XXX Warlock Double Imperial Stout | Bristol Brewing Company

very good
69 Reviews
no score
Send samples
XXX Warlock Double Imperial StoutXXX Warlock Double Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Bristol Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 18.40%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-28-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next → last
Reviews: 69 | Ratings: 82
Photo of nlmartin
4.49/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to dhchatfield for sending a pair of these beers my way. This beer will start off being on the cold side. I will allow the beer to warm to room temperature while drinking.

Appearance: This beer was nowhere near as dark as I expected. The beer has an initial dark mahogony coloration. This is complemented by a nearly scarlet opaqueness to light. The head was a very short lived off white colortion. No lacing remains behind on my glass.

Smell: The aroma of this beer is excellent. This is one very concentrated malt bomb. The smell is a combination of vanilla, bourbon alcohol, molasses, nuts, figs and prunes, anise, cherries, a whiff of chocolate. It continues to get better as it warms up.

Taste: The flavor is a spicey alcoholic melange of the aroma. A very pleasing malty alcoholic bomb has been dropped on me. The label says 80 ibu. The hops play a very small role in this beer. The only thing really balancing this is the spicey alcohol.

Mouthfeel: I am torn on the mouthfeel score. The body of the beer is a lot thinner than I expected. The beer is on the plus side of medium bodied. The carbonation is low but not a problem. Some may find the alcohol a bit hot. I think this adds a very pleasing bourbon tone to the beer. I think I would have liked a bit thicker bodied beer.

Drinkability: This beer is a self regulating sipper. Further it would be foolish and wasteful to drink this beer fast. This is a beer to linger over and drink over time. This is a really good strong double stout. Further more this beer pushes the bounds of what beer can be.

 1,587 characters

Photo of Andbrew
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Glad to finally get this one and thanks to the ever reliable Coaltrain for providing it for me. 2006 bottling date.

Deathly black syrupy pour with no head; characteristic of the high ABV beers of course.

Smells of fine brandy and roasted wood with an almost barbecue quality. Esters burn the nose lining and give a distinct strong alcohol presence.

Overwhelming alcohol presence at very first taste with tongue coating consistency. Taste is a big mix for me of resiny roasted wood and a very distinct Worcestershire sauce taste. Thick on the palate and goes down like cream. Strong aftertaste only slightly bitter and drying.

Another strong one that is one of those that is rarely drunk. A certain experience for the palate as I had never tasted as strong of barbecue flavors in a non-whimsical beer, for sure pair with a chili or brisket but only with a strong creamy dessert. This one is for a nightcap otherwise

 929 characters

Photo of Jredner
3.84/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The body is ruddy brown and while the brown dominates this is much more crimson looking than you’d expect from an Imperial Stout. The head is fizzy, bubbly and fading. It’s tan colored and thin. It doesn’t look all that Imperial. The aroma features walnuts, cherry syrup, chocolate and baklava. Fairly hot and heady in the fore which gives way to a slightly oxidized, malty barley wine like flavor. Mutes cocoa, chocolate nuts and cherry liqueur flavors make a play as well. It’s kind of semi-sweet in the finish before a blast of hot alcohol takes over and defines the aftertaste. This is different and I like it, but it isn’t really a style defining beer despite its massive alcohol content. That being said I’d be happy to have more to see where this goes over the years.

 780 characters

Photo of jjayjaye
4.44/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, brewed on 9/25/03 and bottled on 6/9/06.
Pours a clear dark brown color with an explosively effervescent dark tan head that fades quickly. This head is audible, much like a soft drink. There is no lacing present.

The smell is wonderful. Immediate and aggressively molasses and licorice followed by traces of dark fruit, chocolate and coffee. The label says that it's made with maple syrup and i believe it.

The mouth feel is medium heavy, almost syrupy. In fact, I find that the flavor coats my tongue like a syrup would. The other significant characteristic of the mouth is the alcohol.

