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Wulver | Thirsty Dog Brewing Company

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206 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:
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Reviews: 206 | Ratings: 1,581
Photo of LAp
4.19/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours an amber-cola color - translucent with suspended yeast - with a 1 finger off-white to tan head. The nose is raspberry compote, sweet red wine (almost port or even rose), with hints of speyside scotch on the backend. The raspberry flavor is perhaps overly saccharine, like a raspberry simple syrup. The palate follows the sweet vinous qualities of the nose, leading with a touch of malt, but closing with a sweet bourbon, almost white-wine finish. The palate is far thinner than I had anticipated before I'd opened the bottle, but entirely consistent with the foreshadowing of the nose and palate. Ultimately, this beer falls on the lighter, thinner side of the Scottish Wee Heavy spectrum. It has far more in common with a barrel aged Innis & Gunn than with Backwoods Bastard or Gravedigger Billy. Overall, this beer is disappointing given the price and buildup. It's not a bad beer by any means, but there's nothing remarkable here either.

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Photo of WillCarrera
4.2/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle, no bottled-on date that I can locate, poured into a snifter.

A- Pours a clear dark ruby brown color, produces a tiny tan head, leaves no lacing.

S- Sweet, rich aroma of caramel, vanilla, bread, bourbon, and sweet, spicy booziness.

T- Flavor is similar to the aroma, very sweet and rich, lots of caramel, vanilla, some dark fruit and bread, along with bourbon and oak.

M- Medium-bodied, low carbonation with a bit of warmth.

O- A very nice BBA wee heavy, a bit on the sweet side but the flavors are nice overall and the booze is very well-hidden.

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Photo of Kevinpitts
4.2/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

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Photo of smanson56
4.21/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark amber color into a snifter glass. Lots of bourbon in the nose. The taste hints of vanilla and some sweetness along with the great bourbon flavor from the barrels. A nice Wee Heavy Beer.

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Photo of BB1313
4.21/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours a dark auburn with ruby hues. There's a small off-white head, which is expected, and it has solid retention and lacing. The aromas are full of chocolate, caramel, vanilla, raisins, dark fruit. The bourbon is noticeable, but it's subtle. They did a good job of letting the bourbon blend harmoniously with the aromas and flavors. There's more dark fruits found in the flavors. More cocoa, caramel and there's a touch of butterscotch. Lots of malts. The flavors are sweet, in a good way. Alcohol is extremely well hidden and doesn't diminish the flavors. Mouthfeel is full-bodied, moderate carbonation and slightly syrupy. This is too easy to drink and it's dangerously drinkable.

This is a great beer. I've had it on-tap before and it's nice to see it in the bottles. I'm sure this would age well, but it's definitely ready to drink right now. This one gets extra credit for being so easy to drink. Recomended.

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Photo of PaulyB83
4.21/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a tulip glass

A- Pours a murky deep reddish brown with a very thing off-white head that quickly fades to nothing. Small amount of light coming through on the edges.

S- Raisin, vanilla, oak, alcohol. Nice sweet, sticky malts.

T- Similar to aroma with dark dried fruits, vanilla, oak, the alcohol kinda takes over a bit too much as it gets more up to serving temp.

M- Given the flavor and alcohol content I found this to be a bit thin in the mouth.

O- This is a very good beer but when Backwoods Bastard is one of my favorite beers naturally I will compare it to that beer. I just think that it is very close to BB but not quite there, plus the fact that this is over twice the price per bottle really is a negative on Wulver. Still a fine example of bourbon barrel wee heavy. I found this beer interesting in that at 12% it pushes Ohio's ABV law about to the limit.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.21/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From 01/05/14 notes. Big thanks to BeerLawyer85 for sharing this one; thanks Ross, this was a want of mine. 12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip.

a - Pours a deep mahogany brown color with two inches of medium tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of dark fruits, roasted malts, bourbon, oak, caramel, and vanilla. Nice nose, with more bourbon and vanilla as it warms up...I like it.

t - Tastes of dark fruits, raisins, vanilla, oak, toasted malts, bourbon, caramel malts, toffee, roasted malts, and light chocolate. More vanilla than the nose and a little more fruit. Very nice.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. No heat and very easy to drink. A little bit thicker of a mouthfeel and it would be great.

o - Overall a very nice BA scotch ale, and another really good BA beer from Thirsty Dog. I liked the BA Siberian Night a little bit better but this is up there with it as one of the best beers I've had from them. Worth checking out.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.21/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured the color of a Coca Cola with a tannish colored head with a thin half finger head which leaves some light lacing

S : A healthy dose of bourbon, vanilla, and wood up front with some caramel and toffee.

