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Wulver - Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

172 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 172
Hads: 1,416
Avg: 4.35
pDev: 24.14%
Wants: 268
Gots: 380 | FT: 90
Brewed by:
Thirsty Dog Brewing Company visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Spider889 on 12-16-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 172 | Hads: 1,416
Reviews by Igotmypistola:
Photo of Igotmypistola
3.92/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Wanted something big tonight. since i've had bourbon county the last 3 nights, thought i'd give something else a shot. 12% and according to the bottle, best served at 43 degrees. and so i do as i'm told..

First thing i think.. and i keep thinking it.. is bourbon coca cola.. seriously. lighter mouthfeel, same color, very carbonated. like a jack and coke. i thought it would be a bit darker. i can see right through it. not much of a nose on it at all. the flavor profile is pretty nice though.

Was expecting a bit more from it honestly. but a very nice drinking brew. not that i'd trade for it, but if i saw it on the shelf i may pick a 4 pack up.. i'm waiting for it to warm up and see if more of the nuances come out..

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More User Reviews:
Photo of kojevergas
3.49/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Heard great things about this for years...

BOTTLE: Gold foil covers the black & white branded pry-off crown cap. Brown glass. 12 fl oz. Boasts a classy black label design replete with gold font. Cost was $7.19.

Served cold into an oversized snifter and allowed to warm over the course of consumption.

HEAD: None. Just a pale khaki/off-white colour floater that fizzes away inside 10 seconds. No lacing.

A poor show in general, but forgivable at this ABV. When the glass is tilted, a boozy brandy-like clear film is left on the sides of the glass...one might say the beer has "legs."

BODY: Deep dark opaque auburn-black. There's an abundance of plainly visible yeast.

Appears aptly carbonated. It's not great looking, but the legs it leaves when the glass is tilted, and the floating lees have me curious to try it.

AROMA: Brings the style's signature thick malty core to the forefront, with notes of heavy black and dark malts, black strap molasses, and rich dark caramelized sugars. The bourbon character isn't as vivid or expressive as I hoped, and the barrel notes don't seamlessly melt into the base like you'd find in any great bourbon barrel beer. But the bourbon barrel is definitely noticeable, with notes of marshmallow, vanilla, and barrel sugars. I find no rich white oak, toasted coconut, etc., but the bourbon character is nice for what it is.

To style, this aroma suggests a sweet heavy thick beer without ever betraying its high ABV.

Getting back to the base beer, I pick up on notes of praline, toffee, faint pecan, and hints of raisin as well as some kind of vague dark fruit - maybe prune?

Aromatic intensity is moderate. No off-notes, overt hop notes, or yeast is detectable. Those hoping for a traditional wee heavy aroma may be a bit let down; the toffee isn't prominent, and British malts aren't in the fore - but the bourbon is exciting, and the beer isn't overcaramelized judging by the aromatics. Still, some chocolate malts, roast, or more interesting bourbon notes might elevate this.

TASTE & TEXTURE: The bourbon takes on a different dimension in the taste than it did in the aroma, bringing a mellow genuine vanilla character to the flavour profile that introduces itself in the early second act and stays through the finish, lingering even into the aftertaste. Unfortunately, there's still no oak or wood to tie the whole build together, but it's a cohesive beer nonetheless, with toffee, molasses, treacle, and praline combining to form a sticky syrupy core that sort of glues all the other constituent notes together...raisin, prune, caramel, marshmallow.

It's a gooey chewy beer, and uses that attribute as one of its key strengths, embracing the wee heavy mouthfeel in full. And 'heavy' it is, bringing plenty of body, weight, and heft to the palate without ever feeling too filling. One of its key strengths is accomplishing that full-bodied weighty presence on the palate without ever coming off cloyingly sweet; this is not a saccharine beer. Maybe the bourbon helps smooth out the edges in terms of malty sweetness. Hoppiness is rightly minimal in presence, letting the malts do the talking. It's aptly carbonated for the style, with a texture that walks the tightrope between smooth/coarse and wet/dry, approximating dried raisin and tar all at once without ever dragging on the palate, feeling rough or scratchy, or exhausting the drinker.

