Mother Of All Storms | Pelican Pub & Brewery

BA SCORE
98
world-class
467 Reviews
Mother Of All StormsMother Of All Storms
BEER INFO

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

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:
467
Ratings:
1,950
Avg:
4.42
pDev:
8.82%
 
 
Wants:
1,562
Gots:
648
For Trade:
72
User Reviews
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Reviews: 467 | Ratings: 1,950
Photo of Luk13
4/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle generously shared by an advocate at Hill Farmstead Gathering. Rich aroma of bourbon, vanilla, molasses and old hops. Sweet flavors of maple, brown sugar, cherries. Full bodied with low carbonation. Overall a good beer, the flavors were nicely melded together but could have been more intense.

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Photo of photomike
3.67/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Joel, who brought this to our tasting...this was one I was very excited to try!

Pours a very dark, very clear reddish brown with a tan head that dissipates to nothing.

Smell is of toffee, raisin, prune, bourbon, vanilla and oak. Big, malty, sweet, and very boozy. Nice. This is so barrely.

The taste is equally strong. Very bourbony and boozy. Too much so. Bitter and carmelly with some blueberry-like dark fruits. This beer is so rough around the edges, it is impossible to review it as positively as others have on here. I truly don't understand the fuss over this one, and neither did most of those with whom I shared the bottle (and we didn't even discuss that at the tasting--just now reading their notes). This tastes like a prime candidate for extended aging, but as it stands fresh, it just isn't very drinkable or tasty. Give it 2 or more years and it might turn into something great, but it just isn't right now.

Crazy hot with low-medium carbonation with a medium-full body.

Too hot and too intense to be very drinkable, this one is complex and tasty enough to keep me thirsty for more...to a point.

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Photo of Kaydogg
4.67/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010

A - Very dark ruby body with a 1/4 inch tan mocha head that doesn't stick around to long.

S - light sweet fruit and caramel up front with a solid bourbon nose mixed in. vanilla and oak is also noticeable.

T - Lots of bourbon flavor..vanilla, carmel, toffee..a nice tiny burn to it...fantastic. It is pretty rich and very complex

M - this is were this beer shines for me.. excellent mouth feel..creamy, carbonation is spot on..really well done.

D - I think this is my favorite BA BW to date. a delicious sipper..
deserves the credit it gets

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

Huge thanks to rochefort10nh for sharing this brew with me, during my break at work none-the-less. Reviewed from notes earlier today. The pour yielded no head, just a tight white ring around the top of the deep dark brown mahogany body. When held up the light there was a bit of amber glow around the edges, very little lacing on this one.

The smell is an intoxicating blend of toffee, caramel, bourbon booze, barrel and vanilla. Underneath the dominate notes there are hints of pine resin, toasted malts and raisins.

The taste is a huge malty blast of caramel, toffee and a toasted malt sweetness, that never gets too sweet or cloying. The barrel flavors bring everything back to center quickly and effectively and the bourbon just finishes everything off. You taste caramel-and-bourbon, toffee-and-bourbon, etc... The bourbon flavors are perhaps the best I have had in a beer yet, just perfectly complementing everything else and inviting me back for more.

This is definitely a sipper, it has a thick boozy mouthfeel and the warming sensation in the stomach starts almost instantly with this brew. The carbonation is light, but spot on for the style, and adds just enough to make the beer more complex. The finish is incredible and surprisingly dry, not sweet and boozy at all. As the beer warms the raisin and vanilla come out a bit more, making the flavors more interesting indeed.

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Photo of Sarlacc83
3.59/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle from Belmont Station. Split 2 ways. Snifter. 2012 vintage.

A: Dark brackish brown with tints of red. No head after an aggressive pour.

N: Malt, licorice, caramel, and toffee. Brown sugar. Has an inviting nose. Bourbon, vanilla, coconut, and oak are present, subtly. Biscuity sweetness. Quite nice.

T: Very sweet. Loads of brown sugar, toffee, and licorice. The bourbon goodness of the nose is very muted. There is some oak, but it’s very light. Does become cloying. Wish this matched the nose.

M: Thick and sticky. Coats the palate.

O: Glad this is distributed, because I definitely don’t need more than one and it would've bee a long drive to Pacific City to be nonplussed. Needs a ton more bourbon, otherwise it doesn’t justify the cost increase over the Stormwatcher's Winterfest or even the Wee Heavy. *Sigh* 2009 seems so long ago, though this is better than the 2011/2010 vintages when they were fresh.

