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Mother Of All Storms - Pelican Pub & Brewery

Mother Of All StormsMother Of All Storms

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

1,216 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1216
Reviews: 392
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 9.19%


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
Ratings: 1,216 | Reviews: 392 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of NYCWheatFanSC
NYCWheatFanSC

New York

4.05/5  rDev -9.2%
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!

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2010 04:55:25 | More by NYCWheatFanSC
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CrellMoset

Virginia

4.58/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2010 04:46:38 | More by CrellMoset
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afausser

Montana

4.65/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2010 03:52:55 | More by afausser
Photo of jedwards
jedwards

Colorado

4.83/5  rDev +8.3%
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...

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2010 03:08:16 | More by jedwards
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MPLS

Minnesota

3.93/5  rDev -11.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2010 01:35:13 | More by MPLS
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grub

Ontario (Canada)

4.6/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2010 02:50:29 | More by grub
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brewandbbq

New Hampshire

4.35/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2010 00:36:19 | More by brewandbbq
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vacax

California

3.85/5  rDev -13.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2010 03:32:12 | More by vacax
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younger35

Minnesota

4.9/5  rDev +9.9%
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!

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2010 03:15:11 | More by younger35
Photo of MisterClean
MisterClean

California

4.78/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2010 16:26:11 | More by MisterClean
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ThreeWiseMen

California

4.18/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled this courtesy of bret27 at the central coast BA gathering last night. Thanks a lot Bret!

Poured into a snifter.

Appearance: A very small pile of khaki foam is all I got for head off the pour. It quickly dissipated to a thin halo. Body is clear, but very dark: deep reddish brown with shades of ruby. Looks very syrupy. I don't see any carbonation.

Smell: Cereal, toasted grains, caramel, bourbon, oak syrup, and brown sugar. Very sweet and sugary, but the light toastiness and hints of bourbon do a lot for this smell. Not as deep or complex as I had hoped, but unique.

Taste: Brown sugar, caramel, sweet oak and bourbon, a touch of pine, and even... roasted malt? Lots of residual sugars in here, but it's less sweet than all other English barleywines I've had (many of which I find to be unbearably sweet). Once again, unique. More complex than the aroma. I dig.

Mouthfeel: Oily, full, gritty, and awesome! Not too hot, not too dry. Lightly carbonated, syrupy, and rich.

Drinkability: English barleywine is certainly not my favorite style, but I can see why this one stands out. I think the sweetness would overwhelm me after a while, but as ~4oz. sample this was great.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2010 01:51:27 | More by ThreeWiseMen
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SpeedwayJim

New York

4.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Reviewed at hoppymcgee's tasting 1/16. '09 vintage. 3oz. pour into a 8oz. pint glass. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours no head and leaves no lacing but on-par with the style. Almost seemed flat as a pancake... beer is a deep, stunning, almost opaque amber.

S: Cherry, oak notes, a bit boozy, vanilla, and a strong shot of sherry. Caramel and brown sugar are also present, this one is an assault on the senses.

T: Opens sweet and boozy. A very deep malt backbone is apparent. A bit spicy, quite hot, with a touch of sweet soy sauce. This drinks like an imperial stout... also a bit pruny and the oaky sherry presence dominates towards the end.

M: Medium to full bodied, spicy and hot. This one is slightly coarse in thew mouth but smoothes out over time. More carbonated than I expected. Finish is sweet and sticky, leaving a lasting impression.

D: This is the king of barleywines. Incredibly balanced with a mouthfeel to match and integrate the complexity that is this beer. Seek it out. The hype is well-deserved here. A joy to have and one I'll definitely be seeking out in the future.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2010 15:26:37 | More by SpeedwayJim
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jdklks

Nevada

3.38/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep dark mahogony with amber hues and very little to no head. Not a great looking barleywine, but a decent looking beer. The smell is fantastic. super complex with vanilla, bourbon, toffee, caramel, brown sugar, and sweet dark fruit.

The taste of this beer was a big disappointment, given the high overall BA rating and the aromas eminating from my glass. There are still the toffee, caramel, bourbon and brown sugar flavors, but none of them blend very well. The alcohol is SUPER-hot, and the barrel aging has not done well for this beer. Again, super-hot alcohol throughout, and a dry, bitter aftertaste that does not compel you to drink more. 3+ years would do wonders for this beer.

The mouthfeel is nice and thick, but there is very little carbonation and it is way too hot all around. I'm glad I split this, because it would have taken me a few hours to finish a bottle by myself.

Give this one at least three years and maybe it will be worthy of its BA rating.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2010 07:29:14 | More by jdklks
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Jmoore50

Nevada

3.6/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The bourbon barrel scars this brew with a brownish hue. The barley wine looks like it started off with a great dark golden color, but the bourbon stains the color to make the finish with a hazy brown heart and darker golden edges. Has a bit of white head, but it leaves pretty fast. Alcoholic legs are fairly thick.

