Stormwatcher's Winterfest
Pelican Pub & Brewery

Stormwatcher's WinterfestStormwatcher's Winterfest
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
English Barleywine
Ranked #48
ABV:
13%
Score:
91
Ranked #3,466
Avg:
4.14 | pDev: 11.59%
Reviews:
91
Ratings:
188
From:
Pelican Pub & Brewery
 
Oregon, United States
Avail:
Winter
Wants
  128
Gots
  44
SCORE
91
Outstanding
Stormwatcher's WinterfestStormwatcher's Winterfest
Notes: 32.1 degrees Plato
Alcohol: 13.0% by volume
Bitterness: 31 IBU
Color: 54 SRM
Reviews: 91 | Ratings: 188 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.49/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a truly stunning specimen here, really remarkable, i cant believe this isnt barrel aged, it has all the mellow richness and complexity of a barrel aged barleywine. its quite dark from the tap, past brown even to near black, massively deep and viscous, but holds a nice tan head pretty well, and looks lively for what it is. it immediately smells different to me, raisins and dried cherries, molasses and rum and maple syrup, coal and slate minerality, birch and hickory woodiness, chocolate and coffee, its all here, not even all the boozy in the nose, just a bit warm. sweet for sure, but also roasty and grounded and balanced, really compelling! sweet up front in the taste, brown sugar and long boiled grain richness, like this was cooked all day, bready and hearty, but also decadent. notes of root beer and vanilla come up, some light black pepper and anise spiciness, and enough round boozy sweet character to make it seem like it was aged in whiskey barrels. heavy date and fig and raisin, prune too, but less and less sugary as it moves along. light fusel alcohol, wet soil, and gorgeous grain richness to finish, i cannot believe how massive and complex yet how refined this is, really expert stuff, and one i had somehow never heard of before i had one. i would say this is the best beer i have ever had from pelican, and would choose it even over their most notable and famous offerings. this is special beer, one of a kind, cant wait to have more!

Jan 06, 2020
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mdfb79 from New York

4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opened a 2010 vintage next to a 2010 MoaS on 12/06/17. Was definitely a little faded but still very good; the MoaS was way better but that was to be expected. A lot of carbonation left and raisins, dark fruity malts, brown sugar, and toasted malts.

A good beer; would love to try it again soon fresh.

Jan 07, 2018
Photo of hman43
hman43 from North Carolina

4.07/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look: It pours very dark brown with a light brown head. Head retention is low. There are also legs evident.

Smell: It has a strong malt aroma featuring caramel, toffee, and sherry like notes. There are some light marmalade like notes and strong alcohol notes. There is also a bit of roast and toasty elements.

Taste: It is very malty rich with bread, dark caramel and molasses. There are some nutty elements and a slight musty element as well.

Feel: It is full bodied to the point of being chewy. It has a smooth alcohol warmth to it with low carbonation.

Overall, it is a strong alcohol display that highlights malty flavors from start to finish.

Oct 20, 2017
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stevoj from Idaho

3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Barley wine bottle share on 1/31. Reddish brown color with a little head. Aroma of malt, caramel and rye, sweetness and alcohol. Flavor of sweet malt, alcohol and caramel. Ends up bitter and with a nice warming finish from the alcohol.

Nov 07, 2016
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arizcards from Arizona

4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a 2014 bomber from the Belmont Station in late August for $14.55. Thrilled to try the base brew for MOAS!

Beer poured a deep mahogany brown with a very nice off white head on the initial pour.

Nose is dark fruits forward, very nice!

Taste is dark fruits and toffee finishing just a touch on the sweet side. Slight off taste in the finish that i cannot put my finger on.

Feel is full and very satisfying!

Overall not a bad beer but a tad bit too sweet for me. This brew could handle a bit more hopping and not get too far off point from the English BW style.

Nov 03, 2016
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Beerzebub from California

4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle. Seems young for its age, a pleasant surprise; cellared properly since release, but I still expected that it might be over the hill. Pretty much archetypal English barleywine with some moderate aged character - caramelized malt, with dried fruit character along the lines of dates and raisins, a surprisingly good (while fully integrated) dose of spicy-grassy hops, with subtle black tea- and tobacco-like notes. A nice streak of freshness, and no overt oxidization; if anything this could have benefited from additional years in the cellar. Similar on the palate, fairly sweet but it works, with the caramelization/toastiness, slight savoriness, and slight remaining hop bitterness complementing and balancing the sugar. Explicit alcohol, but it works well with the beer's general profile and doesn't stick out. Silky texture with very tiny bubbles; really top notch in this regard. Not amazingly complex for an aged barleywine, but far from overly overly simple; solid, quite enjoyable.

