Mother Of All Storms | Pelican Pub & Brewery

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451 Reviews
Mother Of All StormsMother Of All Storms

Brewed by:
Pelican Pub & Brewery
Oregon, United States

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

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Reviews: 451 | Ratings: 1,892
Photo of darktronica
4.51/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2014 release. Pours a deep, dark umber with a very thin layer of head that dissipates within minutes. Smells marvelous, full of oak, toasted oats, caramel, and vanilla. Thick and unctuous on the tongue, it tastes like raisin liqueur, caramel candies, cinnamon, and brown sugar, with a hefty, boozy kick. Complex, and with a finish that lasts for days, this is an exemplar of barrel-ageing, with oak, heavily-wheated whiskey, dark buckwheat or avocado honey, and nougat all mingling happily together. The high alcohol content is quite evident, but it doesn't drink hot or unpleasantly; the booziness stands up against the sweetness of the flavors and counters the low carbonation by adding some intensity to the experience. A beer to sip and savor.

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

Wasn't in love with this one. I'm more of an English Barleywine fan than American, and even though its classified as English, it tasted American to me. Overly sweet and bitter, but still a decent drink, just not living up to the hype for me.

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Photo of ChrisP802
4.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2011 Mother of All Storm - Poured into sniffer - let sit out for a few minutes
Out of this world. Cracked this open with a few buddies to try out. Poured a nice burnt brown color and a sugary/spice aroma comes through.
Hit the pallet a bit thick, but wasn't overpowering. Tastes of brown sugar and spice land gently and every sip tasted better than the previous.
I've heard that this beer is almost overpowering if opened too early, but having one that's 4 years old it wasn't the case.
Open this with a friend and they'll owe you

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Photo of pagriley
4.72/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2012 release. Drunk July 2015.
Pours a deep mahogany, thick and viscous
Dried fruits and a touch of oxidized sherry on the nose
Not a lot of barrel left, but the most amazing heft and sweetness.
Downright chewy body - thick and heavy

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a snifter. Vintage 2012. From notes. Reviewed 27 June 2015.

Ruby glints. No head.
It smells deep and boozy, with toasty brown sugar.
Sugar deep and rich and spicy fun. It's a bit flat, but the burnt fruity booziness carries throughout everything.
Good but not great. Wouldn't have again.

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Photo of martyl1000
3.96/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had total lack of impulse control when I saw this in Chuck's Hop Shop while visiting Seattle. I paid $25.99 for a fricking bomber. Still shaking my head with buyer's remorse. But it was a serious memory-making event to sip on a 4-oz. pour of this monster for thirty minutes.

It was over-the-top in every way: i) def one of the most viscous beers I've encountered, and almost completely flat; ii) too "rich" -- too sweet, too much musty oak tannin; iii) the fluid is a seriously, unlovely, brown haze.

None of us could drink more than the four-ounce pour.

Being so unfamiliar with West Coast brews, I asked for advice from one of the Chuck's guys, said I was looking for IIPA's on the sweeter side, and American Barleywines, specifying that I've lost my taste for straight-up malt-bomb ENGLISH Barleywines. I'm not sure how he got it so wrong in steering me to this one.

Way over-the-top, for me. I'm sure it lives up to its legend. But I sure wish I would've paid just $5 for my 4-oz. pour. I barely could finish it.

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Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this as part of the Epic Bottle Share at TG. Extremely good but would have probably rated a little higher if it wasnt in the same tasting as a complete TG Stout Vertical.

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Photo of Benish
4.97/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This kind of beer is why I love English Barleywines. Intense aromas of vanilla, toffee, burnt brown sugar, last but not least - bourbon. It basically has the smell of anything decadent that I can think of. Taste wise - wow. The sweetness hits you but it's not just sweet, it has that in-depth sweetness that went beyond my expectation. It's basically a decadent dessert mingled with bourbon barrels. Tasted vanilla, brown sugar, maybe molasses, bourbon and others that I just cannot describe. Very full-bodied. Each sip is robust and the aftertaste is left behind tasting guess it: more vanilla and bourbon. Overall this compares to the Bourbon County Barley Wine. Both aren't that different from each other and both are outstanding. Either one - you can't go wrong.

