Red Brick Brick Mason Series Beard Envy | Red Brick Brewing Company

very good
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Red Brick Brick Mason Series Beard EnvyRed Brick Brick Mason Series Beard Envy

Brewed by:
Red Brick Brewing Company
Georgia, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.30%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Omonigan on 01-20-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 32 | Ratings: 174
Photo of cpetrone84
3.12/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pour is dark copper, a bit murky with a small amount of tan head. Nose is tons of sticky caramel and a bit of brown sugar, a decent bit of rich maltiness, light bourbon notes and a hint of wood. Taste is a bit sweet, the rich malts depth isn't quite there, a good bit of caramel and more brown sugar, slightly cooked, flavor thins towards the back. Bourbon comes in on the finish, soft, full bodied and moderate carbonation and a bit of lingering booziness.

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Photo of stakem
3.22/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle with some dust on it, pulled from the cellar. No date code but this is at least a year or 2 old. Poured into a snifter, it appears a hazy mahogany with khaki cap that fades leaving patchy lace.

Initial aroma is kinda like roasted peanuts which is peculiar, than buttery toffee, caramel and vanilla. Slight fruity alcohol.

Taste has an awkward maltiness thats toasty and oxidized. Neutral boozy character and some herbal to medicinal aspect. Raisons and fruity alcohol as it warms.

Medium in body with modest carbonation. Its ok.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.31/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

No label information. Beard Envy is brewed in the style of an American Barleywine, aged in Bourbon Barrels. Available in 12 oz. bottled 4 packs and on limited draft. Initially a one-off release in January 2014, this beer has become an annual summer release starting in 2015. This review will compare the 2015 bottle to the 2014 original release.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a snifter glass.

(Appearance) Pours a smooth, creamy head of a beige cream tone over a very mildly hazy cherry-amber body with ample, abundant carbonation and high clarity. Retention is average and lacing is light and spotty. 3.75

(Smell) Aromas of grain malts, lightly caramelized malt syrups, syrupy dark fruits with a touch of curious cider tang. No trace of barrel aging in the aroma. Potency is moderate. 3.25

(Taste) The flavor is a bit more solid than the aroma, surprisingly easy drinking for the style, with soft graininess peeking through, and a generally smooth caramel and bread malt base. Slightly buttery and simplistic with little malt density. Again, there is very little barrel aging flavor imparted in this beer, aside from the subtle flavors of drying oak, which may lend to the drying tang, but no bourbon or whiskey character. Very shallow at its current stage, somewhere between an ESB and a barleywine. 3.25

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, silky, lightly chewy, medium dry. Carbonation is moderate, generating a moderate frothiness and a medium crisp finish. Body is shy of medium for the style, medium+ overall. Balance is slightly grainy bitter and tangy over sweet. Alcohol presence is moderate. As before mentioned, this beer has a curious cider tang (light green apple) character, potentially indicative of mild infection. 3.5

(Overall) I've had the fortune of holding onto a bottle of the original release, and comparing that to this most recent vintage think there's been some shortchanging of ingredients in the second batch of this ale, resulting in a more shallow body and a less developed barrel-aging character. Also curious in this beer in particular is a mellow, acidic tang, curious but generally uncharacteristic of most beer aside from possible infection. Ultimately, this is a less-than-spectacular Barleywine, largely akin to the shallowness of the malt body going in. I'd be likely to attribute this to a general unfamiliarity with the style, but Red Brick brewed a notably superior version of this ale in the past (see below), which holds up much nicer than this fresher vintage. I also note that this vintage changed "Barleywine Ale Aged In Bourbon Barrels" to "Barrel Aged Barleywine Ale", possibly changing the source of barrels, and the impact of this beer. Buyer beware, but I am looking forward to a return to high quality, provided this is brewed again for the summer of 2016. 3.25

Vertical Notes:
2014 Batch (2 Years Aged): The pour yields a shorter-lived, thinner consistency head over a much denser and darker crimson-amber body with dense haziness and even more lively carbonation. The aroma is a much denser and more filled-in aroma of caramelized malt, toasted sugars, and fruit syrups, well rounded out, with subtle bourbon barrel notes of vanilla and soft oak. The flavor is much the same as the aroma, significantly more flavor density than the fresher vintage, more malt substance, specialty malt density, and even some subtle bourbon character, with a bit of vanilla and oak creeping in. Texture is very much the same, slightly smoother and creamier with an equally mild alcohol presence but a nice degree of balance. Incredibly accessible at its age, and vastly superior to the above vintage, there was clearly a change of ingredients for the above mentioned second batch (2015), of which did not slip by me.

