Pelican’s ‘Queen of Hearts’ Makes Gold Medal Winning Return

Fresh off winning a Gold Medal at the 2018 World Beer Cup, Pelican Brewing‘s ‘Queen of Hearts,’ a gin barrel-aged saison, is making a limited return this month. Look for 22oz bottles and draft, and pre-order online or find Brewmaster Darron Welch speaking and sampling barrel-aged beers like Queen of Hearts and Mother of All Storms at the Portland Beer Week Barrel-Aged Beer Seminar on Wed. June 13th.

More from a press release:

Her eminence Queen of Hearts took the gold in the wood- and barrel-aged beer category, and was also bestowed with a Silver Medal earlier this year at the 2018 Best of Craft Beer Awards. Available now for pre-order online. Queen will be available for pick-up at Pelican brewpubs in Pacific City, Cannon Beach and Tillamook over Memorial Day weekend starting Saturday, May 26, 2018, and in specialty bottle shops on June 1st.  For those fanatics who would like Queen shipped directly, Pelican can ship to select US Statesclick here to be added to a waiting list for shipping. Supplies are limited.

The original Saison du Pélican is exceptional on its own but when aged in local gin barrels from master Oregon distillers at Ransom Wine and Spirits, it takes on a whole other dimension of flavor. The fruity and spicy aroma of the farmhouse Belgian yeast, herbaceous Goldings hops, and the well-rounded malt character of Saison du Pélican pairs exquisitely with the huge botanical infusions imparted by Ransom Distillery’s Old Tom gin barrels. It has been said that Ransom distillers only bottle the ‘heart of the hearts’—the best portion of distillate, which is why Pelican dubbed its Saison ‘The Queen of Hearts:’

ABV: 6.5%  |  IBU: 30  |  PLATO: 13º

What makes Queen so majestic is the flavor from barrels used for aging the historic Old Tom Gin. According to spirits website Tales of the Cocktail, “when it comes to crafting a classic spirit that essentially vanished from America’s cocktail scene, interpretation was the key to innovation when distilleries took up Old Tom gin’s flag. If Genever is the heady forefather of modern gin and London Dry is the modern standard bearer, Old Tom is the neglected middle child. Not as malty and heavy-handed as Genever. Not as spicy and arid as London Dry. Often sweeter and rounder than your more modern gins, Old Tom gin offers a great introduction to a somewhat divisive spirit—it’s a sweeter, less-botanical version of most gins found on the market today.”

According to Pelican’s highly-decorated founding brewmaster Darron Welch, Queen is not so much a revival of an old beer style as a completely different type of barrel-aged beer—made possible by the imagination, creativity and skill of the Pelican brewing team. The Ransom Old Tom gin barrels are full of outstanding complex flavors, and the aromas and characters of Pelican Saison create a synthesis of flavor that is truly regal.

“Queen is the perfect summertime addition to the Pelican cast—it’s much lighter than other barrel-aged beers with lower alcohol content, lighter color and an herbal, fruity, botanical flavor profile for a bright, light refreshing summer sipper,” says Welch.

With a nod to the popularity of Pelican’s original barrel-aged masterpiece Mother of All Storms, English-style Barleywine aged in Bourbon Barrels, the brewery continues its vision for creating recipes that combine beer, spirits and barrel flavors. Fellow fanatics of Pelican’s barrel-aged series have more tasty collectables ahead with quarterly releases of exquisite beers like Captain of the Coast, Wee Heavy Ale aged in Dry Fly Wheat Whiskey Barrels, the annual return of ‘Mother’ and of course Father of All Tsunamis, Imperial Stout Ale aged in Rye Whiskey Barrels.

For a comprehensive review of all award-winning Pelican beer offerings click here.

Like all Pelican beers, Queen of Hearts is born at the beach by a team of award-winning craft beer makers known for brewing styles of beer that they themselves love to drink. Cheers!

Samurai Artist
Samurai Artist

Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding. Contact: