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Warlock | Southern Tier Brewing Company

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395 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

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.

Added by MasterSki on 09-19-2013

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Reviews: 395 | Ratings: 3,000
Photo of akolb
3.42/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma has pumpkin, cinnamon, and ginger alongside mild chocolate and coffee. Smells more like a pumpkin beer than a stout, which is a minus in my book. Taste is better with bitter black malt, sweet vanilla, and a huge blast of the aformentioned spices. Almost spicy with ginger and cinnamon, which is accentuated by a big alcohol burn. I feel like this beer could be good after a few years of aging, but fresh the spices overwhelmed anything else that was happening. In a blind taste test I wouldn't even know it was an imperial stout.

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Photo of HoodviewBrew
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Basically it's their pumking but with an imperial stout base. Excellent beer though I will admit the straight-up pumking is a little better. That is saying a lot coming from a huge dark beer fan.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Another bottle! I just do not seem to be able to break out of their pesky grip these days. At least I have something adventurous lined up following this one.

From the Vintage 2016 Blackwater Series bottle: "Imperial Stout brewed with Pumpkins and Natural Flavor": "2-row pale [;] malt[;] caramel malt[;] black malt[;] munich malt[;] pureed pumpkin[;] magnum hops[;] sterling hops[;] natural pumpkin spice flavor".

At least I was not deprived of the opportunity to Pop! the cap. Having read the "Notes" section, I readied a goblet for this goblin of a beer. I gave it an aggro pour, creating a brief finger of foamy, light-tan head that quickly reduced to wisps. Figuring that I could do better, I then did an in-glass swirl, but try as I might, I could not raise much more than a skim. Color was Black/Opaque (SRM = 44) and there was NO light penetration anywhere, not even on the sides or at the bottom of the goblet. Nose had the familiar pumpkin spice smell of cinnamon, nutmeg & allspice, but here, it additionally had treacle and a smoky, slightly burnt quality. Hmmm. Mouthfeel was medium, but I felt like it needed greater volume, especially as an American Double/Imperial Stout, which is a new style to me. I had a problem with the taste in that there was a fusel alcohol heat present that amplified the spices, but did not allow me to taste the roastiness of the malts. I will tell you that I purchased an extra bottle this year for cellaring, so time may help to settle some of the flavors in and down. Finish was dry, a direct result of the heat and the spices, but I really felt like I was drinking a young beer, one which could stand some time in my cellar.

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Photo of dacrza1
3.69/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

DATE: October 13, 2016... OCCASION: nearly 300 miles of traveling today and in need of a dark one... GLASSWARE: Affligem chalice... pours a wickedly black, flat cola with a swiftly thinning brown head that leaves a random streak... when jostled, the glass does produces some bubbles.... first impressions are of intense nutmeg, pumpkin innards, thick malty roasted bread, musty vegetable, and odd spices like ginger, peanut, and sugars... in the throat, bursting with warmth... at the teeth, a tingle... enough carbonation to elicit response... BIG and robust at its finish... first flavors include vanilla, pumpkin, nutmeg, hazelnut, ginger, cereal grain, and green bean/asparagus... as time goes on, this beer picks up speed and strength, sipping like a red wine while sporting an earthy, grainy finish that makes for a worthwhile, powerful stout that nonetheless is one of the lesser Southern Tier offerings I have had...

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.54/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle - vintage 2016

Pours black maroon with a creamy tan colored foam head. Smells like cinnamon, sweet spices, graham cracker pie crust, vanilla, pumpkin, roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, caramel, brown sugar, molasses, with mild earthy pine. Tastes like pumpkin, cinnamon, sweet spices, graham cracker pie crust, vanilla, roasted malts, dark chocolate, coffee, caramel, brown sugar, molasses, with mild earthy pine. Feels medium-light bodied, creamy and smooth with moderate carbonation. Overall a really nice imperial pumpkin stout.

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Photo of JJKBeerLvr
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into pint glass in October 2016.

Appearance: Dark black with a thick tan/brown head. Head is thicker than other stouts, and does not leave much lacing on the glass.

Smell: Strong aroma of roasted malts and spices. There is a little bitterness from hops and a hint of sweetness like chocolate as well, but overall the roasted malt and spices dominate the others.

Taste: There is a sweet flavor from the pumpkin and malt flavors. There is also some smoky roasted flavors, a little chocolate flavor, some caramel, and hop flavors to enhance the taste and add some complexity. Not as bitter as some other stouts. There is a strong alcohol presence as with other imperial stouts.

Mouth-feel: Strong, but with a very smooth and creamy body. Not as thick as some other stouts.

