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Mother Of All Storms - Pelican Pub & Brewery

Not Rated.
Mother Of All StormsMother Of All Storms

Educational use only; do not reuse.

433 Reviews

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Reviews: 433
Hads: 1,720
Avg: 4.42
pDev: 9.05%
Wants: 1,520
Gots: 592 | FT: 71
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: 1,720
Photo of ThickNStout
4.61/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Gold foil capped bottle from BeerShip.com. 2014 vintage, bottled 10/5/14. Served in a Bruery snifter.

Pours an opaque, chestnut brown with burgandy highlights and a little less than one finger ecrue head. The bubbles quickly shrink to a thin collar, leaving only a few occasional dots of lace.

Sweet, inviting nose. Toffee, bourbon, caramel, vanilla and port.

Taste is spot on. Bourbon, toffee, toast, brandy soaked raisins, caramel, cereal, vanilla, dark fruit, oak, leather, earth, faint char and of coarse a healthy dollop of booze. So rich and flavorful that it goes down with an ease that belies its mid teen abv.

Near-syrupy, full feel with mild carbonation. Finishes sweet with booze doused dark fruit, toffee and caramel.

Mother Of All Storms is a top tier barrel aged English barleywine. This one is well worth a hunt/chase. Very glad that I procurred multiples.

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Photo of abeeronthebeach
4.6/5  rDev +4.1%

Nietzsches_Horse really nails it: a dessert beer if ever there was one, this beer is so intensely sweet that it teeters between being undrinkably sweet and thoroughly delicious. Sipper, sipper, sipper.

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Photo of Nietzsches_Horse
4.55/5  rDev +2.9%

More, perhaps, than any other beer I've yet tried, this one manages to walk the fine line between being utterly undrinkable (on account, mostly, of its intense sweetness) and being utterly delicious (on account of its rich, malty flavors). A memorable offering, but if you have it in a bottle, plan on sharing that bottle one or two ways if you can.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.3/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

2014 bottle (bomber) poured into a teku glass.

Pours viscous and thick, dark brown and almost black initially. The head is a fizzy dark-khaki that dissipates almost immediately, leaving only a pitch-black liquid. With no lace or head, it appears to be a flat coca-cola almost. 4.25

I think of port with my first whiff. Raisins and booze certainly. Dark chocolate and vanilla mingle. Oak and bourbon are eventually more obvious but they don't dominate the aroma. 4.25

The flavor is pretty true to the nose. Raisin-heavy, suggestive of port or rum raisin pudding (just like HF Aaron I had yesterday), and thick with caramel flavor. Notes of oak and vanilla persist throughout. The finish reminds me of dark fruit and chocolate. 4.25

The mouthfeel is thick and very dessert wine-like. The carbonation is moderate and tickles the mouth a bit before a bit of a boozy feel. Really though, the booze is masterfully buried with this brew. It's exceptionally smooth and easy to drink. 4.75

I think the shining aspect of this beer is how easy it drinks. Beguilingly smooth. I have to say, I think my local Marble barleywine gives this a run for it's money. Either way, I look forward to aging a couple for future consumption.

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Photo of jds16
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%

2014 vintage, poured from 22 oz bottle into snifter.

Dark reddish-black, head quickly faded to a ring. Smells of molasses, vanilla, oak, and a little boozy. Tastes how I anticipated from the smell, but better. Same flavors as in the aroma, with some dark dried fruits in there as well. Sweet, but not overly sweet. Exceptionally smooth, hides its alcohol well (though clearly a sipper). Lived up to the hype and then some.

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Photo of Serenity_Now
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

I'm more of an IPA guy, but I just had the 2014 Mother Of All Storms on it's first day released...really good, smooth, full of flavor, strong w/o tasting too strong...good beer!

