XXX Warlock Double Imperial Stout - Bristol Brewing Company

Not Rated.
XXX Warlock Double Imperial StoutXXX Warlock Double Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

68 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 68
Hads: 81
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 19.41%
Wants: 53
Gots: 7 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Bristol Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  18.40% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-28-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 68 | Hads: 81
Photo of prototypic
1.76/5  rDev -53.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Many thanks to csmiley for splitting the bottle.

Bottled in 2006.

XXX Warlock pours a dark, mahogany brown color. It's not opaque. Light cuts through and reveals strong burgundy highlights. The head...well...never arrived. A few bubbles collected on the top, but they disappeared as fast as they arrived. Lacing was also non-existent. I know there's too much alcohol, but it's still disappointing.

The nose is interesting. It kicks off with a strong blast of dark fruit. Raisin, plum, and a little prune are all present. There are some light cocoa and caramel notes. Smells a little sweet. Alcohol is very prevalent on the nose. Way too strong. Between the strong dark fruit and alcohol, it's nigh impossible to detect some of the traditional Stout notes. It actually smells more consistent with a Barleywine.

The flavor is equally as interesting. It kicks off with a very sweet mix of caramel and maple syrup. Cocoa-esque chocolaty notes follow. There's an interesting flavor in there that I can't quite peg. It might be soy sauce, but I'm not sure. Dark fruit flavors of raisin and prune are definitely strong. Alcohol is extremely strong in flavor and is definitely hot. Finishes with dark fruit and booze. This is a mess.

XXX Warlock has a medium body. Carbonation is light. It's not horrible, but it feels too thin for a beast this big. Drinkability is very poor. This is boozy, hot, jumbled mess. An entire bottle would truly be a chore.

Bristol Brewing Company did the right thing in retiring XXX Warlock. It is not good, and nothing could possibly be done to redeem or improve it. It doesn't even taste much like a Stout. It's definitely more of a Barleywine. A boozy one. That tastes bad. Exercise the utmost caution when approaching a bottle. (1,759 characters)

Photo of Floydster
1.76/5  rDev -53.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

12 ounce bottle acquired in a trade with Gueuzedude, thanks for giving me the chance to taste this brew

Brewed on 9/25/03, Bottled 6/9/06, my first beer from Bristol, split with four friends tonight, we each had about three ounces in our glass and not one of us could finish that small of an amount

Poured into my Ommegang glass with a reddish black color, I would call more of a dark brown or mahogany, really flat and not much of a head, the slither of one it had for about five seconds was tan though, no retention or lacing, just looked like chocolate syrup

Smell had a ton of booze and funky toffee aromas, sweeter smelling than I expected, a hint of hoppiness to go along with caramel malt, chocolate and weird smoky scents

Taste was awful, it bombards you with maple syrup and honey that just tastes stale, this may sound crazy, but this beer tasted like a mix between salty bacon and baked beans, I have never enocuntered anything like this, too much alcohol in its flavor, I would rather sip on hard alcohol than this stuff because it so repulsively hard to get down, I was hoping my buddies did not like it as well, so I would not feel so bad pouring my glass down the drain, thank goodness I did not have to finish this, good thing I did not open by myself or even more would have been wasted, no hint of bitterness or anything to balance out the sweet and salty flavors, one of the worst beers I have had in a long time

Body was thick and had absolutely no carbonation, but you would expect a beer that sat three years in a barrel and over a year in a bottle to, one of the oddest and unpleasant mouthfeels I have ever experienced, taste would not go away unfortunately

Could not drink two ounces of this, heavy as it gets and grossly filling, the alcohol is right out there in the open, not even close to being hidden, not smooth in any sense of the word

This beer was very disappointing, considering what I gave up for it in a trade, would not recommend this to anybody, will never drink again, makes me want to throw up just thinking about it, not candy for the soul like the bottle claims it is, maybe a decade of age will help this but I am very skeptical about even saying that, one of the flat out nastiest imperial stouts I have ever had (2,264 characters)

Photo of Beaver13
2/5  rDev -46.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

12 oz bottle, brewed on 9/25/03 and bottled on 6/9/06. Pours a dark brown with a small fizzy tan head that quickly disappears.

The aroma is very rich - chocolate, sweet dark fruit, cherries, honey, and a touch of alcohol that increases as it sits.

