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Mother Of All Storms - Pelican Pub & Brewery

Not Rated.
Mother Of All StormsMother Of All Storms

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,322 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,322
Reviews: 397
rAvg: 4.45
pDev: 9.21%
Wants: 1,413
Gots: 522 | FT: 48
Brewed by:
Pelican Pub & Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  14.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-25-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,322 | Reviews: 397 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of midaszero


4.65/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Very dark ruby body with a 1/4 inch coffee head that doesn't stick around to long.

S - Fruity and caramel up front with a solid bourbon nose mixed in. Some vanilla and oak is also noticeable.

T - Lots of bourbon flavor and a little burn but very little for an almost 14% abv. It is pretty rich and intense.

M - Thick body with a meduim body.

D - Very enjoyable but a sipper for sure.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2009 06:15:42 | More by midaszero
Photo of Lothore


4.63/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a very dark, reddish brown with a small brown head that fades quickly.

S- Very oaky, deep bourbon notes, brown sugar, caramel, hints of toffee.

T- Dark fruits up front, fig and plum followed by a wave of bourbon, brown sugar and faint piney hops.

M- Thick with medium carbonation.

D- Extremely drinkable for a beer this big. So well rounded. The strong and complex malt presence complemented perfectly by an equal wave of bourbon on the back end.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2009 04:05:45 | More by Lothore
Photo of yuriruley


5/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Very dark in color with a reddish tint to it. The head fizzled away very quickly. Good amount of carbination.

Smell - At first it smelled very fruity to me, but then the toffee/syrupy smell came on strong with hints of bourbon. Right at the end it really reminds me of a raw dough smell heh. The smell is great and very strong, I could smell it as soon as I popped the cap.

Taste - The toffee and the caramel really shine through in the taste along with the alcohol.

Mouthfeel - It is quite fizzy which I like.

Drinkability - Goes down alright, think it would go great with a hardy meal of some sorts.

Edit for 2010 MoAS

Much of the same as the last year, but more vanilla/marshmellow flavor and smell. I'd say this years is better and one of the best beers out there. So I am giving a 5. The drinkability is insane consider the ABV.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2009 23:16:30 | More by yuriruley
Photo of HopHead84


4.65/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed on 11/6/2009 and poured into a snifter. Thanks to largadeer for opening the bottle. The beer appears deep crimson when held to light with good clarity. The wispy head is one finger and a light toffee color.

The nose is outstanding, and it reminds me of...M. When I stuck my nose in the glass I immediately thought of the famed Midnight Sun beer. I'm greeted by strong vanilla and spicy oak notes. Bourbon is very well integrated in the nose. I detect dates and a hint of roast. The nose is boozy but it's fitting. Caramel and toffee are strong in the nose, and there's a touch of sherry-like and soy sauce oxidization, as well as a distinct earthy quality. Beautiful.

The beer opens sweet with strong vanilla, toffee, and caramel notes. Oak adds a touch of spiciness. Bitterness is at a medium level with that same earthy quality I found in the flavor. Bourbon is well integrated, providing complexity while not dominating. Alcohol heat hints at a beer below 10%, rather than the high 13.5%. The fruit component is reminiscent of dates. The beer finishes refreshingly dry with some noticeable heat and a whisper of soy sauce and sherry. The beer has a low level of carbonation that works very well. This is a top notch -bal aged English Barleywine. I can't recommend it enough. This beer is a prime candidate for aging, too.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2009 09:09:40 | More by HopHead84
Photo of mykie73


4.97/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Alas, I have been waiting to try this beer for a while.

Back story.... Purchased three of the first batch one year ago on an educated gamble (educated because Pelican is awesome; gamble because it was expensive and purchased in a mall kiosk); traded 2 of them, cellared one. All in the mean time, I have been watching the hype for this beer grow from afar, while my one remaining bottle has been tormenting me.

2009 served around 50-55ish degrees into a snifter. shared with MrMike or ipAfool

L) head is none existent--tiny bubbles cascade upwards (if the verb "cascade" can be used in an uphill motion) towards the side of the glass showing it's good carbonation. beautiful deep, dark brown-maroon while staying transparent despite color. not cloudy at all. looks amazing besides the lack of head.

