Mother Of All Storms - Pelican Pub & Brewery

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Mother Of All StormsMother Of All Storms

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433 Reviews

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Reviews: 433
Hads: 1,717
Avg: 4.42
pDev: 9.05%
Wants: 1,521
Gots: 591 | FT: 72
Brewed by:
Pelican Pub & Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  14.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-25-2008

First Release - November 2008 'The Perfect Storm'
2007 Stormwatcher's Winterfest Barleywine, aged in 1998 Evan Williams Bourbon Barrels.

Second Release - October 2009 'The Perfect Storm'
2008 Stormwatcher's Winterfest Barleywine, aged in 1998 Evan Williams Bourbon Barrels.

***NOTE - Third Release - November 2010 The name was changed to 'Mother of All Storms' for trademark reasons.***

Fourth Release - November 2011

31.7 degrees Plato
Alcohol: 13.5% by volume
Bitterness: 40 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 433 | Hads: 1,717
Photo of afksports
4.28/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a good beer Christmas. Following the Alpha Klaus, I'm sharing this one with the family. Mom and Dad, appreciate it please!

I poured the 2010 vintage of this bourbon barrel aged barleywine into a couple of wine glasses and watched the head dissipate to barely any lacing. Not surprising, given the wood aging, I suppose. It's clear when held up to light, but very dark amber and red in appearance. Alcohol smacks you in the nose, but the primary flavor is bourbon. Not a lot of it though. Taste-wise, I can say this beer has made me like bourbon aging again. I had been burnt out on it.

It's got the sweetness of the barleywine, but without anything cloying. That sweetness matches the bourbon sweetness, and the malt notes really peek through. It's highly alcoholic, so it's more of a sipper, but that doesn't mean it can't get you twisted!

Just, you know... good luck finding a bottle.

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Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.27/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark red. Almost black. Nice tan head. Dissapated to a ring. Looks thick.

Aroma is almost straight bourbon. Malty barlyewine wine aroma. Caramels. Chocolate and dark fruits.

Taste is rich. Almost too rich. Tons of bourbon, malty caramel and dark fruits. Pretty intense.

Mouthfeel is super thick. Good carb though.

Overall I'm glad I'm sharing this one. It's super heavy and I would not be able to drink alot. Tasty though.

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Photo of beerhan
4.27/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 Bottle split three ways.

A-Thick, dark, brown with almost a purple hue to it. Very thin cocoa head which fades quickly.

S-Toffee, cocoa, molasses, earthy fruitiness.

T-Lots of bourbon in this one. Bourbon more or less overpowers everything but it is also very sweet. Some fig and lots of chewy toffee flavors. Little bit of chocolate in here as well.

M-Very little carbonation and this one does pack a bite. I feel that if there was just a bit more carbonation it would not feel so thick.

O-This was a great beer, a real sipper. The bourbon flavor was very nice and it was almost like you are chewing thick bourbon than drinking a beer. My only complaint with some BBBWs is that they just don't have enough carbonation. I would drink this again but I am mostly glad to have ticked it off of my list.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.27/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle of the '09 release generously shared by bmanning at a tasting in November 2009.

A: Pours a dark caramel with nice light tan head and lacing.

S: The initial whiff brings forward quite a bit of bourbon and alcohol. Underneath there is caramel, wood, vanilla, toffee, and a bit of dark fruits.

T: Again, the first taste brings forward tons of hot bourbon. The underlying flavors are all quite nice and complex, but it takes a while to sort through the hotness of it all. This is what keeps it down at a 4.0, although I could see an aged version of this absolutely creeping up to a 4.5 or even a 5.0, depending on how the heat recedes.

M: Even though this is fairly hot, the complexity is outstanding, begging me to slowly chew every sip of the beer.

D: This was a hard one to put down; sip after sip news things are developing. Would love to try this down the line with some more age on it.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.27/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark burgundy color with very nice carbonation and a thin tannish green head that eventually subsides to a thin lacing ring.

S - Big nose with a healthy dose of vanilla, toasted toffee, oak, bourbon, and slight traces of maple. The nose is sweet and for the strength, while boozy, it's not obnoxiously so.