The flavor is heavily sugary sweet and fruity (plums and raisins and cherries) with a little chocolate. There is a fairly harsh alcohol finish that is slightly bitter. The mouthfeel is is full and syrupy with low carbonation and an alcohol burn.

Overall, an interesting and complex beer, but too over the top for me - I couldn't finish the bottle. It's too sweet and alcoholic for me - too much like a liquor which I dislike. And at $11 for a 12 oz bottle, it's pretty pricey. (734 characters)

Photo of csmiley
2/5  rDev -46.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Warlock XXX brewed 9/25/03 bottled 6/9/06, 80 ibu 18.4 % abv

Many thanks to prototypic for helping with this one.

A - Pours a very dark brown. It's the color of cola around the edges. Head is minimal to non existent. This, in turn, decimates the chances for lacing. What do you expect for this abv?

S - Lots of chocolate (bittersweet and milk) in the aroma. It's not nearly as warm as expected. Some hints of maple come through midway. Some roasted malt comes through on the end. It's hard to pick up over the other aromas though.

T - Alright. This is well below my expectations. I could even say far below . Starts with maple and alcohol. It just comes across as a chocolate mess. Smoked meat towards the end. Unimpressed.

M - Fuller bodied with very little carbonation. Finish is hot and just destroys the palate. Too much.

D - Not good. Not good at all. The only information I can impart is "Keep a chaser on hand for this one.". (941 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
2.06/5  rDev -45.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured a deep deep brown, no head and no carbonation but then again it is old. On the nose it smelled of maybe smoked meat, raisins or prunes and maybe some dark chocolate. The taste was like GROSS. It was like someone dumped prune juice into the batch and aged it. Mouthfeel was bad bad bad. I have had other Imperials and they blow this out of the water. It is unique but not something I could drink. Speaking of that, drinkability is low. 18% ABV prune juice??? You can keep this beer! (488 characters)

Photo of badbeer
2.16/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Fairly dark brown color, no head, no retention. Smells of maple syrup, booze, soy sauce, and maybe a touch of sin. Taste screamed of maple syrup, vanilla, brown sugar, and oxidation; just punished my mouth. Body was full, carbonation was medium. Almost a pure monstrosity, can't believe this is somewhat well regarded. (318 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
2.18/5  rDev -42%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A-pours a clear dark brown liquid with red hues. The head is a light tan color, thin and bubbly

S-the nose is huge and intense. Tons of booze, rubbing alcohol ish. Notes of cherries and rum soaked raisins with a touch of chocolate and molasses.

T-ouch, tons of alcohol, rubbing alcohol burns the taste buds. Notes of cherries and rums soaked in Nikolai Vodka with some burnt wood in the back.

M-brutally harsh on the palate, it stings and burns the tongue.

D-this is a big boozy mess...enough said. (502 characters)

Photo of tr4nc3d
2.4/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12 fluid oz bottle poured into my snifter

Pours a very dark brown color, when held up to the light there is ruby red hues showing. Off-colored white head that fades very quickly barely leaving a ring on the edges of the glass. No lacing at all coming from this beer.

Smell is very strong of soy sauce, cloying like, molasses, black leather, and a strong almost liquor like alcohol odor.

I get hints of dark roasted chocolate upfront that leads to a sweet almost cloying like soy-sauce taste. Very dry coffee bitter taste shows up at the end, maybe the use of black malt?

Full bodied with low carbonation, dry and very bitter sweet cloy like aftertaste. Almost gives you heartburn.

This is not a beer for the weak of heart. I would never consider drinking more then one of these, and this one will be my last. (813 characters)

Photo of jamesm7485
2.52/5  rDev -33%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

This is one weird ass beer. Poured into my chimay class after sitting in my cellar for awhile.

It pours a jet black with an orange hue near the rim, lighter in the pour than i thought it would be. A bit of a fizzer but the head dies down quickly.

The smell is very nice, toffee and maple syrup hit the nose

The taste flat out is a downer, way too sweet and very hot

Had a hard time keeping this in my mouth long enough to tell but it seemed to be very thing and lacking in body, it could be the offensive taste that added to that

This beer is super hard to drink, when im not on beer i tend to drink nice whiskey and rum straight up and they go down easier than this beast does! (683 characters)

Photo of Jeffo
2.52/5  rDev -33%
look: 1 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Got this one from Doodler. Thanks for hanging out man. Good times!

