's office holiday party—traditionally held after Valentine's Day but bumped to the actual holiday season this year because, well, we all needed a break—was the perfect occasion to taste test Pelican Brewery's The Perfect Storm,
a burly brew if ever there was one. The Pacific City, Ore. brewery's Storm is a deep-amber barleywine brewed in 2007 and aged for a year in Evan Williams bourbon barrels. The result: a 13.5% alcohol assault on the palate with a knockout punch of oak, coffee and molasses. It's highly carbonated, thick and heavy. How heavy? It took a dozen of us to finish a 22-ounce bottle.
Tasters commented on the brew's syrupy texture. Said one sampler, "It feels like it coats the stomach."
"Ooof," said another. Take that as you will, but don't try to tackle this one alone. The Perfect Storm is available at Pelican's kiosk in Washington Square Mall. It costs $20. Though not quite a masterpiece (like, say, Deschutes' Abyss
), this one you can actually buy since it's not already sold out.