Red Thunder | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

very good
592 Ratings
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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.

Added by confer on 11-23-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 592 |  Reviews: 122
Photo of calcnerd
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of gobuccos
4.06/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of StoutAtTheDevil
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of ckollias
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Stillyman11
3.39/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of matt_duthie
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
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 -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of chrismattlin
4.65/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of MacStinson
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Jadjunk
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
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 +12.2%
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 +21.2%
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 -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

 869 characters

Photo of AMarkle6524
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mlockman
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Very interesting aroma and flavor, doesn't taste much like a porter at all. Rather, it tastes exactly like a red wine but without the unpleasant tannin aftertaste.

 163 characters

Photo of Eziel
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ClavisAurea
4.37/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage bottle served in a tulip glass at cellar temps.

Appearance: Nice bottle artwork. The beer poured pretty thin and didn't appear to have my ch body to it. There was a nice dark tan head that disappeared quickly. Bubbles are rising to the surface so there is still a fait bit of carbonation in there. Deep brown with hints of red gleaning through.

Nose: alcohol, fruity, cherries, raisins, coconut, oak, fresh cut lumber

Taste: thin, very little body, no alcohol presence, fruity, balanced, dominant red wine acidity and tannins.

Overall: This is a great beer. I really like the wine notes with the Baltic porter base. I wish it had more body but it is to be expected from a beer that is 2 years old. I'm surprised I found some of the oaky notes in there as well; especially ones that I would expect from a fresh barrel. Great find and another winner from Victory.

 878 characters

Photo of BarrelAgedG
3.44/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of smithj4
4.16/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Faxmesomehalibut
3.44/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Patches826
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Bung
3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Beastcpa
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Red Thunder from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
3.92 out of 5 based on 592 ratings.
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