Mash & Grind | The Bruery

54 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Mash & GrindMash & Grind

Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
An English-style classic with rich flavors from time spent aging in Bourbon barrels, plus fresh roasted coffee from Portola Coffee Lab.

Added by IKR on 07-06-2013

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 54 | Ratings: 467
Photo of macrosmatic
4.29/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed from notes. This was a 2013 vintage bottle, consumed on 10/30/16. Poured from a 750 mL bottle into an El Catador Barrel-Aged glass.

A: Quite hazy to turbid, and ruddy rich coffee brown. Forms a thin tan head that fades quickly, as does the initial blush of visible carbonation.

S: Coffee and bourbon up front. Toffee and caramel, oak and vanilla. Fainter dark fruits and raisins. Sweet molasses and brown sugars are only partially balanced by the dry tannins. Overall it comes across as sweet and boozy, but not cloying or singeing off nose hair. Nice, and I'm glad to see the coffee aroma has held up well through the years.

T: Coffee, bourbon and oak. While still a big flavor, the coffee isn't quite as strong as the nose suggested. Then some toasted caramel, toffee, and vanilla. Sticky brown sugar, and just mild booze-soaked raisins. Toasted malt sweetness. More coffee and caramel sweetness in the hang with mild bourbon flavors.

M: Average body for style, though the low carbonation sensation makes it seem a little thinner. The alcohol is extraordinarily well-hidden. This doesn't taste anything like 12.5%.

O: Really enjoyable. Very well-balanced coffee/bourbon/oak flavors, and the alcohol is scarily hidden. Maybe not the best barrel-aged barleywine I’ve ever had, but one that I wouldn’t hesitate to drink again.

 1,343 characters

Photo of rand
3.43/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle to snifter. 2014 batch, opened the day of this post

Dark-brown in appearance, more like a porter than a barleywine. Wispy head recedes quickly, leaving scant lacing.

Nose is roasty coffee and distinct boozy bourbon, accented by caramel and earthy grains.

Flavor profile is overwhelmed by booze and coffee. Some notes of vanilla and carob try to sneak through, but swatted back by boozy, bitter aspects. Finishes long and boozy hot, sticky lingering residuals between sips.

Too much coffee in this one to be enjoyable. From the reviews I was hoping some of the coffee notes would have better integrated, but this is kind of a coffee-bomb.

 661 characters

Photo of cvm4
4.26/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage

L - Pours an opaque brown body with a dark tan one finger head. Good lacing and retention.

S - Coffee and bourbon intermingle up front. Behind that, getting some oak, vanilla and toffee.

T - Still some big coffee notes that's followed up by bourbon, vanilla, oak and toffee. Every flavor is well integrated.

F - Full bodied and medium carbonation. Has a dry finish. Not sweet either, which really lets the flavors pop.

O - Mash is already a very solid beer, add coffee and it only gets better.

 516 characters

Photo of mothman
3.86/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2013 bottle.

This is a very odd beer because the first pours out of the bottle tasted nothing like the bottom pours.

White head. Ruby copper color (bottom pours were murky brown).

The main coffee flavors have dropped off leaving a green pepper flavor. The bottom of the beer provided a different experience. Big bourbon and oak. The coffee shows more. Roasty. Vanilla. Malty.

 379 characters

Photo of Treyliff
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage, 750ml bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours a deep brown color with a foamy off-white head that retains shortly, before disappearing

S- big mix of coffee and bourbon aromas up front, with notes of caramel/toffee, wood, vanilla, dark chocolate, brown sugar & molasses

T- big boozy sweet caramel hits the palate up front, followed by notes of brown sugar, molasses, raisin, fig, bourbon & wet barrel, hint of coconut. Plenty of bourbon on the linger

M- medium heavy body with moderate carbonation leads to a foamy and slightly chewy mouthfeel and a slightly boozy finish

O- a big malt bomb with plenty of bourbon notes, the coffee addition is an added bonus, a nice sipper

 690 characters

Photo of vfgccp
3.3/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Originally ticked fresh on tap at 4.45.

