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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.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

1,402 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,402
Reviews: 399
rAvg: 4.45
pDev: 9.21%
Wants: 1,448
Gots: 534 | FT: 50
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: 1,402 | Reviews: 399 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BarrytheBear
3.58/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to milwaukeeclassic for the share.

Bomber split three ways. Pours still, with little action and a head that sinks immediately.

Vanilla and 31 flavors Dr. Pepper bourbon, incredibly hot on the nose. What remains of my nostrilical follicles is now destroyed.

Bourbon heat is a meaty punch in the chest. Caramel sweet maltiness and vanilla try to take hold, but are repeatedly beaten down by alcoholic heat. This beer is unrelenting.

Carbonation is non existent, which is stylistically appropriate, but doesn't help the drinkability or the experience. Really, really hot.

A real sipper and not one that I would seek out again. Big props to Duane for the opportunity, but this didn't meet the hype.

BarrytheBear, May 01, 2010
Photo of Buebie
4.28/5  rDev -3.8%
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!

Buebie, May 01, 2010
Photo of DwnTwnBwn
4.72/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I know this is a no-no, but this review is from notes scribbled down on piece of paper, because I didn't have access to the internet at the time.

A- Very dark viscous brown. Hues of red come through when the sunlight hits it. It has a very rich coloring. Little to no head.
S- Lots of Toffee and Molasses in the nose with plenty of dark fruits also. The roasted malts come through on the end. Bourbon and oak pull through warning you of the immense flavor about to come.

T- This is a huge beer. Lots of sweet roasted caramel flavor. It's a very sweet burnt sugar flavor up front which moves to a darker more complex flavor towards the end. Raisins a figs play out the dark fruit notes as the beer starts to warm up. The vanilla and Bourbon complement the finish quite well.

M- Quite nice, enough carbonation to keep the beer from muddying up the tongue. Thick and smooth are about the only way to sum it up

O- This beer is huge. Lots of flavor through all its complexities. The alcohol is just enough to be noticed and not too much to be overpowering. A 10oz pour out me back, defiantly a beer to share. Will be seeking out more.

DwnTwnBwn, Apr 28, 2010
Photo of MarkFy
4.72/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you to my neighbors at DLD '10 for sharing a bottle of this beauty. Going based off of memory....

A: Color is dark brown, yet somewhat clear.

S: Vanilla, toffee, slight whiskey. Very good.

T: Wow! The barleywine brings a nice vanilla and toffee flavor and the bourbon comes through very nicely, not overpowering at all.

M: Very nice, rich, a little sticky but full bodied.

This is exactly what I look for in a good sipping beer. Everything is there, not too boozy. To have this be a memorable experience from an event like DLD says a lot. Well done.

MarkFy, Apr 25, 2010
Photo of Metalmonk
4.8/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thought the Stormwatcher barleywine was amazing, so I'm more than a little curious to try this highly-praised barrel-aged version. Thanks a zillion to msubulldog25 for the chance.

Pours a glimmering toasted gold head, which lasts about a minute and isn't all that thick, but at 13.5%, hey, no problem. Colors is an extremely dark brown with dark rusted hues.

The aroma is a thing of wonder, a surprisingly subtle meeting between vanilla, toffee, caramel, whiskey-soaked wood (more wood than whiskey), dark cherry, cinnamon roll, sherry and graham cracker. Considering the hefty alcohol content, and the fact this sat in bourbon barrels four months before bottling, the smell of alcohol is hardly cloying here. Amazing.

Taste offers a wide variety of impressions, all of them good. First, it's nice this still resembles a barleywine, rather than teetering too far into the bourbon and/or wood part of its character. Those elements simply lift the barleywine up into a new plateau, while the original Stormwatcher's intense flavors of caramel and toffee reign over the tongue. Toasted malt threads deep into the flavor, and there's a healthy splash of vanilla as well. Plum, raisin, and fig roar big and bold here too. Tons of balance, incredible depth of flavor, and an insanely well-incorporated 13.5% alcohol. There's something here, possibly the yeast, that occasionally reminds of a big Belgian dark ale. Toffee, caramel, dark fruit and mellow bourbon-soaked wood all carry through in the finish. Malt-lovers rejoice.

