Mash & Grind
The Bruery

Mash & GrindMash & Grind
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Barleywine - English
Ranked #27
Ranked #1,547
4.23 | pDev: 8.27%
The Bruery
California, United States
Mash & GrindMash & Grind
Notes: An English-style classic with rich flavors from time spent aging in Bourbon barrels, plus fresh roasted coffee from Portola Coffee Lab.
Reviews: 58 | Ratings: 475 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of rodbeermunch
rodbeermunch from Nevada

4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Man springtime is rough, the last couple of days I've been sleepy after lunch. I think this beer would pick me right up.

Pours a rich brown looking color with amber on the edges. 1/3" beige head. Pretty. The aroma, oh man, so much coffee, if you've ever had a beer with Portola coffee, they come hard, when I think of the biggest coffee noses and flavors in beer, they drop it like its hot coffee. Its here and pungent, and only after that can you find a pleasant compliment of bourbon behind it. Damn good.

Taste is almost as good. Bourbon more present, but still second fiddle. The oak is nice, its not drying oak, its just a little hint of creamer (vanilla) and wooden pairing to keep the beer nuanced yet powerful. I swear its not hot, drinks so effortlessly for something so huge. Stuff like this is what Bruery does best. Big double digit beers in bourbon barrels that pair so well with a cigar. Damn I'm making myself wanna crack one of these tonight. Hints of chocolate, maris, bourbon and oak to compliment some hefty coffee notes all day long. World class mang.

May 05, 2020
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

4.09/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottled 10/27/14; drank 8/8/15 @ Harvest Hop Haus.

Muddy brown appearance.

Small khaki head; minimal lace.

Black coffee, smoke & milk chocolate notes in the nose.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Chocolate syrup & black coffee flavors up front; burnt firewood & bakers chocolate notes on the finish. Booze heat emerged as this warmed.

A dark, unforgiving RIS vibe here; challenging but very enjoyable.

May 12, 2019
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Sabtos from Ohio

3.78/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Burnt caramel with a bubbly tan ring--if not for which it would look like straight bourbon.

Smell has a sharp acidic or spicy coffee almost hinting at pepper, with musty bourbon oak, rich caramel and hot prune.

Taste is more smooth and rich than expected, with caramel, tingly bourbon, and oak. Heat begins to rise, and then a hint of cola and raisin come in.

This is a sticky, medium bodied delight with a dry finish. A little weird to drink in the blazing sunlight on the patio, but I ain't mad at it.

2014 vintage

Jul 17, 2017
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macrosmatic from Florida

4.29/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Feb 19, 2017
Photo of rand
rand from California

3.43/5  rDev -18.9%
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.

Sep 23, 2016
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cvm4 from Mississippi

4.26/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

May 10, 2016
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mothman from Minnesota

3.86/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

Jan 09, 2016
Photo of Treyliff
Treyliff from West Virginia

4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
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

Dec 24, 2015
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vfgccp from New York

3.3/5  rDev -22%
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.

Nov 29, 2015
Photo of zeff80
zeff80 from Missouri

4.41/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle. Poured out a clear, amber color with a small, khaki-colored head of foam. It smelled of toffee, coffee, vanilla and oak. Sweet toffee, caramel and bourbon taste with hints of coffee.

Aug 23, 2015
Photo of Domvan
Domvan from Texas

4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
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

Aug 11, 2015
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W_Des from North Carolina

4.59/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

Jul 26, 2015
Photo of Bugs318
Bugs318 from Canada

4.29/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Jun 19, 2015
Photo of GreesyFizeek
GreesyFizeek from New York

2.35/5  rDev -44.4%
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.

Jun 01, 2015
Photo of ljjpowers
ljjpowers from California

3.85/5  rDev -9%
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.

Jun 01, 2015
Photo of JohnCassillo
JohnCassillo from California

4.31/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

Apr 13, 2015
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johnInLA from California

3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

Apr 05, 2015
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SpeedwayJim from New York

3.89/5  rDev -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.

Apr 01, 2015
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Davepoolesque from Massachusetts

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.

Mar 31, 2015
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SHODriver from North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

Feb 21, 2015
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ThePaleRider from California

3.79/5  rDev -10.4%
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.

Jan 02, 2015
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Beersnake1 from California

4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

Dec 30, 2014
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dalahodson from California

3.84/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

Dec 28, 2014
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champ103 from Texas

3.25/5  rDev -23.2%

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.

Sep 01, 2014
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chugalug06 from Colorado

3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

Jul 26, 2014
Mash & Grind from The Bruery
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 475 ratings