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Mash - The Bruery

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

42 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 42
Hads: 392
Avg: 4.01
pDev: 26.68%
Wants: 44
Gots: 116 | FT: 25
Brewed by:
The Bruery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  12.50% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: notchucknorris on 07-09-2013

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.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 42 | Hads: 392
Photo of corby112
2.24/5  rDev -44.1%
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 Rifugium
3.02/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hazy light brown pour, with a thin layer of white bubbles on top. In the aroma, wood, toasted cereal grains, caramel, rusty metal. A lot of barrel in the taste, almost too much, very woody, grainy malts, stale bready sugars. Body was light-medium. Just not what I'm interested in for the style.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.24/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 3

Bottle, thanks to Abraham.

Pouring a clear mahogany with a dense, light brown head with decent retention and lacing, this looks decent. The nose opens with a big burst of toffee and floral notes, along with a pronounced bourbon note and a particularly strong oak character. The base beer seems strangely underwhelming, with a rather dull cereal/Cheerio malt character, some fruit (pear?), toasted coconut and burnt toast. On paper, that sounds like an interesting blend - and it is - but this is just rather disjointed.

The palate opens with a blend of bourbon and sweetness and washes that up with some oak. As disjointed as the nose was, the palate's worse. A pleasant enough barrel character is present, with vanilla, coconut and overbearing oak. Toffee, burnt caramel and a moderate fruitiness are present on the mid-palate. I can't understate how disappointing the finish is. Boozy, tannic and disappointingly watery, there is very little redeeming about this aspect.. The wateriness alone makes me dump the entire damn thing. There's some lingering floral and coconut present. Medium in body with a slick carbonation, this is rather disappointing.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.33/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep brown. Small off white head. Thick collar.

Smell - Bourbon and brown sugar. Smells like a sugar bomb. Vanilla.

Taste - Bourbon and booze. Brown sugar. Caramel malts. More sugar. Boozy and sweet in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy body. Boozy. Medium carbonation. Sluggish.

Overall - Yet another Bourbon brown sugar bomb from the Bruery. This one is tiring, though.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.44/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Got this one and M&G from claaark13. Cheers for the b-wine theme dude!

From a bottle into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Pours a 1+ finger, medium, fluffy, crackly, off-white head with good retention. Clear burgundy brown in color with lower amounts of carbonation evident. Head quickly fades to a half wisp and ring. A ring and a half wisp remains until the end leaving touches of lacing down the glass. Nice color, but head is definitely sub par.

SMELL: Bourbon, oak, coconut, vanilla with toffee and butterscotch on the nose. Bold and barrel forward, but not out of wack. Caramel and light red fruits as well. Enticing.

TASTE: Nice oak, vanilla, coconut and bourbon up front with some toffee and butterscotch sweetness through the middle into the swallow. Big finish of barrel, oak, red fruit sweetness and coconut with some butterscotch as well. Bourbon barrel and alcohol underneath, but well measured. Tasty. Too bad the feel is a little bubbly, as that huts the experience a bit.

PALATE: Thinner body and lighter on the palate. Slightly higher levels of carbonation, a touch prickly, goes down okay and finishes slightly mouth-coating. A bit of a burn and some heat lingers. Too light and not creamy enough, unfortunately.

OVERALL: This is an enjoyable, well-balanced barleywine. The barrel is nice and the base beer holds its own underneath. Unfortunately the feel is too light and prickly for the style, which hurts the experience overall, but besides that issue, this is a quality beer worth checking out. Cheers claaark13.

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Photo of chugalug06
3.62/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Moderate lacing. Lots of dense, yet fast moving, straw foamy head. Brew is VERY dark for a BWine.

Super sugary aroma, Toasty caramel. Kinda bland and generic.

Ho-hum. Flavors are kinda weird and forced. Vanilla is strange. Nothing really stands above the vanilla... Caramel, leathery, rustic, (ever-so-slightly) metallic, white grape-y... Nice strong carbonation, funky forced sweetness with mild rubbery after taste.

Eh. there's just something not hitting me right. It's a good beer, just not a memorable one. I won't seek again @ $20. Aroma is just flat-out too much and unmelded. Too English of an English.

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Photo of teromous
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
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 popery
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The beer is a deep rosy brown with a tan head. The liquid is quite clear with no apparent sediment. There’s a lot of nice bouncing around in the aroma. I’m getting toffee, molasses, vanilla, mild citrus, coconut, caramel and dates. It’s maybe a bit too sweet and simple, without quite as much depth and chewiness as you might want, but it’s not too hot and there’s a lot of very pleasant interplay of malt and bourbon. The taste starts big and sweet with coconut, vanilla and toffee/butterscotch/caramel, and then has a spicy, woody middle and lingering oaky finish. A little bit of booze at the end. Mouthfeel is medium full. Could be a bit chewier. It’s a solid barrel-aged barleywine, but it just doesn’t have the darker, richer notes of the top of the style.

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Photo of IKR
3.81/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2013 Vintage

Appearance: Medium-brown color with red highlights when held up to the light.Moderate light beige head that slowly faded.