From a bottle into a snifter.

Brewed: 25 September 2003
Bottled: 9 June 2006
Brewed with maple syrup and honey

APPEARANCE: A light and transparent brown pour produces a small, thin, bubbly, crackly tan head that vanishes instantly. Flat looking. Black body, transparent for the style, and zero carbonation evident. Looks flat to the finish. Lifeless and thin looking.

SMELL: Some roasted malts, brown sugar, maple syrup soaked cherries, and some dark, pure chocolate. Maple syrup is definitely still there, and a strong presence of dark chocolate soaked in cherry liquor. This is actually really nice, though you can tell the 18% will be all over your face.

TASTE: Some roasted malts, but then lots of boozy sweet cherry liquor and brown sugar. The 18% is there in all it’s glory. Very liquor like, with sweet maple syrup, sweet cherry liquor and dark chocolaty flavors at the finish. Very much like the nose. Aftertaste is big and persistent with lots of boozy and sweet cherry liquor, dark chocolate, and some definite maple syrup. Good flavor profile for sure, but really just too boozy. I question whether they needed 18% to achieve the flavor complexity they wanted.

PALATE: Thinner body and prickly, airy carbonation. Not creamy or smooth, goes down rough with a big burn after the swallow and finishes rather sticky. Wish it was thicker and creamier, but as of now, it’s a thin, abrasive, hot booze bomb.

OVERALL: The look and feel were atrocious, but the nose and flavor were actually quite inviting. The 18% booze was simply too present, however, to really make this one an enjoyable brew to drink. Perhaps toning it back a bit would let the cherries, chocolate and maple syrup be showcased a bit more without all the booze. Regardless, where the brew really fell short was in the lack-luster appearance and the thin, boozy, abrasive feel. Fix these perhaps, and this might be a more impressive creation. (1,997 characters)

Photo of PittBeerGirl
2.71/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Thanks hart for sharing this one!

A- Appearance is very interesting. At first the body looks like it is a nice translucent dark cola color. What amazed me is when held up to the light the body shines and sparkles as it is a completely transparent jewely dark amber hue. Pours with a small fizzy off-white head the completely disappears.

S-The nose is all booze. Lots and lots of grain alcohol or maybe cheap vodka. Underneath this all when you can finally get past it are some typical stout characteristics such as plum and anise underneath. The nose is strong and pretty much burns your nostrils.

T- Flavor is much better than the nose. What is really interesting is that this brew pretty much tastes like a campfire. Roasted malt, dark chocolate, burnt marshmallows, and a hint of molasses...and of course a slight alcohol flavor and big alcohol warmth at the conclusion.

M- Astringent with alcohol, low to medium carbonation, but relatively thick and slightly creamy.

D-The flavor is decent-but overall this is still way too hot. An interesting brew overall but not sure what else to expect with an 18.4% brew. Not very drinkable. (1,138 characters)

Photo of palliko
2.97/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

After reading the other 5 reviews on this brew, I find that I am in the minority. Oh, well. I live in Colorado Springs, and attended a beer and cheese tasting affair at Kinsfolk in Manitou Springs a few days ago – and while there the proprietor offered me about 4 oz. of XXX Warlock. The aroma is, to me, primarily ethanol, brandy, vanilla, chocolate, sherry, fruit and oak. I also sipped this potent potable over a ½ hour period, and found that the initial taste is sweet, but there is what several in my party described as a soy sauce/Worcestershire Sauce aftertaste. One of the attendees has layed down several bottles in his cellar for tasting in a few years, when, as he said, “It has settled down to something a little more smooth.”

It does pour jet black and has no head, and clings to the glass with oil-like viscosity. It is truly an acquired taste, but Bristol has come up with a BIG beer that is infinitely superior to Avery’s Beast! (see my review)... (971 characters)

Photo of IntriqKen
3.12/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pours a midnight amber with a smallish white head that melts quickly to a faint and tiny ring of bubbles.

Aromas are deliciously grapes, plums, candied sugars, and lots of fresh mild fruits.

Taste is an immediate hit of alcohol, then some of the dark fruits come forward in the aftertaste...molasis, plums, prunes, raisins. Then more alcohol..lots and lots of alcohol covered only slightly with sugars.