This is a dark and smokey Stout, but with some sweet pumpkin and caramel flavors that adds some complexity to the beer. Even though this is sweeter than most other stouts, the sweetness does not dominate, and I like the mix of flavors. This is a tasty beer, and it is very smooth and really enjoyable to drink. It is a different stout and I like it.

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Photo of patre_tim
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Black with a ruby tinge when held to the light, moderate carbonation, and a half finger of brown head.

Smells of toasted pumpkin, nutty, boozy, and the scent vanilla pudding.

Tastes sweet and boozy, with vanilla pudding, pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices, yet maintaining dark and toasted notes.

Thick and oily body, low carbonation.

Got in Kalamazoo, drank Oct 3rd, 2016 in Kalamazoo. Really good brew. Not really into overly boozy brews, but the flavours and scent are unique, especially when matched with the colour. Overall, its solid.

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Photo of Stevem68
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark chocolate color. Aroma is lots a spice and sweetness. Notes of all spice, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla and pumpkin pie. Flavor follows the nose pretty much dead on but has a little chocolate malt flavor too. Body is solid and overall this is nice but a little too sweet and too much spice for me. One is enough.

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Photo of superspak
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 7/13/2016. Pours nearly pitch black color with a 1 finger dense light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big pumpkin, pumpkin seed, gingerbread, nutmeg, brown sugar, cinnamon, toast, pie crust, caramel, cocoa, light coffee, herbal, and roast/toasted earthiness. Fantastic aromas with great complexity and balance of pumpkin, spice, dark/bready malt, and 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, light coffee, herbal, and roast/toasted earthiness. Light-moderate herbal spice and roast bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of pumpkin, cocoa, cinnamon, nutmeg, toast, caramel, gingerbread, pie crust, light coffee, herbal, and roast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity, robustness, and balance of pumpkin, spice, and dark/bready malt, and moderate roasted flavors; with a great roasted malt/bitterness and spiciness balance, and no cloying flavors after the finish. Light dryness from bitter/spiciness as well. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with very smooth, moderately creamy, and lightly sticky/chalky balanced mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with a small warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is an outstanding pumpkin/spiced imperial stout. All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of pumpkin, spice, and dark/bready malt, and moderate roasted flavors; and very smooth and easy to sip on for the big ABV. There isn’t as much roasted malt character as would be expected for an imperial stout; but you still get a solid amount, with prominent classic pumking flavors. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of El_Nino_Rata
4.81/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer is criminally underrated here. Extremely unique blend of stout/mocha flavors and pumpkin spice. Exceptionally well balanced, and a truly special offering from Southern Tier. CHEERS!

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Photo of Trenary
3.12/5  rDev -21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Nice dark brown stout that from a side profile borders on black. Smell heavy on cloves and nutmeg, has some artificiality to it. The smell is my least favorite component of this beer, being light on pumpkin and over-reliant on spice.

Good smoky stout taste that the spices work with, but not subtly. I cannot decide whether it is over spiced, or just oddly spiced. It tastes better on the front end and then finishes somewhat awkwardly.

Feels like a stout and outside of the wacky spices, possesses a good stout body.

Overall, not a winner for me. Tolerable but not fantastic. Pass it over in favor of just about every other good dark pumpkin beer.

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Photo of PhillyB
3.99/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This is a review of the 2016 edition.

Look: Very dark, slight hints of reddish brown around the edges. No head to speak of, and a bit watery looking for an Imperial.

Smell: First couple of sniffs are sickly sweet, reminding me of Samuel Smith's Organic Chocolate Stout. A bit worrying given that beer was not really up my alley. After letting it sit in the open for a while the aroma changes to a much more palatable toasted/burnt pumpkin/yam, with some dark chocolate and spice notes in the background.

Taste: Far more pleasant than the smell. Dark chocolate takes a much heavier role, being about equally balanced with the pumpkin/yam. Coriander and spice notes in the background.

Feel: Much creamier than the beer appears, with a slight alcohol nip on the beginning and end.

Overall: I was not sure about how to feel about this one at first. The flavors and aroma seemed a little 'busy', but as the beer aired a little it became a delightful and well put together experience. I'd be interested to see how this cellars.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nearly ink black color but with a hint of mahogany. Foam head soon recedes and leaves a thin collar.
Sweet aroma consists of a sweet bowyer of pumpkin pie, vanilla, cinnamon, dark fruit, even a hint of cherry, and some light alcohol.
The taste is luscious, rich, and complex. A sweet coating of sweet malty and dark fruit flavors is complimented by alcohol spice, liquorice and earthy hops. Mid palate, some of the hops and bitter espresso roast comes out. In the third phase, it reverts to sweet and vinous. Full bodied and smooth.
This is a wonderful and complex stout. I will certainly have again.