Sep 8th 2014 bottle, opened Nov 29th 2015

A - Deep burnt sienna. Creamy bone white head with nice retention and ok lace.

S - Dry dusty cold brewed coffee, chalky bitter dark chocolate, and ash.

T - Meh. Very similar to the nose. Dusty coffee, chalky chocolate, and dry ash. Tangy fruit and chicory finish.

M - Medium-light body. Funky finish.

O - The coffee really didn't hold up well. Be sure to drink this fresh.

 466 characters

Photo of Domvan
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

An awesome beer all around, the full bodied caramel mouthfeel of this brew was excellent from start to finish. The booze was evident, but not as forward as most their brews

 172 characters

Photo of W_Des
4.59/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours rich leather brown with big coffee and Bourbon aromas in the nose. The body is especially tasty with coffee upfront followed by sweet toffee and raisins and finishing with some nice bourbon booziness.

 206 characters

Photo of Bugs318
4.29/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Lightly hazy, mahogany brown with a reddish-tinge. Capped by a nice soapy white head of massive bubbles. Some retention, with whisps of lace, but not substantially so.
S: Lots of coffee, vanilla, oak, bourbon, caramel all sort of mashed together. Smells kind of like the insides of a truffle with espresso, vanilla, and caramel stuffed inside - with just a trace of something discernible as chocolate.
T: Sweetish up front with caramel, before a coffee middle, and a bourbony, hot finish. The coffee notes, however, taste as if the coffee is pretty stale, unfortunately.
F: Medium-low carbonation, and a bit thicker than medium body. Heat hits the back of the throat and lingers, alongside a bit of coffee.
O: A nice treat, but not something I could see myself returning to often.

 788 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
2.35/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Bottle shared by Barry the other night.

This one pours a nice golden brown, with no head or lacing.

Smells really funky, and infected, unfortunately. Green pepper, some coffee, and a sort of rotting vegetable thing that's super unpleasant.

I can sorta see what this beer was supposed to be, but it's really hard to get past the infection here. There's a small amount of coffee flavor, but just tons of rotted green pepper flavor, and some slight buttery diacetyl. It's just unpleasant and hard to drink. There's a slight red-wine like tartness too.

This is medium bodied, with a slightly buttery and syrupy mouthfeel, and a lower level of carbonation. Hard to drink.

This was incredibly disappointing.

 706 characters

Photo of ljjpowers
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

As an avid fan of the Bruery (and Portola), I couldn't have been more excited to try this beer. Poured into a tulip glass. Color was a beautiful light brown which showed a rose shade when held up to light (brandy almost). Smelled of coffee, bourbon, toffee, caramel, alcohol. Taste was coffee forward but not overwhelming. Lingering aftertaste of alcohol and bitterness (almost dark chocolate). Overall, quite good. Would drink again. May choose not to buy again.

 463 characters

Photo of JohnCassillo
4.31/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Typically, I'm not a huge barleywine fan, and yet, this one really hits it out of the park. Great balance of coffee and bourbon, and of course, that nice malty and earthy undertone that I usually pick up in a good barleywine. You can definitely taste the booziness here, but not at all a bad thing. The barrel oak and bourbon provide so many interesting notes as you drink, and as it warms, those flavors play even better with the coffee.

Great on draft or in bottles. Highly recommended.

 490 characters

Photo of john0721
3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, pours dark brown with an off white head.

The nose is strongly coffee.

The flavor starts strong coffee and brown sugar, some caramel and vanilla kick in.

The coffee in the nose overwhelms everything else. The flavor is more balanced. The coffee and brown sugar dominate the flavor but play well together. More flavors kick in adding to the complexity.

