Saturday, December 26, 2009

179b. Victory Baltic Thunder

Our third beer from Victory, and our first non-HopDevil varietal—besides HopDevil we’ve had WildDevil. You’re also probably wondering why I came to the West Coast to drink an East Coast beer (yes, I’m still in Seattle). Easy—because I’ve never seen this beer before, and I’m one not to pass up an opportunity. Plus Victory is the bomb. And yes, I know I’m marking myself as ten years behind by using that phrase. Wack as hell, too. I’ll live. I’ve got the beer.

Baltic Thunder is a Baltic Porter; the nose is caramel, roasted malt with a touch of burnt, and a generous helping of dark fruits to round things out. In the glass, it is is deep brown with rich red highlights. With warmth, the caramel, toffee, and fruitiness of the nose increases, and a secondary toasty warm aroma also emerges. Baltic Thunder starts sweet and bready with rich dark fruit flavors—primarily cherry, plum, and raisin—before moving into a roasted rich malt flavor in the middle. The finish brings with it a return of the dark fruits, ending clean & crisp. With a medium to light body, Baltic Thunder also has a medium to low level of carbonation; while rich, there is also some light creaminess to the mouthfeel. A delicious, well-balanced, and smooth drinking beer. The complexity of flavor for a lighter bodied beer is a big plus—it compares very nicely with Alaskan Baltic Porter, for example, although a bit brighter on the palate. Definitely a delicious beer, making me correct in my assumptions that I should grab a bottle now so I didn’t regret it later.

From the Victory website: “Truly a world beer, Baltic Thunder represents the Baltic Porter style admirably. Exhibiting the enticing, toffee roast of the British porters that originated the style in the 18th century, and the soothing, subtle fruit nuance of contemporary brews that flourish from Helsinki to Vilnius today, this dark lager honors the Baltic god of thunder. Created by an inspired collaboration of brewers and tempered with a touch of turmoil, Baltic Thunder rolls on to bring you enchanting light as the darkness fades.”

ABV: 8.5%
Malt: imported German 2-row and roasted malts
Hops: European whole flower


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