Mother Of All Storms | Pelican Pub & Brewery

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BA SCORE
98
world-class
449 Reviews
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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
449
Ratings:
1,879
Avg:
4.42
pDev:
8.82%
 
 
Wants:
1,557
Gots:
632
For Trade:
69
User Reviews
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Reviews: 449 | Ratings: 1,879
Photo of TheBrewo
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

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

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

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Photo of gford217
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber, 2009 vintage, poured into a snifter.

Pours a deep, clear copper with a short-lived cap of big bubbles that recedes to a small collar and leaves very little lacing, though there are boozy legs down the glass after each sip.

The aroma is massive and has plenty of bourbon sweetness and alcohol burn in the nose which mixes well with the sugary caramel malt and dark fruit in the nose.

The underlying caramel malts are the first thing I notice with some toffee and dark fruits. There is definitely plenty of bourbon especially in the finish where there is a noticeable burn in the throat. Overall, it's like a caramel and chocolate dessert with raisins and plums soaked in bourbon.

The mouthfeel is stunning, one of the best I've ever felt, like velvet. It's smooth with ample, but soft, carbonation and slightly dry and woody in the finish with a sweet bourbon presence on the palate as well.

I wasn't sure what to expect on this one. I saw everyone raving about it but just figured it wouldn't live up to the hype. Well, it lives up to the hype. It's a wonderful beer that drinks fairly easily for the high ABV. The bourbon is strong right now and I think this one becomes even better with time. Superb.

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Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.74/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2013 version. Dark and sexy is the body of this brew, almost black actually. Head is just a skim but I can't fault that to much for that in a big brew like this that has aged two years. Nose is a creamy sweet and laced with tons of dark fruit. Smells great. Spicy bourbon and zesty dark fruit bounce off each other to give such a ballet of balance. Toffee and spicy bourbon cream are so tasty here. This is a well constructed masterpiece.

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Photo of aasher
4.74/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This bottle was graciously shared at DLD by some top notch BAs. I've been looking for a world class bourbon barrel aged barleywine for some time now. It was probably my favorite beer of the day. It poured a dark brown/amberish color with a light off white head. It instantly smelled of oak, bourbon, vanilla, carmel malts, and alcohol. It made the hair on my neck stand up. I instantly knew that I was in for a treat! The flavors were a nice blend of woody earthiness, vanilla, molasses, Evan Williams, and slight roasted malts. The complexities of this one are something I haven't seen from a barleywine yet. It drank very easily and smooth for the high alcohol content. My only complaint is that I only got a four ounce pour and it disappeared too quickly. Massive thanks to those BAs who shared this on Saturday! You forever etched this memory in my mind! Can't wait to see you guys next year!

Edit: I've now had this beer several times since the tasting at DLD and each bottle has been equally superb. I'm confident in saying that it's my all time favorite beer and I cannot get enough of it.

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Photo of blankenhoney
4.74/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2013 vintage poured into a whisky glass and shared with a few friends.

A monstrous, decadent beast of a beer. Pours a rich carmel cola shade of brown; some real boozy legs, too. Kind of an intimidating-looking brew. Aromas of butterscotch, vanilla, and burnt brown sugar. Lots of wood from the barrels. Based on appearance and aroma, double-checking your glass to make sure you're not drinking straight bourbon would be entirely understandable. Taste is wonderful: mellow vanilla marshmallow, sweet dark fruit, butterscotch, and brown sugar.
Mouthfeel is creamy and viscous, but heavy and domineering; would be near impossible to crush this one in a solo op (however I'm tempted to try it if I can land another bottle). To repeat: a monstrous, decadent beast…and one of the finest barleywines I've had.

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Photo of dar482
4.73/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Having this with couple years on it compared to the '09 Vintage, the fresher bottle was better.

A big barrel character up front with rich toffee and caramel sweetness throughout. A balanced beer with oak tannins and drying on the back. The 14% is decently hidden behind this.

