Southern Tier Warlock

rating_excellent81 points

Warlock is at the dark end of the pumpkin spectrum, but packs a lot of flavor and complexity. It’s supposed to be a pumpkin imperial stout, but with a lot of competing flavors in it, it suffers from a bit of an identity crisis.

southerntierwarlockBut luckily, all those competing flavors are delicious, making it an unmatched experience when it comes to the pumpkin theme.

Warlock pours like a big dark beer — near-black with a lasting brown head that laces the glass. Our panelists loved the appearance, but loved the smell even more.

This beer is loaded with aroma…vanilla bean, hints of licorice, sarsaparilla and marshmallow. It’s a crazy combo for sure, but our panel marveled at the complexity and the uniqueness.

Taste was rated well, though not as strongly as the smell.  Flavors of marshmallow, vanilla and molasses are strong, though a couple of panelists noted the vanilla was somewhat artificial, and lent to a slightly medicinal note. Others felt the huge malt character gave it a sugary cereal backing flavor that they enjoyed.

Aftertaste is vanilla Coke, some smoke and overtones of licorice, with a warming alcohol sensation. This is a big beer — 10% ABV –that needs to breathe, and our panel found Warlock really opened up as it came up to room temperature.

Drinkability was rated solidly at 23, with two factors detracting from a higher score. First, with such intense flavor and a high ABV, the panel felt this was more of a sipper — a “one-and-done,” if you will. Second, you’ll notice that we made no mention of pumpkin.

Southern Tier markets Warlock as having a “pumpkin pie” scent and flavor, though none of our panelists detected a trace of it. So we felt that we had to dock points for that, especially if someone ventures into a store looking specifically for a pumpkin beer.

Be that as it may, our panel felt Southern Tier Warlock was in keeping with the season, with warm, fall flavors. It’s a unique take on a pumpkin imperial stout that won’t disappoint…you know, unless you’re looking for pumpkin.

(Appearance 9, Smell 9.83, Taste 23.83, Aftertaste 15.17, Drinkability 23)

Southern Tier Warlock Appear.
Smell (10) Taste (30) After. (20) Drink. (30) Total (100)
Jon 9 10 26 18 25 88
Mike 10 10 29 18 28 95
Bob 9 10 25 16 25 85
Amy 10 10 21 13 23 77
Sue 8 10 20 12 17 67
Ken 8 9 22 14 20 73
Average: 9 9.83 23.83 15.17 23 80.83