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Mother Of All Storms - Pelican Pub & Brewery

Not Rated.
Mother Of All StormsMother Of All Storms

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BA SCORE
99
world-class

1,597 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,597
Reviews: 423
rAvg: 4.45
pDev: 8.99%
Wants: 1,484
Gots: 579 | FT: 67
Brewed by:
Pelican Pub & Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  14.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

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

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

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

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

Fourth Release - November 2011

31.7 degrees Plato
Alcohol: 13.5% by volume
Bitterness: 40 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,597 | Reviews: 423
Photo of thebigredone
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of WeisGuy
4.72/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a - pour a deep ruby brown, one inch tan head with retention around the edges, slightly hazy

s - very complex, leather, tobacco, oak, bourbon, caramel malt, vanilla, one of the best smelling beers I've experienced

t - caramel, tobacco and bourbon sweetness, very well integrated, amaretto and vanilla on the mid-palate, finish is lingering oak, bourbon and caramel with a nice boozy warmth

m - full-bodied, low to medium carbonation, well-balanced finish, lots of alcohol warming

d - definitely a sipper, but quite drinkable for a 13.5% barleywine, incredibly complex and interesting

This definitely lived up to the hype...incredibly complex barleywine that will certainly improve with age.

Photo of Kopfschuss
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of UWBadgerFan4Life
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of CrellMoset
4.55/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

Photo of MinorThreat
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of inlimbo77
4.24/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz, 2012
Lost Abbey

A: Pours a deep brownish amber color. Thin layer of off white, light tan head. Not a ton of head. Sticky lacing. Alcohol feet for sure.

S: Booze. Sticky toffee pudding. Caramel. Toffee. Some slight roast.

T: Vanilla. Caramel. Toffee. Booze. The heat is there, but it's not overly hot. At that ABV, it's expected.

M: Medium leading to full. Coats the mouth.

Photo of tbone1384
4.56/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.77/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

Photo of jaasen64
4/5  rDev -10.1%

Photo of Jas45678
4.25/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of siege06nd
4.92/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a CBS snifter...

A: Pours a very dark tobacco brown with a quarter finger of cream colored head. Traces of lacing down the sides of the glass. I particularly love the dark colors of this brew and the sunburst effect around the edges.

S: Super complex nose with dark fruit, raisin, caramel, vanilla, chocolate, oak char, tobacco, leather, cherry, brown sugar. Thick, rich bourbon barrel notes provide some outstanding character here. It doesn't just hit all of the right notes, it absolutely destroys them. Perfect bouquet.

T: The initial flavors are chocolate and vanilla. As it washes across the mid, the caramel, raisin, and oak notes weigh in. It all comes together with ripe dark fruit, dark tobacco, and a nice little alcohol burn on the back end. I love very bit of this.

M: The mouthfeel and balance on this are top notch. It's amazing how much complexity Pelican has packed into this beer while keeping everything supremely balanced and smooth. Only deficiency is that carbonation seems a little bit high for the style. However, this one is silky smooth and decadent in all the right ways.

O: The absolute standard for the English Barleywine style. A spectacular beer from start to finish, worthy of every accolade it has received. Thank you, Pelican, for this creation.

Photo of JohnnieNepal
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.92/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip glass from a 22oz bottle.

2011 Release.

Pours a gorgeous rich mahogany color with some gorgeous ruby hints. Nice thin head with a tan to light tan color that is medium dense and recedes to a nice ring around the glass. Gorgeous beer.

Delicious aroma. Strong molasses notes and caramel but most importantly tons of Bourbon. Nice vanilla undertones as well as some nice woody spice. Nice dark fruits including raisin and prunes. Very nice slight chocolate notes are also perceived in the nose.

Wow. This brew is amazing. It is so complex, big and flavorful. Starts off with some nice dark malt notes. Grainy and bready and then followed quickly by intense big and bold sweetness. Caramel and toffee with some nice Bourbon sweetness. VEry dark fruit notes are present. The middle has some nice intense boozy sweetness and more molasses and toffee notes with a nice heat in the back end of the brew. Having had King Henry not too long ago I can safely say that these two are very close in awesomeness. MoAS seems to be a bit more balanced and full bodied. Smooth as hell and very drinkable the ABV isn't too big of a hurdle which is a bit scary. Mouthfeel is awesome. Silky smooth and oily.

Very good brew. Amazing actually nice dark fruit notes with toffee and tons of Bourbon and sweetness that isn't too intense. This is a great brew.

Photo of TheBrewo
4.75/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

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

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

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.