Texturally it's fairly sticky, full-bodied, big and round; a rather chewy feel that perfectly fits the flavor profile.

Kudos, Pelican. I'll still be savoring this two hours from now, no doubt. A slow-sipper, one to be taken slowly and respectfully. Simply one of the best beers I've ever had, and I'm far from a bourbon aficionado. I was hoping the bourbon wouldn't overtake what was one of my favorite barleywines, and it doesn't. And I would've easily believed this was in the 9-10% range, judging by what's going on in the flavor. Uh, hey Brian, you have 10 more of these to send my way? :)

Metalmonk, Apr 13, 2010
Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.03/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Trey is the hero of barrel-aged beers, as he broke out another one for our epic tasting. This bottle was from 2009, consumed on 3/28/10.

This beer is a beautiful deep ruby brown in color, capped by a dark ring of head and wispy bubbles on the surface. There is no lacing to speak of, but go figure at 13.5%.

The bouquet is characterized by the nutty malt taste that I have grown accustomed to in English barleywines, as well as a huge barrel presence. There is a lot of whiskey in the nose, and it brings with it a big alcohol warmth. The flavor comes right along those same lines. No real surprise here. The whiskey comes right out. If you don't like big whiskey flavors, keep this in the cellar for two more years...at least. The nutty maltiness is phenomenally done, and in a couple of years, the flavor will balance out and be truly amazing.

Warm and almost too boozy, but this is one incredible smooth beer. Not harsh by any stretch of the imagination. I would love to have another shot at this a year or two down the road, because this is filled with potential.

NittanyBeerFan, Apr 08, 2010
Photo of brdc
4.97/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

large capped bottle, poured into a snifter. Thanks alcstradamus for this one. From notes.

It created one of those rare "wow" moments, as I casually grabbed the glass and started walking, only to stop short, turn around, sit down and start paying attention.
Reddish brown in color, nice thick tan head, good retention and lacing.
the aroma suggests the malt assault that is coming, as expected for a british style barleywine; toffee and butterscotch, sweet, dark fruits, some oak and vanilla, brandy.
On the palate this is incredibly rich, velvety with a very longlasting afterflavor. Sweetish but never too much. Malts abound, balanced somewhat by a nice booziness that is never too hot. vanilla, brandy, dark fruits, lots of toffee and butterscotch.
A very impressive barleywine, british style as I prefer, need to get myself more of this. An excellent sipper.

brdc, Apr 06, 2010
Photo of AgentZero
4.22/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared by dvelcich, thanks a bunch.

A - Very deep brown, with reddish hints on the end. Small head, not much, which disappeared quickly.

S - Roasted malts, there is not hops in this like I was expecting. Big molassas and toffee smells. Actually smells a bit like a quad with thie dark fruit smell. Very nice.

T - Great dark fruit taste, mostly raisins and figs. Carmel, toffee, and great cocoa/molassas mix in there. Some interesting bitter hops bite right on the end that only became noticable later after I was drinking it. Some nicely hidden vanilla on the end as well.

M - Nicely carbonated, nice little bight on it in a full bodied beer.

D - Shockingly drinkable with the high ABV. It's still a bit of a sipper, but it's something you can down easily all things considered.

AgentZero, Apr 04, 2010
Photo of DefenCorps
4.23/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Trey was kind enough to share another one of these this past weekend.

Brilliant ruby red with crimson highlights, this beer has an exquisite color.

The nose is big on bourbon with a boozy character. Brown sugar, caramel and some nuttiness are present along with a little coffee. The palate opens big and boozy. Burnt sugar, caramel, toffee, nuts and an astringency akin to nut skins are present. Bourbon, vanilla and oak are quite prominent in the mid-palate, and the finish is mildly drying and boozy. Medium-high in body, low in carbonation with a decent finish, this is great stuff. I can't wait to see how this evolves.

**Edit 27 Oct 2012**

2009 release.

