Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

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Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
Ohio, United States
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy
Ranked #1
Ranked #742
4.36 | pDev: 8.26%
Jun 18, 2022
Dec 16, 2011
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.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Ratings by BEERMILER12:
Photo of BEERMILER12
4.46/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by BEERMILER12 from Maine

A: Pours a deep mahogany color with a fingers worth of head that quickly fades down to a thin cap

S: Huge notes of bourbon, vanilla, caramel, and oak up front along with some lighter dark fruit and some tannins

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with the bourbon, vanilla, and caramel. Slowly picks up the oak, dark fruit, tannins, and even some light spice-like cardamom or heather. Some very light dark chocolate and toffee notes present as well. Finishes with lingering caramel, vanilla, and bourbon

M: Medium-full bodied with light-moderate carbonation. Feels much lighter than it is

O: A very nice wee heavy that makes for a great sipper. The bourbon barrels compliment the base almost perfectly. Definitely worth checking out

Apr 12, 2022
More User Ratings:
Photo of KaBoots
4.85/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
by KaBoots from Florida

Since they don't seem to date their bottles, I'd say it's at least two years old, purchased in mid 2020, drinking on 2022,06,18. Holy shitballs is this beauty sweet. It smells like extra malty coconut. Fairly light, and fine lace head. I'm not even sure if this beer has any hops, it's a glorious malt monster of glory. Screw the safe route, this beer went to the extreme end of the style and passed with flying colors.

Jun 18, 2022
Photo of Whyteboar
4.49/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by Whyteboar from Michigan

Received during NBW BIF #15 from @Beersnake1 as a thanks.
Poured deep brown with mahogany tinted edges and a taupe very brief head.
The aroma was bourbon up front and dark fruit with caramel playing clean up.
The taste followed, right out of the bottle this was all bourbon, to the point of my wondering about it’s lofty ratings.
Then it settles down and the malts rise to the fore- dark fruit, caramel, leather - awesome complexity and layers.
The feel is soft and smooth, this is a sipper and at 12% ABV, I needed to sip it.
Awesome beer, thanks Beersnake1!

Jun 08, 2022
Photo of WunderLlama
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by WunderLlama from Massachusetts

New brewery for me
#1 ranked scotch ale/ wee heavy courtesy of @beersnake1 in BIF15

Foil wrapped bottle poured into a smog city snifter, also from @beersnake1

Dark brown layer, pencil thick taupe foam layer recedes to a thin island and ring

Brewers 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.

Aroma is bourbon, caramel , toffee, dark fruits, raisins, vanilla

Taste is dark fruits, raisins, bourbon,

Low sudsing, mouthfeel is sweet but not syrupy, medium body ,12% abv is well hidden

Really good beer, I know why it is ranked #1 in its class, thanks @beersnake1

May 29, 2022
Photo of SapphireNightStand
4.85/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
by SapphireNightStand

The look of this beer is intimidating. Immediately upon poor, there is little to no head and a deep amber. The smell is immediate prune and or raisin with a sip that is sharply similar, adding a chocolate malty body. In fact, every sip feels like a bite into grape flesh battered by dark chocolate, with emphasis on bite. There is enough of a bite there to give a feeling of heavy alcohol, but so well integrated it is inseparable, not at all a detriment. There is a roundabout sweetness that makes it so you don't feel saccharinization in effect, and gives it the strength to be confidently held in the mouth. There is of course, the issue of tannins. As this is a beer, you need not worry so much about actually tannins, but the feeling enough is there that I do acknowledge that it wants you to drink it slowly, though not gritty, but velvety leather. The overall impression that this beer gives is that of strong desert wine paired with decadent dark chocolate nibbles of some kind, unburdened by bready taste. I wish it could be a bit heavier, but I do not consider it to be fledgling.