T - Slightly medicinal, boozy, and sweet. Bourbon takes the front seat immediately and doesn't let go, dominating throughout. Fairly heavy oaky wood flavors, roasted toffee/caramel, and bourbon with some dark fruitiness added in. Everything blends together very nicely without being cloyingly sweet. There's a substantial boozy effervescence during and after the sip.

M - Thick, full bodied, syrupy, and leaves a massive sticky coating of sugar on the lips. The mouth is filled with oak and bourbon for a lingering and sweet finish.

O - This is a very bold barley wine, next time, I will most likely split the bottle as it is a little intense to drink all 22 oz in one sitting! Bottom line, this is an awesome beer and well worth it if you're lucky enough to get some.

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Photo of Bendurgin
4.27/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review number 300 with a bottle courtesy of Grant. Thanks for all the great beers! Poured this one into a tulip. This one pours a light brown but sits dark and heavy in the glass. Just a small dark tan head for this that withers away quickly. Still, look pretty attractive.

Mellow bourbon comes through right away. Aromas of raisins brown sugar and toffee round it out. Lots of dark malts with a sweet undertone in the aroma. The flavor follows the aroma nicely. Sweet caramel on this with a figgy raisin flavor. Brown sugar and toasted malts round this one out with a complimentery bourbon finish.

This is thick chewy barelywhine. Smooth body with soft carbonation but it's bit sticky. Overall, this is great. I want more. It's a little warm going down but I'm glad to sip on this.

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Photo of raynmoon
4.27/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

a: very dark ruby red. Looks black at first but when held up to the light the red shines through. Mocha colored head and medium lacing/ alcohol legs.

s: Big barrel characteristics. Some sweet roasted hazelnut and sugary/molasses-like malt aromas. Touch tequila.

t: strong molasses sweetness that coats your moath followed by a sharp alcohol sting, but not too much alcohol flavor. The nuttiness is more on the back end.

mf: very nice and creamy. almost TOO creamy.

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Photo of mulder1010
4.26/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a globe glass
2010 vintage

A-- Dark brown with tints of ruby showing. Real nice color and hue to this. One finger light brown head that faded away to a thin film and collar. Obvious alcohol legs and left not traces of lacing. Just the alcohol legs.

S-- Yikes. Impressive nose. Forward bourbon, thick and rich carmel, vanilla, and oak. Underneath that was figs and dark fruits. Alcohol is very restrained in the nose.

T-- See above :) Just a silly mixture of figs, bourbon, vanilla, Oak, Carmel and touches of dark fruits. Just jelled together very well.

M-- Rich, luscious and thick. Medium bodied and light carbonation. Long lasting finish of bourbon, vanilla, figs and carmel.

O-- Gone before I knew it and was sad. Really well done beer and enough notes of the base beer to keep it interesting even with the very forward barrel notes. Alcohol was well hidden until the end and it hit like a hammer. Then again you just need one of these for the night.

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Photo of Buebie
4.26/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtasy of gford217.

The perfect beer for a lightening lit sky. Its storming here now as I drink this. Thought it was only fitting to open her up.

Poured from the 2009 bottle into an oversized snifter. A semi hard pour makes about a half inch of tan head. Receding to leave a collar. Color is a murky darker brown. Not the most attractive beer to look at and thats ok because it smells wonderful.

Aroma is very intriguing. Sweet mildly roasty with a bit of chocolate, distant chocolate really. Dark fruit is plentiful, figs, rasins, plum. Burnt caramel toffee is jumping from the glass with a buttery sweetness. Booze soaked wood, more wood then booze. A good amount of vanilla, some breadyness with kind of a belgian yeasty aroma too. Its bready, it just seems to hold a kind of belgian funky spice to it.
Aroma is very well balanced, no cloying alcohol heat, which is amazing for the 13.5% abv. It does not seem that high off the nose.

Taste is also quite good bordering the amazing. Heat here is much more pronounced, but not in a burning alcohol solvent flavor. Its more of the boozy kind. Its warm, you know its there, but it does not overwhelm the other flavors, its still balanced. The booze contains both wood and grain alcohol flavor, also a mild spice, similar to cracked peppercorn.
But starting out its mostly sweet with toffee, vanilla (quite a bit of vanilla) and a mild roasty chocolate grain flavor. Hops do not reveal themselves to me in this one and that is just fine. The other flavors a mingling well and provide me with intense satisfaction...I dont need the hops right now.

