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Mash | The Bruery

64 Reviews
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Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States | website

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.50%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
An English Barleywine aged in Bourbon barrels, Mash is an intense yet balanced beer with notes of burnt caramel, toasted bread, ripe pear, dried figs, vanilla, toasted coconut and finishes with oak tannin. This has become an instant favorite around the brewery due to its balance, subtle complexities and overwhelming deliciousness.

Added by notchucknorris on 07-09-2013

User Reviews
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Reviews: 64 | Ratings: 499
Photo of Immortale25
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Dogfish traditional oversized snifter. Label says 2015 Edition.

A- Pours a medium brown color with a 1/2 inch light tan head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the flass and a mostly full sheet of sheer surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a solid ring behind.

S- Rich bourbon nose with some woody tones and toasted malt.

T- Sweet bourbon-y vanilla character at first which turns to an oaky, boozy finish. Very drinkable for the ABV. I don't usually get the coconut notes from BBA beers but this one actually has some. There's also caramel, fig and a bit of raisin.

M- The only part of the beer that's non-optimal. Hardly creamy at all with medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the fuller side.

O- Good flavor and balance, but the higher level of carbonation and lack of creamy feel keep this beer from being exceptional.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.34/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

In an improvised snifter the beer was ruby red in color with a small tan head.
Aroma of biscuit and caramel, burnt sugar. Oak.
Caramel and toffee taste. Biscuit. Vanilla. A hint of alcohol.
The flavors married well. Not a lot of evidence of the 12.5% ABV.
A beautiful beer!

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Photo of stompilator
5/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a snifter.

A - Pours a deep, dark ruby. One-finger tan head. Decent retention.

S - Intense biscuit and caramel, bit of fig and raisin, slight oak.

T - The big hit up-front is, surprisingly, a crunchy, wee heavy-esque graininess. The biscuit notes from the nose run incredibly deep, quickly trailed by the classic barleywine caramel and dried fruit. These flavors interweave beautifully, all the while the barrel imparts a subtle toasted oak and vanilla character (with very little booze). The flavors ebb and flow, until the caramel steps up-front in the finish, with the intense malt and barrel swimming in the background.

M - This was the biggest surprise of all. For it's intense aroma and flavor, alcohol content, and tenure in bourbon barrels, the body is not gigantic and cloying. It is, however, full, robust, and mouth-coating. Perfect.

O - I honestly cannot think of a way in which this could be any better. The breadth and depth of flavors is astounding, and everything is exactly where it needs to be. Absolutely worth the high price point.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.67/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Mike at the Barleywine tasting.
Copper color, off white head. Big caramel and toffee with big fruit notes. Big boozy alcohol notes are a bit distracting. Great sipper but needs some time to mellow imho.

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Photo of TruePerception
4.27/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The Bruery's Mash, Bourbon barrel aged barleywine. 12.5% ABV.

A: A very clear reddish-sienna in the glass. Almost two fingers of slightly tan, foamy head. Slightly honeyish yellow in the dimple. A constant stream of bubbles rises straight up from the dimple. Light lacing, and decent sheeting.

S: Nutty and caramel up front. An edge of baking spice and piquance. Some slight earthiness, almost akin to mushrooms. Toffee. Not particularly complex, but there is an interesting combination of aromas, and they're all nice.

T/MF: More nuttiness (hazelnut, maybe?), and the caramels have darkened to a dark, char-laced toffee. More earthy/mushroom, joined by a complementing fig flavor. A wash of sweet, barrels caramels as it hits the back of the mouth and tongue. Leaves just a slight bitter char behind. A bit of molasses/tree sap hiding in the background.

Not as big of a beer as I'd hoped, but quite nice.

Poured from a 750mL bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

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Photo of brewaddict
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2015 vintage in a Bruery Tulip

L - Pours a deep burgundy with a cream colored head
S - I get oak and alcohol which give it a peppery smell. A little toffee sweetness
T - The same oak and alcohol flavor with a faint bitter sweet finish
F - a little dry and some heat at the end. Pours syrupy, but it's still medium bodied
O - Not the typical sweetness that you find in a barely wine. But, if you like oak, this one's for you.

