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Warlock | Southern Tier Brewing Company

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407 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: 407 | Ratings: 3,030
Photo of Roguer
3.72/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Dark black brew topped with a decent tan head; OK retention, little lacing.

Brew smells musty, vegetal, and spiced. Pumpkin and nutmeg are most prominent.

Dry, herbal, semi-sweet spices up forward, complemented by pumpkin and cacao. The pumpkin and spices taste a little artificial, but not offensively so. The stout base is rather subdued.

Fairly thin and dry mouthfeel. Very drinkable. Long finish hinting of spice.

This is not a bad pumpkin beer, and while I wouldn't turn down a glass, neither will I be ordering one up. It does nothing to offend, but nothing to enchant.

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Photo of thehyperduck
4.02/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle picked up at the LCBO; served slightly chilled. As a huge Pumking fan, I have been looking forward to getting my grubby mitts on a bottle of this for nearly a year, now.

Pours an opaque, blackish-brown colour with some deep amber highlights. Seated atop is one finger of frothy, light tan-coloured foam that recedes steadily over the next few minutes or so. A thin, bubbly film and collar remain behind afterward, with little in the way of lace. Incredible aroma on this one - lots of gingerbread, graham cracker and pastry crust sweetness, with bready malts, molasses, pumpkin and accompanying spicy notes of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Me likey.

Certainly not bad - and fans of Pumking should be satisfied with this one, assuming they are looking for something similar. Molasses and buttery pie crust come through initially, followed by a slight hint of dark fruit and dark chocolate. The tail end of the profile is where the spices come out play - lots of gingerbread and nutmeg, with additional notes of vanilla, cinnamon and allspice. Finishes with a mixture of nutmeg/vanilla spice and sweet, gingerbread malt notes. For an imperial stout, the flavour profile is lacking in 'roasty' flavours. Medium-bodied, with moderate carbonation that gives this one a stronger bite/crisper mouthfeel than would be typical of a strong dessert beer. I could drink a bomber of this (and probably will over the next hour or so), but this isn't the sort of beer I'd want more than one glass of per night.

Final Grade: 4.02, a solid A-. Southern Tier's Warlock makes for a pretty tasty dessert beer, but I must admit that I'm a little disappointed - this is very Pumking-esque, but the 'stout' aspect of the beer is a little lacking. Any semblance of chocolate, coffee, roastiness or anything else you'd expect from an imperial stout is too subtle to come to the fore; simply buried underneath a dump truck load's-worth of pumpkin pie spice. This is not a bad beer, but it's not as good as Pumking and there is still plenty of room for improvement. Worth a shot I suppose, but big stout fans will be left wanting.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
4.27/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Warlock pours a black color with a small white head. There is a creamy aroma, with big hints of pumpkin, nutmeg, and chocolate; big pie flavors, crust and all. The taste is very creamy pumpkin pie flavors, slightly smokey, some chocolate flavors. Good flavors, nice body. Overall its a pumpkin ale with good pumpkin pie flavors, and a strong malty backbone with some chocolate.

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Photo of richj1970
3.65/5  rDev -7.8%

Poured from 22 oz bomber into snifter. Bottle dated 8/11/2014.

A: Pours a very dark brown with one finger light tan head that disappeared fairly quickly. Very little if any lacing.

S: Cinnamon, nutmeg, carrot cake, pumpkin, and molasses.

T: Pumpkin spices and molasses. Very similar to Pumpking in flavor profile despite being billed as a stout. Burnt sugar in the back. As it warmed, I'm getting more gingerbread coming through.

M: Fairly light body for a stout, and medium carbonation. Some residual sweetness and an unusual aftertaste.

