Winter Warlock | Flat Earth Brewing Company

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Winter WarlockWinter Warlock
Very Good
65 Ratings
Winter WarlockWinter Warlock

Brewed by:
Flat Earth Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by brewdlyhooked13 on 03-09-2008

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 65 |  Reviews: 34
Reviews by charlesw:
Photo of charlesw
3.94/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pale, cloudy, orangy amber thing. But it has head. Yeah! Head! And the lacing is still in my glass 10 minutes later. That's serious. Smells lightly of an English b'wine (sweet, raisins, prunes, brown sugar) but with a huge sour overcast. Yuck. Ah. Ooh. Thankfully it doesn't taste like that. Yeah, there is a little apricot in there, but sugar and malt and plenty of bitter. And it's not syrupy (double yeah!). Why, heck, I'd say that it's not an English barleywine at all. I mean, hey, I'm sorry that's what they were shooting for, and all, but if they were serious about that they should have toned down the hops in both aroma and bitterness and upped the mouthfeel. But I'm not reviewing it as an English - otherwise it would not score well. I'm calling it 'merican, darn it. Very easy to drink - very pleasant. Why, the wife was fighting me over who got to finish the bottle. I say cut back on the sour hops and this would be an excellent beer (of course, you'd need to put something else in in their place, but I leave that exercise to the brewer).

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More User Reviews:
Photo of beerkittycat
4.55/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance is slightly hazy but fiercely golden with a rocky white head that lingers for a moment then settles into a thin ring around the edge of the glass. Aroma is amazingly complex with perfumey hops dancing around strong malts and some fruits that remind me of white grapes. Aroma reminds me a bit like a chardonnay without the oak. Tasting this beer was a surprise. Malt and more malt. There's gotta be a whole lotta Golden Promise because of the boldness of the malt yet the golden hue that it's known for. Again I taste a perfumey and grassy mix of hop flavor but only enough to balance the malt nicely. Hop bitterness is moderate and balances the sweetness juuust right. Nice full and chewy mouthfeel with restrained carbonation (perfect for an English beer) goes great with the smooth and slightly sweet finish. Alcoholic warmth goes down happily not harshly. It's hard to believe this is 9% ABV because it is oh-so-smooth. Looking forward to next year's effort!

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Brilliant gold, with 1” creamy foam collar that dissipates down to nothing
S: spicy aroma with wine, apricot, malt, fruit.
T: Starts with malt, caramel, sherry, spice, fruit, a hint of clove to anise, cardamom, and a moderate bitter hop accent on the finish.
F: Big body, creamy smooth, medium low carbonation
O: It suggests wine but still has a beer essence.

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Photo of MattyG85
3.76/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness Chalice glass. 2011 Bottle.

Appearance: Pours a deep and clear golden copper with a moderate amount of bubbles. About two fingers of white head that quickly fade into a a few thin patches. Lacing is moderate.

Smell: Aroma of caramel malts, toffee, light citrus hops, and a very noticeable presence of sugar. Fairly bready and the hop presence is very light. A hint of alcohol. What stands out the most here is caramelized sugars.

Taste: A sweet mix of caramel malts and wheat grains with a hint of toffee and citrus. Lots of caramelized sugar. A little bit of earthy hop bitterness towards the finish. Fairly bready throughout. Sweet but not cloying.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Somewhat syrupy and sticky. Very smooth as the alcohol isn't really felt.

Overall: A good beer overall. Not really what I would expect from a barleywine but a interesting version.

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Photo of Cooper
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of tempest
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Split a bomber I picked up at Princeton Liquors.

This is a pretty cool beer for a couple reasons. First off, you just don't see many golden barleywines, so this beer is fairly unique. Second, it's damn drinkable. 9% what?