 367 characters

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.89/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

750ml capped bottle into a Cigar City snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a rich, 1 finger light cream colored head with good retention. Beer is a cloudy, dark, muddy brown. Lacing is thick and layered with nice stick and oily, sticky legs. Head, lace and legs are nice... color is suspect.

Nose is cold-press coffee, booze, hazelnut, roast and wood. Rich and aromatic.

Opens coffee beans mixed with molasses, brown sugar and booze. Some nutty bitter and sweetness in the middle. Hints of hazelnut shell, cocoa powder, peat and wood towards the end. Finishes boozy with coffee beans, cocoa powder and coarse brown sugar. Really complex and different.

Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Mostly smooth with some bubbles in the mouth and goes down prickly and boozy. Finishes messy with a filmy, lingering aftertaste. Could be smoother.

Sweetness isn't usually something that Bruery beers lack... but this happens to be one of them. The coffee bitterness goes nicely with the roast, oak and booze but I could use a bit more malt body to balance this one out. Decent but not great.

 1,089 characters

Photo of Davepoolesque
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark mahogany in color. Fairly opaque in appearance. Cold brewed coffee smell, roasted beans. Not too sweet. Balanced. No one overt flavor rises above another.

 163 characters

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

A: poured into a snifter to a muddy brown with a finger and a half of dense khaki head that retains well and leaves decent lacing considering the ABV
S: smells of coffee, some chocolate, wood, vanilla, caramel and whiskey
T: taste is slightly coffee forward, bourbon barrel with some caramel and vanilla, rich maltyness, some chocolate, oak. swallow is a pretty big blast of bourbon barrel goodness with some more rich caramel malt flavors, chocolate and coffee. slight boozy alcohol on the swallow as well but it's fairly well hidden.
M: this beer is on the heavier side of medium with a smooth mouthfeel and a just barely prickly level of carbonation. the beer has a somewhat drying finish from the ABV.
O: Overall this beer is pretty intense. the coffee is a very nice addition to the beer, the complexity is awesome and the flavors are top notch. the alcohol does start to get a little too forward after a few drinks. Definitely a sipper as that keeps the alcohol from coming out too much.

 1,005 characters

Photo of ThePaleRider
3.79/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Taste much better than the original, but the coffee was a little strong for my taste. If you're a huge coffee fan this is for you because it tastes like a really strong cup of joe.

 180 characters

Photo of Beersnake1
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Cracked at fridge temp and poured into snifter. Vintage 2014, so this has been aged for a couple of years. Coffee aromas dominate upon opening. Almost no carbonation....just coffee coffee coffee. Nose is coffee and some nice malts. Not detecting much bourbon. Also getting some cherries. Taste is also coffee, but definite bitterness comes through. I don't think has gone bad from age, but it's definitely tasting a bit different. I really like it, but I also like dark bitter coffee. Barrel is overshadowed. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but overall a fantastic beer.

 563 characters

Photo of dalahodson
3.84/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. The color is a copper red with a small tan head. The smell is a little strong on the bourbon side with a hint of Carmel malt. The mouth feel is sweet with a slight bitter finish. The favors are Carmel malts dried fruit and pine. There is a bourbon flavor in this brew but it's not overpowering.

 335 characters

Photo of champ103
3.25/5  rDev -21.3%

A: Pours a dark brown, nearly opaque. A beige head forms with good retention and plenty of lace.
S: Toasted malts, vanilla, and barrel aromas. Then an overwhelming coffee grounds. Which takes over, and makes everything bitter and acrid.
T: Again, toasted malts, chocolate and vanilla. Light barrel, and over barring coffee grounds. Bitter and acrid coffee takes over in the finish.
M/D: A full body with moderate to high carbonation. A bit higher, and more prickly than the base for some reason. Big warming alcohol, and a slow sipper at that.

The base beer is much more subtle. Everything from the wonderful malts to the barrel work in tandem, but here the coffee overwhelms. It is just bitter, acrid, coffee grounds in the finish.

