Wulver
Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

WulverWulver
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy
Ranked #2
ABV:
12%
Score:
97
Ranked #417
Avg:
4.38 | pDev: 8.22%
Reviews:
236
Ratings:
1,662
From:
Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
 
Ohio, United States
Avail:
Rotating
Wants
  288
Gots
  405
SCORE
97
World-Class
WulverWulver
Notes: We made this beer specifically for bourbon barrels. The result is our most acclaimed bourbon barrel beer. Bourbon barrel aging and specialty malts create flavors of vanilla and caramel that blend in perfect balance.
Reviews: 236 | Ratings: 1,662 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of VABA
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a dark color with a slight head and lacing
A-Aroma has generous Bourbon, caramel and vanilla hints
T-The taste follows the nose with a nicely balanced Bourbon, caramel and vanilla flavor
M-A medium bodied well carbonated beer
O-A very good Wee Heavy Ale

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Photo of TonyLema1
4.18/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: deep reddish brown, not much head or lacing, but there’s more bubbles than expected
S: sweet
T: booze and malty sweetness some dark fruits
F: great mouthfeel, no booze burn
O: a wonderful sipper, wish the nose was better

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Photo of q33jeff
3.31/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

**
01/01/2019

Starting New Beer's Day off with a side by side tasting of Barrel Aged Scotch Ales.
Central Waters BA Scotch Ale vs. Thirsty Dog Wulver

Bottle to tulip glass.

LOOK: Murky dark brown (kind of ugly), small off white head, average retention. (2.5)
AROMA: prune, light berry, hints of oak and whiskey. (3.25)
TASTE: Cola, some light fruit and light whiskey. Sweet and tasty (3.75).
FEEL: I feel the whiskey more than I taste it. Low cabonation. Smooth sipping. (2.75)
OA: Not bad. clear loser in the side-by-side,
but I think the CW is very high quality for this style (3.5).

**

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Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
4.18/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12oz bottle into glass. No bottling date information found.
Deep brown colored body. Not much head, but there is a thin ring. No lacing.
Aroma is heavy with bourbon barrel, and roasted malts.
Taste is sweet bourbon barrel, with roasted malts that express caramel and vanilla.
Medium to silky mouth feel. Okay carbonation.
The bourbon barrel is a big part of the experience, but booziness does not intrude. Other flavors of dark malts and caramel blend in well.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.28/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

(12 oz bottle, no date shown... poured into a snifter)

L: clear, ruby-hued liquid; loose, spongy, off-white foam struggles to form on pour, ends up remaining only in honey-comb like, fish-eye collar... beer color is dead on, but collar looks suspect... last oz of bottle carried with it fair amount of speckled sediment

S: booze, bourbon barrel (char), berry-scented hard candy a la Belgian dark noel ale... vanilla scent slowly fades in, then stands out... bold inviting aromas, bit of a spicy coloring to the potent, but not overpowering booze

T: bit of a darker, maltier, more chocolaty base beer than smell suggests, and deliciously so... caramel, dried cherry, toasted wood in the finish... only delicate spicy booze lingers at the back... the bourbon influence is undeniable but falls just short of overpowering what's an fortunately-designed wee heavy; great balance, if a bit heady

F: marginally syrupy viscosity, some of the long drag in its finish likely lubricated by the strong booze... finish and afterglow nicely cut and 'dry'... by the last few sips, I do declare this was a stellar drop, wow

O: purchased cold at Top Hops in NYC; did lose chill in transit home... lovely bold flavors and the Scotch Ale base does seem to poke through more than other BBA examples on the market... damn does it grow on ya exponentially with each sip (probably the booze talking, haven't eaten yet today)... not an avid fan of BBA Scotch Ales, but this is one of the best - one of the better displays of malt density and layering... mmm

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Photo of Benish
4.32/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured a viscous dark murky brown color. Very little head. Aromas of vanilla, dark fruits, and caramel. Very rich and heavy. The flavors were no different, there were tons of dark fruits, toffee, caramel with a hint of vanilla. The bourbon character was definitely there at the finish giving an added warmth and depth. Mouthfeel was full bodied with a rich and sticky finish. This was a spectacular brew! It drinks like a heavy barleywine. I loved every sip of this and one bottle was not enough.

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Photo of ovaltine
4.59/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A milk chocolate brown beer fills my glass after an aggressive pour that yields a minimal tan head. The aromas hit my schnoz before I can lift the glass - HUGE vanilla notes, then booze from the barrel, and rich toffee notes. I am now ready to eat my own arm.

The taste has the barrel, of course, but the vanilla and toffee flavors bring this back before it can approach “booze bomb” territory. There’s also a creamy feel that adds to the entire drinking experience. Magnificent.

