Stormwatcher's Winterfest - Pelican Pub & Brewery

Not Rated.
Stormwatcher's WinterfestStormwatcher's Winterfest

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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

82 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 82
Hads: 162
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 8.43%
Wants: 127
Gots: 49 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Pelican Pub & Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  13.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Shaw on 10-12-2003

32.1 degrees Plato
Alcohol: 13.0% by volume
Bitterness: 31 IBU
Color: 54 SRM
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 82 | Hads: 162
Photo of Docer
2.93/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Snagged up a 2009 release at The BeerMongers...

- Rich dark black... thin bubbly mocha head... dissipated quickly to a few stray islands.... thin ring.... viscous...

- Smells of molasses, honey.... sweet sugars... light grain and citrus hops.... like a sweet syrup.

- Flavor is much the same... like molasses and honey fermented with some water and a bit of grain and roasty barley... citrus and bitter pine hops and more syrup. I am shocked at the huge 'A' level reviews... this isn't a barleywine at all... and its a syrupy mess of a beer. Overly sweet....

- Sticky and thick... heavy bodied... sticky..

- Overall it's heavy. Super sweet... sticky... and a mess. It's really not that good... and I'd take a real barleywine over this molasses and honey mess any day. I honestly can't see and taste what people are thinking here with this brew.. (851 characters)

Photo of MADhombrewer
3/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Ramnuts for this. '08 vintage. 22oz bottle poured into a HOTD tulip.

A- Muddy brownish red. Pours like oil. Very thick. No head what-so-ever. 3

Smell- Lots and lots of sweet caramel. Alcohol in the background.
3

Taste- Incredibly sweet. Lots of caramel malt flavors. Tons of alcohol still after more than 3 years. There is an alcohol burn that goes right to your nose. There is am earthy edginess to it as well. Maybe that is the hops? I don't know. 3

Mouthfeel- Very sticky thick. The mouthfeel stays on your lips long after the sip is down your throat. 3

Overall- Very boozy. Very sweet. Even after this long it is too much for me. Still too hot and syrupy. 3 (678 characters)

Photo of Thrasher
3.35/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled at the 2003 Holiday Ale Festival, Portland, OR. A dark reddish cider color, hardly-there head. Lots of malts but hops are there from the beginning. Supposedly this beer employed 2 kinds of unusual hopping techniques: mash hopping and first wort hopping. This creates a subtle yet indelible hop flavor that is there from the very beginning. Some smokiness, and a smooth non-carbonated mouthfeel. This beer is pretty good but in the end it's a bit flat and cloying. (471 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thank you for bringing to our barleywine night, Derek. 2006 is entered on the label. Big off-white head with a cheese appearance and bubbles. Some lace seen. The smell is sour and barleywine. The taste is considerably on the sour side, it is intentional. Primarily it tastes like an average barleywine.Somewhat disapointing for a barleywine with some ageing. Mt. Hood hops. 31 IBU. (381 characters)

Photo of jdense
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2010 Bottle shared with colleague 12.20.11 into wine tumbers.

One finger brown head, quick dissipation with absolutely no lacing over dark brown body with small trails of small bubbles visible rising up near sides of glass. Nose is really sweet, some caramel malt, and floral and woody hops. Taste mirrors the nose's sweetness, cloying, soy sauce, turbinado, woody hop character. Mouthfeel medium, sticky, good effervescence. Not my cup of, err, tea, the sweetness overwhelmed any nuances this beer might have had. (515 characters)

Photo of Derek
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2006 vintage.

A: Dark caramel, tan head, very little retention, slight lacing.

S: Huge alcohol aroma & plenty of floral from the hallertau mittelfruh hops; cotton candy, dark caramel, brown sugar & a little spice.

T: Even after 2 years, the alcohol is very forward. Sherry, brown sugar, toffee and floral hops. I usually love these hops, but in my opinion, they're not quite right for a barley wine.

M: Well-attenuated, moderate body has a drying alcohol finish. Carbonation is on the low side of moderate.

D: I still find the alcohol quite harsh. (552 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A: Poured a deep murky brownish color with almost no pop or carbonation. A small tannish ring appears and then dies leaving a still concoction

S: Big caramel, toffee and dark fruits.

T: Initial heat upfront with caramel and toffee soaked figs, raisins, prunes. The finish is a big mess.

M: Full bodied, no carbonation leaves this beer sweet, sticky, syrupy and way to much. This beer just coats the mouth with to much sugar and syrup. It was borderline obnoxious.

O: $14 for this beer? I was dooped. (505 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.66/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer pours a hazed amber color with a small layer of off-white foam.

S: Caramel and toffee along with a heavy dose of brown sugar to start off the nose. There's a touch of cardboard to it along with some booze and piney hops. Quite sweet with a little bit of overripe fruit to it.