L) toffee...lots of toffee, maple syrup, currants, raisons, vanilla, oak, sweet bourbon. a little bit of heat on end. There is a lot going on. As others have mentioned, smells like its going to be sweet and syrup-like...

T) ...and not as sweet as it smells. chocolate covered raisins (raisinets), vanilla yogurt covered raisins (goat berries), toffee, caramel, and bourbon... delicious bourbon. bourbon is dominant but does not overpower or offend; like three exclamation points at the end of a poetic sentence!!! (okay...bad example).

F) what a barleywine should be...not thin, not overly thick...just perfect.. chewy and has a dry finish. Tremendous coating of mouth with an aftertaste that lingers harmoniously; I want it to be my saliva.

D) This beer should never be on drought...at least not without a limit...because I fear I will not stop drinking it. insanely drinkable do to dry finish... worth the price tag. My roommate watched an entire episode and a half of project runway and I didn't move...I didn't look up...I didn't care...I just had a shit-eating-grin on my face starring at this masterpiece. I was lost in this beer... and I did not want to find a way out.

1998 Evan Williams Bourbon barrels and Pelican Stormwatchers Winterfest barleywine is truly is a perfect storm.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2009 05:47:21 | More by mykie73
Photo of alcstradamus


4.88/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an absolutely stunning deep red color that looks black in low light. Honestly one of the best colors I have seen for a beer...just menacing. Not too much head formed in my tulip, but a persistent and thick collar did form and stick around.

The smell is a sweet and inviting mix of dark fruits and wood, with surprisingly mellow bourbon. This didn't really seem too potent at first, but with every swirl of the glass came wave after wave of wonderful vanilla, toffee, and plums. Absolutely fantastic.

Holy cow....the taste is far more potent that I had imagined it would be based on the nose. And wow this is rich and decadent. Honestly, I'm sitting here and I'm trying to come up with words to describe it and all that is running through my head is WOW JESUS HOLY SHIT THIS IS WOW I CAN'T BELIVE IT HOLY SHIT. Eloquent, I know...

....but anyway, back to the beer at hand. This is utterly superb. Rich and luscious chocolate and toffee take center stage, with the bourbon and other barrel notes providing a punch that magnifies everything that is great about this beer and hides anything that could potentially be subpar. And it hides it well, because this is flawless. You know those Hershey's Skor bars? Not the most popular candy bar in the world, but one of my favorites. Dip that bar in a bath of bourbon and you have just created The Perfect Storm.

The mouthfeel on this is full and creamy and perfect. Plenty of carbonation to splash the flavors throughout the mouth, but enough heaviness that it also marinates on the tongue for an extended period after swallowing.

Drinkability is almost an afterthought with this beer. It is hugely alcoholic, so you would be crazy to want more than a bomber at a time. But that is irrelevant in my opinion, because this beer is not designed for mass consumption. It is one of the best dessert beers I have ever had, and is already one of the most memorable beers I have ever had and I'm not even done with the bomber yet. That to me is what drinkability is all about.

I really wanted to give this beer straight 5's....the only reason I docked any points was because of the weak head. Is that fair? I don't know. Everything else about the look was fantastic...but I'm just trying to be consistent with my other reviews. When I crack another one of these in the future, I will see if I still feel the same way about it as I do right now. Because right now this is on an extremely short list of the best tasting beers I've ever had. Get it now!

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2009 00:59:14 | More by alcstradamus
Photo of Pawel


4.45/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Man am I ever glad that I took the time out of my day to run down to Pelican and pick up a couple cases of this stuff. Not only is it a beautiful place, but this beer is just phenomenal. The smell is all various bourbon notes, with the vanilla and oak that you expect. Taste is more of the same with a wonderful malty backbone just behind it. The only BA beer that I've ever had that took this much flavor off the barrels is Bourbon County Stout, but this one is a little less sweet, and yet still seems to have more flavor.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2009 20:14:19 | More by Pawel
Photo of thethrone


4.97/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One word summary: Awesome.

