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 punkrkr27
4.37/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle. Deep mahogany pour with bright ruby highlights and no head. The aroma is Musty bourbon and caramelized dates rounded out with a hint of vanilla and charred oak. The flavor is awesome rich, buttery caramel with notes of fig, vanilla, an accent of char and smoke, and milk chocolate. It finishes with a nice little alcohol kick. The body is sticky and full with low carbonation.

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Photo of xpimptastikx
4.57/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4


A - Pours a ruby tinted root beer stream with a short lived dark tan head that recedes to nothing. Only a few sips in, but no lace. The appearance should be a 4, but I'm adjusting it to bump the taste to ~5.

S - Damn this smells great. As I started pouring this I could smell the sweet sweet bourbon. Fantastic toffee, raisins, oak, vanilla, and I think some nuts?

T - Thick brown sugar, vanilla, and rum soaked raisins. This is freakin' delicious, and is making a great dessert night cap. I might be crazy, but it reminds me of Nutella a little bit...

M/D - There really isn't much of an alcohol presence, but I also enjoy a glass of good bourbon. The mouthfeel is awesome; oily and coats your whole mouth with light carbonation. It's a sipper, but one I seriously can't put down.

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

Shared with Reed415 while getting our kronk on...

A--Plenty of lacing with a orange-burgandy hue.

S--Complex. So many diffent things going on. Vanilla, spice, and of course, some bourbon.

T--Tempted to give it a 5. So complex in its flavors, not too much Bourbon which I liked, it did not overpower the brew allowing its other flavors to come out. Vanilla and cinnamon for sure, figs?

D--Do to its rarity, does it matter? What I can say is this is a sipper to be enjoyed for its complex flavors and smell. Hated to see it go.

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Photo of mfavoino
4.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another big want that Treebs shared with me. Shared three ways.

Appearance: Deep, but translucent brown with a red hue. No head really to speak of.

Smell: Big caramel malt aromas paired with lots of sweet bourbon. Dark fruits and toffee too. Big nose on this one.

Taste: A big, big flavor that pairs a sweet, smooth bourbon with a huge caramel malt backbone. Dark fruit adds some sweetness and the oak gives even more character. Very rich.

Mouthfeel: Thick, full-bodied, and syrupy with a bit of booze on the back end.

Overall: An amazing English Barleywine. A big, big beer that would be great to share with some friends on a chilly night.

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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 afausser
4.67/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5


Appearance: Pours a deep but amazingly crystal clear color that appears to be near pitch black (or a very dark brown) at first, but when held to the light is almost exactly a ruby or burgundy color. Pours with nearly a finger of head, which dissipates quickly, leaving first a film over the top of the brew, and then the finest ring of creamy tan bubbles around the edge of the glass. These fine bubbles show up in the lacing as well, which glitters down the side of the glass immediately following the liquid. There's a tiny patch of bubbles near the center of the top of the glass that floats around, dare I say, in almost the shape of a hurricane, which is an interesting coincidence given this one's name. Beautiful and glassy as it warms.

Smell: The smell is phenomenal. Heavy candy and dark fruit notes are dominant, with caramel, molasses, and toffee very strong, as well as spicy rum soaked raisins and prunes. There's a strong grape presence, between the raisins, notes of white grapes, and a somewhat strong undercurrent of red wine. Barrel and earth notes are also dominant, which is very nice. The nose on this one, at first scent, reminded me of Firestone 13, which I think is interesting if only because I tried the aforementioned beer only once, at a tasting, and didn't have a whole lot of it. Spicy, but not in an overbearing, hot way--reminiscent at once of both cinnamon-and-clove spiced fruits and breads as well as a cool, minty spiciness. This all, of course, is tempered by the candy notes, including a nice syrupy vanilla note as well as a hint of pancake syrup (it's a bit too sugary to come across as maple). There's even--albeit when agitated--a slightly sour note, perhaps of lime, which fits in surprisingly well with the nose overall. As it warms, and after I've tasted it, I get a blackberry note out of it as well. Well done.

Taste: The taste on this one is huge. What at first hits you in the face are heavy spice and alcohol notes--though the alcohol is nicely blended in, well-hidden, and only warm in the slightest bit. And there are all kinds of spices--there's the spearmint and wintergreen minty notes that were present in the nose, and heavy clove spice, as well as some anise and licorice (moving to the lighter side of things) but there are also the caramel and vanilla sweet candy (though far less dominant here than in the nose, this still makes up a fair share of the flavor of this brew) as well as raisin and dark fruit notes, and maybe even the slightest hint of blueberry (though it's hard to get this due to all the syrupy notes that are heavy in this one). Rum and whiskey flavors are strong. Tastes more and more like candy as the flavors set into your palate, and exponentially so as it warms.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel functions just about perfectly in this brew. Initially, the crisp carbonation bubbles are plentiful and deliver the spicy flavors to the top of the brew, and then calm down to allow the deeper, darker candy and fruit notes to shine through. It's alcoholic and heavy bodied all the way through, but the aftertaste leaves only the slightest hint as to its actual alcohol content. Chewy like caramel, which runs consistent with the rest of the characteristics of this brew. Wonderfully balanced. I can't think of how the mouthfeel on this one could be improved beyond what it is right now.