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Photo of Ciocanelu
4.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Dark ruby color when looking into the light. Very nice aroma: toffee, caramel, dark malts, bourbon. Taste starts sweet with dark sugar and molasses and finishes more balanced with caramel and toffee. Mouthfeel is syrupy with just a bit of carbonation to make it easily drinkable. One of the best English style barleywines I had.

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Photo of constantine_272
4.4/5  rDev -0.5%

2012 vintage. "Bottled 121712." Been aging in my cellar for the past year and a half. Have another there I'm saving for maybe in a year or two.

Wow. That's a lot of beer. Huge malty sweet flavor bomb. Notes of cinnamon and nutmeg. Chocolate, caramel , molasses , brown sugar , vanilla ice cream. Lots of rich leathery sweet flavor profiles and some reduced balsamic. Flavor finishes long and tangy with bourbon and toasted oak along with a rich dark earthy muddiness. Almost compost flavored, but more like black nutrient rich soil.

Finish is syrupy and sweet and coats the mouth. A tingly carbonic/graphite crispness tries to cover the syrupy finish, but it can't hold up to it.

Smell is big sweet and syrupy again. Bonilla and brown sugar again. Viscosity is out of this world. Ridiculously thick.

Overall, this is an amazing beer. Though, it looses points in my mind for the texture. It's too viscous for me, though I understand developing this sort of flavor profile has its drawbacks. I can't imagine how much grain went into making this!

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Photo of unclekeith
4.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011 bomber in a Teku

L: Dark ruby fighting to keep all light from passing through, thin white head that builds to 1 finger before slowing dissapating
S: Oak, booze, caramel
T: Sweet, oaky, with a nice malt backbone, spicy
M: Viscous, chewy, with a mild alcohol burn lingering on the lips
O: This beer is right up my alley - even after 4 years it is still aggressive, no mistake this is a big beer that doesn't deal in subtleties

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Photo of JasonLovesBeer
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

This was an absolute standout at last night's beer share, and as a result I still vividly remember the flavour the next morning. It is full of toasted coconut and quite a bit of roastiness for a BW, and breaks to a big salted toffee back end. Smell was vanilla, coconut, and general sweetness. This was almost cloyingly sweet, but still delicious.

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Photo of mabermud
4.59/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This English style barley-wine was served to me in a 12 oz snifter, without a head. The serving was the darkest brown you could imagine, it was impenetrable. Aside from the very few bubbles spotted when this beer was served, there was nothing there besides the darkest brown liquid.

The smell was of heavy malt syrup, soy sauce, and some vanilla. Super sweet smelling soy sauce :)

The taste = malt syrup, vanilla, soy sauce, faded rich dark fruit, and sweet bread.

The mouthfeel for The Mother of All Storms was decadent. How? It was smooth, no carb, syrupy, and rich feeling.

Overall, this is a decidedly, smooth, rich, balanced, well-crafted, English Barley-wine that is perched atop the barley-wine food chain. It is easy drinking and dangerous. I have not had a comparable barley-wine.

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Photo of zhanson88
4.18/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2010.

Appearance: Pours a clear auburn color, with 1/2" of light khaki colored head. pretty nice retention time, and ultimately reduced down to a thin ring around the edges of the glass. minimal lacing.

Smell: Rich, sticky toffee, vanilla, hints of wood, medium amount of oxidation, which does not retract too much, and is reasonable considering this is 4 years old.

Taste: Toffee, caramel, sherry, wood, vanilla, and hints of oxidation, although not as prevalent as the nose. Sweet, but not too much so especially for this style.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full mouthfeel, appropriate carbonation, sticky with residual sugars. Again, good. Overall, this probably would have been better a year ago, but still has retained much of its quality. A bit oxidized, but does not affect the beer too much overall. I have a 2011 that I will open very soon and hope it has faded a bit less than this.