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

2010 Bottle split three ways.

A-Thick, dark, brown with almost a purple hue to it. Very thin cocoa head which fades quickly.

S-Toffee, cocoa, molasses, earthy fruitiness.

T-Lots of bourbon in this one. Bourbon more or less overpowers everything but it is also very sweet. Some fig and lots of chewy toffee flavors. Little bit of chocolate in here as well.

M-Very little carbonation and this one does pack a bite. I feel that if there was just a bit more carbonation it would not feel so thick.

O-This was a great beer, a real sipper. The bourbon flavor was very nice and it was almost like you are chewing thick bourbon than drinking a beer. My only complaint with some BBBWs is that they just don't have enough carbonation. I would drink this again but I am mostly glad to have ticked it off of my list.

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Photo of MilwaukeeBeerMaker
4.85/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

By far, one of the most outstanding english style barleywines I have ever had the pleasure of drinking. Dominant flavors were caramel and vanilla blended with one of the smoothest barrel tastes I've ever had. Wish I had a way to get this on the regular.

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Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.37/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got a bottle from 2 BA'ers...Thanks to both! This one was from jwjon1. Vintage 2009. Poured from a 22oz bottle into my De Dolle large snifter. Pours a dark brownish' black in color, basically no light is shining through...just a slight tinge of red torwards the rim. About a finger size tan head rises, and quickly dissipates. Leaves basically no lacing.

Aroma screams of booze! Bourbon of course, some raisins, belgian yeasts, dark fruits.

Flavor is great! -but potent! Wow, tons of booze in this one. I would imagine with a couple years, this would mellow out great! A sipper in current condition for me. Loads of bourbon, big over ripe fruits like raisins and figs. Taste overall is very sweet with a strong sharpness due to the 13.5% abv. Medium to full body, low carbonation...heat from the ABV, which is noticable on the lips too after each sip. A great beer, and definitely stoked I got the chance to try this beer!

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

Some scrawled notes that I found when I popped a 2010 bottle in October 2011.

This is my favorite barleywine of all time.

Big bourbon, roasted malts, caramel, molasses, dark fruits, and hop notes all balanced with a dose of warming booziness. I would be hard pressed to think of a tastier beer on a cold day.

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Photo of angelmonster
3.98/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is review of 2013 vintage. Bottle is around 2 1/4 years old at this point.

Pours an extremely dark brown, looks closer to an imperial stout than a barleywine. Head is very thin and mocha colored. Head retention was non existent and neither was lacing.

Smell is big on caramel, burnt sugar, brandy soaked figs, vanilla, and oak. Bourbon is slightly present but blends nicely. No hops apparent, this is a malt bomb.

Taste is very sweet and somewhat dry. Burnt caramel, bittersweet chocolate, vanilla, and slight oxidation are main flavors detected. As beer warms I'm getting big hits of dried fruit, prune, fig, and dates. That along with some warming alcohol gives the beer a false sense of being aged in cognac barrels rather than bourbon. Maybe the prolonged aging is to blame for that. Hops are nowhere to be found, sweet malt and alcohol is the name of the game here.

Mouthfeel is oily, dense, and somewhat undercarbonated. Alcohol is slightly astringent, head was never a factor unfortunately.

Overall, beer was good, solid representation of the style. Just wish there was more head and a bit more carbonation. Maybe 2 years in the bottle have diminished some of the qualities that were present in 2014 when I had this beer at Gabf

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Photo of Jmoore50
3.6/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The bourbon barrel scars this brew with a brownish hue. The barley wine looks like it started off with a great dark golden color, but the bourbon stains the color to make the finish with a hazy brown heart and darker golden edges. Has a bit of white head, but it leaves pretty fast. Alcoholic legs are fairly thick.

The smell has sweet malt sugars and bourbon. Oak, and cherries with vanilla. Oak and bourbon are very strong, giving the overall smell a 'hot' aspect.

The taste has characters of vanilla, cherries and dark fruits, with oak and bourbon. Lots of malt sugars that make it sweet, tastes like this is already aged over a year. The beer and the barrel come together very well, with the barrel being a bit of a larger character. It did not start off for me very ABV strong, but towards the end of the bottle it was a bit rough. I was picking up the oak and bourbon more and more and the balance was starting to fade. Very enjoyable, but maybe aged in oak a bit too long?

The mouthfeel was good, but towards the end started to get very hot. This damaged the drinkability a great deal, and made the last glass full a challenge. Maybe a 8 oz pour into a brandy snifter would be perfect for me. A full 22oz bomber, even shared, was a bit much.