The flavor is really nice. Very sweet molasses and licorice with caramel and mocha notes that linger nicely.

Drinkability - I'm liking this a lot. I find the complexity very intriguing and i applaud the imagination factor. I'm inclined to doc it some because of the huge liquor-like presence. I would doc it more but i'm partial to the flavor of this one.
- - -
Aug 29, 2009 - This one had 2 years on the shelf. The 18.4% ABV has softened and the licorice character has intensified. I'm bumping the drinkability and leaving the appearance alone. Highly recommended.

 1,172 characters

Photo of mentor
4.54/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well, I broke down and decided I had to try this one again. I cherish the few bottles I possess and loathe to open any of them. Curious to try this again, considering the mixed reviews that have been posted on this website. Split the bottle with my wife.

Pours a half finger fizzy soda pop head that quickly settles to nothing. Very dark mahogheny liquid with dark brown edgings when held to light. Smells rich luscious. Nut, maple, potently of dark fruits (fig and prune), bit of chocolate, toffee, and clean alcohol. Wowzers. This is incredible. Buttery, which I think is more from caramel than from diacetyl. Port wine character or maybe cognac.

Tastes stunning. Scorched toffee, chocolate, and rich thick caramel. Clean alcohol, maple, and fruity esters lighten the whole experience (cherry, fig, prune). A little bit tart and astringent in the finish. Very warming in the belly. This is a delicious liquor, not a beer. Medium body comes across as light because the alcohol wipes the palette clean. Sweet scorch caramel lingers in the aftertaste. Mild carbonation, despite the strong hiss when the bottle was opened. Whoa, look at the legs in the inside of the glass.

That's it. I'm going to make a homebrew like this. It must be done. A technical challenge of monumental proportions that I'm eager to face.

 1,320 characters

Photo of hoppymeal
4.64/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark cola brown to black in color with a small and fairly effervescent light tan head that quickly fades. Wow, very rich and sweet aroma. Reminds me more of a barleywine in many ways. Some sweet grapey rich maltiness, black licorice, a hint of roasted malts with some big bourbony booziness that leads into a salty soy aroma. Rich grapey and grainy sweet maltiness hits first in the taste, followed by a slow crescendo of hoppiness, slightly piney, big warmth of alcohol and a small amount of roasted malts and chocolate in the dry finish. Mouthfeel is not overly heavy or cloying for its sweetness, in part I believe because of the honey and possibly the syrup that is used. I love a well made subtle beer, but this beer is incredibly large and amazingly good for its size. Very unique, more like a barleywine with a few imp stout characteristics. An absolute treat, I will definitely seek out what is left of this one. Thank you Nick for the opportunity.

 964 characters

Photo of Beaver13
2/5  rDev -47.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

12 oz bottle, brewed on 9/25/03 and bottled on 6/9/06. Pours a dark brown with a small fizzy tan head that quickly disappears.

The aroma is very rich - chocolate, sweet dark fruit, cherries, honey, and a touch of alcohol that increases as it sits.

The flavor is heavily sugary sweet and fruity (plums and raisins and cherries) with a little chocolate. There is a fairly harsh alcohol finish that is slightly bitter. The mouthfeel is is full and syrupy with low carbonation and an alcohol burn.

Overall, an interesting and complex beer, but too over the top for me - I couldn't finish the bottle. It's too sweet and alcoholic for me - too much like a liquor which I dislike. And at $11 for a 12 oz bottle, it's pretty pricey.

 734 characters

Photo of Bitterbill
4.49/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from 12 oz foil wrapped bottle a very dark brown with reddish hues and a small head of foam that disappeared almost immediately.

The smell is wow. Huge notes of cocoa, dark fruit, vanilla, molasses, brandy, caramel, fig...