T: Sweet and sticky with lots of caramel and brown sugar, perhaps a touch of molasses. There is a bit of toffee and more overripe fruit character. Definitely a touch of booze, but not as much as the aroma. Very little bitterness.

M: Medium to full bodied with medium to low carbonation.

O: Nowhere near as good as Perfect Storm, but not many barleywines are. (650 characters)

Photo of Arbitrator
3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Courtesy of end 0))).

Chilled bottle into a glass. 2007 vintage.

A: Dark, opaque brown with slight purple and reddish highlights. Small head that dissipates quickly, but remains a ring around the glass. Lacing is nonexistent. Decent carbonation up the center of the glass.

S: Raisins, plums, cherries, figs. Wood, vanilla, and a little tobacco.

T: Very sweet. When first tasted, slightly on the colder side, the dark fruits dominated the initial flavor, with the wood, vanilla, and tobacco following after. The finish had a strong alcohol hotness to it. Later, as it warmed, the alcohol moved to the first taste, blending well with the sweetness in such a way that it was cleverly masked. The wood, vanilla, and tobacco remained second. However, the initial sips were of strong cherry cough syrup, and so were the last few.

M: Very viscous and full-bodied, but not sticky. Medium carbonation.

D: Honestly, if they all tasted like this, I wouldn't have another one. I couldn't. They're just too sweet. But the other reviews here seem to center on the 2006 vintage, which tells me something: I had this too young. I regret that.

As it stands, this tastes like a clone of the Old Stock '08 that I had on tap at Toronado. In fact, the tastes are so similar that I'm wondering if I somehow received the wrong thing (at the Toronado) by mistake. This Stormwatcher tastes much more like an old ale than a barleywine, anyway.

I'd have this again, if I aged it a few years. And I'd split it with a friend. (1,511 characters)

Photo of zeledonia
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 vintage. Tasted 23 July 2012, reviewed from notes.

Pours deep chestnut brown, one finger of medium-tan head. Decent retention and okay lacing.

Smell is super malty and sugary. Molasses, plums, and figs.

Taste is very deep, rich, and sweet. A little too syrupy for my tastes.

Mouthfeel is fine - sticky and syrupy, but enough carbonation to keep it from being sludgy.

A good malty barleywine, though the sweetness is high enough that it's on the downslope (less would be better, more would definitely be worse). (520 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.76/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The word for the mouthfeel is "unctuous." The word for the overall flavor is "cloying." The red-brown color is attractive in the tall glass. The off-white foam makes a nice splash with each small pour. A little tingle in the mouth, though the carbonation seems to drown in the sweet alcohol. Aroma of liquor fumes propelled by grainy heat.

I just think, how can a beer be this sweet? It's just a malt candy bar with an Everclear center. Melts in your brain, not in your mouth. Mine is on fire. Burnt sugar melds with barrel aged rum plus butterscotch dissolving in the tangy sweetness. It doesn't seem possible to get more malt flavor in a glass. This isn't a beer, it's a malt liqueur.

There may not be enough deprivation in our lives to properly enjoy this properly. Imagine the old sods slogging down the muddy lane to the drafty pub who would have thanked God for this one while the smell of damp woolens wafted from the smoky fireplace. From the 22 oz bottle (965 characters)

Photo of koopa
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage bottle shared recently by beenity at the Copper Mine thanks!

Appearance: Pours a dark caramel to brown with a 1 finger khaki crown with minimal retention or lace.

Smell: Slightly burnt roast malt, caramel malt, a hint of soy, stale floral hops, brown sugar, and a dash of soap.

Taste: Same as the nose but with some alcohol presence and detectable tannins.

Mouthfeel: Thin side of thick bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall: Nice mouthfeel but I'm not really digging the flavor. (502 characters)

Photo of kdahnke123
3.82/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

11/29/13 Bottling poured into a snifter at cellar temperature.
A - Pours a dark amber color with a minimal amount of a reddish brown head. The head very quickly dissipated, leaving little behind.
S - Smells very malty with hints of dried fruits and a slight bourbon smell.
T - Rich malty flavor with a long rich middle and a slight tang on the finish. There is a slightly off aspect to the flavor that is hard to place
M - Very thick and mouth coating with minimal carbonation.
O - I am a big fan of English style barley wines. This one could have used a little more integration of the flavors. It was good to try but will not be repeated. (640 characters)

Photo of seeswo
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage. Having recently had East End Gratitude, this beer is in for a difficult challenge. It pours a very dark brown color and smells almost as good - again, that characteristic toffee, caramel flavor, coupled with a bit of booze. Pelican's offering brings that flavor, but in a bit more muddled fashion. There is also some slightly unpleasant booziness (slight!). I am enjoying it and would probably like it more if I didn't just have the knockout of the style in Gratitude. (482 characters)

Photo of woosterbill
3.89/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 bomber into a medium-sized Duvel tulip. Big thanks to Tony for sharing this one.