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Photo of MDDMD
4.47/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-dark orange brown color with a smallish light tan head and a little lacing

S-toffee, raisins, bourbon, oak, vanilla, little caramel

T-raisins, figs, toffee, vanilla, oak, caramel, bourbon

F-medium body with light to medium carbonation, smooth, creamy, and a little boozy

O-one of the benchmarks for the style, a great sipper which will mellow nicely over time

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Photo of TheBrewo
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Here it is. We cut the foil and pop the top on a bomber of their 2012 stock, pouring into our oversized tasting snifters. It pours thick and syrupy, settling the color of the brown bottle it came in. A brief finger’s height of a head is produced, but this fades quickly into the ether. No real haze or sediment is appreciated. The aroma screams toffee and bourbon at the top of its lungs. Otherwise, the nose is titillated by notes of raw honey, dark and juicy plum and black cherry flesh, huge buttery diacetyls, thick curtains of slick oakiness, deeply roasted chocolate, caramel, and dank amber grain, vanilla bean, malted milk balls, spicy ethanol burn, and a smoldering cedar character. The flavor…oh, the flavor!! It is incredibly sweet, but absolutely perfectly balanced. Malts come in the form of heavy chocolate, caramel, and amber grain, and roasty barley, with intrinsic sweetness of the bourbon and oak, pound cake, dense plastic phenols, ceramic, warming butters and toffees, slick and metallic coolness of vanilla bean, chalks, vinous white grape skins, and the baked, flakey crispiness of fresh croissants. The body is thick and chewy, with lighter carbonation to match. Slurp and sip are big, giving the old mustache, despite lower creamage or frothage. The mouth is coated a foot deep, dripping into only mild astringency after a few minutes. The abv is appropriate, and drinkability remains at a snail’s pace the entire night.

Overall, this is the mother of all mothers of beer, and the anticipation and excitement levels were obviously through the roof. Contrasting against some of these whales that may taste the same as its top-tiered brethren stylistically, this is a sure standout for barleywines. As soon as you open the bottle, the aromas hit the room from corner to corner, enticing you with every breath. The flavoring is extremely pure and full, with absolutely nothing offensive about it. There is almost no aftertaste, due in part to the thick coating of sugar left around the mouth, but more so due to the fact that the blend is so utterly perfected. If you’ve had Westy 12 you’ll know what we mean when we say that this should be the basic prototype for the style. There are no bells or whistles you’re not expecting, but rather you are presented with something so pure and unabashed. We keep using the word “pure”, but there really isn’t any other way to put it. This is one of the most palpably slow drinkers in recent memory. You don’t want to guzzle or pound because the flavoring is so amazing, but rather you want to finesse this one, and perhaps take it out for a nice seafood dinner, by candlelight, followed by a romantic ride in a horse-drawn carriage. Oh, yes. You want this experience to last forever.

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Photo of dgilks
4.46/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Clear dark mahogany colour with a small tan head. Nice.

Big bourbon and lightly fruity aroma. Lots of caramel and nut.

Big and malty. Creamy caramel, toffee and nuts.

Medium full body with moderate carbonation.

Really solid. Great flavour and balance.

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Photo of blankenhoney
4.74/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2013 vintage poured into a whisky glass and shared with a few friends.

A monstrous, decadent beast of a beer. Pours a rich carmel cola shade of brown; some real boozy legs, too. Kind of an intimidating-looking brew. Aromas of butterscotch, vanilla, and burnt brown sugar. Lots of wood from the barrels. Based on appearance and aroma, double-checking your glass to make sure you're not drinking straight bourbon would be entirely understandable. Taste is wonderful: mellow vanilla marshmallow, sweet dark fruit, butterscotch, and brown sugar.
Mouthfeel is creamy and viscous, but heavy and domineering; would be near impossible to crush this one in a solo op (however I'm tempted to try it if I can land another bottle). To repeat: a monstrous, decadent beast…and one of the finest barleywines I've had.

