Whiskey Review: Wolves Whiskey Winter Run

By Alex Caroll / April 2, 2020

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Wolves Whiskey. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.

Craft distillers are often looking to push the traditional boundaries of whiskey, and Wolves Whiskey out of Northern California, is certainly no exception. Wolves’ second iteration, Winter Run, expands on the unique blend of stout, pilsner, and rye whiskies found in their First Run; adding single malt to the mix this time around. Wolves releases these in small batches, 1338 in total for Batch 2. A hefty blend like this definitely intrigues the beer nerd in me.

Wolves brings together a team of very different hats. James Bond and Jon Buscemi, both  acclaimed hip, or “Hypebeast” footwear designers, sought to produce a unique whiskey, and teamed up with Marko Karasevic, master distiller of the much lauded Charbay. Aside from the unique blend, Karasevic distills batches using a rare Alembic pot still, imported from Cognac, France.

Sleek packaging accompanies this unique whiskey, including a very tasteful Italian sheepskin label, loaded with transparent details pertaining to the whiskey. My only foray into hopped whiskey was via Jameson Caskmates which I admittedly didn’t care for. My love for whiskey and beer however is about equal; maybe Wolves can change my mind on marrying the two.

Wolves Whiskey – Winter Run Bottle and Standing Sleeve

Tasting Notes: Wolves Whiskey Winter Run

Vital Stats: 52% (104 proof); Blend of stout whiskey aged 8 years in French Oak, pilsner whiskey aged 5 years in New American Oak, non-age statement rye whiskey, and single malt, aged 9 years in French Oak; prices around $185 per 750 ml (likely already sold out).

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Appearance: Dark Amber

Nose: Loads of herbal notes off the bat, predominately dill and fennel. A bit of honey sweetness, and faint resinous hop aroma.

Palate: A sweet arrival of caramel and peanuts, with a cedar note that becomes more prominent. The mouthfeel was thinner than anticipated. The finish takes a turn for dark roast coffee, stout, and bitter hoppy notes.

The Takeaway


I enjoyed the effort, the cask strength, the subtly sleek bottle design. The nose and arrival were pleasant, the uniqueness, and complexity were there. At the end of the day, I'm firmly in the keep hops fresh in beer camp though. A boilermaker after a long day is as close as beer and whiskey need to be.

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