Recommended vintage: 2014 (2 Years Aged-see above review for specific details).

Red Brick Brewing Company's
Beard Envy

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Photo of Ciocanelu
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Slightly hazy amber color with off-white head. Aroma has some cloying esters, sugar and booze. Taste has toasted malt, some walnut and bitter, earthy finish. Medium body and carbonation. It’s quite boozy and I don’t get any barrel character.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, no date

clear, dark amber color - head that fades. no lacing. boozy bourbon aroma - caramel. taste has some fruitiness in there, and not a great aftertaste. thin to medium bodied - could be thicker.

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Photo of fredmugs
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

If this was labelled as a barleywine I would say nice job. As a barrel aged barleywine I have to ask where the barrel is? I have to knock this down from a grading to style aspect because there is no barrel. None.

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Photo of ccg
3.65/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2016-04-19: Beard Envy

Look: murky, reddish-brown color with a soapy head. 3.75

Smell: sweet malt, caramel, oak, vanilla and a little bit of funk. 3.75

Taste: More hops than malt come through in the flavor. The flavor is quite different from the smell. Some caramel and oak come through, but that's about it. I had to check the label: it's 50% ale, 50% aged in oak barrels. It is not bourbon-barrel-aged. From the smell, I thought it could have been, but definitely not from the taste. 3.5

Mouthfeel: Slick, a little bit light on the tongue, medium carbonation. 3.75

Overall: Solid. 3.75

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Photo of rudzud
3.69/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Received as an extra in a trade over a year ago.

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a crystal clear dark chestnut hue with a super thin head that fades to leave thin wisps and a light halo.

S - Aromas of very sweet caramel, faint bourbon, little bit of older hops, light malts. Bourbon is quite faint. More of a sweet vanilla thing going on.

T - Taste is similar to the nose. More sweet caramel, little bit of bourbon. Actually, the bourbon is quite faint. The vanilla level is low, little bit of barrel, flash of toffee. Sweet malts, faint faint cardboard, older hops.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, a bit sticky/syrupy.

O - Overall this beer was rather lackluster and one note. Really didn't have much bourbon going for it and was mostly just sweet caramel sauce.

Serving Type: Bottle

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.77/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

To honor the burley, Red Brick gives them a beer of masculinity, strength, boldness and one meant for the connoisseur.

Beard Envy is a deep garnet ale with bronzen low lights and a dense foamy cap. Its aromas are just as jam-packed, pushing brown sugar, scorched caramel and fruitcake over the senses.

Fruit and booze follow closely behind with cherry, apple, date, fig and plum- all seemingly of the rum-soaked variety. Lavish in its sweetness, the malts never back down as they wrap the fruit and alcohol spice in a blanket of molasses and port-like viscosity.

Warm and spicy in finish, the hops burst through with citrus peels and pine resins. Bitterly balanced, but the hops stop shy of the intense rival from malt. Its rich taste and texture is off of chewy but simply exudes powerful and manly notions otherwise.

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Photo of mverity
3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle given to me by RB's Scotchzi. Poured into a snifter. Deep reddish brown with a finger's worth of tan head that faded into a thick collar and good amount of wisps. Good lacing. Aroma is molasses, sweet nuts (pecan or hazelnut) and toffee. Light body and low carbonation, but a sticky mouthfeel. Taste is much like the aroma: toffee and nutty with lots of grainy sweetness. I typically don't like Red Brick, but this is one of their best IMHO.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.84/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle - part of the Brick Mason Series 4-pack - $11.98 at Sherlock's in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazed, mahogany-hued body with a rather slim, off-white head.

Smell: Sweet-scented maltiness present, with toasted bread crusts, sugar glaze, caramel and such. Hint of slightly spoiled fruitiness, a touch of vanilla. Some wafting alcoholic tones present.

Taste: Sugary sweet start of caramel candy, butterscotch and light brown sugar. Splash of triple sec yielding some applied heat to the tongue. Faint hints of figs and appleskin. Vanilla, a little spiciness and slight woodsiness. Finishes warming, a little rough around the edges. Lingering sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Comes across a little boozy, but, all in all, it's fairly good.

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Photo of wedge
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A very soft hiss as I popped the cap had me worried this would be nearly flat, but a creamy head forms before dying down to a milky ring. The body is a dark, foggy auburn, despite my best efforts to keep the yeast in the bottle. Boozy wooden barrel aromas initially, developing into raisin bread, maple syrup, toffee, vanilla, hazelnut, tobacco, and bitter cocoa. Super smooth Bourbon flavor - not too boozy at all. Toffee, vanilla bean, crumbled graham crackers, dried purple fruits, cakey malts, and a trailing hoppy bitterness. Feels oily slick and smooth in the mouth and medium bodied, which is light for the style and ABV. This would make a great beer to sip on a cool fall evening.