That said, it pours a yellow gold with a short white head. The aroma is big on biscuit malt with a bit of the Fuggles (this beer is all Fuggles) hops and their grassy, herbal citrus punch coming through. The flavor has those same biscuity malts but with a mellow esters that come off a bit like peach jam. That flavor combination makes me wonder about the breakfast-beer potential. The hops come in at the end to provide an earthy citrus kick that is enough to leave a nice lasting bitterness and balance out the malts. The mouthfeel is on the thin side of medium, which matched with the medium carbonation, makes this drink like a much milder beer.

Overall, this beer is expertly balanced and dangerously drinkable. This is a beer to seek out if you're in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of morimech
3.18/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear golden color with a massive head that had excellant retention. The head eventually settles to a thick cap. Moderate amount of sticky lacing is left down the glass.

Fuggle hop aroma. A little spicy with what seems like yeast phenols. Hints of brown sugar and caramelized malt.

Alcohol plays a big part in the flavor with plenty of heat. Relatively weak malt flavor for a barleywine. Some flavor of sugar. Moderately bitter with some grassy flavor. Tastes more Belgian than English.

Weak body but the carbonation does its best with what it is given.

I was expecting a much better, and bigger beer. Body is labeled at 10.1% ABV which is very surprising.

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Photo of SpdKilz
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A big thanks to Aaron (laymansbeerfan) for this beer. Cheers!

Appearance – Pours a clear amber into a tulip with about a finger of slight off white head that dissipates quickly leaving spotty lacing.

Smell – Lots of caramel, toffee, slight green apple, brown sugar, white pepper, and bready malts.

Taste – Similar to the aroma. A slight bitter hop bite that is gone almost instantly. Lots of sweet caramel and toffee, mixed in with loads of breadiness, and a bit of pepper.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied to lighter, decent carbonation, which it was a bit thicker.

Overall – Not really a barleywine in my opinion. Not sure what style this is, but it is a bit overly sweet in my opinion. I will say, it is easy to drink and for being over 10% this batch there is no alcohol taste and only slight warming. If you look at it as a winter warmer rather than a barleywine, I like it more. A decent beer on this cold night.

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Photo of CCutch
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of cofeeguru
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of MPLS
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank a 22oz bomber, 2007 batch.

A: A nice lipid golden (in it's description) orange. Not a whole lot of head, but it sure looks warm and calm. Minimal lacing.

S: Sweet sugars, apple and pear dominant. Not over hopped like it's American barleywine equivalent. Alcohol noticable, but not nostril burning.

T: The most enjoyable part of this beer comes from the lingering and warm, not smoldering or fiery, candy pear flavors. Alcohol is clean, certainly warming. Upfront is the a nice mellow biscuity flavor that certainly turns to the sweet side.

I just wish Flatearth would follow it's MN breweries with a nice American IPA.

M: Not overly carbonated (2007?), Light-medium, but certainly smooth all across the tongue.

D: It's 31 degrees Fahrenheit outside right now and I certainly feel warm. This beer is better than I thought, pleasantly mellow, and a very good candy pear sweetness.

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Photo of Mjcanton
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of dbrauneis
3.96/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of billhelm
3/5  rDev -20.8%

Photo of objectivemonkey
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From my notes:

Into a chalice, pours a surprisingly light golden color, vivid, with nice white head and lacing. The aroma is warm and inviting, the malts sweet, fruity (think plum), toasted grains, some faint hopping. It has good body, feels nice on the tongue and going down. There are more fruits in the taste, beyond plum I get grapes, some citrus, some more toasty and biscuit malt. Quite a nice beer from a great upstart brewery.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.96/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Obtained through WankerWeasel at DLD08.

Appearance - pours a pale sunset orange, a little haze to the hue. A conservative head, an eighth-inch at best. Soapy, watery, but somehow with impressive lacing power.

Aroma - a brief whiff of skunkiness upon opening, the pour is a straight-forward graininess with some very mild toastiness upon setting up.

Taste - a crackery, biscuity malt side to start. Noticeable toastiness among the grains, the hops move in smoothly after that. Low-level bitterness, some spicy flavors, maybe even a light touch of soy or smoke or something like that. A fine alcohol warming on the swallow, at this level it enhances the flavors quite well. The blend of Irish yeast and English malts creates some very unique flavors. Grassy herbs at times, soup spices at times, and a nice finishing hop dryness at the end. Very crafty.