Photo of HopStoopid120
5/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of Phelps
4.07/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip.

Pours a mostly clear, dusky burgundy, the stuff behind obscured by the darkness. Cranberry highlights. A one-finger head of tightly packed light khaki foam quickly dissipates to a thin, persistent ring leaving horizontal lines of lace.

Smells like an old ale. Cranberry, plums, leather, substantial oak, tons of vanilla, caramel, overripe oranges, earthy English hops, toffee. Well-integrated bourbon. Very smooth.

The flavor is similar: plum sauce, quickly ripening oranges, earthy hops, vanilla ice cream, caramel, oodles of toffee, some light leather. Interestingly dry finish. There's also a hefty amount of ethanol. This needs to lay down for a year or two.

Light massaging carbonation, very light fizziness. Medium-full body, nice creaminess. Heavy alcohol warmth in the throat, tongue-numbing and chest-warming. The booziness is unavoidable, but I don't mind it too much.

Mother of All Storms packs incredible flavors into an alcohol-soaked whole. It's great for how fresh it is, but a year in the cellar will make this beer phenomenal.

Photo of SpdKilz
4.4/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage.

Appearance – Pours into a tulip with a dark brown color that turns to deep mahogany when held up to the light. About a finger of tan, almost mocha colored head is achieved with a moderate pour that dissipates at a moderate pace leaving slight lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell – Oh wow, heavy bourbon, oak, and vanilla. Sweet candied aromas mixed with molasses and burnt brown sugar. Smells quite rich and some toffee shines through as the beer warms.

Taste – Quite bourbon and vanilla forward. The oak takes a slight backseat to the more prominent flavors of dark fruits and candied sugars. Slight alcohol flavor and burn, though nothing what I was expecting for the ABV and how “young” this beer is.

Mouthfeel – Full bodied, very creamy, lower carbonation. One of the highlights of this beer in my opinion.

Overall – A delicious barleywine. I can’t wait to see how this ages. The alcohol is surprisingly well hidden, and after the first few sips you don’t so much taste it as feel it. Not sure what I was thinking when I opened this by myself tonight. Looks like I’ll be nursing this the next couple of hours. A very nice sipper on this cold Midwest night.

Photo of josephwa
4.75/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of jvillefan
4.59/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: A deep ruby red with almost no head.

S: Deep caramel malts are in the front of this beer followed by a rich bourbon aroma.

T: Rich caramel malts are primary flavor. The smoothness of the oak and bourbon cut through this very nicely.

M: Sharpness comes from the alcohol and subtle carbonation. It is nice a viscous and fills the mouth well.

O: One of but no the best Barleywine. I like King Henry, 2010 Bourbon BA Old Guardian, and Abacus more, but this is one of the elite barleywines.

Photo of Ryan011235
4.42/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter on 4/25/12

2010 Vintage

With much appreciation to PDXHops for giving me a bottle
Split with MbpBugeye

A) Medium brown pour. In the glass the beer has a gorgeous deep ruby hue (especially when held to the light). The beer fostered about 1/4th inch head but it dissipated quickly leaving only a ring of retention and a few lily pads. No lace.

S) The aroma is dense with notes of raisins, molasses, prune, caramel, bread, butter toffee and tobacco. Overtones of wood with a sturdy booze note across the board. The barrel characteristics emerge as it warms taking a more prominent roll. There is faint vanilla as well.

T) The taste is comparably deep. Deep, and rather sugary (which I reckon is appropriate in this case). Hints of chocolate, molasses and caramel. On the back end, the sugars are a bit toasty too. Dark fruit notes. The barrel has blended in very well - the oak actually pulls a higher card than the whiskey. Vanilla creeps in as it warms.

M) Full, slick body with some granular undercurrents. Moderately low carbonation that mellows a bit, but always maintains a bite. Some heat on the finish.

O) This is the kind of beer you want to drink and not write about. I screwed that up big time.

Photo of Gotti311
4.6/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of hooliganlife
3.54/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2009, waxed when i got it.

poured a deep copper and mahogany. light cream head.

alcohol and some caramel, harsh and rough.

very harsh, somewhat boozy. flavors were near dead and just no where in general. mainly harsh alcohol with a barleywine backbone. this aged terribly.

again, harsh. lots of bite, very moderate carbonation.

do not age this... it was bad.

Photo of randylangford
4.25/5  rDev -4.5%

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Mother Of All Storms from Pelican Pub & Brewery
99 out of 100 based on 1,597 ratings.