Mother Of All Storms | Pelican Pub & Brewery

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
98
world-class
445 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
445
Ratings:
1,836
Avg:
4.42
pDev:
18.1%
 
 
Wants:
1,555
Gots:
626
For Trade:
73
Mother Of All StormsMother Of All Storms
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Pelican Pub & Brewery
Oregon, United States | website

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 14.00%

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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-25-2008

User Reviews
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Reviews: 445 | Ratings: 1,836
Photo of mikeyv35
3.73/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Date: 02/28/2011
Type: 22oz. Bottle
Vintage: 2009 Perfect Storm
Glassware: Portsmouth Tulip

This brew has been in my cellar for 2+ years and am eager to sample it.

Poured dark brown mahoghany in color w/ a skim coat tan head w/ no lacing on the glass. Prototypical BA BW appearance. Aromas of dark roasted chocolate, molasses, dark currants, bourbon, vanilla, and oak. The taste was of warming dark fruits and charred malts, w/ a touch od brown sugar, followed by strong bourbon and vanilla. For me this was still way too boozy even w/ 2+ years of age on it. Medium bodied.

Disappointed majorly by this brew! Very complex in the flavors, but the bourbon barrel aging was simply too much and completely overwhelmed the base beer.

Glad I got a chance to sample, but now really looking forward to sampling the base beer(Stormwatcher's Winterfest).

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Photo of dleigh
4.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Minimal brown head, dark brown liquid. Caramel, bourbon, and dark fruit in the nose. Caramel rich taste with some nice bitterness from the hops. Wonderfully creamy mouthfeel.

I tried a 2014 and a 2015 side by side. I liked the mellower 2014 better--the bourbon is still present but much mellower.

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

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

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

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

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

Medium bodied, smooth, syrupy but not thick.

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

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Photo of SubpoenaDeuces
4.4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Mother of All Storms, Barleywine, 13.5 abv.

A: There is an almost bourbon note to it. A mild agitation evidences a some small bubbles but it is clear that this beer is above you, much in the way that Hemingway never seemed to mind the banalities of a normal life. You rock it back and forth and all you see is a wafty character that coats with a scary liquid refusal.

S: There are deep bourbon notes that resound like falling down a mineshaft and hit every peat note on the way down. I don’t want to overstate the wood and bourbon but, wow, this is beer but it feels like a proper gentleman’s drink. This was made in Oregon but its spirit takes its summer vacations in the hateful south. It enjoys conifers in the summer and spraying down protesting hops with fire hoses in the winter. Too far? Ok, let’s stop turning barley wines into social commentary. This has a great heat on it and I don’t even want to age it because I like it for it’s bumbly angry presence. It rounds out this delicious dinner party with a fuck up that you can point out that is incredibly enjoyable.

T: There is a huge panoply of raisins, figs, mild dates and nice waftiness just like envelops like sweet caramel candy. I enjoy this immensely and the retraction from the huge fruits on the finish makes it all the more enjoyable, wait for it

M: AS A RESULT THIS IS THE BEST BARLEYWINE THAT I HAVE EVER HAD. I know I know, this dethroned Abacus, no big deal, you hate Barleywines. Wait a second though, I like the following LESS: Hellshire, Old Dipsea 2009, Bigfoot, etc. This is hands down the most balanced and amazing barley wine I have ever had. I just want to sip on this and watch a Ryan Reynol- CLINT EASTWOOD MOVIE.

D: This is not exceptionally drinkable and, you know what? GOOD. This isn’t here for your consumption, this is like a Terrence Malick movie, it is deliberate, slow, deep and amazing. If you drink this alone you are a jerk. Plain and simple. This has such a great resounding spirit to it that begs to be split on a balcony and horrible philosophy discussions will ensure. It is just wafty, boozy, complex and amazing. The thin mouth almost makes me feel like “give me a cigar.” But then I realized that I don’t live in the gilded age, so put out the robusto Grover Cleveland.

Narrative: All of the brackish land lovers said that this take was too ambitious. Sure, there was a school of marlin right off the coast heading for warmer currents, but, for gods sake, did you look at the meterology reports? They didn’t want to end up like the crew of the S.S. Stone Tea, rest in peace, who lost every member in this modern age refusing to deliver tea by protocol. No; no. There was a much more insidious secret that no crew member beyond the first mate could be made aware of. This marlin galleon was commanded by none other than a pelican. To be fair, he was a completely able captain with a curse placed upon him by a Portland witch who converted his form to the omnipresent visage of fertility, well knowing that he was impotent. That, my friends, is a story for another day. Sure there was a cool pressure from one direction and another front with conflicting warm pressures and, wait, who is manning the sextant? Oh that’s right, a pelican. Their cargo of 1200 barrels of bourbon and figs might never make it to port but one thing was certain, with this capta- BGLUB GLUB:::GURBLE::COPYRIGHTGURBLE

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Photo of BilbosNuts
4.54/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at the brewery.