The smell has sweet malt sugars and bourbon. Oak, and cherries with vanilla. Oak and bourbon are very strong, giving the overall smell a 'hot' aspect.

The taste has characters of vanilla, cherries and dark fruits, with oak and bourbon. Lots of malt sugars that make it sweet, tastes like this is already aged over a year. The beer and the barrel come together very well, with the barrel being a bit of a larger character. It did not start off for me very ABV strong, but towards the end of the bottle it was a bit rough. I was picking up the oak and bourbon more and more and the balance was starting to fade. Very enjoyable, but maybe aged in oak a bit too long?

The mouthfeel was good, but towards the end started to get very hot. This damaged the drinkability a great deal, and made the last glass full a challenge. Maybe a 8 oz pour into a brandy snifter would be perfect for me. A full 22oz bomber, even shared, was a bit much.

J

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2010 23:04:52 | More by Jmoore50
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Jwale73

Rhode Island

4.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared by jedwards and served in my 25cl Allagash tulip. Poured a deep brown with red highlights that were revealed from each angle and rotation of the glass. Loose, white head quickly dissipates into barely a swirl. Incredible nose - malty, sugary sweet, toffee, butterscotch, a little booze, molasses, prunes and perhaps a little breadiness. Taste follows nose - sugary sweet with the addition of some caramel, vanilla and coconut. Mouthfeel is medium with a lively carbonation. Definitely a little booziness in this, but a big, bold and delicious beer. However, closer to an American Strong than an English barleywine in my humble opinion.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2010 17:21:00 | More by Jwale73
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punkrkr27

Michigan

4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle. Deep mahogany pour with bright ruby highlights and no head. The aroma is Musty bourbon and caramelized dates rounded out with a hint of vanilla and charred oak. The flavor is awesome rich, buttery caramel with notes of fig, vanilla, an accent of char and smoke, and milk chocolate. It finishes with a nice little alcohol kick. The body is sticky and full with low carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2010 17:07:09 | More by punkrkr27
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iheartpnwbrew

Oregon

4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had the opportunity to sit down and drink this exceptional brew with one of the Pelican's brewers. As a deschutes loyalist from Bend, Oregon, I had lowered expectations going in from the beginning (abyss or bust). When the gentleman first explained the process of brewing The Perfect storm, I was very intrigued.
I wanted to see the color first, though. It was absolutely beautiful. Even more so then The Abyss.
This elegant, yet slightly scary beer poured beautifully. Right out of the bottle, Chilled to perfection, I will admit to anyone that the beer was one of the best tasting brews I have ever had. But as time passed, mind you this beer is to be drunken slowly, it began to warm up slightly. and as it happened, i could definitely taste the strong alcohol nodes. This was, other than the price, the beers only turn off.
Given time, I know this beer will mature into something amazing. but for now, it is only exceptional.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2010 04:00:05 | More by iheartpnwbrew
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

4.6/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle, foiled top, 09 release. HUGE thanks to MasterSki for breaking this one out a few weeks back, huge want.

Pours a clear dark ruby red, some brown, very thick tan head forms, huge and chunky, settles down to a thick ring, some lace spots stick, legs on the glass, looks great.

Smell is insane, tons of oak and vanilla, bourbon, brandy, huge toffee notes, butterscotch, coconut, lots of raisin and dark fruit, lightly spicy, alcohol, this is intense.

Taste is similar, huge toffee and brown sugar sweetness, vanilla, bourbon and brandy, alcohol, dark fruit, raisin, butterscotch, more vanilla, more bourbon and alcohol in the finish, supremely malty.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation, some big warmth going down but I would expect no less. This stuff is serious, huge rich malts in the one, amazing. Thanks Alex!

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2010 15:03:59 | More by Viggo
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treyrab

California

4.78/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks goes out to my boy in Washington for getting to try this. This has been a want of mine for a loooong time now, and finally I got to try the new batch. Split this with my girlfriend and roommate. Drumroll...here goes...

A: Opens with a nice muffled hiss and the ghostly smoke climbs out of the bottle. Pours a nice, deep mahagony brown with a khaki head. The head is, I would say, half a finger and recedes to a ring. Slightly sticky and creamy. Georgous.

S: Whoa. Bourbon hits you hard, but in a very good way. Nice spicy bourbon, caramel, toffee, and chocolate rise nicely. There are also hints of fruits (raisins?) perhaps, but the bourbon, caramel and toffee are the majority.

T: This is great. Smooth bourbon and caramel with bittersweet toffee and melted bitter chocolate. The caramel blends so great with the fresh bourbon. There is a slight heat that warms you, but nothing distracting at all.

M/D: Creamy, smooth, warming, delicious. Just great.

I am glad I got to try this beer and am lucky I have a good WA BA friend who gave me another to age. Thanks!