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

Big thanks to Scott for hosting a brew day and sharing this brew with me.

A - Poured a deep mahogany with even more mahogany highlights in the glass. Left about a finger of head, which retained nicely. Left some lacing.

S - Caramel, some smokiness, vanilla and oak. Light notes of alcohol. Hops were barely noticeable in the smell. Smelled good.

T - Roasted caramel, vanilla, and oak. Fruity esters (nectarine or ambrosia?) and grassy/fruity hops as well. Alcohol was barely apparent. Great overall.

M - Medium-full-bodied, malt dominated. Very smooth. Alcohol barely there.

D - Fantastic. Wished I had more. This is by far the best English style barleywine I've had. Not a pretender, definitely a top beer.

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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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Photo of nickd717
4.72/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle shared at a tasting. Damn it, once again I don't remember who brought it. largadeer I believe. I swear, I am losing it.

Pours a cloudy dark brown color with a medium tan head that fades to a ring and leaves good lacing.

Aroma is caramel, bourbon, wood, toffee, dark fruit, and spice. Really pungent and awesome. A "perfect storm" of awesome aromas melding together (yes, very creative, I know).

Flavor is caramel and lots of toffee and wood, in addition to vanilla, spices, cherry raisin, fig, date, malted milk balls, and a little mildly boozy bourbon. Very complex and very, very tasty. Once again, the name of this beer is fitting.

Full body with a smooth mouthfeel, only ever so slightly boozy but very warming. Drinkability is high because it's just so damn good. Overall, this is easily one of the best barleywines I've ever tried.

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Photo of WeisGuy
4.72/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of drgonzo3705
4.72/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Huge HUGE HUGE Thanks to Unclejedi for making a dream come true on a slightly cool overcast day in Cleveland....2008 vintage from the notes:

A: Pours a brilliant copper color with no head, the only sight of carbonation was a happy little ring around the glass.

S: Lets see here. Big buttery toffee. Fermented Werthers Originals perhaps? Slightly burnt caramel maltiness. All of that goodness and I haven't even mentioned the bourbon yet! All of this with a big. but not overwhelming bourbon presence.

T: I knew I was onto something...fermented Werthers! Big buttery toffee bourbon malt bomb, what else can I say except that it tastes like heaven!

M: WOW. The mouthfeel here is crazy! Its so rich and creamy and full bodied with just a hint of carbonation. I'm drooling just thinking about it.

D: Incredible beer here. I wouldn't be greedy and drink a bottle by myself even though I fantasize about it. Definitely worth the hype IMHO.

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Photo of paco1029384756
4.72/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark burgundy color with a small tan head.

Scent of rich sugars, sweet bourbon, chocolate, oatmeal, a hint of raspberry, and faint alcohol. Nice complexity, but not quite perfect.

Taste of strong bourbon, molasses, chocolate, a bit of alcohol, dark fruit, and sugars. The bourbon flavor is quite powerful and lasts long into the finish and the alcohol adds a nice heat.

Mouthfeel is heavy and oily with a small bite of carbonation.

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Photo of rye726
4.72/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nice silky tan head, light lace over a dark woody mahogany. Notes of bourbon, oak, vanilla, dark pitted fruits, candy, malts and pecans. A bit boozy, but should age well. Full body, great finish. This will age very well for years to come. Wish I could get more!

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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 timc100
4.71/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

2012 Vintage had at 2.5 years old.

Incredibly rich, dark and sticky barleywine. Dark chocolate macaroon with an undercurrent of rich plum and other dark fruit. Macaroon taste comes from the caramelized oak and bourbon - vanilla cream, coconut and nuttiness. Very nice bourbon on this as well.

Worlds better than the 2013 and a top barleywine no doubt.



2013 vintage, had at a half a year about. Rated 4.23

Very dark barleywine - opaque black in the glass. When held up to a light it's surprisingly clear with a dark ruby/red wine color. The burnt khaki head fades immediately.