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Photo of 51mmz0rz
4.41/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 edition poured from a 22oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Foamy sand colored head with tight bubbles atop a dark brown opaque body.

S: Very deep caramel aromas.

T: Outstanding balance- Rich caramel notes up front followed by a little bite from the alcohol which is cleared away by vanilla barrel flavors. Finishes very crisp.

M: Surprisingly dry beer, mouthfeel isn't super sticky, which I personally like.

O: Overall a really delicious balanced barleywine. Slightly hot, and without some sweetness to balance the alcohol and the bitterness it can feel a little harsh, but I still think it's very very good.

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Photo of JMS1512
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On the docket: 750 mL bottle of Mash by The Bruery bottled: 8/7/15

Poured into: logoed River Horse stemmed snifter

S: A rich dark, syrupy brown-hued body fills out the glass, capped by a quickly rising and receding bone colored head. The bottom of the beer at the base of my glass gives off a honey-gold spot. Lacing is minimal, but the head lingers as a small, perforated ring and a wispy, soapy film on the surface. Carbonation is hard to detect, as the opacity prevents me from seeing any bubbles. I’ll meet up with them in the mouthfeel section, I’m sure.

A: Dear Mash aroma, I love you, let me count the ways… a seductive blend of vanilla, caramel, and treacle greet the senses. Not far behind is a subtle brown bread and raisin. Lastly, a kiss of booze, gentle and belying the 12.5% abv of this malt-driven beauty.

T: I’ll continue to gush about this beer. Much of the aroma carries through to the taste. It’s all there, working together to romance the tongue and the taste buds. Rich creamy vanilla and caramel open the door, the molasses and raisin/fruitcake shows you to your table, and the barrel aging takes your order. I’ll have what I’m having. The time spent in the bourbon barrel is evident, but not overpowering. Very often I’ve found that brewers get carried away with the barrel, and lose the beer. Famille Rue got it just right. It’s decadent, sweet, and woody. Like well-aged spirits, it takes a long time for the burn of the alcohol to develop, nearly seconds later after the initial sip and its journey down the back of your throat. As it warms up, yup, it’s boozier, but it won’t stop me.

F: Finely nuanced carbonation. It provides just enough lift to keep this high-gravity brew from forcing itself on you. Medium + weight, both oily and smooth at the same time. The finish is gentle, but does add some tannic dryness from the barrel, and a gentle bitterness from the hops to keep the sweetness in check.

O: A finely-tuned bourbon barrel-aged English Barleywine. Easy to drink despite its alcohol content. I’ll go out on a limb and say Mash has great potential for aging, perhaps bringing in dark chocolate and port notes as the hops fade away. I had my Mash at roughly 8 months, imagine what a two or three year relationship with your beer cellar might yield. Well worth the price paid.

S: 3.75 A: 4.5 T: 4.75 F: 4.25 O: 4.5

Suggested food pairing: Heavily-blued cheese, hearty beef stew, Crème brûlée, fruit cake (for the few that actually eat it and don’t simply re-gift it as a frozen brick, year after year in family Christmas exchanges), and most definitively as a cocktail beer (on its own).

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.57/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Mash pours good and looks good. The smell goes along with nutty sweetness, some oak and a yummy bourbon nose. Buttery taste, unctuous on the tongue. But then the bourbon flavor disappears, the incredibly thin body destroys the joy and Mash becomes almost a chore to drink.

Enjoyable for a couple of sips, then it gets boring. Needs a bigger body and more barrel presence. Brooklyn's Hand&Seal is a much better option in the barrel-aged barleywine category.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared by Mark last night, thanks dude.

This pours a dark slightly murky brown color with, no head or lacing.

Smells like rich caramel, toffee, bourbon, leather, tobacco, and some very slight hops.