And the booze? What booze? Yes, there's some pleasant warmth in the stomach, but this drinks like it's about 9% ABV at the max.

Like the aroma suggested, ultimately the bourbon presence is disappointing and inexpressive - at least compared to that found in style paragons like Founders' Backwoods Bastard. Those hoping for rich white oak, toastiness, or coconut will be let down. But the barrel sugars play with the base beer's sweetness, and the bourbon barrel never overwhelms or eclipses the base - it just sits comfortably alongside it. Unfortunately, the bourbon doesn't melt seamlessly into the base, and the two don't play off each other to the extent that would be ideal.

Depth of flavour is above average. Flavour duration is moderate, as is flavour intensity. It's nicely balanced, but could use some dialing in. I find it well-executed for the style, with plenty of likable characteristics. But it's not a gestalt build, and there's no harmony of texture and taste.

OVERALL: While it has plenty to offer the discerning drinker in terms of complexity, Wulver never surpasses either the best traditional examples of the style or the best American examples of the style (e.g. Founders' Backwoods Bastard), instead hesitating between the two approaches to a wee heavy. More commitment to the bourbon or more commitment to the traditional British malts and toffee is needed, but Wulver tries to have its cake and eat it too, to its detriment. Worth trying, albeit at its high price point, but not a world-class entry in the category. Makes me excited to try more Thirsty Dog beers!

High B- (3.49)

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.26/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

If rum is too sweet... If scotch is too smoky... If bourbon is too caramelized... If beer is too soft... Then this ale is for you! It hits all the right chords and does so on the back of a surprisingly drinkable finish.

Wulver pours with a medium-dark brown beer. Hazy as it is, the ale allows for ruby, garnet and rust low-lights to penetrate; giving the ale a soft and dim glow. As its initial creamy sand-stained head forms, it swirls into something more akin to coffee creme. Its light trailing lace is kept under wrap by the beer's enormous complexity.

Its aromas and all things of boozy sweetness. Unmistakable bourbon parlays into a rummy, scotch-like scent as its spice and wood character tickle the nose. The peated ale underneath is lightly smoky, densely scented with molasses and burnt toffee, and offering hints of walnut and chocolate. As the beer warms, a light vinous woody scent of sherry pulls forth.

The taste is highly malty as its molasses and toffee seems to fold in a honey character that gives the ale a praline-type sweetness. Nutty with everything from buttery cashews to robust walnuts and pecans and almonds to boot- the earthen taste is greeted with vanilla, caramel and light coffee. A mild chocolate underpinning pulls from the toasted grains and dives right into those booze-soaked tastes of bourbon, scotch, rum, and again... light sherry wine.

Its body is full, rich and round. As the malty sweetness of the beer wraps around the tongue and saturates the taste buds fully, a more dessert-like "sipping" session seems to override the need for drinkability. But the sweetness breaks apart just enough to let the dry toasted malt textures and spicy alcohols dry the beer considerably and seems to lighten the beer in a more friendly manner.

Wulver is a near-perfect wood aged beer. Where the scotch industry has used bourbon barrels for centuries, its no surprise to find all that wood-aged character playing out on a base beer that supports the wood seamlessly.

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Photo of tectactoe
3.89/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Big thanks to Kevin for this gem. It's got a dark and seductive, caramel colored body with some decent edge clarity; the middle is too dark-hued to be translucent. Over the course of a few minutes, the creamy, beige head settles down to a sifting skin that quietly sifts across the top of the brew. No lacing, but the beer has some nice legs that show up when tilting the glass.

Whoof... The aroma is straight up whiskey, at least right away. I'm talking Jack & Coke, hold the Coke and double down kind of whiskey; drop by drop, through ten feet of sugar maple charcoal. A sturdy, yet underlying malt body can be found beneath the heavy liquor and oak; faintly sweet with hints of caramel, toffee, and a touch of dark fruit.