I would like to praise this higher, but honestly can't. The alcohol is too overpowering to make it a quality brew...only a very, very strong brew.
I like that...but only to get a big buzz before going to sleep. (623 characters)

Photo of belgbeerdrinker
3.2/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

a: solid black, doesn't even feign at developing head, no lacing but leaves wide "legs" like a wine
s: toffee, toffee & more toffee
t: toffee, coffee, chocolate & some hard liquor (brandy-like) flavors
m: similar to a port, thick body (true to the label's assertion they use syrup), carbonation makes appearance on back-end along with the liquor-level alcohol kick/burn.
d: first few drinks had me thinking this would be a smooth strong stout, but that only lasted 2 drinks--not surprising given the abv. those first few drinks will last me a lifetime & then some (567 characters)

Photo of Reagan1984
3.32/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

re-posting of lost review from this weekend.

Special thanks to ShogoKawada for finding this for me!!!

Brewed on 9/25/03
Bottled on 6/9/06

Hats off to Draught2012 for providing this beer for me. Excellent trading partner.

I always reference how I love how the head of an Imp stout builds up from within the beer. This one forms nothing like that. An almost fizzy off white head form then vanished immediately. The beer is a deep brown, but has plenty of ruby tones when held up to the light. Not opaque like most Imp Stouts. No lacing at all.

Aroma is mostly of strong alcohol. Distinctly like a hard liquor.
Also smells like soy sauce and very sweet... Reminds me a bit of sake.

Wow, this baby is strong. Soy sauce for my sushi. Alcohol that is strange in that it's strong but not that Hot nature that I really don't like. Slightly oxidized.

Virtually no carbonation. Very smooth and almost like a scotch in consistency.

One to share and/or a slow sipper for the night. No such thing as having two of these.

Interesting, but I don't think I'll be back for another. Prefer DFH WWS for this extreme Imp stout (1,124 characters)

Photo of ColoradoBobs
3.36/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A gift from my son, 12 ounce bottle at somewhere around $10 from Wilbur's Total Bev in Ft. Collins, CO.

Pour is dark opaque brown-black-green (!) under a minimal tan-green (!) head that quickly disappears. Nothing special to look at.

Smell is lovely chocolate liquer-like maltiness. Mmm. This is a nose-massage to be sure. Figs, prunes, coffee, cherry brandy, dark and warm date-nut bread.

After all those aromas, the taste was a bit of a let-down: chocolate and oak-barrel bourbon, with little bit of cherry, but no hops bittering at all to balance the intense booziness. This reminds me of some kind of not-very-high-grade chocolate schnapps.

Mouthfeel is not nearly as thick and syrupy as I would expect from a beer this high in ABV.

Drinkability is low: there's just not enough going on here to warrant the 19% and the $10 for 12 ounces.

A massive beer to be sure, but pretty unbalanced and even a bit thin. Nice try, Bristol, but not my fave. (955 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.47/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a prune juice deep purple with a modest head that barely hangs around - no lace, but what would you expect given the age and ABV

Smell: The best part, with port like qualities of rum soaked raisins, tobacco, molasses and alcohol

Taste: Opens with a blast of prune, dark raisin and burning alcohol; by the time you get to the swallow the flavors are joined by tobacco and blackstrap molasses; hints of dark chocolate and maple syrup appear at the end; lots of dark sherry oxidized flavors throughout

Mouthfeel: A lot of heat, a viscous liquid and low carbonation

Drinkability: Its hard to think of this as an Imperial Stout; its very different and while you either love it or hate it, I will grant it some value but ultimately find it almost impossible to consume (784 characters)

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a snifter, the liquid is very dark to black with ok carbonation. The head is small, dark tan and leaves some lace.

The smell is a bit strong of alcohol and dried dark fruits.

The taste follows just a very strong pungent taste and smell, lots of alcohol and a huge semi sweet malt. A strange taste almost or actually very much like Vegemite. Smear this one on toast with onion and tomato.

The mouthfeel is nice could be a bit thicker the carbonation is also good.

The drinkability is soso to ok. The brew does not seek to need much age but @ 18% I will put my other one down for several years. Prosit, MK (638 characters)

Photo of cheers2beers
3.54/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Recieved this from Dauss, Thanks again bro.

