Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. will release two of its bourbon barrel-aged beers in bottles for the first time starting Friday (May 24) at the Akron brewery. Both Siberian Night Imperial Stout and Wulver Wee Heavy Ale were aged for 11 months.
They aren’t for the faint of heart. Wulver -- the name is a nod to the legend of a Scottish werewolf -- clocks in at 12 percent alcohol by volume, while Siberian Night is 10.9 percent.
“I wanted a big beer to complement the bourbon flavors,” co-owner John Najeway said. “I’ve had some beers that are light that I didn’t think were appropriate with the bourbon barrel aging. I like a big, hardy beer that can capture that aroma and flavor and these beers do that.”
The bottles feature a gold foil over the crown, gold lettering on the labels and the signatures of both Najeway and head brewer Tim Rastetter. Najeway said they “baby-sat” the beers while in the barrels, checking on them every month and trying to determine the perfect amount of aging time. They concluded that was 11 months.
“We’re very proud of them,” Najeway said.
In addition to being high in alcohol, the brews aren’t inexpensive. A four-pack of 12-ounce bottles will retail for $23.99. Still, that’s a great deal considering the cost of many barrel-aged beers, Najeway said.
Both beers will be available at the brewery starting Friday and then later over the weekend and next week in limited quantities at retailers.