Though this is an English barleywine, I definitely get a bit of bitterness on the finish here that seems like it's hops, but it could just a bitter aspect of the malt, as I do get tobacco and leather from this, as well as more sweet elements like bourbon, oak, caramel, and toffee. I get some fig, too, and a little bit of vanilla. A really good flavor to this one.

There's really not that much heat on this one, which is nice. It's got a sweet and rich mouthfeel, and a normal level of carbonation for 12.5% ABV BA Barleywine, which is low but supportive.

A really nice beer from The Bruery, a super drinkable but complex offering here.

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Photo of DIM
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


The aroma is dominated by barrel characteristics. Boozy vanilla, coconut, and plenty of vaguely tobacco-y wood. I did find some figgy-date fruit and toffee peaking through. A bit too much raw alcohol maybe.

This is a great beer up front. It is lightly sweet and boozy and strikes a nice balance between barrel and barleywine. Rich bourbon blankets sweet, dried fruits, vanilla, and toffee. The finish is a letdown though, too much tingly wood and flowery heat.

This is pretty good overall, but it isn't worth the money.

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Photo of LADaveBN
4.44/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 edition. Pours a beautiful rust color with minimal head and subtle lacing. Nose is caramel apple, toffee, figs, dates, vanilla, oak. Whoa. Taste is similar with the barrel character being dominant. Finish is slightly bitter followed by that sweetness of dried dates on the back of the tongue. Feel is excellent. Slick and chewy adds to the lingering finish. Overall, an excellent BBA English barleywine. Reminds me of FW Double DBA, though not quite as smooth.

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Photo of superspak
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into snifter, bottled on 8/7/2015. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy deep ruby red/brownish color with a 2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of huge caramel, toffee, brown sugar, raisin, plum, apple, fig, date, vanilla, toasted oak, brown bread, coconut, bourbon, and oak/toasted earthiness. Fantastic aromas with awesome balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and bourbon barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of huge caramel, toffee, brown sugar, raisin, plum, apple, fig, date, vanilla, toasted oak, brown bread, coconut, bourbon, and oak/toasted earthiness. Light bourbon/oak spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toffee, brown sugar, raisin, plum, apple, fig, date, vanilla, toasted oak, brown bread, coconut, bourbon, and oak/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and bourbon barrel flavors; with an awesome malt/spiciness balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and very full bodied; with a very smooth, creamy/silky, and slightly slick/sticky balanced mouthfeel that is awesome. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warmth lingering after the finish; with zero booziness. Overall this is an absolutely insane English barelywine syle. All around fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and bourbon barrel flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the huge ABV. An insanely delicious offering.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.24/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

im not sure anyone in the game makes super strong and barrel aged beer as well as the bruery does. all of them are outstanding it seems, and they just keep coming. this looks real dark, rusty brown maybe in the light, but its deep for a barleywine. not much head aside from some bubbling around the rim of the glass. nice to try this on tap too! smells like bourbon, literally like whiskey. not a ton of beer elements to be honest, i get booze, honey, vanilla, maybe some date, and the caramelized grain sweetness, which is as intense as the booze. the whiskey is dialed back a tad in the flavor, which is more developed and round than it smelled like it would be. toffee and raisin, prune and almond, vanilla bean and graham cracker. its delicious and complex, but there is a hot fusel alcohol heat to it that i think shucks its mellowness a bit. more and more as it warms too. there is a ton of wood in here too, i mean, its as wood driven as it is anything else, incredibly rich in that regard, regal, sturdy, earthy, delectable. overall an impressive beer to say the least, but one glass was enough for me. i bet this ages like a champ! maybe ill track a bottle down before they all disappear here in colorado...

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.37/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

-2015. warmed to 45F at start.

A: Beautiful chili powder red coloring with a dense sense of carbonation within. Nice solid foam tan capping 2 fingers strong is resilient in nature. Big chunks of meaty lace adore the vessel leaving a big amount of coverage on the glass.

S: Aroma of sweet light fruit, pear drop yeastiness with apple-plum hints are mixed with a deep caramel malt character. Spicy molasses and raisiny notes with caramel apple glaze and a soft bourbon attribute. Initially good strength, leaves with an average rate of stay.