Mouthfeel is slick with a light syrup texture and mild carbonation. Not flat though, just silky smooth.

Drinkability is obviosly cut down by the warmth and the large flavors here. Its definatly a sipper. A good after dinner drink that can be enjoyed for a long period over a nice conversation.

Great beer guys, this being my first from the brewery. Loved it!

Returning to flavor as its been some time since I opened this and completed the review: Hops do provide a mild bittering long after the sip lingering slightly with a touch of pine.

Thank you Grant!

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Photo of MrVonzipper
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pitch black in glass which is a little surprising to me for the style. Bubbly tan head head with pretty short retention.

Solid bourbon barrel character in the nose. Caramel, notes of dark fruit and molasses. Not quite as complex as I'd hoped but nice.

Flavor is pretty big and bright with notes of dark fruit, oak, a bit of anise, caramel and molasses with a mild bitterness. Mildly sweet vanilla wafflecone-like aftertaste.

Mouth is medium-full bodied with low carb. A bit sticky.

Overall it's a very good beer but not quite as good as I had anticipated. I have traded away a few and put off the chance to try this and am finally trying it. Maybe I set my hopes a little too high? Some say it's better fresher??

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Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this as part of the Epic Bottle Share at TG. Extremely good but would have probably rated a little higher if it wasnt in the same tasting as a complete TG Stout Vertical.

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Photo of claspada
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 edition sampled 12.12.12.

Aromas are much less boozy than I remember from the aged bottled. Lots of dark prunes, toffee, dark bakers cocoa and molasses (almost leather). Some oak and alcohol heat emerge as it warms.

The tastes has lots of dark and milk chocolate, with emerging coconut bourbon and a little vanilla. A huge base of toffee and brown sugar. Finish is semi sweet and slick with ample sugar and oak coating your palate. Bitter molasses and some sweet maple also emerge as it warms.

Overall I think think version is more refined than the original, maybe the refined the base beer or improved or altered their barrel aging but this example is much better than I remembered. Still a beast and should be shared; just a monster flavor wise.

2008 bottle courtesy of hoppymcgee. Still says The Perfect Storm on the label (original name).

Pours a viscous dark, dark brown with a small khaki head that recedes rapidly leaving adequate lacing.

Aromas begin with a decent amount of alcohol surprisingly even after 3-ish years of cellaring. I also get some chocolate and the usual barely wine smells of caramel, toffee, vanilla, and dark fruit are there as well, along with some oak. But the booze is quite apparent here.

The tastes follow the nose of this monster. The booze can't hide amongst the excessive malts. Flavors of toffee and molasses, paired with some chocolate, and a boat ton of Evan Williams bourbon. Very thick, I feel like I should be chewing what is in my glass. This must have been a fresh barrel because it is very prevalent. Not overly offensive, just a really big beer and I am glad I only had a small sample.

The mouthfeel very nice and smooth, despite the alcohol bite in the finish. The carbonation is quite low and the body is quite full but not the fullest I have ever had and I wouldn't classify it as chewy by any means.

Overall this despite being 13.5% alcohol, it is surprisingly drinkable in small quantities. Definitely a sharing beer to be sipped and savored and a good one to contemplate the world with, if that makes any sense. I wonder if newer versions are equally as strong or if they are toned down a little. Glad I have two to find out down the road.

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Photo of Yesac
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 Vintage thanks to jwinship83

A- Dark brown in color, small off-white/brown head that quickly fades and moves to a ring around the glass.

S- Ah that all familiar barleywine aroma. This one is potent and sets a good expectation of a delicious beer. Big bourbon and bourbon barrel on the nose. Followed by syrup, and some fruits.

T-Along with smell.. bouron on the nose some hints of caramel, syrup, vanilla, fruits, sweet malt, slight barrel earthy finish. Everything is so very well balanced, I see why this is the #1 barleywine.

M- Medium/thick body, medium carbonation. Excellent coating on the palate, not to sticky. Just right.

O- A perfect storm indeed. This thing smells awesome and tastes just as great. What a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle shared by Balosss, thanks again. 2009 bottle I believe.

The Perfect Storm comes in the glass looking a very dark shaded brown with sprays of mahagony towards the sides. Nice dark beige foam sits on top with nice retention, no sticks though.

