The Burrito Tribune


randomness, truth, and burritos

Craft Beer: Southern Tier, Warlock Imperial Stout


I am not normally the biggest fan of stout beer.  I made an example of IPA’s a while back about how IPA fans get acclimated and only like ridiculously hoppy IPA’s.  I could say something similar about most stout beers.  A lot of the stouts that have been recommended to me have been so thick and overwhelmingly rich, I felt like I should have given it a few smacks with a meat tenderizing mallet before trying to drink it down.

Despite this, I have been looking forward to trying Southern Tier’s Warlock Imperial stout all day long at work.  The Pumking Ale warmed me up to how amazing Southern Tier’s seasonal beers can be.  It’s also been so long since I’ve had a stout, that I’m actually ready for the experience of a richer sweeter beer such as this.

This Imperial Stout is brewed in Lakewood, NY at the Southern Tier brewery.  It still weirds me out that Southern Tier is based out of New York.  I would have expected it to be brewed in Georgia or something.  Anyways, like the Pumking, it’s 8.6% ABV, and it’s recommended that this Stout should be drank out of a goblet at 42 degrees F.  The bottle has a small laundry list of ingredients including: 2-row pale malt, carmel malt, black malt, munich malt, pureed pumpkin, magnum hops, and sterling hops.  Also at $8.49, it is not a beer you can cost-effectively indulge in beyond special occasions.  The strength means you can still get a good drink and share the bottle with three to four friends though.  Or, you can hog the bottle to yourself and be blazed for a good portion of the night.  As always, drink responsibly and don’t plan on driving after consuming this beer.

I didn’t have a true goblet, so I used one of my brandy snifters for this beer.  It’s working very well, especially because it concentrates the aroma of this stout very readily.  I can tell from the scent that this is a much sweeter beer than the Pumking ale.  It has a great natural pumpkin scent, but it reminds me more of pumpkin-pie ice cream as opposed to pure pumpkin pie.  There is a creamy vanilla undertone to the beer that pops out at you after the pumpkin hits.

On taking my first drink of this beer, I will say that I am tempted to remove my meat tenderizing comment from this article entirely.  This beer has a very strong rich flavor, but doesn’t carry the weight I most often associate with a stout.  While I wouldn’t recommend it as a beer to drink after a long hot sunny day, i would recommend it as a great Friday after work beer to relax and unwind with.  The entire flavor of this beer just immerses you like a warm sauna and helps float your problems away.  The first flavor that hits me in this beer is a strong bubbly presence of molasses and malt.  While strong it never gets too overwhelming.  Just when you think you’ve had enough of the molasses-y sweetness, it fades, only to be replaced with a nice sweet kick of pumpkin.  As with the smell, the pumpkin essence is a bit sweeter in this than Pumpking or some other pumpkin beers I’ve tried.  It makes me think of this as more of a dessert beer than anything else.  The pumpkin is also slightly more mellow than I expected, and adds to the relaxing atmosphere of this beer.

Because it’s a stout, i doubt I could drink more than this 22oz bottle at any given time.  Some of that is just personal preference, but you have to admit that as enjoyable as dark beers are, they are a bit more difficult to drink a lot of just because they are so rich.  I would still definitely recommend this beer for the experience of a great seasonal imperial stout.  It would also be great for first-timers to a stout or a seasonal flavored beer.  It captures all the great essences of these beers, without being too overwhelming.



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