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Photo of pmlondrigan
4.16/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a 2012 vintage I'm drinking. Very deep brown and when the light hits it a deep red garnet color created. Initially a reddish deep brown head is formed and fades away, a thin ring remains around the class. Not surprising given the alcohol content. Aroma is jammy, with raisins. Alcohol is rather present even after two years. Some barrel presence remains. Port like. Flavor is heavy on the booze, port and sherry like flavors waft in and become heavy and prominant. Burnt caramel, raisins, and toffee mingle with the sherry and port flavors. Complex flavor, really it is, way beyond a barrel bomb. Slick, oily mouthfeel. Thick. Not cloying however. The alcohol creates a sharp and clearly burn like quality. There is no doubt this is an exceptional ale. Downsides, the alcohol keeps coming back and reminding me it is there, the burnt caramel flavor is rather strong and can be off putting, the palate is left muddy.

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Photo of snaotheus
4.01/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured at 41 F into a large chalice. Bottled on date is 12.03.13.

Pours dark brown, but translucent, with little or no head, not much carbonation. Doesn't look cloudy, just dark. Smell is mostly alcohol for me (although my wife can't smell it). I get dark fruit, a little smoke. Yeast. Overripe fruit.

Taste is hella sweet. Some alcohol, masked well by the incredible sweetness. Some smokey flavor. Woody. Something is really nice about this, but I can't nail it down with a descriptor. Maybe some slight vanilla.

Mouthfeel is silky and smooth. Overall, I like this beer, but I still can't describe why.

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Photo of timc100
4.71/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

2012 Vintage had at 2.5 years old.

Incredibly rich, dark and sticky barleywine. Dark chocolate macaroon with an undercurrent of rich plum and other dark fruit. Macaroon taste comes from the caramelized oak and bourbon - vanilla cream, coconut and nuttiness. Very nice bourbon on this as well.

Worlds better than the 2013 and a top barleywine no doubt.

2013 vintage, had at a half a year about. Rated 4.23

Very dark barleywine - opaque black in the glass. When held up to a light it's surprisingly clear with a dark ruby/red wine color. The burnt khaki head fades immediately.

Lots of bourbon oak, red wine, musty, booze, some caramel and overpowered dark fruits. Aroma seems restrained, this is the first time having it so that is an odd comment to make - pretty hot and disjoined but still very good.

Huge flavor - booze, bourbon soaked oak, some slight vanilla and dark fruits in the back ground. Prominent red wine note. Dry for the style, which is interesting - not very sweet. Feels great - full bodied, very soft carbonation - carries the flavors well.

Very good beer, excited to see what age can do. Can imagine it improving - mellowing out and blending together. Time will tell.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.68/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got a 2011 vintage from Stupac a while back. Cheers man! That one was pretty awful and I scored it a 2.65. It was just too hot, thin bodied and abrasive. Definitely a chore. A little while later I had a taste of a 2012 and that was a whole new experience. Big thanks to ScottO for sending me a 2012 to enjoy myself.

From a bomber into a snifter
Vintage: 2012
Aged in bourbon barrels

APPEARANCE: Same as the 2011. This one pours a one finger, very loose and fizzy, tan colored head that fizzes away immediately. Only a slight ring is left after the quick disappearing act. A transparent rosewood red/brown in color with lower levels of carbonation evident. Quite dark for the style. A faint ring remains until the end but leaves no lacing down the glass. Body is fine, but the fizzy head was pretty unattractive.

SMELL: Toffee, raisins, grapes, brown sugar with some nice bourbon, oak, touches of vanilla and caramel on the nose. Some alcohol and coconut from the bourbon barrels. Pretty complex and inviting, and much better balanced than the 2011.

TASTE: Really nice. The fourteen percent ABV is noticeable, but it doesn't get in the way. Toffee, dark fruits, like raisins, dates and grapes, and some brown sugar up front before oak and bourbon at the swallow. More dark fruit, bourbon, vanilla and coconut linger linger with a bit of caramel sweetness as well. Bold and interesting flavor with enough boozy alcohol underneath. Much better crafted than the 2011 version, which was just an alcohol bomb.