22oz bomber, 2009 vintage, enjoyed via snifter starting at an unmeasured temperature I'll refer to as "lightly chilled".

The aroma is amazing. Caramel, bourbon, toasted oak, buttery vanilla, a deep robust spice, and a bit of alcohol to let you know it is meant to be taken seriously. This beer has one of those smells that that I could just take in all day. The only disappointment here is that the scale only goes to five. It doesn't end there; the taste delivers on everything the aroma promises. Creamy and smooth, complex without overwhelming, sweet without being syrupy, strong without being boozy, and just enough carbonation to hold it all together.

This beer is the real deal, and is easily among the best beers I have had the pleasure of enjoying. If you enjoy this style, then The Perfect Storm should be on your short list of beers to seek out.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2009 05:15:07 | More by thethrone
Photo of Beerzebub


4.88/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Brand new 2009 bomber, poured in a big wine glass at 54F, rising to 60F over the lengthy course of this review.

Beautiful color, a deep translucent red-brown. Initially, a ring of creamy yellow froth around the edge of the glass leaves some thick rings of lace, then dissipates entirely and the color of the liquid is unobscured, a rich gold at the edges.

Great big complex aroma. Toasty woodsy bourbony bourbon barrel, with deep complex spicy herbacious tobacco a bit like a good cigar crossed with sweet red vermouth, and sweet heady booze, a bit of bubblegum, mild vanilla, mild fennel, a hint of ripe dark fruit, and some earthiness. The bourbon barrel is well integrated with the malt; they belong together, the aroma is cohesive. Great depth and complexity, along with bright freshness, and the aroma blossoms and evolves continuously as the beer breathes and warms.

The flavor is like the aroma, but somehow even deeper, more complex, more intense. Sweet dark caramel and booze are perfectly balanced by deep, deep, DEEP tobacco/barrel/spice/earth. This is almost like a great bourbon or barrel aged rum, only far less alcoholic, and more intensely flavorful in all respects apart from the alcohol. Long long complex tasty finish, becoming dry.

The texture is exceptionally silky, with just enough restrained, ultrafine carbonation to add cushiness and avert any undue heaviness.

Perfect balance makes this very easy to drink.


Serving type: bottle

11-04-2009 08:30:59 | More by Beerzebub
Photo of bgramer


5/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love barrel-aged barleywines and have been wanting to try this for some time. Kicked myself for not going out to the mall in Portland when it was available as late as February 2009, and thankfully to a generous trader, I was able to acquire a bottle which I still hold.

My review is for a 2009 bottle which I consider myself lucky enough to have gotten a few bottles of, thus affording me the opportunity to open one up. The 2009 StormWatcher batch was aged in the same Evan Williams barrels as the 2008 batch was.

Whoa, this beer's aroma is pungent with vapors of vanilla, alcohol, and sweet malts as I removed the gold foil and opened it. A dark ruby/mahogany color fills my glass with a little head but there's some carbonation and lacing. Viscous, creamy, chewy, nutty, caramelly, toffee, and very bready. Can taste the oak character and bourbon as well.

This is definitely an easy sipping beer, if only to enjoy the complexities and enormity of this beer's character. I found myself inhaling the aroma each time I would sip, just to appreciate it. The alcohol presence is there but very drinkable in a smooth warming sense on the finish. I wouldn't have known it was a 13% abv.

The buzz around this beer seems to be picking up. It's no longer a NW secret, and it shouldn't be because this is an absolutely fantastic barrel-aged barleywine. It's a keeper.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2009 05:39:29 | More by bgramer
Photo of bamadog


4.55/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Review is from notes taken on 10/13/2009. Thanks to Uncle Jedi for his generosity and sharing this. Pour is from the bottle to a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a murky coffee/caramel color; dense and nearly opaque; mild carbonation is present; no head forms at all; a thick oily residue is left on the sides of the glass and you just know that this is going to be thick in the mouth.

Smell: Deep vapors of alcohol and strong candied, almost like brandied sweetness; slightly spicey. The nose is strong and you can almost taste it just by smelling it.