O: I had high hopes for this one since pumpkin flavors and stouts are two of my favorite things, but it falls short. I'm prefer this one to Pumking, but would pass on buying another.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.07/5  rDev -22.5%
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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Photo of jsprain1
3.41/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A- The bottle claims it is black, but I disagree with that. It is a cola color with a huge, three finger tan head. It has big bubbles and falls down to a slick, leaving almost no lacing.
S- Pumpkin, malty sweetness, caramel, a bit of spice, but is primarily sweet.
T- It is sweet at first before giving way to the pumpkin pie flavors. The spice is actually more noticeable than the pumpkin. There is something almost steely in the finish that is mildly offputting. Hops are there, but stay subdued
M- Medium body, maybe a bit light for an Imperial Stout. Medium carbonation.
O- It is an interesting beer, but I just am not digging how the finish on this one is.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.24/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

As one would expect from Southern Tier, this is a big stout that works. Actually, it is a huge stout. For such a big brew, it is remarkably well balanced and the seasonal flavoring is not over powering. I will definitely buy this if I ever get another opportunity and I am looking for a big stout.

9/13/2014, I got this in a growler and it is tastier and less expensive. The after taste on this is to die for. It lingers forever with a lovely bitterness.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.25/5  rDev -17.9%

Bomber at 40 degrees into standard pint glass
Aroma of roasted malt and nutmeg
Head small (2 cm), light brown, creamy, diminishing to 2 mm ring and layer
Lacing poor – rare small island of tiny bubbles
Body very dark reddish brown, clear
Flavor begins with an odd spicey/burnt malt/earthy/bitterness which fades into a mildly spicey after taste. Stomach burn follows shortly.
Palate medium to full, creamy, soft carbonation

Appearance 3.5, Aroma 3.5, Flavor 3, Palate 3.5, Overall 3.375. Final weighted score: 3.25
A pumpkin ale containing pumpkin as well as “pumpkin spices” – better than many with only the spices. Looks good, smells good, feels good, could taste better.

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Photo of Franziskaner
4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark black in color with ruby red highlights when held up to light. A thin off white head of foam rests on top. I get a bit of pumpkin with lots of nutmeg and cinnamon with roasted barley in the aroma. I get intense bitterness of roasted barley, hops mingling with sweet pumpkin at the front of the palate. It fades into a sweetness filled with cinnamon, nutmeg, raisins, and fig. The aftertaste is roasted barley out dueling hops. This is a bit thicker and with plenty of flavor so it is meant for slow contemplation. This is truly a unique brew and if you like pumpkin beers, but want a twist this is worth trying. If you like subtlety with spices, this is not your brew.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Picked this up a few weeks back up in Totowa, having never had this before. I love most of Southern Tier's offerings and when I saw the list of hops and malts in this, I knew that I had to give it a go. Not a typical pumpkin beer, was less spicy and more full as it did indeed remind me of an American Double/Imperial Stout more than anything else!

The pour to this was indeed dark and mysterious as the beer had a thin appearance to it, a frothy head that quickly settled, and a bit of lacing that quickly slid down the side of my pint glass. Nice roasted aroma to this as the first impression of this was a strong blast of earthy hops. Vanilla and roasted chocolate were underneath that as the fullness of this beer became apparent in the back. The pumpkin puree and the hearty graham cracker-like pumpkin pie served as the base of this and really took this up to another level. I didn't think this would be so filling but it was and it even seemed like there was some sweetness in the midst of all of this, as if someone managed to stick some Cool Whip into the brew!

Strong and bold, this tasted the part but not quite as much as the 10.00% ABV would have lead me to believe. Lacking in the cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and other spices that tend to drag anything with pumpkin down, this almost reminded me of a Black IPA, since that's how hopped up and potent this was. A worthy addition to anyone's fall rotation and a beer that I can't wait to have on tap up at the Cloverleaf!

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.51/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

22oz bottle poured into a goblet, as per the suggestion on the bottle.

A: Pours a very deep brown, close to black. Light brown head settles fairly quickly. Sparse, spotty lacing.

