Warlock | Southern Tier Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
88
very good
381 Reviews
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BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
381
Ratings:
2,946
Avg:
3.95
pDev:
38.48%
 
 
Wants:
129
Gots:
929
For Trade:
20
User Reviews
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Reviews: 381 | Ratings: 2,946
Photo of Stevedore
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Cooper's Tavern in Madison, WI. Poured into a tulip glass 10/26/2014.

A- Dark brown body, nearly black. One finger offwhite head with great retention time. No lacing at all, as expected. [3.75]

S- Pumpkin spices, milk chocolate, a little bit of roast. But even when it warms up, it is all cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice. It smells like a big slice of pumpkin pie mixed in with a small slice of chocolate cake. Smells delicious and nicely balanced. [4.25]

F- Drinks like sweet pumpkin pie up front, finishes a slightly fudgy bitter dark chocolate, which is a nice balance. Surprisingly delicious, nicely complex with the spices, milk chocolate sweetness, roast character and dark chocolate bitterness. It's not a mess or anything like that despite the overall sweetness. [4]

M- Medium bodied, on the thinner side, lower in carbonation but still drinks smoothly. Not bitter or resinous at all; the finish is a nice slightly bitter dark chocolate mixed in with all the pumpkin spices. Nicely balanced, more so than Pumking. [4]

O- This surprised me and surpassed all expectations. This is a very tasty pumpkin-inspired imperial stout and would recommend it to any pumpkin beer lover. [4]

Final score: 4.04

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Photo of drpimento
3.27/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I dunno. To me this beer is mis-labeled. Instead of Imperial Stout with Pumpkins & Natural Flavor, it should be the other way around; Imperial Pumpkin Beer with Natural Flavor brewed with Strong Stout. The spicy pumpkin totally dominates the stout. Poured this at a good temperature with a smallish light tan, creamy head that quickly settled and a little lace. Color is a very dark, clear garnet brown with a few bubble trails. Aroma is full on spicy pumpkin, with some chocolate chip cookie in the background. Flavor's like nose; the stout is barely discernible, mostly sweet with a hint of bitter and tang. Body reflects the dominate sweetness which slightly clashes with the bitter leaving some high points that aren't entirely pleasant. Finish is like flavor, slight medicine in the aftertaste and longish. My rating for would have been much higher but for the difference in label and experience. It's really a tasty dessert beer. But even in the good chocolate stouts, the stout is the strong backbone.

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Photo of cbutova
3.01/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Last night on-tap at The Foundry, Northampton, MA. Missed this one last year.

A- Pitch black stout poured from the tap to a chalice. A tan cap up to over one finger with a puffy, foamy thick texture. Fairly good retention falling to a medium ring. Lacing consists of sheets and spots.

S- For me this is very hard to tell apart from Pumking. Massive pumpkin spice dominates the aroma with nutmeg, vanilla, ginger, cinnamon and sweet pumpkin flesh coming to mind. Roast is somehow very far in the backdrop to this.

T- Pretty much follows the aroma with a beastly presence of pumpkin pie spice flavor. Ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla sweetness, vegetable pumpkin flesh and caramel. Just a hint of roast for me.

MF- Thick bodied with a frothy, creamy texture. Carbonation at a medium level with a slightly warming finish while pumpkin pie spice lingers for a long time.

Even though this is black as the night it somehow doesn't deliver a lot of roasty, stout like flavors for me. The pumpkin pie spice dominates it entirely and I find it feels just like Pumking. Less spice and more roast would make this a good to great beer.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.84/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a snifter

Appearance – The beer pours a deep brown nearly black color with a small one finger cream colored head. The head fades very fast, leaving only the tracest level of lace on the sides of the glass and almost no foam on the top of the brew.

Smell – The aroma is of a deep roasted pumpkin aroma with lots of dark roasted malts. The dark malts give aromas of chocolate and a little bit of toast. Along with these smells are some aromas of a caramel and molasses sweetness as well as some big of spice of nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice. Overall it is the pumking with added darker malt aromas.

