Wulver | Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

214 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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 214 | Ratings: 1,603
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

 669 characters

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.

 261 characters

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...

 983 characters

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.

 352 characters

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.

 372 characters

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

A: Dark, ruby red with tons of carbonation flowing up the side of the glass. Very little head fades to a nice spider-web like lacing.

S: Bourbon, dark fruit, cherries, toffee, warm booze and a slight hint of chocolate

T: Taste is very similar to the aroma, but very well balanced. The smell is dominated by bourbon and dark fruit, but all the different flavors blend together perfectly. Also virtually no alcohol presence on the palate, besides the delicious bourbon. Some vanilla and molasses on the back end, which is right up my alley.

M: Very smooth and silky. Easy drinking for big ABV, BA beer.

O: A very good representation of BA Scotch Ale. Honestly prefer this one over Backwoods Bastard, which is one of my favorite beers.

 736 characters

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.

 252 characters

Photo of John_M
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours a fairly dark brown color with light lacing and minimal retention,. This beer has the look of a beer that has seen considerable barrel aging. The nose is pretty glorious, as I pick up considerable bourbon, butterscotch, light toffee and a hint of brown sugar and chocolate. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely in this sweet, rich beer. Mouthfeel is interesting. There's a lightness to this beer on the palate that is surprising, given the abv. The beer delivers plenty of flavor otherwise, and the alcohol is very well integrated into the flavor profile. I noticed the beer's strength mid way through the glass, but you really don't pick up any heat or booziness on the palate.

Delicious beer. One of the best things I can recall having from Thirsty Dog.

 798 characters

Photo of HipCzech
4.23/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

(From notes, tasted 01-Dec-14):
On tap at Torst (Brooklyn, NY), 5 oz poured into a wine glass. Clear, light cola brown color. Molasses, sweet malty aroma. Big malty, nutty, lightly toasted taste without deeper burnt notes; vanilla, barrel notes. Relatively light bodied given full flavors; low carbonation.

 306 characters

Photo of SportsandJorts
3.87/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: pours a strong mahogany, hints at black through the thick of things. a two finger tan head with good retention and a big streaky lacing. mostly opaque due to the dark color but some clarity along the corners.

Smell: huge whiffs of whiskey and vanilla. covers up a sweet backbone of toffee, caramel, hints of dark fruits and some tobacco to peat.

Taste: opens up with whiskey, notes of wood and strong vanilla. the taste starts sweet and remains so for a bit with caramel, toffee, and raisins. the sweetness dies down a bit but doesn't completely leave as the finish is earthy, peaty and tobacco-y.

Mouthfeel: thick, chewy, sticky. strong alcohol warmth and linger.

Overall: man there is a lot going on with this one. I usually like beers nice hot and fresh but this one is a bit much. almost spot on with the look and feel but I think the flavors just need some time to get along beer and mellow out a bit. next time I plan on putting some years on it.

 968 characters

Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.52/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - The beer was a deep black color with mocha colored bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass.

Smell - In the aroma, I detect notes of vanilla and bourbon. The intensity of the aroma is striking initially, but mellows.

Taste - The vanilla and oak really come through in the initially taste. Sour bourbon, raisins, and prunes are also very present. What I find to be most striking in the among of vanilla and oak that comes through in the taste. The bourbon in the aftertaste strikes me as warming, though I would not describe this beer as hot.

Mouthfeel - Keeping the barrel aging in mind, the beer is quite smooth.

Overall - The is an exceptional version of the style with barrel aging. The barrel aging works well in conjunction with the style of beer. Well done!

 782 characters

Photo of themind
4.34/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer is very good. As a comparison to Founders BWB, I have to say it falls short. For me, the bourbon is a little too pronounced in this beer and the mouth feel is a little less creamy then BWB. All in all, this is a fantastic beer that I would buy again. A sipper Wee Heavy with a nice barrel aging touch but when lined up against BWB, my bench mark...it's second best.

Bottom Line: Excellent beer.

 405 characters

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.44/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a wine glass at District Tap House.

Pitch-black liquid under an off white, fluffy head. Persists well. 4.5

Oaken and tobacco-heavy on the nose. Bourbony notes like sour mash. Mellow vanilla notes. 4.25

True to nose with the tobacco, oak, vanilla, but Caramel notes emerge too. There's a subtle smokiness and peaty that suggest a good scotch. The way the malts complement the scotch character here is impressive. 4.5

Barrel-aged but not a trace of booze. Smooth and caramel-like with the slightest carbonation that seems perfect. 4.5

This beer puts the scotch in scotch ale.

 588 characters

Photo of Mikus
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

This wolf can hunt. Split with the wife from 12oz into stem less wine glasses. Looked great. Nose was amazing, bourbon, vanilla, caramel. Vanilla & oak hints and nice bourbon (balanced though) on the tongue. Velvet mouthfeel. Wulver dominated Backwoods in my reviews. Need to do a side-by-side. Get it. Get it, now.

 315 characters

Photo of KATCanada
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

This was one of those great beer moments for me. I was given a bottle and did not know anything about it. Felt like something bourbon ahead and it was in the front of my cellar/fridge. Gave it a quick whiff and had to do the double take. Wonderful caramel bourbony nose. First thing that came to mind after taste was was a fizzy JD single barrel with a splash of coke, yet it was somehow not too boozy. I loved every sip of this. If you have friends who love bourbon but not beer, i highly suggest you get them to try this. Awesome.

