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Stormwatcher's Winterfest | Pelican Pub & Brewery

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Stormwatcher's WinterfestStormwatcher's Winterfest
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Pelican Pub & Brewery
Oregon, United States
pelicanbrewery.com

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
32.1 degrees Plato
Alcohol: 13.0% by volume
Bitterness: 31 IBU
Color: 54 SRM

Added by Shaw on 10-12-2003

BEER STATS
Reviews:
86
Ratings:
178
Avg:
4.13
pDev:
10.9%
 
 
Wants:
129
Gots:
47
For Trade:
5
User Reviews
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Reviews: 86 | Ratings: 178
Photo of mfavoino
4.34/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2011 bottle shared four ways on 3/1/13.

A: Pours a deep brown with red highlights. Just a slight rim of head around the glass.

S: Rich caramel malts, dark fruit, toffee. Very rich indeed.

T: Huge toffee and caramel marts from the moment it hit the palate. Subtle dark fruit sweetness adds to the richness. Definitely get the same richness that I remember from MOAS.

M: A heavy, somewhat syrupy barleywine. A sipper for sure.

O: An incredible rich barleywine that impressed. It was interesting to have this to after MOAS, which definitely adds another component with the barrel.

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Photo of Brandywine
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2012

Appearance: Deep ruby red poured a fingers worth of a burnt sugar colored head. Big sticky alcohol legs. Tight lacing.

Smell: Cherries, dates, figs, caramel toffee sweetness, little bit of booze, raisins at the end.

Taste: Toffee sweetness with a kind of bready grain flavor. Dark fruits lie underneath. Booze here is acting as a flavor component. Dark fruits become more dominant as the beer warms. It's definitely sweet but there's an off sweet flavor that comes at the end of the tongue that's hard to identify. Raspberries, sour cherries. You can taste the toasted barley, where the sweet runs into an almost sour bitter character.

Mouthfeel: On the full side of medium. Very little carbonation.

Overall: The parts of this beer that I liked, I really liked, but the oddly sour/bitter flavor was off putting. The beer is also much thinner than I would have liked, especially for the style.

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Photo of jlindros
4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

New Year's Eve, and just after a couple decent sized snow storms blew past. Here is the 2010 vintage thanks to oregone for this beer. Absolutely loved MoaS, and usually a big fan of aged Englaish barleywines, so hope this is good.

Pours a light fizzy 1/3 finger head that fades fairly quickly as the big bubbles pop but normal for a 13% abv beer, over a dark molasses colored beer, very little mahogany light streaming through, and despite not enough head for lacing there are some nice legs running down the sides.

Nose is very powerful, and I could smell it on the pour. Lots of dark malts, an aged malt goodness almost like a well done old ale, caramel, molasses, little syrupy, etc. Quite nutty, and plenty of toffee, like a nut covered toffee candy. Quite toasty as well, a little bready and chewy with the toastiness, and an overall deep malt sweetness and just that nice aged malt aroma.

Taste is similar to the nose, tons of malts, and various malts. Starts with a toasty malt, light bready and reddish like malts, leading into plenty of caramel and molasses flavors again. Then the dominant big time nutty and toffee flavors, so much of the two, and a little biscotti. Sweetness is quite a bit but not over sweet, even for me, which is also fairly syrupy and rich. This also leads into the booze, warming and slightly tingly booze, but doesn't feel nearly like 13% as it's balanced well by the sweet malts. It also brings light aged malt flavors, again like an old ale, as well as just hints of earthy hops and some light bitterness. Finish is where the bitterness comes out a bit but still light, with lots of lingering sweeteners, starting with an interesting coffee syrup flavor, tons more toffee and nutty flavors, molasses, caramel, and candy biscotti all lingering on the sticky semi sweet finish.

Mouth is full bodied, rich, syrupy, surprising fluffy carbonation, and some warming booze that doesn't nearly hit the 13%, until it's on the way down my throat (and after I'm feeling it halfway through the beer).

Overall quite a nice beer. I'm a fan of English Barleywines, especially when aged a couple years, so this should have been pretty good unless they screwed it up, and they didn't. Lots of malts that are nice, mostly toffee and nutty flavors, nice caramel and toasted malts as well, and a molasses and biscotti like flavors in there too. Nice light bitterness mostly on the back end, and soft aged malts. Booze is hidden fairly well, and it will get me buzzed quickly.

