Wulver - Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

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1,318 Ratings
very good

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Ratings: 1,318
Reviews: 171
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 8.45%
Wants: 248
Gots: 366 | FT: 84
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,318 | Reviews: 171
Reviews by srgj88:
More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
3.89/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.81/5  rDev -13%
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

Photo of oberon
4.52/5  rDev +3.2%
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!

Photo of NathanBunn20
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

Photo of marvin213
4.08/5  rDev -6.8%
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! :-)

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
4.8/5  rDev +9.6%

2014 Release

Bourbon, caramel, and vanilla explode from the bottle just from opening it. In the glass, dark caramels are followed by oaky, boozy bourbon. Notes of vanilla waft into the nose. Pumpernickel bread and dark bread fruits appear along with hints of toffee. Rather soft. Complex and shifting. Great to explore.

The taste starts out with luscious caramels on oak. Dense, dark, and somewhat dry bread. A bit of molasses. Smooth, rich, deep, and complex. Cashmere. The back end of the swallow really shows off the bourbon and ABV, along with a bit of a burn into the tummy. It seems a tad hot, and I imagine a year or two of aging would mellow that quite nicely. The good news is that it's easy to adjust to this as I get into the glass. The finish lingers with brown sugar, dark fruit, and vanilla, but it's soft and not at all cloying.

This is simply an exceptional beer, and a wonderful expression of a Wee Heavy. It's hard to think of something that needs to be tweaked. They set out to create a beer whose purpose was to spend almost a year in bourbon barrels rather than simply be a barrel-aged version of an offered style, and they've succeeded in spades. Aging this in the cellar may well make it perfect.

Photo of frenchblood21
4.45/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz. bottle into Hoppin Frog snifter. Date is 1/15/2014.

Appearance- Real dark brown with slight hues of red and pink. Not quite a whole finger of creamy light tan head. Barely any light behind the beer when held up to light.

Smell- Sweet, peaty bourbon is what I get right away. Prunes, malt and a dank basement is what I get in the back.

Taste- Vanilla and fig followed by bourbon and brown sugar. Maybe just a hint of hops at the end. Call me crazy, but lemon is just barely there too.

Mouthfeel- More carbonation than I had anticipated. It is a bit thin too, but 11 months in bourbon barrels will due that to a beer. Just the perfect amount of alcohol burn at the back of your mouth.

Overall- One of Ohio's best offerings. A must try for all serious craft beer drinkers. At $25 per 4-pack, the beer isn't cheap, but worth every penny.

Photo of GOBLIN
4.45/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Thirsty Dog Wulver


Poured into tulip glass

A: Pours dark murky brown. Almost reminds me of a soda just sitting inside a hollowed log kinda murky.

S: All I smell is bourbon . . . Maybe some dark fruits but mostly all I detect is booze. Pretty intimidating really.

T: Delicious ! Definitely a wee heavy now. Bourbon flavors bursting forth right from the start. Dark fruits such as raisins, figs and dates coat the mouth with a nice touch as this goes down smooth.

M: A big beer with smooth qualities. Drinks easy but you better just sip this beer fellas. Warming for sure but doesn't have that boozy burning you'd expect at the smell.

O: Wonderful beer . . . Period ! Been keeping an eye out for this one for a while now and glad I found it. It didn't disappoint. As a matter of fact it lived up to the hype and expectations I had for it. A bit pricey but I will go get more next pay day (hope it's still available)

Picture this . . . It's a cold, windy and rainy evening. You've just played a tough but rewarding 18 holes on the old course at St. Andrews. The rain still slowly falls as you make your way home winding your way through the meadows and cobble stone trails. The sky is a colorless grey as you spot the smoke rising slowly from the chimney of your stone cabin. The door creeks open . . . You drop your clubs on the floor and stroll to the fireplace to warm your hands for a spell. After the sense of feeling spreads back into your finger tips you fall into your favorite old rocking chair for a night cap. You sit there warming yourself by the fire. Staring into the burning abyss your mind is lost in thoughts of days past.
Wulver is that kind of beer.

This is the perfect beer for that moment.

Photo of timc100
4.17/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Fantastic sweet barrel aroma that reminds me of BA4D - very sweet pronounced coconut, vanilla, and sweet toffee. Wee heavy is a great style for a barrel as it allows for significant influence without being over-barreled. The palate is a bit thin and doesn't carry the complexity of the aroma. Still, though, a very nice scotch ale worth seeking out.

Photo of MattBeer
4.95/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Oh my dear god. I love good bourbon and I love beer.

After you read the ABV (12) and pour it and see as much head as you get (half an inch), you think "Oh man you idiot. You're lucky enough to get your hands on a bottle of this and you screw up the pour." By the time you're done thinking this, the head is gone, and you realize that everything's gonna be just fine.

The beer is the color you'd want your hardwood floor to be: Dark enough that light has to hit it for you to see the deep crimson in it.

