1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Warlock - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,351 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,351
Reviews: 298
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 13.82%
Wants: 101
Gots: 573 | FT: 19
Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  8.60% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
Imperial stout brewed with pumpkins Warlock is brewed to enchant your palate on its own and also to counterpoint our Imperial Ale, Pumking. Make your own black magic by carefully pouring this Imperial Stout into a goblet.

Dark and mysterious, the Blackwater Series is serious about high gravity. Reanimate your senses with Warlock’s huge roasted malt character, moderate carbonation and spicy pumpkin pie aroma.

(Beer added by: MasterSki on 09-19-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,351 | Reviews: 298 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev +0.5%

imperialking, Oct 11, 2013
Photo of wrightst
4.75/5  rDev +19.3%

wrightst, Aug 18, 2014
Photo of duceswild
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

duceswild, Sep 28, 2014
Photo of stakem
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

stakem, Oct 12, 2014
Photo of corby112
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark chestnut brown color that appears pitch black and opaque in the glass with a one finger, light beige head that slowly settles into a lasting ring. Decent retention with sporadic spotty lacing left behind.

Surprisingly huge spicy pumpkin pie presence in the nose with some robust roasted malt and sweet desert-like chocolate notes. It's Southern Tier so I shouldn't be that surprised but the aroma is almost as pumpkin forward as Pumpking. I was expecting more stout character by that takes a back seat to the autumnal spices and pumpkin purée. Hints of clove, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon along with pumkin pie filling and roasted pumkin seeds. It takes a while to open up but once it does, there's subtle roast and sweet malts underneath. Hints of sweet and dark chocolate along with oatmeal and robust coffee bean. Smells very interesting but I wish that the stout notes were a bit stronger.

Thankfully the flavor is more of a mix of pumkin and stout notes. Dry and roasted with a robust dark malt presence that's countered by sweeter malts and strong pumkin pie flavors on the back end. Slightly smokey with burnt sugar and deeply roasted malt but its not acrid or harsh at all. Hints of gourmet coffee, burnt toast, bittersweet dark chocolate and oatmeal followed by sweeter chocolate flavor, toffee and nut before a strong pumpkin ale flavor in the finish. Spicy and sweet with ginger, clove, cinnamon and nutmeg along with pumpkin purée/pie filling, toasted pumpkin seeds and vanilla. Nicely balanced and whereas the aroma felt like a pumpkin beer with subtle stout character, the flavor is more stout-like with lingering pumpkin pie sweetness. ABV is excellently masked, resulting in another dangerously drinkable entry in the Backwater series.

corby112, Sep 24, 2013
Photo of dbrauneis
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear but opaque jet black in color with minimal amounts of gentle visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and some crimson red highlights. The beer has a two finger tall foamy light tan head that slowly reduces to a half finger thick film covering the entire surface of the beer evenly. Moderate to heavy amounts of lacing are observed.

S: There are light to moderate aromas of roasted malts, roasted pumpkin, vanilla, and graham cracker-like malts. Moderate amounts of spices are present as well with cardamon taking center stage amongst them. There is also a light aroma of herbal (anise-like) hops.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of graham cracker and chocolate malts which is complemented by flavors of vanilla and moderate amounts of roasted pumpkin. There are moderate to strong flavors of cardamon, cinnamon, and nutmeg along with a light to moderate dosage of vanilla. Hints of bitterness in the finish but it fades rather quickly. Not as sweet as I might have expected based on some of the other beers in the series.

M: Slightly less than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Hints of dryness in the finish.

O: There are some light hints of the alcohol that makes this beer more of a sipper but it has some of the most intense pumpkin flavors of any of the fall beers that I have gotten this year (nice rich flavors and aromas of roasted pumpkin are upfront in this beer). Definitely enjoyable but feels more like a porter than a stout. I would get another of these.

dbrauneis, Oct 13, 2013
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.19/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Although this beer is definitely on the sweet side (like so many of the big offerings from Southern Tier), I have to say that I enjoyed this very much. I treated this like dessert, so the sweetness didn't bother me in the least- a time and a place for everything. I like the blending of roasty stout with the pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices. You get chocolate and vanilla notes as well as some roasted notes from the stout, some silkiness from the pumpkin, and a nice sweet/spicy note from the additions. Definitely hit the spot for me.

