Thirsty Dog Wulver
F.G. = 5.5°P, O.G. = 25°P
IBU’s = 22, 12% alc./vol.
Bourbon Barrel-Aged (BBA) Wulver along with BBA Siberian Night were first released in bottles to Akron, Ohio and neighboring towns/cities in June of 2013. While us locals were quite excited for both beers, I must say it was Siberian Night that had me shaking at the knees. Boy was I wrong! Nothing should be taken away from BBA Siberian Night, it’s a fine beer, but this beer right here, this beer right HERE (anyone getting the reference), this beer takes the award, the crown, the trophy; whatever you’ll give it.
Like the stout, this was aged for 11 months in bourbon barrels and retail price puts this wonder at a cringing $23.99 per four-pack. The bottle presentation is phenomenal, the label includes far more information about the beer then most brewers would ever consider printing on a label.
The beer pours like many other wee heavy’s/scottish-style ales, a deep, muddy red-brown hue, with a light tan head forming only momentarily before it disappears, likely as a function of the amount of alcohol present. Immediately the smell of sweet bourbon, vanilla, caramel, and oak fill every crevice of my nostrils. Dark fruits are also nicely integrated in the aroma. The mouthfeel on this one is huge! It’s sweet (but not cloyingly), thick, and slightly syrupy. The bourbon really comes through strongly upon first sip but slowly dies down to reveal the complexities that exist between the vanilla/caramel/toffee and the dark fruit notes expressing hints of raisin, dates, plums… you get the idea.
I’ve been sitting on a few bottles of Batch 1 since June and just sadly finished my last one. I’m sure this beer could improve even further over the coming year, but a wise man once told me, “Drink ’em if ya got ’em!” Yes, the price is hard to swallow, and yes, this is sitting right in Bourbon County territory in terms of price, but this is one of if not THE best BA Wee Heavy’s I’ve had, and I’m truly not sure if a better representation of the style is available in Ohio. For those who purchase it or maybe have a bottle included as an extra in a trade, I promise you will not be disappointed. I consider this to be one of the top beers released in Northeast Ohio this year, right up there with BA Boris Bairille Aois and BA Boris Van Wink (and those who know me well know how big of a Hoppin’ Frog whore I am). Anyways, if you have a way to try it capitalize on that chance and enjoy the sweet bourbon filled joy contained within, and as always… drink local my friends!