The nose is still pretty big and boozy, with a fairly strong bourbon character. Not yet oxidized (neither pleasantly nor unpleasantly), there isn't much sherry, though there is a moderate date and toffee character. Brown sugar, burnt sugar and some caramel round out the nose. The bourbon is mostly booze with some vanilla and brown sugar in there. The palate is thoroughly enjoyable, a moderate bourbon, date and brown sugar character coming through up front. The mid-palate has the burnt sugar and toffee flavors, and the bitterness from the burnt sugar comes in here. This also does amplify the mild astringency that alcohol can impart. Boozy on the finish with a nice burnt sugar bittersweet character, some toffee and a blend of dates and a little raisin character, this is quite enjoyable. Medium in body with a carbonation level that is initially too high, but when it does die down, the beer is immensely more enjoyable. This seems to be aging well.
3.5/4/4.5/4/4

**Edit 08 Feb 2014**

2010 release.

Less almond-like, more hazelnut like, with a simpler, brown sugar/ toffee aroma. Oxidation is starting to take a hold here, lending some sherry notes that work well with the nutty booziness. Booze is dying down, bringing out the malt a little bit more. A touch flabby on the finish. Solid stuff.

DefenCorps, Apr 01, 2010
Photo of BierSchmecker
5/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is an exceptional beer, from an exceptional brewer. The deep roasted malts, bourbon and oak flavors come through in every sip. The finish delights with a hint of vanilla. This beer is an absolute delight! I strongly recommend this beer to all in search of high quality beers.

BierSchmecker, Mar 27, 2010
Photo of ffejherb
3.88/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to FooFaa for sharing this bomber on 3/11/10.

A - Poured a really deep, dark brown liquid with burgundy highlights and a wispy burnt tan head that diminished into a thin ring of retention and left virtually no lacing.

S - Aroma is quite chocolatey with woody notes and a warm bourbon presence. The nose is rounded out with hints of dark fruit and earthy hops.

T - Like the aroma, chocolate dominates the flavor profile (especially in the backend as the liquid warmed up) although the bourbon presence is really apparent, imparting a huge amount of alcohol warmth. Finishes with a blend of earthy, herbal and woody hop notes amid all of the boozy attributes.

M - Medium bodied with a thick, robust and syrupy texture and prickly carbonation. Sticky and boozy mouthfeel overall with a burning sensation on the lips and tip of the tongue. Finishes dry with a really warm, boozy presence, which delivers quite a bit of heat to the palate.

D - While this is a very good barleywine in its own right, I am perplexed that this is a top ten beer and (at the time of my review) the highest rated barleywine on BA. I can think of several others that were more enjoyable. Some that come to mind are: Midnight Sun Arctic Devil, Cambridge Blunderbus, and Bullfrog Whiskey BA Old Toad.

ffejherb, Mar 21, 2010
Photo of TurdFurgison
3.93/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, 2009, part of a BIF from mikey711. Didn't think I'd try this, don't generally like barleywines, but due to mikey's generosity I'm now tackling it.

The beer is dark mahogany color, brown with a ruby shade to it when held up to the light, with about 1 finger of tan foam. The beer smells strong and rich, lots of malty sweetness with toffee, dark fruit, and only a little bit of bourbon. The taste is all of the above, rich and complex, sweet with a burning aftertaste. The definition of a malt bomb.

The body is medium-plus, low but peppery carbonation. This beer is massive, glad to have the chance to try it.

TurdFurgison, Mar 16, 2010
Photo of akorsak
3.28/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Foofaa for sharing this bottle at the Brass Rail last night.

A: The barleywine is a coffee look-alike, dark and brown and opaque. The depth of color makes me think of a stout. Surprisingly, at least to me, there is really no head whatsoever. All that remains, from first pour to last sip, is a miniscule off-white band.

S: The nose has plenty of toffee to go around. The malts are unmistakable, thick and rich. I'd even posit that molasses is sitting there. There really isn't any indication of a barrel.

T: The barleywine is very hot, leaving a burning sensation with each sip. The booze can't hide amongst the excessive malts. Those malts have toffee and molasses, paired with some chocolate, and are heavily roasted. Very thick, I feel like I should be chewing what is in my glass. As in the nose, there really isn't anything that screams barrel, or even barrel-blended.

M: Beware the heat, this baby isn't afraid to drop the booze on you. The maltiness is blindingly thick, drowning out any barrel and any real enjoyment.