Georgiabeer, Jan 12, 2014
Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 9/20/2013. Pours nearly pitch black color with a 2 finger dense light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big pumpkin, pumpkin seed, gingerbread, nutmeg, brown sugar, cinnamon, toast, pie crust, caramel, cocoa, roasted malt, herbal, and toasted earthiness. Fantastic aromas with great complexity and balance of pumpkin, spice, and malt notes with moderate roast presence; with great strength. Smells almost the same as pumking, but that’s not a bad thing. Taste of big pumpkin, pumpkin seed, cocoa, roasted malt, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, gingerbread, pie crust, toast, caramel, herbal, pine, and roasted earthiness. Good amount of roasted/pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of pumpkin, cocoa, roasted malt, cinnamon, nutmeg, toast, caramel, gingerbread, pie crust, herbal, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity and balance of pumpkin, spice, and dark/roasted malt flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a moderately creamy, smooth, and slightly sticky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is well hidden with a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent pumpkin spiced imperial stout. All around great balance of pumpkin, spice, dark/roasted malt and moderate hop bitterness; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

superspak, Dec 15, 2013
Photo of ejimhof
4/5  rDev +0.5%

ejimhof, Oct 30, 2013
Photo of Gonzoillini
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Gonzoillini, Dec 21, 2013
Photo of BARFLYB
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

BARFLYB, Sep 29, 2013
Photo of Stinkypuss
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber brown with an off white head.
Aroma of pumpkin and roasted malt, some nice spice and pumpkin pie smells.
The roasted malt flavor here is very nice with the vanilla and pumpkin notes. Small dry spice bite with all spice, coriander and dry cinnamon. Quite roasty and delicious. The darker brethren of the famous Pumking, this has a pumpkin mocha coffee flavor.
Chocolate, coffee, vanilla, pumpkin pie, cinnamon and spice all contribute to a decadent flavor. Medium bodied and perfect carbonation with a dry spice bite. Overall, this is a great pumpkin stout / dark pumpkin ale. Worth the wait.

Stinkypuss, Oct 19, 2013
Photo of smakawhat
3.91/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass.

A deep mahogany brown, with some noticeable burnt red color to it. Head barely makes a faint tan finger, but settles to a large soapy collar to sit. Nice chestnut brown edges on the side of the glass.

Nose is lots of pie dough and pumpkin pie crust. Not much else but smells very flakey.

interesting palate. First sip brings lots of charring roast. Mellow coffee and milk sensing like small sweetness. Carbonation feels a little prickly and wet, and there's a bit of wet hop bitterness that doesn't seem to gel well with the roast character. Pumpkin flavors are a bit subdued but don't clash much with the roast qualities. Virtually no aftertaste except for some bready crust of pumpkin and mild clove spice.

Overall quite surprisingly decent, I thought this would clash and more importantly be horrifically sweet but it isn't. Nice work.

smakawhat, Nov 08, 2013
Photo of brandoman63
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

brandoman63, Oct 05, 2013
Photo of biegaman
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This "Blackwater Series" offering looks watery alright but it's far from black. Warlock pours a completely flat, listless, and transparent brown tone, without any bubbles or highlighting. That this can't sustain even a thin trim of foam is of some concern, but not as much of one as the fact that I can see my finger on the other side of this so-called 'Imperial Stout'.

Blindfolded, I can't tell Warlock from Pumking (and I have tried them side by side). The spicy pumpkin pie aromas are identical and there's no olfactory evidence of the addition of roasted malt. The idea of adding a rich, chocolatey dimension to that beer would make what is already outstanding truly sublime. But alas, this doesn't smell different at all...

The way I see it there's two preconditions for "Imperial" stouts: high alcohol percentage and big, rich, dense maltiness. Warlock just barely meets those criteria. At 8.6% it's no lightweight on paper but not exactly a giant neither, and the malts are bone-thin. Imperial Stouts should make you want to head-bang - not tap your feet. And this one is a muted toe-tapper.

The egg white brushed pie crust and pantry spice flavours are superb as ever - and maintain their 'old lady perfume' strength throughout - but those, like me, excited for some kind of coffee or cocoa accompaniment will be let down. Despite its billing this one has a soft vanilla- and cinnamon-influenced heart and not a trace of tar, smoke, richness, or roast.

It seems to me that in creating Warlock Southern Tier did nothing but add a spot of black malt for colour to their Pumking recipe. I may be wrong, but tell that to my senses. I love Pumking so I won't sit here and tell you that the nearly identical Warlock is anything other than delicious, but I demand more from a beer labeled an "imperial stout". Overall, this was a huge disappointment.

biegaman, Nov 16, 2014
Photo of rab53
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

rab53, Dec 26, 2013
Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev +0.5%

tdm168, Oct 19, 2013
Photo of KAF
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

KAF, Jul 03, 2014
Photo of dmorgan310
4/5  rDev +0.5%

dmorgan310, Sep 20, 2014
Photo of Kelp
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Kelp, Nov 24, 2013
Photo of billab914
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

billab914, Oct 16, 2013
Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

iL0VEbeer, Oct 01, 2013
Photo of sendbeer
4.75/5  rDev +19.3%

sendbeer, Oct 07, 2013
Photo of ShanePB
4/5  rDev +0.5%

ShanePB, Nov 09, 2013
Photo of Zaphog
3.6/5  rDev -9.5%

Zaphog, Aug 30, 2014
Warlock from Southern Tier Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 2,351 ratings.