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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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Wulver Alström Bros
Reviews: 172 | Hads: 1,416
Photo of thegodfather2701
4.03/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A-Pours a very, very dark amber with an off-white head that dissipates very quickly. There is some light cascading but no real lacing.

S-coconut, bourbon, vanilla, caramel, alcohol

T-Essentially the same as the nose with bourbon and coconut leading the way with some vanilla and caramel and a hint of oak-no real hop presence as the malts stand out the most

M-thick and creamy

D-Due to the high alcohol content and the barrel aging this should definitely be sipped-I find it hard to imagine drinking more than one bottle in a sitting.

Overall, I was a little disappointed by this beer because I expected more complexity but instead it was dominated by the bourbon. This is the first barrel aged beer I have had since Bourbon County Brand Stout so my expectations are slightly skewed. However, it is still a good beer and I would recommend it.

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Photo of angelmonster
4.03/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky brown body with a 1/4th inch off white head. Head retention is good and lacing is great.

Smell is of burnt brown sugar, caramel malt and charred oak. As beer warms, bourbon becomes more apparent. Hops weren't detected.

Taste is definitely a malt bomb. Biscuit malts, caramelized sugar, and burnt oak dominate the palate. Bourbon is definitely in there but isn't too harsh for a 12 percent alcohol beer.

Mouthfeel is medium heavy, carbonation is a tad on the low end. Head was present throughout the beer and added a nice amount of creaminess.

Overall beer was good but malt and sweetness were overpowering. Would have liked something to distract from the cloying sweet malt, maybe more barrel aging?

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Photo of wedge
4.06/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Not sure of the date, but I bought this a while ago. Deep mahogany colored body with a little creaminess on the surface that all but disappears. Smooth bourbon aromas, woody spice, molasses, toffee, berries, and coconut. Not particularly hot smelling, which is nice. Flavor is smooth and rich...wow. The bourbon blends nicely with the base beer, which results in something sweet like pure honey and toffee ice cream, vanilla, chocolate, and brown sugar, but absolutely no harsh barrel notes. Warm cinnamon way in the back along with some coconut. Super smooth, creamy body has some thickness and leaves a bit of heat in the throat. Sweet-as-fuck, which is my only gripe, but this is a dessert beer, right?

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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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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.09/5  rDev -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.

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Photo of Lazhal
4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Perhaps I made the mistake of trying the Rum barrel aged version of this beer before the bourbon barrel version, but I think the rum barrel just compliments the beer (and maybe the style) better.

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Photo of pmlondrigan
4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

For a scotch ale this is not bad looking. It is murky and brown, but there is a decent head and decent belgian lacing. The initial aroma is a blast in the face of super fresh bourbon barrel, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, etc. As the beer warms you can pick up some more earthy notes. Downside it is kind of a one note aroma, uni-dimensional. To start with the flavor mirrors the aroma, as the beer warms though it becomes easier to pick out chewy raisin, vinious flavors, and a smokey maple syrup quality. It's nice. Thick, sticky, slick, however not cloying over the palate. Really good beer here. Actually....love it. Here is the problem...it is 28 dollars a four pack, that's a lot and I think value is important.

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Photo of BB1313
4.11/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours a dark auburn with ruby hues. There's a small off-white head, which is expected, and it has solid retention and lacing. The aromas are full of chocolate, caramel, vanilla, raisins, dark fruit. The bourbon is noticeable, but it's subtle. They did a good job of letting the bourbon blend harmoniously with the aromas and flavors. There's more dark fruits found in the flavors. More cocoa, caramel and there's a touch of butterscotch. Lots of malts. The flavors are sweet, in a good way. Alcohol is extremely well hidden and doesn't diminish the flavors. Mouthfeel is full-bodied, moderate carbonation and slightly syrupy. This is too easy to drink and it's dangerously drinkable.

This is a great beer. I've had it on-tap before and it's nice to see it in the bottles. I'm sure this would age well, but it's definitely ready to drink right now. This one gets extra credit for being so easy to drink. Recomended.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.13/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a wee heavy tall glass.