This is better than Central Waters BA Scotch Ale, IMHO, and also better than Backwoods Bastard, again IMHO.

Yes, I typed that.

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Photo of woemad
4.56/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle received through the incredible generosity of WesMantooth. I presume it is a fairly recent release as there's no date that I can find, but I'm not too worried about a barrel aged 12% abv beer being too old. It's why I saved it for last from the three mighty boxes I received from Corey for NBS BIF #6.

Poured into a snifter, this didn't look like much to get excited about. Dull opaque dark brown color, a more russett color and visibly cloudy when held up to light. Kinda reminds me of unfiltered non-alcoholic apple cider. Decent, beige head for such a strong beer, but after a rough pour. Modestly short lived lace.

Whoa! Incredible nose to this! Vanilla, from the bourbon barrel aging was to be expected, and a little vanilla goes a long way with me in beer, whether or not actual vanilla has been added. Not to worry, though, because like all good barrel aged beers, that is balanced with other elements. Brown sugar, caramel, an almost-licorice thing I tend to get from Wee Heavies that I've never been able to figure out, it's all here and smell delicious together.

Flavor, wonderfully, goes hand in hand with aroma. This is rich and delicious. I may be drinking this in the middle of the day, but it would make a superb dessert or nightcap beer. Starts off like a great typical example of the style, then midway through the bourbon barrel flavors really kick in with an astonishing amount of depth of flavor without being overly boozy, somehow. Waiting for an alcohol burn is a wait made in vain! The flavor in general is more complex than even the nose. I get elements of dark fruit, pipe tobacco (not being pompous, I actually have smoked pipes extensively at one time, so I know the flavor), toffee, even cola.

Yes, this is a big-bodied beer, with a creamy, velvety mouthfeel.

Holy shit! I saved this for last because I expected it to be great, but WOW! I honestly can't remember the last time I gave a 4.75 to anything on BA (probably when I was still finding my way and was easily impressed), but I had to for the flavor of this. I'm actually concerned I will go through the type of depression normally reserved for returned astronauts when this is gone. I may have to move to Akron to be close to this beer. Thank you so much, Corey, both for this and all you dropped on my porch!

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Photo of Blogjackets
4.68/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Luckily Thirsty Dog's brewery is not too far from home, so I have had many glasses of this beer at their tasting room (before it was even publicly called Wulver). Seeing the BBA Wee Heavy on the board means I'm drinking nothing else. Note: if you don't like bourbon don't drink this beer. The genius pairing of a wee heavy with bourbon yields at worst their second best beer (IMO the barrel aged Siberian Night is the best). The flavors are a malty mix of deep vanilla caramel that approach but never cross the line into bourbon overload. Take note that this heavy, malty, bourbony beer packs a wallop at 12 ABV. Despite 12% with a big bourbon nose, it's a real drinker. Not too boozy. Definitely on my list of beers in heaven. Here's hoping ;n)

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Photo of tjwarren
4.4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

One word for this beer. Heavy. Not Wee Heavy. Just heavy. Very well done. Pretty close to perfect balance on the bourbon. The smell is Boozier than it turns out to be. A truly enjoyable sipper. One swallow at a time drives you deeper and deeper to relaxation.

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Photo of DIM
4.19/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured without much of a head; a vigorous swirl produced a few short lived big bubbles. As a result this was too still on the tongue.

Lots of sweet raisins, peats, bourbon, light heat, and vanilla in the aroma. Very robust and appealing despite the low carbonation.

Tastes almost as good, but this came across as a little too sweet and boozy at times.

This was very enjoyable, probably a little better than the backwoods bastard I buy a case of every year.

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Photo of russpowell
4.48/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a chill hazed chestnut with a thumb of tan head, much carbonation. Average-ish head retention & lacing, stays effervescent throughout the pour

S: Peatyness, booze, raisin & figs

T: Follows the nose, a touch of dryness, booze warmth & plenty of figgyness up front. Some dryness, more figgyness once warm, boozey peat notes as well, some brown sugar too. Finishes with booze presence, peat, dryness& figgyness

MF: Medium body, slight over carbonation, was hpoing for more body

Lovely Wee Heavy, not perfect, but flaws are miniscule

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Photo of brentk56
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: The tan head builds to half an inch, with the cola colored liquid underneath; scads of lacing drape down

Smell: Caramel, Bourbon, vanilla, and almond, with undertones of sweet cherry and toasted coconut

Taste: A sugary caramel tone flows from start to finish, with the vanilla and almond tones joining early; through the middle, the Bourbon builds, with toasted coconut and sweet cherry lingering into the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; some warmth

Overall: This is an aged bottle (at least two years, perhaps more) and is drinking beautifully; I would like to see more peat and less sweetness overall, but I enjoyed the bottle

