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
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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Photo of joe1510
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber

2007 Bottling

I got this one in a great trade with Faro awhile back, thanks again Jeff! There's nothing like a big old barleywine on a frigid evening like tonight. Winter Warlock fills this snifter with a hazed over glowing orange viscous liquid. A couple small streams of carbonation crawl up the sides of the glass but that's all I can find. The head was a little tough to conjure up but a higher pour brought about a finger of clean white foam. The head recedes rather quickly to a thin skimming with a nice collar. The orange body on this brew is pretty unique. A quick swirl brings back the head and leaves behind some patchy lacing.

The nose is loaded with interesting and lightly spiced fruits. Orange peel jumps straight out of the glass and into my nose. Toffee, freshly husked grains and caramel make up the canvas of this BW while allowing the orange peel, slightly under ripe plum, pear, cinnamon, and clean booze to shine in that order. I don't know where the cinnamon is coming from but it adds something much needed to the nose of this beer. The graininess is something I don't come across often in a beer of this style but I must say I really enjoy it.

The flavor comes together nicely with the toffee, orange and plum meshing perfectly. The malty backbone fits what the nose hinted at with caramel and a clean graininess but they stay in the background. Orange and plum peak mid-palate before slowly fading into the finish with a quick flash of sweetness. There's a unique spicing in this BW. Cinnamon and light brown sugar joins forces to add another layer of depth while the finish brings a quick flash of gritty pear and clean alcohol. This is a very enjoyable English barleywine.

The body is a bit of a surprise to me. It's lighter than I would have imagined for the abv but it manages to fit this beer perfectly well. The body is on the lighter side of full and the carbonation, that was barely visible, is active enough to add a touch of frothiness on the swallow. A little residual sugar is left behind after each sip.

I'm sitting here drinking a 9% barleywine and I can't believe how easy it's going down. This snifter is disappearing in a hurry. The alcohol is only noticeable with a tickling of the nose and a little warmth in the cheeks. This one is very easy to put away.

It's a perfect wintery evening for a BW and this one seemed to fit the bill perfectly. There is a great depth and a myriad of unique flavors. I'd love to get some bottles of the '08 Winter Warlock. Thanks for the treat Jeff!

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Photo of barleywinefiend
2.88/5  rDev -24%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a thin, golden yellow color with a small white head at first and then it disappeared. Nose was with faint hops, malts, Taste is rather thin bodied rather than a heavy English barleywine induced lots of and lots of malt. 9%ABV is very well hidden which also increases its drinkability. Had a good number of English bwines and I found this one not to my liking. Different style than I prefer.

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

Kind of a glowing yellow orangish hue, thin head that mainly forms a ring. The aroma is of biscuity malt, sweet toasted grains, fruity notes of plums, grapes, pears, and spiciness I think from the yeast, maybe a bit from the malt, peppery with some cloves. The taste has a lot of the same going on. Toasted, biscuity malt, substancial body to it, but I wouldn't call it "heavy" if you will. Some stickiness to it to let you know its barleywine-esque. Plenty of fruity notes, but lighter white and green fruit, white grape skins and apples. Hops are there but far from over powering, mainly perfumy and floral. Quite spicy and peppery with some lemon zest.

Overall: I reviewed this on-tap at Stub and Erbs, and judging from others reviews, it seems that on tap it was a bit spicier, because the peppery spicy notes were one of the biggest take aways from this beer for me. Where as from the bombers, people have tended to lean toward the fruity side. I wouldn't call this a typical barleywine, but it seems that might be the best catagory if it had to fit in somewhere, I am thinking imperial amber though with the toasty malt. I love beers that have lighter fruity flavors light white grapes and pears so this one was right up my ally. I felt the alcohol was hidden well, I thought it was more around 7 or 8%.

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

Semi hazey peachy golden hue with a firm, slimming foam that doesn't last long. Keeps a thin ring of foam at the base and has a few spots of lacing tossed about and sticking to the glass.

Aroma is lofty yet soft and toned in a welcoming mild and clean scent of some golden promise-like malt sweetness, breadish and doughy with touches of white raisin, dried orange, toffee, and banana; which especially seep as it warms.

Taste encompasses the idea of the aroma with a fairly mellow but broadly placed heft of soothing soft and mildly tamed sweetness of malts. Semi bready, mostly sweet with a alluring little softness to toffee and a dullishly orange grated background. Hints at some white raisin and dried tropical fruity stuff as it sticks a firm glue of malty goo and chew. It grows on you as it goes, as at first I was unimpressed, but as I got half way through the bomber it got more likeable with a nice deft in character and tonality.

Feel is clean and soft with a hefty yet yielding balance of malty cloying goodness. Keeps a upfornt rib sticking, palate covering mildness of malty fun yummyness as its overall nature. Creamy, slippery, slick with a bit of stick.

