Southern Tier Brewing Company

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Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #1,894
Ranked #5,284
4.03 | pDev: 13.15%
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 462 | Ratings: 3,227 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of KRug
KRug from Massachusetts

4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2019 vintage

Well shit, welcome to another installment of finding pumpkin beers out of season on the discount rack!

Pours completely black with a finger of tan head that quickly reduces to a ring and leaves no lacing

The pumpkin in the aroma is not unlike their Pumking, which I hold in super high regard. Very meaty pumpkin with subtle spicing. Warm vanilla backs up notes of dark roasted coffee and malt

This one starts off with a surprising alcohol tingle for only being 8.6%, but it quickly recedes to classic, roasty stout notes, absolutely full of vanilla. Taste-wise, the pumpkin comes through strongest in the aftertaste, quite earthy and sweet along with dark coffee and lightly spicy cinnamon

A very full body and light carbonation leads this one to sometimes get too sweet and sticky. Definitely dessert like in feel and could stand a touch more carbonation

These discount rack pumpkin beers keep ending up being really good, I wish they were produced year round. Always a nice change of pace and this was no exception, despite the cloyingly sweet nature of it

Jun 05, 2020
Photo of klarcbarr3

4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Southern Tier Warlock is a very good pumpkin, with a unique twist. It is a boozy, imperial pumpkin. You can taste the Pumpking at it's base, but a dark brown, virtually black color with a woodsy inflection to the taste really sets it apart from other pumpkin beers, and I enjoy that diversity. It is chocolatey, coffeeish, and earthy, yet still holding enough of a pumpkin flavor that it feel like a cross between a high quality pumpkin ale, and something akin to a Founders Breakfast Stout. I personally enjoy it more than it's highly acclaimed brethren, The Pumpking. Viva la difference!

Nov 24, 2019
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dsa7783 from New Jersey

4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Hops in Morristown. Pours a jet black, ebony hue with moderate frothing. Mild aroma replete with nougat and chocolate. Similar overall flavor profile. Not bad.

Oct 27, 2019
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jeffdr123 from Florida

3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Oak and Stone. A darker version of the seasonal gimmick. If you dipped your pumpkin pie in dark molasses, it might taste like this. A little boozy, but it's something I will buy every year.

Oct 23, 2019
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rand from California

4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bomber into a snifter

Classic IS appearance - jet black, viscous, sticky tan head. Nose is licorice and cocoa and beautiful pumpkin spice essence, boozy and sweet.

Flavors follow sans licorice notes, with flavors of pumpkin pie at the front of the palate. The dextrins in the brew taste like chocolate milk, reminding me of pumpkin pie with chocolate whip cream. Enough booze and carbonation keep things from getting too sticky. Yum.

Oct 23, 2019
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BigWheelz from New York

3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had one on draught in a nice Bud Light glass. The appearance was nice and black. Very nice taste but super powerful like say a Founders KBS. I think this might be a pretty good buy at the right price.

Oct 14, 2019
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MoMaMe from Maryland

4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Drinking the 2019 edition right now. Not as good as the 2018, but still good. It could be that I let the 2018 age more, so time will tell.

Pours a deep, espresso brown with a moderate head hat dissapates quickly but leaves some good lacing.

Smell is toffee and molasses, nutmeg, dried stone fruit, and dark chocolate.

Taste is similar to smell. Strong flavor, lots of spice.. possibly clove and cinnamon in addition to nutmeg. Hints of dark chocolate and espresso. Sweet but not too sweet... brown sugar that finishes with a nice bitterness.

Mouthfeel is full and a bit sticky, but smooth. Carbonation is decent.

Overall, one of my favorite Autumn desert beers and I like that it's a stout. I'm not a fan of pumpkin ales, but I make an exception for Southern Tier as they take the cake on desert beers.