Taste – The taste begins with a roasted pumpkin and spice flavor of nutmeg and cinnamon. Right from the start there are flavors of a toast nature with some sweet flavors of caramel and molasses. As the taste moves on it dries out some with the sweeter flavors dwindling. As these flavors dwindle a chocolate flavor comes to the tongue. The chocolate gets more bitter as the taste moves on with more roasted flavors, some char and more spice joining the rest. In the end, a dark, roasted, and spiced pumpkin flavor is left on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is medium in terms of its thickness with a carbonation level that is on the slightly below average side. Both are fairly appropriate for the darker flavors of the brew, although even more thickness may have really helped the overall roasted and pumpkin tastes of the brew slightly more.

Overall – A rather nice take of a dark pumpkin beer, with a decent blend of pumpkin and stout tastes. It’s good, but not quite as enjoyable as the original pumking as it lacks some balance with the roasted flavors never really melding well with the spiced pumpkin.

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Photo of champ103
2.57/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Dark brown, nearly black color. A two finger bubbly beige head rises, then recedes after a minute to nothing. Not much lace.
S: Sugary, burnt toast, light roast. Then some buttery malts and pumpkin spices. Like cinnamon, and allspice. A mess.
T: Like the nose, just a complete mess. Granulated sugar, and cloyingly sweet. Which is expected for their stouts. Burnt toast and light roast. Buttery, almost diacetyl flavors, pie crust, and spices. Again, cinnamon and allspice in the finish. Actually the allspice takes over after a while and lingers on forever.
M/D: A medium body and moderate carbonation. I am surprised at how watery and thin this is compared to other stouts they make. Way to sweet, and just messy. Hard to drink more than a few ounces.

I have never enjoyed Pumking, and this is not much better. A sickly sweet, allspice bomb that is not enjoyable for me to drink. Enough said.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
2.44/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter.
8.6% ABV, Snifter shown with 42°F, DOB 08/26/13, "Pair with: Spicy BBQ, roasted / smoked foots, carrot cake. Store: Dark, upright, <48°F Serve: Goblet

Thanks, Todd?

A - Clarity shows through the pour but the beer itself is a dark brown that turns black in the glass and is capped by an ivory head that lowers somewhat quickly to a pile of loose bubbles and dots of lace.

S - Warlock smells like Pumking and next to nothing more; cooked, sticky white rice, pureed pumpkin, and a dash of real spice sprinkled over faint suggestions of dark malt. Warlock is wholly artificial in nature, nothing about it appealing to me.

T - The malty flavor is a nice departure from the aroma, really coming into it's own instead of being a dark Pumking clone. Roasted malt waves it's wand of acridly bitter cocoa and hints of coffee as Warlock finishes out with more of the artificial flavoring; pumpkin and spice that feel all too fake.

M - Medium-light bodied, Warlock is a thin-feeling imperial stout with plenty of carbonation trailing off with the dry, acridly bitter finish of roasted malt and artificial flavor.

O - Once upon a time I couldn't get enough of Pumking, so much so in fact that I held a case of the next year's release at a local liquor store, only to get it and wonder why I wasted my money. Had the recipe changed or was it just my palate? A debate for another day but I digress. Now I find myself unable to stand Pumking's massive, inescapable artificial nature that haunts me with every whiff and I find Warlock to be exactly the same. The aroma is fake, fake, fake. Not only is it fake, but it doesn't even smell right; it smells like a cheap dollar store candle. An exact replicate of Pumking in aroma, Warlock is displeasing and while the flavor is a step up, it's not fantastic either. Big roasted malt but the body doesn't follow suit making it a thin-tasting, thin-feeling imperial stout that's not worth the calories it contains.

Beerwolf77 and I are avid pumpkin beer (and general pumpkin) fanatics so the first of our two outrageously large pumpkin beer tastings this year required Warlock's inclusion. Upon taking our first sip, we simultaneously looked at each other with disgust and went to the sink with our glasses and bottle. Unfortunately for Todd, he purchased two bottles at the same time giving me the pleasure of revisiting it for this review. In closing, I hate to just shit all over a beer, especially when my reviews are generally higher than the average so, I'll make it clear I like Southern Tier. They make some fantastic beers but, Warlock is not one of them.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.16/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

In a goblet, this beer was a very dark brown, near black color. There was a minuscule to non-existant tan head.

