The Wolf
3 Sheeps Brewing

The WolfThe Wolf
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Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #524
Ranked #2,121
4.26 | pDev: 7.51%
3 Sheeps Brewing
Wisconsin, United States
The WolfThe Wolf
Notes: *ABV varies by year*

This beer is a bit dangerous. It’s packed with flavor — rich bourbon, warm wood tannins, and notes of sweet caramel and chocolate. Yet it’s so easy-drinking that you won’t notice the 13.5% ABV. Yes, 13.5%. The Wolf is a simple beer at heart, a classic imperial stout with a robust malt bill, but has a science-y trick up its sleeve. We treated the alcohol sweetness as an ingredient instead of an afterthought, using it to to harness the strong bourbon notes and maintain the beer’s light body. The result? The liquid equivalent of a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Reviews: 48 | Ratings: 127 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by maximum12:
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maximum12 from Minnesota

4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thank goodness for my close proximity to Wisconsin, effectively doubling the possibility of finding new beers in our pandemic depleted world. 12 oz. can, cool black label with a camouflaged wolf worked in. Canned 6/23/20 this version stands at a robust 12.0% ABV.

Black. Cold. The nose is classic: straight malts with a touch of roast & a nice, smooth barrel presence. Smells dangerous.

The Wolf is like a no-friction waterslide – smooth, cool, ever-accelerating, & you just hope there’s a safe ending. Reviewing backwards, there are minor notes of molasses, mild roast, & fudge. But up front is where it is: a seamless, unique melding of barrel & beer. Long, smooth huggle of bourbon tight to a deeply sweet malt base with a hefty contribution of vanilla with sharp oak & light alcoholic burn. So smooth. So drinkable.

It’s hard to describe a “plain old” barrel aged stout when the beer is executed so well that it separates itself decisively from the crowd of the merely good to the glorified home brews. This is a remarkable beer.

Jul 25, 2020
More User Reviews:
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NickThePyro from Washington

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

Nov 02, 2020
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AyatollahGold from Indiana

4.29/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2018 review.

Pouring from a 12 oz. bottle into a snulip, this beer pours out a very dark brown and forms in the glass as black as night. It forms thin, light caramel colored crown that dissipates very quickly. 4

The nose brings a lot of charred, burnt and roasted sweetness layers. Roasted barley, burnt chocolate, toasted brown sugar. It’s heavy and thick. 4

The taste brings in that heavy thick sweetness too. Burnt brown sugar mixing with layers of chocolate and molasses. Dark fruit; raisins. Not a huge barrel presence; but it does have a slight barrel “warmth” to it. It reminds me a lot of the regular dark lord. 4.25

The body is thick and full; very good. The sweetness clings making this body heavy. 4.5

O: 4

2019 ratings

Apr 25, 2019
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RaulMondesi from California

4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This one is pretty slick like James Dean’s beautiful quaff. Like, vroom vroom like it’s “Rebel without a Cause”! But we ain’t gonna stop there. Also on the scene is Nicholas Ray with an eye patch telling Bogie how to sip his scotch and eat his ham and eggs. Believe that! All smooth like Gloria Graham before she ditches you.

Can Raul holla at that!?

He can!

Jul 21, 2020
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CraftFan5 from New Jersey

4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dec 30, 2019
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brentk56 from North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours espresso brown with a one finger beige head that fades to a ringlet; leggy, with strands of lace every which way

Smell: Dark chocolate, dark fruit and Bourbon tones merge with hints of caramel and vanilla

Taste: Dark chocolate and caramel forward; hints of fig and prune emerge but the middle is dominated by the Bourbon, caramel and vanilla tones; a burst of sweet chocolate brings up the rear

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low to moderate carbonation; warmth in the gullet

Overall: Bottled in May of 2017 and drinking superbly now; tastes more like an RIS to me

Thanks, Virby44, for the opportunity

Sep 07, 2018
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hoptheology from South Dakota

3.21/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle from GreenBayBA
2019 edition
Smokestack Snifter

Deep inky black with a thin beige ring of head, no lace.

Aroma of clay and smoke, some bakers cacao, some chalk dust, a little bourbon oak.

Flavor brings burnt popcorn, smoke, vanilla, raspberry chocolate syrup, soy sauce, butter, tobacco, more soy sauce, a touch of infected coconut, and then a downright disconnected shot of straight whiskey.

Feel is hot and thick, very viscous, very nice alcohol heat and appropriate for the beer.

Overall, I was told to expect something great and it did not deliver. Got two bottles - first one I found out was definitely infected, but the second one was just plain terrible. It was like bourbon barrel aged chocolate soy sauce. Would not revisit. I think I might have even liked the infected one a bit better.