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Photo of Hari46
4.77/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of the best barrel aged beers I've had.
Medium body
Strong mid pallet
Beautiful smooth finish w a lingering taste of bourbon.
Love it - would've paid full price but it was on sale, so cleaned out the store.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.21/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. "Wulver"
12 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, production coded but without freshness dating
$2.17 @ Giant Eagle, Indiana, PA

Notes via stream of consciousness: Nice label, and I like the gold foil cap as well. Is this beer really worth it? Worth the gold foil cap I mean. I got it for just $2.17. Is it that good of a beer? And I remember having had Thirsty Dog beers before and they were just OK. So let's see. Typical appearance for a wee heavy Scotch ale... Scotch-style ale, I apologize. It's pretty hazy though, a hazy deep mahogany brown shall we say, beneath a short head of creamy khaki froth. The aroma is malty with caramel and dark sugar, perhaps even almost burnt sugar, and a bit of grain, but also darkly fruity. There's also some Bourbon and wood there but it's mild. The flavor is just a slight bit tart but with a lot of supple, sweetish caramel and brown sugar to balance it. The Bourbon and oak remain. Except for the fruitiness and the subtle tartness I think it's pretty much as I'd expect it to be. The fruitiness in the flavor, however, is much more than the style calls for. It's got a combination of juicy dark skinned fruits and dried dark skinned fruits, but there's also a sugary malt component that adds to that. As I sniff it again I get much more dark raisin, and in the flavor that's sticky sweet raisin. Not that it's too sweet, because it's not, but it is sweet. A moderate bitterness balances it and that's OK for the style. In the end it finishes mainly dry with residual notes of raisin and plum (did I mention those before?) and drying oak. So, in the end it's a little fruity but pretty much right on for the style. The alcohol makes an appearance but it's a background appearance and it doesn't really step forward. How strong is this? 12% ABV, whoah! I wasn't expecting that. There's a little bit of alcohol to it but nothing more that you might expect. But what about the Bourbon barrels? Well there's a bit of wood to it as well, so OK. Bourbon itself, there's a bit, and to be honest I think it takes the beer up a notch. It gives it another level. Looking back the lacing is pretty good but the head retention remains limited. Medium-light in body and gently crisp then smooth. Very nicely done and remarkably well balanced.

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

2015 bottle. Pours a very dark brown almost opaque in color with tan colored head. Dark fruits, fig, date, some light grains, and sweetness on the nose; follows onto the palate. Full bodied. Finishes with more dark fruits and a lingering sweetness.

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Photo of Radome
4.79/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Tasted from a 12 oz bottle in a snifter glass.

L - Dark copper or medium brown color with orange highlights. Slightly hazy. Light tan head is made up of miniscule bubbles that float in a thin cloud on the surface and form shitfing sheets of lace on the glass.

S - Super malty aromas of molasses, dried fruits, graham crackers. Over top is a strong bourbon whiskey character and light oak.

T - Strong, rich flavors. This is a malt-bomb of a wee heavy, with huge amounts of sweet malt, molasses, dates and raisins. Later in the palate is a strong bourbon punch, with some oak remaining after the swallow. The flavors go on and on, shifting and changing constantly.

F - Thick body with low but silky carbonation. Strong alcohol burn that combines with moderate hops bitterness to keep the beer from being too sweet. Nevertheless, the alcohol note is not out of place or excessive in a beer this rich.

O - It's as if a massive wee heavy had a shot of bourbon dropped into it like a boilermaker, except the flavors are blended and layered in a much smoother way than a mixed drink could be. A delicious, memorable beer.

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Photo of damndirtyape
4.36/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, no date, served in a snifter glass.

Appearance: Dark amber. Translucent. Thin white ring. Some fine lacing that slowly slid back down the glass.

Smell: Bourbon, vanilla, caramel, toffee.

Taste: Very much like it smells. In fact, nearly identical to how it smelled. Very rich flavors. The bourbon whiskey flavor is a bit stronger at the finish. There is a Wee Heavy in with all this, and it is well blended with the bourbon.

Mouthfeel: Nicely thick, light carbonation, warming whiskey bite at the finish.

Overall / Drinkability: A very slow sipping beer. I think pairing the sweetness of a wee heavy with bourbon was a very smart move - this beer works out really well. It's a dessert all in its own right, but it's not cloying. Sweet, but not overpowering. The bourbon however, reminded me to slow down on this one and sip and savor. One per evening with a beer of this potency.

