Glassware: Imperial stouts possess a deep rich aroma and mouthfeel. The addition of pumpkin to that base style that Warlock possess makes a beer that explodes with wonderful aromas. A snifter or goblet glass is your best choice for this beer and you can also get a great Warlock glass from Southern Tier if you head to their website.
Description: Warlock pours deep black in color with a tan head that subsides quickly and leaves behind little to no lacing on the glass. The aroma is filled with a bounty of pumpkin spices and roasted malt notes of chocolate and hints of coffee backing. The taste matches the nose with roasted malts up front hitting the palate as smooth bitter chocolate with pumpkin spices follows behind. A flash of coffee makes an appearance and lingers long on the palate tasting like creamy pumpkin pie. The body is medium-full and is surprisingly thin considering this is an imperial stout, but no points taken away. It does its job perfectly and matches the moderate carbonation. Warlock is incredibly easy drinking and the 10 percent ABV is completely hidden, so be aware the witching hour may come early if you don’t take your time with it. An absolute must try during the fall season.
Food Pairing: The rich roasted malt characteristics are the most pronounced flavors with the pumpkin spice acting as background notes making this beer perfect for pairing with rich barbecue dishes. Try pairing Warlock with ribs, pork, chicken or any of your favorite meats. Use this beer as one last reason to cook on the grill before the fall chill settles in. The roasted malt will match nicely with the caramelized meats while the wonderful spices act as an added layer of flavor giving a pleasant kick to the dish. Another great pairing for this beer is desserts, especially those that are more geared toward the flavors of the season. Try pairing Warlock with a decadent pumpkin cheesecake. Other great desserts with Warlock are: apple pie a la mode (especially with pumpkin ice cream), pumpkin cannoli, sweet potato cheesecake and of course pumpkin pie. Warlock is a beer that handles its own with a wide variety of foods, but try to find something that is complimentary to both the roasted malts and pumpkin spices.
The Final Word: Southern Tier’s Pumking is often viewed as the darling of pumpkin ales and gets a lot of the press, but slowly and steadily Warlock has been gaining on its lighter cousin. The rich roasted malts impart hints of chocolate and coffee that completely melt into the delicious pumpkin spice flavors and aromas for a beer nearly impossible to put down. Pumpkin beers have increasingly grown in popularity with more breweries making a version. Southern Tier has long been at the forefront and with beers like Warlock it is easy to see why. Warlock is an absolutely must try beer for fans of stouts, porters and pumpkin ales. But be careful, it may turn you to the dark side.
Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer and beer historian. Derek can be heard weekly on the Beer Geeks Radio Hour at noon on Sundays on WILK 103.1 FM with past episodes available on iTunes.
Brewer: Southern Tier Brewing Company
Style: American Double/ Imperial Stout
ABV: 10 %
Where can I get it?: Currently available in 22 oz. bottles at: Backyard Ale House- Scranton; Goldstein’s Deli- Kingston; Cooper’s Seafood- Scranton; The Tomato Bar- Pittston; Exit 190 Beer Deli- Dickson City; The Nyx- Clarks Summit; and J&H Beer- Plains Twp.