T : Initial cramel/toffee sweetness with a bit of smoke. Bourbon and wood, with hints of vanilla are all over this beer but subtle and sweet, not overpowering. Complimentary.

M: Medium bodied with lighter carbonation. A bold and assertive mouthfeel with a lot of silky sweet flavors and fell

O: Very good!

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Photo of TheCuriograph
4.21/5  rDev -3%
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 JamesShoemaker
4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into my Founders snifter. First four pack was courtesy of michaelg137, next four pack courtesy of recently expanded distro into western and then eastern Michigan. This beer is killer on the wallet ($25/four pack), but it's worth it as an occasional treat.

Wulver pours a caramel-chocolate brown from the bottle, settling a deep ocher in the glass with a ring of foam that lingers a few millimeters above the beer all the way down. The more agitated center of the pour yields a few carbonation bubbles, but only enough to make me suspect that this beer isn't especially fizzy. Some lacing up the sides, but the residue is negligible. Wulver wants to make sure you focus on the liquid, not what the liquid leaves behind. The appearance suggests high alcohol and prolonged barrel aging, if such a thing is possible. Why eleven months and not a year? Points off for pervasive, if not extremely noticeable, sediment.

I can smell some of the sweeter aspects straight from the pour, so I'm hesitant to stick my nose right in, but I give it a swirl and work up the courage and dive in. Mmm, deliciously candied. The scent packs at first a hint of isopropyl alcohol, underscored by the sweet fragrance of sugar, caramel, and something richer, like cinnamon and cocoa.

The taste follows the smell (after all, what is taste but smell?). Some subtle differences present themselves: there's a savoriness at the back of the mouth that complements the sweetness of the bourbon. The bitterness I expect from the oak or the caramelized malt is diminished by the intense, almost cloying sweetness. I'm not sure how many of these I could drink, between the high alcohol content and the dessert-like character. Still, in moderation Wulver is delicious.

Sweetness and a lack of bitterness lend themselves to high points for the mouthfeel. The alcohol, of course, is present at 12%, but it's in no way overwhelming. What little bitterness is present sticks to the sides of my mouth. Wulver is very drinkable, if not overwhelming in certain respects.

Overall, I would call this an occasional treat for more reasons than the price. It's sweeter than other barrel-aged Scotch ales (like Backwoods Bastard), but executed better than most (Central Water's for example). The availability of Wulver makes it an excellent contender as a flagship beer for a brewery that should work to emphasize their higher ABV offerings. Do they barrel age Bernese? If not, they should try!

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Photo of Damian
4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Drank from a 12 fl. oz. (355 ml.) bottle acquired in a trade with mps
Served in a tulip

The almost clear, garnet hued liquid was topped by a near three-finger tall, tight, creamy, khaki-colored crown. Very solid retention. Patchy, odd-shaped streaks of lacing coated the glass.

The aroma was sweet, robust and very malt forward. Loads of deep, caramelized malts and toffee. Fruity with a noticeable brown sugar-like sweetness. Somewhat boozy. Bourbon notes were apparent. Good dose of vanilla as well. As the beer warmed, the nose became sweeter, richer and more robust overall.

The flavor profile was similar to the aroma, but perhaps a half step less impressive. Caramel malts and rich brown sugar notes led things off. Fruity. Somewhat biscuity. The crisp, yeasty notes reminded me of something I might find in a traditional beer of this style from the UK. There was a noticeable bourbon-like kick on the dry, slightly tannic, minerally finish. Some steeliness came through as well. With time, the flavor profile intensified. The beer also became sweeter and the booziness mellowed out.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied for the style and contained a light, spritzy effervescence. Slightly creamy. All in all, fairly non-descript.

Wulver is an enjoyable Wee Heavy that stays rather true to the style. A slightly more robust flavor profile and a bigger mouthfeel however might have lent itself well to the barrel aging.

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Photo of barczar
4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
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 Huhzubendah
4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Beer shared by RussianDragon. Thanks Dave.

The beer is chestnut brown with a thin beige collar. The aroma brings a huge dose of bourbon, followed by malt, brown bread, oak. Bourbon steals the show. Delicious flavor, following the aroma. An almost tannic character. The aroma is the star of the show here. Thin body with a light feel on the palate. A touch of spice with a hearty malt body. Very tasty.