D: Number 10 (as of right now)? Really? Give me JW Lee's Harvest Ale or Gratitude any time of this. Too messy, I just can't get into it.

akorsak, Mar 12, 2010
Photo of olympuszymurgus
5/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

an already outstanding barley wine gone barrel aged? ridiculous. on tap at the end of a vertical flight of stormwatchers at the beautiful pelican.
it takes you to a mystical land, a dream world of murky depths and heavenly summits. pours dark red and a bit murky, pungeant, bourbon, vanilla, sweet malt, caramel, dates, and figs. its aroma is surpassed by the flavorful assault. the sweet malt and bourbon ride in first, flanked by vanilla. the fruit flavor and caramel then storm to the sides, capturing your entire match in ecstasy. it finishes with just the right bourbon bite and malt sweetness, leaving you desirious for more.

olympuszymurgus, Mar 07, 2010
Photo of NYCWheatFanSC
4.05/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - dark malty brown, fades to blood red around the edges. Has a small off tan/khaki head that fades quickly.

S - Roasted malts, hint of hops but not too much at all. Loads of molasses and candied brown sugar

T - Sweet, cocoa and brown sugar. A bit hot but no particular spirit comes to mind at this point. Should mellow nicely.

M - Near perfect, perhaps could do with a bit more carbonation.

D - Good, but I couldn't drink a whole bottle of this...and I've drank many 22's of Abyss all alone!

NYCWheatFanSC, Mar 05, 2010
Photo of CrellMoset
4.58/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle with a gold foil cap courtesy of dregs78 - thanks for the longtime want, man. 2009 vintage, poured in to a tulip.

Appearance: Pours a deeply hued Tuscan rosewood, or a singed burgundy, and my first thought upon holding it up to the light is that the color of this beer is about as dark as it could possibly be while: 1) still being crystal clear; but also 2) still allowing enough light through that you can actually determine that it is indeed transparent. Some barleywines are unfiltered, others too dark to tell if they're filtered or not - TPS lies at what is truly a gorgeous intersection. A terra cotta head three-quarters of a finger tall sits atop the the smoked ruby-imbued body, and though the center of the mass collapses fairly quickly - leaving a caldera populated by a few dashes of surface detritus - its rim is dense, creamy, almost whipped in texture, with impressive stick such that it almost imperceptibly climes up the circumference of the tulip. The infrequence of random, moderately paced bubbles is outmatched only by the infrequence of spots of lace on the sides of the tulip once the drink begins. A gentle and understated but subtly masterful beginning.

Aroma: TPS smells dark. It smells earthy. It smells woody. It smells ... wonderful. The first note that greets my nose is a healthy amount of smoke, which is likely more a testament to the relative lack of smoke and smoked meats in my diet than the proportion of the malt bill occupied by smoked malts. Barrel notes are not far behind, contributing toasted coconut in spades, flanked on both sides by vanilla bean. The whiskey component is really almost understated, dull in a pleasant way by virtue of it being buried beneath a sea of dark toffee, blackstrap molasses, sweet chocolate, brown sugar, crème brûlée, tobacco, black cherries, raisins, and leather. Heavy complexity in this one.

Taste: Make that stunning complexity. The array of flavors here is mindboggling. Lord only knows how many malts went in to this malt bill. Lightly caramelized biscuity malts to just-south-of-burned toast mark the bookends of a range of notes that includes cocoa, toffee, butterscotch, huge brown sugar and molasses, and crystallized caramel. Filling in the interstices is every imaginable permutation of drupes - cherries, plums, blackberries - and dark fruits - raisins being the prime culprit, though prunes and figs also feature prominently. Add to this panoply vanilla, coconut (I know, I know, also a drupe, but it didn't seem appropriate mentioning it above), a far fainter amount of smoke than I initially detected in the nose, a ton of leafy, sticky, sweaty tobacco, a sizable quantity of herbal bitterness, and the ever-more-prominent (as it warms) Evan Williams contribution. My one comment about the whiskey contribution here is that I'm thoroughly impressed with how long it took me to remark upon it. It was almost imperceptible in the nose, even though I served this one at about 10 degrees F below room temperature. And it took a good 45 minutes out of the bottle (nearly 2 hours out of the fridge) before the taste approached anything I would describe as "near-dominant."