S: Fleshy pumpkin, lots of cinnamon and brown sugar, vanilla, spices. Black cocoa powder and a soft sooty roasted malt aroma lie underneath. The nose is strikingly similar to Pumking, save for the roasted malts, and it explodes on the nose in much the same way.

T: Powerful pie spicing front and center. Lots of cinnamon. Brown sugar, clove, etc. Fleshy pumpkin. Good dose of sharp, oily hop bitterness. Roasted malt tastes play second fiddle to all the spicing. Sugar cookies with chocolate swirls. Burnt crust, slight hints of black coffee. Soot and char. Slight spike of alcohol is well hidden. Strong, spicy finish.

M: The body is moderately weighty, with a smooth creaminess. But still it feels like it's missing something. Carbonation is sharp and seltzery.

O: This beer is remarkably similar to Pumking, except for the dark malt base. Unfortunately it also suffers from the same shortcomings as Pumking. The sharp hop bitterness is out of place and the body leaves something to be desired. Spicing is far over the top. These issues make the drinkability suffer as a result. The nose is great, but the rest of the drinking experience falls a little short for me. This will still sell just as well as Pumking does though.

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Photo of bsp77
4.14/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Very lazy review. Smells and tastes like Pumking with some chocolate and light coffee. Tastes good. I'm happy. I would say I like it a little better than Pumking.

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Photo of ThickNStout
4.26/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle from Sprayberry Bottle Shop (Marietta, GA). 8.99. Botted 9/20/13. Served in a Southern Tier Pumpking goblet.

Pours deep chocolate brown with a finger and a half tan head. Head fades to a thin ring around the slightly translucent edges. Small neat spots of lace.

Strong pie spice aromas. Nutmeg, sugar, pumpkin and slight roast. Nice.

The roast is much more apparent in the taste. Still plenty of that familiar, tasty Pumpking spice with a nice chocolatey malt compliment. Cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin, brown sugar, vanilla, cocoa, roast, hints of bitter coffee and graham cracker. Enjoyable.

Medium heavy, fairly creamy body with an assertive carbonation. Aftertaste has lingering bitter cocoa and sweet pumpkin pie.

I like it. The roasty bitterness is a welcome addition to that familiar sweet imperial pumpkin base. Not the best stout I've had from Southern Tier but it's a few steps in the right direction for the Blackwater Series after Plum Noir. I'll be certain to enjoy this more while it's available.

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Photo of BB1313
4.48/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

** I originally reviewed this beer on 9/8/13, but it was apparently under their other stout which was named Warlock as well. So I just deleted that one and copied and pasted.

Bottled on 8/26/13. 22oz bottle poured into a tulip. Ok, so this is basically Pumking with some chocolate in the mix. Pours black with brown hues; khaki head that fades and leaves great retention and decent lacing. Smells like buttered popcorn with hints of milk chocolate and cocoa malts. Graham crackers in the mix as well. Hazelnut is there too. It has that classic Pumking aroma. Tastes like Pumking, but it's much roastier. The dark chocolates give this one a subtle bitterness. There are also hints of caramel and butterscotch, giving it a subtle sweetness. Perfect balance. Mouthfeel is full-bodied; creamy but not too thick; moderate carbonation. Alcohol goes unnoticed.

If you love Pumking, chances are that you will love this. If you don't like Pumking, then you might not like this. My only beef is that I wish there was more chocolate notes, but they're still there. It's almost too close to Pumking, but is that really a bad thing? I'd rather just grab a Pumking instead, but this is still an awesome beer. Extremely enjoyable brew. Great fall beer.

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Photo of babaracas
3.54/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

pours a clear dark brown with thin tan head. smell: pumpkin pie with whipped cream, full on pie just like pumpking. Not much else... taste: coffee, toasted brown bread, caramel, pie spices. bodyis lighter than expected. seems like a style variation that would work well, but this one is just ok.

