The Bruery Mash
The Bruery Mash is an English Barleywine aged in bourbon barrels, 12.5% ABV. This review is for the 2015 vintage.
The beer has a cloudy toffee brown color with a little bit of red highlights, nice big fluffy tan head to start that fades. Bourbon and caramel hits the nose immediately, but following just behind that is some sweet pineapple. The taste is a bit unusual for the style, but I am really enjoying it. All of the aroma elements are present, but the bourbon is much more mild in the taste. I’d say I’m tasting more barrel than bourbon with some oak and vanilla notes coming out strong. I’m certainly tasting the caramel/toffee expected for the style, a little of the tropical fruit is in there as well. There is a little burnt flavor going on here, kind of like burnt raisins, as well as a more tart dark fruit flavor similar to plums. The mouth-feel is a bit on the light side for a Barleywine, but I feel like it works given some of the other surprising aspects of this beer. Not what I was expecting at all in the taste, but this really works for me.
At about $20 a bottle this might not be something I will pick up annually, but I will certainly buy this again at some point as long as they keep brewing it.