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Photo of HipCzech
4.23/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

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Photo of Spider889
4.24/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Bodega. I missed this at the Blues and Brews fest in Akron this sumer. Glad it made another appearance.

Served in the huge Bodega tulip. I'd have much preferred a snifter but, hey, it ain't a pint.

The color is nice and dark - I imagine a dark scotch ale with the added darkness of charred barrel ageing. Head is short lived. Not really getting any lace here.

The aroma is damn inviting friends. Rich caramel and toasted bread wafts up, as does smooth, sweet bourbon. Vanilla and aged, soggy oak. A bit damp and gritty with notions of cocoa powder. Sweet and satisfying.

The flavor lives up to the bar set by the great aroma. Very sweet bourbon is both prominent but never overwhelming or boozy. Toffee and fruity alcohol and yeasty esters add the depth of fig and raisin.

Lower carbonnation. Medium bodied. A sipper with a slight warming effect. Overall a great brew by Thirsty Dog.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.24/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a snifter, the beer is a deep, vibrant, ruby-tinted caramel coloring with a halo of white head. Aromas of rich caramel, heavy booze overtones, apple, vanilla, molasses, wood spice, and earthy highlights. Flavors are extremely rich and heavy, with a solid dose of caramel, toffee, molasses, smoky highlights, wood spice, heavy booze overtones that build a solid warmth as you drink, and highlights of peat and earth. Very rich and very heavy, with a rich caramel, toffee, and boozy aftertaste. The finish is smooth, slick, and with a lingering booze and rich candy note. This is a good beer, and for all of the big and robust characters, surprisingly drinkable.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.24/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Body is a dark cola color. When held up to the light one can see that it is a dark, muddy brown. Pours with a 2-3 finger foamy tan head that slowly fades to a thin collar.

S- Overall nose impression is sweet and boozy. Bourbon, vanilla, oak, molasses, caramel. These notes a very balanced. Definitely a good barrel aged scotch ale nose.

T- Upfront is a dark fruity flavor-plum and raisin perhaps. There is a mild caramel backbone. The finish is much more in line with the style with a lot of bourbon flavor, a hint of oak, a hint of vanilla, and some molasses. A slight alcohol heat lingers on the palate as well as a hint of dark fruit.

M- Heavy body with a sticky/chewy mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Only a mild alcohol astringency is noticable

O- Overall this is a good BA scotch ale. The dark fruit notes are a bit atypical and give this scotch ale hints of Belgian dark ale. This brew doesn't hide the booze-but it certainly isn't off putting either. I'd like the beer to taste more like it smells. On a side note-my husband absolutely thinks this beer is exceptional.

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Photo of stephenjmoore
4.24/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to Mportnoy for this extra!

A- Settles into the glass with a very dark brown body and a foamy cream-colored head. Some carbonation bubbles can be seen around the edges of the glass, rising from the body.

S- The nose is fantastic. Oak, coconut, caramel malts, hints of toast, slight hints of vanilla and burnt sugar.

T- Not as sweet as I would have thought. Lots of smooth caramel malt with influences from the bourbon barrel. Some toasted oak, hints of vanilla, a little bit of sugary sweetness towards the end.

M- Very smooth, incredibly easy to drink for the abv. Carbonation is medium, with a full-bodied mouthfeel.

O- A very nice barrel-aged scotch ale. The barrel works really well to add some sweetness and complex flavors to the big maltiness.

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Photo of SFNC
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Poured cold into a tulip glass.
Look; Hazy, muddy color wit h ruby highlights. A minimal whitish head that left some impressive lacing at the onset, but less as I proceeded drinking.
Smell; Not strong, but burnt caramel, some oak, a little boozy.
Taste; Sweet, but muted sweetness, caramel, oak, vanilla, not too much of a bourbon presence. The alcohol is less present than in the smell.
Feel; Creamy, soft, sticky and light but persistent carbonation. One of the best feeling beers I've had. I savored every sip.
Overall; A treat, good flavor, a great feel. Pricey, but worth trying.

