Jun 26, 2015

Wild Wolf Primal Instinct

I’ve had the opportunity to purchase several Wild Wolf brews over the past couple of years and I have to admit that I really only revisit two of them on a regular basis — Alpha Ale and Strawberry Schwarzcake (when I can find it). But now that I’ve crossed paths with their Primal Instinct, I may just have to consider adding another to that list of repeat purchases.

This 7.4% ABV and 95 IBU (ninety-five!) IPA isn’t necessarily better than the previously mentioned products, but it does present a solid amount of hop bitterness and earthy character. It certainly has good intentions as an example of the style, but Primal Instinct feels a little muddled in terms of flavor. There’s a battle between the malt bill (five different varieties) and the five hop varieties that doesn’t quite work out as well as I would have hoped.


The beer pours a vibrant amber in color with a frothy crown of white foam.

Wild Wolf Primal Instinct photo


A wonderful blend of earthy hops, pine, grapefruit, tangerine, bread and grain waft from the surface — the beer certainly smells good.


At 95 IBUs the beer packs a potent amount of hop bitterness. It’s earthy with plenty of leafy hop character, pine, herbal notes, bread and some caramel in the mix. There beer just isn’t as balanced as I expected and the malt blend sort of grates against the fruity, piny hop profile. Primal Instinct finishes very — very — dry with a touch of alcohol warmth.


While the overall flavor of this beer does battle with itself, there is the nice earthiness and hop bite that I thoroughly enjoyed. If the brewery can get the two warring factions to coexist a bit better, I think that Primal Instinct would be a standard addition to my beer fridge. For now, if the whim catches me, I may pick up a sixer over the next couple of months.

Rating: 3.75/5

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