Mouthfeel - smoothness, the abv, the moderate carbonation, all work well together.

Drinkability - on the one hand, the abv makes no doubt of its presence. But still, this beer is disappearing fast; the flavor is a nice enough blend to where I don't notice the heat so much. So while the label admonishes me to enjoy at fireside on a cold winter's night, I'm having no trouble dispatching with this as summer is getting into full swing. Appreciate this one, Ben, thanks.

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Photo of doucmehu
3.35/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on cask, server told me it was very foamy and took 5 minutes to settle down. Wow, big pour into an imperial pint.

A: Hazy golden straw, a bit light looking for a BW. Minimal head, but what is there is very thick and creamy. Leaves lots of lacing on the glass.

S: Some esters and mild malt sweetness, alcohol.

T: Tons of alcohol masks the malts and what might be some floral hops. This has hints of barleywine in it, but the malts are too subdued (or overpowered) to really hit on target.

M: Tons of alcohol burn and creamy smooth malts. Not much carbonation left in this cask, but not detracting.

O: Alcohol heat was too overwhelming. As other reviews have pointed out, this is not that complex of a barleywine, and the body is a bit thin. Slightly above average beer, but for the style it is slightly below average.

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Photo of KarlHungus
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a hazy amber-orange color. The head is a quarter inch in height, and recedes quickly into sparse lacing which is alright for a barleywine. The aroma is of big and malty with lots of toffee, caramel, ans sugar. The taste is just as malty as the aroma with just enough hops to balance things out. The mouthfeel is full bodied with lively carbonation, especially for a barleywine, and a velvety texture. Overall, I really like this beer, and I applaud Flat Earth for brewing an English version of a barleywine. It is very refreshing to drink a barleywine that doesn't taste exactly like a DIPA.

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Photo of koes0024
3/5  rDev -20.8%

Photo of MattMorin
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of garymuchow
4.45/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A bottle I've been sitting on for close to a year, so I assume it was bottled in '07, as noted on the label.
A really good looking beer tempered only by the somewhat cloudy look. Nice full richly dense slightly darkened head that takes it's time settling. Golden color with hints of amber. Heavy thick lacing. Nice.
Soft and somewhat tight aroma with sweetness that borders both barleywine fruitiness and tripel sweetness with a honey quality. Hints of alcohol and hops to speak of. Boy is this nice.
Interesting sweetness, with again it holding some belgian beer qualities, yet being firmly in a barleywine category. Sourness, sweetness and an extended drying, mildly bitter finish. Alcohol warms the stomach more than is noted in the flavor. Tasty yeast (and in the aroma too).
Moderate body that doesn't grab any attention. Similar is the carbonation.
This drinks very nicely. the sweetness and richness are relatively tames and there is just enough balance from hops and dryness. This is really quite good and not traditional.

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Photo of jsprain1
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of laymansbeerfan
3/5  rDev -20.8%

Photo of Viggo
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to oakbluff for sending this my way! 2007 bottle.

Pours a hazy amber, very nice colour, thin off white head forms and quickly settles to a lacy ring around my tulip, nice looking spots on the glass. Smell is very nice, super malty, lots of sweet caramel, toast and biscuits, a lot of fruit, apricots, pineapple, strawberries, a lot of sugary malt sweetness balances it perfectly, almost a spicy alcohol character comes through. Taste is great, very malty again, caramel and some almost candi sugar sweetness, biscuity middle, peaches and apricot fruitiness, strawberries, some alcohol spice and a honey on toast finish, perfect amount of residual sweetness. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low but tight carbonation, alcohol is well hidden, a bit of warmth but very smooth. Great example of style, reminds me a bit of the Fullers Vintage ales, superbly drinkable stuff. Thanks Scott!

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Winter Warlock from Flat Earth Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.79 out of 5 with 65 ratings