J

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Photo of raynmoon
4.27/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

a: very dark ruby red. Looks black at first but when held up to the light the red shines through. Mocha colored head and medium lacing/ alcohol legs.

s: Big barrel characteristics. Some sweet roasted hazelnut and sugary/molasses-like malt aromas. Touch tequila.

t: strong molasses sweetness that coats your moath followed by a sharp alcohol sting, but not too much alcohol flavor. The nuttiness is more on the back end.

mf: very nice and creamy. almost TOO creamy.

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

A. Pours dark brown with amber edges and a creamy tan head.

S. Caramel, brown sugar, bourbon, and some alcohol heat.

T. A nice rich dark barleywine with caramel sweetness, bourbon, brown sugar

M. Fairly thick with low to medium carbonation.

D. A bit hot, but very drinkable.

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Photo of kels
4.52/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to the generosity of unclejedi for sharing this one. It wasn't even on my radar at the time, and I am so happy I got a chance to try it.

Pours the color of amber - not the reddish brown "amber" of many beers I've described, but the golden color of hardened sap. The viscosity of the beer is apparent in the appearance, with layers forming between the alcohol and syrupy liquid. The clarity is good, and a very thin skim of white head swirls atop.

Delicious aromas from this beer. Lots of warm, spicy notes come through and are balanced by a sweet, buttery toffee smell. Dark, chewy fruit like sweet/tart raisins comes through all the rest. Alcohol is present, but not negatively.

The taste echoes the buttery, smooth toffee from the nose. It is nutty and creamy and not too sweet. A cinnamony spiciness accompanies dark, syrupy-sweet fruitiness like raisins and prunes. The alcohol is not nearly as mellow as in the nose. Its sharpness is nearly medicinal. The rest of the flavors do a good job of keeping it from ruining the taste.

Feel is as thick and viscous as anticipated. The syrupy liquid coats the entire palate and enjoyably prolongs the taste. The heat of the alcohol is warming through the chest, and the beer goes down very smoothly despite the heat of the alcohol.

Moderate drinkability at best, as with most of this style. It definitely has the potential for masquerading as a highly-drinkable beer due to the excellent flavors and smooth drink. Gotta be careful with this one.

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Photo of pmlondrigan
4.16/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a 2012 vintage I'm drinking. Very deep brown and when the light hits it a deep red garnet color created. Initially a reddish deep brown head is formed and fades away, a thin ring remains around the class. Not surprising given the alcohol content. Aroma is jammy, with raisins. Alcohol is rather present even after two years. Some barrel presence remains. Port like. Flavor is heavy on the booze, port and sherry like flavors waft in and become heavy and prominant. Burnt caramel, raisins, and toffee mingle with the sherry and port flavors. Complex flavor, really it is, way beyond a barrel bomb. Slick, oily mouthfeel. Thick. Not cloying however. The alcohol creates a sharp and clearly burn like quality. There is no doubt this is an exceptional ale. Downsides, the alcohol keeps coming back and reminding me it is there, the burnt caramel flavor is rather strong and can be off putting, the palate is left muddy.

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

22 oz bottle poured into tulip. From notes.

A - A reddish purple with brown and mahogany base colour. Minimal head, decent sticky lacing

S - Distinct sweetness and oakiness. Dark fruits, vanilla, and some graininess.

T - A delicious taste profile. I pick up a bunch of different flavours, with a nice strong woody taste. Plum and currants, vanilla, candied sugars. Get some toffee and butterscotch

M/D - A true sipper. You can tell by some of the alcohol heat that this is a young beer and is a perfect candidate for aging. I am glad I have a few to compare over the years to see how it develops, I am betting on fantastic!

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Photo of Beerzebub
4.87/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Brand new 2009 bomber, poured in a big wine glass at 54F, rising to 60F over the lengthy course of this review.

Beautiful color, a deep translucent red-brown. Initially, a ring of creamy yellow froth around the edge of the glass leaves some thick rings of lace, then dissipates entirely and the color of the liquid is unobscured, a rich gold at the edges.

Great big complex aroma. Toasty woodsy bourbony bourbon barrel, with deep complex spicy herbacious tobacco a bit like a good cigar crossed with sweet red vermouth, and sweet heady booze, a bit of bubblegum, mild vanilla, mild fennel, a hint of ripe dark fruit, and some earthiness. The bourbon barrel is well integrated with the malt; they belong together, the aroma is cohesive. Great depth and complexity, along with bright freshness, and the aroma blossoms and evolves continuously as the beer breathes and warms.