Jul 18, 2016
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Kevlee722 from Washington

3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I know this beer is supposed to good, so I'm disappointed in this go round. It pored flat with smallest head, smell and taste were good. Figs, dark fruits, plums raisins, caramel and toffee. Hint of tobacco. Mouthful was sticky, full body, fair carbonation. This was a 2012 bottle opened 3/16. Perhaps my cellaring was subpar? Either way,good stuff but not amazing.

Mar 03, 2016
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EdwardAbbey from Washington

3.26/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This is a beer that separates the men from the boys, and the women from the girls, and does so by the threshold of tolerance for sweetness. Personally, I'm okay being a boy, given how sweet and intensely toffee and butterscotch-forward this beer is. It's some treacly shit, but if that's your jam, this is your beer.

As a side-note, MOAS, which is based on this, somehow tends to be more balanced and drinkable, despite being even bigger. But you will always want to split a bottle of this one and that one in at least 3 or 4 ways. Your survival depends upon it.

Sep 12, 2015
Photo of Davepoolesque
Davepoolesque from Massachusetts

4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Black in color with a dark khaki colored head. Rich and decadent. It's drinkable. Yum. Not to sweet, but a nice medium thick mouthfeel. Malts and hops balanced beautifully.

Apr 21, 2015
Photo of SPLITGRIN
SPLITGRIN from Kentucky

4.11/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is a very unique brew. Pours to a deep mahogany brown body. Head is biscuity khaki in color. The nose is very odd but attractive. The first thought that comes to mind is a fresh opened box of cheese-it crackers. I know this sounds off putting but it is very inviting and really makes you anticipate the first sip. The flavor is big and bold with tons of cracker like toasted grain tones. The hops that are usually so prevalent in a Barley wine ale play only as a balancer here. Rich and spicy on the palate and it reminds me a bit of a old ale. I had this beer on my wants list for a long time. It was a real pleasure to enjoy this spectacular brew.

Sep 24, 2014
Photo of richj1970
richj1970 from Alabama

4.21/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 22 oz bomber into snifter. Bottle dated 11/29/2013.

A: Deep mahogany brown with crimson undertones. Two finger dense tan head that settled to a thin ring leaving virtually no lacing.

S: Raisins, plum, caramel, cherries, brandy.

T: Raisins, dates, caramel and toffee. Nice combination of fruit and malt sweetness.

M: Medium body with mild carbonation. Sweet finish.

O: Very nice barleywine. Maybe one day I will get a chance to try MOAS, but this was a solid brew.

Sep 20, 2014
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jellikit from Washington

4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: dark. Brownish small head. Small bubbles. Cola colored.
S: prunes? Molasses.
T: same as aroma. Prunes, molasses. Sweet. Alcohol. Low on the hops.
M: thick. Low carbonation. Big body.
O: great. Big. Barleywine. Solid. Strong. It's a sipper. Will buy again.

May 22, 2014
Photo of mactrail
mactrail from Washington

3.76/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The word for the mouthfeel is "unctuous." The word for the overall flavor is "cloying." The red-brown color is attractive in the tall glass. The off-white foam makes a nice splash with each small pour. A little tingle in the mouth, though the carbonation seems to drown in the sweet alcohol. Aroma of liquor fumes propelled by grainy heat.

I just think, how can a beer be this sweet? It's just a malt candy bar with an Everclear center. Melts in your brain, not in your mouth. Mine is on fire. Burnt sugar melds with barrel aged rum plus butterscotch dissolving in the tangy sweetness. It doesn't seem possible to get more malt flavor in a glass. This isn't a beer, it's a malt liqueur.