 748 characters

Photo of chugalug06
3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Slow rising oatmeal colored head takes it time to fall back. Brew is deep translucent brown. Minimal lacing.

Solid vanilla, oak, *slight* smokey hazelnut, cocoa, char, awesomeness. I hate hazelnut anything, but this is nice. Dense caramel.

Pretty harsh, not as smooth as the aroma. Lots of dry barky bitterness. Coffee has faded nicely, not sure I could handle this brew fresh... Loads of chalky vanilla. Bourbon takes a back burner. Carbonation is strong and takes over. Harsh, unblended, perhaps it needed more time to "rest"? No sweetness.

Starts out damn amazing and sadly fades into something less than forgettable... Not sure I'd recommend @ $25. Nice, but kinda harsh flavors and drinkability.

 706 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.92/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Brown body. Ruby red when held up to a candle. Nice off-white head. Thick collar.

Smell - Rich coffee. No acidity. Bourbon. Vanilla. Caramel. But mostly coffee and barrel.

Taste - Bourbon more prominent. Vanilla also. Brown sugar and caramel sweetness. The coffee is less rich, but strong. Blends right into an oaky bitterness in the end.

Mouthfeel - So this will sound weird, but it isn't thick and sweet enough. It could use a bit of body.

Overall - A vast improvement over Mash. The coffee is a fantastic addition.

 573 characters

Photo of Jeffo
3.22/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Got this one from claaark13 a while back. Cheers dude! Drank this one the day after Mash, so some comparisons will be drawn.

From a 750 into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Basically the same as the base. 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: Good amount of coffee and sweet cream initially. Bourbon is there, with oak, coconut, vanilla and toffee notes from the base beer. Bold, though the coffee masks the complexity of the base beer a bit. Still interesting.

TASTE: Less coffee than the nose had lead on, but it's there for sure. Bourbon, oak and vanilla up front with roasted coffee beans as well. Toffee and caramel sweetness from the base beer moves into the swallow, followed by a big and lingering aftertaste of bourbon, oak, vanilla, caramel and toffee sweetness, as well as some grainy, slightly roasted coffee bitterness. Coffee beans linger with some bourbon sweetness and a touch of alcohol. Enjoyable as well, though the light, prickly palate huts.

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: Pretty good, though not all that special. The coffee is a little dominant in the nose, which slightly hurts the complexity of the regular barreled version, and the feel is still too light and prickly to really support what's going on. An interesting enough beer and a fun set to try, but not something worth writing home about. Really happy to give them a try though, so thanks again claaark13. Always fun!

 1,924 characters

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.91/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle opened on 1.12.14

A - Pours a dark brown with an active tan head that bubbles away quickly.

S - Stong coffee grounds, a hint of broubon, not much else under the strong coffee.

T - Super strong coffee grounds, really hard to pick up much else under all the coffee.

D - Good carbonation with a heavier body.

O - So much coffee, it totally dominates the entire beer. A bit one sided for my liking.

 407 characters

Photo of stakem
3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml into a matching Bruery snifter. The brew appears a clouded brown with a finger of tan suds that fades to a thin penline of lace around the perimeter of the glass. Spotty lace sticks all over the walls of the glass.

The aroma is chock full of dusty and musty coffee, borderline stale coffee but its strangely unique and somewhat enjoyable. More smells reveal a sort of fruity chocolate covered raisins appeal with a molasses addition. Chocolate and alcohol come out even more as it warms.

The taste is boozy yet fruity sweet like raisins. The coffee inclusion is much more enjoyable in the flavor than the aroma leads on. It boasts an earthen appeal that blends from roast to fruity/floral. Some malty suggestions of molasses and toffee with an herbal hop contrast.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. An interesting variation from the base mash brew. Its deeply complex but the coffee addition is strangely dusty and spoiled but it works to make the brew different. Like mash, this one hardly showcases the barrel aging which is a bit of a disappontment.

 1,093 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Mash & Grind from The Bruery
4.13 out of 5 based on 467 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.