Served into a wine snifter.

Appearance: This beer pours a solid black hue, and the tanned head rose up only high enough to give me a cover over the liquid and quickly died down to a thin ring around my glass. As I swirl this around my snifter it leaves behind an almost topaz stain. No lace with this offering.

Smell: The aromas are very aromatic and complex. Strong vapors of alcohol with a pleasant amount of chocolate can be detected right off. Burnt dark fruits, predominately prune and figs. Coffee notes are subtle. I am also getting a slight mesquite wood and some cooking ingredients such as worcestershire and soy sauce. Overall, this is very pleaseing to the nose.

Taste: Wuff! This hits light a friggin freight train, with its alcoholic punch! The flavors are very much like the nose. Chocolates are running throughout, along with a bourbon vanilla note. The coffee is still subtle. The mesquite wood, worcestershire and soy are way to strong for my taste buds. This would be ideal for marinading steak. I am really torn on the taste, its good and almost offensive at the same time. I would like to try to obtain another bottle strictly for cooking.

Mouthfeel: Thick bodied with a high amount of carbonation, thou I believe that may be due to high alcoholic vapors coming back up. Slick, oily, chewy, viscious, meaty, HUGE THICK MOUTHFEEL. This beer sends a warming sensation from my mouth to my stomach. Not bad in this department.

Drinkability: Obviously, due to the extremely high abv. I dont think I would want to put more than a 12oz. bottle away per night. This would be a great canidate for long term ageing and cooking, but as for me I don't see myself craving this anytime soon. Just to big for me to fully enjoy. I'm glad I got to try this and If you not had the oppurtunity yet, I would say it was worth a try.



Cheers2Beers (1,914 characters)

Photo of Overlord
3.54/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Drumrboy22 for supplying this brew as an extra. I feel somewhat bad for reviewing it when I'm just shipping his beer out today, but not bad enough to forego adding to my review total.

Doesn't look like any imperial stout I've ever seen, double or otherwise. Pours a mahogany brown with sparkling amber highlights. No head. No carbonation. Mouthfeel is syrupy.

I immediately checked the alcohol content on this puppy because it strongly smells of port-esque notes. The taste delivers on this theme, as it basically blends a woodsy, caramel background with port. I'd say the first 2-4 oz. were a 4.5 on the flavor scale. By oz. 11, I was wishing I'd split the bottle. It does warm the belly!

Now, I happen to like port. I keep a couple bottles around as an after-dinner sipper. But, I don't want 12 oz. of it during a casual sitting. I enjoyed this beer, but I'm going to hammer it's drinkability, hard, because it's a strong, focused flavor that's not going to be appropriate for too many settings. (1,010 characters)

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.73/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a chaming ruby port color with a nice caramel brown. The head is a thin tan collar.

Smells quite boozy even after aging that's nestled around sticky caramel and red licorice with a touch of charred sugars. The booze is a bit much, but the soft sweetness behind the sting is enticing.

The flavor starts with a sticky caramel but is immeidatly followed by a touch of wattery coffee and a touch of barbecue chicken. Dark fruits and figs round out an aeromatic fruitiness that really adds some balance. For 18.4, this is remarkably smooth.

Feels quite thin with only a trace of little bubbles. The alcohol is quite warming.

Not bad, but hard to pick out as an RIS. (680 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Pours a medium brown color with decent clarity. The aroma is straight booze, pretty much rocket fuel. The taste is kind of nice, raisins and rum, oxidized malt, sherry and faint roast. Thin for the strength, still has plenty of good carbonation. Overall, a pretty solid huge assed ale. (288 characters)