A deep mahogany brown, faint red edges and quite dark. Head barely makes one finger of tan bubbles but settles slowly to a simple 4mm tall puck and collar.

Bouquet is standard and classic. Lots of caramel, and thick butterscotch. Hints of vanilla and thick toffee but not with a large sweetness. Classic bourbon barrel aged wee heavy greatness presented, very nice. Wonderful nose.

Palate comes nicely but not as big as the bouquet suggests. Soft malts and light toffee. Some good caramel thickness and a nice controlled sweetness of molasses and brown sugars. Slight bit of carbonated pop on the finish. A nice spicy quality to of brown spiced nutmeg and clove to go along with it. A carbonated aftertaste and prickly finish slightly but not distracting.

Overall it's a nice much subtler version of a barrel aged wee heavy, but it's done very well and enjoyable to drink all around.

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Photo of SawDog505
4.13/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a 16 oz snifter, not sure of the bottle date. Pours a gorgeous dark amber with, a quarter inch off white head, that leaves behind some attractive lace. Smell is all about the toffee, caramel, vanilla, and brown sugar bourbon dipped raisins. Taste is really the same, but vanilla and toffee dominate, with the other flavors in a supporting role. Body is medium, with enough life, a touch dry, and a sipper for sure. This is a fairly smooth monster of a beer, that really deserves its recognition and tickles the palate in the best way. Reviewed on barrel aged beer day and a delicious treat.

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Photo of thecheapies
4.15/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark mahogany brown with dark red tones. No real head to speak of. She is a twelve-percenter.

Smells of rich dark caramel, soft leather, vanilla extract, sweet Bourbon, smooth dark malts, raisin sweetness, light port, and a kiss of smoke. A damn fine aroma for a beasty beer. Sweet, but not quite cloying. The booze is beneath... somewhere. I'm having trouble detecting it.

Raisin-y and caramelly with a nice roasty malt presence. Brandy-like qualities with the Bourbon barrel-aging working with the malty meats of the Wee Heavy. Whiskey-soaked dates, vanilla, dried fig, leather, Cabernet grapes, and mineral notes. The smokiness didn't really survive after the whiffs of the nose. Port-like sweetness, and with a rearing head of alcohol extending the finish to long. Phenomenal creation.

Carbonation is almost gone; needs a little more than just a back-of-throat tickle. Body is staunchly thick and a little sugary. Has lots of stick.

What a kickass Scotch ale! Up there with Founders Backwoods Bastard. Dessert, in beer form.

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Photo of Dope
4.16/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a rich dark brown with a mid-sized and fizzy tan head. Head fizzes out fast with no lacing. Moderately decent head retention.

S: Oh yeah. Big dark fruits. Figs, dates and molasses. Prunes? Molasses and toffee and caramel. Dense and sweet. Decent chunk of oak in there too. Finally, some peat but it's subdued.

T: Big bourbon notes up front. Sickly sweet molasses and caramel. Oakiness covers everything. Huge super sweet dark fruits everywhere too. Bursting with raisins and figs. Like drinking concentrated raisin juice sometimes. Lingering sugary molasses and oakiness with some peat mixing in here.

M: Big, heavy, cloyingly sweet.

O: Interesting brew. It's big and complex. Pretty well balanced too. But boy is it sweet. Like drinking maple syrup sweet. It's got that same cloying sweetness that you get in a lot of the bigger He'brew beers. Like drinking pure molasses. I am glad this bottle was only 12 ounces because I don't think I'd make it through a larger format. Sipper for sure. Dessert beer.

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Photo of timc100
4.17/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.19/5  rDev -3.7%
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

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Photo of Zonk
4.19/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown with a thin quickly dissipating beige head Smell is buttery toffee with a bit of caramel. Noticeable booze on the nose but not overpowering. Toffee and brown sugar notes, not cloying but definitely sweet. Bourbon flavors add o sweetness. Mouthfeel is probably the best part of this beer. Amazingly smooth. Overall a nice beer. A bit sweet for my taste though.