I'm pretty stoked to find out that the booze isn't nearly as hefty on the palate as it is on the nose, or this would have been one tough mamma jamma to trudge through. Some "dark" sweetness jumps out first and lays the groundwork; burnt brown sugars, caramel, and mild date-like fruits topped with a light cocoa powder covering.

Now imagine all of that being fed to you on a dry, oak slab. Barrel notes are heavy; strong wood and heavy oak with a faint reminder of vanilla. Bourbon/whiskey is of course present, but again, not so overpowering like the aroma made me think it would be. It does get boozier with warmth, but never reaches unapproachable levels, though the nose remains boozily-stringent. Heavy bodied with a lightly sticky mouth feel and reasonable carbonation.

Very nice barrel aged Scotch Ale that drinks pretty nicely. The bourbon pounds its chest and flexes hard in the aroma, yet still shows you that it has a softer side when you finally decided to take a sip. It's like when you find out that the 240 pound, weight lifting, muscle head jock cries whenever he watches the Notebook. Get your Kleenex ready, bro. Thanks again, Kevin.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.81/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #79 (Aug 2013):

A malt bomb to say the least. Very sweet to start, and the bourbon seems to make it even more sweet—not to the point of being cloying, though the bottle would be better shared. The Wee Heavy seems to be lost a bit or perhaps just clouded over by the bourbon barrel character. A good sip regardless.

STYLE: Wee Heavy
ABV: 12.0%

LOOK: Dark tawny brew, thin lacing

SMELL: Boozy, caramel, woody, brown sugar, cake batter, rose water, earthy

TASTE: Thick maltiness, smooth, creamy, sweet, alcohol, warming, woody, brown sugar, mildly peppery, mineral, wood tannin, bourbon, faint vanilla, sweet finish

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Photo of oberon
4.52/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep rich amber with a thinner but well sustained slight off white head,just great color clarity going on here.Wow the aromas are mind blowing,big sweet caramel and vanilla with a toastiness from the barrel,it has almost a pecan pie-like element to it to go along with dark fruit dipped in vanilla tinged bourbon.Mellow but full feel in the mouth,quite creamy with low carbonation.Vanilla and caramel flavors,almost like spiced rum ball,(if you have ever had one you know what Iam talkin about),there is this faint nuttiness that keeps me harkening back to pecan pie.Damn Thirsty Dog have hit home runs in their barrel aged beers,do more!

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Photo of Shawnadams330
4.4/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of DanGeo
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of NathanBunn20
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A - dark rich brown color, like a stout. S - nutty hint, strong coffee stout aroma. Hint of alcohol. T - tasted like a stout with a smack of yummy bourbon at the end. M - Thick and rich, no complaints. O - about what I expected, not gonna have to drink to many of these to enjoy a good night.

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Photo of Schlais
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of cjn40277
4.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of SanFranJake
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of delaced21
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Krafty34
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of RebeccaMB
3.75/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of sabitu
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of lateralundertow
4.19/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of dandaugherty1221
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of DaftPatrick
4.45/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Sam_Gladieux
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of warnerry
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of marvin213
4.08/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Having a growler of this to enjoy @ home is a real treat! Thanks to Wade-O for bringing this over from the Grapevine @ Baxter Village.

A little darker than normal, as expected from the ol bourbon barrel doi g its thing. In fact, it's darn near black! A thin layer of head stays a while--this big boy beckons like a mythological siren.... The nose is straight bourbon. It's like I've hanged myself upside down in a bourbon barrel. Soggy wet oak with vanilla undertones bombard the malty wee heavy. The taste confirms an earthy, bourbony goodness. This makes me wonder why more wee heavys aren't BBA. I'm not really a fan of the basic style, but it's as if it hugs the bourbon influence with lots of love and kisses! That sweet oaky bourbon really imparts its influence to what might otherwise be a malty mess. I can't help. It compare it to the template of a Backwoods Bastard...and this one hold its own! I'd like to try 'em side-by-side. A deliciously done dog from Thirsty, Ohio! :-)

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Wulver from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 172 ratings.