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Photo of Omnium
3.86/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bomber > Pint Glass

A - Pours out a black brown color, with about a finger of khaki head, no real thick lacing, I was expecting a huge thick head and some nice lacing on this.
S - Aroma is similar to pumking, lots of pie crust, cinnamon, tons of vanilla, a touch of butterscotch, some other underlying earthy spices and tones, and then some roasted malt.
T - This is where this beer excells, sure it has a lot of traits pumking has but they are more balanced and changed by the rich complexity, there's those pumpkin pie flavors and spices sure, but a nice bready toast and nice roasted hazelnut and then you definitely get to pick out the hops, earthy, somewhat dark, and a tad spicy, adds just the right touch.
Round two: I found lots of clove in this other bottle, almost offensive.
M - Well carbonated, a little alcohol burn, but rich chewy feel.
O - This was much better than I expected, love the flavor, the smell is good, just rather generic, especially against pumking, but I love the complex flavors in the taste, I look forward to having this again, and around this time each year.

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Photo of Cylinsier
4.14/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4


Pours jet black with an off-white lacing for a head.

Aroma is of pumpkin pie, cinnamon, brown sugar, and nutmeg. Rich and spiced.

Flavor is of pumpkin pie, eggnog, smokey roasted coffee, and brown sugar. Again, rich.

Medium body with a sharp tingle of carbonation on the roof of the mouth. Slight warmth.

Really tasty rich stout, could stand to have a fuller body, but otherwise not much to complain about if you like rich dessert stouts. Well worth trying.

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Photo of hardy008
4.01/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark black with ruby highlights, and a one finger tan head, which has nice retention and lacing. The aroma has cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin, graham crackers, roasted malt, and chocolate. Smells very nice.

Tastes much like it smells with cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin, graham crackers, roasted malt, chocolate, and biscuit malt. Has a nice balance of sweetness and bitterness.

Has a lighter body than Pumking, or than most Imperial Stouts. Seems much more like a Porter, with a light to medium body, and average carbonation. Overall a nice beer. I just wish it wasn't as light bodied as it is.

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Photo of WynnO
5/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm sure my score will come down to earth but this is an outstanding beer. Aroma is off the charts, and the balance of a big malty base with many overtones of pumpkin and chocolate makes this the best new pumpkin entry I have had in a long time.

Naturally pumpkin recipes run the gamut, so this may not be to other's liking, but it's a home run for me.

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Photo of far333
2.76/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served in a crystal snifter. Black and opaque with a thick half inch head of oatmeal brown foam that lingers very long. Aroma of buttered sweet corn, vanilla, and nutmeg.

Faint flavor of dark malt makes itself known briefly at the outset, but is quickly overpowered by vegetal accents, vanilla, toffee, candy corn, and brown sugar. There is a weird sweetness and offputting spiciness here. Full mouthfeel, but a bit slick, and still manages to finish with a carbonation tingle.

Seems a bit gimmicky. Would like more imperial stout and less vanilla, spice, and sweetness. The combination didn't work as well as I had hoped. Could not get through the entire bottle.

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Photo of Phigg1102
3.35/5  rDev -15.4%

I was a bit disappointed that this didn't have much stout presence. It was a bit like a dark colored pumpkin beer, kind of watery at that. Flavor was good but tasted like a decent pumpkin beer and that was it. I definitely expected more, nowhere near as good as pumking.

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Photo of logicalparadox
3.09/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks pretty at first. White head atop a brew that could pass for cola.

Nose is pumpkin and spice. You'd be forgiven for thinking this was Pumking. Doesn't have any aromas that would suggest a stout.

Taste is sweet, upfront, followed by spice. Lots of pumpkn pie spices. Good, but fake tasting. Finish is long and quite sweet and with something strange. Not sure what it is, nor whether I like it.

Body is lighter than expected and lighter than should be for the style.

