Wulver | Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

209 Reviews

Brewed by:
Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
Ohio, United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Spider889 on 12-16-2011

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Reviews: 209 | Ratings: 1,590
Photo of searsclone
5/5  rDev +14.9%

Bottle into a Duvel glass. Virtually no head, tan ring that leaves great lacing.
Murky burned brown sugar color. Smells dark fruit, wood, leather, caramel, booze, pretzels,
bread, brown sugar. The taste is much more of the same, touch of pepper in the end. Very
creamy mouthfeel, much more carbonation than I expected. Overall, extremely well balanced
and clean. Easy, maybe too easy, to drink. If you have a chance, try this one.

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Photo of hustlesworth
4.99/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- reddish brown in color initially, but blood red when held up to the light. The thin beige head is barely there to begin with and settles quickly. Perfectly acceptable for a bourbon barrel aged beer of this style as well as the drippy spots of lace.

S- the nose abounds with bourbon aromas. Vanilla, toffee, caramel, maple, and stinging booze fume out of the snifter, with vanilla and booze being the most dominant. Brown sugar and praline come through with an earthy nutty sweetness. Undertones of Nutella, cocoa, oak, leather and pipe tobacco appear with another swirl of the glass.

T- the taste perfectly mirrors the aroma with alcohol warmth and the same nutty vanilla sweetness balanced by toasted grain and a pinch of earthy hops flavor with almost no bitterness. Vanilla and toffee, pecan and hazelnut, a hint of smoke and maple syrup. Exquisitely balanced, and never too sweet or cloying. Masterful alcohol execution keeps everything in check. Finish is long on oak as the sweetness fades.

MF- velvety smooth and atomically small carbonation abrades the tongue lovingly, leaving some residual sugars behind to compliment the tannic and alcohol dryness. All the alcohol makes the body feel lighter than it actually is but make no mistake-- this is a total sipper, if that wasn't obvious already. Which it should have been.

D- this is an insanely good beer that earns its high price tag. Between this and BBA Siberian night, thirsty dog has some of the best beers in the galaxy. I prefer BBA Siberian night because I favor the style, but this is the best damn wee heavy to cross my face, thanks to the precise 11 month bourbon barrel aging that fits this style so well. I love you, thirsty dog. I love you with all my senses.

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Photo of Zacemy
4.98/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This is a great tasting brew. Must enjoy strong bourbon barrel brews. This is a whopping 12% alcohol and the taste is unreal. I highly recommend this for those who enjoy a strong beer. I cannot wait to try others from Thirsty Dog! The flavors are unbelievable, making it a tasty beer.

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Photo of MattBeer
4.95/5  rDev +13.8%
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.

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Photo of ucsbmullet
4.94/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Best Wee Heavy I've had to date. Smooth & tasty. Akron Ohio? WTF? Way to bring it!

Its malty and sweet. The smoothest scotch wee heavy I've tasted.

Balanced with strong aromatics. Dark brown sugar notes but not too sweet. It just tastes damn good.

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Photo of bubseymour
4.91/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What a perfect Wee Heavy. This beer is almost unfair to rate amongst the others because this is a man amongst per-pubescent boys. Big and pow with caramel, slight smoke, bourbon...it's got it all going on. And 12% and smooth. Amazing beer.

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Photo of Biggtriksta
4.9/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I am finding that this is one of my favorite styles of beer - barrel-aged wee heavy/scotch ale. While I think that Backwoods Bastard has this one beat just by a bit, both are exceptional. I'm a huge fan of bourbon-infused, bold beers with hints of vanilla and caramel.

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Photo of UrbanCaveman
4.88/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle, poured into a snifter at room temperature.

A: Pours into the glass a cloudy, opaque deep hickory brown, and forms a nice pale head that slowly settles into a thick cap and ring. Shining light through the beer reveals a ruby-red cloudiness, and some bubbles slowly rising.

S: Heady caramel and toffee toast malts, twined around a boozy, warm hardwood and vanilla waft out of the glass. The scent is plenty sweet, and contains little surprises here and there, like a tiny touch of anise or a bit of raisin.