Smell is in your face bourbon. The aroma is very strong and it hits you. The bourbon is big, some vanilla/oak notes with dark fruits, mollasses, etc. Some sweet caramel with warming and some booze.

With some time on this bottle, the heat is there. The alcohol is noted and blends into the bourbon and malty base well. Heat, bourbon, into some oaky territory with the usual vanilla. Some dark fruit comes into play with warming.

Feel is big and approaching thick. The carb is there, yet not overbearing. A nice amount of heat creeps up on the tounge, especially with warming, but there is so much flavor to go along with it.

All in all, this is one of the better English Barleywines I've had from America. I could imagine this vintage was super hot when 1st out. For my 1st time having it, this is nice stuff.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a snifter. Vintage 2012. From notes. Reviewed 27 June 2015.

Ruby glints. No head.
It smells deep and boozy, with toasty brown sugar.
Sugar deep and rich and spicy fun. It's a bit flat, but the burnt fruity booziness carries throughout everything.
Good but not great. Wouldn't have again.

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Photo of Rinkor16
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had the opportunity to enjoy this with animortician, my brother and a buddy from work. We tasted this alongside King Henry and Abacus.

A: A nice brown with little lacing that didn't stick around.

S: BOURBON. Then some roastly malt. But the bourbon is right there in your face.

T: After starting with Abacus this one was a little odd for me. It was well balanced and the bourbon wasn't too overpowering. But the finish was left with a weird after taste. It didn't taste bad... Just odd.

M: The carbonation was a little low. Hard to hide that high ABV level. I could definitely taste it.

O: A good English Barleywine. Personally, I would choose Abacus over this. Even though it's rated higher. Might had been a bad batch or something. It was good but the odd after taste killed it a little.

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Photo of udchemist
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Got to taste the bourbon barrel aged @ the jacki os release feb 2011.
Appearance - little to no head, dark.
Taste - mostly malts when cold, change and became softer as it warmed up.
Smell - malts, oats, dark fruits
Mouthfeel - nice taste up front and on the finish, solid beer nice feel on the palate
Drinkability - good.

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Photo of mynie
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This was the first buzzy barrel-aged barleywine I remember reading about. It’s good and all, but frankly I’m burned out on barrel-aged things. It tastes like vanilla. Or—OR, it tastes fiery like whiskey. And also a little like beer. Whoopie.

I mean, again, it tastes good and all, but I kind of miss the days when we got excited because beer tasted like beer.

Back when I brewed, I sucked. I could understand brewing on paper and had a decent enough nose and palette to tell between different hop and yeast varieties. But I’m impatient and have ADD and am 1/18th basset hound and therefore prone to running through glass porch doors in pursuit of sparkly butterflies. Where was I going with that? Oh, yeah! Impatience! That and brewing do not mix, and so I’d always do something stupid or forget something important and my beers would turn out not very good.

But one time I brewed a high-acid double IPA and I put a cheesecloth sack full o’ oak chips in the secondary. It tasted pretty damn good. All of the off nodes—which, trust me, simply must have been there—were blotted out by vanilla and alcohol and citrusy hops. I cheated, and so I won.

Extremity erases character. That’s why it’s so weird to think that at one point Hitler was a sensitive painter type. Not to say this is the Hitler of beers. I mean, yeah, it gets Shit done, however messily—but I’m going down a weird road, here.
Again, this is not the Hitler of beers.

It does, however, win the award for most annoying shit I’ve ever seen written on a bottle. I’m too full of worms to get up and see what it actually said, but it was something like “you got to wait years on the ocean to see a storm this intense.” Breweries should hire writers. I could do much better. Like, I’d said “this beer is like vanilla and barleywine like a pelican’s salty, barnacled beak.” That sucked. Fine. But it was still less lame than what they wrote.

Full review:

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Photo of trappistlover
4.24/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Sampled at Dak’s Memorial Day tasting. Courtesy of Dak!!). I almost passed on this because it was getting late in the day and I have a bottle at home. That would have been a major mistake. This beer is unbelievable!! Pours a clear mahogany with no head. Aroma of bourbon, vanilla, coconut and caramel dominate. Taste follow suit with a sweet blend of bourbon, coconut and vanilla. Did I mention coconut?? Medium bodied wit ha slick texture. Super smooth. This is a kick ass beer!!