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Photo of brentk56
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A hard pour raises a rocky ecru head that perches on top of the mahogany colored liquid; nice retention and a curtain of lace is delivered

Smell: Toffee and pecans with a pithy element

Taste: Toffee, pecans and a butterscotch aspect that builds; the pith arrives, after the swallow, to cut into the sweetness but the nuts and caramel tones linger into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: I love a good English barleywine and was hoping this beer would be so much better than it was; not a bad beer, but the flavors clash and the overall effect delivers too much sweetness

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Photo of puboflyons
4.01/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle acquired in trade from a non BA-member. Sampled on August 4, 2014.

The pour is an intriguing looking reddish-amber with a quick burst of off-white. A slight fog.

The aroma explodes with barley malts, maybe a little chocolate, sweetness, dark fruits, but little to no booze.

The body is medium to heavy.

The taste is much like the aroma with bountiful malts, chocolate, and a bitter bite that sneaks up quickly on the back side. I pick up a tad more alcohol in the flavor than in the nose but it is incidental.

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Photo of NCalement
4.04/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a globe.

A- Pours a deep dark brownish-amber, fast head that fades to a thin ring with light lacing. Small bubbles escape to the surface of the glass.

S- Bourbon, burnt sugar, fig, raisin, toffee, leather, tobacco, some alcohol burn on the nose and some sweet malt finish. Very nice and complex. The bourbon shines the most.

T- Bourbon, vanilla, roasted marshmallow, cereal, graham cracker, toffee, some hop bitterness, raisin and fig as it warms, and toffee. Not as complex as the nose.

M- Washes the palate clean, micro bubbles, thin viscus body, alcohol is present.

O- What an amazing beer. Truly under the radar when it comes to top notch BA Barelywines. I will continue to drink this as long as they make it.

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Photo of chinchill
4.06/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery. Originally served a little too cold quickly warmed up.

The dark red-amber body is topped b a durable bone-colored head that leaves very good lacing.

Smooth mouthfeel with medium carbonation and a full-light body. A bit hot, but not really more than expected for 9.3%.

Sweet and appealing aroma precedes a fine flavor with ample, but not overpowering, flavoring from the barrel aging. Notes of toffee, dates and wood.

O: very good barrel-aged barleywine but a bit too boozy and hot: this would likely improve with some aging.

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Photo of mothmanscott
4.06/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque medium brown, producing almost 2 fingers of somewhat lasting, frothy beige head that leaves a 1/4-12 inch collar ring of sticky lace. Aroma is malty brown sugar, toffee, raisin & other dark fruit & woody vanilla with floral & pine hops. I don\'t pick up any bourbon in the nose & damn little alcohol but the barrel wood is there. Taste is a caramelized malty sweetness, dark fruit, vanilla with a hint of bourbon that is not well balanced with the floral, orange & pine hops present but doesn't overpower them either. The alcohol while hidden in the nose is noticeably boozy in the mouth. Aftertaste is an astringent toffee malt, bitter with alchol spice. Mouthfeel is medium-heavy bodied, low-moderate carbonation, a dry-sweet tug of war, drawing on the tongue, slick, oily & slightly chewy. Overall very nice but definitely more suited to a cold winter evening before the fire than in the hot, late May sun of a South Georgia afternoon on the deck.

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Photo of shivtim
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Saw a 4-pack and had to try it. While Red Brick's flagship brews are so-so, I've really enjoyed the Brick Mason series, particularly the double IPA and Vanilla Gorilla.

Nice design and name. Poured the bottle into a pint glass.
Deep murky brown/orange, with a thick foamy tan head. Beautiful beer.
Nose is bourbon and malts. Boozy and sweet. Nice but could be more complex.
Taste is very solid for the style. Sweet malts, hints of bitter hops, and some lingering bourbon heat. Slight earthiness with dark fruit. Flavors blend very well.

Great mouthfeel. Not thin/boozy like some barleywines.

Probably my favorite from Red Brick.

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a dark amber color with two fingers of thick off white head. Great retention and lacing.

S: Lots of very sweet dark fruits - smells cloyingly sweet actually. A bit of burnt toffee in the background. As the beer warms up, more toffee and less sweetness come out, balancing the beer a bit. Bourbon is in the background.

