Wulver | Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

WulverWulver
BA SCORE
96.4%
Liked This Beer
4.36 w/ 1,624 ratings
WulverWulver
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
Ohio, United States
thirstydog.com

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#350
Reviews:
219
Ratings:
1,624
Liked:
1,566
Avg:
4.36/5
pDev:
8.26%
Alströms:
3.81
 
 
Wants:
275
Gots:
408
Trade:
75
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,624 |  Reviews: 219
Photo of Sarge3130
3.45/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thin, heavy booze, and zero carbonation.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.49/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Heard great things about this for years...

BOTTLE: Gold foil covers the black & white branded pry-off crown cap. Brown glass. 12 fl oz. Boasts a classy black label design replete with gold font. Cost was $7.19.

Served cold into an oversized snifter and allowed to warm over the course of consumption.

HEAD: None. Just a pale khaki/off-white colour floater that fizzes away inside 10 seconds. No lacing.

A poor show in general, but forgivable at this ABV. When the glass is tilted, a boozy brandy-like clear film is left on the sides of the glass...one might say the beer has "legs."

BODY: Deep dark opaque auburn-black. There's an abundance of plainly visible yeast.

Appears aptly carbonated. It's not great looking, but the legs it leaves when the glass is tilted, and the floating lees have me curious to try it.

AROMA: Brings the style's signature thick malty core to the forefront, with notes of heavy black and dark malts, black strap molasses, and rich dark caramelized sugars. The bourbon character isn't as vivid or expressive as I hoped, and the barrel notes don't seamlessly melt into the base like you'd find in any great bourbon barrel beer. But the bourbon barrel is definitely noticeable, with notes of marshmallow, vanilla, and barrel sugars. I find no rich white oak, toasted coconut, etc., but the bourbon character is nice for what it is.

To style, this aroma suggests a sweet heavy thick beer without ever betraying its high ABV.

Getting back to the base beer, I pick up on notes of praline, toffee, faint pecan, and hints of raisin as well as some kind of vague dark fruit - maybe prune?

Aromatic intensity is moderate. No off-notes, overt hop notes, or yeast is detectable. Those hoping for a traditional wee heavy aroma may be a bit let down; the toffee isn't prominent, and British malts aren't in the fore - but the bourbon is exciting, and the beer isn't overcaramelized judging by the aromatics. Still, some chocolate malts, roast, or more interesting bourbon notes might elevate this.

TASTE & TEXTURE: The bourbon takes on a different dimension in the taste than it did in the aroma, bringing a mellow genuine vanilla character to the flavour profile that introduces itself in the early second act and stays through the finish, lingering even into the aftertaste. Unfortunately, there's still no oak or wood to tie the whole build together, but it's a cohesive beer nonetheless, with toffee, molasses, treacle, and praline combining to form a sticky syrupy core that sort of glues all the other constituent notes together...raisin, prune, caramel, marshmallow.

It's a gooey chewy beer, and uses that attribute as one of its key strengths, embracing the wee heavy mouthfeel in full. And 'heavy' it is, bringing plenty of body, weight, and heft to the palate without ever feeling too filling. One of its key strengths is accomplishing that full-bodied weighty presence on the palate without ever coming off cloyingly sweet; this is not a saccharine beer. Maybe the bourbon helps smooth out the edges in terms of malty sweetness. Hoppiness is rightly minimal in presence, letting the malts do the talking. It's aptly carbonated for the style, with a texture that walks the tightrope between smooth/coarse and wet/dry, approximating dried raisin and tar all at once without ever dragging on the palate, feeling rough or scratchy, or exhausting the drinker.

And the booze? What booze? Yes, there's some pleasant warmth in the stomach, but this drinks like it's about 9% ABV at the max.

Like the aroma suggested, ultimately the bourbon presence is disappointing and inexpressive - at least compared to that found in style paragons like Founders' Backwoods Bastard. Those hoping for rich white oak, toastiness, or coconut will be let down. But the barrel sugars play with the base beer's sweetness, and the bourbon barrel never overwhelms or eclipses the base - it just sits comfortably alongside it. Unfortunately, the bourbon doesn't melt seamlessly into the base, and the two don't play off each other to the extent that would be ideal.

