from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 3.88 out of 5 with 592 ratings