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.24/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared by Adam last night. '14 vintage.

Pours a slightly murky brown, with a very small head, and no lacing.

Smells like a big old bourbon bomb, tons of bourbon, oak, and alcohol, with typical barleywine. This smells pretty "hot."

It seems like this one might need a little time to mellow out. As it is now, it's a stellar barleywine, but I think with 2 years on it, this could become god tier. Now, there's a good amount of spicy booze and oak, some char, caramel, dark fruit, coconut, and an absolutely insane amount of bourbon flavor here. Bourbon bomb for sure.

This is medium bodied, with a thick and syrupy mouthfeel, with a crisp alcoholic bite at the end of each sip. It's definitely a slow sipper, due to how strong the booze is.

I'd love to try a '12 or '13 of this, or try a '14 in a few years. Now, it's slightly too hot, and needs a bit of time to mellow out. However, even at this stage, its still delicious and clearly well-crafted.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.24/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Maudite snifter. Pours a very dark russet brown with only a thin light tan head that dissipated to a ring around the glass. There appears to be active carbonation, but the bubbles don't stick around. Classic English barleywine aroma of caramel malt and dark fruit with nice bourbon and oak notes. Flavor follows with caramel malt, brown sugar, bourbon, dark dried fruit, a hint of cherry and chocolate. Finishes somewhat dry with oak and light hops. Medium bodied. Alcohol is covered but still hot and warming. A really nice English barleywine that was worth waiting for. Will lay a few bottles away for ageing, I think this will score even higher when the alcohol mellows and the flavors balance out over time.

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Photo of Etan
4.24/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into a Maine Beer Company wine glass. 2011 vintage.

A: Pours a dark cola brown with a small dark tan head. No lacing or retention.

S: Raisiny with a lot of barrel notes. Prunes, toffee, dark grain, vanilla, pleasant sting of booze.

T: Roasted malt, crushed raisins, vanilla, slight hop oil and bitterness, a bit of oxidation, heavy boozy heat throughout. Tannic and bitter in the finish.

M: Thick with slight, tingly carbonation.

O: The alcohol shows itself a bit too much, leaving a slight astringent bitterness, but otherwise this is good.

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Photo of sukwonee
4.24/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Edit: 2 years must be what it takes. I opened 2012 vintage today (9-8-2014) and boy it's just awesome.

It definitely got sweeter over time and alcohol burn is pretty much gone at this point.

Still ton of barrel character, toffee, vanilla, caramel... wow. Amazing. I am upping my rating.

2011 Vintage bottle - consumed on 11/21/2012.

A: It's almost black - really dark reddish brown but clear body with half a finger head.

S: Wow. Vanilla, caramel, oak, dark fruits, alcohol, sweetness. amazing.

T: Vanilla, toffee, caramel malt, brown sugar, dark fruits (plum, cherries, fig). It's a tad bit hot. Barrel aging on this beer is done to perfection, adding so much complexity. If it was slightly less sweet and less boozy, it would been perfect. I think this could use another year or two of further cellaring.

Update* - I had a chance to try 2012 bottle (fresh) and I have to say that the fresh bottle had much more fruit notes and surprisingly less alcohol burn. It felt sweeter too.

M: Thick, syrupy, with lots of alcohol heat.

O: I think I much refer fresh Abacus/Sucaba over this, but it was pretty solid. Too sweet for me though.

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Photo of srandycarter
4.24/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark murky caramel, little to no tan head, leaves fast to disk. No lace.

S - Soy and pineapple - basically teriyaki. TONS of booze too.

T - Cocoa adds to the smell attributes, chocolate chips cookie feel.

M - Heavy body, decent carb, pretty good balance considering the flavors and the abv.

D - Cmon, palatte killer and will put you on the floor.

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Photo of bonkers
4.24/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I recieved this as part of a BIF, split with a friend. It pours very dark, medium head, light lacing. Stong bourbon aroma, vanilla, chocolate. The beer is boozey, bourbon, vanilla, chocolate. Nice sipper, lightcarbonation, full body. Very excited to try it, worth seeking out.

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Mother Of All Storms from Pelican Pub & Brewery
98 out of 100 based on 433 ratings.