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Photo of rwf08
4.78/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle from 2009. Still has great carbonation. No oxidized flavors. I'm impressed by just how well this beer kept...but I digress.

Look: Dark brown with a faint mocha head.

Smell: Alcoholic esters, dark fruit and tannins.

Taste: Dark stone fruits, molasses, vanilla, oak and some burning alcohol.

Feel: Luscious and chewy with great carbonation.

Overall: For its age, I'm amazed how well it help up. Nice and mellow but still have some pronounced alcohol in there. Very good beer.

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Photo of MOVERTON1284
4/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2014 vintage from a large bottle share. I don't like BW in general, but this was one of the best I have had. Very balanced and not as boozy as most. Recommend

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Photo of mtomlins
4.13/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2012 Vintage poured in Feb 2015

Pours a deep mahogany color with a thin fizzy head that dissipated immediately; no lacing. The nose was so complex, big grain nose, toasted malt, brown sugar and dried dark fruit (plums, raisins), molasses. The taste seemed to be falling apart for me, maybe a sign of the again and reminded me mostly of overripe fruits, maybe even rotting a bit. with lots of plums, brown bread dough, molasses, treacle. Lots of boozy bourbon but smooth with almost no alcohol. I would like to try this beer fresh.

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 12/3/2013. Pours nearly opaque dark brown color with a 1 finger fairly dense tan head with poor retention, that reduces to a thin ring pretty quickly. Some minimal spotty lacing on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of raisin, prune, fig, date, caramel, molasses, toffee, toast, brown bread, bourbon, oak, light vanilla, light tobacco, and oak/toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and oak barrel notes; with good strength. Taste of big caramel, molasses, toffee, toast, brown bread, raisin, prune, fig, date, bourbon, oak, leather, tobacco, light vanilla, light chocolate, and oak/toasted earthiness. Slight oaky bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toffee, toast, molasses, brown bread, raisin, prune, fig, date, bourbon, oak, leather, tobacco, and oak/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Outstanding complexity and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and oak barrel flavors; with zero cloying sweetness present after the finish. Light carbonation and full bodied; with a very creamy, fairly slick, and lightly syrupy mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with a small-moderate warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome barrel aged English barelywine style. All around great complexity and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and oak barrel flavors; and fairly smooth to sip on for the huge ABV. A highly enjoyable offering, but I feel that the base beer is more impressive than this one.

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Photo of macpapi
4.61/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased a 22 oz. bottle at the brewpub in Pacific City while there for Thanksgiving dinner. Getting around to enjoying it now. Totally worth the wait.

Pours a deep, dark, mysterious mahogany color with a small and quickly fading tannish head.

Wow, this is an impressive aroma. There is a lot of deep maltiness paired with the very notable presence of bourbon, candied molasses, sweet dark fruits, hints of coffee beans, and a bunch of other stuff. The syrupy sweetness present here makes me feel like a kid in a fine chocolate factory who is so thrilled by the aromatic character of the place that he can't wait to indulge in the goodies.

The taste doesn't disappoint. Full maltiness, sweet bourbon presence, bitter alcohol and hop sting all hit the palate. After the initial shock, I can appreciate the combination of coffee, toffee, vanilla, and bourbon added to sweet caramel and chocolate flavors. Once again, there is a lot going on here. All of it is impressive.

Relatively low carbonation with plenty of boozy bite summarizes the mouthfeel. This beer has a definite presence in the mouth.