There may not be enough deprivation in our lives to properly enjoy this properly. Imagine the old sods slogging down the muddy lane to the drafty pub who would have thanked God for this one while the smell of damp woolens wafted from the smoky fireplace. From the 22 oz bottle

May 07, 2014
Photo of kdahnke123
kdahnke123 from Indiana

3.82/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

11/29/13 Bottling poured into a snifter at cellar temperature.
A - Pours a dark amber color with a minimal amount of a reddish brown head. The head very quickly dissipated, leaving little behind.
S - Smells very malty with hints of dried fruits and a slight bourbon smell.
T - Rich malty flavor with a long rich middle and a slight tang on the finish. There is a slightly off aspect to the flavor that is hard to place
M - Very thick and mouth coating with minimal carbonation.
O - I am a big fan of English style barley wines. This one could have used a little more integration of the flavors. It was good to try but will not be repeated.

Apr 09, 2014
Photo of vkv822
vkv822 from Oregon

4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz : Teku
2010 vintage.

Pours a very dark brown with a yellowy, toffee colored head.

Has a rich aroma of dark fruits and leather. There are notes of boozy, dark fruit, leather, slight caramel malts with a nice warming alcohol finish.

Medium body, with mild, foamy carbonation.

An extremely well done English Barleywine. It's been a long time sense I've visited this one and it definitely motivates me to pick up a few more bottles.

Mar 30, 2014
Photo of macpapi
macpapi from Oregon

4.41/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked a bottle of this beauty up while visiting the Northwest recently. Actually didn't have in stock at the Pelican, but I found it at a bottle shop in Seattle. Lucky me!!

Pelican Stormwatcher's Winterfest pours a dark brown color with reddish tints. Has a light brownish head.

Aroma is bold and full. Very malty pull with deep hints of booze--brandy, I think, but will leave that up the liquor aroma experts. Also there are strong whiffs of caramel, toffee, and a bit of dark cherry. Very full and inviting.

Taste is deep, dark, and boozy. Lots of malt, dark fruit flavors, and plenty of alcohol bite. Also noted flavor of both caramel and toffee, making this a strong-flavored yet pretty sweet beer.

Full flavor with plenty of bite. Carbonation is moderate. But this beer has quite a presence on the tongue. It does not sneak up on you!!

Overall this is a bold and extremely flavorful sipper. Meant to be enjoyed at a slow pace and in moderation. This is one hell of a beer!!

Mar 24, 2014
Photo of superspak
superspak from Michigan

4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 12/17/2012. Pours hazy nearly opaque dark reddish brown color with a 1 finger fairly dense tan head with decent retention, that reduces to a ring of lace that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of huge raisin, prune, fig, pear, apple, caramel, molasses, toffee, toast, brown bread, light chocolate, tobacco, leather, herbal, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Incredible aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/bready malt and fruity yeast ester notes; with great strength. Taste of big raisin, prune, fig, pear, apple, caramel, molasses, toffee, toast, brown bread, light chocolate, tobacco, leather, herbal, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of raisin, prune, fig, pear, apple, caramel, molasses, toast, toffee, brown bread, light chocolate, tobacco, leather, herbal, light pepper, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity of dark/bready malt and fruity/earthy yeast ester flavors; with an awesome malt/yeast balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and very full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and lightly syrupy mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is an insane English Barleywine. All around incredible complexity and balance of dark/bready malt and fruity yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. An extremely amazing offering.

Mar 16, 2014
Photo of anteater
anteater from Oregon

4.21/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2009 Stormwatcher's Winterfest
Enjoyed Dec 2013
Poured from a 22oz bottle

A: Very dark brown, almost black with a think tan head

S: Sweet caramel, toffee, booze and malt

T: Very similar to the nose. Tons of flavor! Caramel and toffee are most dominant, the booze is definitely present but I enjoy it here

M: Slightly thick, nice carb

O: Extremely enjoyable. Never had this fresh before but this beer is pretty fantastic with 4 years on it

Dec 13, 2013
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spicelab from Australia

3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2011. Big thanks to MrKennedy for opening. Reviewed from notes.

Deep, rich burgundy with a rapidly dissipating saffron head that reforms nicely on swirling.

Baked toffee, brandy snap, molasses, treacle and caramelised figs.

Follows the nose but there's even less in the sweetness department which was minimal to begin with. Burnt toffee, scorched molasses, prunes, rum 'n' raisin. Unrelenting.

Quite aggressive, almost scratchy carbonation that slices through the big body but seems out of place for the style, which needs something more silky and carressing.

Awesome in its stature alone. Somewhat one-dimensional owing to the minimal sweeteness. Never thought I'd be wishing for a Barleywine to be sweeter.