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2010 01:40:12 | More by treyrab
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Riccymon

Texas

4.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a sinister black color with orange highlights; nice color. Just a smattering of brown head fizzes and then dies atop a half glass of Perfect Storm, as expected. Taking an initial whiff from the bottle, I'm already struck by a powerful blast of bourbon, oak, chocolate, and dead leaves, aromas that I continue to smell after I pour out a few ounces. The aroma is everything I want from a barleywine, with the unique, brawny booze and oak presence lurking at the edges. After a while, the smell becomes a little port-like-- very sweet and a little grapey

Sipping amplifies the bourbon, chocolate, and caramel notes, and vanilla and fruit (cherry, orange peel) flavors are added. Some hot alcohol washes in at mid-sip and brings a segue to a rather spicy finish. It's taking me a while to process everything I taste, perhaps because of the sheer intensity of all aspects of Perfect Storm. I don't taste as much oak, but bourbon is pretty upfront.

Mouthfeel is medium-full in body with a syrup-like consistency. My mouth is left tingling after each sip, and now and then the alcohol threatens to become overwhelming after a sip. This is a slow drinker, and I can see I'll be taking a couple hours to polish off the bomber. I guess I can't complain too much about drinkability, even given the sometimes intense aspects-- it's a bourbon barrel-aged English barleywine, after all, and it is what it is.

All told, Perfect Storm is a really great barleywine, perhaps near Midnight Sun Arctic Devil for among the best I've tried. I think some age would have bumped it to #1, as about all I can ding the beer for is a little harshness in taste and feel from the alcohol/bourbon flavors.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2010 22:29:04 | More by Riccymon
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Mora2000

Texas

4.63/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of thirdeye11.

2009 vintage. Pours brown with a very small tan head. Aroma is strong oak and bourbon. The flavor is complex, with vanilla, bourbon, chocolate and roasted malt. Medium mouthfeel and very drinkable. This beer didn't disappoint.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2009 22:50:36 | More by Mora2000
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jwjon1

Delaware

4.68/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2009 Vintage

Pour an oxidized/rust brown, but perfectly translucent. Smells of Werther's caramel, a touch of Werther's chocolate, toasted pecans, a touch of bourbon and wood, perhaps lightly roasted coffee... list could go on and on. Basically, it was like smelling an exceptional sherry that changed in the glass over time. Phenomenal.

A bit of heat and tannic wood, which gives taste and drinkability as the only small knocks I gave this beer. Perfectly carbonated upon opening--but even after letting it run still in my glass over a couple hours, I continue to be fascinated by this one. Truly an exceptional beer that I can't wait to try again a few years down the road.

Worth seeking out for fans of English barleywines.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2009 03:36:36 | More by jwjon1
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khiasmus

South Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

They don't ever let you go. Crawling
through your mind and holding on to every bit of you, the blood
looks black in the glass, black in the glass, but red
oh so ruby red, so beautiful a red
and a cap, a froth, the boiling of those that cannot forget their anger
their pain, the clear, perfect clear, boiling, black ruby red blood.
And mahogany. And legs. A lot of legs.

The reeling, reeling through your brain, of oak and of bourbon...
the nightmare. the nightmare of darkness, of forgetting who you are, losing yourself,
of endless nights filled with bourbon, the wood, oak-tree, white pepper.
searing alcohol, the bourbon, fire-water, reeling firewater, complexities.
almond, almond, burnt sugar, and the hazelnuts of last year, in the cold
with a hammer.
sugar cookies. the sugar cookies of yesteryear, and the dark firewater
I wish he hadn't, but it tastes so good
the bourbon, the bourbon, drink it down, and bitter
and candied, caramelized sugar, and hot alcohol
the nuttiness, I've forgotten, I forgot...what was it?
syrup. there it was. my head...
they're coming. it never lets you go. never. the bourbon will kill you,
the fire-water, they're running...
thick. syrup. warm. hot. the bourbon. my head.
light carbonation, and hazelnut. yes.
yes yes.
hazelnut bourbon.
and pepper.

my head.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2009 02:59:14 | More by khiasmus
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Thorpe429

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2009 13:06:29 | More by Thorpe429
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womencantsail

California

4.63/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A big thanks to t0rin0 for sharing a bottle of this with me.

A: The pour is a dark, dark brown with some nice reddish highlights. The head is mild in volume and tan in color.

S: There is a surprising amount of chocolate (oxidation) in the aroma, but it works quite well. The usual suspects of caramel, toffee, vanilla, and dark fruit are there as well, along with some oak.

T: Like the aroma, there is a ton of chocolate to this beer--something I don't normally expect from a barleywine. The sweet, malty flavors, dark fruits, and barrel contributions (vanilla and a nice oaky flavor) make this amazingly complex. I just had to give it a 5.

M: Very nice and smooth. The carbonation is quite low, and the body is incredibly full.

D: The only place that this beer takes a bit of a hit. This shouldn't be surprising, however. But despite being 13.5% alcohol, it is surprisingly drinkable.

I've not been the hugest barleywine fan in the past, but this beer has changed my perception of the style. Absolutely fantastic.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2009 08:21:17 | More by womencantsail
Mother Of All Storms from Pelican Pub & Brewery
99 out of 100 based on 1,216 ratings.