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Photo of theamericanpsycho79
5/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On the spot review of this long awaited ale. Anyone that has read my reviews knows Pumking is my favorite ale ever, of course maybe second to Rochefort 10, or maybe Pumking is my favorite, depending on the occasion or my mood. So finally I got a bottle of this being it is finally in season.... so here goes nothing....

Look: After cracking open the bottle, I got a mega wiff of pumpkin. Candied pumpkin. But I am not rating smell right off the bat, just noting how RADIANT the smell is! I expected Pumking, but silly me. This stuff came out DARK. Like motor oil. Well, darker. It's muddy dark brown. I like it. Same head as pumking. About 2 finger that lingers for a few minutes. But oh the smell! The look though is quite beautiful. And once the head disappears it turns BLACK. Really black. It is evil looking, and perfect for halloween!

Smell: THE SMELL! The moment I cracked her open, I got a blast of that sweet pumking goodness! I can't wait to sip this now. She is ice cold from the fridge and poured into a goblet. I have been waiting to try this since last year, mind you, just never found a bottle when I was wanting one. But the smell... heavy sweet candied pumpkin with hints of black licorice. This is so Halloween its not even funny. This is your ideal Halloween ale! Get yourself some of this for Halloween, seriously!

Taste: YOW. That is powerful. Pumking exists in here, but its different. It has a darker flavor, I detect some darker presence, maybe some hints of licorice, some flavors I can't pick up on. Definitely pumpkin, cloves, butter, pie crust, cream, then the other flavors. The best way I can describe it is Pumking with essence of the bottle of the trick or treat bag. Outstanding. And it has some alcohol burn being its 10% alcohol, so she is a lot stronger than Pumking. Be careful!

Feel: Smooth. Crisp. Tasty. Not dry. Not bitter. She has been done well. Frothy, thick, each sip has a thickness to it, like chocolate milk thickness. How did they pull this off? The outdid themselves with this brew! It has a high gravity burn at first but the pumpkin and spices help you recover quickly.

Overall: I can't even tell you how amazed I am with this ale. It takes everything that makes Pumking great and goes further with it. A darker, sweeter and higher alcohol Pumking, with hints of halloween candy-ish type flavors blasting you, and honestly I had a few weak bottles of Pumking which I could barely smell. This ale is damn radiant and blasts you every second, from the moment the bottle is open until the last sip. I love it, I love it soooo freaking much! Get this, Halloween fans! Get a few bottles, save it for Halloween, watch some horror movies in the dark with a jack o'lantern lit, sip it slowly and savor all the Halloween flavors. This is the ideal Halloween drink! Happy Halloween, friends :)

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Photo of jaketaz
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I prefer their Pumking, but I give this one bonus points for being a legit pumpkin STOUT as opposed to a pumpkin ale (which everybody and their mother cranks out in Fall). So it's nice to have a dark, 10% abv stout that's pumpkin flavored, but the Pumking is one of the best pumpkin flavored beverages I've ever had. This is black with a brown head, and like the Pumking it tastes like the spices of pumpkin pie but without much specific pumpkin. Porous head that dies quick, medium carbonation, smells like clove and cacao... Southern Tier has a very reliable line of sweet 10% abv stouts and any of them will get you handled. But Southern Tier makes better flavored stouts and better pumpkin beers.

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Photo of eskildow
4.37/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It is a deep brown or black, not unlike a stout or a porter with a rich brown head. The smell is dominated by vanilla and sassafras, almost like a root beer. The flavour is that of coffee and chocolate, with an oaty aftertaste. The consistency is like that of mineral spirits.

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Photo of tlema1
3.77/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L: deep mahogany, thin off-white head
S: not a big nose, some maltiness
T: the pumpkin and graham cracker taste hit me first, and this beer is about 2 years old
F: moderately bitter aftertaste, medium to full body
O: nice combination, really held on to the Pumking taste

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Photo of Rock_Glenn
3.99/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bought this for the large bottle to put homebrew in, was pleasantly surprised by the taste. Gorgeous beer poured into a glass. Pumpkin flavor not overpowering at all.