T: That is a smooth, smooth barrel-aged wee heavy. Sweet as can be, caramel and toffee and fresh dark bread, all aglow with the warmth of oaky bourbon. Vanilla and raisin play along the edges of the flavor profile, along with some faint shadows of leather and figs. The finish is a quick blast of bourbon, followed by a lingering caramel-toffee sweetness tinged with vanilla. Alcohol heat settles in the belly, not in the mouth.

M: Since "perfect" is not actually all that descriptive, I'll try to be a little more detailed. This is a full, rich, creamy-smooth beer, the sort that feels like you can fold it with your tongue. It clings to the teeth and tongue rather well, and has just the right amount of carbonation for me not to notice it at all without the beer feeling flat.

O: This may be the single best execution of an aged wee heavy I have ever had, including the Founders Backwoods Bastard. Incredibly easy to drink, allows the malty sweetness to star with the bourbon barrel as the supporting cast, hides the ABV well - this is a really well done beer.

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4.81/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Just an outstanding beer! Little boozy but smooth going down. Only real complain is I was saving a couple bottles but they already have heavy sediment.

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Photo of PatrickKellyCT
4.81/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

BBA Wee Heavy might be my favorite style of beer period, especially in the fall and winter. This is right next to Backwoods Bastard as my favorite of the style.

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Photo of BuckeyeSlim
4.8/5  rDev +10.3%

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.

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Photo of jerefreakinmiah
4.8/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Apparently I didn't review this bad boy the last few times I had it. Glad to say that I have a few bottles at the house.

This delicious brew pours dark tan with no head (ginger pour on my part). After 20 minutes out of the fridge, Bourbon and vanilla hit the nose immediately, a little maple and a small amount of booze.

As far as taste, BIG bourbon and brown sugar. Vanilla washes over the sides of my tongue. Not a lot of alcohol presence on the tongue as you'd expect for a barrel-aged 12% brew.

A year has done wonders for this marvelous beer. I can't wait too see what happens to this one with time.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.78/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle into snifter. A very warm thank you for this one, Eric.

A: Pours a very deep and woody brown with a short lived thin tan head that faded to a thin collar. A very fine film of lace was left down the glass.
S: The nose is rich and decadent with sweet notes of caramel, oiled leather, dates, raisins, chocolate, mellow bourbon and slight vanilla. Very complex and integrated; smells delicious.
T: Flavors are so very delicate and rich at the same time. Extremely smooth and mellow notes of dates, bourbon, sweet brown sugar and caramel, slight licorice, slight peat, leather and milk chocolate. The finish is lightly sweet with a slight touch of musty attic and faint faint oxidization, and the aftertaste is full of leather, raisin, sticky hop oil, and a kiss of brown sugar, bourbon, and vanilla.
M: Sticky and slick mouthfeel, low and soft carbonation, smooth, rich and decadent full body. Not as thick and heavy as a stout, nor am I expecting/think it should be. I get no trace of the double digit alcohol.
O: How is this beer so underrated?! I was blown away by its complexity and decadence. This bottle must be a few years old because of how mellow and integrated the flavors are. I could sip this all day. Thank you again, TurdFurgison!

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Photo of mjm47
4.78/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

"The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes..."

This beer reminds me of the opening of Prufrock. Soft. Velvety. Rich and delicious. The smell is total overload - bourbon, vanilla, etc. The barrel really comes through. It's a bit hot, but it's balanced well.

OVERALL: Delicious. I wish that I had another and will stop at no lengths to acquire one (that's a lie). If you see this beer, buy it and drink it immediately.

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Photo of screamking
4.76/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle poured into snifter.