A good malt profile and an easy going mildness in flavor, tone, and body make this a decent and overall yummy little drinkin Barleywine. Perhaps not as dark and deceptive as some other English styled BW's I like, but this fits the bill well enough. For a change of pace this stuff is suited well and made well. Thanks Flat Earth!

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

Into my Flat Earth snifter you go, Winter Warlock....the name and occasion is apt, as I thought last week, when we spent time in summery sun and basked in 60-degree weather, and the melting snow slipped out the sins of winter, that spring was finally here, at last. I was the fool, and the magician who rules the weather made a mockery of my delight...we're back at winter again, for awhile, and it's warlock now rules us. Aw, well... on to investigate this ale.You are golden, sorcerer, with a quickly gone head... your aroma is mostly rich, sweet, boozy malt...I'm not feeling much more from it. Taste: more slick, more sweet, more malt, more booze...not exactly what I expect from the barleywines I enjoy most, and have historically found to my favor, but it is quite nice in it's own regard. Lacks the hops of many of those, and leans heavily on the malt...something about that dynamic takes it somewhere else, indeed. Golden, bright, crisp, and, yes, boozy...the 9 % isn't shy at all. Not that I'm complaining.I think Jeff Williamson has a thing for Fantasy/Sci-Fi/sword & sorcery,Tolkien, mythology, etc...not that I've played Dungeons & Dragons with him, but I bet if you played craps at his house, the dice would be twelve-sided. Sweetness is just right for a dessert or a nightcap, and the alcoholic warmth is well-needed in chilly evening (okay, mornings) as this... 'tis a fine nice, tonight ...another winner from Flat Earth.

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Photo of ZAP
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An underrated gem from an underrated brewery.

Great looking beer....deep golden with amber highlights...perfect egg white head sits on top...

A lot of"woodsy" fuggles hop notes on the nose, along with a biscuity maltiness...seems in the "english' style which is what they were shooting for.

Hard to believe this is 9%....VERY smooth and HIGHLY drinkable. Really a sweeter style Barley Wine and I love BW's that lean sweet. The fuggles definitely are present on the finish but the first impression is the sweet biscuity never even borders on cloying though....clean mouthfeel...

Body is medium to medium full. Smooth.

A very enjoyable BW...I imagine if you put this in a Surly can people would go absolutely nuts about it. No knock on Surly as I love their beers but Flat Earth clearly has not established the "wow" factor among the masses.

This is a quality brew that might be priced a little high for some at 6.29 for a 22 ounce bomber but who gives a fuck...this is a relatively new brewer trying to make a go of it, and if I gotta pay an extra buck to keep them in business so they continue to make great beers like this I will gladly do so.

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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 Buebie
3.74/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep gold in color, medium white head, mudium laceing.

Huge malt smell, alot of sweetness, some bready notes.

Its interesting, very complex, not a chugger but piculiar flavors. Its drinkable, but not the barley wine I had suspected. I'd buy it again.

This beer is very complex, but off the bat there is a huge malt bill, with perfect sweatness. Piculiar pepperconrn middle with warm alcahol notes, not hot, but definatly spicey .I'm surprsed at the malts presence because the hops still come out swinging in the end. bready grain flavor and a hoppy spicey finish.
The bitters from the spice are foreign to me, its sweet and sour at the same time.

As it has warmed, much of the sweatness has dropped out, the bitter hoppy notes are still present, as are the complicated spicieness.

This is a 22oz brown bomber. Cost was $5.99, a bit spendy, but I dont regret the purchase. At 9% ABV, I'd expect more out of my $5.99.

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Photo of Mdog
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Flat Earth Belgian snifter.

Appearance: Deep gold, good sized head, some bubbles rising through the beer, good lacing.

Smell: Sweet grains, a little toffee as it warms up.

Taste: A really interesting mix of flavors. When cold it hits me with a toffee flavor and a peppery finish. As it warms up I get more grainy sweetness instead of the toffee.

Drinkability: Somewhat hard to find but pick it up if you see it.

I had my first taste of this at the brewery tour in January and finally saw a bottle of it at Cellar's. It's definitely on the English side of barleywines in that the hops take a back seat to the malt. Very good beer!

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Photo of Bighuge
4.53/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Slightly hazed rich looking golden body. Thin white head. Lace comes in sporadic patches. Very nice mellow maltiness on the nose. Similar in a way to a Blonde Dopplebock aroma. Nice mellow malt profile on the palate as well. Fairly rich with only trace amounts of alcohol noted. (An accomplishment since this is a very fresh sample of their 9% ale.) I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess quite a bit of Golden Promise was used here. There's such a unique and smooth mellow maltiness. Very enjoyable. There's also a nice little spiciness. Body's close to medium-full. Carbonation is appropriately restrained. This will be a welcome addition to my Winter "go-to" beers in the years to come.

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