Nov 26, 2013
Photo of Impfan
Impfan from Washington

4.77/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Absolutely tremendous berry profile...blackberry, blueberry, marionberry , boysenberry, and lingonberry. There’s also some fig, raisin, rhubarb, and a reasonably hefty helping of very floral hops to dry out the finish. The body is slightly syrupy, but not overly so. I like this even more than Mother of all Storms.

Sep 07, 2013
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draheim from Washington

4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle (2012) into a tulip. Pours a deep dark mahogany w/ a 1-finger tan head.

Aroma is rich and complex with dark stone fruits, rum-soaked figs and dates, brown sugar, toffee, molasses, caramel, and vanilla.

Taste is sticky and rich with all the tastes mentioned under aroma above. Sweet and gooey, caramelly. A real dessert beer.

Mouthfeel is thick and coating, chewy.

Overall probably one of the best, most intense non-barrel-aged English barleywines I've had yet, and it gives some of those a run for their money as well. Outstanding.

Jul 29, 2013
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CuriousMonk from District of Columbia

4.39/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber and mahogany color capped with light brown foam. Aroma is a mix of molasses, black cherry, raisins and tobacco. The flavor starts with a hefty dose of brown sugar, toffee and cherry liqueur followed by some date, plum and grape juice notes. There is some chocolate, fig and currant in the background as well. Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy with soft carbonation and more malt and booze in the finish. Overall, a sweet and potent English-style barleywine with a unique blend of dark fruit and malt flavors. Want more of this especially on a cold winter day!

Jul 22, 2013
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barleywinefiend from Washington

3.65/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A: Poured a deep murky brownish color with almost no pop or carbonation. A small tannish ring appears and then dies leaving a still concoction

S: Big caramel, toffee and dark fruits.

T: Initial heat upfront with caramel and toffee soaked figs, raisins, prunes. The finish is a big mess.

M: Full bodied, no carbonation leaves this beer sweet, sticky, syrupy and way to much. This beer just coats the mouth with to much sugar and syrup. It was borderline obnoxious.

O: $14 for this beer? I was dooped.

Jul 09, 2013
Photo of artoolemomo
artoolemomo from Oregon

3.92/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The label boasts of “deep amber-red color, massive toasted malt, toffee and caramel aroma, and full bodied malty flavor” with “floral hops.”

Appearance- Pours with a lot of carbonation that creates a lot of dark beige head that dissipates very quickly. It's a very dark maroon but appears as a glowing garnet to ruby color when it is held to the light. There is no lacing left and this beer appears as if it might be a bit thin.

Nose- Very typical barleywine nose. There are lots of caramel, vanilla, toffee, and oak with hints of chocolate and raisins. There is healthy amount of malt and bread in the aroma also. If the taste matches up with the nose, this should be a tasty beer.

Taste- I first notice the maltiness and breadiness of this beer with oak and bitter wood arising as the alcohol leaves a slight burn on my tongue. This, perhaps, is a little too malty for me but brown sugar and burnt raisins help balance that out. Cherries and other red fruit helps cut this but it is a little malty for me. I wonder if this would mellow with age. Lots of bitter bitter chocolate as well. Not as complex as lot of barleywines but it is well integrated even at a young age.

Mouthfeel- Fairly thin with little carbonation. I would like this to be heftier given the robust nature of the flavor profile.

Drinkability- Fairly easy going for a 13% alcohol content. At 12 to 13 dollars, this is more in the range of a nice bottle of wine. The maltiness dissuades me from drinking this too quickly.

Overall- I have had much better barleywines in my lifetime but this one isn't bad. It doesn't try to achieve too much and remains a solidly good beer. I would give it a B+.

Jun 15, 2013
Photo of johnnnniee
johnnnniee from New Hampshire

3.99/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage shared by brewandbbq, thanks for the opportunity Jeff?
Pours a deep amber brown with a smallish off white head that dissipates quickly. Smells of brown sugar and toffee with a hint of smoke and chocolate. Light earthy herbal aroma rounds out the nose nicely. The flavor is sweet with sugary malts hints of cherry and toffee with some light earth and smoke. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet slick mouthfeel. Hard to believe this is 13% but maybe the barrel aged stouts before this numbed my palette a bit. Nice English style barleywine that I'd like to revisit one day.

Mar 09, 2013
Stormwatcher's Winterfest from Pelican Pub & Brewery
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 188 ratings