Appearance- pours a very dark red brown, with a thin off white head which disappears very fast. Lacing is slim to none. 4.25

Aroma- strong bourbon nose, vanilla and oak are the major players here. Coconut and some dark fruits hang around the edges. Butterscotch is also heavily present. 5

Taste- tons of vanilla and coconut dominate the front of the tounge. Butterscotch and caramel hit about midway and linger for awhile. Dark fruit sweetness comes through in the aftermath. 4.75

Feel- thick and heavy, ABV feels big and is big but that's to be expected, coats plate and stays. 4.5

Overall- this and the BA Siberian Night have to become regular yearly releases. These beers are far to good to release once. This is quality. 4.75

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Photo of Immortale25
4.76/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Here it is. Celebrating my 1000th review. Only took me approximately two years and ten months.

Poured into a Due South Brewing Co. snifter. No readable freshness date.

A- Pours a medium brown color with an 1/8 inch off-white head that barely retains at all before becoming a paper-thin ring around the edge of the glass and almost zero surface foam.

S- How'd they do that? They've somehow captured all the great notes of sweetness you get from a bourbon barrel aging including brown sugar, vanilla, caramel, molasses, raisin, lots of fig and especially coffee cake. I get huge wafts of coffee cake off of this and it's spectacular. All with this undercurrent of bourbon that ties everything together. I could smell this beer all day but I don't want it to get too warm.

T- At first there's raisin, dark fruit and a hint of sherry. Some caramel sweetness in the aftertaste. Alcohol is magnificently masked but there are little shots of booze on the palate here and there, especially after multiple sips are taken. This drinks almost like a nice port but better.

M- Slick, semi-creamy but not incredibly viscous even for a Scotch ale. Low carbonation with a body leaning toward the fuller side.

O- My mind is properly blown. Easily one of my top 5 BBA beers. The aroma alone makes me wish I had more than just one of these.

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Photo of CraftFan5
4.76/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Joint review of Backwoods Bastard and Wulver (only using whole numbers as usual):

A: Poured both aggressively into identical Stone IRS snifters. Backwoods had about a half finger of head, Wulver with about 2 fingers. Both poured a deep ruby red / bronze, with Wulver just a tad darker. Score Backwoods a 4 and Wulver a 5.

N: Backwoods screams bourbon, which is a very good thing. A slight bitterness lies beneath the bourbon and scotch aromas. Wulver was slightly more subdued on the nose with the bourbon less pronounced and no bitterness whatsoever. Score Backwoods a 5 and Wulver a 4.

T: Backwoods is a delight, as usual. Definitely a bit boozy at 10.2% ABV, and I definitely get that hint of bitterness. Should improve as it warms. Bourbon takes a bit of a backseat to the booze and bitterness, as well as the classic scotch ale flavors of caramel and toffee. Now for Wulver after a quick palate cleanser. Wow, these taste very different, considering they're the same style. I don't get nearly the booziness on Wulver despite its 12% ABV. The bourbon and caramel/toffee flavors are blended much better, although I'm not certain that's a good thing, as it's robbed of some complexity. Still extremely tasty. Score both a 5.

M: Backwoods is a bit thin, although I get some coating around the teeth and mouth. This is really where Wulver shines; it's a full-bodied, frothy mouthful of heaven. Score Backwoods a 4 and Wulver a 5.

O: Both incredible, but different beers, and standard-bearers of the BA Scotch Ale style. I've yet to try BA Big Sound, but I'll pull it out of the cellar next year. Very well played by Founders and Thirsty Dog. 5 for each.

Happy Holidays, BA!

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Photo of Donco
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

Appearance: Dark, reddish brown poured into tulip glass. Minimal lacing
Smell: Very bourbon forward, some oak and caramel.
Taste: Follows smell with beautiful blast of bourbon barrel up front. Followed by vanilla, oak, toffee. Just smooth as silk. Minimal bitterness.
Overall: The most bourbon-forward of my three favorite barrel aged Scotch Ales (this plus Backwoods Bastard and Ride the Lion). A well crafted beer by any standards. Is it worth the often-charged $10 per bottle? You need to decide but it's a must-try for Wee Heavy lovers.

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Photo of dar482
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The beer comes in a murky dark brown. Hints of copper and red coming through in the light.