Smell: Brown sugar, toffee, and mild bourbon. Nice aroma but not much of it.

Taste: Brown sugar, toffee, and mild Bourbon notes. Some hints of oak and hops creep through in the finish. The alcohol is mild for something 12.5% ABV. Has a slightly bitter finish.

Mouth-feel: On the light side of medium-bodied with a moderate level of carbonation.

Overall: Good beer that I feel a little age may do it good.

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Photo of rand
3.86/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From 750 mL bottle to snifter

A: Cola-brown in color but completely opaque, a small wispy head never fully recedes.

S: Booze and toffee and oak anchor the bouquet, accompanied by unusual notes of grape and berries. Quite the mashup.

T: The usual BBA barleywine notes at first, but there are unusual fruit notes all over the place. I suspect it's esters from a yeast not typically used in barelywines. Apple juice, grape, maybe ripe banana and pear. Oak and booze keep things from getting too sweet, but it still closes with a long sweet finish.

M: Thin mouthfeel for the ABV and style.

An interesting and ambitious brew with a lot going on, but the fruity, ester-y aspect aren't aligned enough with the base flavors for this to be knock-you-on-your-ass delicious.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Practically black in the glass, more of a deep clear ruby when pouring. A one finger off white head.

S-Good deal of bourbon. Very malty. Caramel, vanilla, chocolate, roasted notes and oak.

T-Starts with bourbon, malt, some chocolate and vanilla. Not much bitterness, but what you'd expect from an English Barleywine.

M-Lighter, not much carbonation, flat finish and a tad watery.

O-A good BA Barleywine. But nowhere near Abacus and the like.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to Skuter/scribe594/ChewyLewy for sharing this one at Tieman's tasting.

Pours a hazy orange-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, caramel, bourbon, wood, and slight metallic aromas. Taste is much the same with caramel and bourbon flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of woody bitterness and an alcohol kick on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer but the slight metallic aroma I am getting is odd.

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Photo of emyers
3.96/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a Great Lakes snifter.

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy amber-brown with a thin off-white lacing. No real head on this one.

Smell: Bourbon, oak, caramel, vanilla, fruity Belgian yeast. Definite alcohol presence in the nose, but it doesn't detract much if at all.

Taste: First impression is...confusing. Big blast of fruity yeast clashing with sweet caramel, some bourbon, and a lot of alcohol. Luckily after a few sips it calmed down quite a bit and settled into a much more drinkable blend of bourbon and caramel malt with the yeast taking more of a back seat. Still that first taste threw me off a bit, and ultimately the flavor doesn't keep the same balance as is present in the smell.

Mouthfeel: Quite full-bodied, medium to low carbonation.

Overall: The first sip threw me for a loop, but after that it settled down into a great beer.

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Photo of notchucknorris
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep brown color with a 1/2 finger tan head. Some light lace down the glass, but this definitely appears light. Not the syrupy mass I was expecting given the ABV.

S: Right away, I can pick up some good barrel notes, but they're not overpowering in any way. Caramel, burnt brown sugar, toasted coconut, milk chocolate, vanilla and fig. Very nice.

T: Very sweet upfront, with notes of caramel, date,molasses, raisin, burnt marshmallow, and bourbon. Finish brings some light oak and a touch of dryness and alcohol. The mouthfeel is very light, which was a little off-putting for me. Other than that, this is really nice.

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Photo of dbc5
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750 ml bottle poured into 10 ounce Kentucky Bourbon Stout Snifter

A: Pours dark brown with some amber hues around the edges of the glass. A surprising 1.5 finger khaki head rises, then slowly recedes. A creamy froth is left atop the glass with a fair amount of lacing for a big barleywine. This is a nice looking beer.

S: Smell is big on brown sugar and molasses up front, which are some of my favorite flavors in an English Barleywine. Some alcohol is perceptible, although this doesn't come across as a bourbon bomb from the nose. The barrel is definitely there though. Getting more caramel and toffee aromas as it warms. The aroma profile is what I am looking for in my English Barleywines.

T: Burnt caramel upfront and some brown sugar sweetness, though this isn't as sweet on the palate as the nose suggested. There is a slightly harsh alcohol presence that is somewhat distracting. This doesn't come across as a bourbon alcohol but instead a byproduct of fermentation. I think some additional time in the bottle will do this well. Definitely getting some oak contribution.

M: I would probably classify this as medium mouthfeel. I prefer my barleywines to be a bit thicker. Carbonation is moderate.

O: This is a decent barleywine, but I think it needs a bit of time for the alcohol to mellow. The nose left me wanting a bit more from this beer.