A: Pours a dark black with some mahogany tints, letting no light through. Small bubbles cling to the sides. A small tan head sits on top.

S: Sweet caramel candies and dark fruits come through at first. It's aroma is very inviting. A touch of alcohol finishes it out.

T: Very similar to the taste with dark fruits and a caramel sweetness as the backbone. I could sip on this all day.

M: Medium bodied and adequately carbonated to allow the sweet flavors to migrate on the palate. A slight alcohol warming finishes it off.

O: This was really a treat to try on tap. Highly recommend. Close to perfection.

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Photo of Dunkelhund
4.92/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

[I followed the reports of this release from the "Black Friday Hullaballoo" up to the arrival at one of my favorite bottle shops, and then got a bottle for the Holiday GiftGiving - we opened it up tonight: ]

It pours a deep, rich chocolate-toned color that mahogany only dreams of attaining, but with little time for developing a substantial head... the smells wafting off the top of this invite you in like an unseen siren at the heart of the storm.

The Adjectives: Smooth. Rich. Boozy. Complex. Bourbon. Oak. Overtones of Vanilla Caramelized upon the back of a Great, Dark Malted Beast. (That's the best I can tell you... there is a great deal of complexity here, though it is all subtly woven together.)

Excellent Stuff. (enjoy slowly [edit])

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Photo of MrFootstones
4/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours with a minimal head, but man, the color is great. Brilliant, crystal clear auburn.

Aroma: Mad malty. Caramel and toffee. Sweet bourbony booziness and maple. Dark fruit. Sugary iced tea.

Taste: Sweet brown sugar, toasty, bready. A little spiciness, perhaps from the barrel? That iced tea is still there, not at all unpleasant. A scoach of cellar mustiness and beef jerky/savoryness, oddly enough.

Mouthfeel: Works, nothing amazing but it is fine for the beer.

Drinkability: Not a chore at all. Opened up nicely once warmed.

Glad I got to try this but the ~$34 it cost for us to acquire it was a bit steep.

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Photo of MPLS
3.97/5  rDev -10.2%
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.

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Photo of Marty30
4.35/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage. Huge thanks Evan! Split 3 ways. Poured into a KBS snifter.Served at 55 degrees.

A. Murky,muddy brown body. No head to speak of,just some large bubbles. Big alchohol legs.No lacing as expected.

S. Bourbon hits first,not a blast but strong presence. Followed by sweet fruits kind of apricot. Then you get leather, toffee. Damn good!

T. Wow! Great barell treatment, First thing that you get is a perfect amount of bourbon,it's not overwhelming in any way. Then you get the ripe fruits and leather,brown sugar,toffee,caramal. A touch of alchohol in the end,very well hidden.

M. Feel is thick and heavy,just right. Nice sweet aftertaste that lingers.

Overall So far this is the BA barleywine to measure all too. I have to get more. Just a excellently crafted beer!!!

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Photo of Riccymon
4.34/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

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Photo of Gfunk720
4.33/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared with my buddy Luke, out of my DFH glass. Don't remember who sent me this, but thanks!

A- Deep ambery brown with a touch of red. It
has a interesting glow to it, and appears quite clear. Pours with a light off white head, which reduces to a ring around the glass.

S- Smells sweet and rich, mostly of caramel and hops. It's a very soft and well balanced smell. Yum...

T- The warm flavor instantly coats my mouth. Caramel and hops are abundant and strong. I also get notes of molasses and bourbon. Very very nice. The barrel aging is evindent, but not overboard.

M- A bit thick and intense, a touch boozy too. It definitely could use some time to mellow out, but certainly is not bad.

O- Very very nice. I've been waiting to try this one, and it was not a let down. I have another that I am going to put a year or so on, and see how it shapes up.

-Gfunk

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Photo of mcgwire756
4.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 Mother of All Storms poured from a bottle into a tulip.

This big beer poured a dark deep red with a 1 finger head that disappers relatively quickly unless you keep swirling it. Not much lacing at all unless you keep swirling.

The smell was terrific with dark fruit lots of bourbon and a little wood in it. The taste is oh so smooth for something that is 13.5%. I can tell this is a big beer, but I would not of guessed anything over 10. A lot more of the bourbon but not as sticky and thick as some other barleywines. It does not coat your mouth or feel overbearing which was nice especially after having a good amount of this beer.