A: Clear, dark reddish-brown body; only a few tan bubbles. Decent legs. Average appearance for a big Barleywine.

S: Raisins dominate, with candied sweetness really accentuating the dark fruitiness. No real hoppiness, but a bit of bitter-ish chocolate and alcohol. Enjoyable.

T: Raisins, toffee, chocolate, and booze. Very sweet, quite hot, and entirely tasty.

M: A little sticky, a lot carbonated.

O: This is a solid beer, but I think it might have been better if it weren't quite so huge in the alcohol dept. The gigantic sweetness and booze really kept it from being the least bit drinkable, and unlike MoaS it doesn't have the redeeming quality of having its booziness masked by the welcome presence of whiskey. A slight letdown.

Cheers! (832 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle poured into a Swamp Head snifter. 2011 bottle courtesy of a very generous Hopsbreath.

Appearance - Deep garnet body with barely any bubbles. No lacing and just a couple of wisps of life atop the beer. Tough to produce a quality looking barleywine at 13.5%.

Smell - Wonderful aroma. Caramel, raisins, plums. Huge dark fruit presence. There's quite a bit of alcohol burn in it also. Great complex aroma.

Taste - Maybe not as good, but still delicious. More caramel and toffee than the nose. The fruits are a bit lost. Boozy in the finish with an earthy hop bitterness. I think it's hops. Tough to tell.

Mouthfeel - It isn't the booze that makes this a bit sluggish to drink, it's the bitter finish. Very earthy and grassy in the end and it seems a bit out of place. That isn't to say it isn't boozy. It certainly has a bite, but not a 13.5% bite.

Overall - A really nice barleywine in terms of flavor. Just the finish that makes it a bit harsh. I've been waiting to drink this before I tried MoAS. If a bit of barreling can chip away at that finish, I would be most pleased. (1,091 characters)

Photo of spicelab
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2011. Big thanks to MrKennedy for opening. Reviewed from notes.

Deep, rich burgundy with a rapidly dissipating saffron head that reforms nicely on swirling.

Baked toffee, brandy snap, molasses, treacle and caramelised figs.

Follows the nose but there's even less in the sweetness department which was minimal to begin with. Burnt toffee, scorched molasses, prunes, rum 'n' raisin. Unrelenting.

Quite aggressive, almost scratchy carbonation that slices through the big body but seems out of place for the style, which needs something more silky and carressing.

Awesome in its stature alone. Somewhat one-dimensional owing to the minimal sweeteness. Never thought I'd be wishing for a Barleywine to be sweeter. (714 characters)

Photo of claspada
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 Edition; once again thanks to HimerMan for offering this rarity for trade.
Pours a deep amber-red color, really dark ruby red. Small 1 finger cream head which dissipates quite rapidly.
Aromas of bready and toasted, almost roasted maltiness, with a boat ton of toffee and caramels. The bottle says there should be some floral highlights from the hops, but after 4 years I am not getting any here. Slight cocoa and alcohol emerges slightly as it warms to room temperature.
The tastes begin with full-bodied, malty, bready flavors that lead to a smooth, soft and warming finish. It has a toasted malt sweetness balanced by a mild, subtle floral/earthy bitterness in the finish, which was lacking in the aroma but emerges here. As it warms you get the same alcohol and cocoa flavors you got in the nose.
The mouthfeel is big, rich and full with medium to medium-low carbonation which is perfect for the style. There is an alcohol bite on the finish here (which I actually enjoy) that helps to dry out and balance the sweet toffee and caramel flavors and stops it from being cloying.
Overall a top top notch English style barleywine. I had really really high expectations for this based on this being the backbone for their Barrel-Aged Mother of All Storms, so I was mildly disappointed by the outcome. It was very very good don't get me wrong, but for a 4 year old barleywine their is still some alcohol heat which is surprising (but I guess it is 13% ABV) and although the flavor profile is very good, it's not mind-blowing or complex (really just caramel and toffee with no supporting dark fruitiness). Maybe it is deteriorating as well... Unfortunately, I am going to compare this and all Barleywines going forward to the Arctic Devil that I had a couple weeks back. I can see how this will be a good canvas for the MaoS that I have yet to sample (but I have a couple cellaring). (1,884 characters)

Photo of artoolemomo
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The label boasts of “deep amber-red color, massive toasted malt, toffee and caramel aroma, and full bodied malty flavor” with “floral hops.”

Appearance- Pours with a lot of carbonation that creates a lot of dark beige head that dissipates very quickly. It's a very dark maroon but appears as a glowing garnet to ruby color when it is held to the light. There is no lacing left and this beer appears as if it might be a bit thin.