Lots of bourbon oak, red wine, musty, booze, some caramel and overpowered dark fruits. Aroma seems restrained, this is the first time having it so that is an odd comment to make - pretty hot and disjoined but still very good.

Huge flavor - booze, bourbon soaked oak, some slight vanilla and dark fruits in the back ground. Prominent red wine note. Dry for the style, which is interesting - not very sweet. Feels great - full bodied, very soft carbonation - carries the flavors well.

Very good beer, excited to see what age can do. Can imagine it improving - mellowing out and blending together. Time will tell.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
4.71/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Milky light molasses body, light tan head fades to nothing, notable carbonation around the perimeter. Heavy buttery caramel, vanilla, bourbon, and mild smokiness on the nose. Other mild aspects that weave in and out include a tartness like red fruit, burnt turbinado sugar, and controlled, subtle alcohol. The flavor brings to light that red fruit flavor in the form of dark red cherries, along with molasses, wet wood pulp, a kiss of bourbon sweetness, spice and coziness, very rich caramel and toffee that is offset by burnt malt bitterness. The body is super sticky, only *moderately* heavy and full, and slightly warming. Just a hint of tannins.
I have a hard time believing this thing is 14% when the alcohol is so subtle, but that could also be because there are HUGE yet palatable, varied but balanced, delicious but mature flavors going on as well. Everything was in magnificent harmony and came together to deliver one scrumptious wallop of a beer. Simply incredible.

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

2012 bottle

A: Pours a dark brown/red color with very little head. Almost looks like wine when the head dissipates.
S: Smells so strong, I could smell it across the room when I opened the bottle! Huge caramel, bourbon, vanilla, oak and brown sugar/molasses aromas. Smells amazing.
T: Just like the smell, this has a ton of caramel, brown sugar, vanilla and bourbon. Raisins and figs are in there too, but brown sugar dominates. There's a slight hint of dulce de leche and chocolate hidden in there. Big sweetness in the beginning but it fades towards the finish as you get the blast of oak and bourbon. A nice bit of burn at the end as well.
M: Very balanced for 14%. Nice and thick bodied with low carbonation. Incredibly smooth and velvety.
O: One of the best barleywines I've had, up there with Leon and King Henry. I will need to revisit Sucaba soon to see where that one stands.

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

I know this is a no-no, but this review is from notes scribbled down on piece of paper, because I didn't have access to the internet at the time.

A- Very dark viscous brown. Hues of red come through when the sunlight hits it. It has a very rich coloring. Little to no head.
S- Lots of Toffee and Molasses in the nose with plenty of dark fruits also. The roasted malts come through on the end. Bourbon and oak pull through warning you of the immense flavor about to come.

T- This is a huge beer. Lots of sweet roasted caramel flavor. It's a very sweet burnt sugar flavor up front which moves to a darker more complex flavor towards the end. Raisins a figs play out the dark fruit notes as the beer starts to warm up. The vanilla and Bourbon complement the finish quite well.

M- Quite nice, enough carbonation to keep the beer from muddying up the tongue. Thick and smooth are about the only way to sum it up

O- This beer is huge. Lots of flavor through all its complexities. The alcohol is just enough to be noticed and not too much to be overpowering. A 10oz pour out me back, defiantly a beer to share. Will be seeking out more.

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

Thank you to my neighbors at DLD '10 for sharing a bottle of this beauty. Going based off of memory....

A: Color is dark brown, yet somewhat clear.

S: Vanilla, toffee, slight whiskey. Very good.

T: Wow! The barleywine brings a nice vanilla and toffee flavor and the bourbon comes through very nicely, not overpowering at all.

M: Very nice, rich, a little sticky but full bodied.

This is exactly what I look for in a good sipping beer. Everything is there, not too boozy. To have this be a memorable experience from an event like DLD says a lot. Well done.

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

2011 bottle. Big thanks to stupac2 for supplying me with this.

A- Pours a very deep garnet/mahogany color. Thin brownish head subsides very quickly to a ring. Plenty of alcohol visible on the glass.