PALATE: Medium body with medium levels of carbonation. Semi-creamy on the palate, a prickly perhaps, goes down okay with a burn at the swallow and finishes mouth-coating. A burn and some heat linger, but not outlandish. Could be a bit creamier and less prickly as well.

OVERALL: This was infinitely better than the 2011 I had a while back. Much less alcohol and burn, which allows the interesting flavor profile to come though. Perhaps some more time in the cellar will allow it to mellow out a bit more and take some of the heat out of the equation. That and a less prickly feel would make this one a real winner. Thanks again ScottO. Was a pleasure.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.21/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Mother! 2013 vintage, bottled 12/03/13 and enjoyed 02/28/2014. Bottle bought at Full Throttle Seattle for $27.25.

Appearance: Beautiful fizzy pour. Two fingers of solid but ephemeral head. Still and mysterious like a swamp. Enticing dark-auburn color, like an old church pew hidden in the attic of grandma's house.

Smell: Toffee, caramel, brown butter. Nuttiness abounds. Toasted grains, quinoa. Raisin. Old wine, most likely port. As it warms up, booze and wood come out to play. Milk chocolate confection (Milka).

Taste: Follows nose, intensified. More of that toffee, brown sugar, sweetness galore but not overwhelming. Candied bacon, bourbon gastrique. Syrup, fruit cake. Oak, vanilla, black pepper. Chestnut mousse and roasted parsnip. Reminds me of drinking Aventinus Eisbock or Samichlaus, but more refined. The Kentucky barrel is not immediately present but well blended with the overall brew.

Moutfeel: Low carbonation, medium body and full taste. Prickly-spicy feel. Sweetness in check.

Overall: I didn't like it as much as the first time (that 4.75 rating) but this is still a great beer. I enjoyed it more than Sucaba... drinks rather well for such a huge beer. Slighty one-dimensional perhaps, and a tad too filling, but it makes for a lovely sipper. Definitely would buy and enjoy again.

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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 KYGunner
4.4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5


Dark and silky brown this poured a thick lace of brown foam.

The aroma is thick with bourbon, oak, barley and wine like alcohols.

The flavor is far more complex as I taste whipped cream, fudge brownie, brown sugar, starchy grains, bourbonesque alcohol and subtle barrel wood.

Very smooth feel, but the bourbon does give off a warmth.

This is so interesting, so complex and quite a delight.

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Photo of jbaker67
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown/ruby shade with ring of tan foam. Aroma is heavy on dark, sticky fruits, adding wisps of chocolate, smoke and a lighter-than-expected bourbon presence. Taste is brimming with sticky toffee and barrel influence. Hint of anise spiciness in the finish. Thick mouthfeel with no real trace of heat. I think I’ve had more complex barleywines, but few as delicious and easy to drink. A superb example.

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Photo of busternuggz
4.44/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage, bottle date of 11-6-12.

Poured into an etched tulip glass. Opaque chestnut brown with a thin mocha head. Dissipates fairly quick but comes back with a swirl. It's over a year old though, I'll cut it some slack.

Rich, full aromas just spillin out the glass. Toffee, bread pudding, caramel, chocolate, vanilla, fig spread. A little bourbony booze.

Taste follows suit, but with toffee and dates at the front. Caramel, tawny port like notes, sorghum molasses. Ends with some bourbon. Vanilla and dates linger in the finish. A little bit more oxidation than I would have liked. Fairly sweet but not cloying. I caught a little bit of alcohol here and there but generally doesn't taste like 14%.

Medium bodied, smooth, syrupy but not thick.

Rich and complex, drinkable for it's ABV. They don't overdo it with the barrel aging either. I can see why this beer is so renowned. If you have a 2012 around drink it now, mine was already oxidizing and I think a bit past its prime.

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