The taste on first sip is loaded with dark fruit like plum, raisin, fig, black cherry and then... there's the vanilla floating around in the background along with some toffee and maple syrup. Wow. This brew really demands your attention but at the same time says, take your time lest evil befall you... And that's no problem for me because as complex and as tasty as it is, there's *no* denying the prowess it has in the abv department. Damn, I wish it was about 20 below out...just kidding. ;^) I *will* say that I'm not getting an alcohol "burn" but hey, I'm taking very VERY small sips.

Well, I'm going to finish the review before I finish the brew and that's quite unusual for me but, I have to say, of the really huge brews in the +15%abv range that I've tried, this one is the most "drinkable". Well done Bristol Brewing!!

 1,061 characters

Photo of ColoradoBobs
3.36/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A gift from my son, 12 ounce bottle at somewhere around $10 from Wilbur's Total Bev in Ft. Collins, CO.

Pour is dark opaque brown-black-green (!) under a minimal tan-green (!) head that quickly disappears. Nothing special to look at.

Smell is lovely chocolate liquer-like maltiness. Mmm. This is a nose-massage to be sure. Figs, prunes, coffee, cherry brandy, dark and warm date-nut bread.

After all those aromas, the taste was a bit of a let-down: chocolate and oak-barrel bourbon, with little bit of cherry, but no hops bittering at all to balance the intense booziness. This reminds me of some kind of not-very-high-grade chocolate schnapps.

Mouthfeel is not nearly as thick and syrupy as I would expect from a beer this high in ABV.

Drinkability is low: there's just not enough going on here to warrant the 19% and the $10 for 12 ounces.

A massive beer to be sure, but pretty unbalanced and even a bit thin. Nice try, Bristol, but not my fave.

 955 characters

Photo of biegaman
4.55/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A gastly snow storm hit and this seems only appropriate. Brewed 9/25/03 and bottled 6/9/06 and finally poured into my glass 3/1/07. 18.4% listed abv. HUGE thanks Harry for sharing!
Pours near opaque black, underlying purply highlights. Head wouldn't last very long, two third of the bubbles would part to the sides leaving only a small patch in the middle. One sniff sent me flying! Lots of roast malt, some chocolatey notes, anise, light coffee, oak, dark fruits, and substancially way more alcohol than all those things combined. The smell is stronger than the sum of its parts combined. An actually fairly (considering 19% frickin percent!) smooth mouthfeel. The maple syropy does well to compliment the body, which is sticky, and sweet, and cloying already considering the strong makeup. The maple syrop and honey were both cleverly designed to cover the strength... and they do so quite well. Flavours of chocolate, prunes, brandy or port, with aftertaste of maple. Most impressive you can still taste the malts! Holds it together quite well.
This could cure a cold! I could gladly sip this all night long because, rightfully so, it would take me all night long to finish. But very impressive. This is instant relaxation...very nice...

 1,244 characters

Photo of neonbrown82
4.64/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very complex and exceptional beer. Thanks to badbeer for the trade. This is one of the best beers I've had in quite some time, and definitely the strongest beer that I actually enjoyed.

The beer pours to a nice dark brown color with a ruby hue to the light. I expected it to be much darker, but this is just barely a few shades too dark to see through. Little to no head to speak of, but a huge head isn't to be expected of such a high alcohol beer. Subsequently no lacing. Carbonation is not apparent either. Has a glossy, oil slick surface when the light shines down on the surface of the liquid.

The smell is very complex. Smells like a brandy. The overwhelming aromas are cocoa, vanilla, real maple syrup, and dark berries and grapes. Burns the nostrils with alcohol fumes, though it is very smoothed out. Also a bit of caramel and toffee.