Photo of DrJay
3.79/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

grub was kind enough to share this one. Thanks Russ!
This beer was dark brown with clear ruby edges, not nearly as dark as I expected. It had a short-lived frothy cap that fell to a thin ring, but left some spotty, sticky lacing behind. The aroma was of chocolate covered raisins and vinous, port-like alcohol with lots of dried fruit (prunes and figs) and significant alcohol that remained quite mellow. The flavour was very boozy up front, with fruity figs and raisins as well, followed by chocolate, grain, sugary sweetness and a hint of maple sap. Bitterness was relatively low and hidden in the background. Alcohol remained prominent throughout, but became more mellow towards the finish. Full bodied with lowish carbonation and lots of warmth. There really wasn't much in the way of roast character and it was mellower than I expected. I did enjoy the aroma much more than the flavour, though I don't really have any complaints there either. (947 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.79/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brewed September 2003, Bottled June 2006, Sampled June 2007
You can smell the oxidation effect of three years of aging as you pour this beer; notes of sherry, umami like notes and musty barley-tamari are quite evident. The beer musters almost a three-finger thick, frothy, extremely large bubbled consistency, light brownish, tan colored head that quickly disappears to a small ring of froth that clings to the sides of the glass. Not really as black as I was expecting, brown, brilliantly clear, concentrated sherry colors are seen around the edges and even the beer itself has a solid brown tinge to its darkness. Visually this beer is thick and concentrated enough to actually have the legs of a desert wine, though it is not quite so pronounced as that.

Quite aromatic, no matter what one might think of the aromas. Notes of oxidized molasses, tamari, brown sugar, syrup-concentrated prune juice, chocolate liquor, concentrated sherry & tons of rich, chewy, meaty, umami-like characterizations spring to mind as I dig around in the nose of this brew. Towards the end is a definite alcohol aroma, though it is not hot, more warming in character and a bit smoother than one might expect from an 18 + % brew.

Thick and syrupy in texture, with a light, but still noticeable carbonation. The most distinguishable note after the first sip is a musty, dirty cobweb or even moldy broccoli type flavor that is in the late-middle and finish of this brew. Up front notes of molasses, super-sweetened yet smooth espresso, chocolate espresso, some light Kahlua like notes, some brown sugar flavors (separate from the molasses) or perhaps that is really more like blackened maple flavors, deeply caramelized - almost - blackened notes of berry-flavored toffee. I can't shake that blackened, slightly burnt vegetal character; my previous broccoli descriptor almost fits too well. The oxidation / aged malt flavors, while evident, are not quite as prominent as I expected based on the nose. Still notes of burnt sherry, tamari and meaty-aged malt notes are noticeable here. This is clearly a sipping brew; it is strong enough that the flavors are quite concentrated.

After some time & tasting, the aroma starts to take on some rich, hazelnut overtones that reallys tart to make things interesting. Smooth almond notes start to come to the fore and actually over-take the hazelnut notes. This may be that 18% talking, but the aroma is starting to get sublime; I wish the rest of the beers character lived up to this.

What an experience, despite the obvious flaws, this beer is big enough to come off being complex and interesting. Each sip is a journey of often conflicting layers of flavor. A lot more dark malt character could have been packed into this brew, in fact a healthy dose of black patent, roast barley and chocolate malt character would have helped hide flaws and certainly would have added a new dimension to this already dimensioned brew. I think I described this as an interesting, at times engaging, definitely complex, and at other times even off-putting; this is definitely a beer worth trying, and I think I might sit on my other bottle for five years, or perhaps until I remember to get around to it again. I have a feeling this thing could easily go 50 years without getting worse and it might even get significantly better. (3,346 characters)

Photo of BeerTruth
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle thanks to session1979.

brewed: 9/25/03
bottled: 6/9/06
ibu: 80
alcohol by volume: 18.40%

Poured this one into a snifter.

Pours an extremely dark mahogany with a half finger khaki colored head that quickly dies down to an outer layer of bubbles holding on to the sides of the glass. Stickiness is non-existant. Smell is, well...alcohol. Syrupy dark chocoloate arises in the nose along with dark fruits such as plums, dates, and raisins. Taste starts with a syrupy alcohol and french roast coffee flavor. Brown sugar and molasses mixed with, well, more alcohol arise midway through. Aftertaste is woody with some vanilla and a bit dry with some...alcohol. I thought this was going to be a thick ass mouthfeel but it was surprisingly lighter than I had anticipated. I would classify it as medium bodied with a bit of carbonation that seems to arise here and there. I thought I would have an issue finishing this one, but I actually didn't. Yes the alcohol is present everywhere, but it's 18.4%...what did you expect? Definitely glad I had the opportunity to try this one. Fortunately I received two in the trade so I will be aging the other one in the cellar for a good while. Thanks again Jonas. (1,210 characters)

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XXX Warlock Double Imperial Stout from Bristol Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 68 ratings.