T: Bourbon tinted caramel apple glaze flavor with a warming spiciness of alcohol laced dark fruit, sultranes, figs and some semi-dry cherries. Post swallow some light mentionable notes of chili powder, peppery-pine warmth, peat with some scotchy alcohol warmth. Pear apple yeastiness, and vanilla rounds out a very good complexity for flavor that was smooth and equally detectable.

M: Good vibes of carbonation, great syrupy consistency. Rich complexity and maltiness, spicy, with a good sense of bourbon alcohol.

O: A solid 4.25+ flavored beer, very good per style, (english), with such a smooth and silky drinkability factor you will have to sample for yourself.

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Photo of LloydDobler
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into 12oz snifter.
Btl date 8/7/15

This was side-by-side with a BCBBW '15 after I poured out one with the same time stamp.

Pours a gloomy rust color with a heavy, tan foam topping. A tiny bit of floating , previous sediment dances around the glass. Nose is toffee and sweet, dark fruit. Sugared raisins and feint caramel are the dominant taste. Thinner feel, but still nice. Not as much barrel characteristic as I expected. Could have grabbed the Hand&Seal instead, but I think I made the right choice.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tulip at The Bruery.

Amber and brown body. Minimal head. Light foamy head and pools of lace over the body. 4.25

Hard to detect much aroma from this but there is a raisin and sticky caramel deal. Very faint for whatever reason. 3.5

Raisin and caramel and tobacco and even some dark chocolate on the finish. Light grape sucker flavor. 4

A bit thin-bodied for my tastes. Effervescent feel on top of that doesn't quite suit my expectations for an English barleywine. Could be thicker and stick to the tongue a bit more. 3.5

I loved the coconut variant of this but this isn't quite up to snuff. Good not great.

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Photo of mschrei
4.46/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

You would think the words English barleywine and bourbon barrel aged would mean big and bad, and while this does present itself that way at the beginning, it certainly mellowed into a pleasant sipper. Poured into a snifter from Unibröue, it is a dark auburn. Tan lacing a companies healthy and consistent carb and foam. Scarce small sediment. The nose is barrel and malt, warning you what is to come. First taste is total barleywine, strong alcohol and smoky barrel follows. Sweet and tangy feeling, very little mouth filling.

I have yet to find something by the Bruery I do not like.

Note-at review time, I had opened this over two hours ago. Going to let the last third of a glass sit to see if room temp changes my thoughts any.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured a seethru brownish body with one finger head and minimal lace. Strong aromas of booze and wood along with notes of vanilla, figs, possible raisins or plums (dark fruits). The barrel aspect lends a smoothness to beer that makes it pass tongue with ease; medium-bodied beer with well-hidden ABV, vanilla sweetness along with notes of toffee/caramel malts and dark fruit flavors (mostly come across as figs and raisins). This beer just clicked for me b/c the sweetness hit my sweet tooth but just the right amount of dark fruits to prevent it from being too sweet and the high ABV is hidden but still gives a kick; I can't say this beer is an incredible and/or complex beer but I really enjoyed it.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.33/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

750ml bottle split between a pair of large snifters. Previous beer was Tweak, so I'm primed for high alcohol, but the style will be a change of pace. B #224 8/7/15 is stamped on the should of the bottle (but it's really frickin' hard to see and find). 2015 edition is on the label.

Pours murky grayish-amber with a medium sized pretty head and moderate amount of fine carbonation. Smell is surprisingly fruity and bright -- I get pears. And alcohol, of course. But not a lot else.

Taste is very woody/oaky, some of that pear flavor (but somewhat muted). Surprisingly sweet and mild. Maybe the most boring Bruery beer I've had. Not bad, just not very interesting.

Mouthfeel is heavy but not too sticky. Overall, not bad, but won't seek it out again.

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Photo of bnes09
4.11/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Deep bronze, mahogany color. Dense cream colored head. Leaves sticky, soap suds-like colored foam all over the glass.

Aroma of figs, dates, oak and vanilla.