Depth of flavour is above average. Flavour duration is moderate, as is flavour intensity. It's nicely balanced, but could use some dialing in. I find it well-executed for the style, with plenty of likable characteristics. But it's not a gestalt build, and there's no harmony of texture and taste.

OVERALL: While it has plenty to offer the discerning drinker in terms of complexity, Wulver never surpasses either the best traditional examples of the style or the best American examples of the style (e.g. Founders' Backwoods Bastard), instead hesitating between the two approaches to a wee heavy. More commitment to the bourbon or more commitment to the traditional British malts and toffee is needed, but Wulver tries to have its cake and eat it too, to its detriment. Worth trying, albeit at its high price point, but not a world-class entry in the category. Makes me excited to try more Thirsty Dog beers!

High B- (3.49)

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Photo of zdauber
3.5/5  rDev -19.7%

Photo of bccocx
3.5/5  rDev -19.7%

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.5/5  rDev -19.7%

Photo of WeisGuy
3.5/5  rDev -19.7%

Photo of bevoduz
3.5/5  rDev -19.7%

Photo of facesnorth
3.5/5  rDev -19.7%

Photo of thedifferencemaker
3.5/5  rDev -19.7%

Photo of BryanA
3.5/5  rDev -19.7%

Photo of treznor
3.5/5  rDev -19.7%

Photo of RochefortChris
3.5/5  rDev -19.7%

Photo of boxcar01
3.5/5  rDev -19.7%

Photo of beefsquatch
3.5/5  rDev -19.7%

Photo of Quackus
3.5/5  rDev -19.7%

Photo of kscaldef
3.5/5  rDev -19.7%

Photo of jrallen34
3.5/5  rDev -19.7%

Photo of Jpepe08
3.5/5  rDev -19.7%

Photo of smithj2154
3.5/5  rDev -19.7%

Photo of udubdawg
3.5/5  rDev -19.7%

Photo of BergBeer
3.53/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of stakem
3.57/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was a cask offering filled with cherries. Served in a nonic, the brew appears a dark amber with orange clarity aroubd the edges. A white filmoif head quickly receeds leaving spotty lace on the glass.

The smell is muted with caramel and toffee malt sweetnes. A touch of vanilla is also present. Some dark fruit character almost like current and brown sugar with an alcohol inclusion mix things up and get somewhat medicinal with a mild herbal hop inclusion.

The taste is very sweet with earthy pitty cherries. Somewhat medicinal coupled with vanilla and caramel/toffee sugar quality. Some alcohol and earth into the aftertase with faint hop addition to break up the sweetness.

This is a medium bodied brew with a light kiss of carbonation. Not bad but nit something I would have again in any quantity larger than a couple ounces. Its an interesting change of pace for the style but too sweet and medicinal for me to really dig.

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Photo of tallfellapgh
3.58/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Strong alcohol presence but flavorful. Great mouth feel.

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Photo of Sky
3.64/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very strong. I expected this however it was a bit strong for my taste. I am a very big bourbon fan so I decided to give this a shot. Strong rich coffee sent with a similar bite to the tongue. Heavy in abv and you can tell. I feel like one or two of these 12% would knock me out. Not my favorite, but doable.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.68/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a snifter.

2.75 A: Deep brown color. Just a thin skin of head formed during an aggressive pour and fell just as quickly as it formed.

4.0 S: The bourbon and barrel mix extremely well with the base beer. Big leathery component with molasses, melon, plum, raisin, and caramel. A touch of smokiness, a bit of roast, vanilla, oak.

3.75 T: Taste is like the nose. Leather, molasses, plum, raisin, caramel, smoky peat. Roast vanilla, oak. I'd prefer it to be a bit thicker and perhaps a bit sweeter, but it's still pretty good.

3.0 M: Heavier medium body. Undercarbonated by about half of what I'd want. Lightly creamy, which I imagine would be improved with more carbonation.

3.75 D: Pretty good beer. Only complaint is that I'd love some more carbonation.

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Wulver from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
Beer rating: 96.4% out of 100 with 1,624 ratings
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