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Stormwatcher's Winterfest - Pelican Pub & Brewery

Not Rated.
Stormwatcher's WinterfestStormwatcher's Winterfest

Educational use only; do not reuse.

82 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 82
Hads: 169
Avg: 4.14
pDev: 15.94%
Wants: 128
Gots: 46 | 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: 169
4.11/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is a very unique brew. Pours to a deep mahogany brown body. Head is biscuity khaki in color. The nose is very odd but attractive. The first thought that comes to mind is a fresh opened box of cheese-it crackers. I know this sounds off putting but it is very inviting and really makes you anticipate the first sip. The flavor is big and bold with tons of cracker like toasted grain tones. The hops that are usually so prevalent in a Barley wine ale play only as a balancer here. Rich and spicy on the palate and it reminds me a bit of a old ale. I had this beer on my wants list for a long time. It was a real pleasure to enjoy this spectacular brew.

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Photo of richj1970
4.21/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 22 oz bomber into snifter. Bottle dated 11/29/2013.

A: Deep mahogany brown with crimson undertones. Two finger dense tan head that settled to a thin ring leaving virtually no lacing.

S: Raisins, plum, caramel, cherries, brandy.

T: Raisins, dates, caramel and toffee. Nice combination of fruit and malt sweetness.

M: Medium body with mild carbonation. Sweet finish.

O: Very nice barleywine. Maybe one day I will get a chance to try MOAS, but this was a solid brew.

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Photo of jellikit
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: dark. Brownish small head. Small bubbles. Cola colored.
S: prunes? Molasses.
T: same as aroma. Prunes, molasses. Sweet. Alcohol. Low on the hops.
M: thick. Low carbonation. Big body.
O: great. Big. Barleywine. Solid. Strong. It's a sipper. Will buy again.

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Photo of mactrail
3.76/5  rDev -9.2%
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

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Photo of kdahnke123
3.82/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

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Photo of vkv822
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz : Teku
2010 vintage.

Pours a very dark brown with a yellowy, toffee colored head.

Has a rich aroma of dark fruits and leather. There are notes of boozy, dark fruit, leather, slight caramel malts with a nice warming alcohol finish.

Medium body, with mild, foamy carbonation.

An extremely well done English Barleywine. It's been a long time sense I've visited this one and it definitely motivates me to pick up a few more bottles.

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Photo of macpapi
4.41/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked a bottle of this beauty up while visiting the Northwest recently. Actually didn't have in stock at the Pelican, but I found it at a bottle shop in Seattle. Lucky me!!

Pelican Stormwatcher's Winterfest pours a dark brown color with reddish tints. Has a light brownish head.

Aroma is bold and full. Very malty pull with deep hints of booze--brandy, I think, but will leave that up the liquor aroma experts. Also there are strong whiffs of caramel, toffee, and a bit of dark cherry. Very full and inviting.

Taste is deep, dark, and boozy. Lots of malt, dark fruit flavors, and plenty of alcohol bite. Also noted flavor of both caramel and toffee, making this a strong-flavored yet pretty sweet beer.

Full flavor with plenty of bite. Carbonation is moderate. But this beer has quite a presence on the tongue. It does not sneak up on you!!

Overall this is a bold and extremely flavorful sipper. Meant to be enjoyed at a slow pace and in moderation. This is one hell of a beer!!

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Photo of superspak
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 12/17/2012. Pours hazy nearly opaque dark reddish brown color with a 1 finger fairly dense tan head with decent retention, that reduces to a ring of lace that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of huge raisin, prune, fig, pear, apple, caramel, molasses, toffee, toast, brown bread, light chocolate, tobacco, leather, herbal, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Incredible aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/bready malt and fruity yeast ester notes; with great strength. Taste of big raisin, prune, fig, pear, apple, caramel, molasses, toffee, toast, brown bread, light chocolate, tobacco, leather, herbal, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of raisin, prune, fig, pear, apple, caramel, molasses, toast, toffee, brown bread, light chocolate, tobacco, leather, herbal, light pepper, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity of dark/bready malt and fruity/earthy yeast ester flavors; with an awesome malt/yeast balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and very full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and lightly syrupy mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is an insane English Barleywine. All around incredible complexity and balance of dark/bready malt and fruity yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. An extremely amazing offering.

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Photo of anteater
4.21/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2009 Stormwatcher's Winterfest
Enjoyed Dec 2013
Poured from a 22oz bottle

A: Very dark brown, almost black with a think tan head

S: Sweet caramel, toffee, booze and malt

T: Very similar to the nose. Tons of flavor! Caramel and toffee are most dominant, the booze is definitely present but I enjoy it here

M: Slightly thick, nice carb

O: Extremely enjoyable. Never had this fresh before but this beer is pretty fantastic with 4 years on it

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Photo of spicelab
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

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Photo of Impfan
4.77/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Absolutely tremendous berry profile...blackberry, blueberry, marionberry , boysenberry, and lingonberry. There’s also some fig, raisin, rhubarb, and a reasonably hefty helping of very floral hops to dry out the finish. The body is slightly syrupy, but not overly so. I like this even more than Mother of all Storms.

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Photo of draheim
4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle (2012) into a tulip. Pours a deep dark mahogany w/ a 1-finger tan head.

Aroma is rich and complex with dark stone fruits, rum-soaked figs and dates, brown sugar, toffee, molasses, caramel, and vanilla.

Taste is sticky and rich with all the tastes mentioned under aroma above. Sweet and gooey, caramelly. A real dessert beer.

Mouthfeel is thick and coating, chewy.

