Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Bruery - Mash & Grind

Two nights ago, fantasy football season officially started for me. After weeks of anxious waiting, countless mock drafts and pre-draft trash talk at work (where all of the other league members are), the real draft finally happened. I hate being the bearer of bad news, but being on my team tends to be the kiss of death for pretty much any player I draft (quarterbacks, kickers, team mascots, etc.). In fact, by Week 3 last year, I was forced to change my team name to "Injured Reserve." So I'm sorry, fans of Green Bay, Indianapolis and St. Louis. You may want to start drinking heavily now because a bunch of your star players are likely in for a world of hurt this season.

And if you plan on drinking heavily, what better way to do it than to start with what I was sipping on draft night, The Bruery's new 12.5% barleywine, Mash & Grind? As a Reserve Society Member, I've gotten to enjoy a TON of new beer from The Bruery this year. Mash & Grind (along with it's sister beer, Mash) is yet another new addition to the lineup and is a bourbon barrel-aged barleywine that is brewed with coffee from Portola Coffee Lab, a company The Bruery has teamed up with on a few beers before this one.

Mash & Grind pours a rich, deep brown color with caramel highlights on the edge. A one-finger, creamy tan head forms immediately, but simmers down quickly, leaving nothing buy a few small swirls on the surface. The coffee is immediately evident on the nose, with rich and earthy dark roasted coffee notes showing right away. Caramel, booze soaked raisin and toffee can all be found as well, along with a bit of a dark chocolate covered berry note. Very inviting.

The taste opens up with a nice wave of earthy coffee, then progresses to notes of toffee and some spicy, earthy hops. Caramel and vanilla hit in the middle, with some bourbon and just a touch of boozy heat sneaking in on the finish. For a beefy beer, the mouthfeel is remarkably light, never coming close to feeling heavy or syrupy. I think I enjoyed the standard version of Mash a bit more than this one, but I do feel like the coffee was a really nice addition. This is another top notch beer from The Bruery and was a great sipper during the draft. Good luck to all of you playing fantasy football this year and especially to all of you who are unlucky enough to be fans of the teams I listed above. You're gonna need it.

Final Grade: A-

Top 250 Beers Tasted: 127

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