Nov 24, 2019
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Residing at the intersection where imperial stout, porter and old ale meet, a sneaky, boozy and robust taste stems from the 3 Sheeps Brewing team which seems to be a big beer that's trying to do something that isn't normally done.

This "Wolf" happens to be a imperial stout in bourbony clothing, pouring with a dark bark brown hue, shy of black. Slight on froth or foam, the calm ale swirls with the robust scent of sweet booze, sherry, whisky, dark fruit, toast and chocolate wafting about the nose. Lavish sweetness coats the tongue with a medley of maltiness that spans caramel, toffee, brown sugar and chocolate once more.

Toasty, nutty, coffee-like and with that continued effort of bittersweet chocolate, the middle palate is halted just before reaching roast, burnt or charred proportion of stout. Seeming more of an imperial porter, the taste of dried fruit adds complex elements of plum, black raspberry, black cherry, date, fig and red grape before trending spicy on the late palate with strong impressions of sherry and bourbon.

Full bodied and without the roasted balance of charred grains, the sweeter, older and rustic taste of Wolf is a matured, oaken ale that trails long and lush on the finish like fine coffee liqueur. Waves of spicy sweetness continue to wash the after palate long after the sip has gone. This high octane ale surely sneaks up on you.

Aug 17, 2018
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ksimons from Illinois

3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A-almost black with dark brown highlights and a thin layer of tan head

S-big bourbon aroma with dark malt

T-bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, hot

F-medium body with light carbonation

Overall too heavy on the booze, maybe some time would help

Jul 06, 2018
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szmnnl99 from Michigan

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

Oct 22, 2017
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joe1510 from Illinois

4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle
$14.99 4-Pack
Village Dell & Wine - Rice Lake, WI

The Wolf is about as black as they come. There are no highlights, there is an absence of light. The body itself, as it's being poured, is oily and slick looking. A fingers worth of khaki foam eventually forms on the pour and crackles down fairly quickly leaving behind a chunky ring and some thin but sticky lace. It looks good.

The nose is pretty densely packed but the barrel characteristics are what stick out the most. Damp oak and a rich, deep caramel sweetness leads the way. Soft vanilla and a boozy flash of bourbon. The beer itself brings about a good roasty element, not quite at char but not far off either. Some dark berries and and a drizzle of molasses add complexity along the periphery. The nose is barrel forward but the robust maltiness manages to stand up.

The flavor has softer edges than the nose and even a bit more complexity. The barrel characteristics are still a huge portion of this beer. Spicy oak and caramel, vanilla and boozy heat in smaller amounts. THe roastiness of the malt is my favorite characteristic of this beer. It's dark and slightly bitter. There's some heavily roasted coffee beans and a smattering of dark berries. This beer has good depth.

The body is about moderate in weight. Moderate is a little thin for such a monster. The barrels have thinned it out over however many months. It's not far off but it's off. There's a good roastiness that brings some bitter and a little alcohol heat in the chest. The carbonation is rather lax which gives the body some oiliness. This beer drinks a lot easier than most 13%+ beers.

This is a good 3 Sheeps beer. Small gripes would be that it's a touch thin and a little barrel forward but those are minor. The beer itself is robust and well done with some nice complexity. The barrel aging brings about some nice touches; vanilla, oak, and bourbon. I would certainly buy this again,

Oct 01, 2018
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timmy2b from New York

4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bourbon hits right on the tip of the nose as soon as you open the bottle. Pours a very dark brown with an off white almost tan laced head. Taste of mild chocolate and the bourbon is mellow and more in the aftertaste than up front. Very well blended and 13.5% is well hidden. Almost too easy to sip but would try again without hesitation. Thanks @azuelke

Dec 06, 2018
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bound4er from Wisconsin

3.91/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours to a dark brown appearance with a fast breaking tan head. Lacing is almost non-existant. Smells sweet with chocolate, vanilla and bourbon. Taste mirrors nose with lots of bourbon slathered sweet vanilla. If there were any hops used in this beer I can't detect them. Feel is medium/medium heavy. Not a bad BA stout but not one I necessarily will seek out again. A bit too much barrel and not enough complexity for me.

Dec 02, 2017
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BlackBeerPirate from Illinois

4.46/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Taste: complex, dark roasted malts, big bourbon, sweet, spicy, earthy, wood oak notes, boozy finish. Same with the nose. Black, brown hue, semi clear, smaller head, barrel aged film on glass. Full body. A refined sipper.