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Photo of WillCarrera
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle, no bottled-on date that I can locate, poured into a snifter.

A- Pours a clear dark ruby brown color, produces a tiny tan head, leaves no lacing.

S- Sweet, rich aroma of caramel, vanilla, bread, bourbon, and sweet, spicy booziness.

T- Flavor is similar to the aroma, very sweet and rich, lots of caramel, vanilla, some dark fruit and bread, along with bourbon and oak.

M- Medium-bodied, low carbonation with a bit of warmth.

O- A very nice BBA wee heavy, a bit on the sweet side but the flavors are nice overall and the booze is very well-hidden.

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Photo of Kevinpitts
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Compared side by side with Backwoods Bastard. I preferred Wulver slightly. Reminds me of a rum and coke. I remember this being so much better 1st time I had it. Is it the year or have my tastes have changed? Ale Smith BA scotch ale still #1 in my book.

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Photo of PaulyB83
4.21/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a tulip glass

A- Pours a murky deep reddish brown with a very thing off-white head that quickly fades to nothing. Small amount of light coming through on the edges.

S- Raisin, vanilla, oak, alcohol. Nice sweet, sticky malts.

T- Similar to aroma with dark dried fruits, vanilla, oak, the alcohol kinda takes over a bit too much as it gets more up to serving temp.

M- Given the flavor and alcohol content I found this to be a bit thin in the mouth.

O- This is a very good beer but when Backwoods Bastard is one of my favorite beers naturally I will compare it to that beer. I just think that it is very close to BB but not quite there, plus the fact that this is over twice the price per bottle really is a negative on Wulver. Still a fine example of bourbon barrel wee heavy. I found this beer interesting in that at 12% it pushes Ohio's ABV law about to the limit.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.21/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From 01/05/14 notes. Big thanks to BeerLawyer85 for sharing this one; thanks Ross, this was a want of mine. 12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip.

a - Pours a deep mahogany brown color with two inches of medium tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of dark fruits, roasted malts, bourbon, oak, caramel, and vanilla. Nice nose, with more bourbon and vanilla as it warms up...I like it.

t - Tastes of dark fruits, raisins, vanilla, oak, toasted malts, bourbon, caramel malts, toffee, roasted malts, and light chocolate. More vanilla than the nose and a little more fruit. Very nice.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. No heat and very easy to drink. A little bit thicker of a mouthfeel and it would be great.

o - Overall a very nice BA scotch ale, and another really good BA beer from Thirsty Dog. I liked the BA Siberian Night a little bit better but this is up there with it as one of the best beers I've had from them. Worth checking out.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.21/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured the color of a Coca Cola with a tannish colored head with a thin half finger head which leaves some light lacing

S : A healthy dose of bourbon, vanilla, and wood up front with some caramel and toffee.

T : Initial cramel/toffee sweetness with a bit of smoke. Bourbon and wood, with hints of vanilla are all over this beer but subtle and sweet, not overpowering. Complimentary.

M: Medium bodied with lighter carbonation. A bold and assertive mouthfeel with a lot of silky sweet flavors and fell

O: Very good!

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Photo of TheCuriograph
4.21/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Deep mahogany, it smells of toffee, vanilla, date and worn leather. Smokiness explodes as it hits the tongue, then the taste opens into lots of sweet smoky bourbon, cinnamon toast, fig and a touch of lemon. Lighter than Backwoods Bastard, Wulver is easy drinking, though it’s as strong as a Wee Heavy gets.

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Photo of JamesShoemaker
4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into my Founders snifter. First four pack was courtesy of michaelg137, next four pack courtesy of recently expanded distro into western and then eastern Michigan. This beer is killer on the wallet ($25/four pack), but it's worth it as an occasional treat.

