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: 546
Photo of LloydDobler
4.18/5  rDev +2%
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 -8.5%
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 +8.8%
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 +0.7%
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 -18.8%
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 +0.2%
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 +5.6%
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 -45.4%
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 -7.8%
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 +1.5%
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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Photo of BWood
4.14/5  rDev +1%
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 smakawhat
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a Bruery tulip/snifter glass. Vintage 2015.

Deep brown and purple, with a plum and raisin like colored body color. Tan creamy head manages a finger, but doesn't really get much bigger than that. Creamy laced top with sheeting action. Huge amounts of fine bubbles cascading along the sides of the glass as well, with some fine just micro sized tan color.

Big aroma on this bouquet even while pouring. Large thick caramel and sticky toffee notes, with a small sweetness. Classic wood aged notes of buttery oak as well. Spicy cinnamon but with a big softer sense, almost into a fruitcake like character. Thick tannic wood, but with a controlled soft chewy grain sense, one that is really picking up some whiskey character particularly in vanilla. Excellent stuff.

Palate brings the goods, with a minor letdown in body. Slightly wet but full flavored mouthfeel, doesn't give the impression of a long barrel aged brew. The flavors do manage to come out wonderfully with a good deal of complexity. Lots of dark fig and sweet browned butter in the mid palate. Finishes with much more fruit complexity, cherry, raspberry and other red fruit mixing with some nice cinnamon. Lots of soft subtle caramel going on here as well and whiskey vanilla tones. Lots of boozy character though, mostly long after the drink is sipped making it seem much larger than it really is.

Wish this had a bit more body and round character but the flavor and complexity is really well done.

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Photo of metter98
4.02/5  rDev -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 Shroud0fdoom
4.46/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 Ml into a Wine Glass..

Let's cut the crap here, when Patrick Rue ages a Malted Beverage in a Barrel...with no infections...usually turns to instant Gold! This brew in a better sense is no exception, (no infections with this release). So let's break it down for the common folk. This brew pours nice deep Burgundy body with a Velvet Edge. Crowned with a slightly off white head of Foam. Looks like a Winner so far!

I'm going in for a smell! First hits the Nostrils with an array of Bourbon and Caramel! It's a rich beer alright! That splash of Bourbon brings in that Toasted Coconut and Vanilla sucker punch! Then skull rapes you with Caramel and Brown Sugar! On the backend there's a toasted nut grain that brings a touch of Hearty Earth. This brew has me on Wow status...just by smelling it!

Da Flava? This first smacks the palate with a bit of Alcohol burn and Malt Sweetness (The Alcohol burn is only minor...but it's there). The secondary flavors are Robust but not as rich as the Aroma is bringing you. Those flavors include Toasted Coconut, Caramel and Toffee getting Sodomized by some Brown Sugar and Figs in the back ground...(Realizing Brown Sugar sounds like a Gay Porno Actor). This finishes a bit weak with a dryness that doesn't suit well with the alcohol bitterness. The feel on this brew is its weakest part, for me anyway. It's light weight with ample Carbonation.

Overall: This brew is Banging. It's what a Barrel Aged Barleywine should be. Great Aromas and Flavors bring an array of complexities from the Grains to it's time in the Bourbon Barrel. I like how this brew wasn't molested with Over-Hopping as some other breweries tend to do to their Barleywines. The set back is its Feel and it's Finish. They're both Weak and a bit Thin for my liking. Yet that's just me being petty. Other than that, this brew is my Juice! 12.5 % is felt but not really an overtone in the beverage. Which makes this an Instant Classic in my Book! This Brew is Recommended!

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.29/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a hazy orange amber with a fine one finger light khaki head with good retention and heavy lacing. Aroma of dark stone fruit, bourbon, vanilla and light oak. Flavor is caramel malt, vanilla, dark fresh and dried stone fruit, bourbon and oak, finishing with a light oak tannin astringency. Excellent lightly creamy mouth feel. A classic looking and tasting barrel aged barleywine, definitely of of the English style. The oak tannins give a pleasant bitterness in the finish that substitutes for hopping and is more appropriate for this style. Long vanilla aftertaste. Perhaps a little lighter on fruit flavors and heavier on oak, but beautifully made and a pleasure to drink. Alcohol warming, but well covered. Surprised I haven't had this before as I try all barleywines. Perhaps the name "Mash" from a brewery that does a lot of sours made me just miss it on the shelf.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

look: medium dark copper. Big frothy white-tan head. messy lacing coats the glass.
smell: caramel, vanilla bourbon, with some cereal grain.
taste: much like the nose but richer. Some dark fruit.