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Photo of ChadQuest
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

When you get a surprise box from a past trader it is always filled with good stuff. jtmartino is the man.

2011

Looks dark, dark brownish with amber on the edges with loose tan cap that dissipates out.
Nose is packed with sugar rolled caramelized dark fruits of assorted varieties.
Flavors are dense, rich, and sweet in the same way that a solid port is, so much viscous dark raisin and leathery brown sugars combined into a thick mouthfeel that is richer then an (insert hyperbole).

After drinking many bottles of Mother of all Storms, it is very interesting to drink the base beer. The barrels seem to really cut through into creating MOAS, which is why i love it, but this is a base beer that can take a big cut and still be around for more richness. Did i mention it was thick, rich and port like?

I drank this beer over the course of 4 hours. Most of my Solo BW adventures are done in this manor, it's the best way.

Love,
Chad

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Photo of ehammond1
4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2011)

Acquired via online purchase

(Aged for 1 year)

Dark brown and dark amber in color with very little visible carbonation. This is darker than most barleywines and leaves very little, almost zero, stick down the glass. Still, a pretty color.

Good amounts of dark fruit character in the aroma--lots of fig and chocolate-covered raisins. There's some sweetness, caramel and toffee, along with some bread and alcohol.

A delicious barleywine. The amount of dark fruit character present in this beer is quite astounding and surprising, along with some moderate chocolate notes, bread, and booze. Complete. While clearly a big, high-ABV, this is incredibly drinkable.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

One of my absolutely favorite (non barrel-aged) barleywines.

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Photo of zeledonia
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 vintage. Tasted 23 July 2012, reviewed from notes.

Pours deep chestnut brown, one finger of medium-tan head. Decent retention and okay lacing.

Smell is super malty and sugary. Molasses, plums, and figs.

Taste is very deep, rich, and sweet. A little too syrupy for my tastes.

Mouthfeel is fine - sticky and syrupy, but enough carbonation to keep it from being sludgy.

A good malty barleywine, though the sweetness is high enough that it's on the downslope (less would be better, more would definitely be worse).

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Photo of dirtylou
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber, split

appearance: served in my great lakes chalice - dark muddy garnet, cream mocha head

smell: rich and decadent - heavy english malt, leather, tobacco, brown sugar and dark fruit

taste: a prototypical english barleywine - syrupy caramel malt, caramelized brown sugar, pipe tobacco, fresh leather, booze, toffee, some earth english hops in the finish

mouthfeel: rich and sweet, full-bodied with a flat finish

overall: an english barleywine for the sipping - worth a try if you stumble across it

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Photo of nmbr0ne
4.07/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into snifter from 22oz bottle, dated 2011.

Appearance: Dark reddish-brown color. Very dark. No head. Barely any lacing.

Smell: Raisins. Hints of butterscotch. A little alcohol. Sweet.

Taste: Raisins again but not as dominant as in the smell. More caramel and subtle bits of vanilla. Sweet throughout with a surprisingly lingering bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium to thick bodied. Warming alcohol feeling after the finish. Decent carbonation. Somewhat smooth, but not really. Not heavy though.

Overall: I'm actually pleasantly surprised by the slight bitterness in the finish, and I welcome it. Most of the times barleywines are too sweet for my taste, but this one was good. I enjoyed it. Wish it looked more appealing though.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.94/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ehammond1 for sharing this one at the post Bruery Reserve Society party bottle share!

2011 vintage.

Pours a murky dark brown with a tan head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. No lacing on this one. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, caramel/toffee, and some slight hop aromas. Taste is the same with a medium bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good barleywine but I prefer Mother Of All Storms over this one.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage poured into Portsmouth tulip. Thanks goes to a few guys from MA who drove out to OR and then down to CA to hand deliver me this bottle.