Sweet chocolate aroma. Some pumpkin. Very subtle spice.

Taste followed form. Milk chocolate and pumpkin. A little allspice.

This was a smooth, not overly spiced beer. I thought the combination of stout and pumpkin went very well, with enough spice, but not too much spice.

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Photo of papat444
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 650ml bottle, bottled 9-17-13.

Pours a dark amber that is actually totally opaque, a light ecru head that is quite voluminous forms atop; great retention. Aroma is amazing! Pure dessert. Fleshy, creamy pumpkin pie abounds with notes of maple fudge and chocolate. Flavor is more spice oriented with some cinnamon thrown in there but there's still a good mix of chocolate and pumpkin with some slight coffee flavor. Very creamy and low carbonation. A winner in my book!

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Photo of Suds
4.17/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer is black, but with scarlet shades when held to a light. It is topped with a thick cream-colored foam. The smell is of ripe pumpkin...mixed with bread-pudding and dark chocolate. You can almost smell the sweetness. There is spice as well. The dark stout flavor reveals itself in the taste...rostedness is underneath the sweetness, and there is a solid hop bitterness as well. Thick and intense. This is a substantial beer.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.87/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Clear brown when pouring, black in the glass, one finger off white head that doesn't really last.

S-Lots and lots of spices. Good deal of pumpkin as well. Not much in the way of the stout notes though.

T-Starts with lots of sweet spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and the like. Then a nice bit of pumpkin. Still lacking in the stout department though. Might be a tad too sweet.

M-Lighter to medium in body, not much carbonation, rather sweet.

O-Needs more stout flavors and tone down the sweetness.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.62/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Tipples. Pours a dark brown with creamy off white head. Aroma is big nutmeg, cinnamon, roast, some nutty aroma. Pretty much smells like Pumking. Flavor is heavy spice with the nutmeg and cinnamon, but really nicely finished with a creamy sweet whipped cream pumpkin flavor. Creamy medium-heavy mouthfeel with medium highish carbonation. Lingering vanilla cream and nutmeg on the palate. I love the creamy mouthfeel and whipped cream flavor going on, but the nutmeg just cuts through this way too hard. I have the same issue with Pumking--who wants to drink liquid nutmeg? I don't get it.

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Photo of Brenden
4.17/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Warlock is as dark, big, thick and heavy-looking a stout as I expect from S.T. and the Blackwater series. If it's not black, it's awfully close, and it grows an almost medium brown head to a full finger in height, where it settles convincingly. Patchy lacing clings to the walls of the glass in good quantity.
This beer smells surprisingly similar to Pumking. While obviously a stout, it really doesn't deviate much from the exact smell of the much differently styled beer. All the pumpkin spices, crust, lightly buttery notes, soft sweetness, etc. are here.
The stout character actually seems to give way to the pumpkin essence, though of course not entirely. There's a bit of roast, some cocoa notes, and a little coffee-like presence. Ultimately, though, as much as in the aroma the flavor showcases the spiciness, both kitchen and sweet, of primarily nutmeg and cinnamon as well as buttery crust. It all melds in such a way, though, that neither is as much of a presence as it might be otherwise.
The big body is here, and it's robust. It's got just a little carbonation, right for a big beer, and a solid smoothness.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.62/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Brief write-up. Leave it to Southern Tier to make a beer that smells exactly like a fantastic dessert - in this case, pumpkin pie. On the other hand, the initial taste seems too spiced (as is the case with many pumpkin ales, I find). But after a few sips, it starts tasting less overspiced and more like...well, pumpkin pie. I'd reckon this is about 15% imperial stout, 85% pumpkin ale. All in all, a nice beer - still, I wish it tasted and felt as good as it smelled.

3.56/5: Smells awesome, tastes just pretty good...still, better than a lot of pumpkin ales out there.

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Photo of Karibourgeois
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

Black pour with a small beige head that dissipates quickly. Aroma is light pumpkin and nutmeg. Flavor is sweet with a pumpkin pie like taste upfront that has elements of pumpkin, nutmeg, vanilla, brown sugar and a really nice pie crust flavor. Medium to full body also has a distinct bitter flavor of roasted malt and burnt chocolate. Finishes with an almost candy like pumpkin flavor that is balanced by a hint of the bitter roasted malt.