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Photo of SHODriver
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured into a snifter to a deep brown topped by a finger and a half of dense off white head that fades to a small pool and leaves decent lacing
S: smells of caramel, leather, a little dark fruit, vanilla and bourbon barrel
T: taste is fairly barrel forward with some whiskey notes of caramel, vanilla, oak, a little dark fruit, some nice right maltyness. swallow is a little boozy with more bourbon barrel notes, caramel, slight coconut, and dark fruit. slightly chocolatey at times as well.
M: lighter than you'd expect in the mouth as this one sits right about medium on the palate with soft carbonation that's just slightly prickly with a drying finish from the alcohol.
O: Overall, I feel that Mash & Grind is a better beer. It has more complexity and while the base is really good it doesn't seem to quite be able to stand up on its own and for the price it should. The complexity of this beer is good and the flavors are rock solid though. This beer is definitely one to sip throughout an evening.

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Photo of stakem
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml into a matching Bruery snifter. The brew appears a dark mahogany brown with a finger of khaki head about a finger strong. The cap fades back leaving patchy lace on the glass.

The aroma contains a mixture of fruity/floral hops with raison, molasses and toffee malt sweetness all blending together quite nicely. Some dark fruity alcohol sweetness is also present.

The taste includes notes of fruity/floral hops and alcohol upfront. Some toasty grain like molasses, raisins, toffee and dark sugary sweetness almost like candy sugar all
come into play with follow-up sips. It is quite boozy as it warms up but not outlandish for a beer of 12.5% strength.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. A very nice barleywine with solid balance between malt, alcohol and hops. Admittedly, I drank this entire bottle myself and only while pouring the last glass did I read that this was aged in bourbon barrels. By no means is the barrel aging obvious.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared with the guys last night. Served alongside Mash and Grind.

The beer is light brown with a touch of crimson. Small beige head that settles around 1/8 inch. The aroma brings bourbon, malt, toffee, caramels, burnt sugar, oak. Nice flavor, following the aroma. A bit of alcohol heat in the finish, but really, the alcohol is well hidden for the most part. A really nice brew to sip and savor. Solid.

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Photo of metter98
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear dark amber in color and has a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high off white head that died down, leaving a large patch of bubbles on the surface, a collar around the edge, and considerable lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of toasted oak and vanilla from the bourbon barrel aging are present in the nose.
T: The taste follows the smell, having additional hints of coconuts and toffee. No bitterness is perceptible.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. No stickiness is noticeable.
O: The beer does a remarkable job at hiding the alcohol from the taste—the only hints I get that this is a strong beer are from the bourbon.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle opened on 1.5.14
Bottled on 05/24/13

A - Pours a medium cola brown with a pleasant mixed tan head that fades away slowly.

S - Caramel, malt, brown sugar, some alchol heat.

T - Caramel and toffee, sweet. Hot in the finish.

D - Good carbonation with a heavy body.

O - Sweet and nice, a touch of heat in the back end, but I enjoyed it.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml, 5/24/13

A: Deep ruby reddish brown. It's actually not that cloudy. Holding up to the light, seems somewhat clear in appearance. Layer of light tan head. Some sticky lacing. More carbonation initially than I was expecting.

S: Vanilla. Toffee. Caramel. Oak. Light booze. Sweet malts. Dark fruits, prunes and raisin.

T: Not as aggressive as I thought it was gonna be. On the tip of the tongue, pulling toffee and caramel. Sweetness from the malts. Not a lot of oak tannic character. Finish is fairly long. Lingering toffee and dark fruit.

M: Full bodied beer. Fairly chewy. Thinner than I guess I was expecting

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Photo of mdfb79
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From 09/08/13 notes. Got this in the RS this year and opened side by side with Mash & Grind. 750ml bottle poured into a taster glass.

a - Pours a deep reddish mahogany brown color with one to two inches of off wheat head and high carbonation evident. Looks pretty nice.

s - Smells of caramel malts, toffee, sweet dark fruits, light bourbon, oak, toasted malts, bread, light coconut, light alcohol, and vanilla. Nice nose, loads of caramel.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, toffee, sweet fruity malts, oak, vanilla, bourbon, raisins, brown sugar, molasses, toasted malts, coconut, and alcohol. More bourbon as it warms up, and more dark fruits.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Little bit of alcohol heat but not too bad for 12.5 ABV.

o - Overall a nice bourbon barrel aged barleywine. The bourbon isn't overpowering, but it is there, and there is a ton of caramel throughout it. More bourbon as it warms up, and some sweet fruits in the taste. Good, but I liked M&G a lot more, so glad I bought 2 of that.

I also did as the Bruery suggested and mixed this with M&G...fun, but I think 100% M&G is still the best.

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Photo of hman43
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma: High malty and sweet. It smells of caramel, bread, and dark fruits.

Appearance: It is fairly clear as it warms, brown with ruby hues and an off white tanish head.

Flavor: It has citrus fruit flavors, molasses, caramel, bread with an aggressive hop bitterness.

Mouthful: There is a fair amount of alcohol warming that is a little more pronounced for my taste. It is full bodied.

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Photo of BWood
4.14/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pretty good ba barleywine. I'm more of a fan of BCBBA. But this one is still good. As it warms the bourbon comes through more. I would suggest letting it sit a bit before drinking

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Photo of Jonada
4.16/5  rDev +3.7%
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
89 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.