Mar 13, 2022
4.13 by KT3418 from Colorado on Feb 07, 2022
4.52 by BLPasch from Michigan on Jan 16, 2022
Photo of jkblr
4.21/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by jkblr from Indiana

12oz undated bottle poured into a tulip glass at just above fridge temp 12% ABV 22 IBU. The beer pours dense dark brown with minimal light penetration and light tan colored head. The head hardly develops and settles to a pencil thin ring and little else. The aroma is moderate in strength featuring soft vanilla, toffee, oak and bourbon. The taste is semisweet toffee with quick and pronounced bourbon and oak barrel jumping in mid palate. Vanilla and barrel char are the lingering flavors along with moderate bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with less than medium carbonation and a mostly dry finish. The twelve percent ABV is fairly hidden. Overall, very good.

Dec 18, 2021
Photo of Manta200
4.28/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Manta200 from Kentucky

4-pack from Party Town
Murky medium dark brown color with a thin head.
Bold bourbon aroma with notes of toffee.
Sweet malty taste with a boozy bourbon kick and a subtle wood character.
Full body with a dry finish.
Love it!

Oct 26, 2021
Photo of arizcards
4.15/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by arizcards from North Carolina

Picked up a single from TW-Greenville SC 7-19-21 for $7.49. No bottling date; consumed 7-20-21.

Beer poured a murky reddish brown with no head to speak of.

Nose is nice, sweet malts blend nicely with the barrel offering leather, vanilla, and bourbon.

Taste is a sweet malt base that gets cut by the bourbon barrel aging which provides a subtle leather, vanilla, and bourbon flavor. Finishes a touch sweet although not close to cloying.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and smooth.

Overall a nice wee heavy that was fun to try!

Oct 20, 2021
5 by mquinn919 from Pennsylvania on Mar 06, 2021
4.15 by h4ger from Connecticut on Dec 20, 2020
Photo of Franziskaner
4.21/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by Franziskaner from Missouri

Deep brown in color with little penetration to light due to a murky complexion. There’s a fingernail of brown around the rim. The nose is vanilla, a wallop of malt, and bourbon. I’m tasting a lot of vanilla, dark, sticky and chewy malt, and bourbon.

Dec 13, 2020
4.46 by TLA from Pennsylvania on Aug 12, 2020
Photo of sulldaddy
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by sulldaddy from Connecticut

Im sampling a cellar temp 12 oz bottle poured into my snifter. The bottle was picked up at a bottle shop in West Virginia about a year ago and has been in my cellar since that purchase.
The beer pours a clear deep mahogany color with minimal fizzy beige head foaming up about 1 cm and quickly fading to an edge layer and some scattered wispy islands.
The bourbon nose is huge on this beer right from the pour, with vanilla hits, black cherry, toffee and brown sugar all mixing together. There are some fusol alcohol notes too, this is a big beer. No hop presence on the nose.
First sip reveals a medium bodied beer with sort of creamy texture and very soft spacious carbonation. Beer is a sipper but is also gentle on my palate.
Flavor is also all malt from start to finish. I get toffee and brown sugar mixig with some bourbon notes and some dark fruit, like cherry or raisin notes. Again some warming booze comes through after each swallow. I dont get any hops on this beer and it is most definitely a sipper. A very nice malt forward sipping wee heavy.

Jun 19, 2020
4.21 by Duncian from Pennsylvania on Jun 02, 2020
Photo of larryi86
4.41/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by larryi86 from Delaware

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip

A- Brown with ruby red red highlights and small off white head.

S- Bourbon, figs, toffee, oak, a little earthy, molasses, slightly earthy.

T- Figs, dark fruits, caramel, some toffee, bourbon, oak, some molasses, a little earthy.

M- Smooth, full body.

O- A very tasty and easy to drink Wee Heavy.

Apr 29, 2020
Photo of stortore
4.15/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by stortore from Illinois

12 ounce bottle into a snifter. Unsure if 2017 or 2018. Had 12/20/18.

