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 JakerLou
4.28/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark brown (like a root beer) with little to no head. Small amount of lacing.

Smells of caramel, coconut, and vanilla. It smells like it will taste sweet.

Taste is caramel, vanilla and some coconut. There is also a hint of dark fruit. I know this is a wee heavy but if I didn't know that I might think it was a Belgian Double or Quad. It doesn't have the bruised banana flavor but the dark fruit and caramel sweetness really reminds me of a Belgian.

Mouthfeel is smooth and silky.

Overall I think this is the best Wee Heavy I've tried. Founders Backwoods Bastard is good but I'd take this beer over BWB every day.

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Photo of kbwalters
4.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look - 4.25 Pours a clear brown into a nice dark brown in the glass with 1 finger of light brown head that fades quickly to a ring. Low retention and lace is forgiven because of the aging.
Aroma = 5.0 Really terrific aroma, strong. Sweat caramel maltiness you’d expect with a scotch ale but it’s complimented perfectly with bourbon and vanilla notes. A little smokiness in there too.
Taste = 4.25 Terrific blend of a scotch ale (caramel and toffee maltiness) sweetness mixed with strong bourbon flavors and vanilla notes. There is some alcohol present in the taste.
Feel = 4.25 Full bodied with medium carbonation, smooth, really nice feel.
Drinkability = 3.75 Boozy, big and strong.
Overall = 4.3875 Huge score here for Wulver. Terrific BB scotch ale.

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Photo of Rutager
4.34/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Buschbeer sent me this one a while back. Cheers, man!

Pours a dark amber-brown with a half finger of khaki head. Big nose of bourbon, vanilla, toffee, coconut, and oak. Taste is pretty amazing. Smooth bourbon, toffee, toasted oak, a touch of coconut, vanilla, and smokey peat. Maybe a bit of chocolate too. As far as the style goes (which isn't one of my favs), this is some really great stuff ...despite the style!

Full body, a little sticky on the lips, medium-low carbonation, nice warming in the throat but none of the boozy astringency. Great stuff!

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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 matt_duthie
4.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours with a two-finger eggshell head which keeps a nice 1/8" cap for quite a while. Circulating flaky sediment amidst the mostly translucent amber-copper beer, not awesome but not bad looking. Smells really good...bourbon,caramel, toffee, raisins/cherries, vanilla, oak and some wine-ish tannins...sweet sweet goodness. The taste follows pretty similarly, with sweet caramel malt and the vanilla and bourbon hitting first, with the dark fruits coming in through the middle (moreso as it warms), and a nice oaky dry finish that still has the delightful barrel flavors lingering for some time after swallowing. Nearly no bitterness or hop character, which doesn't really hurt here. Amazingly smooth and pretty thick mouthfeel with significant warming, but very little alcohol burn. A Scottish Barleywine (if only that were a style...) of very high quality. Hate that it costs so much, but ranks up there with Backwoods Bastard, even if they are significantly different in presentation and character. Very very solid brew.

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Photo of papat444
3.9/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle says it was aged 11 months in bourbon barrels.

A bit of peat in the flavor as well as some caramel sweetness. Mouth filling but found the body a bit too mellow, lacked a little complexity.

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Photo of manfromanotherplace
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The best wee heavy ive tried yet, even better than a backwoods bastard. Its stronger than a backwoods but doesnt knock you on you arse after 1 beer, definitely a little more refined.as far as wee heavys go this is world class.

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Photo of MattSweatshirt
4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thin off white soapy head. Ruddy brown body.

Wood, booze, vanilla, toffee, cocoa powder, cherry, and raisiny plum dark fruits.

Smooth drinking medium bodied brew that has a mild level of carbonation.

Barrel aging adds some nice elements, but could come across better.

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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 neurobot01
3.98/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2014 vintage into a snifter at (approximately) 43ºF.

Look: dark brown with a hint of garnet, ring of slightly off-white head.

Smell: Coke, vanilla, malt. Very little bourbon, no alcohol heat.

Taste: a ton of wood, not much sweetness. Surprisingly strong alcohol burn given the mild nose. Closest comparison is straight whisk(e)y—NOT other BA beers.

Feel: fairly thick, little carbonation, a bit dry.

Overall: given the reputation of this beer, I'm definitely disappointed. But, maybe BA wee heavy just isn't my style. Of Backwoods Bastard, Shaggin' in the Wood, Heidbanger, and Ride the Lion, I only really enjoyed the last.

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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 vfgccp
4.56/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A – Nice mahogany body. Kahki head pours a quarter finger high and settles quickly into medium halo. Very low lace.

S – Thick and sweet with caramel, molasses, boozy amaretto, spiced rum, and hints of cardamom, nutmeg and cinnamon.

T – Wow. Deep, rich and complex. Amaretto and cinnamon into a deep cola and syrupy black cherry center, with a dark, smooth finish of tobacco, molasses, spiced rum, and bitter dark chocolate.

M – Medium-full body with a booziness that lightens the frame.

O - Worth the hype. A thick, complex Wee Heavy in the spirit of an Old Ale loaded with dark tobacco flavor.

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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 FosterJM
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

1827th Review on BA
Bottle to TB 10oz wine glass

Thanks to JM03 for this one.