Mouthfeel: The body of TPS is here, yet the carbonation seems to be a little "off." That is, what I would hope would be a thick, chewy, creamy barleywine is indeed thick - waves of massive, saccharine caramelized sugars coat the tongue with every sip. It's also chewy - the sheer volume of the malt bill and the accompanying hop kick make this one bold, large, biting brew. But it's not quite creamy. The carbonation seems a little spritzy, too crisp, and even the density of this body can't hold up to it, which is surprising because it doesn't seem "overcarbonated." It's just that minimal agitation makes for sort of a fluffy, erratic mouth. Not terrible, and it does improve as the carbonation begins to escape, but not out of this world.

Drinkability: This is a beer to savor, and this is so for two primary reasons: 1) it's 13.5% abv, and anything that's 13.5% abv is something to savor, or else you'll end up on your ass; and 2) there's too much going on here for even a 22 oz. bottle spread over 3+ hours to expose. The drinkability of this one surely gets knocks for the abv% - and also for what is, relatively speaking, a pretty large amount of free sweetness - but these can't stand in the way of what is truly a remarkably complex and amazing brew. In many ways, this reminds me of Bourbon Barrel Angel's Share - boundless intricacies in a spirit-infused package (only, with carbonation). This one's worth seeking out.

CrellMoset, Feb 18, 2010
Photo of afausser
4.65/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

NOMMM!

Appearance: Pours a deep but amazingly crystal clear color that appears to be near pitch black (or a very dark brown) at first, but when held to the light is almost exactly a ruby or burgundy color. Pours with nearly a finger of head, which dissipates quickly, leaving first a film over the top of the brew, and then the finest ring of creamy tan bubbles around the edge of the glass. These fine bubbles show up in the lacing as well, which glitters down the side of the glass immediately following the liquid. There's a tiny patch of bubbles near the center of the top of the glass that floats around, dare I say, in almost the shape of a hurricane, which is an interesting coincidence given this one's name. Beautiful and glassy as it warms.

Smell: The smell is phenomenal. Heavy candy and dark fruit notes are dominant, with caramel, molasses, and toffee very strong, as well as spicy rum soaked raisins and prunes. There's a strong grape presence, between the raisins, notes of white grapes, and a somewhat strong undercurrent of red wine. Barrel and earth notes are also dominant, which is very nice. The nose on this one, at first scent, reminded me of Firestone 13, which I think is interesting if only because I tried the aforementioned beer only once, at a tasting, and didn't have a whole lot of it. Spicy, but not in an overbearing, hot way--reminiscent at once of both cinnamon-and-clove spiced fruits and breads as well as a cool, minty spiciness. This all, of course, is tempered by the candy notes, including a nice syrupy vanilla note as well as a hint of pancake syrup (it's a bit too sugary to come across as maple). There's even--albeit when agitated--a slightly sour note, perhaps of lime, which fits in surprisingly well with the nose overall. As it warms, and after I've tasted it, I get a blackberry note out of it as well. Well done.

Taste: The taste on this one is huge. What at first hits you in the face are heavy spice and alcohol notes--though the alcohol is nicely blended in, well-hidden, and only warm in the slightest bit. And there are all kinds of spices--there's the spearmint and wintergreen minty notes that were present in the nose, and heavy clove spice, as well as some anise and licorice (moving to the lighter side of things) but there are also the caramel and vanilla sweet candy (though far less dominant here than in the nose, this still makes up a fair share of the flavor of this brew) as well as raisin and dark fruit notes, and maybe even the slightest hint of blueberry (though it's hard to get this due to all the syrupy notes that are heavy in this one). Rum and whiskey flavors are strong. Tastes more and more like candy as the flavors set into your palate, and exponentially so as it warms.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel functions just about perfectly in this brew. Initially, the crisp carbonation bubbles are plentiful and deliver the spicy flavors to the top of the brew, and then calm down to allow the deeper, darker candy and fruit notes to shine through. It's alcoholic and heavy bodied all the way through, but the aftertaste leaves only the slightest hint as to its actual alcohol content. Chewy like caramel, which runs consistent with the rest of the characteristics of this brew. Wonderfully balanced. I can't think of how the mouthfeel on this one could be improved beyond what it is right now.