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Photo of THSdrummer
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark burgundy brown. Little off white sits atop briefly before fizzling out. No lacing. Sweet candy malt, oak, bourbon, and caramel form a sweet, but not quite cavity inducing aroma. Caramel and malt notes work with oak, and bourbon to form a balanced flavor that leans a little on the sweeter side, but nothing crazy. Mouth feel is rich, with a low carbonation feel. It still feels good, and lively - not watery. Well done. Overall, a fantastic barrel aged wee heavy. Sweet, without being overly done in that regard. It is performs across the board.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

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Photo of Myotus
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured at 43°F from a 12oz bottle (no date) into a thistle.
LOOK: Pours with a half fingers worth of khaki foam that shrivels into a line after 20 seconds. Copper in color with a ruby tint. Rising bubbles are both small and very small in size and subtle in quantity. There is a few white, sand grain sized particles sitting at the bottom of the glass. Lacing is thin and barely existent.
SMELL: Strong aromas of caramel and black tea entangle with mild vanilla, molasses, fig, raisin, prune, and bourbon aromas along with hints of oak.
TASTE: Strong caramel and mild vanilla flavors enter initially and are immediately followed by strong black tea flavors. Mild flavors or bourbon, molasses, figs, raisins, and prunes along with hints of oak enter lastly as caramel and black tea flavors persist, but vanilla flavors grow stronger.
FEEL: Full-bodied and highly carbonated (the first disappointing feature of this brew). Goes down rough, but syrupy. Ends with a hint of dryness.
NOTE: One of my favorite styles well executed. I do not like bourbon too much and even though it was well perceived in the taste, it was incredibly well-balanced with the other flavors. This being said, I still have yet to try a Scotch Ale better than the one from Save the World.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

No head but bits of lacing on a clear copper with amber hues body. Aroma of oak, wet towels, bourbon, caramel, red wine and molasses. Flavor follows with an excellent complex mixture including notes of vanilla, caramel, bourbon and oak with a nice balance between sweetness and boozy bourbon although not at all overwhelming boozy. The base beer is still well represented it seems. Light carbonation and medium to full, oily body. Very nice beer. Easy to drink for the style. Would love to come across this one again.

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Photo of Beertracker
4.26/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Wulver pours up with ample effervescence creating ample lacing that creates a tightly clustered ring of beigish-white bubbles that manage to hold on above the bright burnt reddish-brown body. Alcohol certainly diminishes the head retention. The aromatics are simply divine with nuances of Four Roses Kentucky Straight Bourbon that show some spicy & sweet notes of rye, cinnamon & sweet molasses which carry a hint of roasted barley, deep caramel, cherry & vanilla. The alcohol is noted and certainly gives hints to the strength contained within. The flavor starts off very cloying at first with big hits of charred brown sugar e.g. Steen's Pure Cane Syrup before the underlying spicy hops & bourbon character help lend balance towards the very warming & slightly stealthy alcohol laded finish. Wulver is really a Werewolf in disguise, as it starts off innocent enough before unleashing the beast. Beware of the full moon or prepare for Wulver's fangs & claws to ripe out your throat!

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.26/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

If rum is too sweet... If scotch is too smoky... If bourbon is too caramelized... If beer is too soft... Then this ale is for you! It hits all the right chords and does so on the back of a surprisingly drinkable finish.

Wulver pours with a medium-dark brown beer. Hazy as it is, the ale allows for ruby, garnet and rust low-lights to penetrate; giving the ale a soft and dim glow. As its initial creamy sand-stained head forms, it swirls into something more akin to coffee creme. Its light trailing lace is kept under wrap by the beer's enormous complexity.

Its aromas and all things of boozy sweetness. Unmistakable bourbon parlays into a rummy, scotch-like scent as its spice and wood character tickle the nose. The peated ale underneath is lightly smoky, densely scented with molasses and burnt toffee, and offering hints of walnut and chocolate. As the beer warms, a light vinous woody scent of sherry pulls forth.

The taste is highly malty as its molasses and toffee seems to fold in a honey character that gives the ale a praline-type sweetness. Nutty with everything from buttery cashews to robust walnuts and pecans and almonds to boot- the earthen taste is greeted with vanilla, caramel and light coffee. A mild chocolate underpinning pulls from the toasted grains and dives right into those booze-soaked tastes of bourbon, scotch, rum, and again... light sherry wine.

Its body is full, rich and round. As the malty sweetness of the beer wraps around the tongue and saturates the taste buds fully, a more dessert-like "sipping" session seems to override the need for drinkability. But the sweetness breaks apart just enough to let the dry toasted malt textures and spicy alcohols dry the beer considerably and seems to lighten the beer in a more friendly manner.

Wulver is a near-perfect wood aged beer. Where the scotch industry has used bourbon barrels for centuries, its no surprise to find all that wood-aged character playing out on a base beer that supports the wood seamlessly.

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Photo of JakerLou
4.28/5  rDev -1.4%
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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Wulver from Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
4.34 out of 5 based on 1,581 ratings.
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