Taste: Much like the smell -- strong presence of alcohol but it's well blended and not like drinking isopropyl or anything; warm sugary and brandy like sweetness mixes well with the alcohol; slight carmelized flavors are present as well.

Mouthfeel: Super viscous, very chewy and thick and slick as it slides around the mouth; very warm as well and heats the mouth, throat and belly; mouth is left tingly, sticky and a little dry from the high ABV.

Drinkability: Amazing in every aspect, but it's definitely a sipper. Not to mention the rarity of something like this would make me want to sit back and savor every last drop. I feel kind of honored just to have had it.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2009 03:52:14 | More by bamadog
Photo of kels


4.5/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to the generosity of unclejedi for sharing this one. It wasn't even on my radar at the time, and I am so happy I got a chance to try it.

Pours the color of amber - not the reddish brown "amber" of many beers I've described, but the golden color of hardened sap. The viscosity of the beer is apparent in the appearance, with layers forming between the alcohol and syrupy liquid. The clarity is good, and a very thin skim of white head swirls atop.

Delicious aromas from this beer. Lots of warm, spicy notes come through and are balanced by a sweet, buttery toffee smell. Dark, chewy fruit like sweet/tart raisins comes through all the rest. Alcohol is present, but not negatively.

The taste echoes the buttery, smooth toffee from the nose. It is nutty and creamy and not too sweet. A cinnamony spiciness accompanies dark, syrupy-sweet fruitiness like raisins and prunes. The alcohol is not nearly as mellow as in the nose. Its sharpness is nearly medicinal. The rest of the flavors do a good job of keeping it from ruining the taste.

Feel is as thick and viscous as anticipated. The syrupy liquid coats the entire palate and enjoyably prolongs the taste. The heat of the alcohol is warming through the chest, and the beer goes down very smoothly despite the heat of the alcohol.

Moderate drinkability at best, as with most of this style. It definitely has the potential for masquerading as a highly-drinkable beer due to the excellent flavors and smooth drink. Gotta be careful with this one.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2009 07:41:03 | More by kels
Photo of drgonzo3705


4.75/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Huge HUGE HUGE Thanks to Unclejedi for making a dream come true on a slightly cool overcast day in Cleveland....2008 vintage from the notes:

A: Pours a brilliant copper color with no head, the only sight of carbonation was a happy little ring around the glass.

S: Lets see here. Big buttery toffee. Fermented Werthers Originals perhaps? Slightly burnt caramel maltiness. All of that goodness and I haven't even mentioned the bourbon yet! All of this with a big. but not overwhelming bourbon presence.

T: I knew I was onto something...fermented Werthers! Big buttery toffee bourbon malt bomb, what else can I say except that it tastes like heaven!

M: WOW. The mouthfeel here is crazy! Its so rich and creamy and full bodied with just a hint of carbonation. I'm drooling just thinking about it.

D: Incredible beer here. I wouldn't be greedy and drink a bottle by myself even though I fantasize about it. Definitely worth the hype IMHO.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2009 01:24:14 | More by drgonzo3705
Photo of pwoods


4.78/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to unclejedi for sharing this gem.

22oz. Brown bomber poured in to little snifter.

A: Deep mohagony, murky and ruddy. Decent head still with a bit of retention. Some lacing.

S: Great aroma. Amazing barrel, lots of bourbon and oak, very earthy. Some vanilla sweetness and rich malts. Mellow hops, very complex.

T/M: Awesome flavor. Rich malts with the mellow, faint hops. Great bourbon and oak. Everything melds perfectly. Body is full with subtle carbonation.

D: Drinks very well for such a huge beer. Fantastic beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2009 20:44:22 | More by pwoods
Photo of hopdog


4.1/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle acquired in trade with bitbucket (thanks!). I needed something strong to figure out Eric's bike!

2007 Vintage.

Poured a deeper brown color with a small sized off white head. Aromas of caramel, dark fruits (raisins), and toffee. Tastes of dark fruits, caramel, nutty, and toffee. Some alcohol in the finish (but not 13%).