Pours a dark amber, a little cloudy, with a quarter inch quickly dissipating head and some spotty cling. Aromas of caramel, figs, malt, smoke, char, bourbon, some oak, raisins, toffee, some molasses and dates, a hint of cherries. Flavors of malt, caramel, some bourbon- more as it warms, raisins, some figs and toffee, light vanilla and oak, a little brown sugar. Smooth, a good medium body, well carbonated.

A great barrel aged example of the style, with really good barrels and a terrific aroma. Very good flavor, but had this on tap about six months earlier, and thought it had a better, fuller flavor. Combining to bolster this rating. Certainly worth a purchase.

Jan 30, 2020
Photo of Buck89
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Buck89 from Tennessee

Poured into a tulip glass. A muddy rust-brown color with a thin tan head that quickly settled. Aroma brought rich vanilla, bourbon, oak, caramel, and toffee. The taste did not disappoint; there was a rich caramel malt presence balanced nicely with the barrel notes and a subtle floral hop presence. Full bodied but not sweet with a gentle warming on the finish. The barrel was very well-integrated and complimented the malt without stealing the show. This one lived up to the hype for me.

Dec 07, 2019
4.82 by Brandon2097 from Pennsylvania on Dec 01, 2019
Photo of jrc1093
4.35/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25
by jrc1093 from Connecticut

No bottling date visible

Pours a murky brown body with bright red highlights when held to light; around a finger of pillowy, off-white foam recedes quickly to an expanding frothy collar and sparse islands of cap; no lacing.

Aroma (with a slight chill) opens with unique tones of malted milk balls, fresh roasted peanuts, cocoa powder, and wisps of raspberry jam; as the beer warms, more expected notes of caramel, rich bakers chocolate/cocoa, vanilla bean, and bourbon start to overwhelm, with lighter tones of coconut husk and candied dark fruits.

Taste brings cacao nibs and deeply toasted oak at the forefront effortlessly flowing into notes of plum and bourbon-tinged coconut husk; bright dark fruits continue to course stealthily through the profile alongside a semi-sweet vanilla and bourbon barrel char.

Mouthfeel features a medium-thick body marked with a wispy prickle of mild carbonation; tight, slightly syrupy but semi-creamy texture across the mid-palate, while a touch of booze fades lightly into the finish; warm, tingly swallow.

The nose leaves an impression of an almost stunning, seamlessly structured depth, informing of what's to come: a stunning profile toned with a natural decadence to the senses, and balanced on the palate nearly beyond reproach; More simply put, a top-notch wee heavy with brilliant barrel integration.

Nov 23, 2019
4.65 by Curt3 from New Jersey on Nov 13, 2019
4.53 by MeIquiades from Illinois on Oct 30, 2019
Photo of VABA
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by VABA from Virginia

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

Jun 16, 2019
4.48 by BeardedWalrus from North Carolina on Mar 24, 2019
Photo of TonyLema1
4.18/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by TonyLema1 from South Carolina

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

Jan 23, 2019
Photo of q33jeff
3.31/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5
by q33jeff from New Jersey


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).


Jan 01, 2019
4.22 by philbe311 from Pennsylvania on Dec 08, 2018
4.5 by Scott17Taylor from Iowa on Nov 23, 2018
4.25 by Bum4ever from California on Nov 20, 2018
Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
4.18/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

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.

Nov 12, 2018
Photo of Bouleboubier
4.28/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25
by Bouleboubier from New Jersey

(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

Oct 31, 2018
4.49 by Skabiski from Maryland on Sep 15, 2018
Photo of Benish
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by Benish from Wisconsin

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.

Sep 08, 2018
4.28 by GRap from Michigan on Jul 29, 2018
4.08 by Wrigfen from South Carolina on Jul 24, 2018
5 by Kwright from North Carolina on Jun 19, 2018
4.37 by travelguy from Ohio on May 27, 2018
Photo of ovaltine
4.59/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by ovaltine from Indiana

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.

Apr 16, 2018
Photo of woemad
4.56/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by woemad from Washington

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!

Apr 15, 2018
Wulver from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 1683 ratings