Jun 20, 2021
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3.56/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Thin and "unbourbony" this year. More like a Wolf in Sheep's clothing. A 16-oz. can of Narwahl BBA Stout exceeds in both mouthfeel and Bourbon flavor for the same price.

Jul 20, 2021
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Soneast from Wisconsin

4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Jul 01, 2018
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jaydoc from Kansas

4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dec 26, 2017
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4DAloveofSTOUT from Illinois

4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

12 fl oz bottle sealed with 3 Sheeps logo pressure cap.

bottled on 05/30/2017.

poured into HF wine stem.

Appearance: Black bodied stout. Almost 2 fingers of light tan head. Head fades down to a ring around the beer.

Smell: Dark chocolates, light bourbon and oak, light roasted malts, honey, root beer, cola, black licorice and leather. As the beer, the bourbon becomes more pronounced and even a little spicy.

Taste: Moderate bourbon almost immediately. Dark chocolate, caramel, and vanilla. Moderate level of roasted malts. Lightly bitter finish that starts with a mix of black licorice root beer, and cola then transitions to a splash of bourbon and oak that lingers for quite a while.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Thin for a barrel aged stout. Low yet adequate carbonation. Mild to moderate boozey heat in this stout.

Overall: This barrel aged stout by 3 Sheeps brewing is very similar to Central Waters Bourbon Barrel stout as far as quality goes. Who doesn't love having another well done and reasonably priced barrel aged stout in 4 pack format to choose from? Wisconsin breweries are just plain doing things right. This beer might cellar nicely as well.

Jun 21, 2017
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Sparky44 from Illinois

4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Aug 16, 2017
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bpfrush from Wisconsin

4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jun 26, 2017
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krome from Illinois

4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aug 10, 2018
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Duff27 from Illinois

4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Jun 28, 2017
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larryi86 from Delaware

4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thank you GreenBayBA for this
12 oz bottle poured into teku

A- Black with a two finger mocha head

S- Bourbon, oak, chocolate, vanilla, undertones of roasted malts/coffee.

T- Bourbon, vanilla, baker's chocolate, some caramel malts, some roasted coffee. Not as big or complex as the nose.

M- Smooth, full body.

O- Smells amazing, taste is a little barrel forward. Only 3 months old, probably could benefit from some more aging but still a solid barrel aged stout!

Sep 04, 2017
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superspak from North Carolina

4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got in a trade with GreenBayBA. 12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 6/5/2018. Pours opaque dark brown/black color with a small fairly dense and fluffy khaki head with solid retention, that reduces to a a minimal spotty lace cap that lingers. Minimal spotty lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, fudge, marshmallow, vanilla, cream, bourbon, toasted oak, and dark bread; with light notes of coffee, nuttiness, licorice, molasses, raisin, prune, cherry, fig, date, leather, smoke, char, herbal, and yeast/roast/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malts, bourbon barrels, and light fruity yeast/earthy hop notes; with great strength. Taste of big milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, fudge, marshmallow, vanilla, cream, bourbon, toasted oak, and dark bread; with light notes of coffee, nuttiness, licorice, molasses, raisin, prune, cherry, fig, date, leather, smoke, char, herbal, and yeast/roast/toasted earthiness. Very mild herbal/roast/char bitterness and bourbon/oak tannin spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, fudge, marshmallow, vanilla, cream, bourbon, toasted oak, dark bread; light molasses, licorice, dark fruit, smoke, char, herbal, and yeast/roast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malts, bourbon barrels, and light fruity yeast/earthy hop flavors; with a great roast/hop bitter/sweet, and bourbon/oak spiciness balance; with no cloying/acrid/astringent flavors after the finish. Lightly increasing dryness from lingering hop/char bitterness, and bourbon/oak tannin spiciness. Light-medium carbonation and fairly full body; with a very smooth, creamy/silky/velvety, and slightly slick/sticky/chalky/tannic mouthfeel that is great. Mildly increasing warmth of 13.5%, with minimal barrel booziness lingering after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic barrel aged American imperial stout! All around outstanding complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malts, bourbon barrels, and light fruity yeast/earthy hop flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to sip on for the huge ABV, with the mildly bitter/tannic/drying finish. Very clean and rich malt complexity, with amazing barrel integration. Not overly boozy/tannic on barrels. Mild fruity yeast and earthy hop balance against sweetness. A highly enjoyable offering, and spot on style example. This was a great experience of developing complexities as it warmed up as expected.

Sep 22, 2018
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ahuey333 from Wisconsin

4.34/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aug 18, 2020
The Wolf from 3 Sheeps Brewing
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 127 ratings