I'd try this again, but I'm disenchanted to know this has added flavors. Maybe that explains some more f the off character. Also a bit disillusioned about calling this an imperial stout.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Happy Halloween! Let’s have some pumpkin beer.

Bottled 09/17/2013, about a month and a half before the date of this tasting.

A: Pours lighter than expected, dark brown with a slight ruby tinge; above, a fizzy beige head hits a finger and a half at max before quickly dissipating to a dusting of retention. Slick lacing slides back into the body just as quickly as it appears.

S: As with Pumking, this nose is steeped in deeply satisfying pumpkin pie aromas, from authentic tones of freshly-roasted pumpkin to warm cinnamon-sugar, toasty pie crust, carrot cake, and creamy vanilla. Enchanting, though there are no stout-like roasts to be found.

T: A wicked autumn palate that’s focused on the bitter interplay between stout roasts and spice, as opposed to the vanilla malt-pumpkin exchange of its predecessor. The front of the palate is filled with a creamy pumpkin and brown sugar taste, with hints of dark chocolate. Bitters quickly take over, summoning a pronounced hop and pumpkin spice punch of herbal pine, black tea, campfire, ginger, and cardamom. This all-out spice character grips it to the end, climaxing in a sugary, slightly roasty, strikingly light aftertaste that reminds me of RC Cola – the more I taste it, the more I can’t get it out of my head.

M: My main point of contention with this beer is its thinness; there’s a slight wateriness to it that you couldn’t find in Pumking, and that’s likely due to the fizzy carbonation and the focus on bitterness. Drinkable, yes, but it needs a bit more body to truly sell me on the pumpkin pie character.

O: While this is a tasty beer, I can definitely say it doesn’t beat out Pumking; that’s not saying much, however, since I’m convinced Pumking is just about perfect as far as pumpkin beers go. What we have here is a spicy, bitter stout with a light body and some added pumpkin taste, and that’s fine by me – hell, it turned out to be one of the best pumpkin beers I’ve had all year. Let’s make this a seasonal, ST!

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Photo of Vonerichs
4.21/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark cola colored brown. The head is a quick burst of fizzy tan head then leaves nothing but a few patches of surface bubbles.

It smells like a thanksgiving dessert. Sweet pumpkin pie, nutmeg, marshmallow, coffee. It's a nostalgic smell of the holidays.

I'm a big fan of pumking so it's no surprise I love the flavor. Sweet pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice, nutmeg, roasted malt, chocolate. More sweet than spice.

Mouthfeel is a tad bit light but the carbonation is good. Sweet finish.

It's exactly what I expected for a cross of pumking and an imperial stout. Dessert in a glass.

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Photo of Greywulfken
3.99/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: dark translucent brown pour yielded a nearly opaque black body beneath two fat fingers of ivory head. Messy motes trailed behind.

S: roasted malt and vegetable matter, sweet charred molasses

T: sweet molasses and dark roasted malt mashed with sweet potato and pumpkin; some bitter and herbal hop notes

M: medium-bodied - not as dense as I'd expected, smooth, slightly sticky in the corners of the mouth, touch of coating on the tongue

O: a nice dark take on a pumpkin ale - I'm probably not that partial to pumpkin stouts, but this one's as approachable and enjoyable as any. I'm also probably not a big ST fan (as their very popular double stouts, Choklat, Crème Brulee, Jahva, and Mokah aren't much to my liking :eek: (I know, I know...); but I really enjoy getting a Pumking every year and really dug their Oak-Aged Unearthly). So I get people saying this beer is "unbalanced" or "too sweet" - and, I guess it is rather like Pumking made with dark malts. I found it drier than most seem to have, and rather porter-like, as opposed to the Imperial stouts mentioned above, and basically enjoyable. I would probably buy one a year just like I do with Pumking, but I wouldn't miss it like I would Pumking (if it weren't around).

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Warlock from Southern Tier Brewing Company
3.96 out of 5 based on 3,030 ratings.
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