Red Thunder | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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Red ThunderRed Thunder
Very Good
593 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.

Added by confer on 11-23-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 593 |  Reviews: 122
Photo of Jadjunk
3.83/5  rDev -1%
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 +13.7%
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 +22.7%
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 -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
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 +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mlockman
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
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 +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ClavisAurea
4.37/5  rDev +12.9%
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 -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of smithj4
4.16/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Faxmesomehalibut
3.44/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Patches826
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

3.87/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Bung
3.79/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Beastcpa
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of cryptichead
3.25/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of beaulabauve
4.06/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jjboesen
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Having allowed the finely corked bottle to sit for about 20 minutes, it began with a quick rush and slowly settled into a dark ruby body capped with a heavy foam crown. There is a nose heavy on spice and wood. The palate receives an intense miasma of black cherry, malt and nut, supplemented by a boozy finish that suggests a tanic red wine. The balance could be better and the mouthfeel more weighty. Add a plate of Irish cheddar and ..... yes! All in all, a nice quaff to while away a snowy March afternoon.

 509 characters

Photo of SierraFlight
3.39/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Bottle poured dark brown with thin head and small bubbles. A floral aroma with vanilla and coconut. Flavors were coconut, hazelnut, onion, and caramel. Did not get the barrel or wine flavors that others are noting. Maybe need a second try as I was 10 beers into a tasting. Mouthfeel was nice with light body and a dry finish.

 325 characters

Photo of dfhhead25
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of stortore
3.84/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750 ml into a snifter.

Lighter color than expected, kind of thin looking. Small head, some lacing. Smells a bit winey with a little tang. Getting a kind of sulpher smell- and damn, it kind of grows on ya. Tastes of a lot of malts, some chocolate. The wine barrel aging is noticeable, a very nice highlight. Nicely carbonated. A little thin, but has a good mouthfeel.

This is a decent beer, but really not as good as I was hoping for. I thought the wine barrel aging was good, but not as forward as it could be. I think my real issue is that the base Baltic porter just is not that great.

 598 characters

Photo of hilgart1
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of hermit990
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of ThomasJ25
3.19/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Wow, a lot of red wine flavor. I enjoyed it but can only have this in moderation.

82 characters

Red Thunder from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 593 ratings
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