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Photo of aquabears
4.53/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sliiiiightly cloudy (clear but can see particulates in suspension), amber, deep red when the light shines through it. No head. Smell is heavy bourbon. Some vanilla, woody almost. Caramel. Taste is rich and sweet, creamy vanilla and caramel, nutty almost, bourbon, no real alcohol burn but there is definite heat. Oily and low carbonation, heavy body.

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Photo of Lingenbrau
4.81/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Crystal clear beautiful deep amber to copper red with an off white head that stays at the surface. Laces well.

A: Smells like vanilla and caramel was drizzled over freshly baked snickerdoodles! A nice bourbon and wood presents itself as well. I could smell this all day long.

T: Wow. Everything I said above carries over with an added layer from the bourbon goodness. It's like drinking an adult version of the best cookies ever made. Seriously... Wow.

F: Smooth, surprisingly a little thinner than expected, but also has a mild creaminess and slick coating quality as well. Definitely on the sweeter side with a good amount of alcohol warmth.

O: My final of the trio at trial; Founders Backwoods Bastard, Central Waters Scotch Ale, and now Thirsty Dog Wulver. The winner is... Wulver! Granted this is not a side by side and just off of notes and memory, but this beer is Out...Friggin... Standing!!!

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.39/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful muddy brown which then clears up and forms an autumn brown-to-ruby color. 1/2 Finger of frothy head.

Aroma of lots of peat, smoked malts, nutmeg, caramel, and vanillin.

This is like delicious beer candy. It reminds me of CW BBA Scotch Ale, but perhaps even a touch sweeter. Lovely caramel, root beer, vanilla, chocolate, cherry, a touch of ash, and at the end, sweet bourbon and barrel.

Feel is sticky, hot, and creamy. Moderate carbonation.

Overall, a total killer beer. Will ask for again :-)

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Photo of muchos
4.37/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L. Murky dark burgundy-brown, small dense off-white head reduces to a film in a minute. Leaves a sticky lacing.
S. Sweet caramel, nutty, sweet vanilla (cream soda), cola, slightly woody.
T. Caramel, a bit of wood and smoke, dates, plums, figs, sugary vanilla, warming alcohol toward the finish with caramel and a Hershey bar with almonds.
F. Despite previous reviews of a thin body, I am definitely getting a fuller side of medium bodied beer, very smooth and somewhat dry yet sweet on the finish.
O. Satisfies my sweet tooth, pleasantly warming, an excellent sipper. Bourbon barrel does not dominate but compliments the full flavors the base wee heavy ale. Cheers!!

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Photo of richj1970
4.24/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12 oz bottle. Thanks to @somethingclever for the opportunity to check this one out!

A: Rich dark reddish brown with one finger light tan head. Fairly short retention and moderate lacing. Amazingly clear for a darker beer.

S: Caramel and bourbon dominate. Some vanilla, raisins, and dates.

T: Toffee, caramel, vanilla, and bourbon. Subtle hints of cherries.

M: Medium body with light carbonation. A little thin and watery in texture. Alcohol is well hidden.

O: Excellent BA wee-heavy. Very enjoyable and a real treat.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.28/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 Fl. Oz. bottle
Served in a snifter

This beer pours a deep rust color. It is topped with an inch of tan head that leaves very little lacing.

The smell is nothing like I remember. This bottle smells fruity. It has a ripe, red fruit aroma and some booze. I would never guess that this is a barrel aged wee heavy from the smell.

The taste is like a strong, barrel aged fruit beer. I don't know what happened to the delicious caramel and vanilla flavors that the 2013 version had.

Full mouthfeel and smooth

This is the first bottle of Wulver that I have bought since I bought a case back in 2013 when it was released in bottles. I wanted a fresh bottle to review compared to the 2013 version. This tastes absolutely nothing like the 2013. It tastes like a barrel aged fruit beer. I have one bottle of the 2013 left and will have to drink it and revise my review based on what it should taste like. If I let my bias go, I actually like this beer. I am just surprised at the vast difference three years can make.

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

UPDATED REVIEW (11/25)
Revisiting the same four pack from the fridge. Allowed to warm up a bit before splitting two ways. Totally different (positive) experience.

Aroma and taste of candied pear, cut figs, sticky dates, caramel and toffee. Smooth and soft on the palate; solid carbonation livens up an anotherwise viscous liquid. Warmth not heat from the ABV; awesome sipper. Will gladly revisit.

******
Recipient of fine generosity whilst in Ohio. Poured dark brown, muddled out of the bottle with a thin head that fades quickly. Hyperactive carbonation with lots of bubbles at work. Aroma is dark fruit, cola, burnt sugar, caramel. Taste is sweet malt, prunes, plump raisins, booze, caramel, vanilla...and cola. There's a soda-aspect at play in both taste and feel. Bourbon heat at the end lingers for a warming second or two.

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Wulver from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 1662 ratings