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Photo of Dope
3.87/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

DOB is 9/17/13, only about 4 weeks old.

A: Pours almost-black with a tall and frothy light brown head. Head fades slowly with decent retention. Zero lacing.

S: Whoa, huge pumpkin and pumpkin spice aroma. Nutmeg and cinnamon and allspice I'd say.

T: Lots more pumpkin and mainly the spices as mentioned in the aroma. There is a sweet roasted malt character here now that helps back it up. Some sweet, sugary chocolate primarily. Kinda has a buttery flavor throughout that is odd, not sure if that's intended. Honestly it basically tastes like pumking mixed with a stout, which is probably exactly what it is.

M: Medium bodied and spicy.

O: One hell of a spicy pumpkin stout. A bit unbalanced, it's like a mix of pumking and choklat but they used 80% pumking by accident. Super, super heavy pumpkin pie spices. Even get a bit of creaminess like whipped cream I swear. Pretty good.

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Photo of Gmann
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pitch black color with a short dense toasted khaki colored head that settled into a solid ring. Some spotty lacing on the glass.

The aroma is bold and dessert like. Big graham cracker pie crust aroma. Pecan and
brown sugar. Not much in the way of pumpkin aromas.

The base stout has a solid roast note, slight burnt toast and anise. This is the blown away by the big dessert flavors. Again big graham cracker pie crust flavor. Slightly nutty with caramel sweetness. Light spice but I wouldn't be able to guess any pumpkin spice. Tastes more like a winter warmer.

Big body with a chewy feel and soft carbonation. Sweet on the palate but has an offsetting roasted bitterness. Good balance. Slightly sticky in the finish.

Good dessert stout but seems to be missing the pumpkin. Seems all graham cracker to me.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

3.25 A: Black color. Just about one finger of frothy beige head that falls pretty quickly and leaves no lacing.

4.5 S: Nose got it right. Perfect mix of actual pumpkin, pumpkin spices, and dark, chocolate notes. Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, but I can't pick up much clove. Chocolate and caramel richness, roasted malts, and molasses. Really nice.

3.75 T: Taste is good, but falls short of the nose. There isn't as much maltiness or sweetness as I would have expected. It might even fall on the side of bitter with the roastiness still showing viability. There's some chocolate, caramel, and molasses, but not enough. Again, the real pumpkin flavor is always welcome and tastes great along with the spices mentioned in the nose.

3.5 M: Heavier medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Could use a bit more creaminess, but good enough here.

4.0 D: I love pumpkin beers, but there are so few really tasty ones out there. Fortunately, this is one of them. Wish I had some Pumking to chase this with.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.69/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

9/24....pours dark black, full light block, but little foam. Sits still and quiet. Rich fruity forward nose, raisins, coffee, chocolate, licorice. Very faint pumpkin too. Astringent taste, all over the place. Really boozy. Interesting, but not quite sure.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.26/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice glass. Date of bottling is 09/17/13.

Appearance: Pours a dark black color with a slight hint of brown. Moderate amount of bubbles and about one finger of tan head that fades into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a decent amount of lacing on the glass.

Smell: A sweet and roasty dark malt driven aroma with big hints of chocolate, spices, and pumpkin. Dark roasted barley malts with big hints of dark chocolate, coffee beans, cream, caramel, toffee, burnt toast, biscuit, nuts, and yeast. Big scent of spices with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and clove. Noticeable scent of pumpkin. Sweet syrupy hints of molasses and brown sugar. An interesting and pretty good aroma.

Taste: Like the nose, a sweet and roasty stout taste with big notes of chocolate roast, fall spices, and pumpkin. Dark roasted barley malts with a big taste of dark chocolate, coffee beans, cream, burnt toast, sweet caramel, toffee, biscuit, yeast, nuts, and a little smoke. A mix of fall spices with notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and clove. Good taste of pumpkin comes through. Sweet notes of molasses, brown sugar, and syrup. Hops are pretty subtle. A very good taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, spicy, and fairly syrupy. Alcohol heat is masked fairly well.