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Photo of stevoj
3.96/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle from my brother. Cracked this open to accompany the change in weather. Perfect! Tons of gingerbread, fall spice, cinnamon and nutmeg, in both aroma and taste. Gentle alcohol warmth to boot. Nice autumn beer, very welcoming.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.31/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampling a cellar temp 22 oz bottle poured into a snifter at cellar temp. The beer pours a deep mahogany color with rich ruby highlights on the edges of the glass. The head is light beige and foams up about 1 cm in a dense packing, but fades very quickly to the thinnest of edge layers. Wish the head stuck around a little longer.
The aroma is some chocolate malt and a lot of actual pumpkin scent with a bit of spicy cinnamon and nutmeg. The pumpkin nose is very authentic and isnt dominated by overspicing that many pumpkin beers suffer from IMO, this makes for a very appealing nose.
First sip reveals an average body with slightly sticky texture and very fine tingly carbonation.
The flavor is similar to the nose with some sweeter chocolate malt and a bit of a roasted note, moving to some fleshy, veggie pumpkin notes and some spices. Again the spices are cinnamon and nutmeg, but not overpowering the taste. I dont get any booze on this beer, but will note that my bottle says 8.6% not the 10% listed here. Maybe an older vintage?
The beer is very drinkable and mentions that it an be paired with carrot cake on the label, having just celebrated a birthday I happen to have carrot cake on hand. Yes they do go together nicely, thanks for the tip Southern Tier!

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Photo of JayQue
3.76/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Good use of pumpkin and pumpkin spices. Pours a dense dark brown color with only some light coming through at the bottom of the pint glass. Not much in the way of head or lacing. Aroma is malty with a little chocolate and a lot of pumpkin and pumpkin spices. Flavor features pumpkin and pumpkin spices, a good malty background and a little chocolate. Mouthfeel is smooth and has medium richmess with the pumpkin spices adding a little interest to the mouthfeel. Alcohol is well hidden. A pretty decent stout and effective use of pumpkin spices. Could use a little more pumpkin as well as the spices.

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Photo of Grindelvasdrum
4.59/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into glass stein.
A-Black, no head even with aggressive pour.
S-Best smelling beer ever! Only way I can describe it is
pumpkin pie eggnog.

T-Pumpkin pie eggnog beer! Nutmeg, pumpkin, roast malt,
hints of coffee & a very nice mild bitter.
Sweet & bitter complexity. No clue of the 10% alcohol.

M-No carbonation but full bodied super creamy.
O-The taste of Thanksgiving or a perfect sipping beer while
waiting for Santa Claus to show up.

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Photo of Whey2Hoppy
4.59/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Very small head to this, even with an aggressive pour. Typical black coloration with a slight red tint, and you can see slightly through it at the bottom.

Smell: Wow, this stuff smells just as good as the Pumking does, and overall it has a very similar smell. Tons of nutmeg, cinnamon, and pumpkin to the point where it really does smell like pumpkin pie.

Taste: Again, very similar to Pumking. Huge pumpkin spiced flavor, following the smell. The addition here that makes it rank higher than Pumking for me though is the roasted malts that you expect with a stout.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with slight carbonation.

Overall: Fantastic seasonal, easily my favorite pumpkin beer. And since pumpkin pie is my favorite dessert of all time, this beer would probably be in my top ten beers.

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Photo of Flounder57
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle was poured into a snifter.

Appearance: A one finger mocha head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is a pitchblack color with no vision of anything.

Smell: Typical nutmeg, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and all spice one would expect from a pumpkin beer. Meaty pumpkin and yam followed by some warm boozy alcohol, toasted, and chocolate malts.

Taste: Got to same this beer follows suit with what I smelled. Tasty and enjoyable. Nice warm booze, meaty pumpkin and yam, spices, and malt. Some chewy and light bitterness in there too.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, a little meaty, medium bodied, medium carbonation, spices, a little chewy, and warm warm alcohol.

Overall: Kind of crazy that this beer is as similar to Pumpking. I think I enjoyed this as much and a little bit more. I'll definitely revisit this one again.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.07/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours cola brown with a finger's worth of khaki colored head. Fair retention, then disippates to reveal a thin, broken layer of suds. No lacing to be had.

Smell - An overwhelming aroma of spices and pumpkin hit the nose. Imperial stout? Outside a distant roast note, I'm not finding any usual character.

Taste - Follows the nose. Predominant cinnamon, clove and nutmeg with lesser pumpkin. Roasted malt that, with the spices, tend to exhibit a burnt pie crust flavor. Not much after that, really. Just a burnt pumpkin pie.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with low carbonation. Goes down easy enough; slick, even for a 10% beer.

Overall - I think the more apt description would've been 'Pumpkin ale with a hint of imperial stout'. This thing is spice first, pumpkin second, and residual stout character third. Hard to get through, actually. Don't buy this thinking you're getting an impy stout. You'll be greatly disappointed.

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Warlock from Southern Tier Brewing Company
3.95 out of 5 based on 3,000 ratings.
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