Oct 12, 2019
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jkblr from Indiana

3.87/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

500mL bottle VINTAGE 2018 (1 year old) poured into a Spiegelau stout glass at fridge temp 8.6% ABV. The beer pours dense very dark brown with some medium brown highlights and mocha colored head. The head recedes to a thin ring and island leaving behind some lacing. The aroma is pumpkin pie and little else. The taste is mostly pumpkin and pie spice with just a little roasted malt thrown in. The finish is mostly dry with medium bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and adequately carbonated with just a bit less than medium. No alcohol presence in the aroma or taste. Overall, ok. More pumpkin pie beer than stout with pumpkin added. I would be interested to try it fresh but wouldn't pay this price again.

Oct 07, 2019
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Claude-Irishman from New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Spieglau stout glass. Looks a semi opaque dark cherry/burgundy red.With a quickly receding mocha colored head. Smell is reminiscent of malts and pumpkin. Taste pumpkin,malts ,vanilla,cola. Feels medium to full bodied. Adequate carbonation. Not super oily or viscous.Finishes juicy. Overall a very good stout,pumpkin or not. I like this better than Pumking-

Oct 01, 2019
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Peach63 from New York

4.56/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark amber to brown. Half inch tan head, with nice lacing. Moderate carbonation.

Aroma of roasted malts, coffee and spices.

Tastes of pumpkin spices, coffee, chocolate. Slightly bitter with a bit of sweetness.

Feels full bodied and creamy.

One of the better pumpkin ales.

Sep 29, 2019
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dd53grif from Michigan

4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep cola color with a minimal tan head with lasts quite a while. Aroma of pumpkin spice. Strong pumpkin spice flavor followed by an overabundance of sweetness and pumpkin spices.

Sep 11, 2019
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akaizer from Virginia

4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Held up to the light revealed a dark black amber ruby coloration that is very appealing to the eyes with a touch of lacy head around the edges. The scent is pumpkin juice, sweet, perhaps a bit of anise (black licorice) -- inviting but not as noticible as the Pumpking (perhaps for the best, the king's warlock should not show the king up). Taste is a surprisingly smooth mix of the scents -- nothing seemed to exceed what was expected. Feel is creamy and full bodied, almost a bit chewy. Overall very nice.

Sep 08, 2019
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DanO1066 from Maryland

4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A brace of draught 8oz snifters at The Brass Tap here in Baltimore. Very dark brown (black) with a finger's worth of off-white head that disapates leaving significant lacing. Smells a lot like pumpkin pie. Taste is sweet, but with enough malt backbone to keep things within bounds. ABV well hidden, but hinted at in the aftertaste. I like this even more than the Pumking, but I've always been "drawn to the dark side".

Sep 06, 2019
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Bluecrow from New York

4.24/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

-deeply dark bottle pour with minimal visible effervescence and an aroma of toasted malt and all-spice. The flavor is rich with burnt sugar and molasses. The pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg...) is not overdone. The mouthfeel is a bit slick. The brew is sweet, but I really like it every year even though I drink almost nothing else like it.

Aug 16, 2019
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Bird_Priest from New York

4.16/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My personal favorite pumpkin beer. The pumpkin and cinnamon are a perfect fit for a stout that's best enjoyed in the fall months, or to put aside and age for a little more character. Snag some of these when the leaves start falling for the way pumpkin beer was meant to be enjoyed.

Feb 17, 2019
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JamFuel from Sweden

3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very dark brown with soft, fine head.

Smell is sweet with some spice, cinnamon, nutmeg and chocolate.

Taste is sweet and malty with the same spiciness as the nose. Notes of nutmeg, cinnamon and some coffee, cola and chocolate.

Mouthfeel is medium, well carbonated.

Overall, a nice stout. I don't think pumpkin spice is anything for me, but I enjoyed this.

Dec 18, 2018
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CHickman from New York

4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of the best pumpkin beers I’ve ever had. Looks good, but the flavor has the classic pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices mixed with a nice roasty stout. Lingering cinnamon and nutmeg round out the seasonal profile, but the smooth stout feel helps it go down easy.