Drinkability: It is a rare occasion that I give a beer with a 13.5% ABV anything above a 4. Why is this? Because, I don't care how well the alcohol is hidden for the ABV percentage, at some point, you usually are still going to be tasting quite a bit of alcohol, and the drinkability will consequently be hampered quite a bit regardless of relative ABV and style considerations. I make an exception, today, for The Perfect Storm, because, well, The Perfect Storm is EXTREMELY drinkable for its ABV, with little to no alcohol heat (and on top of that, tastes delicious). I want to drink this one all night, and extremely glad to be splitting this one with CrellMoset, who is almost certainly saving me from drinking to excess this evening. Pick this up by any means necessary. As a side note, this one pairs well with an extra sharp cheddar (due to the strength of the cheese) but I've also got some creamier cheeses out (havarti and fontina) which more than hold their own with this brew. Excellent.

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Photo of ales4baldo
4.62/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Quick notes taken at wonderful tasting

Pours a bit thin. Solid brown with a bit red to it.

has a nice sweet toffee smell and lots of sweet malts. Licorice and nice smooth.

Subtle booze and caramel stints. Lots of nuts and barrel flavor. Finish is boozy.

Mouthful is smooth and boozy. Medium body and smooth. A bit silky. Solid.

A good beer. A little too much heat. But still nice. Solid beer. Might taste better with age.

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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 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 jimmy82063
4.35/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Was lucky enough to get this. I think I understand now why there is a differentiation between English and American Barleywines basically the hop presence on the American side. This beer pours an opaque red. No head. First sip you know you have something special. The vanilla starts out and then comes the bourbon wallop! My only regret is that I don't have another one for aging (yet)!

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Photo of tarheels86
3.4/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

651mL 2011 ed thanks to dreadnaught33. Pours a clear, deep amber with yellowish/golden foam. Weak formation and retention. Nose is golden raisin, rum, brown sugar, tomato, Twizzlers. Taste is paper, cardboard, harsh acid, butyric/stomach bile. Palate has paper, oil, peppercorn. 8/4/6/3/14=3.5

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Photo of BieresDesMoines
4.34/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep reddish brown with very little head. The aroma is wonderfully complex with some toffee, some cherry, some pecan, lots and lots of bourbon, & the booziness while present is very mild. The flavor is plenty of the vanilla and bourbon thing but not in an insanely overbearing way, this is well balanced with a very nutty and roasty character. The beer has some great candy sweetness, some resiny notes and a bit of coffee. The palate is very full and luxurious.

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Photo of caskstrength
3.83/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Downhill last few years. Some astringency, estery, oxidized vibes even with fresh bottles. Doesn't have the crisp bourbon bite with the rich toffee like before. I'm not searching this out anymore.

Kept the old review below, but adjusted things down.


09 Perfect Storm.

Dec 11th in MN. Was going to have something else tonight, trapped in the house, but I couldn't resist the symbolism of this one.

Thanks for the trade, ramnuts.

Pour is darker than expected. Deep, dark red brown. Nice carbonation that quickly recedes to the edge.

Smells are just so wonderful. Bourbon smacks you in the face, mingled with dark carmels and alcohol.(good, spicy, warming alcohol) Bourbon is strong in this one.

The bourbon is marvelous on the tongue. Defines the beer. Everything else plays a supporting role. Carmel, some sweet (dark) chocolate, dark fruits and tobacco. Ultimately sweet, but not cloying; balances the sharp boozy feel. (This must have been pretty hot early on.) Feels more than 13.5%.

Mouthfeel is great. This finishes like scotch or whiskey, sharp and tingly on the tongue. I like it. I like it a lot.

Wonderful example of what the barrel offers.

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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 raverjames
4.87/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Ordered a case to split with a BA friend, so I figured I would see if my purchase was worth the cost.

A: Dark brownish plum color with a small head. Head retention seems ok, but could be a little better.
S: Perfection! Heavy vanilla and oak, with slight english yeast in the back. Heavy malt (caramel and roast). Still a bit of ethanol and a bit of tobacco
T: Bourbon and malt, in perfect balance. Sweet malts and rich roast.
M: Smooth, sweet, and medium-full bodied. Low carbonation and high alcohol.
D: This beer is still a bit hot. In a year or two, it would be perfect. I still loved this brew and wish I had 2 cases (if only I could afford that). I think this is a pretty even match to Flossmoor Wooden Hell.