App- Out of the shoot, watching this cascade into the glass it poured a mixture of brown and red. When it settled and held to the light it was a crimson red with some great highlights. A good puffy 1 -1/2 finger head was there and then fell to some good sticky lace. Nice looking frothy beer.

Smell- It took a while for all the aromas to come up on this one. Needed more time to develop. When it was right, it was quite nice with caramel, toffee, vanilla with bourbon, oak and a small sweetness behind it.

Taste- This was very good!!! A huge vanilla bomb. Funny it wasnt a stout. I thought it was a bit malty, but then realized what style I was holding. A big flavorful beer, well layered and integrated with the vanilla, caramel, sweetness and the oaky booze flavors.

Mouth- A good and solid medium body with a medium carbonation level. Lots of oak on the back end with a finish similar to a Dr. Pepper.

Drink- This was a wonderful beer. Layered, flavorful, integrated with a lot going on. Takes a while to warm up and bring all the flavors. But when it does. Fantastic.

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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 ajm5108
3.39/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The bourbon definitely dominate the palette, overshadowing mostly all of the other flavors. Labeled as a wee heavy, you'd be hard-pressed to define it as such when compared to other brews of the same style. That's fine, of course, but there isn't experimentation or playfulness about its take on the style, it ends up tasting like most generic bourbon aged beers, which is to say, like watered down bourbon. It isn't bad by any stretch, it is a totally fine beer, just rather boring.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.66/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Served in a wide-mouth flute glass.

Appearance: Deep dark brow body with which comes off semi-hazy. Head is light brown tinted white that rises to maybe 1/4" at best with clean lacing.

Smell: Deep toffee scent with slight roasted sugar. Hard to keep the glass down just trying to sniff it.

Taste: Sweet sugars with the feel of toffee and vanilla extract. Slight malts but I cant imagine a better beer that becomes your dessert. Not sure if that was intention but it's what th recipe asked for.

Mouth: Sticky and sweet, medium carbonation with a maple feel that just hugs your cheeks

Overall: From drinking this brew from the first sip in my head I have an idea of where this beer stands as far as rating. You will fall in lust with this beer. Biggest mistake is leaving it on the shelf. A liquid dessert. Salud!

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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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4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours to a romantic mahogany brown. Just a skim of head on the edges. Nose is of fine Crete brûlée and vanilla. Taste is very sweet but the alcohol balances. Woodsy and dry in the finish. Very complex flavored for a wee heavy. Incredible beer with awesome aging potential.

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Photo of dmgeng
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Again my local liquor store has surprised me; first with Siberian Night Bourbon Barrel and now Wulver!

A - Nice Ruby to brown color that is pretty clear. Bright white head with good lacing.

S - Sweet bourbon smell mixed with strong maltiness and some coconut and chocolate notes as well. Smells like very good bourbon mixed into a wee heavy as you would expect.

T - Initially the bourbon hits your tongue with the traditional vanilla, oak, toasted coconut, and raw bourbon. Then in the middle there is the most pungent caramel flavor that I have ever tasted in a beer. The caramel sweetness is so strong is just sits there and sears into your memory. It is rich and complex but sweet and boozy.

M - Moderate mouth-feel with light carbonation. Overall it is thin for 12% ABV but with the sweetness and the softness of the bourbon it doesn't seem too watered down.

Overall, this is a pretty good beer definitely worth a high mark but not close to some of the better stouts on the market. If you don't like sweet beers or bourbon this one is probably not a good choice. I would recommend it to those who have already tried their Siberian Night Barrel Aged but I don't think this should be Thristy Dog's best beer.

Glass- Snifter

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.81/5  rDev -12.4%
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

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Photo of JebBeerFish
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had tasting with a friend of three scotch ales, Scotty Karate, Wulver and Backwoods Bastard, in that order. Expected ratings to be 3rd, 2nd and 1st. If you think BB is very good, as I do, Wulver is even better. More bourbon, more vanilla, really quite a treat.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.55/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: deep dark brown ale with naught but a vague translucence... center-pour stirred up but a faint sheen of film with some bubbles near the center... a few lazy motes of lace trailed behind each sip

S: rich bourbon-soaked wood and dark overripe fruit with vanilla and molasses drizzled atop... smoky peat suggested with every whiff

T: lots of candied fruits soaked in booze; lighter notes of wood vapor and vanilla... sugars like molasses, toffee, and dark caramel... peat and smoke weave throughout...

M: medium-bodied without a trace of carbonation; vapors of bourbon caress the roof of the mouth, some slick slightly sticky traces in the corners... subtle aftertaste of charred bourbon wood and toffee

O: an excellent Scotch ale - one of the finest and as far as I've had, very true to style; these ales are perfect for barrel-aging, as the flavors and feels meld seamlessly together. This edges out the others I've had from the style, even - just barely - Backwoods Bastard...

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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 Cylinsier
4.34/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25


Pours a dark opaque brown, yellowish white lacing head.

Smells of scotch, oak, brown sugar and spice.

Flavor is of scotch and brown sugar over biscuit malt, light grape sweetness, and a rich woody finish.

Full body with tingly carbonation on the roof of the mouth. Warms going down.

Top notch sipper. Drinks slow and with potency. Definitely worth seeking out.

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