Oct 28, 2018
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andrewjraab from Michigan

4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black with a khaki head that lingers and sticks after each sip. Huge nose on this brew - spices, pumpkin, malt. Layers of flavor - pumpkin pie, vanilla, spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, and milky. Smooth sipping brew with a silky finish. Overall one of the best pumpkin brews I've had. This beer weaves loads of flavor with a nice balanced finish.

Oct 26, 2018
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KurtisCarman from Ohio

4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pumking gets all the attention but this is the better beer. As remarkable as it is to put pumpkin pie in a glass making a rich stout that bursts with fall flavors such as pumpkin, squash, brown sugar, walnuts etc is way more impressive. This is the only beer that I truly cannot miss when it is fall.

Oct 11, 2018
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Antg8989 from New Jersey

3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The problem I have with this beer is that I don't know how I'm supposed to be rating it. As an imperial stout? A pumpkin ale? Pours dark brown with no head. Aroma is straight up banana nut bread. Pumpkin aroma seems to be masked by the spices. A deep, dark chocolate taste blends not so harmoniously with the pumpkin spices. Feel is thin with medium high carbonation. Overall, I really couldn't finish one of these. Not now at least.

Oct 11, 2018
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jjamadorphd from Florida

4.24/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another great offering from Southern Tier...

There was a time when I couldn't get my hands on a ST beer, but now, I have had quite a few. And one which I am glad to have crossed paths is this gem of a pumpkin beer. Just into this pumpkin beer brewed season, I have had the fortunate circumstance to enjoy this particular beer. Great to look at, though it has a short-lived head and no lacing, it more than makes up for it with a sweet, pumpkin-y scent that blends well with the booze. Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, light- to medium-bodied, and with crisp finish. The taste is a blend of pumpkins, malt, and the booze that brings it all together with a sweet background. Overall, I find this to be exceptional, not one of the best I have had to date, but definitely very, very solid.

Oct 08, 2018
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WoodBrew from Ohio

3.84/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I tried this at the lobby bar in the Westchester, NY marriott. It poured a opaque dark with white head that did not leave much lace. The scent had roast, chocolate and cinnamon spice. The taste was nicely balanced and easy to drink with sweet mocha start then finish with a pumpkin, cinnamon and/or cumin spice finish. The mouthfeel was medium in body with good carbonation. Overall its a good beer.

Sep 27, 2018
Photo of seedyone
seedyone from New York

4.86/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

From bottle at home. Vintage 2018 day 207 (Jul 20) 20:31. Surprised I haven't declared my experiences with this before now as it is s a must have every year .

Still 24 hours of summer to go & the pumpkin spice plague is upon us. This is one of the main reasons why I have mixed emotions about the changing of the seasons & my personal preferences.

The pour is elegant, the color classic, the aroma inviting & the taste demands another sip. The caveats...the 8.6 ABV & $. Both a touch over my personal indulgence cautions. Even sitting at home, the ease with which this manipulates my inclination and my will are a true test. At $10 for a 12FL bottle, it will remain a luxury.

Sep 22, 2018
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hophugger from Virginia

3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very very dark with average head. Aroma of dark chocolate and light creamy pumpkin. Taste is cool and not too heavy with a good, not overpowering taste of pumpkin and cool chocolate. Finish is smooth like whipped cream. Great balance !

Sep 20, 2018
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

3.99/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Vintage 2018"; drank 9/17/18 @ the Yarchives.

Black/brown appearance.

A violent pour yielded a nice tan head; frothy lace.

Pumpkin pie, light roast coffee bean & cream notes in the nose.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Pumpkin pie & cream flavors up front; mild light roast coffee bean & faint cinnamon notes on the finish. No booze heat.

Balanced & not too pumpkin pie-heavy; actually, a bit too mild, if anything. I'd have another.

Sep 18, 2018
Warlock from Southern Tier Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 3227 ratings