Overall probably one of the best, most intense non-barrel-aged English barleywines I've had yet, and it gives some of those a run for their money as well. Outstanding.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
4.39/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber and mahogany color capped with light brown foam. Aroma is a mix of molasses, black cherry, raisins and tobacco. The flavor starts with a hefty dose of brown sugar, toffee and cherry liqueur followed by some date, plum and grape juice notes. There is some chocolate, fig and currant in the background as well. Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy with soft carbonation and more malt and booze in the finish. Overall, a sweet and potent English-style barleywine with a unique blend of dark fruit and malt flavors. Want more of this especially on a cold winter day!

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.65/5  rDev -11.8%
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.

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Photo of artoolemomo
3.92/5  rDev -5.3%
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+.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.99/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

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Photo of mfavoino
4.34/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2011 bottle shared four ways on 3/1/13.

A: Pours a deep brown with red highlights. Just a slight rim of head around the glass.

S: Rich caramel malts, dark fruit, toffee. Very rich indeed.

T: Huge toffee and caramel marts from the moment it hit the palate. Subtle dark fruit sweetness adds to the richness. Definitely get the same richness that I remember from MOAS.

M: A heavy, somewhat syrupy barleywine. A sipper for sure.

O: An incredible rich barleywine that impressed. It was interesting to have this to after MOAS, which definitely adds another component with the barrel.

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Photo of Brandywine
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25


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.

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Photo of jlindros
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

New Year's Eve, and just after a couple decent sized snow storms blew past. Here is the 2010 vintage thanks to oregone for this beer. Absolutely loved MoaS, and usually a big fan of aged Englaish barleywines, so hope this is good.

Pours a light fizzy 1/3 finger head that fades fairly quickly as the big bubbles pop but normal for a 13% abv beer, over a dark molasses colored beer, very little mahogany light streaming through, and despite not enough head for lacing there are some nice legs running down the sides.

Nose is very powerful, and I could smell it on the pour. Lots of dark malts, an aged malt goodness almost like a well done old ale, caramel, molasses, little syrupy, etc. Quite nutty, and plenty of toffee, like a nut covered toffee candy. Quite toasty as well, a little bready and chewy with the toastiness, and an overall deep malt sweetness and just that nice aged malt aroma.

Taste is similar to the nose, tons of malts, and various malts. Starts with a toasty malt, light bready and reddish like malts, leading into plenty of caramel and molasses flavors again. Then the dominant big time nutty and toffee flavors, so much of the two, and a little biscotti. Sweetness is quite a bit but not over sweet, even for me, which is also fairly syrupy and rich. This also leads into the booze, warming and slightly tingly booze, but doesn't feel nearly like 13% as it's balanced well by the sweet malts. It also brings light aged malt flavors, again like an old ale, as well as just hints of earthy hops and some light bitterness. Finish is where the bitterness comes out a bit but still light, with lots of lingering sweeteners, starting with an interesting coffee syrup flavor, tons more toffee and nutty flavors, molasses, caramel, and candy biscotti all lingering on the sticky semi sweet finish.

Mouth is full bodied, rich, syrupy, surprising fluffy carbonation, and some warming booze that doesn't nearly hit the 13%, until it's on the way down my throat (and after I'm feeling it halfway through the beer).

Overall quite a nice beer. I'm a fan of English Barleywines, especially when aged a couple years, so this should have been pretty good unless they screwed it up, and they didn't. Lots of malts that are nice, mostly toffee and nutty flavors, nice caramel and toasted malts as well, and a molasses and biscotti like flavors in there too. Nice light bitterness mostly on the back end, and soft aged malts. Booze is hidden fairly well, and it will get me buzzed quickly.

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Photo of ChadQuest
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

When you get a surprise box from a past trader it is always filled with good stuff. jtmartino is the man.


Looks dark, dark brownish with amber on the edges with loose tan cap that dissipates out.
Nose is packed with sugar rolled caramelized dark fruits of assorted varieties.
Flavors are dense, rich, and sweet in the same way that a solid port is, so much viscous dark raisin and leathery brown sugars combined into a thick mouthfeel that is richer then an (insert hyperbole).

After drinking many bottles of Mother of all Storms, it is very interesting to drink the base beer. The barrels seem to really cut through into creating MOAS, which is why i love it, but this is a base beer that can take a big cut and still be around for more richness. Did i mention it was thick, rich and port like?

I drank this beer over the course of 4 hours. Most of my Solo BW adventures are done in this manor, it's the best way.


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Photo of ehammond1
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2011)

Acquired via online purchase

(Aged for 1 year)

Dark brown and dark amber in color with very little visible carbonation. This is darker than most barleywines and leaves very little, almost zero, stick down the glass. Still, a pretty color.

Good amounts of dark fruit character in the aroma--lots of fig and chocolate-covered raisins. There's some sweetness, caramel and toffee, along with some bread and alcohol.

A delicious barleywine. The amount of dark fruit character present in this beer is quite astounding and surprising, along with some moderate chocolate notes, bread, and booze. Complete. While clearly a big, high-ABV, this is incredibly drinkable.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

One of my absolutely favorite (non barrel-aged) barleywines.

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Photo of zeledonia
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%
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).

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Photo of dirtylou
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
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

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Photo of nmbr0ne
4.07/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into snifter from 22oz bottle, dated 2011.

Appearance: Dark reddish-brown color. Very dark. No head. Barely any lacing.

Smell: Raisins. Hints of butterscotch. A little alcohol. Sweet.

Taste: Raisins again but not as dominant as in the smell. More caramel and subtle bits of vanilla. Sweet throughout with a surprisingly lingering bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium to thick bodied. Warming alcohol feeling after the finish. Decent carbonation. Somewhat smooth, but not really. Not heavy though.

Overall: I'm actually pleasantly surprised by the slight bitterness in the finish, and I welcome it. Most of the times barleywines are too sweet for my taste, but this one was good. I enjoyed it. Wish it looked more appealing though.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.94/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

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