This is a really terrific beer and one can tell how carefully one like this is crafted compared to other barleywines. A must try.

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Photo of Impfan
5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

At last, a barleywine I prefer even over Olde Curmudgeon!
2012 Bottling
Incredibly complex nose and flavor of caramel, toffee, bourbon (lots of it), sherry, cognac, vanilla, oak, raisins, honey, kumquats, orange zest, persimmons, plums, peaches, strawberries, prunes, dates, figs, cherries, pecan pralines, rhubarb, toasted coconut, leather, tobacco, and a hint of smokiness.

The body is syrupy, but playfully so, not sticky or cloying. This beauty has legs like Angelina, and the mouth becomes delightfully coated as the sipping continues. The finish is one of the longest I've ever experienced, and the woodiness and the alcohol prevent this one from becoming too sweet (as a gentleman before me pointed out).

It's been quite a few years since I was an ardent fan of the barleywine style, but this one absolutely blew me away, even fresh. I can only imagine what a few years of aging might achieve.

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Photo of 05Harley
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in 2010

Graciously given to me by my man Rochefort10nh

Appearance: Deep mahogany in color with an off white head that vanishes in an instant. A slight ring is all that's left surrounding the outer edge of the glass. No lacing to speak of, it just slides down the side and looks potent.

Smell: Oak, vanilla, caramel and dare I say raisins. It's aroma is simply awesome.

Taste: Vermont maple syrup hits the taste buds head on with caramel, coconut and bourbon in the middle followed by a fair amount of sweetness and alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied feel almost like syrup. A perfect amount of carbonation no more needed for the style. Finishes clean, bitter and dry.

Drinkability: A definite sipper and quite enjoyable. I was first introduced to this gem under it's former name "the perfect storm" and this one doesn't miss a beat. Next year I'll be stocking up on this one.

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Photo of Verecund
3.9/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage. Opened on February 3, 2011.

Persian plum with the tiniest ring of tan head. Still; like burnt caramel waiting to be eaten.

Huge, decadent nose. Caramel, toffee, oak, vanilla, and bourbon booziness. Just the tiniest wisp of raspberry.

Palate is toasted malt, bourbon, toffee, caramelized sugar, and vanilla, with some oak peeking through the huge bourbon notes. Some dark fruit, especially plum strikes mid-to-late palate and shows more as it warms. The complexity is slightly masked by the heat of the bourbon. There's an odd note on the back of the palate I can't quite put my pen to - almost vegetal. Very sweet, very big, with a lingering bitter astringency on the finish.

Medium-bodied, with low carbonation. Sticky.

A nice sipper for a cold night, but not as mind-blowing as I had hoped. A little sherry oxidation should benefit MoaS and cool her down enough to appreciate her complexities. I'll be nursing this bottle for the next 60-90 minutes, easily.

EDIT: Fourth bottle opened December, 2011. This has become fairly muddled and one-note. Will update with last bottle.

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Photo of Dajtai007
5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

08 TPS (4.8)
A month ago a friend and I took a very long trip to Pacific City. First sight was the amazing Oregon coastline. I have to say that the brewery is one of the sweetest sights I have ever seen. Literally, its right on the beach! I knew I was in for a treat. Pick up a three cases of their finest. I drove home with that silly grin of accomplishment.
Went home served it in my Rochefort glass, I thiought it was fitting.
Deep deep red with a very creamy head that bubbles out.
The smell was deep with a rich malty goodness. I have a hard time deciphering minute aromas. Lets just say " It was divine".
Taking my first sip let me know it was finely carbonated, very clean. To follow up with amazing complex flavors. The great thing was that the high ABV was tamed quite well.
After thew bottle I felt blissful with a warm fuzziness that comes from excellent beer. I'm so glad I know where to get more,

Great beer, one of the reasons I moved to the NW!

09 Batch (5.0)
This years TPS is sublime. The base beer, 08 Stormwatchers, is a lot better than the previous. Thus giving the ale a wonderful creaminess and balance it didn't have before (I didn't realize this until I did a side-by-side tasting). Big notes of vanilla, caramel , prunes, raisins, and a little bourbon makes this years batch worth every drop. I have to give a standing ovation to Pelican for taking TPS up a notch. They have been producing some amazing beers under the radar and TPS is the cream of the crop. Great World Class Beer!!!

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Photo of camil1mj
4.45/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottle poured into my Bruery snifter at cellar temp.
A: Dark brown. 2 finger tan head. Some lacing present.ppearance: (4.0)

S: Loads of caramel, fig and some sweet booziness.