T: Again, very sweet dark fruit and toffee. Bourbon becomes apparent, melding fairly well with the beer. As the beer warms, it seems much more balanced like the aroma. Bourbon comes in as well - the flavor works well with the base beer.

M: Medium to light thickness with adequate carbonation.

O: At colder temperatures, this beer really was not very good. As it warmed, some complexity came out, making it quite nice.

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Photo of Ohiovania
4.09/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Got this as an extra in a trade and was very excited to break it open. As much as I think the bourbon barrel aged stuff is a trend of making big beers taste even bigger, I'm a sucker for it.

Beer looks great. Smell is fantastic. Bourbon and vanilla and toffee dominate. slightly under carbonated mouth feel but still very nice. Flavor is sweet over sweet. Not sure how old my bottle is but I wouldn't let it sit any longer. No heat at all either for being over 9%.

I'd drink this one again for sure. just maybe after dinner next time.

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Photo of portia99
4.09/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into an Idle Hands tulip.

A - Pours a moderately hazy, somewhat dirty brown color with hints of amber. Low carbonation with no real head formation and only a thin wisp of an off-white collar around the edge of the glass.

S - Buttery toffee, caramel, sweet vanilla, brown sugar, burnt sugar, some smooth bourbon, faint woodiness.

T - Sugary sweet aspects hit first with toffee and brown sugar leading the way...mix of other sugars, caramelized sugar, molasses especially. Off-setting hop bitterness which is medium level and sufficient to provide a good balance of sweet and bitter. Smooth and somewhat subtle bourbon notes complement nicely and provide a smooth transition from the initial sweet to the finishing bitterness. Vanilla blends in lightly to add some more smoothness.

M - Medium body...not quite as full as I'd like but well within the bounds of the style. Low carbonation breathes a hint of life into the beer, but stays well short of creating any kind of tingle. Layers of sweet in various forms of sugars gives this a thin, syrupy feel. Bourbon gives just a bit of a kick and leaves a lingering warmth that is quite welcome.

T - Definitely one that develops more as it warms in the glass. Scarily easy drinking for a BA Barleywine - could be dangerous if multiple bottles were on hand. Nice barrel integration that doesn't overpower...well done - adds a layer of complexity to what seems to be a pretty good base beer to begin with.

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Photo of oberon
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter a deep amber tinged mahogany with a thick creamy light beige head atop,great clarity and color.Aromas of caramel/vanilla and toffee really stood out with some drunken fruit thrown in.Flavors are warm and sweet but not over the top in sweetness,caramel/vanilla and dark fruit with that sticky toffeeness,mild leafy hops,and toasted oak were detectable but the malty richness is what this beer is all about.A smooth full feel just adds to the beer.To me the beer is more English in nature with it's big malty tones but either just great.

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Photo of Tony_D
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark brown in color with a mocha colored head that is thin but remains.

S: Very strong bourbon smell with maybe a touch of vanilla. Cannot personally pick up any other smells in the overall aroma.

T: Taste is wonderful.

M: Maybe a touch low on the carbonation but overall has a good mouthfeel.

O: This beer surprised me with its drinkability. I was expecting to have to age this beer for quite some time to let it mellow but it is good right from the start. The bourbon is not overwhelming and goes great with the

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Photo of BeerDawgs
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L - Golden, with clarity and some minor lacing left on top of the brew and on the glass

S - Sweet sugarcane, caramel, oak, grapes

T - Like the smell, sugary sweet, the booze warms, malty roastiness. Tasty!

F - Medium body and carbonation

O - A great oak aged barleywine. A slow sipper, and enjoyable

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.27/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle purchased at Ale Yeah! in Decatur, GA.
poured into travel tulip.
Deep amber almost brown color with white froathy head. Awesome sweet dried fruit and bourbon woody aroma...really friggin nice.
Nice tobacco cocoa woody vanilla bourbon flavor - dried fruit notes linger. Nice flavor...really nice. Slightly hoppy bitter finish.
Its a bit thin...weirdly so - with so much going on in the flavor its weird that its so major minus there...but it does make it rather chugable so plus there...
Actually a really nice BW. Highly impressed by this one. In fact, its one of the better BW ive had. Id get again for sure. This is one id like to try multiple variants of - BA version, vanilla...yada yada...but regardless...its one where a bunch should be aged like Big Foot, Sucaba, or Goose Island...I think it delicious now, but it would be awesome to try a vintage one.
Anyway...realle nice BW...

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Red Brick Brick Mason Series Beard Envy from Red Brick Brewing Company
3.96 out of 5 based on 174 ratings.
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