Overall, this is quite an impressive beer. I quite honestly cannot remember the last time that I have enjoyed a beer this much. This is a very complex and killer brew. You really have to sit down, sip, and savor this one. With a 14% bill, sipping and relishing should probably be part of the option anyway. The Pelican is a heck of a brewery, and this is way more than a heck of a brew. Can't wait to taste my other bottle in a couple of years or so and compare the difference.

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Photo of aleigator
4.4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Many thanks to ron for the bottle. Enjoying the '10 vintage in 201502.

Pours a dark mohagony, ember red color, with a fizzy, small head, leaving back a thin alcohol legged lacing.

Complex aromas of toffeeish malts, syrup, molasses, getting wrapped up by wooden, slightly vanilla, hot Bourbon. Despite the barrel burn, the nose evokes a very sweet character, which gets topped by a sweet coca-cola like impression. Involves a note of slightly bitter coffee and bakers chocolate, inseparably blending into fudge and molasses. Although there is a prevailung sweetness, which I would usually pretty much diskike, the nose convinces by all its finely graduated nuances, and the very well developed, complex Bourbon barrel, easily balancing the toffee sweetness.

Tastes of bready, toffeeish, slightly creamy malts, with a very clean mouthfeel to it, until the Bourbon enters the scene, bringing a wooden, slightly dry alcohol bite with it, as well as a vanilla note, mingling with molasses, nougat and stale, oakie coffee. The boozy Bourbon bite is teeth numbing dominant, while getting toned down by glazed toffee and honey, building up a great balance between wooden booziness and caramelized sweetness. Due to the surprisingly convenient balance, there are many subtle flavors detectable, such as an acrid coffee tang, resulting from the rich Bourbon, paired against toasty, glazed vanilla, getting accompanied by hazelnuts. Has a hot dryness to it during the finish, enveloping the dried fruits, sweet malts, with molasses providing a long lasting aftertaste among the leathery, wooden Bourbon.

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Photo of Kevinpitts
4.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My favorite barleywine so far. Comments on 2014 edition aged 14 months. Has a sweeter flavor with a viscous mouthfeel. Barely hoppy unlike many other American Barleywines. Lovely! Had 2015 version with 2 months on it. Feel that additional time in bottle would've benefited it. Even an additional 1-2 months; feel it would've smoothed beer out some. Still good though.

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Photo of Admbmb92
4.32/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage poured into snifter. No head at all. Smells of dark fruits dipped in bourbon. More of a bourbon than a beer. Too boozy for my taste, had to drain pour half the bottle but still a world class beer. I wish it had just a tad bit more carbonation and the alcohol wasn't as apparent.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.24/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared by Adam last night. '14 vintage.

Pours a slightly murky brown, with a very small head, and no lacing.

Smells like a big old bourbon bomb, tons of bourbon, oak, and alcohol, with typical barleywine. This smells pretty "hot."

It seems like this one might need a little time to mellow out. As it is now, it's a stellar barleywine, but I think with 2 years on it, this could become god tier. Now, there's a good amount of spicy booze and oak, some char, caramel, dark fruit, coconut, and an absolutely insane amount of bourbon flavor here. Bourbon bomb for sure.

This is medium bodied, with a thick and syrupy mouthfeel, with a crisp alcoholic bite at the end of each sip. It's definitely a slow sipper, due to how strong the booze is.

I'd love to try a '12 or '13 of this, or try a '14 in a few years. Now, it's slightly too hot, and needs a bit of time to mellow out. However, even at this stage, its still delicious and clearly well-crafted.

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Photo of champ103
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark brown with ruby highlights around the edges. A one finger khaki head forms, and recedes to a smaller ring. Light lace.
S: Toasted malts, baked bread, chocolate, vanilla and oak aromas. While nothing is particularly surprising, it is all excellent.
T: Again, toasted malts and baked bread. Caramel/toffee flavors, and dark chocolate. Vanilla and oak flavors that are incredibly balanced with everything else. Love it.
M/D: A big full body that is not overly viscous. Though perfectly weighty. Silky smooth and velvety with that perfect oak tannin character. Incredibly easy to drink. Just a bit of heat from the alcohol. Mix that with the malt, and this is so warming, welcoming, and enjoyable to drink.