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2009 00:51:45 | More by hopdog
Photo of Pecorasc


4.97/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This will probably be my only review, ever; Rhinos00 split a 22oz with me on the condition that I review it. Poured into a 10 oz snifter. Simple brown bottle with silk screen print, like their other beers. Aged in '98 Evan Williams barrels.

Very deep mahogany color. When held up to light - shows a deep red glowing spot light. A cream colored head that only sticks around the edges of the glass. The center of the beer doesn't hold any head; instead a small area of carbonation bubbles keeps it interesting.

I can't describe how perfect this beer smells. Amazing combination of alcohol, whiskey, and wet malt. If inhaled enough it creates a burning sensation. It took me 10 minutes to build up the courage to taste, out of fear that it wouldn't live up to the aroma.

It lived up to the aroma. Toasted bread, alcohol, molasses, prunes, vanilla; a nectar fit for gods. I want to jump right ahead to mouthfeel. It didn't occur to me until I tasted this beer just how English this Barleywine is.

Most amazing mouthfeel of any Barleywine. Creamy. Possibly the best mouthfeel of any beer. If you didn't have taste buds and you closed your eyes, you might think you have a cream stout in your mouth.

I haven't read Rhinos00's review, he may have said this: "Although you would get hammered, you could easily drink a bomber of this. It is just too good to only have one ten ounce snifter if there is more in front of you."

This beer is going to give Pelican one of the greatest reputations in the country. The last sip made me shudder in oral-gasm. My belly is warm, my soul content.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2009 22:40:56 | More by Pecorasc
Photo of rhinos00


5/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a snifter. Batch #1, Bottle 1 of 500. Split with BA Pecorasc. Huge thanks to Mychal for hooking this guy up!!!

A- Pours a dark burgundy with garnet hues throughout. Produces a fingers width of tan head, reduces to a thin layer over consumption. Some retention.

S- Absolutely perfect. It's potentcy should be legendary. The way the complex aromas melded together is definitely worth noting. On one hand, big notes of vanilla come forth from the bourbon barrels. In addition a gentle sweetness is detectable from the caramel malts. Also noticing some chocolate malts and various dark fruits...almost like prunes drizzled in toffee and then soaked in bourbon. If you inhale just enough, you can feel the hairs inside your nose start to burn.

T- Just as complex as the aroma. The one big thing I'm noticing is that the intense flavors of this beer just linger for minutes after each sip. Upfront I'm getting notes of caramel and vanilla. Just as these flavor set in, a distinct rich bourbon flavor kicks in. Alongside are various notes of toffee and chocolate malts. The finish is boozy and intense with the combination of flavors mentioned above. There is also a sweetness that is not as easy to pick up in the aroma. Very complex and rich. Perfect, no other way to describe it. Interesting to note that after a while, you become desensitized with the alcohol notes and can pick up more of the sweetness.

M- This is what really put the beer over the top for me. Rich and velvety, everything I could want. So smooth. Definitely world class.

D- While this beer is nearing 14% abv, it is so delicious and perfectly crafted that I could definitely drink a bomber of this no problem.

Overall, this is honestly one of the best beers I have ever had. The only beer that can even hold a candle to it is a 2002 De Dolle Oerbier Reserva I have had recently. This beer will put Pelican on the maps. Bravo!!!

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2009 00:30:38 | More by rhinos00
Photo of Floydster


4.95/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 ounce bottle off to the side during the Pizza Port Belgian Beer Party on 3/28/09, reviewed from notes on my cell phone, thanks to vurt for bringing this gem that he formerly bought at a mall kiosk, how awesome of story that is, very cool of you to bring this along Eric and I truly enjoyed this to say the least, he gave me a generous six ounce pour in my Chimay goblet