The flavor is like the aroma, but somehow even deeper, more complex, more intense. Sweet dark caramel and booze are perfectly balanced by deep, deep, DEEP tobacco/barrel/spice/earth. This is almost like a great bourbon or barrel aged rum, only far less alcoholic, and more intensely flavorful in all respects apart from the alcohol. Long long complex tasty finish, becoming dry.

The texture is exceptionally silky, with just enough restrained, ultrafine carbonation to add cushiness and avert any undue heaviness.

Perfect balance makes this very easy to drink.

Outstanding.

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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 rudylaw
4.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A case of this arrived on Friday from Portland. Best thing I've ever had from the Pacific Northwest!

Pours a dark ruby red/chestnut brown with a small head that recedes into a thin rim. Looks stately in my tulip class!

This is easily the best smelling beer I've ever had. Absolutely no question. Nutty, caramel, vanilla, brown sugar, cherries and some bourbon heat all come a-calling.

It's all there in the taste. I'm also picking up grape skins, toffee and marshmallow. The only detractor this beer has right now is it's heat. I think that in a few months, this could be my favorite beer of all time.

At 13.7%, drinkablilty suffers... but you don't go through your stash of this beer willy-nilly. You savor this, sip by mother loving sip. Standing effing ovation, Pelican!

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Photo of jamescain
4.62/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to nate8767 for sharing this one. Poured into a sniffer.

The beer pours a dark reddish brown with a tan head about a finger thick that quickly fades to a thin ring and patchy lacing. The first aroma that I pick up on is oak and bourbon followed by toffee, caramel, dates, and raisins, with just a noticeable alcoholic smell. Despite the alcohol aroma the finish is barely noticeable. The taste is best described as a combination of dark fruit, a hint or chocolate, fresh oak, bourbon and molasses. The mouthfeel is chewy with low carbonation. This is a spectacular beer and one that I would definitely seek out again.

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Photo of stratusjeans
4.27/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 11/2015.

For some reason I'm not in the mood to write a typical review. It looks exactly like it's described in the other reviews. Smells and tastes just like a barrel aged barleywine should. Being an English style barleywine, it's strongly sweet with a firm bread flavor and no noticeable hop balance. There's also a strong booziness, it is 14% alcohol, but not masked. That will probably decrease with age but i don't think I could take the increase in sweetness that would happen. If you like English style beers then step right up.

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Photo of gkunkle
4.17/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter glass at the pelican feb 2012. Pours a transparent hazel color, only a slight bit of foam exists in the glass as it is brought to me, but I don't there was much to begin with considering the 13.5% ABV. Smell is of raisins, dark fruit, alcohol, smooth vanilla and caramel smell. The smell is really potent, I didn't really swirl the beer at first, and it didn't have much head but it was still very aeromatic. The taste resides in the same vein as
The smell, once again one of the most potent flavor was that of raisins/dark fruit. I let my glass warm for a good bit before I drank it, so it may have different notes when onsumes colder. I also get some notes of bourbon. This was still really hot, I'd like to get a bottle of this age for a while then try it in two years once it has mellowed. While it was very aggressive when I tried it, I thing it would come out very smoothly with some age. Mouthfeel id relatively thick, with mild carbonation. If you enjoy a boozy beer and you like those sweet dark fruit notes, give this a try.

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

22oz bottle purchased at Pelican Pub & Brewery.

A - Pours a clear, deep, mahogany that borders on black. Nice ruby highlights, yet little/no head.
S - Strong bourbon notes, hints of oak and vanilla.
T - Strong bourbon. There's a hop bitterness to the finish that I hope will mellow out with time. A bit of residual malt sweetness as well as some alcohol burn.
M - Medium to full body, heavy and sweet.
D - Good. There's a bit of heat, and it's certainly a sipper, but it improves with a little bit of warmth.

Overall- Good, but a bit one-dimensional to make it elite. Bourbon treatment is well done, but needs a bit more depth. Don't trade your cellar for one, but it's worth getting, especially if you're a bourbon fan.

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Photo of fiver29
3.78/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Eric. Thanks! Pours dark amber with off white color. Aroma is oak, booze, and rubbing alcohol. Viscous mouthfeel. Flavor was dark fruit, vanilla, oak, bourbon, and finished with a rubbing alcohol aftertaste. This beer might be too green at this point. It was just hard to sip because of the rubbing alcohol aftertaste. It was tough. Shared originally Sept. 1, 2009.

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Mother Of All Storms from Pelican Pub & Brewery
4.42 out of 5 based on 1,950 ratings.
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