The flavor is even more complex. Quite sweet, but not nearly as cloying and unpleasant as any other intensely high ABV beer I've tried. Has the same strong notes of cocoa, vanilla, and a nice vinous dark berry flavor. Also has notes of coffee, caramel, toffee, honey, molasses, and real maple syrup. Once again, reminds me of a fine brandy. Has a nice gentle coffee roast, and while it may not be roasty enough to balance out the sweetness, it creates a very interesting blend, showing off the chocolatey side of roasted malts that is typically not seen in a stout. Intensely smooth for such a strong beer, as the alcohol is barely detectable. Has a nice cocoa finish, but the aftertaste actually drops out fairly quickly. The beer burps taste just as wonderful.

The body is thick and syrupy. The carbonation is very subtle. Nice alcohol burn with little of the ethanol flavor. It is a sipper for sure, though it is just as easy to take a large drink of despite the high ABV. Even so, it is best to savor in small sips, extending the life of this coveted and pricey brew.

 1,937 characters

Photo of cheers2beers
3.54/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Recieved this from Dauss, Thanks again bro.

Served into a wine snifter.

Appearance: This beer pours a solid black hue, and the tanned head rose up only high enough to give me a cover over the liquid and quickly died down to a thin ring around my glass. As I swirl this around my snifter it leaves behind an almost topaz stain. No lace with this offering.

Smell: The aromas are very aromatic and complex. Strong vapors of alcohol with a pleasant amount of chocolate can be detected right off. Burnt dark fruits, predominately prune and figs. Coffee notes are subtle. I am also getting a slight mesquite wood and some cooking ingredients such as worcestershire and soy sauce. Overall, this is very pleaseing to the nose.

Taste: Wuff! This hits light a friggin freight train, with its alcoholic punch! The flavors are very much like the nose. Chocolates are running throughout, along with a bourbon vanilla note. The coffee is still subtle. The mesquite wood, worcestershire and soy are way to strong for my taste buds. This would be ideal for marinading steak. I am really torn on the taste, its good and almost offensive at the same time. I would like to try to obtain another bottle strictly for cooking.

Mouthfeel: Thick bodied with a high amount of carbonation, thou I believe that may be due to high alcoholic vapors coming back up. Slick, oily, chewy, viscious, meaty, HUGE THICK MOUTHFEEL. This beer sends a warming sensation from my mouth to my stomach. Not bad in this department.

Drinkability: Obviously, due to the extremely high abv. I dont think I would want to put more than a 12oz. bottle away per night. This would be a great canidate for long term ageing and cooking, but as for me I don't see myself craving this anytime soon. Just to big for me to fully enjoy. I'm glad I got to try this and If you not had the oppurtunity yet, I would say it was worth a try.


 1,914 characters

Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

thanks to babydoc for this bottle (btw an amazing trader)

A - this "double imperial stout" (does that make it a quadruple stout) pours impenetrably black (surprise) with at hin fizzy creamed coffee colored short lived head, at the end of my glass i noticed a scant few flakes of sediment

S - i could smell the sweetness with the first leak from the bottlecap opening, a dark sweetness, like raisins and an amalgams of other dark molasses type fruits, a strong alcohol component as well, to me it smells like Sam Adams Triple Bock MINUS the soy sauce, which is a huge improvement

T - wow, sweet, you can really discern the honey and maple syrup mentioned on the bottle, you cant really discern them in the nose, but you can in the palate, near the end of the taste the alcohol takes over, however throughout is a steady and sturdy roasted malt backbone, a quality complex brew, a great stout

M&D - smooth especially at first, with a warming complex aroma and flavor. it really warms all the way down, although with 18.4%, what wold you expect, though the flavor would come out more if the alcohol was more like 14 or 15%, but its still damn good, worthy of moving to Colorado

 1,186 characters

Photo of ArrogantB
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I shared a 12 oz bottle with a friend. This stout was black but not as dark as most. The smell was nice and inviting. The mouthfeel was prickly from the carbonation and alcohol. It felt weird. The taste was strange as it began stout-like and then I tasted the molasses and the honey. The drinkability is not high given the ABV. I'm glad I got to try this one but compared to the 2003 WWS I also had that night it fell short.

