Mash | The Bruery

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Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States

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

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Reviews: 74 | Ratings: 549
Photo of Flounder57
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle was poured into stemless wine glass.

Appearance: A one finger off white head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is an amber crimson color with good clarity when held up to a light. Spotty lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Caramel, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, coconut, dark fruits, raisins, and nice warm alcohol.

Taste: Nice mixture of above aromas. Silky, creamy, light bitterness, somewhat chewy notes, and nice subtle warm alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Silky, creamy, smooth, medium carbonation, medium bodied, warm alcohol, light bitterness, balanced, and light chewy notes.

Overall: 2015 bottle has aged well and brought out good flavors. I'll look forward to more aged versions of this beer.

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Photo of BergBeer
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: Translucent amber with a thick eggshell head. Mild activity. Plenty of lacing.

Smell: Molasses, warm vanilla, crisp green apple, sharp overripe pear, honey covered dates, caramelized raisins, boozy vanilla bourbon, dried figs, and rich deep oak.

Feel: Big bodied. Sticky sweet. Dominates the palate. Moderate booze with a prickly carbonation on the tongue.

Overall: Wow. This is a big, deep, and complex brew. Waves of flavor envelop the palate with each new note crashing on the palate and giving way to a new note. Yet by the finish all the notes meld to make one beauty of a barleywine. Special not to the rich oak. Outstanding

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Photo of 57md
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a brownish copper with well over a finger of head. The nose has distinct notes of bourbon. The flavor lacks the malty sweetness that is indicative of this style. There is a residual sweetness upfront that likely comes from the bourbon but the finish is quite dry - perhaps too dry for the style.

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Photo of KensWorld
4.61/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Quite different than expected. Bourbon forward. Somewhat tart without any of the typical sweetness expected in this style. Actually refreshing and easy drinking. Will seek out again.

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Photo of CHickman
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Split the bomber, it pours cloudy copper brown color with a foamy 1 finger beige colored head that was full of tiny bubbles and faded slowly, leaving really nice spotty lacing.

Smells of bourbon, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, piney hops, maple syrup, sweet malt, orange peel, graham cracker and all things malty. Really nice to inhale.

Tastes of toffee, caramel, bourbon, brown sugar, sweet malt, toffee, vanilla, oaky notes, dark fruits and maple syrup. Really damn smooth and complex, the malts are rich and bring out a tremendous amount of barrel aged favors. True to the English barleywine style there seemed to be great balance between malt and hops, but they were both pushed to the side so the bourbon barrels could be the star of the show.

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Photo of OrangeMen
4.34/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2015 vintage
~1 year from bottling date

Appearance- Pours a murky, muddy brown color, hazy. Half finger thick, off white colored head, soapy bubbles. Alcohol legs coat glass, some spotty head lacing clings as well.

Aroma- Toasty malts, huge rich caramel, mild molasses, and brown sugar sweetness. Mild bourbon, vanilla, drying oak, spice, nuttiness. Hints of dark fruits.

Taste- Rich sweetness, caramel, molasses, mild vanilla, ripe dark fruits, plum, raisins. Underlying toasty rich malts and nuttiness. Smooth bourbon, oak, touches of dry spice on the finish.

Feel- Medium bodied, very sticky and sweet, slight creaminess. Moderate carbonation.

Overall- Sweet and decadent beer. Lots of rich sweetness up front, dark fruits, and then the beer finishes w/ the barrel characteristics. Good amount of bourbon, barrel notes are more subdued. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of HopHunter19
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - pretty impressive brown clear body, head surprisingly sticks forever at 12.5%, I guess it's deserving of its name!
S - big caramel, toffee, vanilla, light milk chocolate, bourbon, oak, wholesome zucchini bread
T - big caramel, caramel, and more caramel, toffee, like a heath bar in beer form, vanilla, just absolutely a Bba English barleywine that's perfectly done in all respects
M - heavy mouthfeel, alcohol covered for all intensive purposes, although it's a 12.5% barleywine so some may disagree, aftertaste is vanilla, caramel, cream, bourbon
O - great barleywine. Honestly I stood there for a second between this and Sucaba to start my Friday off, and I'm not dissapointed in my decision at all..great beer! This is definitely underrated at 90.

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

pours a cloudy burnt sienna with a large head that hangs out a minute. nose; sharp bourbony oak, fig, tart fermented dark fruit, & very light lemon hops. taste; easy caramel malt, grape must, toffee, tart berry, banana, vanilla, lemon zest, & big oak. extremely vinous overall, a tad tart, & the ethanol does warm a touch. medium+ carbonation & heavy, velvety mouthfeel. extremely tame for 12.5%abv and drinks like a wine. very nice.

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Photo of Boccu
4.55/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Great white head. Infected. Total let down. Not happy at all. Was really looking forward to this. I will try again if I see it but I won't look for it.
2nd bottle thanks chickman. Pours nice white head. Head hangs to sides of snifter. Aroma is sting and has tones of malt, caramel, molasses, vanilla and bourbon. Taste follows the nose with raisins, dark fruits,oak and bourbon. Excellent, very well made. Look forward to more from them.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served in a tulip glass right from the bottle.

Appearance: Looks alone this brew looks like a beast, deep mahogany color with medium bubbles. Off-white head with a slightly orange tint rises to maybe half a finger's length. Drops nice and steady, almost no lacing.

Smell: Light toffee scent, you know if you ever caramelize sugar this has that feel. The whiskey notes are a bit heavy but dissipate quick through the nostrils.

Taste: The brew is a little all over the place, sweet whiskey and light vanilla. Toffee and did I mention the whiskey, it's strong my friend and the alcohol is absolutely evident.

Mouth: Ultra stick, let it warm a bit and you will notice it's like maple syrup. Sweet finish, carbonation is medium at best but the just hugging your cheeks.

Overall: Great brew, I have had a quite better English barleywine but this one definitely in the top five category, hard to compare to Arctic Devil, King Henry, and Lervig's Brewer Reserve Barleywine...but still delivers. I don't like to mention other beers ever in a review but you need to understand the devil I am dealing with. Personally as pricey as it is I am happy I bought regrets. Salud!

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Photo of Immortale25
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
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 +5.9%
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%
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 -10.5%
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 +4.1%
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 -2.9%
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 +7.6%
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 +10.5%
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 -12.9%
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 +7.3%
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 -1.2%
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 +8.3%
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%
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 +3.4%
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 +6.6%
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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Mash from The Bruery
4.1 out of 5 based on 549 ratings.
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