21 December 2008

Victory Baltic Thunder (PA)

I found bombers of this on sale with a drink by date 12/31/08. I figured it's a big enough beer (8.5%) so as not to show signs of wear. The brewer says it combines the "enticing, toffee roast of the British porter" with the "soothing, subtle fruit nuance of contemporary brews that flourish from Helsinki to Vilnius." It also comes right out and says it's a lager. My understanding is that's often, but not always, the case with this style.

It pours a lovely clear dark ruby with a nice tan head. The texture is very smooth. The taste is faintly roasty and fruity, but not as doppelbock-ish as other Baltic porters I've had. Alas, it also comes off as a touch watery despite it's heft, although it improves as it warms. The finish dries out and has some German-tasting hop presence. I didn't sense the 8.5% ABV, at least not until I was done.

Maybe the bottle could have been fresher after all. It's still a nice beer, but not something I am going to make to hunt down next year.


Bill said...

I had this one last year (relatively fresh I'm assuming) and it was quite good. Had a berry/red wine sort of tinge to it, which I usually hate, but it was solid. If you can track down a fresh one, it might be worth your while.

Buttle said...

I'm wondering if it wasn't stored properly. I'm usually suspicious of stuff on sale at my beer retailer, as they're often past their prime.

Bill said...

I hate to fall into the whole "born on date" phenomenon, but maybe there is something to labeling when a beer was produced just for these reasons.