 424 characters

Photo of belgbeerdrinker
3.2/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

a: solid black, doesn't even feign at developing head, no lacing but leaves wide "legs" like a wine
s: toffee, toffee & more toffee
t: toffee, coffee, chocolate & some hard liquor (brandy-like) flavors
m: similar to a port, thick body (true to the label's assertion they use syrup), carbonation makes appearance on back-end along with the liquor-level alcohol kick/burn.
d: first few drinks had me thinking this would be a smooth strong stout, but that only lasted 2 drinks--not surprising given the abv. those first few drinks will last me a lifetime & then some

 567 characters

Photo of palliko
2.97/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

After reading the other 5 reviews on this brew, I find that I am in the minority. Oh, well. I live in Colorado Springs, and attended a beer and cheese tasting affair at Kinsfolk in Manitou Springs a few days ago – and while there the proprietor offered me about 4 oz. of XXX Warlock. The aroma is, to me, primarily ethanol, brandy, vanilla, chocolate, sherry, fruit and oak. I also sipped this potent potable over a ½ hour period, and found that the initial taste is sweet, but there is what several in my party described as a soy sauce/Worcestershire Sauce aftertaste. One of the attendees has layed down several bottles in his cellar for tasting in a few years, when, as he said, “It has settled down to something a little more smooth.”

It does pour jet black and has no head, and clings to the glass with oil-like viscosity. It is truly an acquired taste, but Bristol has come up with a BIG beer that is infinitely superior to Avery’s Beast! (see my review)...

 971 characters

Photo of Crosling
4.65/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12’er. Dark brown liquid. Extremely quickly diminishing light brown head. Complex aged malt aroma, with hints of sherry (mild oxidation), chocolate, dried cocoa, toffee and fruit. Flavor is heavily complex. The finish is especially lovely, with lingering hazelnut, toffee and chocolate. A tremendously impressive brew. However, I do think it could be slightly better if it wasn't filtered to death.

 399 characters

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I didn't have a snifter, so used a pint glass. Oh, well, I'm not complaining.
Pours a dark, clean liquid. Perhaps looks a bit oily. Minimal brown head, slick around the sides.
Smells of hot caramel, toffee, some molasses. Dark fruits are noticeable, as is a hint of alcohol. Chocolate seems to mix with a stint of bbq sauce based in bourbon. Very complex.
Taste is wonderful. The first feeling is a brandy. Some dark cherry, oak, cocao, coffee and caramel all seem to blend nicely. Hops make a quick appearance to separate the fruits from the more earthy characteristics. Finishes smooth, little alcohol burn from the 19%.
I put 5 on drinkability; the poured amount was adicting, however only a half bottle, maybe a full bottle is quite enough, or too much

 757 characters

Photo of russpowell
4.54/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle has a bottled on date of 6/9/06 with 18.4 abv pours into a narrow champagne flute to copy the glass they brewery was selling to accompany this offering

Pours almost burgundy/black (claret when held the light) with about 1/3" of white head. When you swirl this tinny bubbles cling to the glass & it crawls down the glass like transmission fluid

S: Gorgeous nose: Plums, chocolate cake, cork, charred oak & raisins. Alcohol scents show up late to the party.

T: Rich, chocolate, raisins, Christmas pudding & brandy & port all run across the tongue. Burned toffee & warming alcohol come through as this warms. Leather also shows up along with baker chocolate& molasses. Finishes warming, choclatey, charred woody & fruit cakey

MF: Almost no carbonation, sticky, syruppy, chewy & oily

Drinks very easy for the abv. There needs to be a triple category for stouts & ipas & such, these beers are getting so damn big! & Why didn't they make more??? Will attempt to hold on to the few I have left & sample much latter. Hope I actually live up to that promise

 1,068 characters

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next → last
XXX Warlock Double Imperial Stout from Bristol Brewing Company
3.84 out of 5 based on 82 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.