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Photo of hman43
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
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 PicoPapa
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle. Pours a dark mohagany with over an inch of frothy tan head. Big whiff of Bourbon in the nose with some woody barrel notes, vanilla, pear, caramel and toasted coconut. The taste is the Bourbon at first but it's followed up by lots of pear and coconut flavor. Vanilla and caramel as well but with more pear and coconut again at the end. Bourbon finish. Lots of alcohol warmth. Somewhat sweet. Lots of carbonation with a slightly dry mouthfeel. This one has some different flavors you don't usually get in Barleywines and it works really well here. Overal, pricey (of course) but fantastic.

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Photo of oberon
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours into a small tulip glass a menacing looking murky burnt orange infused brown with a thick creamy light beige head atop that clings to the glass like glue.Mild bourbon infused with brown sugar in the nose,the vanilla tinged bourbon isn't to overbearing,you can tell it's a malt bomb though no doubt.A full creamy feel is just spot on,fantastic.Bourbon and toasted oak on the palate,just really fresh.The caramel and vanilla stand out more as I drink more and as it warms,a warming sipper.Underrated in my humble opinion,this is a fantastic English style barley wine.

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Photo of n2185
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a clear copper color with a finger of khaki head that fades into a frothy ring with decent lacing.

S: The nose is full of burnt sugar, caramel, and vanilla. Sweet breads and oak come through as well before a bourbon finish.

T: Brown sugar, caramel, and bourbon dominate here with oak and vanilla following. Hints of dark fruit come through as well before a lightly boozy and slightly bitter finish.

M: Medium-thick body with moderate carbonation, this beer is surprisingly lively and drinkable for such a big beer. Much nicer than the syrupy and watery feel of many barleywines.

O: A great beer, overall, and not too bad of a price point. Lots of barrel notes but avoids being overly sweet or boozy.

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Photo of popery
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
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 BucannonXC5
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Type: 750ml bottle (25.4 oz.)
Glass: 26th anniversary Karl Strauss pint glass
From: Beer Advocate’s heresy22
Price: N/A
Purchased: N/A; Received Nov. 22, 2014
Consumed: May 30, 2015
Misc.: Born on June 20, 2014 at 3 p.m. PT

Thanks Chris!

Poured a caramel, auburn, murky color with two fingers of khaki, rocky head. Occasional bubble streams coming up from the bottom of the glass. Minimal lacing on the sides. Average retention. (Sight - 3.75)

Smelled boozy toffee, caramel, plum, figs, dark cherry, bourbon and light unknown hops. (Smell - 4.25)

First thought on the taste was Oh. My. God. Toffee, caramel, plum, sweet bourbon, candied sugar and faint butterscotch. (Taste - 4.50)

Medium body. Creamy texture. Average carbonation. Long, smooth finish, nowhere near 12.4 percent. Just perfect. (Feel - 5.00)

This was just awesome. Would love to try it again. Wow. (Overall - 4.50)

4.45 | 99 | A

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Photo of stortore
4.21/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle into both a snifter and tulip.

Nice looking pour, a deep amber. Small head, some lacing. Fairly strong bourbon smell. Also picking up malt, dates, caramel, some cherries and a touch of licorice. Taste is of bourbon,vanilla, oak, malt, some fig, raisins, caramel and a touch of coconut. It's a little boozy, but the flavors are well balanced. Good body and aftertaste.

Very enjoyable, a typically solid barrel aged beer from The Bruery. Nice, too, that it's an English style, where the bourbon barrel and the hops aren't fighting for attention/supremacy. Well worth a purchase.

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Photo of markgugs
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

nearly 2 years old, this was exceptionally smooth, full of barrel character and gorgeously blended caramel, toffee, brown sugar notes, and not overly sweet. Excellent beer

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Photo of Rifugium
3.02/5  rDev -26.3%
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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Mash from The Bruery
4.1 out of 5 based on 546 ratings.
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