Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Victory Baltic Thunder

The Baltic Porter is an interesting style that you don't see too many of in your daily beer travels.  Despite what the name suggests, the style originated in 18th Century England, but was named Baltic because they were mostly made for export to Russia.  Countries along the Baltic coast such as Poland, Finland, Russia, Ukraine, and others enjoyed the beer so much that they took up their own production of it.  That's why most Baltic Porters you'll find are from those regions or from American Craft Breweries who are interested in the style. 

The interesting thing about this style though is that despite the porter name, it's actually a lager.  The style should ideally have roasted malt flavors and aromas with a smooth mouthfeel.  You might have a little bit of hop flavor depending on the brew, but ideally it should take a back seat in a major way to the heavy toasted malts. 

The Victory version of this beer is a tribute to the Baltic God of Thunder and has a fair amount of head with a thin roasted chocolate aroma.  The color is a very nice ruby brown.  My first sip is immensely complex with loads of roasted grain flavor. 

There's a lot of chocolate mixed with toasted grains laced with the most ever so slight hints of coffee.  The alcohol content is on the higher side at 8.5%, but the beer remains immensely drinkable with a smooth mouthfeel conjuring flavors of cherries and dates supporting the bold toasted grains.  There's just the slightest hint of a chalky mouthfeel towards the end of the sip that keeps this beer from being a five-star, but any flaws in the brew certainly wouldn't be due to flavor.

Because it's a lager it maintains a light body despite its bold flavors.  This one is real pleasure to drink.  Ideally, this would be great to pair with heavy barbeque, but tonight I'm just having some roast chicken.  I'm curious if it could also hold up to some chocolate desserts?  The malts are just rich and sweet enough that I think they might.

I picked up my bottle at the liquor store on Pico just east of 20th St in Santa Monica, but chances are BevMo or Beverage Warehouse will have this one.  Definitely call to check first.

Baltic Thunder: ****

1 comment:

Aimee said...

Sorry, I realized that in cutting and pasting an email I sent to another Penn alumni, I messed up the name of your blog. I meant Brews Clues...Sorry about that.