A: Pours a very dark ruby brown with a very thin head of light brown foam that quickly faded into a bubbly collar. A few spots of soapy lacing were left down the glass.
S: Tons of dark red fruits fill my nose including sweet red grape juice, raisins and figs, and lightly bitter cranberries. I get notes of toffee, caramel, and hop resin as well with maybe just a hint of vanilla and tobacco.
T: Roasted malts, brown sugar, toffee, caramel, and leather come through nicely. The dark fruits and grape juice come in the finish, and the aftertaste is full of tobacco and hop resin. I get a bit of booze but this beer isn’t hot at all. Flavors are very rich and dominating though, and this beer is definitely a sipper.
M: Thick and heavy mouthfeel, greasy, with a bit of warming alcohol. For being 13% this is a very drinkable beer. The body is full and dense, and the carbonation is tight and pretty tingly.
O: I had no problem selfishly finishing this whole bottle. A great sipper on a rainy day, and a great barleywine and beer all-around. Thanks again SneezyAchew.

EDIT: 2007 vintage consumed Jan 2013. Definitely tasting its age. Very drinkable but past its prime.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.9/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle poured into a Swamp Head snifter. 2011 bottle courtesy of a very generous Hopsbreath.

Appearance - Deep garnet body with barely any bubbles. No lacing and just a couple of wisps of life atop the beer. Tough to produce a quality looking barleywine at 13.5%.

Smell - Wonderful aroma. Caramel, raisins, plums. Huge dark fruit presence. There's quite a bit of alcohol burn in it also. Great complex aroma.

Taste - Maybe not as good, but still delicious. More caramel and toffee than the nose. The fruits are a bit lost. Boozy in the finish with an earthy hop bitterness. I think it's hops. Tough to tell.

Mouthfeel - It isn't the booze that makes this a bit sluggish to drink, it's the bitter finish. Very earthy and grassy in the end and it seems a bit out of place. That isn't to say it isn't boozy. It certainly has a bite, but not a 13.5% bite.

Overall - A really nice barleywine in terms of flavor. Just the finish that makes it a bit harsh. I've been waiting to drink this before I tried MoAS. If a bit of barreling can chip away at that finish, I would be most pleased.

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Photo of MADhombrewer
3/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Ramnuts for this. '08 vintage. 22oz bottle poured into a HOTD tulip.

A- Muddy brownish red. Pours like oil. Very thick. No head what-so-ever. 3

Smell- Lots and lots of sweet caramel. Alcohol in the background.
3

Taste- Incredibly sweet. Lots of caramel malt flavors. Tons of alcohol still after more than 3 years. There is an alcohol burn that goes right to your nose. There is am earthy edginess to it as well. Maybe that is the hops? I don't know. 3

Mouthfeel- Very sticky thick. The mouthfeel stays on your lips long after the sip is down your throat. 3

Overall- Very boozy. Very sweet. Even after this long it is too much for me. Still too hot and syrupy. 3

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a very dark red brown amber, almost black, no head and light carbonation. Aroma of sweet and caramel malt, faint dark fruits. Fortunately, the flavor is richer, sweet, caramel and toasted malt, dark fruits. Finishes somewhat dry and quickly, with a bit of a hops kick. Medium body with some creaminess. The high ABV makes it a bit hot. A satisfactory Engilsh barleywine, but the lack of carbonation detracts from the drinking experience. Other reviews seem to have good carbonation, so I'll try this again.

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Photo of koopa
3.8/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage bottle shared recently by beenity at the Copper Mine thanks!

Appearance: Pours a dark caramel to brown with a 1 finger khaki crown with minimal retention or lace.

Smell: Slightly burnt roast malt, caramel malt, a hint of soy, stale floral hops, brown sugar, and a dash of soap.

Taste: Same as the nose but with some alcohol presence and detectable tannins.

Mouthfeel: Thin side of thick bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall: Nice mouthfeel but I'm not really digging the flavor.

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Photo of woosterbill
3.89/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 bomber into a medium-sized Duvel tulip. Big thanks to Tony for sharing this one.

A: Clear, dark reddish-brown body; only a few tan bubbles. Decent legs. Average appearance for a big Barleywine.

S: Raisins dominate, with candied sweetness really accentuating the dark fruitiness. No real hoppiness, but a bit of bitter-ish chocolate and alcohol. Enjoyable.

T: Raisins, toffee, chocolate, and booze. Very sweet, quite hot, and entirely tasty.

M: A little sticky, a lot carbonated.