The aroma has wonderful sweet vanilla and bourbon. Then toffee, caramel, deep brown toasty bread, wet raisins, boozy cherries, dried dates.

The flavor hits of a punch of bourbon and vanilla in the front. Then again the toffee and sweet fresh caramel. Then some hints of tobacco and leather. Dark fruits simmer on the surface of boozy raisins, dried figs, dates, and plums. The finish is of some alcohol, bourbon, some drying oak.

The beer has a medium plus to full mouthfeel.

This beer has a beautiful melding of flavors. The beer is quite similar, but with a better melding of the sweet and fruit notes of the beer and bourbon.

I had this blind against Backwoods and this knocked that beer off its feet.

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Photo of xseanprimex
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a snifter.

A: A dark auburn brew with a thin off-white head that recedes into a lace on the rim of the glass. Could remind you of cola.

S: Sweet and hot from the bourbon. Wet, dark fruits come through.

T: Bourbon, yet so smooth compared to others of the style. Vanilla and oak are obvious.

M: Smooth all the way across the palate. It's like this brew just spreads across your entire mouth leaving an aftertaste of sweet vanilla. Not too heavy for a wee heavy.

O: Overall, the best wee heavy I've had. Makes me want to stand in the cold rain wearing a kilt while bagpipes play in the distance. 10/10 will drink again.

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Photo of Pencible
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Sampled at SAVOR 2015. Amazingly smooth and rich and decadent. The bourbon and oak character blended perfectly with the brew. One of the best in SAVOR.

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Photo of tcblack4d
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Received in trade from a very generous trader in Ohio.

Apperance: Poured from 12 oz bottle into snifter. Dark brownish color. Small half inch of kaki colored head.

Smell: Great aroma of caramel, vanilla, and bourbon.

Taste: Excellent flavor. The taste follows the nose perfectly. This is a real treat so far.

Mouthfeel: A good amount of carbonation and full-bodied.

Overall: This is the best BA Scotch Ale I've had. Thirsty Dog really set a new standard for BA scotch ales with this beer. For me, it beats out Backwoods by just a little. I had them side by side, and I felt the Wulver was just a little better. It was also very hard to compare though, since both are world class beers.

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Photo of brandonlovesbeer
4.74/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Deep Amber in color. Very clear.

Awesome. Strong bourbon and vanilla.

Stong Bourbon. Boozy. But in an awesome way. Nice bite. Not a boring alcohol flavor like other Bourbon Beers. If you love boubon beers, you'll love this.

Mouth Feel:
It's not really thick and chewy. It's got a medium mouthfeel.

I loved this beer. It was awesome. Very Very comparable to Founders KBS.

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Photo of minnesotaryan
4.74/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

e30todamax hooked this delicious treat up! Thanks man!

Poured a 12 oz bottle into a darkness tulip, pours a deep dark brownish black, little head and no lacing.

Smells heavily of molasses and bourbon.

Taste follows with lots of bourbon, molasses as well as cherry and vanilla. Nice and rich, this is perfect for a night cap or dessert!

Mouthfeel is nice and smooth, adequate carbonation.

Overall this is a great beer, I would gladly drink this any time!

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Photo of WesMantooth
4.71/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

First time I had this it was at the brewery on tap. Based on that experience, I have had no problem ever since paying $24 a 4 pack for it to be a permanent resident in my home. Aroma of toffee, vanilla, caramel, molasses, wood, sweet dark fruits, and last, but not least, bourbon. Taste follows everything you smell with some peat moss to boot. The very subtle, perfectly integrated bourbon up front. The deep, rich scotch ale flavors on the back end. A slow, mild heat in the finish. I can't overstate how balanced and smooth this is for a 12% BA beer. The body is just a hair on the thin side for a wee heavy, but expected. Overjoyed that this is in my back yard. I won't say that there isn't another brewery making something as good, but I haven't had it and can't imagine anything being better. This is like a Backwoods Bastard, Bourbon County style. World class +. Look me up if you can't find it.

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Wulver from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
4.35 out of 5 based on 1,590 ratings.
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