Nose- Very typical barleywine nose. There are lots of caramel, vanilla, toffee, and oak with hints of chocolate and raisins. There is healthy amount of malt and bread in the aroma also. If the taste matches up with the nose, this should be a tasty beer.

Taste- I first notice the maltiness and breadiness of this beer with oak and bitter wood arising as the alcohol leaves a slight burn on my tongue. This, perhaps, is a little too malty for me but brown sugar and burnt raisins help balance that out. Cherries and other red fruit helps cut this but it is a little malty for me. I wonder if this would mellow with age. Lots of bitter bitter chocolate as well. Not as complex as lot of barleywines but it is well integrated even at a young age.

Mouthfeel- Fairly thin with little carbonation. I would like this to be heftier given the robust nature of the flavor profile.

Drinkability- Fairly easy going for a 13% alcohol content. At 12 to 13 dollars, this is more in the range of a nice bottle of wine. The maltiness dissuades me from drinking this too quickly.

Overall- I have had much better barleywines in my lifetime but this one isn't bad. It doesn't try to achieve too much and remains a solidly good beer. I would give it a B+. (1,681 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.94/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ehammond1 for sharing this one at the post Bruery Reserve Society party bottle share!

2011 vintage.

Pours a murky dark brown with a tan head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. No lacing on this one. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, caramel/toffee, and some slight hop aromas. Taste is the same with a medium bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good barleywine but I prefer Mother Of All Storms over this one. (522 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber, split

appearance: served in my great lakes chalice - dark muddy garnet, cream mocha head

smell: rich and decadent - heavy english malt, leather, tobacco, brown sugar and dark fruit

taste: a prototypical english barleywine - syrupy caramel malt, caramelized brown sugar, pipe tobacco, fresh leather, booze, toffee, some earth english hops in the finish

mouthfeel: rich and sweet, full-bodied with a flat finish

overall: an english barleywine for the sipping - worth a try if you stumble across it (513 characters)

Photo of Brandywine
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2012

Appearance: Deep ruby red poured a fingers worth of a burnt sugar colored head. Big sticky alcohol legs. Tight lacing.

Smell: Cherries, dates, figs, caramel toffee sweetness, little bit of booze, raisins at the end.

Taste: Toffee sweetness with a kind of bready grain flavor. Dark fruits lie underneath. Booze here is acting as a flavor component. Dark fruits become more dominant as the beer warms. It's definitely sweet but there's an off sweet flavor that comes at the end of the tongue that's hard to identify. Raspberries, sour cherries. You can taste the toasted barley, where the sweet runs into an almost sour bitter character.

Mouthfeel: On the full side of medium. Very little carbonation.

Overall: The parts of this beer that I liked, I really liked, but the oddly sour/bitter flavor was off putting. The beer is also much thinner than I would have liked, especially for the style. (907 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.99/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage shared by brewandbbq, thanks for the opportunity Jeff?
Pours a deep amber brown with a smallish off white head that dissipates quickly. Smells of brown sugar and toffee with a hint of smoke and chocolate. Light earthy herbal aroma rounds out the nose nicely. The flavor is sweet with sugary malts hints of cherry and toffee with some light earth and smoke. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet slick mouthfeel. Hard to believe this is 13% but maybe the barrel aged stouts before this numbed my palette a bit. Nice English style barleywine that I'd like to revisit one day. (609 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a very dark red brown amber, almost black, no head and light carbonation. Aroma of sweet and caramel malt, faint dark fruits. Fortunately, the flavor is richer, sweet, caramel and toasted malt, dark fruits. Finishes somewhat dry and quickly, with a bit of a hops kick. Medium body with some creaminess. The high ABV makes it a bit hot. A satisfactory Engilsh barleywine, but the lack of carbonation detracts from the drinking experience. Other reviews seem to have good carbonation, so I'll try this again. (546 characters)

Photo of hoppymeal
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 Vintage. Pours a slightly ruddy brown, some haziness and a decent sized butterscotch yellow head that slowly recedes. Aroma is a nice sweet caramel maltiness, some fruit sweetness, strawberry, malted milk, bread and raisins. Taste follows with more sweet maltiness and dark and ripe fruit, raisins, prunes, dates, dried strawberries like a fruit roll-up, a hint of citrus hoppiness blends with the malty sweetness. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy, creamy and chewy maltiness, hint of pepperiness, some warmth and a small bite from the alcohol which is otherwise very well hidden. Delicious barleywine, drinking good at this age, would love to try a fresh version sometime, but this beer seems though it could easily go longer. Thank you Paul for the opportunity. (764 characters)

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Stormwatcher's Winterfest from Pelican Pub & Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 82 ratings.