An incredible balance of malts and oak barrels. I could curl up with this on a cold night and be happy all night. I have always loved this, and just a treat to drink again.

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Photo of roger617
4.61/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2014 bottle poured into a small tulip glass. Excited to try the 2014 World Beer Cup Champion for a small brewing company.

A: Pours an extremely dark brown in color with just a thin line of khaki head that reduces quickly and leaves the tiniest collar I've seen. Viscosity appears super thin for the ABV, by appearance alone I wouldn't put this over 10%.
S: Wafting aroma of bourbon, toffee, dark fruits, vanilla, caramel, oak. As it warms, it becomes a sweet bourbon bomb.
T: Mimics the aroma. The bourbon stays on the after taste, making each sip very sweet up front.
M: Carb level is on the lower end, and is a perfect fit for this beer. It lingers as semi-dry semi-rich, which given the large flavor profile is very enjoyable.
O: I appreciate this beer for it's bold qualities throughout. I am not a barleywine guy, but I love bourbon. This delivers the best of the beer and bourbon world, making a barleywine that I find highly drinkable.

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Photo of BWCampbell
3.96/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smelled of dried dog food and didn't taste much better. Perhaps I'm missing something here, or I had a bad bottle. Nevertheless, I certainly prefer others.

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Photo of rongcsc
4.48/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Brian for the tasting! This beer is exceptional. From its dark color and perfectly sweet aroma to its complex flavor profile and balanced finish, it is a winner. I look forward to many more opportunities to sample the Mother of all Storms!

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Photo of kdahnke123
4.23/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 10/5/2014 Poured into a snifter at cellar temperature.
A - Pours a deep amber with a single finger of amber head. The head is very short lived leaving minimal lacing. No sediment.
S - Smells of bourbon and sweet malt with a hint of hops and soy.
T - Fairly bitter at the fore with medium malt and bourbon in the middle and a bite at the end.
M - Very viscous with a small amount of carbonation. Quite mouth coating.
O - A good barley wine but one that is heavy on the hops. I would give it a higher score were it more balanced.

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Photo of Harvest06
5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Consumed fresh on release in 2013 and 2014. I'm waiting to see how the 2013 will be with some more age on it. More like an old ale along the lines of HOTD Adam except bigger, tastier and more complex with the bba and a nice dry finish. Takes the best of stout characteristics, fruityness of a barleywine and oxidized characteristic of a barrel aged old ale. Evaporates on the tun. Full review to follow.

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Photo of ThickNStout
4.61/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Gold foil capped bottle from 2014 vintage, bottled 10/5/14. Served in a Bruery snifter.

Pours an opaque, chestnut brown with burgandy highlights and a little less than one finger ecrue head. The bubbles quickly shrink to a thin collar, leaving only a few occasional dots of lace.

Sweet, inviting nose. Toffee, bourbon, caramel, vanilla and port.

Taste is spot on. Bourbon, toffee, toast, brandy soaked raisins, caramel, cereal, vanilla, dark fruit, oak, leather, earth, faint char and of coarse a healthy dollop of booze. So rich and flavorful that it goes down with an ease that belies its mid teen abv.

Near-syrupy, full feel with mild carbonation. Finishes sweet with booze doused dark fruit, toffee and caramel.

Mother Of All Storms is a top tier barrel aged English barleywine. This one is well worth a hunt/chase. Very glad that I procurred multiples.

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Photo of abeeronthebeach
4.6/5  rDev +4.1%

Nietzsches_Horse really nails it: a dessert beer if ever there was one, this beer is so intensely sweet that it teeters between being undrinkably sweet and thoroughly delicious. Sipper, sipper, sipper.

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Mother Of All Storms from Pelican Pub & Brewery
4.42 out of 5 based on 1,892 ratings.
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