S- Caramel, vanilla, bourbon, sweet syrup. Dark fruits abound. Alcohol noticeable but not overbearing.

T- Bourbon hits immediately but is enveloped by burnt caramel and sweet syrupy dark fruits. A bit of alcohol in the back. Vanilla and oak. The flavors are hanging on for days.

M- Thick and smooth. It's almost like drinking very delicious cough syrup, meant in the best way possible. Moderate carbonation is enough to keep it from being cloying but lets the flavors linger. Alcohol burn is nice and warming.

O- This is one of the best barleywines/barrel-aged beers I've ever had. Immensely big and complex. Definitely a sipper, though.

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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 dcloeren
4.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Review from notes...

Poured a deep brown with mahogany edges, 1 finger of cinnamon colored head lingered for a quick minute and slowly succumbed to the weight of the beer.

Nice aromas of toffee, caramel, oak, bourbon and vanilla. Smells awesome.

Toffee dominates my palate right off the bat with an amazing bourbon burn following it. Great caramel malt carrying the weight throughout with some vanilla rounding it off on the back end.

Medium to full in body with a perfect amount of carbonation. I really love the carbonation on this beer! It gives it an amazing mouthfeel. I also love the smooth burn from the bourbon on the finish of this beer. Top notch!

This is an amazing barleywine. Amazing flavor and mouthfeel! This is a must have and it is definitely a world class BBBW.

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

2012 Bottle

A: Pours a deep reddish brown color with a thin light brown head.

S: Rich bourbon aroma, but it's not completely overpowering. Lots of toffee, raisin, brown sugar, toasted coconut, oak and dark fruit. Very complex and very intriguing.

T: Opens with some burnt raisin skin and bourbon. Then leads into some great flavors of vanilla, toffee, butterscotch, toasted oak and a dry and warming finish with a touch of booze. Fantastic young, but I definitely can't wait to try an older bottle really soon.

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Photo of jwjon1
4.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2009 Vintage

Pour an oxidized/rust brown, but perfectly translucent. Smells of Werther's caramel, a touch of Werther's chocolate, toasted pecans, a touch of bourbon and wood, perhaps lightly roasted coffee... list could go on and on. Basically, it was like smelling an exceptional sherry that changed in the glass over time. Phenomenal.

A bit of heat and tannic wood, which gives taste and drinkability as the only small knocks I gave this beer. Perfectly carbonated upon opening--but even after letting it run still in my glass over a couple hours, I continue to be fascinated by this one. Truly an exceptional beer that I can't wait to try again a few years down the road.

Worth seeking out for fans of English barleywines.

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

MoaS 2012...thanks Scray for this one....finally opening it.

A - the beer, after an aggressive pour, displays a deep ruby black in color; this mofo has a 'sparkling sound' from the carbonation as well; the mocha head sits contently even after the initial pour; bubbled lacing sits but moves

S - there is a LOT going on in the nose here: bourbon covered caramel apple; that brown sugar sweetness; vanilla; candied plums; whisky yams...is that a legit concept? That's what I'm getting

T - man, I love this beer: everything going on in the nose and more! That whisky yam thing carries over predominantly; some cherries; some milk chocolate; oak char; vanilla; brown sugar; molasses; candied prune; f me...booze! Also, there are some cotton candy notes as this one warms up.

M - this one has a little heat to it...which at 14%, I can't say I'm shocked; the beer is nonetheless smooth and nicely syrupy; this one is a little chewy, but I dig it. The heat lingers after a swallow, but yeah...I dig that shit; heavy all in all

O - all I can say is, I'm glad I have another one. I'm looking forward to seeing how this beer develops. It's a damn fine barleywine...maybe the best BW I've had to this point. It's got so many different flavors, the perfect amount of sweetness, an awesome ABV....a sipping man's BW. I'll be working towards a case next year Pelican!

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Mother Of All Storms from Pelican Pub & Brewery
98 out of 100 based on 449 ratings.
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