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Photo of JasonLovesBeer
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

This was an absolute standout at last night's beer share, and as a result I still vividly remember the flavour the next morning. It is full of toasted coconut and quite a bit of roastiness for a BW, and breaks to a big salted toffee back end. Smell was vanilla, coconut, and general sweetness. This was almost cloyingly sweet, but still delicious.

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

Had two pours of this last night at the South Bay Drugs Bottle Tasting. This was had in the same night as BA Speedway, BA Numbskull, Black Tuesday, and Black Ops. This is not a stout, yes, but the barrel-aged nature of it certainly lends a similar bourbon character.

Appearance: Certainly nothing remarkable or indicative of a "world class" beer status. Don't mean that in a negative way, just in a you-don't-know-what's-coming way. Slight reddish hue in a brown-orange beer with a relatively little tannish crown.

Smell: Raisins, bourbon-rum, malty, sugary sweetness and some booze coming through. A very, very pleasing aroma.

Taste: I was slightly let down from what I've heard, but still very powerful. Rum-raisin, brown sugar, with the big bourbon notes coming through. It's certainly a complex beer, but she needs a little time in a cellar to mellow the tastes out a bit. Huge potential here for sure.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, thick, and relatively mild in the bitterness department. Bourbony finish is very solid as well.

Drinkability: I think it drinks right around the ABV. Side-by-side with the other barrel-aged classics though, it just didn't stand out to me in the same way. Then again, give this a year or two to mellow out some boozy sweetness and I could easily see this sliding into that tier.

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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 Cthulhusquid
4.84/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: Poured into a Chuck's Hop Shop taster. Nearly opaque, dark red body.

Smell : Bourbon, vanilla, brown suger, and a hint of light/stone fruits.

Taste : Bourbon, vanilla, brown suger, peach, apricot, hints of citrus and dark fruits.

Feel : Very smooth and creamy, low carbonation, full bodied. A small alcohol bite, but also warming.

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Photo of Nietzsches_Horse
4.55/5  rDev +2.9%

More, perhaps, than any other beer I've yet tried, this one manages to walk the fine line between being utterly undrinkable (on account, mostly, of its intense sweetness) and being utterly delicious (on account of its rich, malty flavors). A memorable offering, but if you have it in a bottle, plan on sharing that bottle one or two ways if you can.

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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 ipafool
4.84/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Shared courtesy of mykie73, thanks dude

L) Pours with little head, tiny bubbles around the glass which show the light carbonation. Brown to amber almost transparent. Looks yummy

S) huge toffee notes, bourbon, syrup, oak. Smells yummy.

T) light sweetness, bourbon and oak like the smell a little hot but still awesome. Tastes yummy.

M) Perfect, the light carbonation does wonders not to thick not to thin. A somewhat dry finish. Yummy again

D) Perfect again, it is strong but it is a barrel aged barleywine. I could sip this all night long.

A overall great beer that should be seeked out by any barleywine lover.

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Photo of fatmcb1
4.82/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks GregSVT for sharing! Poured from a bomber into a big brandy snifter.

Pours a mahogany, dark brownish color that has lighter edges. A tan ring of head is present and then dies rather quickly.

There's a huge smell of charred oak. The bourbon hits you hard! There is also vanilla, caramel, roasted malt, and dark fruit.

Taste is more balanced than the nose. While bourbon is still certainly present, the vanilla and dark fruit really come out to shine. The booziness is apparent as well, but not in a bad way.

It feels creamy and smooth. It isn't exceptionally drinkable, but neither does it try to be. It is sharp and intense.

This is my favorite barleywine, ousting Abacus. The smell and taste are complex and amazing. Get your hands on this if you can!

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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 davod23
4.77/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ahh, I have been waiting a long time to get a chance to try this beer. Poured from a bottle into my Bruery tulip. Thanks, Ben.

I was taken aback by the brew from the instant it poured from the bottle. A very dark but clear deep reddish amber color, very, very attractive for the style. A thin tan head develops, but quickly dissipates. Nice.

The moment you pop the cap the aromas explode on you. Bourbon is paramount here, but underneath are layers of brown sugar, toffee, alcohol, and just a hint of dark fruit. I'm thinking plum.

Taste is excellent. Again, the barrel aging is very obvious here, with the bourbon playing a big role. Taste follows the nose - sweet caramel, brown sugar, with a nice alcoholic zing at the end. Maybe some nuttiness on the finish too, which is interesting and unexpected. Only reason that it's not a perfect 5 here is because I think the bourbon could be slightly more mellow (but only slightly). This will age very well - a year in the cellar might make this a perfect score.

Mouthfeel doesn't get any better for a barleywine. The slight carbonation is perfect, and the beer is viscous and chewy. Outstanding.

You know, I don't care that this is 13% alcohol. I think that I could sip on this beer all night and never, ever get tired of it. I might pass out, but it would be totally worth it. If this beer was on the shelves, I would have it stocked all-the-freaking time.

Perhaps the best English barleywine I have had the pleasure of drinking.

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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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