Drinkability: It is a rare occasion that I give a beer with a 13.5% ABV anything above a 4. Why is this? Because, I don't care how well the alcohol is hidden for the ABV percentage, at some point, you usually are still going to be tasting quite a bit of alcohol, and the drinkability will consequently be hampered quite a bit regardless of relative ABV and style considerations. I make an exception, today, for The Perfect Storm, because, well, The Perfect Storm is EXTREMELY drinkable for its ABV, with little to no alcohol heat (and on top of that, tastes delicious). I want to drink this one all night, and extremely glad to be splitting this one with CrellMoset, who is almost certainly saving me from drinking to excess this evening. Pick this up by any means necessary. As a side note, this one pairs well with an extra sharp cheddar (due to the strength of the cheese) but I've also got some creamier cheeses out (havarti and fontina) which more than hold their own with this brew. Excellent.

afausser, Feb 18, 2010
Photo of jedwards
4.83/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my third bottle, decided it was finally time to put down a review.

Looks quite good -- dark brown that glows red when held up to the light. Very thin head quickly dissipates leaving a few large bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass. Smell is huge, tons of caramel and vanilla, touches of bourbon, burnt sugar and soy sauce -- taste is somehow even bigger, lots of grain to go with the caramel and toffee, more soy sauce and the slight sour tinge that comes from a old ale that's been left alone for long enough. Mouthfeel is creamy/silky with a slight slickness. Carbonation is slight but detectable.

This... tastes like an incredibly well-aged beer. I would love to know how they got this perfect oxidization in a beer that's a year old (brewed winter '09). Only concern I have is that bottle-to-bottle has slight variations -- my guess is that it's in-the-bottle stable, but the level of dissolved oxygen in the blend is tweaking the flavor.

Going to hold on to my last couple until I know whether or not I can get more next year...

jedwards, Feb 16, 2010
Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In Oregon.

Struck by a nectar dark and ruby red.

Little head, but better can be said.

Delicous aromas of alcohol and bread.

In the mouth nothing can be said.

I'd like to drink more of this before that I am dead.

Thanks be to my Oregon friend Fred.

francisweizen, Feb 14, 2010
Photo of MPLS
3.93/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Chris for hooking this bottle up, this has been sitting in my dark basement cellar since probably November.

A: Poured into the closest thing I could find to a snifter, a stemless wine glass that is pretty close in shape. The color is kind of a dark raison and the head is rather subdued. This does not come to much of a surprise considering the high ABV. A nice burnt mocha ring persists on the outside of the glass. Lacing is subpar and an almost saliva like half moon

S: The barrel-aging is real apparent in this one, bourbon, dry oak, vanilla, sweetness, and alcohol.

T: This is one big beer, the ABV is more noticeable in the back of the throat than on the tongue. The beer has a lot of flavor to it: bourbon, coffee, cocoa, old grapes...all intense and richly complex. A highy intoxicating brew that benefits from barrel aging. However, despite it's complexity the alcohol is pretty in your face and it's certainly far from graceful.

M: The mouthfeel is great, maximum alcohol delivery in the smoothest of fashion. Carbonation is just right and pretty silky.

D: Whew. The alcohol bit is big, but so is the flavor.

MPLS, Feb 13, 2010
Photo of grub
4.6/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

big thanks go out to OHLRangers for hooking me up with this one as part of the '09 secret santa. thanks ed!

22oz bottle topped with gold foil. sampled feb 6/2010.

pours deep brown. at first it appears opaque, but when held to the light you can see that it's crystal clear and has a bit of reddish highlights. the small dense dark tan head drops fairly fast and leaves a bit of spotty lace.

aroma is great. vanilla. bourbon and raw oak. rich caramel and toffee. earthy. light alcohol, but not 13.5% worth.

woah, taste is excellent. bourbon and vanilla. bit of raw oak. slightly earthy. caramel and buttery toffee. light alcohol. biscuit and lightly toasted whole wheat bread. bit of cracker. dark chocolate. hints of coffee and anise. light herbal and spicy notes, but they've been mostly subdued by the time in the barrel.

mouthfeel is great. nice big body. silky smooth medium carbonation level.

drinkability is great. nicely balanced, hiding much of its 13.5% abv. great depth. excellent complexity. the barrel is perhaps a little more heavy-handed than i would like, but it works pretty well.

grub, Feb 07, 2010
Photo of brewandbbq
4.35/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2008 22oz bottle.

