On Easter a group of friends got together and one friend, Keaton Ward, brought a couple bottles of the Bristol Brewing XXX Warlock. I was immediately thrilled, but what’s crazy is the story on how he got these beers. He said that on his way to the party he stopped at a liquor store, one on Centennial, and there were three of these bottles tucked away on a shelf in the corner. Each bottle was $13. What!? How does this sort of thing happen? The beer was brewed in 2003 and aged for 3 years before it was bottled in 2006. That means the beer has been sitting in the bottle for 5 years. There’s no way these bottles have been sitting on the shelf that long right? The store workers must have found them in a box and just recently put them on the shelf right? He bought all three and is saving one for himself. Well needless to say we all had a hand in sampling this beer, and we were all honored to be able to try it.
The beer was fantastic, reminding me of how great it is to try beers like Deschutes Abyss or the Harviestoun Ola Dubh 30 Year. Just wonderful. It poured almost black, really syrupy, with a thin dark tan head. The aroma was sharp with whiskey and oak, but balanced very nicely. The flavor was of vanilla, oak, whiskey, I could almost taste the 18.4% alcohol but it didn’t burn or anything. Lots of chocolate, caramel, some roast but mostly sweet, and lots and lots of molasses. Plenty of complexity and richness, a real contemplative beer. The beer was at 80 IBU’s and did indeed have a bitter finish after all these years.
To say the least, this beer was a real treat, by far the best Bristol beer I’ve had. Be on the lookout for it, apparently people don’t know what they’re selling.