Overall: A very good twist on a Imperial Stout. The pumpkin and spices mix well with the roasty malt notes. Sweet but not overwhelming.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle, with bottled on date 09/17/2013, so this beer is less than a month old, and about as fresh as I could possibly ask for. Expectations are decently high; Southern Tier brews some tasty beers, and Southern Tier Pumking was a decent pumpkin brew.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter glass.

A - Pours a dark cola brown colored body; black in the glass with some ruby highlights when held to the light. One finger of bubbly doughy tan head that thins quickly to a ring. Looks alright.

S - Smells pretty much exactly how Southern Tier Pumking smelled to me, with an intense pervasive buttered popcorn aroma, and that's about it. Not really pulling any chocolate, coffee, or malt roast out of this thing like I had hoped for. Corny, grainy, and some vegetal aromas from the pumpkin. Doesn't smell bad or anything, but it is extremely one dimensional.

T - Crisp cola, herbal spice rack notes, corn, grains, gourd, hint of vanilla, hint of the chocolate malt, and some roasted barley malt on the end. Again, not really pulling out any coffee flavor and not much chocolate going on at all. I suppose the taste is a step forward from the strange popcorn aroma, but not by much.

M - Feel is smooth and creamy, but somewhat thin, with some sugary stick lingering on the palate, and medium-full bodied carbonation.

Overall, I am glad to have gotten to try this beer, but it is not something I would want to try again. If I wanted to drink Southern Tier Pumking, I would have bought that instead. Doesn't bring anything particularly new or interesting to the table, and I ended up walking away slightly disappointed. High 8.60% abv is well-hidden and not noticeable; I will have no trouble finishing this bomber, but I wouldn't recommend it more than once.

Southern Tier Warlock ---3.5/5

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Photo of MDDMD
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-dark brown color with a nice tan head and a little lacing

S-pumpkin, spices, roasted malt, caramel,chocolate

T- dark roasted malt, pumpkin, chocolate, nutmeg, allspice, caramel, mild bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth

O-interesting flavors, nice change of pace stout, good pumpkin flavor and not too sweet

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Photo of KYGunner
4.04/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

As black as this would appear at its core you can see the deep brown hues around the edges. The head was thick, built on a layer of loose bubbling and the lacing was neatly thick.

The aroma is very complex with pumpkin bread like maltiness, pumpkin spices, clove, nutmeg, smoky char and a creamy marshmallow.

The flavor is big on pumpkin, both gourd and spice, with a dry malty Graham cracker and some chocolate malt. There's a spicy kick that finishes with smoke and char but it ultimately ends ever so slightly boozy.

The boozy taste holds a tinny metallic feel, though it's just a small knock on an overall well constructed ale.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.02/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle
Served in a snifter.

A - This is a very dark beer. I get no light coming through when held to a light. There was a brief mocha head.

S - It smells exactly like Pumking. It smells like pumpkin bread. There are lots of wonderful smells.

T - It tastes exactly like Pumking, if you added a little roasted malt.

M - Pretty thin for an imperial stout.

O - They should just call this Pumpking dark or some variation of that. That's really all it is. I was disappointed with the mouthfeel. I think more chocolate would make this better and more like the dessert beers that the Black Water Series is known. I like this beer, but it needs to differentiate from Pumking more.

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Photo of Boto
3.45/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber: This one pours a clear, very dark brown color. There was a thin tan head that didn’t linger long or leave any lacing. Definitely pumpkin to the nose. Also a sweetness to the pumpkin. Perhaps some cinnamon. The taste is good, but there is a slick sweetness that isn’t necessarily appealing. Cinnamon, chocolate, pumpkin flavors are predominate. Like the Pumpking, the sweetness turns me off. I won’t be having another.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle a dark purplish-black with one finger of tan head. No lacing with this one.

Aroma of pumpkin pie spice, clove, and cinnamon.

The first thing I noted was a combination of pumpkin pie spice and sharp medicinal flavors. Finished with warmth from both the cinnamon and the 8.6% abv.

Medium bodied with average carbonation.

The medicinal notes kept me from enjoying it more.

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Warlock from Southern Tier Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 381 ratings.
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