Wulver pours a caramel-chocolate brown from the bottle, settling a deep ocher in the glass with a ring of foam that lingers a few millimeters above the beer all the way down. The more agitated center of the pour yields a few carbonation bubbles, but only enough to make me suspect that this beer isn't especially fizzy. Some lacing up the sides, but the residue is negligible. Wulver wants to make sure you focus on the liquid, not what the liquid leaves behind. The appearance suggests high alcohol and prolonged barrel aging, if such a thing is possible. Why eleven months and not a year? Points off for pervasive, if not extremely noticeable, sediment.

I can smell some of the sweeter aspects straight from the pour, so I'm hesitant to stick my nose right in, but I give it a swirl and work up the courage and dive in. Mmm, deliciously candied. The scent packs at first a hint of isopropyl alcohol, underscored by the sweet fragrance of sugar, caramel, and something richer, like cinnamon and cocoa.

The taste follows the smell (after all, what is taste but smell?). Some subtle differences present themselves: there's a savoriness at the back of the mouth that complements the sweetness of the bourbon. The bitterness I expect from the oak or the caramelized malt is diminished by the intense, almost cloying sweetness. I'm not sure how many of these I could drink, between the high alcohol content and the dessert-like character. Still, in moderation Wulver is delicious.

Sweetness and a lack of bitterness lend themselves to high points for the mouthfeel. The alcohol, of course, is present at 12%, but it's in no way overwhelming. What little bitterness is present sticks to the sides of my mouth. Wulver is very drinkable, if not overwhelming in certain respects.

Overall, I would call this an occasional treat for more reasons than the price. It's sweeter than other barrel-aged Scotch ales (like Backwoods Bastard), but executed better than most (Central Water's for example). The availability of Wulver makes it an excellent contender as a flagship beer for a brewery that should work to emphasize their higher ABV offerings. Do they barrel age Bernese? If not, they should try!

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Photo of Damian
4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Drank from a 12 fl. oz. (355 ml.) bottle acquired in a trade with mps
Served in a tulip

The almost clear, garnet hued liquid was topped by a near three-finger tall, tight, creamy, khaki-colored crown. Very solid retention. Patchy, odd-shaped streaks of lacing coated the glass.

The aroma was sweet, robust and very malt forward. Loads of deep, caramelized malts and toffee. Fruity with a noticeable brown sugar-like sweetness. Somewhat boozy. Bourbon notes were apparent. Good dose of vanilla as well. As the beer warmed, the nose became sweeter, richer and more robust overall.

The flavor profile was similar to the aroma, but perhaps a half step less impressive. Caramel malts and rich brown sugar notes led things off. Fruity. Somewhat biscuity. The crisp, yeasty notes reminded me of something I might find in a traditional beer of this style from the UK. There was a noticeable bourbon-like kick on the dry, slightly tannic, minerally finish. Some steeliness came through as well. With time, the flavor profile intensified. The beer also became sweeter and the booziness mellowed out.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied for the style and contained a light, spritzy effervescence. Slightly creamy. All in all, fairly non-descript.

Wulver is an enjoyable Wee Heavy that stays rather true to the style. A slightly more robust flavor profile and a bigger mouthfeel however might have lent itself well to the barrel aging.

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Photo of barczar
4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Huge caramel, toffee, deeply toasted, nutty malt notes, with a balancing peaty character in aroma. Smells decadent and sweet.

Flavor is rich and boozy, with significant vanilla and caramel notes, finishing dry and oaky. Lots of deeply caramelized, sweet malt throughout. There's a hint of dark fruit, which becomes more distinguishable as raisins and cherries as it warms. Truly complex. The heat overwhelms a bit, but this should age well. Notes of cocoa surface late.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Beer shared by RussianDragon. Thanks Dave.

The beer is chestnut brown with a thin beige collar. The aroma brings a huge dose of bourbon, followed by malt, brown bread, oak. Bourbon steals the show. Delicious flavor, following the aroma. An almost tannic character. The aroma is the star of the show here. Thin body with a light feel on the palate. A touch of spice with a hearty malt body. Very tasty.

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