Complex palate of dark fruits, coconut, orange rind, vanilla and bourbon. Mild citric hop. Nice balance. Alcohol is mellow and muted.

Dense, heavy body. Sticky mouthfeel. Moderately carbonated. Finishes syrupy.

Good stuff. Complex, flavorful and very enjoyable.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Jun 20th 2014 bottle opened Nov 29th 2015

A - Deep bread crust brown body. Light khaki head pours a finger high with nice retention and low lace.

S - Caramel, prune, cocoa powder, butterscotch, toasted marshmallows, bourbon, brown sugar, and vanilla.

T - Really nice flavor profile. Toasty bread crust, toffee, warm boozy bourbon, vanilla, smooth oak, toasted marshmallows, pecans, and caramel.

M - Smooth medium frame with a sharp boozy edge.

O - A nice "Americanized" (boozed up) take on an English barleywine.

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Photo of corby112
2.24/5  rDev -45%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark copper/chestnut brown color with deep mahogany edges and a three finger frothy beige head that quickly settles into a thick, lasting ring. Decent retention with streaks of soapy lacing clinging to the glass on the way down.

The barrel presence is surprisingly tame and bland in the nose with delicately charred oak, toasted coconut and faint spirit. Shocking considering the Bruery usually pounds you over the head with alcohol in their BA beers. There's mostly just dry toothpick like character here followed by leathery and sweet malt notes. Earthy with some caramel sweetness and a touch of vinous dark fruit. Disappointing.

Unfortunately, there isn't much improvement in the flavor of this beer. Surprisingly thin and watered down with a harsh burnt oak flavor dominating the palate. Very dry and bitter and again, the barrel characteristics aren't all that interesting. Dry toothpick and burnt wood with bland spirit/generic alcohol flavor. After the palate adjusts to the initial shock of overpowering wood, the muted sweet and leathery malt notes come forward a bit. Leathery malt with tobacco and liquid smoke countered by caramel, dark bread, toffee and vinous dark fruit. Hints of fig, raisin and plum coming in on the back end. After the initial heat/bourbon flavor the high ABV is pretty well masked but the overall flavor is harsh and one dimensional. Not really feeling this one. Another over priced disappointment from the Bruery.

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Photo of teromous
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

There's no bottle date that I can see but the bottle says "2015 Edition."

Appearance: The beer has a murky appearance and is the color of dark sweet tea. The head is a short creamy off-white color with hints of tobacco stained yellow. Good lacing on the glass. The beer does not retain a head for long but overall it looks good for a beer with this high of an alcohol content.

Aroma: It has a sweet oak aroma with a faint scent of caramel and brown sugar. No alcohol aroma.

Taste: There is quite a bit of flavor here, mostly a strong but not overpowering bourbon and oak flavor mixed with sweet molasses and a bit of coffee. The alcohol does come through pretty strong here.

Mouthfeel: It has a nice full mouthfeel that is smooth but bites back with a strong alcohol burn. There is a fair amount of roasted bitterness that adds to the roughness. It's not the easiest drinking English Barleywine.

Overall: It's a good barleywine but I would reserve my recommendation to those who really love bourbon. If you don't like bourbon don't pick this up because the largest portion of its flavor profile is constituted by bourbon. Overall I do recommend it though.

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Photo of Jonada
4.16/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2015 vintage. 750 ml bottle poured into a large snifter

Appearance: Pours a murky dark amber-ish red/brown color with 2 fingers of a light tan, creamy head that sticks around for a while and leaves some lacing. Body is almost opaque.

Smell: Dark fruit, burnt sugar, caramel, butterscotch, bourbon, vanilla and some oak.

Taste: Follows the aroma closely. Sweet dark fruits, toffee and caramel with some oaky bourbon and vanilla as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with medium carbonation. Booze is hidden well.

Overall: Really nice barrel aged barleywine. Hits all the points a barrel aged barleywine is supposed to hit. Worth trying if you get the chance.

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Mash from The Bruery
90 out of 100 based on 64 ratings.