Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Review: Southern Tier's Warlock

It's no secret that I love Pumking. It's just the best pumpkin beer on the market. With biscuit malts, vanilla hints, and plenty of spices as well as pumpkin malt, it's superb! It tastes like liquid pumpkin pie. Year after year, Southern Tier have outdone themselves with this brew, and this year they've changed it up a bit by re-inventing Pumking for their Blackwater Series, which includes such great brews as Plum Noir and Creme Brulee. This year they've added a stout version of Pumking to the series called Warlock.

I've already had a glass to test the waters, which I usually don't do before reviews, and I must say it's a knockout. So let's dissect this magical Warlock!

Appearance: 3/5

Warlock is black as night, though has about 95% opacity with a slight orange-amber undertone. The head isn't very impressive, only pouring about a half finger's worth even at just below room temperature. However, the color is definitely that of a stout.

Nose: 4/5

Pumpkin malt hits the nose strongly, yet subtly. Thought it's the most prominent aspect of this beer's aroma, the aroma as a whole is rather subliminal. Spices come through as well, although they are subtle just as the pumpkin notes. I'd say the spices and pumpkin malt are tied in the aroma, and no other darker malts seep into the nose. But there's also a nice hint of vanilla in the nose, which is a great rounding factor.

Taste: 5/5

The combination of a stout and Pumking is apparent, but lovely. Spicy pumpkin malts meet darker molasses and a roasty tone along with pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pie crust and caramel accompany all this to make a strong, dark, yet still pumpkin-pie-esque flavor. It hits me every time I take a sip: this is Puming, but something different. It's all I like about a pumpkin beer and some things I like about a stout in on beer.

Mouthfeel: 3.5/5

Warlock has about a medium body with some dark roastiness. Slightly creamy, and overall very enjoyable, yet drinkable.

Finish: 4/5

Some notes of nutty roastiness and vanilla stick around on the palate. Some spice and valinna lingers for a while, too. All the best things about the pumpkin pie flavor mixed with the stout roastiness.

Total Score: 88/100

This is something new, interesting, and damn near excellent. Each sip hits me with the pumpkin and spice flavors and reminds me of Pumking, while it still has its own roasty and dark body to make it different. At only $10 a bottle, it's not too bad, either. Just a couple bucks more than a bomber of Pumking. If you come across it and you're already a fan of Pumking, pick up a bottle It's well worth it and very drinkable.

Until next time, cheers!


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