O: This is a solid beer, but I think it might have been better if it weren't quite so huge in the alcohol dept. The gigantic sweetness and booze really kept it from being the least bit drinkable, and unlike MoaS it doesn't have the redeeming quality of having its booziness masked by the welcome presence of whiskey. A slight letdown.

Cheers!

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Photo of pixieskid
4.63/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Finally getting around to trying this beer, picked up a couple of bottles this summer while visiting Pacific City. 2010 vintage.

Pours rich dark brown, with a thin creamy tan head, dissipating semi-quickly.

Nose; dark ripe fruits, some roastiness, and a bit of chocolate.
Taste; raisins, plums, dates, and a surprising milk chocolate note amidst all the rich malts. Finishes with a somewhat challky medicinal note and herbal hop presence.

Overall; a really solid barleywine with a killer mouthfeel. Alcohol is well hidden but the finish is slightly off-putting.
Having had MoAS this summer, I'm not sure which I prefer because I found the bourbon note in MoAS to overpower the majority of the base beer but I don't recall it having the medicinal finish that Stormwatcher's does.

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Photo of jdense
3.58/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2010 Bottle shared with colleague 12.20.11 into wine tumbers.

One finger brown head, quick dissipation with absolutely no lacing over dark brown body with small trails of small bubbles visible rising up near sides of glass. Nose is really sweet, some caramel malt, and floral and woody hops. Taste mirrors the nose's sweetness, cloying, soy sauce, turbinado, woody hop character. Mouthfeel medium, sticky, good effervescence. Not my cup of, err, tea, the sweetness overwhelmed any nuances this beer might have had.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007 vintage shared by Alex.

A - Amber colored beer with a bit of off-white head that left some decent lace and stick on the sides of my plastic cup. Booo, plastic.

S - Smells somewhat sweet, with some brown sugar and toffee and a little bit of resin to balance it out. Some decent earth tones.

T - I actually liked this one better than the Arctic Devil we drank. Toffee, brown sugar, mild dark fruit, slight bit of booze, a little bit of bitterness on the end. Very smooth, not too sweet.

M - Medium bodied, little sticky, solid carbonation.

O - A good beer, I suspect the age has smoothed it out a little bit as this was very good and easy to drink.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks, Alex! 2007 vintage into Narke tulip.

A - Pours a ruby reddish color, cream-colored head, thin collar.

S - Toasted malts, nice caramel and dark fruity sweetness, smooth booze. The age has really smooth the 13% out...the sweetness is complex and the caramel notes are excellent.

T - Burnt sugars, caramel, toffee, toasted malts, smooth booze. The sweetness and booze has aged wonderfully and really mellowed out.

M - Medium, good carbonation, creamy sweet finish.

O - Really nice with the age on this one. The booze is super smooth and the sweetness is not overdone. This is the reason why MoaS is such a great beer...the age adds another dimension.

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Photo of augustgarage
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage. Poured from a 22oz bomber into my Spirit Sippers snifter.

Very dark carmine body with faint crimson highlights and a lasting earth yellow collar and surface slick. Rich sandy lacing and fast running legs.

Immense yet subtle aromatics suffused with dark fruit, leather, tobacco, toffee, brown sugar, leaves, loam, and light (English?) hops. Deep multi-layered malty skeleton.

Intense black bread, char, plums, prunes, apricots, figs, demerara rum, clove, violets, and more. Hefty alcohol kick and mild bitterness offset the roasty astringency and sweetness. Bitter chocolate, burnt sugar, and plenty of toast in the finish. Remarkable depth.

Medium-full bodied, slick, and faintly oily with mild carbonation.

One of the best domestic examples of the style...happy to sample this first before cracking one of barrel aged versions. Perfectly suited for the environment it was produced in...takes me right back to the Oregon coast.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.66/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer pours a hazed amber color with a small layer of off-white foam.

S: Caramel and toffee along with a heavy dose of brown sugar to start off the nose. There's a touch of cardboard to it along with some booze and piney hops. Quite sweet with a little bit of overripe fruit to it.

T: Sweet and sticky with lots of caramel and brown sugar, perhaps a touch of molasses. There is a bit of toffee and more overripe fruit character. Definitely a touch of booze, but not as much as the aroma. Very little bitterness.