T: Lots going on here. Sweet figs and caramel on the hose that is followed by bourbon booziness.

M: Thick and full bodied. Medium carbonation.

O: A great BBBW. I feel it is a notch below King Henry, but still among the best I have tried.

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Photo of bret27
4.2/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Big Joel

S: Vanilla, bready, sweet, bourbon

A: Dark ruby brown, minimal brown head

T: Malty, sweet, vanilla, caramel, woody, crackers/bready, strong bourbon/boozy presence.

M: Fairly thin and hot. Like a bit more mouth on my beer

D: High abv, thin and hot. Definitely a sipper.

Overall: A little less body and more heat than I had hoped. Still delicious. I'm sure heat and drink will improve w/cellaring.

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Photo of punkrkr27
4.37/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

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Photo of xpimptastikx
4.57/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2009

A - Pours a ruby tinted root beer stream with a short lived dark tan head that recedes to nothing. Only a few sips in, but no lace. The appearance should be a 4, but I'm adjusting it to bump the taste to ~5.

S - Damn this smells great. As I started pouring this I could smell the sweet sweet bourbon. Fantastic toffee, raisins, oak, vanilla, and I think some nuts?

T - Thick brown sugar, vanilla, and rum soaked raisins. This is freakin' delicious, and is making a great dessert night cap. I might be crazy, but it reminds me of Nutella a little bit...

M/D - There really isn't much of an alcohol presence, but I also enjoy a glass of good bourbon. The mouthfeel is awesome; oily and coats your whole mouth with light carbonation. It's a sipper, but one I seriously can't put down.

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Photo of garbercury
4.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared with Reed415 while getting our kronk on...

A--Plenty of lacing with a orange-burgandy hue.

S--Complex. So many diffent things going on. Vanilla, spice, and of course, some bourbon.

T--Tempted to give it a 5. So complex in its flavors, not too much Bourbon which I liked, it did not overpower the brew allowing its other flavors to come out. Vanilla and cinnamon for sure, figs?

D--Do to its rarity, does it matter? What I can say is this is a sipper to be enjoyed for its complex flavors and smell. Hated to see it go.

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Photo of mfavoino
4.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another big want that Treebs shared with me. Shared three ways.

Appearance: Deep, but translucent brown with a red hue. No head really to speak of.

Smell: Big caramel malt aromas paired with lots of sweet bourbon. Dark fruits and toffee too. Big nose on this one.

Taste: A big, big flavor that pairs a sweet, smooth bourbon with a huge caramel malt backbone. Dark fruit adds some sweetness and the oak gives even more character. Very rich.

Mouthfeel: Thick, full-bodied, and syrupy with a bit of booze on the back end.

Overall: An amazing English Barleywine. A big, big beer that would be great to share with some friends on a chilly night.

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Photo of afausser
4.67/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

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Photo of ales4baldo
4.62/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Quick notes taken at wonderful tasting

Pours a bit thin. Solid brown with a bit red to it.

has a nice sweet toffee smell and lots of sweet malts. Licorice and nice smooth.

Subtle booze and caramel stints. Lots of nuts and barrel flavor. Finish is boozy.

Mouthful is smooth and boozy. Medium body and smooth. A bit silky. Solid.

A good beer. A little too much heat. But still nice. Solid beer. Might taste better with age.

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Photo of Azurescens
4.73/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2011 batch poured into snifter, reviewed on 11/20/11.

A: Pours a deep dark chestnut, clear when held to light with a short tan head that dissipates into a collar rather quickly and leaves very little lacing around glass.

S: Very rich with toffee, oak, vanilla, dark malts and bourbon. Plenty of alcohol reminds you how big this beer is. Like most beers of this size the alcohol definitely becomes much more pronounced as the beer warms.

T: Dangerously rich and flavorful with wave after wave of malt, dark fruit, oak, vanilla and toffee. Alcohol is definitely present but quite mellow with very little heat for how young this is. Loaded with malty sweetness but very well balanced from the barrel aging and some hop bitterness. Little to no hop flavor to get in the way of all the malty bourbony goodness. Incredibly smooth oaky finish with some vanilla and more malt. Long lingering flavors tease me to take yet another sip.

M: Extremely rich, smooth and creamy full bodied with low-moderate carbonation and sweet finish.

O: In my opinion this is the barleywine that all others should be judged against. So rich, flavorful and ridiculously drinkable for the 13.5% ABV. Perfect winter sipping beer warms you from the inside out. Without a doubt this is a world class barleywine.

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Mother Of All Storms from Pelican Pub & Brewery
98 out of 100 based on 445 ratings.