A-Very dark brown with several bright red highlights, 1 1/4 inch creamy and foamy beige head that lasts the whole time I was drinking it, that is crazy for a beer that spent this long in a barrel, great legs as well
S-Bourbon, vanilla, strong oak, sugar, donuts, white cake mix, charcoal, milk chocolate, some dark cocoa nibs too, espresso, cream, toffee, caramel, toasted bread, various dark fruits, and a hint of syrah wine
T-Starts off with a nice sweet character than was a bit like a dessert wine, lots of caramel malt along with a variety of breads in the middle, big vanilla finish with a lingering bourbon aftertaste, then a bit of coffee and more roasted accents come to the surface, still followed by a sweet and oaky vanilla flavor, later on a bit of cake and milk chocolate tootise roll-like flavors arrive in the finish, each sip was something different and all of that was good, this beer has bourbon characteristics but is not that boozy at all, not even that dry from the wood, its seemed the barrel aging just enhanced the great flavors that were already there, great overall and balanced at all points even if the tastes changed so dramatically often, outstanding flavor
M-Sweet, warm, chewy, and earthy mouthfeel, medium to full bodied, this brew is as rich as they come but you keep wanting more, syrupy texture with moderate carbonation, taste lasts a long time but you still want it to be longer
D-Yeah right this stuff is thirteen and a half percent, it taste more like eight, alcohol is hidden incredibly, this stuff is quite easy to drink and that is saying a lot because it has so much flavor, smooth until the very last sip, insane drinkability

Best barleywine I have ever except for a certain one from Midnight Sun, this beer is outstanding, has everything a barrel aged beer should, talk about an introduction to a brewery, wow, I plan on buying two different vintages of Stormwatcher soon and comparing them to this beautiful BA version, Evan Williams Single Barrel is my favorite whiskey and this certainly made this beer unforgettable, wish this stuff was more attainable but according to several people there was not much of it made and it sold out pretty quickly, one of the top beers of 2009 for me, I want more now, cannot recommend this enough

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2009 01:47:45 | More by Floydster
Photo of seaoflament


4.88/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

*First release: Nov. 2008*

I had this beer at the Pizza Port Belgian Beer Party on March 28th thanks fellow BA "vurt" for sharing such an incredible beer.

Ok, so let me start by saying that I'm not a huge fan of barleywines (although I do enjoy the English style) but this beer really blew me away. One of the best beers I've had in a while.

Poured a brown sugar color with minimal head but the color looks nice in the glass.

The smell was outstanding, bourbon, brown sugar, vanilla, toasted malts, fruitiness, raisins, figs, more toast, boozy in the background, toasted oak, and tootsie rolls (chocolate and caramel).

My first reaction was "wow!" Sweet bourbon flavors upfront, sweet dark fruits, cherries, oak, brown sugar, vanilla, toasted coconut, and tootsie roll candy. More chocolate opens up and caramel candy, alcohol in the finish with some fruity esters. Medium high carbonation, very soft, sliky and drinkable.

What a great beer!

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2009 04:33:34 | More by seaoflament
Photo of Svejk


5/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I were watching tv, and she suggested that it was a good occasion for me to "open one of your expensive bottles of beer". Since she's a hophead, I was a little hesitant to open a $20 bottle of The Perfect Storm that we had picked up on our last vacation, but she assured me that I could open whatever I wanted and she'd do her part.

I poured her a small sample in my 2008 GABF glass, and put the rest into my pint glass. That was probably a mistake because this beer deserves your best glass.

My first impression was that I was surprised how well it was carbonated. There was a good hiss when I popped the cap, but then even a few minutes after pouring the beer, there seemed to be a lot of bubbles coming off the beer long after the head had receded.

For the most part, this is a dark beer and there is very little to notice about the color. Every once in a while, however, you'll get a glimpse of a very dark red, sort of a garnet color that lets you know that there is a clarity to the beer that isn't apparent at first glance.

The smell makes you think that this will be a very sweet, if not cloying experience. You definitely get the smell of bourbon, as well as the sweet smells of malty chocolate and vanilla. I suppose the good carbonation makes these smells seem more robust than they otherwise would without so much CO2.

My first sip was not the experience that I expected. It was a lot drier than the smell would make me think. That first sip made me re-think this beer. If it had been an overly sweet, syrupy mess, I would have thought that the smell was a perfect representation of the beer I would be drinking. Instead, this beer is very well attenuated, and the bourbon, malty chocolate and vanilla flavors are present in a much more subdued and delicious experience.