M: Medium to full bodied with medium to low carbonation.

O: Nowhere near as good as Perfect Storm, but not many barleywines are.

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Photo of cjacobsen
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(A) Really dark. Ruby when held up to the light. No head. Slightly carbed and produces head when stirred up.

(S) Very sweet. Plum. Fig. Booze. Medium and light malts. Some dark cherry.

(T) Sweet. Plums and dark fruits hit up front. Some hops after the middle of the taste. Somewhat bitter but not as much booze and I would have thought.

(M) Oily but dry. Medium body. Ends dry.

(O) Very nicely done barleywine. I can definitely see this being a great base for Mother of All Storms....which I want to try.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ok, I can’t drink this bottle without longing for some “Mother of All Storms”. My understanding is that this is the base beer and I have to say this is great as well. Picked this up on my last trip to the Northwest. I’ve been waiting for the right time. This is it...

Pours with a thin head that settles rather quickly. No lacing.. A tiny ring of bubbles remains around the edge. Deep ruby color with plenty of dark amber tones.

Light booze, deep sweet malt and tons of chewy caramel. A slight toasted nut quality.

Mmm, mmm. Chewy caramel mixed with a dark toasted malt flavor. More nuts. Like the dark roasted peanuts. Just a hint. Doesn’t really taste like peanuts. But a bit of the aftertaste from the dark roasted ones. Just enough sweetness to balance the bitterness and booze.. Not hot at all. Warming and wondeful.

Silky smooth, warming as noted above. Very thick body

Man this is a nice beer and one that grow on me as I work through the glass.

Another great job by Pelican Pub. Awesome work folks!!

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Photo of claspada
3.9/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 Edition; once again thanks to HimerMan for offering this rarity for trade.
Pours a deep amber-red color, really dark ruby red. Small 1 finger cream head which dissipates quite rapidly.
Aromas of bready and toasted, almost roasted maltiness, with a boat ton of toffee and caramels. The bottle says there should be some floral highlights from the hops, but after 4 years I am not getting any here. Slight cocoa and alcohol emerges slightly as it warms to room temperature.
The tastes begin with full-bodied, malty, bready flavors that lead to a smooth, soft and warming finish. It has a toasted malt sweetness balanced by a mild, subtle floral/earthy bitterness in the finish, which was lacking in the aroma but emerges here. As it warms you get the same alcohol and cocoa flavors you got in the nose.
The mouthfeel is big, rich and full with medium to medium-low carbonation which is perfect for the style. There is an alcohol bite on the finish here (which I actually enjoy) that helps to dry out and balance the sweet toffee and caramel flavors and stops it from being cloying.
Overall a top top notch English style barleywine. I had really really high expectations for this based on this being the backbone for their Barrel-Aged Mother of All Storms, so I was mildly disappointed by the outcome. It was very very good don't get me wrong, but for a 4 year old barleywine their is still some alcohol heat which is surprising (but I guess it is 13% ABV) and although the flavor profile is very good, it's not mind-blowing or complex (really just caramel and toffee with no supporting dark fruitiness). Maybe it is deteriorating as well... Unfortunately, I am going to compare this and all Barleywines going forward to the Arctic Devil that I had a couple weeks back. I can see how this will be a good canvas for the MaoS that I have yet to sample (but I have a couple cellaring).

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Photo of GregSVT
4.09/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a very dark brown with a very small brown head that fades very quickly to a ring leaving no lacing on the glass. I poured it pretty rough and expected a bit more head than what I got.

S: The nose is really great. Huge aromas of brown sugar, dark ripe fruits like figs, licorice, and roasted malt.

T: The taste is full of licorice, figs and other dark fruits as well as black molasses and some hops on the finish. Pretty sweet but some of the darker/bitter flavors keep it from being cloying.

M: The feel is thick and oily with a slight carbonation. The finish is pretty big on this one.

O: Very flavorful and aromatic barleywine. The ABV is one of the highest I've ever had for something that isn't barrel aged.

I've wanted to try this since having it's big brother Mother of all Storms. It's definitely a bit more harsh on the palate than MoaS but still good.

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Stormwatcher's Winterfest from Pelican Pub & Brewery
4.13 out of 5 based on 178 ratings.
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