 532 characters

Photo of FLima
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Ps. Name suggests in Portuguese, and after trying it does make a whole lot of sense.
Black brown color with a thin head with short retention.
Delicious aroma with notes of raisins, bourbon, mild anis, oak, toffee, plum, rum and Port Wine. The most elegant I have had from Bourbon barrels.
Complex and rich flavor with notes of cinnamon, honey, grape jelly jam, bourbon at the perfect level, vanilla, cinnamon rolls, some chocolate, fresh tobacco, port wine and maple syrup. Dry, delicious boozy and mildly bitterness aftertaste.
Full body with perfect carbonation. Velvety, just a bit sticky. Alcohol of 12% is there only and only to add flavors.
That is an awesome beer with incredible complexity. It is hard to understand how this can be so bold, not tiresome and smooth at the same time. Sure the 11 months aging at the brewery did some good.
Just had the Founders Backwoods a couple of days ago and this sure beats that excellent beer. I am simply in love. Tried, but hard to give any suggestions. Worth it every cent.

 1,022 characters

Photo of Shroud0fdoom
4.54/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

12 oz. Bottle courtesy of SomethingClever thank you again!

I am not going to kid nobody, this is another one of my favorite Barrel Aged brews. Let me describe this brew for you guys that haven't tasted this Worthy brew before. Getting down to business, this brew pours brilliant! Dark brown body that's murky and opaque so no light shines through. A nice little thin khaki head layers the top. Very amazing looking IMO! It's dark and mysterious and leaves you wanting to explore what it has to offer.

The aroma is off the charts. Huge hits of bourbon, vanilla and toffee with toasted oak just slamming that nostrils! Nice subtle toasted coconut in the background evening things up. Yeah, this brew is so beautiful smelling!

The flavor is just as wonderful. Bourbon notes shine with vanilla and toffee with toasted coconut finishing up the brew. There is also a nice dose of dark chocolate that slaps the taste buds before the finish. This brew finishes toasty slightly bitter-sweet with a nice dryness that aches for another sip. The feel is medium-light body soft carbonation.

Overall: I am in love with a Wee-Heavy! A regular Wee-Heavy I usually am not that impressed with, yet age one in a bourbon barrel for 12-14 months! I am thoroughly impressed with this offering. I had Backwoods Bastard which is great in it's own right, yet doesn't hold a candle to Wulver. This brew for being 12% is one of the most drinkable High Gravity beers on this planet! With that said this brew is Recommended!

 1,500 characters

Photo of cosmicevan
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle picked up locally and enjoyed from a hoptron uneven snifter.

a - brew pours a watery brown that settles a bit darker in the glass but holds some ruby highlights when held to the lights. Thin white head give quick some streaky lace left behind.

s - nose leads with toffee and caramel. It is amazing how the barrel and base beer really smell like kiquid caramel. Little bit of a chocolate edge.

t/m/o - rather impressive beer. Taste matches the nose but disability is through the roof. Abv is well integrated and this puppy slides down too easily. Not sure why you don't hear more about this one. Super good!

 618 characters

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

11/26,2014 On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Poured a bit 'high'. Settled into a very inviting light beige head with classic solid lacing. Extremely inviting aroma...dangerously so. May be a tad sweet for some, but...well, I'm your guy on this one. If I was keeping a true top 10, someone would be headed to the showers. Still baffled as to how like barley wine this is to me.

From bottle at home. Excellent brew. Pours to a firm off white head that descends to a light lacing. Liquid has the look of a strong coffee. Aroma remind me of some nice barley wines. Toffee & vanilla with no bitterness & a pleasant sweetness. A very full body rounds out this 12% ale. Like most rich victuals less is more.

 696 characters

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.

 1,587 characters

Photo of jzeilinger
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Many thanks to WesMantooth for this bottle.

A - Pours a deep, dark burgundy color with a very fine caramel colored ring of lacing.

S - Toffee, bourbon, vanilla, and oak.

T - Follows the nose: Bourbon boldness up front and throughout, followed with vanilla, oak, toffee, plumbs, and prunes. Light alcohol effervescence funnels up and into the nose.

M - Mild warming on the first few sips until the throat adjusts. Thick bodied, slippery, silky, sticky.

O - This is an outstanding beer.

 495 characters

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.

 1,239 characters

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?

 713 characters

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

Appearance - copper mahogany color with a thin film of tan head

Smell - bourbon, caramel, toffee, maple, booze

Taste - caramel, toffee, maple, bourbon, booze

Mouthfeel - medium plus bodied, low carbonation, slight sweetness upfront, barrel and booze on the back end

Overall - decent beer, but the booze from the barrel overwhelmed the characteristics of the scotch ale. Worth a try

Price point - $6.99/12 oz bottle

 419 characters

Photo of Phigg1102
4.54/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours the deepest brown I could imagine, with the slightest red hints around the edges. Almost no head, but leaves a moderate amount of lacing on the glass. Heavy oak and stone fruit in the aroma with some tobacco, vanilla and raisin. Chocolate came out in the taste particularly strong in the beginning then gave way to the bourbon, with an emphasis on oak and vanilla as well. Creamy mouthfeel with the perfect amount of carbonation to carry everything. Nice amount of sediment at the end.

 491 characters

Wulver from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
4.35 out of 5 based on 1,603 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.