Pours dark mahogany with amber highlights and a ruby tinge. Sparkling clarity with a quarter inch head of tan. A partial skim coat remained for the duration as well as some errant lacing.

Aromatics lead off with a blast of bourbon, toffee, and malt. Vanilla, brown sugar, and plenty of caramel quickly follow through.

Full bodied with a creamy, chewy mouthfeel. Viscous and dense.

A massive, boozy bourbon character leaps onto the palate with loads of toffee, raisins, figs, and caramel stepping forward. Hints of charred oak, cocoa, and nougat follow through. Minimal hopping other than some bitterness to balance.

Finishes with lots of building warmth, chewy caramel, bourbon, and rich malt.

Wowza, what a massive Barleywine. The barrels must have been very wet for this one. Loads of bourbon and very strong in nature. Truly a boozy, chewy winter sipper if there ever was one.

brewandbbq, Feb 04, 2010
Photo of vacax
3.85/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark toffee brown with a paltry sized head with no retention noted. Aromas of brown sugar, cat food, maple, and bourbon booziness dominate. Did I just say cat food? Yes, yes I did and apparently I am the only one to pick up on this but I don't get much enjoyment out of the aroma. The taste loads up on sugary sweets, treacle, toffee, with a maple and earthiness to it, and a big bourbon bite that I enjoy. I do like this, though as far as bourbon barrel barleywines go, this is fairly typical in taste. The thick body and properly light carbonation for the style, are, however, spot on, and this is a nice beer. I would recommend this, however, no more than any other bourbon barleywine I have enjoyed.

vacax, Feb 03, 2010
Photo of younger35
4.9/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Received this brew from the MEGA generous Cedromar. This guy made me look retarded with the amazing box he sent. I've had a few different brews from Pelican from back in the day and they were tasty. Super excited to try this one. Drank from my Ithaca Excelsior tulip while watching the National Championship (Texas vs. Alabama).

Vintage 2009

Appearance- Pours a dark brownish ruby with a decent one finger sand colored head. After a few minutes the head dissipates leaving a decent collar and no lacing
Smell- This baby is just oozing with big boozy bourbon and oak. Smells very candy like with tons of toffee and peanut brittle. The bourbon is very pronounced and the woody goodness really shines. Loads of vanilla and red licorice along with some darker fruits (raisins and dates maybe). Whiffs of milk chocolate that mix with the toffee for a Milky Way type of smell. Awesome nose.
Taste- Starts slightly sweet with a big rush of lightly tannic woody goodness. The caramel and toffee are off the charts as they are malty and boldly aggressive. Tons of whiskey as it's lightly warming but mixed with the oak and malt it's merely an afterthought. Vanilla is abundant as well and mixed with the somewhat Tootsie Roll aspect this beer is everything I was hoping for. The finish is warming with a sort of light bitter char and a touch of red licorice.
Mouthfeel- Despite the barrel aging and high alcohol of the beer it still maintains a nice full body. It's somewhat creamy and very rich with a slight bit of warming.
Drinkability- This is just a solid f'n beer. SO much bourbon and wood. I'd say this is the biggest, tastiest barrel aged beer that I've had since Wooden Hell. It doesn't quite have the oak that WH had and it's a tad warmer but I think it may be slightly less sweet. In a year or two this thing is going to come together nicely and be absolutely amazing-er. Thanks much Tyler you generous son-of-a-gun!

younger35, Feb 01, 2010
Photo of MisterClean
4.78/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Scott for hosting a brew day and sharing this brew with me.

A - Poured a deep mahogany with even more mahogany highlights in the glass. Left about a finger of head, which retained nicely. Left some lacing.

S - Caramel, some smokiness, vanilla and oak. Light notes of alcohol. Hops were barely noticeable in the smell. Smelled good.

T - Roasted caramel, vanilla, and oak. Fruity esters (nectarine or ambrosia?) and grassy/fruity hops as well. Alcohol was barely apparent. Great overall.

M - Medium-full-bodied, malt dominated. Very smooth. Alcohol barely there.

D - Fantastic. Wished I had more. This is by far the best English style barleywine I've had. Not a pretender, definitely a top beer.

MisterClean, Jan 31, 2010
Mother Of All Storms from Pelican Pub & Brewery
98 out of 100 based on 1,402 ratings.