There is another thing about this beer that is worth mentioning. It has a velvety smoothness about it that could easily be masked by the harshness of its alcohol level. The brewer has done a magnificent job of balancing the sweetness with the dryness to give a beer experience that is definitely worth repeating.

This is one of those few beers that I have had that make me question if the other beers I have really loved were really that good. I can see why Pelican has decided to charge $20 per bomber. It is still a great deal, even at that price.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2009 00:01:32 | More by Svejk
Photo of ccrida


4.58/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber (1 of only 500) poured into my my Delirium snifter, The Perfect Storm is a dark garnet with a smaller, light tan head that leaves a pretty thick collar but no lace. Still, it had a great amber glow and the head was impressively sized, with a nice crackle to it.

Smell is loads of vanilla, some caramel and light wafts of bourbon. I was going to ding it a 1/2 point for not being overly complex, but it's just too good.

Taste is very rich and complex but very smooth for the heft. Like the nose, I'm getting a lot more vanilla then bourbon from the barrel, which I really love. There are some nice raisin and prune notes as well, and a light touch of herbal hops, super tasty. I think this was the 07 Stormwatchers before the 4 months in the barrel (the '11' in sharpie on the cap indicates when it was bottled), so it's at least a year in aging, even though it's labeled an 08 release - and you can tell, even though there's obviously a nice belly warming from the high ABV. Paired nicely with a variety of sharp cheddar's from Tillamook and Dubliner.

Mouthfeel is has a sugary stickiness and some very fine carbonation, but a relatively light body for the size.

Drinkability is dangerously high for such a hefty barleywine, super tasty and a real momentum builder. I kept having to remind myself of the hefty price tag and extremely limited availability so that I really savored the aftertaste of every sip, rather then compulsively chase it with another! Good enough in fact to let them slide for the condofication of Pacific City. The price though, is prohibitive, and really the biggest knock on this beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2009 05:47:13 | More by ccrida
Photo of vurt


4.85/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz. bottle purchased at the seriously convenient Pelican Brewing kiosk at the Washington Square mall in Portland, OR. (Possibly the most useful mall kiosk I have ever seen.) Enjoyed in a Piraat snifter.

This brew is a gorgeous deep red-amber, perfectly clear with burnt orange highlights. The heavy, sticky head is a lighter version of the color of a manila envelope. The beer looks a bit viscous when you swirl it around. It coats the glass and leaves behind grainy sheets of lacing. Excellent color and texture for the style.

A sticky toffee pudding with vanilla bourbon sauce. Plenty of sweet bready and malty aromas, with caramel and buttery toffee on top. Prominent bourbon and vanilla notes blend gracefully with the malt, adding dimension without grabbing the spotlight. The finish brings to mind almonds and dark brown sugar. There is also a significant alcohol component, as you would expect from a young beer of almost 14% ABV.

Starts off with strong toasted malt and butterscotch flavors. A slight saltiness makes me think of sea salt caramels. There is also vanilla and significant bourbon and oak. The bourbon character increases as the beer warms, but never threatens to overwhelm the beer's other flavors. The middle is full of raisin and quince flavors, concentrated and lush. Some hop bitterness comes through at the very end, but it is an accent rather than a dominant component. This is definitely an English-style barley wine.

Full-bodied, mouth-coating, and magnificently smooth. Carbonation is soft and discreet, adding just enough bite on the palate to prevent this beer from being shapeless and cloying. Alcohol is clearly present and provides warmth, but is very nicely integrated and not the least bit harsh.

The Perfect Storm is smooth, sweet, velvety, and astonishingly drinkable. The balance between toasted malt, toffee, raisin, and bourbon is almost miraculous. I am glad to have a couple more bottles put aside to age, though I'm not quite sure how much better it could get. (I suppose it could dry out a bit, and maybe lose a bit of alcohol heat.) Right now, The Perfect Storm is beautiful to look at, wonderful to smell, and an absolute pleasure to drink. Magnificent.

May 22, '09 edit: I have no bottles left at this point. If you're trying to find some, I think it's well worth the effort to keep looking.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2008 18:32:44 | More by vurt
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Mother Of All Storms from Pelican Pub & Brewery
98 out of 100 based on 1,322 ratings.