You know how you like the tastes IN bourbon but you don't really like the taste OF bourbon because it's too burny and not smooth enough unless you pay way too much per bottle? Imagine if you took the tastes you like and made them smells. Oak, leather, vanilla, molasses, caramel.

Those are the tastes too. Maybe a little bit of plum or raisin, but you're already sipping it too fast, and you're sharing it with your friend so there's only half a bottle, and you need to calm down and enjoy it slowly.

The slick, oily mouthfeel and light carbonation aren't really enough to slow you down. It's obviously not for sessioning but you could forgive yourself for wanting 16 of these at a time.

Once, I was at a burrito restaurant in a place you wouldn't expect to find delicious burritos. I'd never been. It was two in the morning and the guy in front of me was drunk. I asked him how the food was. He grabbed me by the shirt and said "I'd kill my mother for this s**t." He thought he meant those burritos (which are indeed the best on the planet), but that kind of accolade should be reserved for a beer like Wulver. Amazing.

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.44/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a wine glass at District Tap House.

Pitch-black liquid under an off white, fluffy head. Persists well. 4.5

Oaken and tobacco-heavy on the nose. Bourbony notes like sour mash. Mellow vanilla notes. 4.25

True to nose with the tobacco, oak, vanilla, but Caramel notes emerge too. There's a subtle smokiness and peaty that suggest a good scotch. The way the malts complement the scotch character here is impressive. 4.5

Barrel-aged but not a trace of booze. Smooth and caramel-like with the slightest carbonation that seems perfect. 4.5

This beer puts the scotch in scotch ale.

Photo of Roguer
4.34/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a small but creamy tan head. Retention is fine, settling into a thin topper. Brew is a dirty nut brown, barely allowing light through at all, with purplish-red highlights.

Boozy, port wine-like aroma. Oak features prominently, as does a smooth, vanilla hint of bourbon, all riding a wave of dark fruity malts and grains.

Flavor follows, but it's extremely delicate and balanced. Unbelievably smooth. Bourbon shows up a little up front, but rides heaviest in the back. Prunes and figs, dark bread, vanilla, and a woody, mild oak presence all around. Thick flavors. Actually a nice balancing bitterness that's easy to miss.

Extremely smooth beer, with the tiniest fizz up front, and no sting. Alcohol heat comes pretty strong on the back-end, but it doesn't seem near 12%. Medium to medium-full mouthfeel, with a long, extremely sticky finish.

This is one hell of a beer. It's incredibly dense with flavors, due in no small part, surely, to the masterful incorporation of the barrel.

Photo of BeerVikingSailor
3.13/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Smell was overwhelming oak, and a bit boozy...as it warmed, went downhill...very astringent finish....feels like Jr High Wood Shop was making out on my tongue!!

I am local to the area...so this should be a "homer review"...but this was over-oaked in the bourbon barrels, as the acidity and astringency were a bit much for me...not a bad bad beer but at $6 a bottle ...not worth it - if this were a wine, TD would lose on this one...too much oak!! Bourbon flavor was nice, and good vanilla notes as well...

Overall not a bad BA beer, but not digging the wood and too long in the barrels....

Photo of mlockman
4.55/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Not much head, at the border of syrupy, this thick brew is full of intense bourbon flavor.

Photo of aleckpa
4.59/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Poured this into a Founders snifter.

The appearance is a dark color with a hint of some amber. No head. The nose is a lot of bourbon and sweetness. As soon as I took a sip, I was blown away. I literally said aloud, "Wow. Wow." I was really shocked by this beer. I taste a lot of vanilla, and the mouthfeel is smooth and somewhat like velvet. It's creamy. You taste the bourbon but oaky, caramel, vanilla sweetness balances everything out. To be honest, this is one of the best beers I've ever had. Excellent beer from Thirsty Dog.

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.09/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep copper. Not much head, but a thin collar.

Smell - Really nice bourbon and barrel character. Vanilla and oak. Caramel. Slight bit of butteriness.

Taste - Sharp bourbon. Caramel. Alcohol. Some fruity flavors, like a bit of apple. Boozy in the finish and just a touch of butter.

Mouthfeel - Heavy and a little sweet. Medium low carbonation and a sting of booze.

Overall - Really nice. Not complex, but it's got a great barrel character.

Photo of zimm421
4.51/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally getting to #500, took my grand ole time. Saved a great local brew for this one.

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter. Appears a rich dark brown with hints of ruby showing through. There is a very thin, fizzy off-white head. It dissipates quickly, leaving a ring around the edge of the glass, with a touch of lacing.

The nose is deep and rich. Full of dark roasted malts, hints of raisin, oak, bourbon, vanilla and caramel. This keeps you going back for more; sip after sip. The taste is very deep and complex as well. The caramel hits up front, followed by loads of dark fruit. Then the vanilla and oak follow through, finishing with the bourbon. There is a bit of heat in the finish, but it isn't overwhelming.

The mouthfeel is heavy-bodied, with low amounts of carbonation. The finish is sticky and leaves the taste hanging around for a while - works really well. Overall, this is an excellent brew. It is extremely drinkable for the ABV, and the complexities are crazy. Everything works together in beautiful ways and keeps you going back for more. The price is a bit high, but understandable for this brew.

