Flatly Barely Barley Wine

You gotta love the local little guys, but this is a weak example of barley wine. Sierra Nevada’s Bigfoot has surfaced for spring, I believe this to be a much better representation of the style. Another great barley wine to try if you want your test buds ripped out through your throat is Thomas Hardy’s (it’s a mighty strong beer made for aging). Flat Earth Winter Warlock is just to wimpy to be a barley wine, but I would drink a few more.

Sweet, Boozy Relief, …just in time.

Into my Flat Earth snifter you go, Winter Warlock….the name and occasion is apt, as I thought last week, when we spent time in summery sun and basked in 60-degree weather, and the melting snow slipped out the sins of winter, that spring was finally here, at last. I was the fool, and the magician who rules the weather made a mockery of my delight…we’re back at winter again, for awhile, and it’s warlock now rules us. Aw, well… on to investigate this ale.You are golden, sorcerer, with a quickly gone head… your aroma is mostly rich, sweet, boozy malt…I’m not feeling much more from it. Taste: more slick, more sweet, more malt, more booze…not exactly what I expect from the barleywines I enjoy most, and have historically found to my favor, but it is quite nice in it’s own regard. Lacks the hops of many of those, and leans heavily on the malt…something about that dynamic takes it somewhere else, indeed.  Golden, bright, crisp, and, yes, boozy…the 9 % isn’t shy at all. Not that I’m complaining.I think Jeff Williamson has a thing for Fantasy/Sci-Fi/sword & sorcery,Tolkien, mythology, etc…not that I’ve played Dungeons & Dragons with him, but I bet if you played craps at his house, the dice would be twelve-sided.  Sweetness is just right for a dessert or a nightcap, and the alcoholic warmth is well-needed in chilly evening (okay, mornings) as this…  ’tis a fine ale…works nice, tonight …another winner from Flat Earth. I almost forgot the Haiku!Okay, here goes….”Winter Warlock brew/ rich, sweet, malty elixir/ thaw my chilly bones.” 

A barley win like none I have tasted.

I think the first barley win I ever had was on a camping trip to Chequamegon National Forest. I was up there with a group of mountain bikers (most older than me) while I was in college. After multipl Sierra Nevada Big Foots I stumbled off into the darkness to use the toilet. After exiting the bathroom I soon realized I didn’t remember what path I had come down. I think I walked up to about eight different camp sites (peering just from outside the ring of light) to find my group.

This barley wine was darn tasty. For being so alcoholic it really didn’t taste it, which is a good thing in my book. I’ll definitely have another, and I just did 🙂

barley champagne?

I was suprised at how bubbly and light in color this was. I had expected something closer to…i don’t know…all the other barley wines I’ve had which have been dark in color and not flat but definitely not lighty and airy. The flavor was not hoppy in the least, but it was sweet and drinkable. I thought about doing a running timeline of how the 22 oz of 9% ABV affected my ability to play WarioWare: Smooth Moves on a Wii. Though I didn’t write it down, I can tell you my play was unaffected.

This beer pours a nice golden color with a tight white head. Biscuit malt comes through in the nose as well the earthy, grassy Fuggles hops. More of the same with the flavor with the addition of a fruitiness that I can’t quite place – slightly citrusy and sweet with some spicy notes from the hops. Extremely drinkable for a 9% abv beer. Very nice.

That’s Punchy Fella

This beer packs a punch…of booze. I really enjoy the hoppiness factor, although I can’t quite place what I’m tasting. It has short, flat, subtle flavors. I’m basically tasting caramel and alcohol. This beer kind of blows. It’s tasty with cashew brittle though…and would probably be good with No Country For Old Men.

could knock you on your ass

I wish they sold winter warlock in 6-pack’s of these bombers, it’d be badass to walk out of a liquor store with 6 huge bottles of a good, strong beer like this.

I grabbed the last bottle at Big Top, which wasn’t a big deal, since I knew Erin wasn’t going to have much. I thought this beer was great, but I would probably only be able to have two a night. I really enjoyed the boozy wine-flavor mixed with the hops, it was great.

Golden it is, barleywine not so much.

I loooove a good barleywine, especially dark and hoppy and strong ones–see Avery Hogheaven. I first sampled the Warlock at Winterfest, and thought it seemed a little light, but blamed it on the fact that my taste buds were totally destroyed from 3 hours of imperial stouts and Belgian craziness. But, no, the liquid in the bottle was indeed just a tad on the light side. Seemed like a blend of a Belgian golden ale and a English barleywine, and left me wanting more of a punch, more flavor. I’ll stick one away for next winter and hopefully it will improve.


Some of my favorite beers are English barley wines.

I can’t quite figure out what it is with this beer, and it’s been the same with the other Flat Earth beers: Close, but not quite what they’re presumably shooting for. And not quite what I’d be eager to drink again.

I know I want more body, more flavor and more finish from a barley wine. I don’t know. I feel kind of bad slagging it, ’cause it sounds like the brewers are decent folk.

I guess it left me uninspired. Thus, probably the dullest review I’ve ever written on here…

Hostel Warlock

What if instead of suggesting food pairings they had recommended movies to watch while tasting a beer? I certainly don’t think anyone would recommend Hostel Part 2, which is what we watched last night while I drank my Warlock. But I definitely think over-the-top horror is the right genre. Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Descent, or even Hostel Part 1, would be good. Not just because of the name Warlock, but because you need a 9%+ alcohol drink to make it through one of these. What do you think Jeff?

This Warlock Packs a Punch

This is my first experience with a barley wine ale and it has me feeling a little light-headed. The 9% ABV kind of sneaks up on you and I think 5igmund is on to something with the 12-oz option. The Flat Earth Winter Warlock is sweeter then I would like but it is nicely balanced with the bitter hops. A solid after dinner drink.

This isn’t a beer I would usually buy for myself but it would be a good one to share with some friends.

Evil Warlock

Wow, this beer is kicking my butt, I should have looked at the label before I consumed it so quickly. 9% alcohol comes from all the yummy fermentables. This is a very sweet hoppy beer that is a bit like drinking sugary hops. Which is okay but not over 1pt 6oz this would be better served in a 12 oz bottle. I think I could appreciate the style but not in the spring.  All the sugar and hops is leaving an off aftertaste.

Winter WHOAlock

This is the heaviest beer I’ve had since Surly Furious.  I can’t tell if it’s just the fact that Finnegans is so light, or what.  This beer is like syrup.  Light on the carbonation, no head to speak of.  This is gonna take me about 40 minutes to drink, slowly.

Great on flavor, hop lovers love warlock.