Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Victory Red Thunder Porter Aged in Wine Barrels (8/10)

This beer comes from Victory Brewing Co. in Downingtown, PA.  It's a porter aged in wine barrels.

Red Thunder pours a nearly black dark brown color with finger thick tan head that lasts a minute or so and then becomes a thin layer across the top.

The aroma is a curious mix of fruit, wine, and malt, no doubt owing to the porter's natural characteristics and that of the wine previously held in the barrels.  There is a hint of sourness to the aroma as well, kind of a sour cherry like aroma.

The flavor is incredibly complex.  The first thing I notice is red wine and a strong oak element.  Behind the oak is a sweeter red wine flavor, followed by the malt and hops of the porter itself.  Finish is bitter, with an astringency to it.

In the end, this is one of those beers I'm glad I got to try.  I can't imagine myself craving this one or jumping at the chance to have it again, though.  It's like many things in life.  Once you've had the experience of it, that seems to be enough.  Who knows?  Maybe six months from now I'll wish I'd bought more bottles of it.

I picked this up on sale at Kenny Road Market.  That was a couple of weeks ago, so it's unlikely they still have it in stock - but if it sounds like a beer you'll enjoy, you may want to check with them.

Beer Advocate gave Red Thunder an 88 out of 100.  Rate Beer gives it a 95 overall.  As for me, I think it's quite an interesting beer, and also a good one.  In my mind, the "interesting" part weighs a bit more than the "good" part here, but I'm not a huge red wine fan or a big porter fan.  I like drinking this more than most wines or porters I've tried, so I'm going to give it an 8 out of 10 just based on the complexity and the overall experience.

At 8.5% alcohol by volume, it's a relatively strong beer, though certainly below Ohio's current 12% limit.  This is something you'll want to take into account when you open the bottle.

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