Photo of Vonerichs
4.41/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Murky brown with an aggressive head for being such a high abv. Solid retention.

Real sweet smells. Vanilla wafers, butterscotch, english toffee.

Sweet and robust flavors. More nilla wafers and ton of butterscotch with toffee. More vanilla in the finish. Light leather.

The mouthfeel is a real treat. So soft and smooth. Full bodied with low carbonation. Big, yet delicate.

One of the best, if not the best, wee heavy I can recall trying. I'd definitely recommend seeking this out and hope to have it again sometime.

Photo of ohiobeer29
4.65/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

pours a medium brown
smell of Scotch carmel and vanilla
smooth taste of Scotch Carmel and vanilla
smooth mouth feel goes down real easy
overall as crazy as it is to say this definitely worth the 23.99 for a 4 pack will be buying this one.again coukd easily go through a 4 pack its so good

Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from growler into a Green Man snifter. Poured a massively dark reddish brown with a half finger off-white head that remained throughout. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, caramel, wood, sweet alcohol, red wine spices, vanilla, and sweet barrel. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, sweet alcohol, vanilla, spices, wood, and barrel. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a good brew. The flavor and aroma on this one really screamed barrel to me. That nice sweet woodiness with a kiss of vanilla shined throughout and really made this one quite pleasant. With all of this it still managed to be quite well balanced and complex at the same time. I just hate that so few have gotten to try this one as of this review as it is definitely one of the better ones I’ve had from Thirsty Dog’s barrel program. This is saying a lot as I usually do not like this style. Well done Thirsty Dog, well done.

Photo of Beertracker
4.26/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Wulver pours up with ample effervescence creating ample lacing that creates a tightly clustered ring of beigish-white bubbles that manage to hold on above the bright burnt reddish-brown body. Alcohol certainly diminishes the head retention. The aromatics are simply divine with nuances of Four Roses Kentucky Straight Bourbon that show some spicy & sweet notes of rye, cinnamon & sweet molasses which carry a hint of roasted barley, deep caramel, cherry & vanilla. The alcohol is noted and certainly gives hints to the strength contained within. The flavor starts off very cloying at first with big hits of charred brown sugar e.g. Steen's Pure Cane Syrup before the underlying spicy hops & bourbon character help lend balance towards the very warming & slightly stealthy alcohol laded finish. Wulver is really a Werewolf in disguise, as it starts off innocent enough before unleashing the beast. Beware of the full moon or prepare for Wulver's fangs & claws to ripe out your throat!

Photo of Treyliff
4.19/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a snifter glass

A- pours a deep murky brown color with a small creamy cream colored head that retains long after the pour, leaving some alcohol legs behind

S- classic scotch ale aromas jump out of the glass; notes of caramel malt, toffee, rum soaked raisins, walnut, molasses, brown sugar & light smoky malt. Bourbon aroma is definitely present, adding notes of oak, alcohol & subtle vanilla

T- big & boozy caramel malt up front adds a sharp sweetness with complimenting flavors of brown bread, dark fruit & molasses. Subtle bourbon presence at the mid-palate with some oak flavors as well, warming alcohol pokes through on the linger with fading notes of raisin and bourbon

M- medium-thick body with low carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel that continues into a velvety smooth warming finish

O- a nice slow sipper with controlled bourbon presence, nice caramel notes

Photo of CruisaC
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a 4pk at Jungle Jim's, $24 for a 4 pk, yikes. A scotch ale aged 11 months in bourbon barrels.

Pours a dark brown that settles into a dark coffee. A half inch beige head fades to a ring.

Smells classic to style, with an added layer of butterscotch sweetness from the bourbon.

Taste is really nice with more butterscotch, raisins, bourbon and oak.

Nice carbonation with no burn but you can tell it's higher in the ABV category.

Solid beer from Thirsty Dog, which before this had always been a 'meh' brewery for me. Glad to have a few more.

Photo of Bung
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. a deep mohoghanny pour, just a ring of off white bubbles.

Aroma, solid malty caramel, vanilla and some bourbon char.

Taste, more raisin and prune to go with the heavy caramel maltyness and vanilla oak barrel. A nice toasted malt with some chocolates in the finish.

Probably mid bodied, coats well enough though with a lower fine carbonation. No alcohol hear anywhere. Almost unbelievable that it is that high an abv.

One of the better brews I've had in a while. Weakness being this slight thinness, but drinks very easy. For the style this is great, For the price probably only a one time try though. Glad I picked this up before the fourth of July going through Ohio.

Photo of dvmin98
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wow, that is one sweet SOB. Barrel is really prevalent, but man, the sweetness takes this b*tch to a whole new level. And the ABV is VERY noticeable. Tasted like liquor at times. Also, it got sweeter as it warmed up. I loved the first few sips, then the sweetness started to get a bit much. Glad I shared it with a buddy because it would have been too much for me.

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Wulver from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,318 ratings.